Grace Gems Collection 2001

Grace Gems Collection 2001
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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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THE STUDY OF THE BIBLE CANNOT SAVE YOU
by Spurgeon
“HELP FOR SEEKERS OF THE LIGHT”
True salvation is not to be found through the mere reception of any creed, however true or scriptural.
Mere ‘head notion’ is not the road to heaven.
“You must be born again,” means a great deal more than that you must believe certain dogmas.
The study of the Bible cannot save you! You must press beyond this; you must come to the living, personal Christ, or else your acceptance of the soundest creed cannot avail for the salvation of your soul.
Salvation lies in Jesus only!
“You search the Scriptures because you believe they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to Me! Yet you refuse to come to Me so that I can give you this eternal life.” John 5:39-40
MICROSCOPIC HOLINESS
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “A WELL ORDERED LIFE”
“Order my steps,” We see here that David is anxious as to details. He does not say, “Order the whole of my pilgrimage;” he means that, but his expression is more expressive and painstaking. He would have each single
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step ordered in holiness. He would enjoy heavenly guidance in each minute portion of his journey towards heaven.
Much of the beauty of holiness lies in little things. Microscopic holiness is the perfection of excellence.
If a life will bear examination in each hour of it, it is pure indeed. Those who are not careful about their words, and even their thoughts, will soon grow careless concerning their more notable actions.
Those who tolerate sin in what they think to be little things, will soon indulge in it in greater matters.
To live by the day and to watch each step, is the true pilgrimage method.
More lies in the careful noting of every single act than careless minds can well imagine.
Be this then your prayer: “Lord, direct my morning thoughts, that the step out of my chamber into the world may be taken in Your fear. At my table keep me in Your presence; behind my counter, or in my field, or wherever else I may be, allow me not to grieve Your Spirit by any evil. And when I come to lie down at night, let the action (which seems so indifferent) of casting myself upon my pillow, be performed with a heart that loves You; so that I shall be prepared to be with You, if wakeful during the night.”
This brief prayer, “Order my steps,” teaches us attention to the minutiae of life. May we have grace to learn the
lesson.
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“Better go to heaven alone than to hell with a herd.”— Spurgeon
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THE MAN WITH THE BRUISED HEEL
& CROWN OF THORNS!
from Bonar’s book, “THE NIGHT OF WEEPING”
Jesus’ crucifixion was but the closing scene of a whole life of crucifixion!
He was a cross bearer from the hour that He was laid in the manger. All His days He bore the cross. His life was but a pilgrimage to Calvary with the cross upon His shoulders. His whole course on earth was a mournful way. It was all reproach and sorrow from His cradle to His grave. His was a sorrowing life; His death was but the summing up of His many sorrows, the gathering of them all together and pressing them into His cup at once, until the vessel burst, because it could hold no more.
Throughout life He was the “man of sorrows.” He was “acquainted with grief.”
His bruised heel is only another way of expressing His character as the suffering, the crucified Son of Man.
It is the Man with the bruised heel who has won our hearts!
It is He whom we follow; and His bruised heel we engrave upon our banner as our most honorable badge.
We are followers of the Man with the pierced hands and feet, the Man who is covered all over with the marks of the buffet and the scourge and the spitting, the Man with the crown of thorns!
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DWARF OR GIANT?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE FORMER AND THE LATTER RAIN”
The plan Satan seems to have adopted is that of preventing, as far as he can, our raising in our midst a race of eminent and advanced Christians.
We have in this age but few giants in grace who rise head and shoulders above the common height, men to lead us on in deeds of heroism and efforts of unstaggering faith.
We have come to be a race of dwarfs, and are content, to a great extent, to have it so.
There was once in London a club of dwarfs, whose qualification for membership lay in their not exceeding five feet in height.
Such a club of dwarfish Christians might be established in London, and without any difficulty might attain to an enormously numerous membership; for the notion is common that our dwarfish Christianity is after all the standard, and many even imagine that nobler Christians are enthusiasts, fanatical, and hot blooded; while we are cool because we are wise and intelligent.
We must get rid of all this nonsense.
The fact is, the most of us are vastly inferior to the early Christians, who, as I take it, were persecuted because they were thoroughly Christians. We are not persecuted because we hardly are Christians at all.
They were so earnest in the propagation of the Redeemer’s kingdom, that they became the nuisance of the age in which they lived.
They would not let errors alone. –8–

They had not conceived the opinion that they were to hold the truth, and leave other people to hold error without trying to intrude their opinions upon them. But they preached Jesus right and left, and delivered their testimony against every sin.
They denounced the idols, and cried out against superstition, until the world, fearful of being turned upside down, demanded of them, “Is that what you really mean? Then we will burn you, lock you up in prison, and exterminate you.”
To which the church replied, “We will accept the challenge, and will not depart from our resolve to conquer the world for Christ.”
But we are so gentle and quiet, we do not use strong language about other people’s opinions; but let men go to hell out of charity to them.
We are not at all fanatical. We would not wish to save any sinner who does not particularly wish to be saved. We do not speak with tears streaming down our cheeks, groaning and agonizing with God for them. Neither would we thrust our opinions upon them, though we know they are being lost for lack of the knowledge of Christ crucified.
Do not drivel away your existence upon baser ends, but count the glory of Christ to be the only object worthy of your manhood’s strength, the spread of the truth the only pursuit worthy of your mental powers.
Spend and be spent in your Master’s service.
Dwarf or Giant?
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OUR PILOT!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “MULTITUDINOUS THOUGHTS AND SACRED COMFORTS”
Remember that your way is ordered by a higher power than your will and choice.
The eternal destiny of God has fixed your every footstep. Believe that wisdom, not blind fate, but God’s wisdom, has ordained the bounds of your life, and fixed your position and your condition so definitely that no fretfulness of yours can change it for the better.
In the decree of God, all your history is fixed, so as to secure His glory and your soul’s profit.
Your present sorrow is the bitter bud of greater joy. Your transient loss secures your ultimate and never ceasing gain.
How I rejoice to believe that the Lord shall choose my inheritance for me!
All things are fixed by my Father’s hand, by no arbitrary and stern decree, but by His wise counsel and tender wisdom. He who loved us from before the foundations of the world, has immutably determined all the steps of our pilgrimage!
Why then, should you worry yourself?
There is a hand upon the helm which shall steer your vessel safely enough between the rocks, and by the quicksands, and away from the shoals and the headlands, through the mist, and through the darkness, safely to the desired haven.
Our Pilot never sleeps, and His hand never relaxes its grasp.
It is a blessed thing, after you have been muddling and meddling as you ought not to do with the affairs of
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providence, to leave them alone and cast your burden upon the Lord.
I charge you, therefore, children of God, in times of dilemma, to roll your burdens upon God, and He will sustain you, and make you to rejoice in beholding His wisdom and His love.
INEXPRESSIBLE SWEETNESS!
by Spurgeon
A soul that is altogether given up to the love of Christ lives above care and sorrow. It has care and sorrow, but the love of Christ kills all the bitterness by its inexpressible sweetness!1
“I HAVE MANY PEOPLE IN THIS CITY.” ACTS 18:10
by Spurgeon
This should be a great encouragement to try to do good, since God has among the vilest of the vile, the most reprobate, the most debauched and drunken, an elect people who must be saved.
When you take the Word to them, you do so because God has ordained you to be the messenger of life to their souls, and they must receive it, for so the decree of predestination runs. They are as much redeemed by blood as the saints before the eternal throne.
They are Christ’s property, and yet perhaps they are lovers of the alehouse, and haters of holiness. But if Jesus Christ purchased them He will have them. God is not unfaithful to forget the price which His Son has paid. He will not allow His substitution to be in any case an ineffectual, dead thing.
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Tens of thousands of redeemed ones are not regenerated yet, but regenerated they must be; and this is our comfort when we go forth to them with the quickening Word of God.1
HOME!
from Bonar’s book, “THE NIGHT OF WEEPING”
Afflictions are preparing for us a “more abundant entrance,” a weightier crown, a whiter robe, a sweeter rest, a home made doubly precious by a long exile and many sufferings here below.
However desperate our earthly warfare may be, it is not forever. No, it is brief, very brief. Its end is near, very near. And with the end come triumph, and honor, and songs of victory. Then, too, there follows peace, and the return of the war worn soldier to his quiet dwelling.
This is the joy of the saint. He has fought a good fight, he has finished the course, he has kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for him the crown of righteousness. His battle is over, and then for him there are rest and home.
Home!
Yes, home! And what a home for us to return to and abide in forever! A home prepared before the foundation of the world. A home in the many mansions. A home nearest the throne and heart of God. A home whose peace shall never be broken by the sound of war or tempest. A home whose brightness shall never be overcast by the remotest shadow of a cloud.
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How solacing to the weary spirit to think of a resting place so near to God, and that resting place our Father’s house where we shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, where the sun shall not scorch us, nor any heat, where the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall feed us and lead us to living fountains of waters, and God Himself shall wipe away all tears from our eyes!
The time is at hand.
The conflicts are almost over.
Our struggles and sorrows are nearly done.
A few more years, and we shall either be laid quietly to rest, or caught up into the clouds to meet our coming Lord.
A few more deaths, and then we shall be knit together in eternal brotherhood with all the scattered members of God’s family.
A few more suns shall rise and set, and then we shall ascend in the strength of the one unsetting sun.
A few more days shall dawn and darken, and then shall shine forth the one unending day.
A few more clouds shall gather over us, and then the world shall be cleared forever.
But a few brief years, and we shall enter in through the gates into the city, sitting down beneath the shadow of the tree of life, feeding upon the hidden manna, and drinking of the pure river clear as crystal, which proceeds out of the throne of God and of the Lamb!
But a few brief years and we shall see His face, and His name shall be upon our foreheads!
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We have only the foretaste now. The full brightness is in reserve, and we know that all that is possible or conceivable of what is good and fair and blessed, shall one day be real and visible.
Out of all evil there comes the good; out of sin comes holiness;
out of darkness, light;
out of death, life eternal;
out of weakness, strength;
out of the fading, the blooming;
out of rottenness and ruin, loveliness and majesty; out of the curse come the blessing, the incorruptible,
the immortal, the glorious, the undefiled!
Our present portion, however, is but the pledge, not the inheritance. The inheritance is reserved for the appearing of the Lord. Here we see but through a glass darkly. It does not yet appear what we shall be.
We are now but as wayfaring men, wandering in the lonely night, who see dimly upon the distant mountain peak the reflection of a sun that never rises here, but which shall never set in the “new heavens” hereafter.
And this is enough. It comforts and cheers us on our dark and rugged way. It would not be enough hereafter, but it is enough just now.
This wilderness will do for us until we cross into Canaan. The tent will do until the eternal city comes.
The joy of believing is enough, until we enter on the joy of seeing.
We are content with the “mountain of myrrh, and the hill of frankincense,” until “the day breaks and the shadows flee away.”
Home!
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IMAGINE YOURSELF TO BE CAST INTO A FIERY OVEN!
from Jonathan Edwards
“Can your heart endure, or can your hands be strong in the days that I shall deal with you? I the Lord have spoken it, and will do it.” Ezekiel 22:14
Imagine yourself to be cast into a fiery oven, or into a great furnace, where your pain would be as much greater than that occasioned by accidentally touching a coal of fire, as the heat is greater. Imagine also that your body were to lie there for a quarter of an hour, all the while full of quick sense. What horror would you feel at the entrance of such a furnace!
And how long would that quarter of an hour seem to you! And after you had endured it for one minute, how overbearing would it be to you to think that you had it to endure the other fourteen minutes! But what would be the effect on your soul, if you knew you must lie there enduring that torment to the full for twenty-four hours!
And how much greater would be the effect, if you knew you must endure it for a whole year!
And how vastly greater still, if you knew you must endure it for a thousand years!
O then, how would your heart sink, if you thought, if you knew, that you must bear it forever and ever! That there would be no end!
That after millions of millions of ages, your torment would be no nearer to an end, than ever it was; and that you never, never would be delivered!
If you are not a true Christian, your torment in hell will be immensely greater than this illustration represents!
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How then will the heart of a poor creature sink under it! How utterly inexpressible and inconceivable must the sinking of the soul be in such a case!
Whoever you are, whether young or old, little or great, if you are in a Christless, unconverted state, this is the wrath to which you are condemned. This is the wrath that abides on you. This is the hell over which you hang, and into which you are ready to drop every day and every night.
You may effectually escape these dreadful and awful torments. Be entreated to flee and embrace Him who came into the world for the very end of saving sinners from these torments, and who has paid the whole debt due.
You are exposed to eternal punishment, but there is a Savior provided, who is able and who freely offers to save you from that punishment.
Justice is fully satisfied in Christ. All who believe are accepted and justified in Him. Therefore believe in Him, come to Him, commit your souls to Him to be saved by Him. In Him you shall be safe from the eternal torments of hell.
Nor is that all: but through Him you shall inherit inconceivable blessedness and glory, which will be of eternal duration with the torments of hell. For, as at the last day the wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment, so shall the righteous, or those who trust in Christ, go into eternal life.
“Can your heart endure, or can your hands be strong in the days that I shall deal with you? I the Lord have spoken it, and will do it.” Ezekiel 22:14 1
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DULL, HEAVY, LUMPY, ALL BUT DEAD!
“Turn away my eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken me in Your way.” Psalm 119:37
“Turn away my eyes from beholding vanity.” There are diverse kinds of vanity. The cap and bells of the fool, the mirth of the world, the dance, the lyre, and the cup of the dissolute; all these men know to be vanities; they wear upon their forefront their proper name and title.
Far more treacherous are those equally vain things: the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches. A man may follow vanity as truly in the shop as in the theater. If he is spending his life in amassing wealth, he passes his days in vanity.
Unless we follow Christ, and make our God the great object of life, we only differ in appearance, from the most frivolous of people.
“Quicken me in Your way.” The Psalmist confesses that he is dull, heavy, lumpy, all but dead!
Perhaps, dear reader, you feel the same. We are so sluggish that the best motives cannot quicken us, apart from the Lord Himself. What! will not hell quicken me? Shall I think of sinners perishing, and yet not be awakened? Will not heaven quicken me? Can I think of the reward that awaits the righteous, and yet be cold? Will not death quicken me? Can I think of dying, and standing before my God, and yet be slothful in my Master’s service? Will not Christ’s love constrain me? Can I think of His dear wounds, can I sit at the foot of His cross, and not be stirred with fervency and zeal?
It seems so! No ‘mere consideration’ can quicken us to zeal, but God Himself must do it, hence the cry, “Quicken me.”
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The Psalmist breathes out his whole soul in vehement pleadings; his body and his soul unite in prayer. “Turn away my eyes,” says the body. “Quicken me,” cries the soul.
This is a fit prayer for every day. O Lord, hear it in my
case this day.
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A SPECIAL, PERSONAL, DISTINGUISHING LOVE!
from Bonar’s book, “THE NIGHT OF WEEPING”
It is sweet to realize the common love flowing out of the Father’s bosom to the whole happy household of His saved ones; but it is no less sweet, especially in the day of trial, to dwell upon the personal love He bears so distinctively to each of His children.
Jesus has a special, personal, distinguishing love for each of His children; just as if He loved no other, but had His whole heart to give to us alone. His is a detailed and watchful care, bending over each of His children, day and night, as if He had no other to care for.
How sweet to think that each of us is the special object of such personal affection, the particular object of such unwearied vigilance!
What manner of love is this!
We are sure that we shall be fully cared for, and not one need or sorrow will be overlooked.
We know that “all things shall work together for our good,” and that the end of everything which befalls us here shall be light and glory forever!
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FOR YOU!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “HELP HEAVENWARD”
Is Jesus precious to your heart? Is He the object of your supreme admiration and delight? Does He have your warmest affection? Do you love Jesus?
You must light your torch of affection for Christ, at the altar of Calvary. You must go there, and learn and believe what the love of Jesus is to you: the vastness of that love; the self sacrifice of that love; how that love of Christ labored and wept, bled, suffered, and died for you!
Can you stand before this love; this love so precious, so great, so enduring, so self consuming, so changeless, and know that for you was this offering, for you this cross, for you this agony, for you this scorn and insult, for you this death, and feel no sensibility, no emotion, no love to Jesus?
Impossible! Sit not down, then, in vain regrets that your love to Christ is so frigid, so fickle, so dubious. Go and muse upon the reality and the greatness of the Savior’s love to you, and if love can inspire love, while you muse, the fire will burn, and your soul shall be all in flame with love to God.
THIS AGE OF SHAMS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “EVERYDAY USEFULNESS”
People who become active in church work before they have first believed in Christ, are very apt to remain without faith, resting content with the general reputation which they have gained.
O dear friends, beware of this. –19–
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In this day hypocrisy is so common, self-deceit is so easy, that I would not have you place yourselves where those vices become almost inevitable. If a man voluntarily puts himself where it is taken for granted that he is godly, his next step will be to mimic godliness, and by and by he will flatter himself into the belief that he really possesses that which he so successfully imitates.
Beware of a religion which is not true; it is worse than none.
Beware of a form of godliness which is not supported by the fervor of your heart and soul.
This age of shams presents but few assistances to self- examination, hence am I the more earnest that every one of us should deliberately ask himself, “Am I a follower of Christ myself? Am I washed in His blood? Am I renewed by His Spirit?” If not, my first business is on my knees in prayer; my first occupation should be in my closet, confessing my sin and seeking pardon through the atoning sacrifice.
SELFISH RELIGION
from Bonar’s book, “THE NIGHT OF WEEPING”
Selfishness, in reference to the things of Christ, obviously springs from coldness towards Christ Himself. A preference of self to Christ is its root and source.
Anything, therefore, that tends to obscure or keep out of view the person of Christ must lead to selfishness. It may be the love of the world; it may be the love of the creature, it may be the love of man’s applause. These
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are the dark bodies that eclipse the glory of a living Savior and nourish self.
But these are not all. Satan has deeper devices still. He brings in religion between us and the Savior! Religious acts, ordinances, duties, are all turned by him into so many instruments for exalting self and lowering the Savior.
But even this is not all. He has a subtler device still for these last days. He is trying to make the work of Christ a substitute for His person, to fix attention so much upon the one as to exclude the other. The result of this is a thoroughly selfish and sectarian religion. I know this is delicate ground, but the evil is an augmenting one and ought to be made known.
There are not a few who are so occupied with truth that they forget “the true One,” so occupied with faith that they lose sight of its personal object, so given to dwelling upon the work of Christ that they overlook His person.
What and Who He is seems a question of small impor- tance, provided they know that He has accomplished a work by which they may secure eternal life. “We are forgiven,” they say, “we have peace; all is well.” They take but little interest in the person of Him who has purchased these blessings.
The redemption is all, and the Redeemer is nothing, or, at least, very little to them. The sufficiency of His work is all, the glory and excellence of His person, nothing.
What is this but selfishness? We get all the benefit we can out of the work of Christ, and then have no desire for Him! And this selfishness introduces itself everywhere into the actions and thinking of this class of people.
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We can trace it in their doctrines—Their views of the atonement are selfish, being framed not upon the principle of how God is to get His purpose fulfilled and His glory displayed, but simply of how a sinner is to be saved.
Their views of Jehovah’s sovereignty and electing grace are selfish, being just so many devices for taking the sinner out of God’s hands, and leaving him in his own control.
Their views of the Spirit’s work are selfish, being just an attempt to make His aid appear less absolutely indispensable; and man’s own skill and strength of very considerable avail in the matter of salvation.
But even where those selfish views of doctrine have not been adopted, there is a latent tendency toward selfish- ness among many, which can only be ascribed to their neglect of the person of Christ!
His truth is precious; His work is precious; but it is with Him that we have chiefly to do. It is Jesus! Jesus alone! Jesus Himself! whom we feel to be absolutely necessary!
We must go beyond truth to “Him who is true.” Truth is precious, but in itself it is cold. But the glory of the Gospel is this that it carries us up beyond truth to its living fountainhead! No, it brings us into the very bosom of Him who came out of the Father’s bosom and has now returned to it, carrying with Him all those whom the Father has given Him; there, with Him to abide in happy fellowship, world without end!
“Jesus leaped into the sea of His Father’s wrath to save His spouse from drowning!”—Thomas Watson 1
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RICHARD BAXTER’S GUIDE TO THE VALUE OF A BOOK
Make careful choice of the books which you read: let the holy Scriptures ever have the preeminence. Let Scripture be first and most in your hearts and hands and other books be used as subservient to it.
While reading ask yourself:

  1. Could I spend this time no better?
  2. Are there better books that would edify me more?
  3. Are the lovers of such a book as this the greatest lovers of the Book of God and of a holy life?
  4. Does this book increase my love to the Word of God, kill my sin, and prepare me for the life to come?
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    A PIECE OF BREATHING CLAY!
    from Richard Baxter’s book, “THE SAINTS EVERLASTING REST”
    Unsaved man, you are but a piece of breathing clay, kept a few days from being eaten with worms, by the mere support and favor of Him whom you are thus resisting!
    A MOST DREADFUL CONDITION!
    from Jonathan Edwards’ sermon, “NATURAL MEN IN A DREADFUL CONDITION”
    Natural men are in a dreadful condition because of the misery to which they are exposed in the future world.
    The torment and misery, of which natural men are in danger, are exceedingly great beyond any of our words or thoughts. When we speak of them, our words are
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swallowed up. We say they are great, and exceedingly great, and very dreadful. But when we have used all the words we can to express them, how faint is the idea that is raised in our minds in comparison with the reality!
God will exercise no pity towards them, no regard for their welfare. Cut off from all the comforts of this life, they will be shut out of heaven, turned away from God and from all good, into the blackness of darkness, into the pit of hell, into that great receptacle, which God has provided on purpose to cast into it the filthy, and polluted, and abominable of the universe.
They will be in a most dreadful condition!
They will have no friends. God will be their enemy, angels and the spirits of the just will be their enemies, devils and damned spirits will be their enemies. They will be hated with perfect hatred, will have none to pity them, none to bemoan their case, or to be any comfort to them.
It appears that the state of the damned will be exceedingly dreadful in that they will suffer the wrath of God, executed to the full upon them, poured out without mixture.
They shall bear the wrath of the Almighty!
They shall then know how dreadful the wrath of an Almighty God is. Now none knows, none can conceive. “Who knows the power of Your anger?” Then they shall feel the weight of God’s wrath.
In this world they have the wrath of God abiding on them, but then it will be executed upon them. Now it hangs over them, but then it shall fall upon them in its full weight without alleviation, or any moderation or restraint.
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Their souls and their bodies shall then be filled full with the wrath of God. Wicked men shall be as full of wrath as anything that glows in the midst of a furnace is of fire. The wrath of God is infinitely more dreadful than fire. Fire, yes the fiercest fire, is but an image and shadow of it.
The vessels of wrath shall be filled up with wrath to the brim. Yes, they shall be plunged into a sea of wrath. And therefore hell is compared to a lake of fire and brimstone, because there wicked men are overwhelmed and swelled up in wrath, as men who are cast into a lake or sea, are swallowed up in water.
O who can conceive of the dreadfulness of the wrath of an Almighty God!
How dreadful will it be, when all God’s mighty waves and billows of wrath pass over them! Every faculty of the soul shall be filled with wrath, and every part of the body shall be filled with fire.
In this furnace shall the bodies of the wicked lie to all eternity, and yet live, and have their sense of pain and torment not at all diminished.
O, how full will the heart, the vitals, the brain, the eyes, the tongue, the hands, and the feet be of fire; of this fire of such an inconceivable fierceness! How full will every member, and every bone, and every vein, and every sinew, be of this fire!
Surely it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Who can bear such wrath? A little of it is enough to destroy us. But how will men be over- whelmed, how will they sink, when God’s wrath is executed in so dreadful a degree!
How dreadful is the punishment to which they are exposed, in which all their sins shall be punished
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according to their desert, and the uttermost farthing shall be exacted of them!
Hell may well be called the bottomless pit, if the misery is so unfathomably great.
Well may the kings of the earth, and the great men, and rich men, and chief captains, and every bond man, and every free man, hide themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of the mountains, at Christ’s second coming; and cry and say to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of His wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?”
Well may there be weeping and gnashing of teeth in hell, where there is such misery.
This misery is not only amazingly great, and dreadful, but of long continuance; yes, of infinitely long continuance. It never will have any end. There will be no deliverance, no rest, no hope. But they will last throughout all eternity.
The wicked, after they have suffered millions of ages, will be, as it were, but in the first point, only setting out in their sufferings. It will be no comfort to them that so much has past, for they will have none the less to bear.
The damned in hell in their misery will be in absolute despair. They shall know that their misery will have no end, and therefore they will have no hopes of it.
O, who can conceive the dreadfulness of such despair as this in the midst of such torment!
Who can express, or think anything how dreadful the thought of eternity is to them, who are under so great torment!
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To what unfathomable depths of woe will it sink them! With what a gloom and blackness of darkness will it fill them! What a boundless gulf of sorrow and woe is the thought of eternity to the damned, who shall be in absolute and utter despair of any deliverance!
SLIPPERY PLACES!
from Jonathan Edwards’ sermon, “NATURAL MEN IN A DREADFUL CONDITION”
“Surely You did set them in slippery places; You cast them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation as in a moment.” Psalm 73:18-19
Natural men are in Scripture compared to those that walk in slippery places. They know not when their feet will slip. They are continually in danger.
Natural men are in danger of going to hell every day.
They are in danger of dropping into hell before tomorrow morning. They have nothing to depend on, to keep them out of hell one day, or one night.
They know not what a day may bring forth. God has not promised to spare them one day; and He is angry with them every day. The black clouds, that are full of the thunder of God’s wrath, hang over their heads every day, and they know not how soon the thunder will break forth upon their heads.
Natural men hang over the pit of hell, as it were, by a thread, that has a moth continually gnawing it. They know not when it will snap in twain, and let them drop. They are in the utmost uncertainty. They are not secure one moment. A natural man never goes to sleep, but that he is in danger of waking in hell. Experience abundantly teaches the matter to be so. It shows, by
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millions of instances, that man is not certain of life one day. And how common a thing is it for death to come suddenly and unexpectedly! And thousands, beyond all reasonable question, are going to hell every day, and death comes upon them unexpectedly.
It is a dreadful condition that natural people are in upon this account. No wise person would be in their condition for a quarter of an hour for the whole world, because such is the danger that they will drop into hell before that quarter of an hour is expired.
“Surely You did set them in slippery places; You cast them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation
as in a moment.”
THE DEVIL FOR HIS FATHER!
from Jonathan Edwards’ sermon, “NATURAL MEN IN A DREADFUL CONDITION”
Those who are in a natural state are the children of the devil.
As the saints are the children of God, so the ungodly are the children of the devil.
They acknowledge this relation, and own themselves children of the devil, by consenting that he should be their father. They subject themselves to him, hearken to this counsels, as children hearken to the counsels of a father.
They learn of him to imitate him, and do as he does, as children learn to imitate their parents.
How awful a state is this!
How dreadful is it to be a child of the devil, the spirit of darkness, the prince of hell, that wicked, malignant, and cruel spirit!
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To have anything to do with him is very dreadful. It would be accounted a dreadful, frightful thing only to meet the devil, to have him appear to a person in a visible shape. How dreadful then must it be to be his child!
How dreadful for any person to have the devil for his father!
Natural men are the devil’s captives and servants. They are in Satan’s possession and they are under his dominion. They are brought by him into subjection to his will, to go at his bidding, and do what he commands.
The devil rules over ungodly men. They are all his slaves, and do his drudging.
How awful to be taken captive by the devil, the prince of hell, and made a slave to him! The devil is, of all masters, the most cruel, and treats his servants the worst.
The devil is a cruel master; for the service upon which he puts his slaves is to undo themselves. He keeps them hard at work day and night, to work their own ruin. He never intends to give them any reward for their pains, but their pains are to work out their own everlasting destruction. It is to gather fuel and kindle the fire for themselves to be tormented in, to all eternity.
The soul of a natural man is the habitation of the devil. Satan not only lives, but reigns, in the heart of a wicked man. He has not only taken up his abode there, but he has set up his throne there. The heart of a wicked man, is the place of the devil’s rendezvous.
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The soul of a wicked man is the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.1
HOW TO PRODUCE A DEVIL
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS”
I have heard lately to my deep sorrow, certain preachers speaking of conversions as being developments of hidden graces within the human soul. It is not so; that theory is a lie from top to bottom.
There lies within the heart of man no grain or vestige of spiritual good.
Man is alien to all spiritual good. He is insensible and dead in sin. Spiritual life must come to him from the Giver of life, or he must remain dead for evermore.
If you could develop what is in the heart of man, you would produce a devil, for that is the spirit which works in the children of disobedience. Develop that carnal mind which is enmity against God, and cannot by any possibility be reconciled to God, and the result is hell.
A HARD, PROUD, HOLLOW RELIGION
from Horatius Bonar’s “FOLLOW THE LAMB”
Intimacy with God is the very essence of religion.
The understanding of doctrine is one thing, and intimacy with God is another. They ought always to go together; but they are often seen asunder; and, when
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there is the former without the latter, there is a hard, proud, hollow religion.
Beware of mere opinions and speculations. They become idols.
They nourish pride of intellect.
They furnish no food to the soul.
They make you sapless and heartless.
Intimacy with God is the very essence of religion.
THE GREAT BENEFITS OF PRAYER!
from Jonathan Edwards’ sermon, “HYPOCRITES DEFICIENT IN THE DUTY OF PRAYER”
Consider the great benefits of a constant, diligent, and persevering attendance in prayer.
Prayer is one of the greatest and most excellent means of nourishing the new nature, and of causing the soul to flourish and prosper.
Prayer is an excellent means of keeping up an acquaintance with God, and of growing in the knowledge of God.
Prayer is the way to a life of communion with God.
Prayer is an excellent means of taking off the heart from the vanities of the world, and of causing the mind to be conversant in heaven.
Prayer is an excellent preservative from sin and the wiles of the devil, and a powerful antidote against the poison of the old serpent.
Prayer is a duty whereby strength is derived from God against the lusts and corruptions of the heart, and the snares of the world.
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If prayer is constantly and diligently attended to, it is one of the best means of leading not only an amiable and pleasant life; but also a life of much sweet fellowship with Christ, and of abundant enjoyment of the light of His countenance.
SAVING GRACE OR COMMON GRACE?
from Jonathan Edwards’ sermon,
“TRUE GRACE DISTINGUISHED FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF DEVILS”
There are many in this world who are wholly destitute of saving grace, who yet have common grace. They have no true holiness, but nevertheless have something of that which is called moral virtue. And they are the subjects of some degree of the common influences of the Spirit of God.
But when any are damned, or cast into hell, as the devils are, God wholly withdraws His restraining grace and all merciful influences of His Spirit. They then have neither saving grace nor common grace; neither the grace of the Spirit, nor any of the common gifts of the Spirit; neither true holiness, nor moral virtue of any kind.
Hence arises the vast increase of the exercise of wickedness in the hearts of men when they are damned. And herein is the chief difference between the damned in hell and unregenerate and graceless men in this world.
Not that wicked men in this world have any more holiness or true virtue than the damned; or have wicked men, when they leave this world, any new principles of wickedness infused into them.
But when men are cast into hell, God wholly takes away His Spirit from them, as to all His merciful common
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influences, and entirely withdraws from them all restraints of His Spirit and good providence.
Damned men are like the devils, conformed to them in both nature and state. They have nothing better in them than the devils, have no higher principles in their hearts, experience nothing and do nothing of a more excellent kind, as they are the children and servants of the devil; and as such, shall dwell with him, and be partakers with him of the same misery. Ungodly men in their future state shall be as the fallen wicked angels in hell.
THE SOVEREIGN GRACE OF GOD!
by Horatius Bonar
Man’s entire apostasy and death in sin, so that he cannot save himself; and God’s entire supremacy, so that He saves whom He will; are doctrines exceedingly distasteful to human pride.
But they are Scriptural?
Why was one thief saved and the other lost? “Even so Father for so it seemed good in Your sight.” (Mt. 11:25-27). God was not bound to save the one thief, and He had power enough to have saved the other thief, and neither thief could save himself.
What made the difference? The Sovereign Grace of God!
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THE GREAT FISH COLLEGE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS”
Along the road from sin to heaven, from the first leaving of the swine trough of sin, right up to the joyful
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entrance into the eternal banquet, and the music and dancing of glorified spirits, every step we take, we must be enabled to take, by divine grace!
Every good thing that is in a Christian, not merely begins, but progresses and is consummated by the fostering grace of God, through Jesus Christ.
If my finger were on the golden latch of paradise, and my foot were on its jasper threshold, I should not take the last step so as to enter heaven, unless the grace which brought me thus far should enable me fully and fairly to complete my pilgrimage.
Salvation is God’s work, not man’s!
This is the theology which Jonah learned in the great fish college, in the university of the great deep, to which college it would be a good thing if many of our pastors in these days could be sent; for human learning often puffs up with the idea of human sufficiency.
But he that is schooled and disciplined in the college of a deep experience, and made to know the vileness of his own heart, as he peers into its chambers, will confess that from first to last salvation is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God that shows mercy!
THE SMALLEST VIPER IN THE NEST OF
YOUR HEART!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE OLD MAN CRUCIFIED”
Depend upon it, if ever your sins are to die, it must be with the power of Christ. You will find that you cannot kill the smallest viper in the nest of your heart if you get away from the cross.
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There is no death for sin except in the death of Christ. Stand and look up to His dear wounds, trust in the merit of His blood; love Him, love Him with a perfect heart, and sin killing will not be difficult.
The killing of your sin is not in your power, but if Jesus goes with you, it will be done.
I have known some people struggle against a horrible temper, and they never quite overcame it until they grew into closer communion with Christ.
The mightiest gun to blow down the strongholds of sin within me, is to flee to the cross of Christ.
I am persuaded that nothing but the blood of Jesus will kill sin.
You must get to Christ, nearer to Christ, and you will overcome sin.
Fight with your sins! Hack them in pieces, as Samuel did Agag; let not one of them escape. Take them as Elijah took the prophets of Baal; hew them in pieces before the Lord.
Think more of Jesus’ cross, spend more time in contemplation of His blessed person, drink in more of His life, and live more upon Him.
If I had but one sentence that I might utter to you believers, I think I should make it this: live nearer to Christ. If you get away from your Master, you will be undone.
All virtues flourish in the atmosphere of the cross; all vices die beneath the shade of the cross!
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THAT BLOCK OF MARBLE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “WORKING OUT WHAT IS WORKED IN”
I have heard it said that the good sculptor, whenever he sees a suitable block of marble, firmly believes that there is a statue concealed within it, and that his business is but to take away the superfluous material, and so unveil the “thing of beauty” which shall be “a joy forever.”
Believer, you are that block of marble; you have been quarried by divine grace, and set apart for the Master’s service, but we cannot see the image of Christ in you yet as we could wish. True, there are some traces of it, some dim outlines of what is to be. But it is for you, with the chisel and the mallet, with constant endeavor and holy dependence upon God, to work out that image of Christ in yourself, until you shall be discovered to be by all men like unto your Lord and Master!
God has sketched the image of His Son in you; in the as yet but slightly carved marble He has fairly outlined it, and you have but to go on chipping away these sins, infirmities, and corruptions, until the fair likeness of the Incarnate God shall be seen by all.
TREASURES!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THINGS PRESENT”
Tribulations are treasures; and if we were wise, we would reckon our afflictions among our rarest jewels.
The caverns of sorrow are mines of diamonds!
Our earthly possessions may be silver, but trials are, to the saints, invariably gold.
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We may grow in grace through what we enjoy, but we probably make the greatest progress through what we suffer.
‘Soft gales’ may be pleasant for heaven bound vessels, but ‘rough winds’ are better. The ‘calm’ is our way, but God has His way in the whirlwind, and He rides on the wings of the wind.
Saints gain more by their losses than by their profits.
Spiritual health comes out of their sicknesses; and spiritual wealth flows out of their poverties.
Heir of heaven, your present trials are your medicine. You need that your soul, like your body, should be dealt with by the beloved Physician. He can heal without the lancet if He desires, but He does not choose to do so, but will use the means of affliction. In all His potion there is not one ‘chance’ atom; the medicine has been compounded by no ordinary skill; the infinite wisdom which balanced the clouds, and fixed the corner stone of the world, has been employed to compound the ingredients of your present trial.
Your affliction shall not be too much for you, it shall be just such a trial as you require.
Weep not because your sun has gone done, for it descends that the dews may be brought forth and the earth may be watered, and the flowers may drip with perfume. Wait awhile, and the sun shall come back to you again, and the morn shall be the brighter because of the gloom of the night.
O sorrow not, heir of heaven, because the skies are clouded; the clouds are big with mercy; and each cloud is the mother of ten thousand blossoms, and harvests are concealed in yonder darkness!
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O be confident that among all your jewels, all your precious ornaments and tokens of love that God has given you, you have nothing brighter than the black jewels of affliction, no diamonds of a finer water than those of trouble.
May we understand by faith, then, the great truth that our present trials are our treasures, to be looked upon with thankfulness.
Be thankful, therefore, for your trials, and count them
among your treasures!
A BLACK MESSENGER LOADED WITH TREASURE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “MULTITUDINOUS THOUGHTS AND SACRED COMFORTS”
“Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O Lord.” Psalm 94:12
It is not prosperity which is set forth as a mark of blessedness. Adversity is the covenant spot, and the choice mark of a favored child of God.
Therefore I should be thankful for being made to smart beneath my gracious Father’s hand.
Everything, as to our state of mind, depends upon the way in which we regard the dealings of God in His providence to us.
If our trouble comes to us as a curse, if indeed our afflictions be the first drops of that tremendous sheet of fire which will fall upon us forever from an angry God, then trial is indeed an awful thing.
But if it is true that out of God’s love to us, we are made to undergo the needful processes of tribulation, to prepare us like winnowed wheat for the peaceful garner, then will we accept our sufferings with joy.
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Welcome, O grief, if you are a black messenger loaded with treasure!
Welcome, thrice welcome to my patient spirit, O rod of the covenant, soul enriching and sanctifying!
Here, beloved, is a consolation which revives the fainting soul when ready to swoon amid the heat and burden of oppressive thoughts.
Christian, all your adversities will have a happy end. There is an end appointed when glory shall be given to afflicted and poor saints.
A sight of the end makes us to judge rightly of the whole matter.
All’s well that ends well.
If the cup be not poison, but medicine, then its bitterness shall be sweetness to me.
If the ploughing be not for a sowing of salt beneath the curse of desolation, but for a seedtime of grace with a harvest of bliss, then plough on, O Lord, and though the furrows tear my soul, yet be it so; the end makes amends, and therefore may Your will be done.
Rejoice then, O you who are vexed with multitudes of troublous thoughts, and let the infallible faithfulness of your God delight your souls.
AFFLICTIONS!
Jonathan Edwards
God’s people, whenever they are scorched by afflictions as by hot sun-beams, may resort to Him, who is as a shadow of a great rock, and be effectually sheltered, and sweetly refreshed.
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THE DARK PIT OF IGNORANCE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE SINNER’S END”
Lack of understanding has destroyed many.
The dark pit of ignorance has engulfed its thousands!
Where the lack of understanding has not sufficed to slay, it has been able seriously to wound.
Lack of understanding upon doctrinal truth, providential dealing, or inward experience has often caused the people of God a vast amount of perplexity and sorrow, much of which they might have avoided had they been more careful to consider and understand the ways of the Lord.
BEWARE OF LIGHT READING!
from Horatius Bonar’s book, “FOLLOW THE LAMB”
Beware of light reading! Shun novels; they are the literary curse of the age. If you are a parent, keep novels out of the way of your children. But whether you are a parent or not, neither read them yourself, nor set an example of novel reading to others. Don’t let novels lie on your table, or be seen in your hand. This light reading has done deep injury to many a young man and woman.
The light literature of the day is working a world of harm; vitiating the taste of the young, enervating their minds, unfitting them for life’s plain work, eating out their love of the Bible, teaching them a false morality, and creating in the soul an unreal standard of truth, and beauty, and love.
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Let your reading be always select; and whatever you read, begin with seeking God’s blessing on it.
But see that your relish for the Bible be above every other enjoyment, and the moment you begin to feel greater relish for any other book, lay it down till you have sought deliverance from such a snare, and obtained from the Holy Spirit an intenser relish, a keener appetite for the Word of God.
“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.”—John Flavel 1
“Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.”—Jeremiah Burroughs
LITTLE, LITTLE, LITTLE THINGS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE VITAL FORCE”
“Now, the just shall live by faith.” Hebrews 10:38
To live by faith is the very essence of the Christian life!
We fail to bring little troubles to God, and perhaps on account of their being so little, we fancy that we must not mention them to the Most High.
And are not our little things, after all, but the fractions of a considerable sum to such little creatures as ourselves?
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These little, little, little things are of momentous concern to such little ones as we are. And the God that stoops to us has already brought Himself down in condescension so low that we need not fear that we shall bring Him lower.
No, you may go to Him if you like about that lost key; or about that child’s swelling finger, or about that word that irritated you just now.
There is nothing little to a father in the thing that troubles his little child. And your great God, having once condescended to observe and care for you, numbering the very hairs of your head, and not allowing a sparrow to fall to the ground without His purpose and decree, will not think that you intrude upon Him if you bring your daily little troubles to Him.
Let the righteous live by faith in the little common affairs of life.
“Now, the just shall live by faith.” 1
PECULIAR PEOPLE!
by Spurgeon
As soon as the Lord gives to any man spiritual light, he proceeds to separate himself from the darkness around.
He secedes from a merely worldly religion of outward ceremonial; for nothing short of the gospel of Christ will now satisfy him.
He withdraws himself from worldly society and frivolous amusements, and seeks the company of the saints. The light gathers to itself, and the darkness to itself.
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As Christ went outside the camp, bearing His reproach, so let us come out from the ungodly, and be a peculiar people.
Jesus was holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners. As He was, so we are to be nonconformists to the world, dissenting from all sin, and distinguished from the rest of mankind by our likeness to our Master.
The cross must be carried before the crown can be worn.
We must follow our Lord in His humiliation, or we shall never rest with Him in glory.
An hour with Jesus will make up for ages of pain and
labor.—Spurgeon
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “CHRIST WITH THE KEYS OF DEATH AND HELL”
“I have the keys of hell and of death.” Revelation 1:18 All the issues of death are at Christ’s disposal.
No man can die unless Jesus opens the mystic door of death. It is our consolation that our death is entirely in His hands. In the midst of fever and pestilence, we shall never die until He wills it.
In the times of the greatest healthiness, when all the air is balmy, we shall not live a second longer than Jesus has purposed; the place, the circumstance, the exact second of our departure, have all been appointed by Him, and settled long ago in love and wisdom.
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DEATH!
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A thousand angels could not hurl us to the grave, nor could a host of cherubim confine us there one moment after Jesus says, “Arise.”
This is our comfort. We are “immortal until our work is done;” mortal still, but immortal also.
Let us never fear death, then, but rather rejoice at the approach of it, since it comes at our dear Bridegroom’s bidding!
Christ has the key of death, and therefore death to us is no longer a gate of terror.
“Fear not” may be specially applied to the matter of the grave. We need not fear to die, because Jesus has the key of the grave. We shall never pass through that iron gate with an angel to be our conductor, or some grim executioner to lead us into a dreary place of hideous imprisonment. No, Jesus shall come to our dying bed, in all the glory of His supernal splendor, and shall say, “Come with me my spouse, for the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.”
The sight of Jesus, as He thrusts in the key and opens that gate of death, shall make you forget the supposed terrors of the grave, for they are but suppositions, and you shall find it sweet to die.
Since Jesus has the sepulcher’s key, never fear it again, never fear it again.
Depend upon it, your dying hour will be the best hour you have ever known! Your last moment will be your richest moment, better than the day of your birth will be the day of your death.
It shall be the beginning of heaven, the rising of a sun that shall go no more down forever!
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Let the fear of death be banished from you by faith in a living Savior.
“I have the keys of hell and of death.” 1
THE DIVINE HAMMER!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “PREACH, PREACH, PREACH EVERYWHERE”
“He said to them, ‘Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation.’” Mark 16:15
You do not know who the elect are.
You do not know whose heart will be broken by the divine hammer of truth. But it is your responsibility to use the divine hammer on the hard heart.
And as the gospel is preached it will attract to itself, by its own power, through the Holy Spirit, those whom God has ordained unto eternal life.
“Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?” Jeremiah 23:29
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“Every Christian family ought to be, as it were, a little church consecrated to Christ, and wholly influenced and governed by His rules.”—Jonathan Edwards
HELL AND DEATH!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“CHRIST WITH THE KEYS OF DEATH AND HELL”
“I have the keys of hell and of death.” Revelation 1:18
Hell and death, terrible powers as they are, are not left to riot without government. Jesus holds the keys of these dreadful regions!
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Death is a land of darkness, yet a sovereign eye surveys it, and a master hand holds its key.
Hell also is a horrible region, where powers of evil and of terror hold their high court and dread assembly; but hell trembles at the presence of the Lord, and there is a throne higher than the throne of evil.
Let us rejoice that nothing in heaven, or earth, or in places under the earth, is left to itself to engender anarchy. Everywhere, serene above the floods, the Lord sits as King forever and ever!
No province of the universe is free from the divine rule!
Things do not come by chance. Nowhere do chance and chaos reign, nowhere is evil really and permanently enthroned. Rest assured that the Lord has prepared His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all.
Christ has the keys of hell and death!
He is the Lord over those dark regions, and rules them by His sovereignty. Christ is Lord over hell and death.
He actually rules and manages in all the issues of the grave, and overrules all the councils of hell, restraining the mischievous devices of Satan, or turning them to subserve His own designs of good.
Our Lord Jesus Christ still is supreme! His kingdom, willingly or unwillingly, extends over all existences in whatever regions they may be!
Jesus rules over the damned spirits!
In this life they would not have Him to rule over them, but in the life to come they must submit whether they will or not. In that seething caldron of hell, every wave of fire is guided by the will of Christ, and the mark of His sovereignty is on every iron chain.
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Thus the ungodly will be compelled to feel His rule with terror, for although the ferocity of their natures will remain, yet the boastfulness of their pride shall be taken from them. Though they would still revolt, they shall find themselves hopelessly fettered, and powerless to accomplish their designs.
Though they would sincerely continue stouthearted as Pharaoh, and cry, “Who is the Lord, that we should obey His voice?” They shall wring their hands in anguish and bite their tongues in despair.
One of the great terrors of the lost in hell will be this, that He who came to save was rejected by them, and now only reveals Himself to them as mighty to destroy. He who held out the silver scepter when they would not touch it, shall forever break them with a rod of iron for their willful impenitence.
“Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you be destroyed in your way, for His wrath can flare up in a moment.”
“Beware you that forget Him, lest He tear you in pieces and
there be none to deliver.”
WHAT MUST HIS WRATH BE?
from Jonathan Edwards’ sermon, “WRATH UPON THE WICKED TO THE UTTERMOST”
“The wrath of God has come upon them to the uttermost.” 1 Thessalonians 2:16
How dreadful the wrath of God is, when it is executed to the uttermost. To make you in some measure sensible of that, I desire you to consider whose wrath it is.
The wrath of a king is as the roaring of a lion; but this is the wrath of Jehovah, the Lord God Omnipotent!
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How dreadful must be the wrath of such a Being, when it comes upon a person to the uttermost, without any pity or moderation!
What must the uttermost of His wrath be, who made heaven and earth by the word of His power; who spoke, and it was done, who commanded, and it stood fast!
What must His wrath be, who commands the sun, and it rises not, and seals up the stars!
What must His wrath be, who shakes the earth out of its place, and causes the pillars of heaven to tremble!
What must His wrath be, who rebukes the sea, and makes it dry, who removes the mountains out of their places, and overturns them in His anger!
What must His wrath be, whose majesty is so awesome, that no man could live in the sight of it!
What must the wrath of such a Being be, when it comes to the uttermost, when He makes His majesty appear and shine bright in the misery of wicked men!
And what is a worm of the dust before the fury and under the weight of this wrath, which the stoutest devils cannot bear, but utterly sink, and are crushed under it!
If a slight apprehension of wrath is so dreadful and intolerable, what must His wrath be, when it comes upon people to the uttermost!
When a few drops or little sprinkling of wrath is so distressing and overbearing to the soul, how must it be when God opens the flood gates, and lets the mighty deluge of His wrath come pouring down upon men’s guilty heads, and brings in all His waves and billows upon their souls!
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There will be no safety to any but those who are in the ark! Therefore it behooves all to hasten and flee for their lives, to get into a safe condition, to get into Christ! Then they need not fear, though the earth be removed, and the mountains carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters roar and rage; though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof: for God will be their refuge and strength; they need not be afraid of evil tidings; their hearts may be fixed, trusting in the Lord.
“All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.” Ephesians 2:3
“Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him!” Romans 5:9
“Jesus is the one who rescues us from the coming wrath.” 1 Thessalonians 1:10
“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9
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A HAND, A DIVINE AND OMNIPOTENT HAND!
from Bonar’s book, “THE NIGHT OF WEEPING”
The Holy Spirit is our Comforter. He is mighty to comfort as well as to sanctify. His name is “the Comforter.” His office is to console. In the discharge of this office He puts forth His power, not only mediately and indirectly through the Word, but immediately and directly upon the soul, sustaining and strengthening it when fainting and troubled.
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It is an unspeakable consolation to know that there is a hand, a divine and omnipotent hand, laid upon our wounded spirit, not only upholding it, but drying up, as it were, the very springs of grief within.
In the day of oppressive sorrow, when bowed down to the dust, what is it that we feel so much our need of, as a hand that can come into close and direct contact with our souls to lift them up and strengthen them?
It is here that human consolation fails. Friends can say much to soothe us, but they cannot lay their finger upon the hidden seat of sorrow. They can put their arm around the fainting body, but not around the fainting spirit.
Here the heavenly aid comes in! The Spirit throws around us the everlasting arms, and we are invincibly upheld. We cannot sink, for He sustains, He comforts, He cheers. And who knows so well as He how to sustain, and comfort, and cheer?
THE POSY AND THE RING!
by Spurgeon
In flowers you have a separate beauty belonging to each; no one flower is just like another, but each one blushes with its own loveliness. But in our Lord these separate and distinct beauties are found united in one. Christ is the posy in which all the beauties of the garden of perfection are bound up.
Each gem has its own radiance: the diamond is not like the ruby, nor the ruby like the emerald. But Christ is that ring in which you have sapphire, ruby, diamond, emerald, set in choice order, so that each one heightens the other’s brilliance.
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Do not look for anything lovely outside of Jesus, for He has all loveliness. All perfections are in Him making up ONE CONSUMMATE PERFECTION; and all the loveliness which is to be seen elsewhere is but a reflection of His own unrivaled charms.
WHAT, LOVELY IN HIS SUFFERINGS?
from Thomas Watson’s sermon, “CHRIST’S LOVELINESS”
“Yes, He is altogether lovely.” Song 5:16
Lost men of this world cannot see the stupendous beauty of Christ. All sparkling beauties are found in Him, but they lack eyes!
He is infinitely and superlatively lovely! All that we could ever say about Jesus falls infinitely short of His worth. He is pure, unspotted beauty. There is an infinite resplendency, a sparkling luster to His beauty!
Jesus is most lovely in His sufferings, when He made an atonement for our sins.
What, lovely in His sufferings? Lovely when He was buffeted, spit upon, and besmeared with blood?
Oh yes, He was most lovely upon the cross, when He showed most love to us. He bled love at every vein! Those drops were love drops! The more bloody, the more lovely!
Oh how lovely ought a bleeding Savior be to our eyes! Let us wear this blessed crucifix always in our heart!
The cross of Christ is the key that opens paradise to us! How beautiful is Christ on the cross!
The ruddiness of His blood took away the redness of our guilt!
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Christ’s crucifixion is our coronation!
He left His Father’s bosom, that hive of sweetness, to come and live here. Truly, He exchanged the palace for the dunghill.
“The unsearchable riches of Christ.” Not even the angels can dig to the bottom of this mine! They adore Christ, being ravished with His amazing beauties!
Jesus is the very extract and quintessence of beauty. He is a whole paradise of delights!
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MANY SUCK POISON FROM THIS SWEET FLOWER!
by Thomas Watson
There is no rowing to paradise except upon the stream of repenting tears.
Till sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet.
Some bless themselves that they have a stock of knowledge, but what is knowledge good for, without repentance? Learning and a bad heart, is like a pretty face with a cancer in the breast! Knowledge without repentance will be but a torch to light the way to hell.
Repentant tears may be compared to myrrh, which though it is bitter in taste, has a sweet smell and refreshes the spirit. So repentance, though it is bitter in itself, yet it is sweet in the effects. It brings inward peace.
We are to find as much bitterness in weeping for sin as ever we found sweetness in committing it. Surely David found more bitterness in repentance than ever he found comfort in Bathsheba.
Tears have four qualities: they are moist, salt, hot, and bitter.
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It is true of repenting tears, they are hot to warm a frozen conscience; moist, to soften a hard heart; salt, to season a soul decaying in sin; bitter, to wean us from the love of the world.
And I will add a fifth, they are sweet, in that they make the heart inwardly rejoice. David, who was the great weeper in Israel, was also the sweet singer of Israel.
Be as speedy in your repentance as you would have God be speedy in His mercies.
Many are now in hell that intended to repent. Satan does what he can to keep men from repentance. When he sees that one begins to take up serious thoughts of reformation, he bids them wait a little longer. It is dangerous to procrastinate repentance. The longer any go on sinning, the harder they will find the work of repentance.
Delay strengthens sin, hardens the heart and gives the devil fuller possession.
A plant at first may be easily plucked up, but when it has spread its roots deep in the earth, a whole team cannot remove it.
It is hard to remove sin when it comes to be rooted.
The longer the ice freezes the harder it is to be broken. The longer a man freezes in sin, the harder it will be to have his heart broken.
Presuming upon God’s mercy can be eternally fatal. Many suck poison from this sweet flower!
Oh, one says, “Christ has died; He has done all for me; therefore I may sit still and do nothing.” Thus they suck death from the tree of life!
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So I may say of God’s mercy, it accidentally causes the ruin of many. Because of His mercy, some men presume and think they may go on sinning.
The psalmist says, “There is mercy with God, that He may be feared,” but not that we may sin.
Can men expect mercy by provoking justice? God will hardly show those mercy who sin because mercy abounds.
Many would rather go sleeping to hell than weeping to
heaven.
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SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS; A SMOLDERING HEAP OF RUBBISH”
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…” Isaiah 65:5
Nothing is more deadly than self-righteousness!
The man who counts himself to be righteous by his own works, worships himself. Practically, the object of his adoration is his own dear, delectable, excellent self; all his confidence is in himself, his boasting is in himself.
O wretched egotist, you do at once lie and blaspheme!
Self-righteousness is born in the house of folly, and it is nursed by human fancy. Cease from doting upon your own fancied beauties and worshiping your own foolish image.
Self-righteousness is a great, God defying sin.
Soul poverty and destitution bring a man to God. Self- righteousness is the ruin of all who harbor it.
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Self-righteousness most effectually bars a man from all hope of salvation. Beware, you who are self- righteousness, lest all your ‘good works’ be like millstones about your necks, to sink you low as the lowest hell.
This weed of self-righteousness will grow on any dunghill. No heap of rubbish is too rotten for the accursed toadstool of proud self to grow upon.
Among those who profess to be religious, self- righteousness very frequently comes in, because they have not truly received the religion of Jesus Christ.
If they were true believers they would be humble and contrite, for self-righteousness and faith in Christ are diametrically opposed.
He who is saved by grace finds no room for boasting in himself. A sinner washed in Jesus’ blood and clothed in Jesus’ righteousness, boasts only in the Lord. He is done once for all with that which glories in self. Self- righteousness is detestable in his sight. His cry is “God forbid that I should boast save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The heavens are not pure in God’s sight; He charges His angels with folly; and do you, who are defiled from head to foot, dare to talk about self-righteousness? Righteousness, indeed! when you are a mass of sin!
To what a pitch of madness does pride lift itself! Oh, the absurdity of self-righteousness! Self-righteousness is a mass of lies!
Self-righteousness is such a proud thing. God is always provoked with pride. It is one of the evils which His soul hates. He daily fits His arrow upon His string to fetch down the proud in heart.
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This pride is loathsome to the last degree!
Self-righteousness is always afraid of the gospel, lest the uncompromising truth should unmask its self- deceit.
See Jesus on the cross dying, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God. As you see Him dying, your self- righteousness will die. In the heights and depths of dying love I read the heights and depths of my accursed sin. In the infinity of the atonement I read the boundless blackness of my guilt, and lie humble before God.
When a man sees himself to be altogether lost and ruined, covered all over with the defilement of sin, and in no part free from pollution; when he disclaims all righteousness of his own, and pleads guilty before the Lord, then he is justified by the grace of God.
A FALLEN, DEGENERATE CREATURE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “REAL GRACE FOR REAL NEED”
Lost man, you are a fallen, degenerate creature!
You are daily living in sin. Your sins are speeding as messengers up to the record office in heaven, and there you shall find written down every idle word, every sinful thought, and every guilty action of your whole life. You are scarlet, you are crimson, you are double dyed with your iniquities.
Your overpowering disposition is towards that which is evil. Your nature, like an evil tree, brings forth evil fruit. Your love to sin is engraven, as with a diamond, into your heart of stone. Your heart seems to be made
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of hell-hardened steel, and to be like the nether millstone.
Vain are your filmings over of your deadly sore; your heart is in itself vile and deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.
You may wash the platter as you may, you may make the outside of the cup as clean as you will, but your inward parts are replete with wickedness. The imaginations of the thoughts of your heart are evil, only evil, and that continually.
“You must be born again.” Your nature is too depraved for mending.
All Christians confess their natural depravity. There is a sad bias in us all towards sin.
We are compelled to own that David’s confession must be ours, “Behold, I was born a sinner; yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.”
Our nature was corrupted at its fountainhead. We tend towards evil.
We loved darkness naturally rather than light.
Our sin was of the heart, not of the surface, “The leprosy was deep within.” The taint was in our vital blood. The disease had corrupted our essential being, and rendered us hopelessly unclean.
The Son of Man came to seek and to save us when we were lost, dreadfully lost. He has healed us, but it has not been of a superficial disease; He has healed us of a disease that was most deadly, and most damnable!
See the Savior as His shoulders are crimsoned with streams of gore for sinners who were His enemies. Stand beneath the cross and view the hands, and feet,
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and side, all pouring forth His life blood. These are the drops that take our sins away! These are the griefs of Him who took our guilt, that our guilt might be forgiven.
COSMIC TREASON!
Jonathan Edwards
Any sin is more or less heinous depending upon the honor and majesty of the one whom we had offended. Since God is of infinite honor, infinite majesty, and infinite holiness, the slightest sin is of infinite conse- quence. The slightest sin is nothing less than cosmic treason when we realize against whom we have sinned.
THE ARTIST!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE SINGULAR ORIGIN OF A CHRISTIAN MAN”
He who has begun a good work in us will perform it unto the day of Christ.
What an amount of patience, what an amount of power, what an amount of skill, what an amount of love, what an amount of grace,
has God spent upon us hitherto!
Think of the power that has cut lines of beauty in such steel as we are!
Think of the patience that lent its arm, and its eye, and its heart, and its infinite mind, to the carrying on of the supreme work of producing the image of Christ in those who were born in sin!
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Think of the skill that makes heirs of God out of heirs of wrath!
See how He has continued to work upon us, year after year, with final perseverance of undiminished love!
How much more power will still be needed, and how much more patience, and how much more careful wisdom, before we shall be perfect and complete!
He who has begun a good work in us will perform it unto the day of Christ.
This is one of the greatest of marvels!
It behooves all of us who know that God has been at work with us, to adore Him continually for what He has done.
I know you sigh because a part of the picture still looks rough and incomplete. Consider that the Artist has not ended His labor upon that portion of us!
Sanctification in its practical issues is not yet ended. But do not sigh so much over the incomplete part as to fail in rejoicing over that which is accomplished.
Rejoice that a hand has been laid upon the canvas which is matchless even in its outlines, and foundation colors; a hand, moreover, which was never yet known to throw away a canvas upon which it had once commenced a masterpiece!
EVEN THE LITTLE THINGS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “GOD’S WILL ABOUT THE FUTURE”
There is a divine will which governs all things. Nothing happens apart from divine determination and decree.
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Even the little things in life are not overlooked by the all-seeing eye. “The very hairs of your head are numbered.”
The station of a reed by the river is as fixed and foreknown as the station of a king!
The chaff from the hand of the winnower is as much steered as the stars in their courses!
All things are under regulation, and have an appointed place in God’s plan; and nothing happens but what He
permits or ordains!
THE GODLY MAN WEEPS!
by Thomas Watson
Christ calls His spouse His “dove” (Song 2:14). The dove is a weeping creature. Grace dissolves and liquefies the soul, causing a spiritual thaw. The sorrow of the heart runs out at the eye.
A godly heart grieves that it is not more holy. It troubles him that he falls short of the rule and standard that God has set. “I should”, he says, “love the Lord with all my heart. But how defective my love is! How far short I come of what I should be, no, of what I might have been!”
A godly man sometimes weeps out of the sense of God’s love. Gold is the finest and most solid of all the metals, yet it is soonest melted in the fire. Gracious hearts, which are golden hearts, are the soonest melted into tears by the fire of God’s love.
I once knew a holy man, who was walking in his garden and shedding plenty of tears when a friend came on him accidentally and asked him why he wept. He broke forth into this passionate expression: “Oh, the love of
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Christ, the love of Christ!” Thus we have seen the cloud melted into water by the sunbeams.
A godly person weeps because the sins he commits are in some sense worse than the sins of other men. The sin of a justified person is very odious, because it is a sin of unkindness.
Peter’s denying of Christ was a sin against love. Christ had enrolled him among the apostles. He had taken him up into the Mount and shown him the glory of heaven in a vision. Yet after all this mercy, it was base ingratitude that he should deny Christ. This made him go out and “weep bitterly.” He baptized himself, as it were, in his own tears.
The sins of the godly go nearest to God’s heart.
The sins of the wicked anger the Lord. The godly man’s sins grieve Him.
The sins of the wicked pierce Christ’s side. The sins of the godly wound His heart.
The unkindness of a spouse goes nearest to the heart of her husband.
How far from being godly are those who scarcely ever shed a tear for sin! If they lose a near relation, they weep, but though they are in danger of losing God and their souls, they do not weep. How few know what it is to be in an agony for sin or what a broken heart means! Their eyes are not like the “fishpools in Heshbon,” full of water (Song 7:4), but rather like the mountains of Gilboa, which had no dew upon them (2 Samuel 1:21).
Others, if they sometimes shed a tear, are still never the better. They go on in wickedness, and do not drown their sins in their tears. Let us strive for this divine characteristic: to be weepers.
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This is “a repentance not to be repented of” (2 Corinthians 7:10). It is reported of Mr. Bradford, the martyr, the he was of a melting spirit; he seldom sat down to his meal but some tears trickled down his cheeks.
There are two lavers to wash away sin: blood and tears. The blood of Christ washes away the guilt of sin; tears wash away the filth.
Repenting tears are precious. God puts them in His bottle (Psalm 56:8).
Repenting tears are beautifying. A tear in the eye adorns more than a ring of the finger. Oil makes the face shine. (Psalm 104:15).
Repenting tears make the heart shine.
Repenting tears are comforting. A sinner’s mirth turns to melancholy. A saint’s mourning turns to music.
Repentance may be compared to myrrh, which though it is bitter to the taste, is comforting to the spirits.
Repentance may be bitter to the fleshy part, but, it is most refreshing to the spiritual. Wax that melts is fit for the seal. A melting soul is fit to take the stamp of all heavenly blessing. Let us give Christ the water of our tears and He will give us the wine of His blood!
THE MASTERPIECE OF SATAN!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “RUBBISH”
Soon after apostolic times there came the old Roman rubbish, which in the end proved a worse hindrance to the gospel than all the errors that had preceded it.
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This Popish rubbish was found in layers; first one doctrinal error, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then another, until at this time the errors of the Church of Rome are as countless as the stars, as black as midnight, and as foul as hell.
Her abominations reek in the nostrils of all Christian men. Her idolatries are the scorn of reason and the abhorrence of faith.
The iniquities of her practice, and the atrociousness of her doctrine, almost surpass belief.
As the gospel is the masterpiece of God, ‘Popery’ is the masterpiece of Satan!
There can scarcely be imagined anything of devilish craftiness or Satanic wickedness which could be compared with her.
She is the unparalleled queen of iniquity!
Behold upon her forehead the name, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
The church of Rome and her teachings are a vast mountain of rubbish covering the truth.
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INFANT CHRISTIANS?
from Richard Baxter’s “DIRECTIONS TO WEAK CHRISTIANS”
The church is full of feeble, unstable, wavering, infant Christians!
How few Christians keep any constant watch upon their hearts!
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How many Christians feed on covetous, proud, malicious or lustful thoughts, and have no great concern over it?
Where are those Christians who are acquainted with the life of faith?
How few Christians can use their prosperity in riches, health, and reputation with a heavenly mind?
How little hearty love do most Christians have to Christ?
Alas, how much pride prevails with many that seem to be good Christians?
How worldly, how closed-handed, and eager for gain, are many Christians who say that they despise the world?
How few are the Christians that are eminent in humility, meekness and self-denial; that are willing to be nothing so that Christ may be all in all?
How many Christians live as men devoted to God?
How many Christians live with the world under their feet, and their hearts above with God, making Him their delight?
How many Christians long to be with Jesus, to be rid of sin, see His blessed face, and live in His love and praises?
Where is the man who is eminent in humility, patience and self-denial?
Where are those who have crucified the flesh with its desires and lusts?
What a lamentable case it is, that the church should consists of so many infant Christians!
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BLESSED SUFFERING!
from Bonar’s book, “THE NIGHT OF WEEPING”
Afflictions help us to get rid of sin. Each pain is a nail driven through some sin, another blow inflicted on the flesh, destroying the very power of sinning.
We have not yet fully parted company with this sinful world. And, therefore, God drives affliction like a wedge between us and the world; or He sends it like a plowshare right across our most cherished hopes and brightest prospects until He thoroughly wearies us of all below.
“He has made me weary,” said Job. Nor do we wonder at the complaint. Wearisome nights were his. The “ploughers ploughed upon his back,” and drew many a long furrow there. He might well be weary.
So with us. God makes us weary, too, weary all over; thoroughly weary. We are….
weary of a present evil world, weary of self,
weary of sin,
weary of suffering,
weary of this mortal body, weary of these vile hearts, weary of earth,
weary of all but Jesus!
Of Him no trial can weary us. Suffering only endears Him the more.
Blessed suffering! that makes Jesus appear more precious and the world more vile!
Blessed suffering! that brings Jesus nearer to our hearts and thrusts the world away!
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AFFLICTIONS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE BELLOWS BURNED”
Some afflictions are sent for a trial of our graces, that God may be glorified by our victories.
Other afflictions may be sovereignly sent by God.
Other afflictions are intended to promote our advance in grace.
Other afflictions may be indications of indwelling sin. The rod in God’s house is principally used because of the offendings of the children. I am persuaded that if you would be spared that rod, so far as it is a chastening rod, you can only escape it by obedience, and by a very careful observance of the gentle motions of your Father’s eye.
Afflictions melt us to repentance, and cause us to let go our sins.
There are some stubborn children, who will even rebel until they draw down blows upon themselves, and even then hold out until the strokes are multiplied, and the father proceeds to repeated chastenings.
I am afraid the most of us are such children. We cause our Father to chasten us very frequently.
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WORLDLINESS!
from Bonar’s book, “THE NIGHT OF WEEPING”
There is much worldliness among the saints! There is worldliness in their motives and actions; worldliness in their domestic life and in their interaction with society; there is worldliness in the arrangements of their
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households and in the education of their families; there is worldliness in their expenditure, so much being laid out for self, so little for God; there is worldliness in their religious schemes, and movements, and societies; there is worldliness in their reading, and in their conversation.
There is, in short, too much of the spirit of fervent worldliness about their whole deportment, and little of calm, happy superiority to the things of earth.
They are fretted, disturbed, bustled just like the world. They grudge labor, or fatigue, or expense, or annoyance in the cause of Christ, or in serving their fellow men. They have much of earth, little of Heaven about them.
They are not large-hearted or openhanded; not willing to spend and be spent, unmoved and unruffled, as those whose eye is ever set on the incorruptible inheritance on which they so soon shall enter. They are low and unaspiring in the things of God.
Perhaps there are few things against which we require to be more warned than against this spirit of worldliness. The Church is very prone to forget her pilgrim character in this present evil world and to live as a citizen of earth. Her dignity as the eternally chosen of the Father is lost sight of; her hope as the inheritor of the glory and the kingdom of the Son is obscured.
God’s cure for worldliness is the bringing before us of another, eternal world, more glorious than that which He calls on us to forsake.
There is no thorough cure for worldliness but this. It is lack of faith in eternal realities, that makes us worldlings! When the believing eye gets fixed on the world to come, then we learn to set our affections on things above.
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So long, however, as all here in our present sphere of existence is bright, we are content with this world. We allow ourselves to sink down and settle quietly among the things of earth.
Why should we whose home and treasure are above, ever again seek our home or our treasure here on this poor earth?
Why should we stoop from our heavenly elevation to mingle again with the company which we have forsaken? Are we ashamed of our pilgrim staff and our pilgrim road? Surely not. To be a pilgrim on earth is to be divided from sin and sinful appetites, from the seducing vanities and worthless mockeries of the world, from the fascinating beauty and perilous splendor of this decaying scene. To be a pilgrim on earth is to be a friend of God, a member of the heavenly household, an expectant of the kingdom, an heir of the crown of glory.
The opposite of worldliness is heavenly mindedness or spiritual mindedness. This, the new relish which the Holy Spirit imparts at conversion, in some measure produces. But it is feeble. It easily gives way. It is not strong enough to withstand much temptation.
God’s wish is to impart a keener relish for eternal things, and to destroy the relish for the things of time.
This He effects by blighting all objects in which there was earthly sweetness, so that by being deprived of objects to “mind” on earth, it may of necessity be led to “mind” the things above. He dries up all the “nether springs” of earthly joy, that we may betake ourselves to the “upper springs” which can never fail.
When God unroofs our dwelling, or tears up its foundation by an earthquake, then we are forced to
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look upward and seek a better and more enduring portion!
Many such shocks, however, are often needed before our souls are broken off from their cleaving to the dust.
What are this world’s allurements to us? What to us are the sights and sounds of earth, who “shall see the King in His beauty,” and hear His voice, into whose lips grace is poured? What to us is the green fertility of earth, who shall enter into the possession of the new earth? What to us is the gay glory of a city’s wealth and pomp, who shall be made citizens of the New Jerusalem, where dwells the glory of God and of the Lamb, whose foundations are of precious stones, whose walls are of jasper, whose gates are of pearl, whose streets and pavements are of transparent gold?
Be zealous and repent and do your first works. Come out, be separate, touch not the unclean thing! Put off the works of darkness! Put on the armor of light. Get up to a higher level in the spiritual life, be done with wavering, indecision, and compromise.
Church of the living God! Be warned. Live for Jesus, not for yourself, for Him, not for the world. Walk worthy of your name and calling, worthy of Him who bought you as His bride, worthy of your everlasting inheritance.
Consider the LAMB and walk in His steps!
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THE WORLD PASSES AWAY!
by Horatius Bonar
The things that are seen are temporal. Ours is a dying world, and here we have no continuing city. But a few years, it may be less, and all things here are changed.
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Like a dream of the night, the world passes away. We lie down to rest; we fall asleep; we dream; we awake at morn; and lo, all is fled that in our dream seemed so stable and so pleasant! So hastes the world away. O child of mortality, have you no brighter world beyond?
Like the mist of the morning, the world passes away. The night brings down the mists upon the hills, the vapor covers the valleys; the sun rises, all has passed off, hill and vale are clear. So the world passes off, and is seen no more. O man, will you embrace a world like this? Will you lie down upon a mist, and say, “This is my home”?
Like a shadow, the world passes away. There is nothing more unreal than a shadow. It has no substance, no being. It is dark, it is a figure, it has motion, that is all! Such is the world. O man, will you chase a shadow? What will a shadow do for you?
Like a wave of the sea, the world passes away. It rises, falls, and is seen no more. Such is the history of a wave. Such is the story of the world. O man, will you make a wave your portion? Have you no better pillow on which to lay your wearied head than this? A poor world this for human heart to love, for an immortal soul to be filled with!
Like a rainbow, the world passes away. The sun throws its colors on a cloud, and for a few minutes all is brilliant. But the cloud shifts, and the brilliance is all gone. Such is the world. With all its beauty and brightness; with all its honors and pleasures; with all its mirth and madness; with all its pomp and luxury; with all its revelry and riot; with all its hopes and flatteries; with all its love and laughter; with all its songs and splendor; with all its gems and gold, it vanishes. And the cloud that knew the rainbow knows
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it no more. O man, is a passing world like this all that you have for an inheritance?
Like a flower, the world passes away. Beautiful, very beautiful; fragrant, very fragrant, are the summer flowers. But they wither away. So fades the world from before our eyes. While we are looking at it, and admiring it, behold, it is gone! No trace is left of all its loveliness but a little dust! O man, can you feed on flowers? Can you dote on that which is but for an hour? You were made for eternity; and only that which is eternal can be your portion or your resting place. The things that perish with the using only mock your longings. They cannot fill you; and even if they filled, they cannot abide. Mortality is written on all things here; immortality belongs only to the world to come.
Like a ship at sea, the world passes away. With all its sails set, and a fresh breeze blowing, the vessel comes into sight, passes before our eye in the distance, and then disappears. So comes, so goes, so vanishes away this present world, with all that it contains. A few hours within sight, then gone! The wide sea over which it sailed as calm or as stormy as before; no trace anywhere of all the life or motion or beauty which was passing over it! O man, is that vanishing world your only dwelling place? Are all your treasures, your hopes, your joys laid up there? Where will all these be when you go down to the tomb? Or where will you be when these things leave you, and you are stripped of all the inheritance which you are ever to have for eternity? It is a poor heritage at the best, and its short duration makes it poorer still. Oh, choose the better part, which shall not be taken from you!
Like a tent in the desert, the world passes away. They who have traveled over the Arabian sands know what this means. At sunset a little speck of white seems to
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rise out of the barren waste. It is a traveler’s tent. At sunrise it disappears. Both it and its inhabitant are gone. The wilderness is as lonely as before. Such is the world. Today it shows itself; tomorrow it disappears. O man, is that your home? Will you say of it, “This is my rest,” when we tell you that there is a rest, an everlasting rest, remaining for the people of God?
The world passes away. This is the message from heaven. All flesh is grass, and all the goodness thereof as the flower of the field.
The world passes away. But God ever lives. He is from everlasting to everlasting; the King eternal and immortal.
The world passes away. But man is immortal. Eternity lies before each son of Adam as the duration of his lifetime. In light or in darkness forever! In joy or in sorrow forever!
The world passes away. What then? This is the question that so deeply concerns man. If the world is to vanish away, and man is to live forever, of what importance is it to know where and what we are to be forever! Life is no plaything, and time is no child’s toy, to be flung away. Life here is the beginning of the life which has no end; and time is but the gateway of eternity.
The world passes away. What then? You must, O man, make sure of a home in that world into which you are so soon to pass. One who had lived a worldly life at last lay down to die; and when about to pass away he uttered these terrible words, “I am dying, and I don’t know where I am going.” Another in similar circumstances cried out, “I am within an hour of eternity and all is dark.” O man of earth, it is time to awake!
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In the cross there is salvation; nowhere else. In the day of darkening prospects, of thickening sorrows, of heavy burdens, of pressing cares; when friends depart, when riches fly away, when disease oppresses us, when poverty knocks at our door; then the cross shines out, and tells us of a light beyond this world’s darkness, the Light of Him who is the light of the world!
CHRISTIAN RECREATION
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE LOVE OF GOD AND THE PATIENCE OF CHRIST”
If you receive the love of God fully into your souls it will nourish the contemplative life.
You will want to be alone.
You will prefer to sit silently at Jesus’ feet while others wrangle over the little politics of the day. You will give up being busybodies, talking in six peoples’ houses in an hour.
Quietude will charm you.
You will love no company so much as the society of Him who is the Best and the Most.
To be with God in quiet will be your highest enjoyment. You will not say, as some do, “I must have recreation.”
Contemplation of God is recreation to the child of God.
It creates the soul anew. And is not this the truest recreation?
Love to God will nourish the contemplative life and so make us come forth as new creatures, fresh from our
Maker’s holy hand.
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IF WE WERE WHAT WE PROFESS TO BE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “CITIZENSHIP IN HEAVEN”
There can be no comparison between a soaring seraph and a crawling worm.
Christians ought so to live that it would be 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.
While the world is darkness, we should manifestly be light. And while the world lies in the Wicked One, we should most evidently be of God, and overcome the temptations of that Wicked One.
Wide as the poles asunder, are life and death,
light and darkness,
health and disease,
purity and sin, spiritual and carnal, divine and sensual.
If we were what we profess to be, we would 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.
But Alas! the Church is so much adulterated!
O for the time when the ignoble life of the worldly man, whose god is his belly and whose end is
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destruction, shall 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 our lifestyles.
The purity of our character should be such, that men must take knowledge of us that we are of another and superior race!
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.
Pass through this Vanity Fair without trading in its vanities. When they ask, “What will you buy?” your answer should be, “We buy the Truth of God.”
The lost world should be able to say of us, “There goes a heavenly citizen, one who is with us and among us
but is not of us.”
How many Christians live like Belzoni’s toad in the pyramids of Egypt, which had been there two thousand years? And what had it done, but sometimes sleep and sometimes wake the whole time through. And so some Christians live and do nothing.
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BELZONI’S TOAD!
by Spurgeon
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THE LIVES OF CHRISTIANS!
by William Law
If our common life is not a common course of humility, self-denial, renunciation of the world, poverty of spirit, and heavenly affection, we do not live the lives of Christians.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12
TWO SETS OF CUPS!
from Spurgeon’s, “FROM SORROW TO JOY”
“Your sorrow shall be turned into joy.” John 16:20
The people of the world have the laughter today, and we Christians have the sighing. They shall have the sighing by and bye, and we shall then have the laughter.
God is like a certain great man who had in his house two sets of cups. These cups were for his friends, and those others were for his enemies. They might take which ever they desired. He knew his friends were wise; and his enemies were fools.
Now, those cups which were for his foes were very sweet; they sparkled on the brim; they flashed. The wine was red, and it moved itself aright. But they were warned that whoever drank those cups would find that the dregs were full of death.
And his foes came in and drank and drank and laughed, and said the good man of the house loved them best, for he had given them the sweetest wines.
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But on the other table stood the cups that were ready for his friends, and his friends were wise, and went to these, and the cups were very bitter; very bitter!
Ah, how they set their teeth on edge and filled their mouths with wormwood! But they knew that these were health-cups that would purge them of all disease and fill their frames with a vitality and force which magic could not give; and therefore these friends of his drank the cups with joy and thankfulness, for they knew that he had prepared them in love; and while they heard his enemies laughing at them they bore the laughter with composure, for they knew what the end would be!
“Your sorrow shall be turned into joy.” John 16:20 1
HOME!
by Spurgeon
“The eternal God is your refuge.” Deuteronomy 33:27 God is our abode, our home.
Dear to our hearts is our home, although it be the humblest cottage, or the scantiest garret; and dearer far is our blessed God, in whom we live, and move, and have our being.
It is at home that we feel safe. We shut the world out, and dwell in quiet security. So when we are with our God we “fear no evil.” He is our shelter and retreat, our abiding refuge.
At home, we take our rest. It is there we find repose after the fatigue and toil of the day. And so our hearts find rest in God, when, wearied with life’s conflict, we turn to Him, and our soul dwells at ease.
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At home, also, we let our hearts loose. We are not afraid of being misunderstood, nor of our words being misconstrued. So when we are with God we can commune freely with Him, laying open all our hidden desires.
Home, too, is the place of our truest and purest happiness. And it is in God that our hearts find their deepest delight. We have joy in Him which far surpasses all other joy.
It is also for home that we work and labor. The thought of home gives strength to bear the daily burden, and quickens the fingers to perform the task. And in this sense we may also say that God is our home. Love to Him strengthens us. We think of His dear Son; and a glimpse of the suffering face of the Redeemer constrains us to labor in His cause.
Happy are those who have the eternal God for their
refuge!
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THE SYMPATHY OF JESUS
from Bonar’s book, “THE NIGHT OF WEEPING”
In all our affliction He is afflicted. Jesus weeps with us.
He knows our sorrows, for He has passed through them all, and therefore He feels for us. He is touched with the feeling of our griefs as well as of our infirmities. Even in His glory He enters most fully into the fellowship of our burdens and sorrow, whatever these may be, for there is not one which He did not taste when He “dwelt among us” here. His is sympathy, deep, real, and true. It is no fiction, no fancy. We do not
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see His tears falling upon us; neither do we clasp His hand nor feel the beating of His heart against ours. But still His communion with us in suffering is a reality.
“I GO TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU!”
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “JESUS AFFIRMED TO BE ALIVE”
That pierced hand has taken hold of eternal bliss on the behalf of those for whom He shed His blood.
Jesus is now in Heaven making preparation for our coming. What has to be done to make Heaven ready I am sure I do not know, though I have often tried to guess.
Jesus says, “I go to prepare a place for you!”
Heaven, when we get there, will prove to be the perfect place for us. It has taken Jesus all these years to make it ready for us. He that with a word made earth fit for created man, did not with a word make Heaven fit for His children, but went to Heaven Himself to see everything set in order for them.
I think I hear Him say, “This will not do for My Beloved. There is something more needed. These fruits are not quite mellow enough, these flowers are not full bloom enough for My Beloved, whom I desire to entertain to the utmost of their capacity.”
Jesus now lives to keep Heaven for us and make it in all respects ready for us.
“I go to prepare a place for you!”
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LOST, LOST, LOST! AND LOST FOR NOTHING!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE SOUL’S CRISIS”
What is it to be lost?
To be cast away from the presence of God, to be cast into hell, to have to suffer, and that forever, all that the justice of God can demand, all that the omnipotence of God can inflict.
Why, sirs, if I have but a headache, or a toothache for one brief hour, my patience can scarcely endure the torture.
What must it be to suffer such pains for a century? Man, I cannot guess what it must be!
What must it be to have ten thousand times worse pains than these forever and ever?
But all the pangs and pains from which men suffer here are nothing to be compared with the woes and mental anguish of the world to come.
Oh, the agony of a spirit doomed, forlorn, accursed, upon which God shall put His foot in awful wrath and lift it up no more forever!
And there, as you lie, tormented to the quick, you will have this to be your miserable portion: I heard the gospel, but I would not heed it; Christ was put before me, but I would not acknowledge Him; I was entreated to believe in His name and fly to Him for salvation, but I hesitated, hung in suspense, demurred, and at length denied Him.
And all for what?
For a little drink, a little dance, a little sin that yielded me but slight pleasure, or for worldly gain, or for low
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and groveling vices, or for sheer carelessness and gaiety!
Lost, lost, lost! and lost for nothing!
A sinner damned! He lost his soul, but he did not gain the world. He gained only a little frivolous pleasure, even that poor pittance he spent in an hour, and then he was forever cast away!
There is a time, we know not when, A point we know not where,
That marks the destiny of men,
To glory or despair.
There is a line, by us unseen, That crosses every path;
The hidden boundary between God’s patience and His wrath.
To pass that limit is to die,
To die, as if by stealth:
It does not quench the beaming eye, Or pale the glow of health.
The conscience may be still at ease, The spirits light and gay;
That which is pleasing still may please, And care be thrust away.
But on that forehead God has set Indelibly a mark,
Unseen by man; for man as yet Is blind and in the dark.
And yet the doomed man’s path below, Like Eden, may have bloomed;
He did not, does not, will not know, Or feel that he is doomed.
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He knows, he feels, that all is well, And every fear is calmed;
He lives, he dies, he wakes in hell, Not only doomed but damned.
O where is your mysterious line,
By which our path is crossed,
Beyond which God Himself has sworn, That he who goes is lost?
How far may we go on in sin?
How long will God forbear?
Where does hope end? and where begin The confines of despair?
An answer from the skies is sent— ‘You that from God depart,
While it is called today, Repent! And harden not your heart.’
MATTHEW 25:41
from Jonathan Edwards’, “THE FINAL JUDGMENT”
Christ will say to the wicked on the left hand, “Depart, you cursed ones, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”
How dreadful will these words of the judge be to the poor, miserable, despairing wretches on the left hand! How amazing will every syllable of them be! How will they pierce them to the soul! These words show the greatest wrath and abhorrence.
“Depart” Christ will send them away from His presence, will remove them forever far out of His sight, into an everlasting separation from God, as being most
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loathsome, and unfit to dwell in His presence, and enjoy communion with Him.
“you cursed ones” Christ will call them cursed. Depart, you cursed ones, to whom everlasting wrath and ruin belong, who are by your own wickedness prepared for nothing else, but to be firebrands of hell, who are the fit objects and vessels of the vengeance and fury of the Almighty.
“into everlasting fire” He will not send them away merely into a loathsome prison, the receptacle of the filth and rubbish of the universe. But into a furnace of fire. That must be their dwelling place, there they must be tormented with the most racking pain and anguish. It is everlasting fire. There is eternity in the sentence, which infinitely aggravates the doom, and will make every word of it immensely more dreadful, sinking, and amazing to the souls that receive it.
“prepared for the devil and His angels” This sets forth the greatness and intenseness of the torments, as the preceding part of the sentence does the duration. It shows the dreadfulness of that fire to which they shall be condemned, that it is the same that is prepared for the devils, those foul spirits and great enemies of God. Their condition will be the same as that of the devils, in many respects; particularly as they must burn in the fire forever.
This sentence will doubtless be pronounced in such an awful manner as shall be a terrible manifestation of the wrath of the Judge. There will be divine, holy, and almighty wrath manifested in the countenance and voice of the Judge. And we know not what other manifestations of anger will accompany the sentence. Perhaps it will be accompanied with thunders and
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lightnings, far more dreadful than were on mount Sinai at the giving of the law.
Correspondent to these exhibitions of divine wrath, will be the appearances of terror and most horrible amazement in the condemned. How will all their faces pale! How will death sit upon their countenances, when those words shall be heard! What dolorous cries, shrieks, and groans! What trembling, and wringing of hands, and gnashing of teeth, will there then be!
Immediately after this, the sentence will be executed, as we are informed, Matthew 25:46, “These shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.” When the words of the sentence shall have once proceeded out of the mouth of the Judge, then that vast and innumerable throng of ungodly men shall go away, shall be driven away, shall be necessitated to go away with devils, and shall with dismal cries and shrieks be cast into the great furnace of fire prepared for the punishment of devils, the perpetual thunders and lightnings of the wrath of God following them. Into this furnace they must in both soul and body enter, never more to come out. Here they must spend eternal ages in wrestling with the most excruciating torments, and in crying out in the midst of the most dreadful flames, and under the most insupportable wrath.
On the other hand, the righteous shall ascend to heaven with their glorified bodies, in company with Christ and His angels. They shall ascend in the most joyful and triumphant manner, and shall enter with Christ into that glorious and blessed world.
Christ having given His church that perfect beauty, and crowned it with that glory, honor, and happiness, which were stipulated in the covenant of redemption before the world was, and which He died to procure for them;
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and having made it a truly glorious church, every way complete, will present it before the Father, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.
Thus shall the saints be instated in everlasting glory, to dwell there with Christ, who shall feed them, and lead them to living fountains of water, to the full enjoyment of God, and to an eternity of the most holy, glorious, and joyful employments.1
THE END OF THE WORLD!
from Jonathan Edwards’, “THE FINAL JUDGMENT”
After the sentence shall have been pronounced, and the saints shall have ascended with Christ into glory, this world will be dissolved by fire. The conflagration will immediately follow the judgment. When an end shall have been put to the present state of mankind, this world, which was the place of their habitation, will be destroyed, there being no further use for it.
This earth which had been the stage upon which so many scenes had been acted, upon which there had been so many great and famous kingdoms and large cities, where there had been so many wars, so much trade and business carried on for so many ages, shall then be destroyed.
These continents, these islands, these seas and rivers, theses mountains and valleys, shall be seen no more at all. All shall be destroyed by devouring flames.
“But the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a great
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noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore since all these things are thus to be destroyed, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy living and godliness, looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, by reason of which the heavens being on fire will be dissolved, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?” 2 Peter 3:7,10-12
CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “LOVE AND I”
Can you believe it, that you should be the object of God’s delight! That you should be the object of the Father’s love as truly as Christ is!
Do not tell me that God the Father does not love you as well as He does Christ. The point can be settled by the grandest matter of fact that ever was.
When there was a choice between Christ and His people which should die of the two, the Father freely delivered up His own Son that we might live through Him.
See the amazing sacrifice which the Father made in giving Jesus to us.
Think what it cost Him to tear His Well Beloved from His bosom and send Him down below to be despised and rejected.
Think what it cost Him to nail Him up to yonder cross, and then forsake Him and hide His face from Him, because He had laid all our sins upon Him.
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Oh, the love He must have had to us thus to have made His best Beloved to become a curse for us, as it is written, “Cursed is everyone that hangs on a tree.”
I want you to get this right into your souls, dear friends. Do not hold it as a dry doctrine, but let it touch your heart.
The Lord Jesus died that we might be borne onward forever by the mighty sweep of infinite love into an everlasting blessedness which tongues and lips can never fully set forth.
Oh, be ravished with this! Be carried away with it!
Be in ecstasy at love so amazing, so divine: the Father loves you even as He loves His Son!
Can you believe it!
Oh, if the love of the Father to Christ once enters into a man’s soul….
it will change him;
it will sway him with the noblest passion;
it will make him a zealot for Christ;
it will cast out his selfishness;
it will change him into the image of Christ—
and fit him to dwell in heaven where love is perfected.
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THE LOVE OF CHRIST
by Spurgeon
“The love of Christ which passes knowledge.” Ephesians 3:19
The love of Christ in its sweetness, its fullness, its greatness, its faithfulness, passes all human comprehension. Where shall language be found which
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shall describe His matchless, His unparalleled love towards the children of men?
It is so vast and boundless that, as the swallow but skims the water, and dives not into its depths, so all descriptive words but touch the surface, while depths immeasurable lie beneath.
Well might the poet say,
“O love, you fathomless abyss!”
This love of Christ is indeed measureless and fathomless; none can attain unto it.
Before we can have any right idea of the love of Jesus, we must understand His previous glory in its height of majesty, and His incarnation upon the earth in all its depths of shame.
But who can tell us the majesty of Christ?
When He was enthroned in the highest heavens He was very God of very God; by Him were the heavens made, and all the hosts thereof. His own almighty arm upheld the spheres; the praises of cherubim and seraphim perpetually surrounded Him; the full chorus of the hallelujahs of the universe unceasingly flowed to the foot of His throne: He reigned supreme above all His creatures, God over all, blessed forever!
Who can tell His height of glory then?
And who, on the other hand, can tell how low He descended? To be a man was something, to be a man of sorrows was far more; to bleed, and die, and suffer, these were much for Him who was the Son of God. But to suffer such unparalleled agony; to endure a death of shame and desertion by His Father, this is a depth of condescending love which the most inspired mind must utterly fail to fathom.
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Herein is love!
And truly it is love that “passes knowledge.”
O let this love fill our hearts with adoring gratitude, and lead us to practical manifestations of its power.
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HOW ASTONISHING IT IS!
from Jonathan Edwards’ sermon,
“THE WISDOM OF GOD, DISPLAYED IN THE WAY OF SALVATION”
How astonishing it is, that One who is blessed forever, and is infinitely and essentially happy, should endure the greatest sufferings that ever were endured on earth!
How astonishing it is, that One who is the supreme Lord and Judge of the world, should be arraigned, and should stand at the judgment-seat of mortal worms, and then be condemned!
How astonishing it is, that One who is the living God, and the fountain of life, should be put to death!
How astonishing it is, that One who created the world, and gives life to all His creatures, should be put to death by His own creatures!
How astonishing it is, that One of infinite majesty and glory, and so the object of love, praises, and adorations of angels, should be mocked and spit upon by the vilest of men!
How astonishing it is, that One, infinitely good, and who is love itself, should suffer the greatest cruelty.
How astonishing it is, that One who is infinitely beloved of the Father, should be put to inexpressible anguish under His own Father’s wrath!
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How astonishing it is, that He who is King of heaven, who has heaven for His throne, and the earth for His footstool, should be buried in the prison of the grave!
How astonishing it is!
How wonderful this is! And yet this is the way that God’s wisdom has fixed upon, as the way of sinners’
salvation!
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OUR HEARTS!
by Spurgeon
We must give ourselves to earning our daily bread and our thoughts must go, to a large extent, after earthly things in the common pursuits of everyday life. But our hearts, our hearts, are as fountains sealed for our ‘Well Beloved.’ O mammon, you shall not have them! O pleasure, you shall not have them! Our hearts belong to Jesus, Jesus only!
“Jesus is inexpressibly, unutterably, indescribably lovely! The Best of the best, the Fairest of the fair, the Sweetest of the sweet, is Jesus to those who are indeed His people.”—Spurgeon
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“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.”—John Flavel
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AVOID THE WORLD’S RELIGION!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“ABRAM’S CALL, OR, HALFWAY AND ALL THE WAY”
Will you devote yourself to God and His cause and truth? In matters of religion follow the Lord fully. Let the Word of God be your sole and sure rule and nothing else. That religion which is not according to God’s Word is a false religion.
Accept neither doctrine nor ceremony for which there is no Scriptural warrant. Search the Word about it all, “to the Law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.”
Avoid the world’s religion!
For if there is one world worse than another, it is the religious world. Be distinctly removed from the religion which is based upon self-will, pride of intellect, and worldly conformity.
The world’s religion is as evil as the world’s irreligion.
Surrender to the plain teaching of the Spirit of God and resolve in all things to follow your Lord wherever He may lead you.
Stand alone, if others will not obey.
My brethren, if we thus separate ourselves from the world’s religion, we must expect violent opposition. Severe criticism will not be spared us. Some will say, “The man is mad!” Others more gently will murmur, “He is sadly misled.” Many will accuse you of a liking to be singular, or a weakness for going to extremes. Having once made up their mind that you are foolish and contemptible they will view all your conduct through colored glasses and condemn you up and down.
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Be not dismayed but endure hardship for the love of Jesus. The life of a consecrated believer involves trials.
Avoid the world’s religion!
O you, who by Divine Grace are beginners in the heavenly life, make a strong resolve to be the servants of God and endeavor in all things to obey Him.
We live here in this world as strangers and pilgrims. We find little to charm us in this foreign land. Our treasure is above and it will be a joy for our souls to rise to the place where our hearts already dwell.
If you are now separated unto Him, you shall find your reward in that day when He shall divide the sheep from the goats. You shall be placed at His right hand to hear Him say, “Come, you blessed of My Father.”
Avoid the world’s religion!
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PROPHECIES!
excerpts from Spurgeon’s sermons
I must confess myself to be, in the presence of the writings of Ezekiel and Jeremiah, and John of Patmos, as a little child wandering through the museum, marveling at the Egyptian hieroglyphs, and the Assyrian cuneiform characters, but quite unable to spell them out; fancying, sometimes, that I have the key of the mysteries, and anon discovering some new form of divine symbology which quite confuses me, and makes me confess that I am but of yesterday, and know nothing. (from “Things to Come”)
Nothing shall induce me to attempt to interpret the prophecies. By God’s grace I will be content to expound the gospel. I believe it to be one of the most fatal devices of Satan to turn aside useful gospel ministers
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from their proper work into idle speculations upon the number of the beast, and the meaning of the little horn. The prophecies will interpret themselves by their fulfillment, but no expositor has yet arisen who has been able to do it. For us to explain the mysterious visions of Daniel and John before they are fulfilled will, I believe, be worse than folly; it will be a guilty waste of energy, which should all be spent in the winning of souls. (from “The Standard Uplifted in the Face of the Foe”)
….do not read modern prophetical works, for that is a sheer waste of time and nothing better. Hold off as you would from a serpent, from the idea that the study or preaching of prophecy is the gospel, for the belief that it is so, is mischievous beyond conception. So long as the world is reeking with sin, and millions are going down to hell, let us leave others to prophesy, let us go with anxious hearts to seek after souls, and see if we cannot by the Spirit’s power win sinners from going down into the pit. (from “The Great Mystery of Godliness”)
I am no prophet. I do not understand the visions of Daniel or Ezekiel. I find I have enough to do to teach the simple word such as I find in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and the Epistles of Paul. I do not find many souls have been converted to God by exquisite dissertations about the battle of Armageddon, and all those other fine things. I have no doubt prophesying is very profitable, but I rather question whether they are so profitable to the hearers, as they may be to the preachers and publishers. People have a panting to know the future. And certain preachers pander to this depraved taste, by prophesying for them and letting them know what is coming by and by. I do not know the future and I shall not pretend to know. But I do
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preach this, because I know it, that Christ will come, for He says so in a hundred passages. The Epistles of Paul are full of the advent, and Peter’s, too, and John’s letters are crowded with it.
The best of saints have always lived on the hope of the advent. I will not divide the church by discussing whether the advent will be premillennial or postmillennial, or anything of the kind. It is enough for me that He will come, and, “in such an hour as you think not, the Son of Man will come.”
I think the Church would do well to be always living as if Christ might come today. He may come this moment. Let us always be living as if He would come now, still acting in our Master’s sight, and watching unto prayer.
Never mind about the last vials; fill your own vial with sweet odors and offer it before the Lord. Think what you like about Armageddon. But forget not to fight the good fight of faith. Guess not at the precise time for the destruction of Antichrist; go and destroy it yourself, fighting against it every day. Be looking forward and hastening unto the coming of the Son of Man. And let this be at once your comfort and excitement to diligence: that the Savior will soon come from Heaven. (from “Citizenship in Heaven”)
GOD?
by Don Fortner
“He who worships the true God detests and loathes idols.” (Spurgeon)
God the Father, in eternity past, before the world began, chose a people whom He determined to save and sovereignly predestinated all things that ever come
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to pass to secure, absolutely and infallibly, the salvation of His elect people.
God the Son died upon the cursed tree as their Substitute to “save His people from their sins.” By the satisfaction of divine justice, through the shedding of His blood, Christ has put away the sins of His people and brought in an everlasting righteousness for them. The Son of God, dying for God’s elect, has effectually obtained eternal redemption for them. Those for whom Christ suffered the wrath of God can never, for any reason or to any degree, suffer God’s wrath. Justice will not allow it!
God the Holy Spirit regenerates, calls, and preserves each of God’s elect by infallible grace, effectually applying the blood of Christ to those chosen by the Father in eternity and redeemed by the Son at Calvary.
This is our God, the effectual, sovereign, saving God. There is no other God but Him.
Any other god, called by whatever name, any god that is not totally sovereign, irresistibly effectual, and completely successful in the salvation of His people is no God at all, but only the idolatrous figment of man’s imagination!
Idolatry is as much a problem in America as it was among the heathen of Isaiah’s day. I say, without hesitancy or apology, that the god of modern, Arminian, freewill religion, the god of our families and friends, the god many of us once claimed to worship, is a false god, a base, abominable idol!
“He who worships the true God detests and loathes
idols.” (Spurgeon)
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THE LOVE OF GOD!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE LOVE OF GOD AND THE PATIENCE OF CHRIST”
“May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God…” 2 Thessalonians 3:5
Believer, God loves you as much as if there were nobody else in the entire world to love!
God can pour the infinite love of His heart upon one object and yet, for all that, can love ten thousand times ten thousand of His creatures just as much.
Your Father loves each child as if He had no other! Peer into this abyss of love!
Plunge into this sea!
Dive into this depth unsearchable!
Oh, that God might direct you into the immeasurable greatness of this love!
Enter into this love by remembering its antiquity. Some fight the great truth of the eternal electing love of God. But to me it is as wafers made with honey.
What music lies in that sentence, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love!”
When this great world, the sun, and moon and stars, had not yet flashed the morning of their little day, the Lord Jehovah loved His people with an everlasting love.
In the Divine purposes, before the Lord created the heavens and the earth, God loved His own people.
He had chosen you, thought of you, provided for you and made ten thousand forecasts of lovingkindness towards you before the earth was.
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Beloved believer, you were engraved on the hands of Christ even then!
Oh that the Lord would direct you into the antiquity of His love. It shall make you greatly prize that love to think that it had no beginning and shall never, never have an end.
Again, think of the love of God as to its infallible constancy. The unchangeable Jehovah never ceases to love His people.
The love of God abides forever the same. Since you have known Him He has never varied in His love to you. When your love has grown cold He has loved you. When you have grown cruel He has loved you.
You have grievously provoked Him till He has taken down His rod and made you smart. But He has loved you in the smiting. With God there is as much love in chastening as in caressing.
He never abates in fervor towards His ancient friends. He has said, “I am the Lord. I change not. Therefore you sons
of Jacob are not consumed.”
I ask the Lord to direct us into the immutability of His Divine love, for this is a great medicine in the day of soul trouble. Whatever condition you may be in, the Lord is still active in love towards you.
All true love goes towards purification. And the true love of God goes that way with an invincible current that can never be turned aside. O believer, your God loves you so well that He will not let a darling sin stay in your heart. He loves you so strongly that He will not spare any iniquity in you.
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The knowledge of His love will make your heart as sweet and aromatic as a chamber in which a box of precious ointment has been broken.
Oh, that you might be led into the innermost secret of the Lord’s love till it shall saturate you, influence you, take possession of you, carry you away!
Beloved, let the love of God to you flow into your hearts and abide there until it settles down and bears on its surface the cream of love to God, yielded by your own heart.
The only way to love God is to let God’s love to you dwell in your soul until it transforms your soul into itself.
Love to God grows out of the love of God.
“May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God…”
2 Thessalonians 3:5
WHY DOES GOD ALLOW THE WICKED TO
LIVE AND PROSPER IN THE WORLD?
from Jonathan Edwards’ sermon, “THE FINAL JUDGMENT”
The infinitely holy and wise Creator and Governor of the world must necessarily hate wickedness. Yet we see many wicked men flourishing. They live with impunity; things seem to go well with them, and the world smiles upon them. God allows so much injustice to take place in the world.
Now it seems a mystery that these things are tolerated, when He that is rightfully the Supreme Judge and Governor of the world is perfectly just. But at the final judgment all these wrongs shall be righted.
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Many who have not been fit to live, who have held God and religion in the greatest contempt, who have been open enemies to all that is good, have by their wickedness been the pests of mankind.
Many cruel tyrants, whose barbarities have been such as would even fill one with horror to hear or read of them; yet have lived in great wealth and outward glory, have reigned over great and mighty kingdoms and empires, and have been honored as sorts of earthly gods.
Now, if we look no further than the present state, these things appear strange and unaccountable. But we ought not to confine our views within such narrow limits.
God sometimes allows some of the holiest of men to be in great affliction, poverty, and persecution. The wicked rule, while they are subject. The wicked are the head, and they are the tail. The wicked domineer, while they serve, and are oppressed, yes are trampled under their feet, as the mire of the streets! These things are very common, yet they seem to imply great confusion.
Now, it is very mysterious, that the holy and righteous Governor of the world, whose eye beholds all the children of men, should allow it so to be, unless we look forward to the day of judgment. And then the mystery is unraveled. For although God for the present keeps silence, and seems to let them alone; yet then He will give suitable manifestations of His displeasure against their wickedness. They shall then receive just punishment.
There are many things in the dealings of God towards men, which appear very mysterious, if we view them without having an eye to this last judgment, which yet, if we consider this judgment, have no difficulty in them.
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Though God allows things to be so for the present, yet they shall not proceed in this course always. Comparatively speaking, the present state of things is but for a moment.
When all shall be settled and fixed by a divine judgment, the righteous shall be exalted, honored, and rewarded, and the wicked shall be depressed and put under their feet.
However the wicked now prevail against the righteous, yet the righteous shall at last have the ascendant, shall come off conquerors, and shall see the just vengeance of God executed upon those who now hate and persecute them.
“Left to himself, man is half beast and half devil.” George Whitefield
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THE CARNAL MIND RAGES AT THE
CROSS OF CHRIST!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “JESUS AFFIRMED TO BE ALIVE”
Do not imagine that it is possible, fairly and squarely, to preach Jesus Christ and His Gospel without raising opposition.
There is no hope of faithfully preaching Christ without being called disrespectful names, regarded as a fool, and reckoned among the vulgar and ignorant. Some kind of ugly name will always be appended to the preacher of the true Gospel.
Brethren, expect it and accept it! Bid farewell to a quiet life, if you resolve to be true to Jesus.
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Nothing excites such animosity as the preaching of Jesus!
The carnal mind rages at the Cross of Christ!
That which would be to men the greatest comfort and the greatest joy if they were in their right minds, is their direst hate because sin has perverted their judgments.
Of course nobody opposes an indistinct, colorless, please-everybody gospel that is not worth anything.
But speak clearly and distinctly the doctrine of the great Sacrifice and you will bring upon your head a shower of opposition.
The carnal mind rages at the Cross of Christ!
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DIGNITY OF HUMAN NATURE?
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“DAVID DANCING BEFORE THE ARK BECAUSE OF HIS ELECTION”
Dignity of human nature?
Dignity of flesh which goes to corruption and the worm?
Let those who will, extol the creature of an hour; I glorify the Creator, who is everlasting.
Fallen human nature deserves no praise!
We are worse than the worms we tread upon!
It is not easy to find terms humiliating enough to describe the degradation into which sin has brought us, and the helplessness in which sin has left us, and the need of Sovereign Grace to save us from perishing forever.
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God will not endure that man should magnify himself. He has purposed to stain the pride of all boasting and to bring into contempt all the excellent of the earth.
You will not find a doctrine in God’s Word which flatters human nature. Rather, you will find great truths which lay our nature among the diseased, the condemned and the dead.
PURPOSE & PROVIDENCE!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE HAIRS OF YOUR HEAD NUMBERED”
Everything is in the Divine purpose, and has been ordered by Divine wisdom. All the events of your life— the greater, certainly; and the smaller, with equal certainty.
It is impossible to draw a line in Providence and say this is arranged by Providence and that is not. God’s Providence takes everything in its sweep—all that happens.
Divine Providence determines not only the movement of a star, but the blowing of a grain of dust along the public road.
God’s Providence knows nothing of things so little as to be beneath its notice, nothing of things so great as to be beyond its control.
Nothing is too little or too great for God to rule and overrule. All that a man undergoes is also ordained of Heaven.
God ordained….
when we would be born; where we would be born; who our parents would be;
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what our lot in infancy would be;
what our path in youth would be; and what our position in manhood would be.
From the first to the last it has all happened according to the Divine purpose, and ordained by the Divine will.
Not only the man but all that concerns the man, is foreordained of the Lord—“The very hairs of your head,” that is to say, all that has anything to do with you, which comes into any kind of contact with you and is in any sense part and parcel of yourself, is under the Divine foresight and predestination.
You shall neither die before your time, nor live beyond it. All that concerns you, from first to last, all that is of you and in you and around you, is in the Divine purpose.
Fate is hard and cruel, but predestination is fatherly and wise and kind.
When we see that all things are arranged by Him who orders all things according to the counsel of His own will, then we bow our heads and worship.
Our happiness lies very much in our complete submission to the Lord our God. Oh, it is a blessed thing when we know that God is ordering all the events of Providence. Then we dissolve our own will into the sweetness of His will and our sorrow is at an end!
Since even the very hairs of our head are all numbered; since everything is really ordained by the Most High concerning His people, let us rejoice in the Divine appointment, and take all as it comes, and praise His name, whether our allotment is rough or smooth, bitter or sweet.
Let us cheerfully say, “If the Lord wills it then we will it, too. If He has purposed it, even so let it be, since all
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things work together for good to those who love God, even to those who are called according to His purpose.”
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THE AGONY IN GETHSEMANE
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE AGONY IN GETHSEMANE”
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” Matthew 26:38
“And being in agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Luke 22:44
See the excellence and completeness of the atonement of Christ!
How black I am, how filthy, how loathsome in the sight of God; I feel myself only fit to be cast into the lowest hell, and I wonder that God has not long ago cast me there.
But I go into Gethsemane, and I peer under those gnarled olive trees, and I see my Savior!
Yes, I see Him wallowing on the ground in anguish, and hear such groans come from Him as never came from human breast before.
I look upon the ground and see it red with His blood, while His face is smeared with gory sweat, and I say to myself, “My God, my Savior, why do You suffer so?”
I hear Him reply, “I am suffering for your sin.”
Now I can understand how Jehovah can spare me, because He smote His Son in my stead!
Sinner as I am, I stand before the burning throne of the severity of God, and am not afraid of it. Can you scorch
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me, O consuming fire, when you have not only scorched, but utterly consumed my substitute?
All hell was distilled into that cup of which Jesus Christ was made to drink. The woe that broke over the Savior’s spirit, the great and fathomless ocean of inexpressible anguish which dashed over the Savior’s soul when He died, was inconceivable.
Our Lord’s main suffering lay in His soul. His soul- sufferings were the soul of His sufferings. His position as a sin-bearer, and the desertion by His Father engrossed His contemplations.
The bloody sweat of Jesus came from an utter faintness and prostration of soul.
He was in an awful soul-swoon, and suffered an inward death, whose accompaniment was not watery tears from the eyes, but a weeping of blood from the entire man.
He could say with David, “The pains of hell got hold upon me.”
All God’s waves and billows went over Him. Above Him, beneath Him, around Him, and within, all, all was
anguish.
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THE MASS! THE POPE! THE ROMAN CHURCH!
The following gems were written by Martin Luther.
[Prior to being saved by the grace of God, Luther was a Roman Catholic priest.]
“The Mass is the greatest blasphemy of God, and the highest idolatry upon the earth, an abomination the like of which has never been in Christendom.”
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“The Kingdom of Christ is a kingdom of mercy, grace, and goodness. The kingdom of the Pope is a kingdom of lies and damnation!”
“The Roman Church has become the most licentious den of thieves, the most shameless of all brothels, the kingdom of sin, death, and hell. It is so bad that even Antichrist himself, if he should come, could think of nothing to add to its wickedness.”
TRUE OR FALSE?
by Don Fortner

  1. False faith may be greatly enlightened and knowledgeable of gospel truth. Judas was. True faith receives the love of the Truth.
  2. False faith excites the affections, like the stony ground hearers of the parable, and causes people to spring up like shooting stars, only to fade quickly. True faith is the abiding, growing gift of God.
  3. False faith reforms the outward life and causes people to live better before men. True faith arises from a regenerate heart and causes people to seek the will and glory of God.
  4. False faith may speak well of Christ, as the Jews did. True faith loves Christ.
  5. False faith confesses sins, like King Saul. True faith confesses sin, like David.
  6. False faith may humble itself in sackcloth and ashes, like Ahab. True faith humbles itself before God.
  7. False faith may repent in terror, like Esau and Judas. True faith repents in contrition, being convinced of God’s way of salvation in Christ.
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  8. False faith often performs religious works very diligently. Saul of Tarsus did. True faith is a faith, which “works by love.”
  9. False faith is sometimes very generous and charitable (Ananias and Sapphira). True faith causes ransomed sinners to be generous, willingly, constrained only by love and gratitude.
  10. False faith may tremble at the Word of God, like Felix. True faith trembles and bows.
  11. False faith often experiences much in religion. True faith trusts no experience, no matter how great, and looks to Christ alone.
  12. False faith often enjoys great religious privileges, like Lot’s wife. True faith places no confidence in the flesh.
  13. False faith may preach, perform miracles, and cast out demons, like Judas. True faith rejoices in having one’s name written in heaven.
  14. False faith often attains high office in the church, like Diotrephes, and walks with great preachers, as Demas walked with Paul. True faith is honored to keep the doors of God’s house and walk with Christ.
  15. False faith may be peaceful and carnally secure, like the five foolish virgins. True faith presumes nothing, but looks constantly to Christ.
    THE LEOPARD!
    from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE EYE, A SIMILITUDE”
    Christians will too often indulge wrong habits and tolerate doubtful customs, until transgressions seem to
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them as if they were unavoidable, and then they persuade themselves that these sins are harmless.
Never trifle with a sin because it does not look so black or cause such shame as some other iniquities.
There was a man who kept in his house a leopard, a tame leopard, which had been born in captivity, and had never known what liberty was. It had grown up as tame as a domestic cat, until one day, when the master was asleep, it gently licked his hand.
Now, it so happened that he had cut his hand earlier in the day, and a little blood oozed out as the creature’s tongue was drawn repeatedly over the wound.
The taste of the blood roused the wild demon spirit of the beast at once, and had it not been promptly shot, its once beloved master would have been its victim!
In like manner those little household sins which look not like the dreadful destroyers that they really are, will one of these days reveal their true nature, and you will have to chase them from your soul, and drive them to their native haunts!
It is not fit that they should lodge under your roof. Chase them away before they put you into greater danger! They must be doomed or you will have no peace. They must be destroyed, for your life is in jeopardy!
When the thief cannot break in at the door himself, he finds a child, and puts him through the little window, and then the great door is speedily opened.
Thus do little sins open the door for great sins!
We ought to become more and more jealous of approximation or contact with anything that defiles, abhorring the very trail of the serpent; shuddering at
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even the appearance of sin; and loathing the atmosphere that is corrupted by evil conversation.
“Lord, keep me from little things that defile, and little flaws that disfigure or utterly deface godliness of
character.”
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CHRIST IS OUR LIFE
by Spurgeon
“Christ, who is our life.” Colossians 3:4
Paul’s marvelously rich expression indicates that Christ is the source of our life. “You has He quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins.” That same voice which brought Lazarus out of the tomb raised us to newness of life.
Christ is now the substance of our spiritual life. It is by His life that we live; He is in us, the hope glory, the spring of our actions, the central thought which moves every other thought.
Christ is the sustenance of our life. What can the Christian feed upon but Jesus? O wayworn pilgrims in this wilderness of sin, you never get a morsel to satisfy the hunger of your spirits, except you find it in Him!
Christ is the solace of our life. All our true joys come from Him; and in times of trouble, His presence is our consolation. There is nothing worth living for but Him; and His lovingkindness is better than life!
Christ is the object of our life. As speeds the ship towards the port, so hastes the believer towards the haven of his Savior’s bosom. As flies the arrow to its goal, so flies the Christian towards perfecting of his fellowship with Christ Jesus. As the soldier fights for his captain, and is crowned in his captain’s victory, so
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the believer contends for Christ, and gets his triumph out of the triumphs of his Master. For him to live is Christ.
Christ is the exemplar of our life. Where there is the same life within, there will, there must be, to a great extent, the same developments without; and if we live in near fellowship with the Lord Jesus we shall grow like Him. We shall set Him before us as our Divine copy, and we shall seek to tread in His footsteps, until He shall become the crown of our life in glory.
Oh! how safe, how honored, how happy is the Christian, since Christ is our life!
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TRUE SPIRITUAL LIFE!
The following is adapted from Bonar’s book, “THE NIGHT OF WEEPING”
Some, by their continual contact with the outward things of religion, hinder their inward growth and damage their spiritual life.
There are many Christians who are always steadily at ‘church work’ and apparently with fervor too. Yet too little communion with God shows that they are not really growing spiritually. They work so much more than they pray, that they soon become like vessels without oil.
The true spiritual life is different from all this.
It is a thing of intensity and depth. It ever carries about with it the air of calm and restful dignity, of inward power and greatness. It is fervent, but not feverish; energetic, but not excited; speedy in its doings, but not hasty; prudent, but not timid or selfish; resolute and fearless, but not rash; unobtrusive and at times it may
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be silent, yet making all around to feel its influence; full of joy and peace, yet without parade or noise; overflowing in tenderness and love, yet at the same time, faithful and true. This is true spiritual life!
[Are you so busy doing ‘church work’ that your personal relationship with Jesus is suffering?—Ed.]
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SELF-RELIANCE
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “PETER’S RESTORATION”
Peter’s presumption and self-confidence led to his sad, sad sin. He reckoned that he could never stumble and for that very reason he speedily fell. A haughty spirit goes before a fall. Oh, that we might look to the roots of bitter flowers and destroy them! If ‘presumption’ is flourishing in the soil of our hearts, we shall soon see the evil fruit which will come of it.
Reliance upon our firmness of character, depth of experience, clearness of insight, or maturity in grace will, in the end, land us in disgraceful failure.
CHRISTIANS ARE CHRISTLIKE!
Jonathan Edwards
None deserve the name of Christians, who are not Christlike in their prevailing character. True Christians are clothed with the meek, quiet, and loving temper of Christ. They are attended with the lamblike, dovelike spirit and nature of Jesus Christ. They naturally beget and promote a spirit of love, humility, quietness, forgiveness and mercy, as is manifest in character of Jesus.
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LIVE IN THE LIGHT OF THE NEXT WORLD
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “OVERWHELMING OBLIGATIONS”
How did you serve Satan before you were converted, not sparing body or soul to enjoy the pleasures of sin? Oh, with what zest, with what fervor and force and vehemence did many of you dance to the tune of the devil’s music!
I wish you would serve God half as well as some of the devil’s servants serve him.
What? Now you have a new Friend, a new Lover, a new Husband: shall He ever look you in the face and say, “You do not love Me so well as you did love the world. You were never weary of serving the world, but you soon get weary of serving Me”?
O my poor heart, wake up! Wake up!
What are you doing, to have served sin at such a rate, and then to serve Christ so little?
Dear friends, how do you think such service as you have rendered will look when you come to see it by the light of eternity?
Oh, nothing of life will be worth having lived, when we come to die, except that part of it which was devoted and consecrated to Christ.
Live, then, with your deathbeds in immediate prospect. Live in the light of the next world so that your pulse will be quickened, and your heart excited in the Master’s service!
“It is a lost labor to seek to find Christianity among many churches.”—John Owen
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CLASP THAT CROSS!
by Spurgeon
Backsliding Christian, go at once to the cross! There, and there only, can you get your spirit quickened. No matter how hard, how insensible, how dead you may have become, go again in all your rags and poverty.
Clasp that cross!
Look into those languid eyes!
Bathe in that fountain filled with blood!
This will bring back your first love. This will restore the simplicity of your faith, and the tenderness of your
heart.
There is an absolute necessity that a Christian should possess thorough sincerity and intense, downright reality.
The child of God may have spots on his countenance but he must not paint his face. It is the hypocrite that paints.
There may be a speck here and a speck there upon the countenance of the true believer, but he is sorry that it should be so and he tries to wash off all such stains.
But he never uses the make-up box.
In this he is the reverse of the world’s religious professors. Oh, the multitude of hypocrites that rouge themselves up to their eyes! They are such beauties as Jezebel made herself!
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CAN THESE BE THE SAME MEN?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “NATHANIEL, THE MAN NEEDED FOR THE DAY”
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You would suppose that they possessed the beauty of holiness. But see them when the paint is off; catch them at home; watch them in their own families; trace them into their secret places and there you will say, “Can these be the same men?”
‘REVERENDS’
Arthur Pink
In ourselves we are poor, sinful erring creatures, and daily do we have occasion to blush and hang our heads in shame. Therefore we respectfully request that none will address us as ‘Reverend.’ No worm of the dust is due such a title.
SOLDIERS OF THE CROSS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “ALL AT IT”
Scarcely anything has been more injurious to the kingdom of Christ than the distinction between clergy and laity. No such distinction was ever laid down by the Spirit of God. “You are a royal priesthood.” “He has made us unto our God kings and priests.”
In the Church of God there is no special priesthood because all are priests.
We have made among ourselves a distinction between ministers and others. But you are all to minister! There are many ministries of one form and another; and though God gives to His Church apostles, teachers, pastors, evangelists, and the like, yet not by way of setting up a professional caste of men, who are to do the work for God while others sit still.
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All Christians are soldiers of the Cross and all on active duty!
Every converted man is to teach what he knows.
All those who have drunk of the Living Water are to become fountains out of which shall flow rivers of Living Water. All are to proclaim the Word and no one is exempted by another form of service.
It is thought nowadays that a man must not try to proclaim the Gospel unless he has had a good education. But there is nothing whatever in the whole compass of Scripture to excuse any mouth from speaking for Jesus when the heart is really acquainted with His salvation.
We are all called to make Jesus known if we know Him. We must come back to the pattern of the original church. Every Christian must be a herald of the Cross.
If you do not tell the Gospel, you are leaving your fellow men to perish. Yonder is the wreck and you are not sending out a lifeboat! Yonder are souls starving and you give them no bread!
If we felt that blessed amazement which we ought to feel when we think of Free Grace and dying love, silence would be impossible.
WHAT STRANGE BEINGS ARE THESE?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “DAVID’S SPOIL”
Unfallen angelic spirits will say in eternity, “Do you see those beings bowing nearest to the eternal Throne? Do you see those well-beloved creatures? Who are they?”
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Angels that have lived in other worlds will come crowding up to the great metropolis and will say one to another, “Who are those favored ones that dwell nearest to God? Who are they?”
And one angel will say to another, “They are beings whom the eternal Son of God redeemed by blood.”
And one shining one will say to his fellow, “What do you mean? Tell me that strange story.”
Then will his companion delight to say, “They were saved because the Son of God took their nature and died for them.”
“How wonderful! How wonderful!” his friend will answer.
This will be news full of astonishment even to the best instructed celestial mind.
Spirits will look at us with wonder and say, “What strange beings are these? Others are the work of God’s hands, but these are the fruit of the travail of His soul. On others we see the marks of Divine skill and power; but here we see the tokens of a Divine sacrifice; a Divine blood-shedding!” 1
THAT MAGIC NAME!
from Bonar’s book, “THE NIGHT OF WEEPING”
God has many names for His people.
He calls them His flock, which implies tender watchfulness on His part, and dependent helplessness on theirs.
He calls them a vine, denoting their oneness, as well as the unceasing nourishment that is ever circulating
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through them from the parent stem.
He calls them a temple, signifying their compactness of structure, symmetry of design, beauty of form, and above all, fitness for the inhabitation and worship of Jehovah.
He calls them a body, to set forth, not merely their lovely proportions, but their marvelous unity and conscious vitality of being, as well as the closeness of the binding tie, and their various serviceableness to each other.
He calls them a city, intimating their happy community of privileges and rights and well ordered government; the security, peace, abundance which they enjoy, the comforts of neighborhood with all its cheerful greetings and mutual offices of love.
He calls them a kingdom, as expressive of their high and honorable estate, of the royalty, the glory, the dominion, of which they have been made the heirs.
But it is that well known word, that magic name— family—which alone can express all that God sees of what is lovely and tender, loving and lovable in the Church of Christ into which He is pouring His love through which He delights to see that love circulate unhindered, and out of which He expects that love to flow abroad.
The family of God—as such He dwells in the midst of it, cares for it, and watches over it.
His dealings with it are those of a father; fond yet strict; loving yet wise; sitting among His children, having His eye on each, and ordering in His gracious wisdom all the concerns of His household.
His heart is there! Yes, it is in His family that God’s heart may be said specially to be.
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There it unfolds itself in a way such as it can do amid no other order of His creatures. There it shows itself in all its manifold fullness such as it has no scope for elsewhere. It is in the family alone that the one thing we call affection or love is divided and spread out, like a sunbeam into the rainbow’s sevenfold hues, there to display itself in all the rich tints of hidden beauty.
So it is in His family alone that the love of God is fully seen, not merely in all its intensity, but in all its varied riches. All kinds of love are unfolded there.
DO YOU UNDERSTAND THIS?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE MESSAGES OF OUR LORD’S LOVE”
Do you know what communion with Christ is?
Or are you altogether taken up with doctrines about Him, or with ceremonies that concern Him? If so, yours is a poor life.
The joy of the Christian life is to know and to speak with and to dwell with the Lord Jesus.
Do you understand this?
I charge you, do not be satisfied until you come to personal and intimate fellowship with your Lord.
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THE GREAT HEARTBREAKER!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “PETER’S RESTORATION”
Love is the great heartbreaker.
Immutable love is that Divine hammer which breaks the rock in pieces.
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Though a man should have sinned himself into great hardness of heart, yet almighty love can soften him.
Who can resist the charms of the measureless and unchanging love of Christ? Sharper than a sword is His look of love. More fierce than coals of juniper are the flames of His love.
THE WAY TO SPIRITUAL WEALTH
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “PETER AFTER HIS RESTORATION”
Communion with Christ is the happiest life.
If you gained all the world and did not lose your soul but only lost the light of Christ’s countenance for a few days, you would have made a poor bargain.
There is Heaven in every glance of His eye! There is infinite joy in every word of His mouth when He speaks comfortably to His servants.
Do not go away from Him.
Abide in Christ and let His Words abide in you.
Closer, closer, closer—this is the way to spiritual wealth!
To follow afar off and live at a distance from Christ, even if it does not make your soul perish, yet it will wither up your joys and make you feel an unhappy man, an unhappy woman.
THE ONLY PERMANENT SOLUTION
Paul Ferrie
There is no hope for this world apart from Jesus Christ and the salvation which is in Him. Sin is what keeps us
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in the mess we are in. Sin is what brings God’s judgment and condemnation upon man. The only permanent solution is Jesus Christ. Only He can change people from the inside out. And once they are changed in the very core of their being by the Gospel, they will have new desires, new goals, and new behaviors.
PERPETUAL LOVE!
from Henry Law’s book, “THE GOSPEL IN EXODUS”
Believer, Jesus’ love towards you is perpetual.
He loved you first when, in the councils of eternity, He received you into His heart.
He loved you truly when, in the fullness of time, He took upon Himself your curse, and drained your hell- deep dues.
He loved you tenderly when He showed you, by the Spirit, His hands and His feet, and whispered to you that you were His.
He loves you faithfully while He ceases not to intercede in your behalf, and to scatter blessings on your person and your soul.
He will love you intensely in heaven when you are manifested as His purchase and crowned as His bride.
Drink hourly of this cup of His love.
Do not raise the objection, if He thus loves me, why am I thus? Why is my path so rugged, and my heart like flint?
You will soon know that your bitterest trials and your sorest pains are sure tokens of His love.
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The father corrects because he loves. In anxious care the physician deeply probes the wounds.
Thus Jesus makes earth hard, that you may long for heaven’s holy rest.
He shows you your self-vileness that you may prize His cleansing blood.
He allows you to stumble that you may cleave more closely to His side.
He makes the world a blank that you may seek all comfort in Himself.
He hides His face that you may look towards Him. He is silent, that you may cry more loudly.
He saves from real hell, by casting into seeming hell.
But His love fails not. All His dealings are love’s everflowing, overflowing tide.
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MIGHTY LOVE!
from Henry Law’s book, “THE GOSPEL IN EXODUS”
Reader, fix your eye on Bethlehem’s manger.
A lowly Babe lies in the lowly cradle of a lowly town, the offspring of a lowly mother.
Look again! That child is the eternal “I AM!”
He, whom no infinitudes can hold, is contained within infant’s age, and infant’s form. Can it be, that the great “I AM THAT I AM” shrinks into our flesh?
It is so!
The Lord promised it. Prophets foretold it. Types prefigured it.
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An angel announces it.
Heaven rings with rapture at it. Faith sees it.
The redeemed rejoice in it.
But why is this wonder of wonders? Why is eternity’s Lord a child of time?
He thus stoops, that He may save poor wretched sinners such as we are.
He must die, as man, that lost souls may live. To rescue from the stain of sin, the Eternal must take the sinner’s place, and bear sin’s curse and pay sin’s debt, and suffer sin’s penalty, and wash out sin’s filth, and atone for sin’s malignity.
Jesus alone could do this. Jesus alone has done it.
What self-denial! What self-abasement! What self-emptying!
Mighty love moves Jesus to despise all shame, and to lie low in misery’s lowest mire.
He humbles Himself to earth, that specks of earth may rise to heaven’s immortality.
Believer, do not you feel that the crowning ecstasy is in this? Eternity alone will afford you time to gaze with steady look on your Savior’s glories, to sing with unwearied hymn your Savior’s praise, to bless with perpetual blessing your Savior’s name, and to learn with ever-expanding knowledge your Savior’s worth.
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FOOLOSOPHY!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “MY OWN PERSONAL HOLDFAST”
The history of philosophy is the history of fools! All the sets of philosophers that have lived have been more successful in contradicting those who came before them, than in anything else.
Within a few years the evolutionists will be cut in pieces by some new dreamers.
The reigning philosophers of the present period have in them so much of the spirit of insaneness that they will be a perpetual subject of contempt.
And I venture to prophesy that before my head shall lie in the grave, there will hardly be a notable man left who will not have washed his hands of the present theory.
That which is taught today for a certainty by ‘our sages’ will soon have been so disproved as to be trodden down as the mire in the streets.
The Lord’s truth lives and reigns, but man’s inventions are but for an hour.
I am no prophet, nor the son of a prophet. But as I have lived to see marvelous changes in the dogmas of philosophy, and I expect to see still more. See how they have shifted.
According to modern thinkers, what is true on Monday may be false on Tuesday. And what is certain on Wednesday may be our duty to doubt on a Thursday, and so on, world without end.
Every change of the moon sees a change in the teaching of the new philosophy. A good stout hypothesis in the old times served a man for a hobbyhorse for twenty
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years. But nowadays their sorry jades hardly last twenty months.
The smallest promise of God is worth more than all that ever has been taught, or ever shall be taught, by skeptical philosophers! Let God be true but every man a liar. God is true and on His Word we build our confidence.
The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight to life… The laws of the Lord are true; each one is altogether righteous. They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. Psalm 19:8-10 1
A NEAT COVER FOR FOUL VENOM
Spurgeon
Morality is a neat cover for foul venom, but it does not alter the fact that the heart is vile, and the man himself is under damnation. Men will be damned with good works as well as without them, if they make them their confidence.
ALL YOUR SECRET ABOMINATIONS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“PLAIN DIRECTIONS TO THOSE WHO WOULD BE SAVED FROM SIN”
“The ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord; and He ponders all his goings.” Proverbs 5:21
God is everywhere present, at all times. He has seen all your evil ways. No night is so dark as to hide from His eyes. No chamber so retired as to shut Him out. He has even read your thoughts and imaginations. He notes all and forgets nothing. All things are ever present to Him.
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The days of your youth and the years of your manhood lie open before Him like a book.
If you could but realize that God is there, how could you dare to sin before His very eyes?
Will you sin in God’s presence? Can you blaspheme Him to His face? Will you disobey Him while His eyes are fixed upon you?
Remember that this God, who is everywhere, and sees everything, is your Judge.
He is pure and holy and cannot bear iniquity. He is angry with the wicked every day and will surely visit them for their transgressions. Every sinful act shall have its recompense of reward.
God is almighty. He has but to will it and the strongest of us would be crushed more easily than a moth.
There is no escaping from the Lord. Neither the heights of Carmel nor the depths of the sea could afford shelter for a fugitive from the Lord. Neither can any resist Him, for none have any power apart from Him. You have heard His thunder, and trembled at the bolts of His lightning. Behold how dreadful is God in His wrath!
How dare you sin against a God so great! Trifle not, for the Judge is at the door!
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SECRET WICKEDNESS!
from Jonathan Edwards’ sermon, “THE FINAL JUDGMENT”
Some of you live in secret wickedness. Consider that for all these things, God will bring you into judgment. Secrecy is your temptation. Promising yourselves this,
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you practice many things, you indulge many lusts, under the covert of darkness, and in secret corners, which you would be ashamed to do in the light of the sun, and before the world.
All your secret abominations are even now perfectly known to God, and will also hereafter be made known both to angels and men.
Before this Judge shall be brought the most “hidden things of darkness, and even the counsels of the heart.” 1 Corinthians 4:5.
All your secret uncleanness,
all your secret fraud and injustice,
all your lascivious desires, wishes, and designs,
all your inward covetousness, which is idolatry,
all your malicious, envious, and revengeful thoughts
and purposes,
whether brought forth into practice or not, shall then be made manifest, and you shall be judged according to them.
“For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatever you have spoken in darkness, shall be heard in the light: and that which you have spoken in the ear in closets, shall be proclaimed upon the house tops.” Luke 12:2-3.
Consider, that there is a God in heaven who beholds you, and sees how you conduct yourself.
Justice shall assuredly take place at last.
God on the day of judgment, will reveal the secrets of all hearts. The judgment of that day will be like the fire, which burns up whatever is not true gold. Wood, hay, stubble, and dross, shall be all consumed by the scorching fire of that day.
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The Judge will be like a refiner’s fire, and fuller’s soap, which will cleanse away all filthiness, however it may be colored over.
“Who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appears? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap. For behold the day comes that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yes, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble, and the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 3:2; 4:1
THE FIERCENESS AND WRATH OF ALMIGHTY GOD!
from Jonathan Edwards’ sermon, “SINNERS IN ZION TENDERLY WARNED”
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens will disappear with a roar, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” 2 Peter 3:10
The heat of that great fire which will burn the world, will be such as to melt the rocks, and the very ground, and turn them into a kind of liquid fire, so that the whole world will probably be converted into a great lake, or liquid globe of fire, a vast ocean of fire, in which the wicked shall be tossed to and fro, having no rest day nor night, vast waves or billows of fire continually rolling over their heads.
But all this will be only an image of that dreadful fire of the wrath of God, which the wicked shall at the same time suffer in their souls.
We read in Rev. 19:15 of “the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” This is an extraordinary expression, carrying a terrible idea of the future misery of the wicked.
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If it had been only said “of the wrath of God,” that would have expressed what is dreadful.
If the wrath of a king be as the roaring of a lion, what is the wrath of God? But it is not only said the wrath of God, but the fierceness and wrath of God, or the rage of His wrath; and not only so, but the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
O what is that! the fierceness and rage and fury of Omnipotence! of a being of infinite strength! What an idea does that give of the state of those worms that suffer the fierceness and wrath of such an Almighty Being!
THE FIRE OF GOD’S ANGER
by Thomas Vincent
The fire of God’s anger before it breaks forth into so vehement a flame may now be quenched by the blood of Jesus Christ; and the fire of hell may be prevented. But hereafter it will be too late. No sacrifice will be accepted then to appease God’s wrath, and if all the waters of the sea could be poured upon the flames of hell fire, they could not put them out. This fire will be ever burning, and the damned will be ever tormented therein. Extremity and eternity are the two most bitter ingredients of the damned’s torments. Who can set forth the eternity of the wicked’s punishment in hell fire? This eternity is immeasurable. It is incomprehensible.
How long will eternity last? Always.
When will eternity end? Never.
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As long as heaven shall continue to be heaven, and God shall continue to be God, and the saints shall be happy in the enjoyment of God; so long shall the wicked be tormented in the fire of hell. We may apprehend the everlastingness of this fire of hell, but we cannot comprehend it.
SHUT YOUR MOUTH!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “GRACE ABOUNDING OVER ABOUNDING SIN”
There will be no seeking after divine grace where there is no sense of sin.
We may preach until we are hoarse, but you ‘good’ people who are not guilty of doing anything wrong, will never care for our message of mercy.
Oh, that you felt your sins!
Oh, that you knew your need of forgiveness!
There can be no giving of divine grace where there is no guilt. There can be no ‘mercy’ where there is no sin.
There can be ‘justice,’ but there cannot be ‘mercy’ unless there is an owning of criminality.
If you think you are not a sinner, God cannot have mercy upon you.
If you have never sinned, God cannot display pardoning grace towards you for there is nothing to pardon.
You are not in a position for Him to display free grace to you until your mouth is shut and you sit down in dust and ashes, silently owning that you deserve nothing at His hands but infinite displeasure.
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Confess that whatever He gives you that is good and gracious must be given freely to one who deserves nothing.
Only the ‘self condemned’ shall be forgiven through the precious blood of Jesus and the sovereign grace of God.
You are in such a condition that only the free, rich, sovereign grace of God can save you!
The sound of the silver bells of infinite love, free pardon, and abounding grace should make you hasten to the hospital of mercy that you may receive healing for your sinfulness, strength for your feebleness and joy for your sorrow.
THE HUMBLEST, POOREST, AND
MOST DESPISED CHILD OF GOD.
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “FAITH & ITS ATTENDANT PRIVILEGE”
Note the inconceivable honor of being a child of God! Ah, if all the degrees, dignities, honors, and titles that were ever conferred by men could be put in a heap, they would not make enough of real honor to be seen by a microscope; compared with the glory that belongs to the humblest, poorest, and most despised child of God.
WHY DO YOU NOT OBEY HIM IN ALL THINGS?
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“ABRAM’S CALL, OR, HALFWAY AND ALL THE WAY”
Some true believers are depriving themselves of the richest joy and the most heavenly experience by their compromising conduct.
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To obey the Lord partially is to disobey Him. The essence of obedience lies in its exactness. Half obedience is whole disobedience.
We must obey the Lord’s command as it stands in all its fullness. To alter His word is as great a treason as to make erasures in a king’s statute book. It is ‘will worship’ and not God worship, if I do only what I like of the Lord’s work and leave a part undone which does not please me quite so well.
Why do you not obey Him in all things?
You call Jesus your Lord and do some of the things which He says but why not the rest? Is it not clear that you know your Master’s will and do it not?
Oh, that we would be tender of heart and not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding! Whips and rods would seldom be felt if we were more promptly obedient.
It is our duty to follow the Lord’s precept and example with great care and solemn determination, turning neither to the right hand nor to the left.
Have you endeavored to fully obey Jesus?
We are to flee all sin without exception, and follow after everything that is pure and holy.
Others wallow in what they call the pleasures of sin. Abhor such things and protest against them.
Shun, also, everything that is doubtful. For, “whatever is not of faith is sin.” If you are not sure it is right, it is sin to you.
Avoid the appearance of evil.
Separate yourself from all that which Christ would have disapproved.
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Be ‘whole hearted’ for Jesus.
Make it your object to abhor that which is evil and to cleave to that which is good.
Be dead and buried to this present evil world with its frivolities, philosophies and grandeurs. Regard the world as crucified to you and be yourself crucified to it.
BORN AGAIN?
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“PLAIN DIRECTIONS TO THOSE WHO WOULD BE SAVED FROM SIN”
If you have been truly born again you have a new and holy nature, and you are no longer moved towards sinful objects as you were before.
The things that you once loved you now hate, and therefore you will not run after them.
You can hardly understand it but so it is, that your thoughts and tastes are radically changed.
You long for that very holiness which once it was irksome to hear of; and you loathe those vain pursuits which were once your delights.
The man who puts his trust in the Lord sees the pleasures of sin in a new light.
For he sees the evil which follows them by noting the agonies which they brought upon our Lord when He bore our sins in His own body on the tree.
Without faith a man says to himself, “This sin is a very pleasant thing, why should I not enjoy it? Surely I may eat this fruit, which looks so charming and is so much to be desired.”
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The flesh sees honey in the drink, but faith at once perceives that there is poison in the cup. Faith spies the snake in the grass and gives warning of it.
Faith remembers death, judgment, the great reward, the just punishment and that dread word, eternity.
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A CLEAN PATH TO HELL
Spurgeon
There is a clean path to hell, as well as a dirty one. You will be lost if you trust to your good works, as surely as if you trusted in your sins. There is a road to perdition along the ‘highway of morality,’ as surely as down the ‘slough of vice.’
OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“DRIVING OUT THE CANAANITES AND THEIR IRON CHARIOTS”
Any pretense of friendship with iniquity is mischievous. If you are a friend of sin, you are not a friend of God.
All sorts of sins are our enemies and we are to hate them with our whole soul. If you can say of any sin, “I do not hate it,” then you may gravely question whether you were ever born again.
One of the marks of a child of God is that, although he sins, he does not ‘love’ sin. He may ‘fall’ into sin but he is like a sheep which, if it tumbles into the mud, is quickly up again; for it hates the mire. The sow wallows where the sheep is distressed. Now we are not the swine that love the slough, though we are as sheep that sometimes slip with their feet.
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What a misery sin is to us! Every sin hates us and we hate every sin.
There is no beauty in sin.
There is no comfort in sin.
There is no strength in sin.
There is nothing whatever good in sin.
From the crown of its head to the sole of its foot, sin is all bruises and putrefying sores. Sin is evil, only evil and that continually. It will do you all the hurt it can.
It will never be satisfied with the mischief that it has worked in you. It will try to lead you farther and farther into danger so as to bring you down to Hell.
Sin would utterly destroy you if it could and it certainly could and would, if the grace of God did not prevent it.
Proclaim, then, a ceaseless warfare against all sin. Cry, “War to the knife with sin!”
We must drive sin out!
Sin is a powerful enemy; and if you are a child of God, you will have to fight against it. Every sin has to be slaughtered. Not a single sin is to be tolerated. Off with their heads! Drive the sword into their hearts! They are all to die! Not one of them may be spared!
The whole race is to be exterminated and so buried that not a bone of them can be found.
Here is a labor worthy of all the valor of faith and the power of love. They must all be driven out, for every sin is our enemy. Every sin, every evil, of every shape, is our true enemy; against which we are to wrestle to the bitter end.
You cannot say to any sin, “You may dwell in my heart and be my friend.” It cannot be your friend; evil is our
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natural and necessary enemy and we must treat it as such.
Your sins war with you; take care that you war with them. Up with the blood-red banner! Draw the sword and never sheath it again. So long as sin remains in our heart, or in our life, or in the world, it is to be fought against to the death.
Sin is our Lord’s most cruel enemy. All sorts of sins He bore in His own body on the tree. From our sins, all of which were laid upon Him, came the lashings of His back, when the whip plowed deep furrows. From our sins came the bloody sweat that covered Him from head to foot. From our sins came the crown of thorns, the nails, the spear, the vinegar and gall and the dread death of agony.
Sin! Oh, how our Lord loathes it! “He who knew no sin was made sin for us…” It was sin that caused Him such an agony. Sin to Jesus was horror, torment, death. Jesus abhors sin with all the force of His holy nature.
Saved by Jesus, will you not hate sin as He did? Would any person here lay up in his drawer as a treasure, the knife with which his father was murdered?
Our sins were the daggers that slew the Savior! Can we bear to think of them? Oh, that our tears might flow at the very thought of our horrible conduct towards our Lord, whom we slew by our sins; and may we never, never, never indulge any of all our iniquities; for no one of them is innocent of the murder of our best Beloved. They conspired to take away His life. Let us execute them at once!
“Oh, how I hate those lusts of mine
That crucified my God;
Those sins that pierced and nailed His flesh Fast to the fatal wood!
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“Yes, my Redeemer, they shall die; My heart has so decreed;
Nor will I spare the guilty things That made my Savior bleed.
“While with a melting, broken heart, My murdered Lord I view,
I’ll raise revenge against my sins, And slay the murderers, too.”
We cannot have Christ, and have one sin ‘reigning’ in our hearts. Sin may ‘lurk’ in our nature, as it does, ready to plot against the King of kings. But it cannot ‘reign’ in our nature, for it has come under another sovereignty; Christ is on the throne.
Our Lord Jesus will not share His dominion even with an angel; much less with a sin. If you have iniquity ‘enthroned’ in your heart you must be lost.
You may have Christ and leave your sin. But you cannot have Christ and hug your sin.
Christ shall help you to slay your sin. But if you say, “No, but I will indulge this evil; is it not a little one?” you will perish in your iniquity.
If there is one darling sin that you would spare, Christ and your soul will never agree. There can be no peace between you and Christ while there is peace between you and sin.
“The dearest idol I have known, Whate’er that idol be,
Help me to tear it from its throne, And worship only Thee.”
Sins of all sorts must go when divine grace takes possession of the soul.
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Bring out the ‘golden’ calf! This costly idol must be ground to powder and strewn upon the water. The ‘golden’ calf is as detestable before the Lord as the most beggarly gods of ‘wood.’ One form of enmity to God is as obnoxious to His Law as another.
Sin in satin is as great a rebel as sin in rags. You may wash sin in perfume but it smells none the sweeter.
You cannot be free from sin if you are the ‘slave’ of even one sin. As long as a man is held a captive by a single vice; no matter how small it is; he is still in bondage to iniquity and under the dominion of evil.
Down with them all!
They must all be conquered, every one. Not one single sin must be allowed to occupy the love of our heart and the throne of our nature.
Certain sins are very hard to deal with. They fight back and seem to have as many lives as a cat. There is no killing them. When you think that you have slain them, they are up and at you again.
These sins are sometimes those which have gained their power through long habit. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?” No, he never shall, but the grace of God can. The grace of God has taken all the spots out of many leopards and all the black out of crowds of Ethiopians.
But occasionally old, ‘deep-seated habits’ come up again from their graves by a hideous resurrection. Terrible is the power of habit which has long held sway. It is not easy to uproot the oak of many a year’s growth. These habits make chariots of iron into which our sins mount and they become terrible enemies to our holy desires and fervent resolves.
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You must not say of any sin, “I cannot help it.” You have to help it. You must not say, “Oh but it is natural to me.” I know that it is natural; that is the very reason why you have to be doubly on your guard against it.
Everything that is of nature; yes, and of your fallen nature when it is at its best; has to be put under the feet of Christ that Divine Grace may reign over every form of evil.
Certain sins are supposed to be irresistible. It is a sad calamity when a Christian says, “I can keep straight in everything except that. Do not touch me there. You must allow me a great deal of latitude in that direction. Please make large allowances for my peculiar constitution.” All such pleading is mischievous.
I beseech you, do not make any allowance for yourself. I implore you, do not take out a license to sin. For you to make an allowance for yourself will be most injurious to your soul.
You have to overcome and destroy the sin for which you claim toleration. Mark that! You must not; you dare not; allow ANY sin to ‘master’ you! And if it does overpower you, do not therefore claim that you may indulge it, but draw an inference of the opposite sort. Because it has mastered you, concentrate your entire strength upon its utter destruction.
Sin must come down; let not your eyes spare it. The Canaanite must be driven out; the finest and fairest of the race must fall by the sword.
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THE ONE TRUE RESTING PLACE!
from Horatius Bonar’s sermon, “WORDS TO WINNERS OF SOULS”
The one true resting place where doubt and weariness, the stings of an accusing conscience, and the longings of an unsatisfied soul can all be quieted, is Christ Himself.
Not the church, but Christ. Not doctrine, but Christ. Not forms, but Christ.
Not ceremonies, but Christ.
Christ, Christ alone is the vexed soul’s refuge, its rock to build on, its home to abide in till the great tempter be bound and every conflict ended in victory. It is not opinions that man needs: it is Truth.
It is not theology: it is God.
It is not religion: it is Christ.
It is not literature and science; but the knowledge of the free love of God in the gift of His only begotten Son.
All other things are but opiates, drugs, quackeries; this is the divine medicine; this is the sole, the speedy, the
eternal cure.
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TRUE FAITH!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE TRIAL OF YOUR FAITH”
True faith is, in every case, the operation of the Spirit of God. Its nature is purifying, elevating, heavenly.
Wherever true faith is found, it is…. the sure mark of eternal election, the sign of a blessed condition, and the forecast of a heavenly destiny.
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Faith is
the eye of the renewed soul,
the hand of the regenerated mind, the mouth of the newborn spirit.
Faith is
the evidence of spiritual life, the mainspring of holiness,
the foundation of delight,
the prophecy of glory, and
the dawn of endless knowledge.
If you have true faith, you have infinitely more than he who has all the world.
Faith is
the assurance of sonship;
the pledge of inheritance;
the grasp of boundless possession; the perception of the invisible.
Within your faith there lies glory, even as the oak sleeps within the acorn.
Time would fail me to tell of the powers,
the privileges,
the possessions and the prospects of faith.
He that has faith is blessed, for
he pleases God,
he is justified before the throne of holiness,
he has full access to the throne of grace, and he has the preparation for reigning with Christ
forever!
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THE INFINITE TENDERNESS OF JESUS!
by Spurgeon
“He will carry the lambs in His arms, holding them close to His heart.” Isaiah 40:11 (NLT)
“He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom.” Isaiah 40:11 (KJV)
Who is He of whom such gracious words are spoken? He is the good Shepherd. Why does He carry the lambs in His bosom? Because He has a tender heart, and any weakness at once melts His heart.
The sighs, the ignorance, the feebleness of the little ones of His flock draw forth His compassion.
He is considerate of the weak of His flock.
He purchased them with blood, they are His property: He must and will care for that which cost Him so dear.
He is responsible for each lamb, bound by covenant engagements not to lose one. They are all a part of His glory and reward.
“He carries the lambs in His bosom.” Here is boundless affection. Would He put them in His bosom if He did not love them much?
Here is tender nearness. So near are they, that they could not possibly be nearer.
Here is hallowed familiarity. There are precious ‘love passages’ between Christ and His weak ones.
Here is perfect safety. In His bosom who can hurt them? They must hurt the Shepherd first.
Here is perfect rest and sweetest comfort. Surely we are not sufficiently sensible of the infinite tenderness of
Jesus!
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ARE YOU SERIOUS!?
by Horatius Bonar
Our whole habits of thought, feeling, speaking, and doing, too much resemble the flippancies of a heedless, lighthearted world, whose maxim is, “let us eat, drink, and be merry.”
“In all things showing yourself an example of good works; in your teaching showing integrity, seriousness, incorruptibility.”
Titus 2:7
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I AM NOT MY OWN.
by Don Fortner
I am not my own.
I belong to the Son of God.
He chose me in everlasting love.
He made me for Himself.
He bought me with His own precious blood.
He saved me by His almighty grace.
He subdued my heart by His mercy and causes me to surrender myself voluntarily to His dominion.
I have nothing of my own.
I am His.
All that He has put into my hands; my time, my talents, my property, even my family, He has put into my hands to use for Him, His kingdom, His people, His glory.
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A CERTAIN CURE FOR EVERY ILL
by Spurgeon
“Abide in Me.” John 15:4
Communion with Christ is a certain cure for every ill.
Whether it be the wormwood of woe, or the cloying excess of earthly delight, close fellowship with the Lord Jesus will take bitterness from the one, and satiety from the other.
Live near to Jesus, Christian, and it is matter of secondary importance whether you live on the mountain of honor or in the valley of humiliation.
Living near to Jesus, you are covered with the wings of God, and underneath you are the everlasting arms.
Let nothing keep you from that hallowed communion, which is the choice privilege of a soul wedded to the ‘well beloved.’
Do not be content with an interview now and then, but seek always to retain His company, for only in His presence have you either comfort or safety.
Jesus should not be unto us a friend who calls upon us now and then, but one with whom we walk evermore.
You have a difficult road before you: see, O traveler to heaven, that you go not without your Guide.
You have to pass through the fiery furnace; enter it not unless, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you have the Son of God to be your companion.
You have to storm the Jericho of your own corruptions: attempt not the warfare until, like Joshua, you have seen the Captain of the Lord’s host, with His sword drawn in His hand.
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You are to meet the Esau of your many temptations: meet him not until at Jabbok’s brook you have laid hold upon the angel, and prevailed.
In every case, in every condition, you will need Jesus; but most of all, when the iron gates of death shall open to you.
Keep you close to your soul’s Husband, lean your head upon His bosom, ask to be refreshed with the spiced wine of His pomegranate, and you shall be found of Him at the last, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.
Seeing you have lived with Him, and lived in Him here, you shall abide with Him forever.
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A FILTHY AND DEFORMED THING!
by Spurgeon
Is it not delightful to look forward to the time when every stain of sin shall be removed from the believer, and he shall be presented faultless before the throne, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing?
The Church of Christ then will be so pure, that not even the eye of Omniscience will see a spot or blemish in her!
Oh, what a marvelous salvation!
Christ takes a worm and transforms it into an angel.
He takes a filthy and deformed thing and makes it clean and matchless in His glory, peerless in His beauty, and fit to be the companion of seraphs!
O my soul, stand and admire this marvelous salvation!
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SHAM DIFFICULTIES!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “NATHANIEL, THE MAN NEEDED FOR THE DAY”
The objections which most unsaved people raise are not their real objections, but only pretended difficulties to hide their real reasons for opposition.
Most scorn Christ because they do not want to give up their sin!
They pick up some technical question; some difficulty raised by geology or evolution, or something or other, and they make a fuss over it; while the real impediment is that they are living an unclean life and do not want to give up their evil ways!
This is where the true difficulty lies.
But they do not care to mention the real impediment to their coming to Christ, and therefore they pretend that they are the victims of some awful mystery, or terrible dogma which frightens them out of their salvation.
We know the bugbears which these deceivers set up. They deceive themselves more than they deceive anybody else.
He is the sincere seeker who does not play at sham difficulties but who speaks out at once and tells what the point is that hinders him from coming to Christ.
Alas, men do not find Jesus, for there is deceit in their hearts and they do not really desire to find Him. They do not really want to know Him, and so they remain ignorant.
Let there be no trifling, no mocking God.
In the Last Great Day, when that curtain shall be drawn back which hides from our eyes all souls that are lost; if we are permitted to look into that dreadful place; we
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shall not find there a soul that ever sincerely cried to God for mercy through Jesus.
Hell is filled through that deceitfulness of the natural heart which will not let them receive Jesus and His salvation. They blind their own eyes to the light of God.
“…the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light, and doesn’t come to the light, for fear that his works would be reproved.” John 3:19- 20
THE MOST PROMINENT OBJECT IN HEAVEN
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE LAMB IN GLORY”
“Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne.”
Jesus, in His ‘sacrificial’ character, is the most prominent object in heaven. So far from ‘substitution’ being done with, and laid aside as a temporary expedient, it remains the object of universal wonder and adoration. In all His present glory, Jesus disdains not to appear as the Lamb that has been slain. This still is His chosen character. Jesus, as the Lamb, is the center of the wonderful circle which makes up the fellowship of heaven. As the Lamb slain, He is the object of heavenly worship.
He who became a Lamb that He might take away the sin of the world, is not ashamed of His humiliation, but still manifests it to adoring myriads, and is, for that very reason, the very object of their enthusiastic worship. They worship the Lamb that sits upon the throne and say, “Worthy is the Lamb,” because He was slain and redeemed His people by His blood. His
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atoning sacrifice is the great reason for their deepest reverence and their highest adoration.
The doctrine of Atonement is the first and foremost teaching of Scripture, the greatest well of the believer’s comfort, the highest hill of God’s glory.
Rev. 5:12 In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”
Rev. 7:17 “For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
O SINNER!
adapted from Jonathan Edwards
O sinner! The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: His wrath towards you burns like fire; He looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; He is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in His sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in His eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours.
O sinner! You have offended Him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but His hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment.
O sinner! It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you were allowed to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep; and there is no other reason to be given, why
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you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God’s hand has held you up.
O sinner! There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking His pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending His solemn worship.
O sinner! Yes, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell.
O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in!
O sinner! It is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell.
O sinner! You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment.
THE WHEELS OF DIVINE JUSTICE GRIND SLOWLY
by Don Fortner
The wheels of divine justice grind slowly; but they grind to powder.
Be warned! There is a day of reckoning to come. Soon you too must do business with God Himself. The God of the Bible is the God of Justice and of Judgment.

  1. The Judgment of God is Sure. –148–
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  2. The Judgment of God will be Sudden.
  3. The Judgment of God is Just.
  4. The Judgment of God is Endless.
  5. The Judgment of God will Cause No Sorrow to the Redeemed. (Rev. 19:1-6).
  6. Your Religion will not save you from the Judgment of God (Matt. 7:22-23).
  7. The Only One who can save you from the Judgment of God is Jesus, who bore the Judgment of God for Sinners!
    FORM OR POWER?
    from Spurgeon’s sermon,
    “THE FORM OF GODLINESS WITHOUT THE POWER”
    “Having a form of godliness but denying its power.” 2 Timothy 3:5.
    A mere form of godliness joined to an unholy heart is of no value to God.
    The swan, although its feathers are as white as snow, yet its skin is black.
    God will not accept that ‘external morality’ which conceals ‘internal impurity.’ There must be a pure heart as well as a clean life.
    The power of godliness must work within, or else God will not accept our offering.
    There is no value to man or to God in a religion which is a dead form.
    Sad is that man’s plight who wears the name of Christian but has never been quickened by the Holy Spirit.
    There is no use in a mere formal religion. If your religion is without spiritual life, what is the use of it?
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Could you ride home on a dead horse? Would you hunt with dead dogs?
Is false religion any better?
In the depth of winter, can you warm yourself before a ‘painted fire’?
Could you dine off the ‘picture of a feast’ when you are hungry?
There must be vitality and substantiality, or else the form is utterly worthless; and worse than worthless, for it may flatter you into deadly self conceit.
How shameful will such a fruitless, lifeless professor be in eternity, when the secrets of all hearts shall be revealed! What shame and everlasting contempt will await him when his falsehood shall be detected, and his baseness shall fill all holy minds with horror!
What will be the hell of the false professor! “Having a form of godliness but denying its power.”
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CHRISTIAN, SHALL I TELL YOU A SECRET?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “GOD’S OWN GOSPEL CALL”
Christian, shall I tell you a secret? Before you were born, and before this round world was made, the Lord thought of you. Your name was in His book. You were on His heart. The Lord loved you, and chose you unto Himself before the beginning of time. Do you hear that? You are His elect. He ordained you to eternal life, and that life He freely gives.
Shall I tell you further of that secret? He gave you to His Son, to be His portion, His reward, His Bride; and
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that divine Son undertook to redeem you, to save you, and to bring you safely to His eternal glory!
He has made you His child; and, as His child, you shall be an heir of God, a joint heir with Jesus Christ!
You think yourself to be the lowest of the low, and least deserving of men, and so you may be. But the infinite grace of God will put you among the royal children; for He takes the beggar from the ash heap and sets him among princes, even the princes of His people.
The Lord determines to do nothing less for you than to set you on His throne, in the image of Christ, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing!
Oh that you would learn how deep the mines of Jehovah’s love, and how high the blessings of His favor!
I, an unworthy sinner, shall dwell with the Lord God in the glory!
I am a monument of grace, a trophy of all-conquering
love!
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HOLY AMAZEMENT AT HIS UNSPEAKABLE LOVE!
John Owen
We are never nearer Christ than when we find ourselves lost in a holy amazement at His unspeakable
love.
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A LOVE SURPASSING THOUGHT!
by Spurgeon
If we are children of God, we are dearly beloved by God. Did you ever try to get that thought into your mind, that God loves you?
–151–

I can understand that God ‘pities’ me; that is a feeling which so vastly superior a being might well feel to so inferior an existence.
But that He loves me is scarcely conceivable, although it is most sure and certain.
Who can drink this well dry? Who can bear home this fruitful sheaf of delights, this purple cluster of Eshcol?
Children of God are loved by their Father with a love surpassing thought!
As His children, we have access to God at all hours, the Father’s door is never locked against His much loved children.
Our cry He knows even as a father knows his child’s cry, from every other sound.
All our needs are provided for, and our Father’s loving heart watches over all our wanderings, and forgives all
our offenses.
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THE DYING LOVE OF THE LAMB!
by Don Fortner
Nothing in all the universe is more wonderful and magnificent in the eyes of God than the death of His dear Son.
Never did the Father more fully love His Son than when He was heaping upon Him the fury of His wrath.
The death of our Lord Jesus Christ is the most wonderful, astounding, magnificent event in the history of the universe. Nothing that is, has been, or shall hereafter be, can be compared to it.
–152–

He was suffering the wrath of God, bearing the sins of His people, dying as the voluntary Substitute for guilty, hell deserving, hell bent sinners such as we are.
Redeemed sinners on the earth cherish nothing, delight in nothing, marvel at nothing, like we do the death of our Lord Jesus Christ for us.
The ransomed in glory appear to think of nothing and speak of nothing except the dying love of the Lamb in the midst of the throne.
May we become so totally consumed with the crucified Christ, that our hearts, our lives, every fiber of our souls may be constantly dominated by the death of Christ as our sin atoning Savior!
YOUR BELOVED?
by Henry Mahan
Every soul has a beloved; something or someone in which to glory, rejoice, and enjoy.
With some it is the world (its vanity, materialism, and honors).
With others it is the flesh. They live to entertain the flesh, to satisfy the flesh, and to pamper the flesh.
With others it is the family. Close and distant relatives, family trees, family reunions make up their past, present, and future.
With others it is religion and works of righteousness. Their religion is not a person; it is a cause to which they are devoted in hope of a suitable reward.
And with some it is self, pure and simple; what can we do for me?
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To a believer, it is Christ! He worships, loves, rejoices, and glories in the Lord Jesus above all things.
Christ is my Beloved and I am His.
Christ; His fellowship, His love, and His approval, are preferred above people, possessions, pleasures, or pursuits. Could One so illustrious and supreme deserve any less? “Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside You!” Psalm 73:25.
A LIQUID PETITION
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “JESUS WEPT”
No prayer will ever prevail with God more surely than a liquid petition, which, being distilled from the heart, trickles from the eye, and waters the cheek. Then is God won when He hears the voice of your weeping. If you want to win in prayer, you must weep in prayer. Let your soul arouse itself to eager desire, and trouble itself to anguish, and then you will prevail. “Jesus wept” to teach us how to baptize our prayers unto God in a wave of heart grief.
THE GREAT COMMANDMENT
by Thomas Watson
“You shall love the Lord your God with ALL your heart.” God will have the whole heart.
We must not divide our love between Him and sin.
The true mother would not have the child divided, nor will God have the heart divided; it must be the whole heart.
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We must love God for Himself, for His own intrinsic excellencies.
We must love Him for His loveliness. It is a harlot’s love to love the pay more than the person.
Hypocrites love God because He gives them food and wine: we must love God for Himself; for those shining perfections which are in Him.
Love to God must be active in its sphere. Love is an industrious affection; it sets the head studying for God, hands working, and feet running in the ways of His commandments.
It is called the labor of love. 1 Thessalonians 1:1-3
Mary Magdalene loved Christ, and poured her ointments on Him. We think we never do enough for the person whom we love.
If we love God, our desire will be after Him.
He who loves God, breathes after communion with
Him. “My soul thirsts for the living God.”
People in love desire to be often together. He who loves
God, desires to be much in His presence.
He who loves God cannot find contentment in anything without Him. Lovers faint away if they have not a sight of the object loved.
A gracious soul can do without health, but cannot do without God.
If God should say to a soul that entirely loves Him, “Take your ease, swim in pleasure, solace yourself in the delights of the world; but you shall not enjoy My presence:” this would not content him.
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No, if God should say, “I will let you be taken up to heaven, but I will retire into another room, and you shall not see My face;” it would not content the soul.
It is hell to be without God!
There can be no golden joy in the soul without God’s sweet presence and influence.
He who loves God, weeps bitterly for His absence.
Mary comes weeping, “They have taken away my Lord.”
One cries, “My health is gone” another, “My estate is gone” but he who is a lover of God, cries out, “My God is gone! I cannot enjoy Him whom I love.” If Rachel mourned greatly for the loss of her children, what can shadow out the sorrow of that Christian who has lost God’s sweet presence?
Let us be persuaded to love God with all our heart and might. O let us take our love off from other things, and place it upon God!
Love is the heart of Christianity, the fat of the offering; it is the grace which Christ inquires most after. “Simon, do you love Me?” John 21:15
SINCERE, BUT SINCERELY WRONG!
by A. W. Pink
It is greatly to be feared that there are multitudes in Christendom who verily imagine and sincerely believe that they are among the saved, yet who are total strangers to a work of divine grace in their hearts.
It is one thing to have clear intellectual conceptions of God’s truth, it is quite another matter to have a personal, real heart acquaintance with it.
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It is one thing to believe that sin is the awful thing that the Bible says it is, but it is quite another matter to have a holy horror and hatred of it in the soul.
It is one thing to know that God requires repentance, it is quite another matter to experimentally mourn and groan over our vileness.
It is one thing to believe that Christ is the only Savior for sinners, it is quite another matter to really trust Him from the heart.
It is one thing to believe that Christ is the ‘sum of all excellency,’ it is quite another matter to LOVE HIM above all others.
It is one thing to believe that God is the great and holy One, it is quite another matter to truly reverence and fear Him.
It is one thing to believe that salvation is of the Lord, it is quite another matter to become an actual partaker of it through His gracious workings.
“YES, HE IS ALTOGETHER LOVELY!”
by Samuel Rutherford
“Yes, He is altogether lovely!” Song of Songs 5:16
Put the beauty of ten thousand thousand worlds of paradises, like the garden of Eden, into one; put in
all pleasant trees,
all pleasant flowers,
all pleasant smells,
all pleasant colors,
all pleasant tastes,
all joys,
all sweetness, and
all loveliness, together into one.
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Oh, what a lovely and excellent place that would be!
And yet it would be less in comparison to that lovely and dearest ‘Well Beloved,’ Christ, than one drop of rain to all the seas, rivers, lakes, and fountains of ten thousand earths. “Yes, He is altogether lovely.” Song of Songs 5:16
THE RELIGIOUS WORLD
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “GRACE FOR GRACE.”
The religious world is more dangerous by far than the sensual world; it wears the sheepskin, but it has all the fierceness of the wolf. Many who profess godliness
are tainted with the spirit of the world.
THE THRONE OF UNIVERSAL DOMINION!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE GOSPEL OF THE GLORY OF CHRIST”
He that once was hung upon the tree of shame now sits on the throne of universal dominion! Instead of the nail, behold the scepter of all worlds in His most blessed hand.
NATURE OF MAN & SIN
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “TRUTH STRANGER THAN FICTION”
Slaves of lust, pleasure, self, and Satan!
None toil harder than those who are the slaves of lust, pleasure, self, and Satan.
The way of transgressors is hard. –158–
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They have to toil and slave, and tug and strive; for the yoke of the world is not easy, and its burden is not light. But nothing comes of it; and this is the gall of the bitterness.
One does not mind working when there is good reward for it; but to plough and sow, and then to reap nothing, this is misery.
The wage sweetens the toil; but when the wages is death, the toil is horrible.
Yet this is the way of unregenerate men: they spend years in laboriously rebelling, and the harvest is not after their desire. They toil under the impulse of some strong desire, and their desire perishes. They work, they slave, but nothing comes of it.
The ungodly man, the man who has no faith in Christ, is often charmed with the prospect of a happiness which he never reaches.
A ‘little more,’ and he will be content.
He gets a little more; and this increases his thirst for yet another draught from the golden cup. Earth’s cups, when they seem most sweet, only hold brine draughts, which beget a growing thirst; an insatiable craving follows.
The years of sin are years of labor, and years of bitter
disappointment.
THE ONLY DIFFERENCE!
by Don Fortner
The only difference between those who are saved and those who are lost is the difference that grace has made!
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The only thing that distinguishes you who are saved from the multitudes who are damned is the grace of God.
Electing Grace! Redeeming Grace! Regenerating Grace! Preserving Grace!
“For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive?” 1 Corinthians 4:7. “But by the grace of God I am what I am….” 1 Corinthians 15:10.
THE GRACE OF GOD!
from Jonathan Edwards’ sermon,
“THE JUSTICE OF GOD IN THE DAMNATION OF SINNERS”
Christian, consider the freeness and wonderfulness of the grace of God towards yourself.
You had such a wicked heart, you lived such a wicked life, and it would have been most just with God to have cast you off forever. But He has had mercy upon you; He has made His glorious grace appear in your eternal salvation.
You had no love to God; but yet He has exercised unspeakable love to you.
You have despised God, and set light by Him; but so great a value has God’s grace set on you and your happiness, that you have been redeemed at the price of the blood of His own Son.
You chose to be with Satan in his service; but yet God has made you a joint heir with Christ of His glory.
You were ungrateful for past mercies; yet God not only continued those mercies, but bestowed unspeakably greater mercies upon you.
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You refused to hear when God called; yet God heard you when you called.
You abused the infiniteness of God’s mercy to encourage yourself in sin against Him; yet God has manifested the infiniteness of that mercy, in the exercises of it towards you.
You have rejected Christ, and set Him at nothing; and yet He is become your Savior.
You have neglected your own salvation; but God has not neglected it.
You would have destroyed yourself; but yet in God has been your help.
God has magnified His free grace towards you, and not to others; because He has chosen you, and it has pleased Him to set His love upon you.
Christian, you shall never open your mouth in boasting; but lie the lower before God for His mercy to you. You have abundant reasons to open your mouth in God’s praises, that they may be continually in your mouth, both here and to all eternity, for His rich, unspeakable, and sovereign mercy to you, whereby He, and He alone, has made you to differ from others.
FLY TO THE WORD OF GOD!
from Octavious Winslow’s book, “THE PRECIOUS THINGS OF GOD”
As a system of ‘consolation’ Christianity has no equal. No other religion in the wide world touches the hidden springs of the soul, or reaches the lowest depths of human sorrow, but the religion of Christ.
When your hearts have been overwhelmed, when adversity has wrapped you within its gloomy pall, when
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the broken billows of grief have swollen and surged around your soul, how have you fled to the Scriptures of truth for succor and support, for guidance and comfort! Nor have you repaired to them in vain. “The God of all comfort” is He who speaks in this Word, and there is no word of comfort like that which He speaks.
The adaptation of His truth to the varied, the peculiar and personal trials and sorrows of His Church, is one of the strongest proofs of its divinity. Take to the Word of God whatever sorrow you may, go with whatever mental beclouding, with whatever spirit sadness, with whatever heart grief; whatever be its character, its complexion, its depth unsurpassed in the history of human sorrow, there is consolation and support in the Word of God for your mind.
God will not leave you in trouble, but will sustain you in it, will bring you out of, and sanctify you by it, to the endless glory and praise of His great and precious name!
Christian mourner, let me once more direct your eye too dimmed perhaps by tears to behold this divine source of true, unfailing comfort. God’s Word is the book of the afflicted. Written to unfold the wondrous history of the “Man of Sorrows,” it would seem to have been equally written for you, O child of grief! God speaks to your sad and sorrowing heart from every page of this sacred volume, with words of comfort, loving, gentle, and persuasive as a mother’s. “As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you.”
The Bible is the opening of the heart of God. It is God’s heart unveiled, each throb inviting the mourner, the poor in spirit, the widow, the fatherless, the bereaved, the persecuted, the sufferer, yes, every child of affliction and grief to the asylum and sympathy, the protection and soothing of His heart. Oh, thank God
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for the comfort and consolation of the Scripture! Open it with what sorrow and burden and perplexity you may, be it the guilt of sin, the pressure of trial, or the corrodings of sorrow, it speaks to the heart such words of comfort as God only could speak.
Have you ever borne your grief to God’s Word, especially to the experimental Psalms of David, and not felt that it was written for that particular sorrow? You have found your grief more accurately portrayed, your state of mind more truly described, and your case more exactly and fully met, probably in a single history, chapter, or verse, than in all the human treatises that the pen of man ever wrote.
Fly to the Word of God, then, in every sorrow! You will know more of the mind and heart of God than you, perhaps, ever learned in all the schools before. Draw, then, O child of sorrow, your consolation from God’s Word. Oh, clasp this precious Word of comfort to your sorrowful heart, and exclaim, “It is mine! The Jesus of whom it speaks is mine, the salvation it reveals is mine, the promises it contains are mine, the heaven it unveils is mine, and all the consolation, comfort, and sympathy which wells up from these hidden springs, is MINE.”
SPIRITUAL JOY!
by Octavius Winslow
Spiritual joy is a holy, sensitive plant. It shrinks from the rude, ungentle touch; from every influence uncongenial with its heaven born nature. Watch it with sleepless vigilance; shield it with every hallowed defense.
There are many hostile influences to which it is exposed, any one of which will seriously injure it.
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Temptation courted, sin tampered with, worldliness indulged, the creature idolized, means of grace slighted, Christ undervalued.
Any one of these things will dampen your joy, and cause it to shrink, and compel it to retire.
But nothing will sooner or more effectually do this than looking away from the Object and Source of joy, the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is everything in Christ to make you a joyful Christian. There is all redundance of grace to subdue your corruptions, an overflowing sympathy to soothe your sorrows, a sovereign efficacy in His blood to cleanse your guilt, infinite resources to meet all your needs, His ever encircling presence around your path, His ceaseless intercession on your behalf in heaven, His loving attention of all you feel, and fear, and need.
Oh, is this not enough to make your heart a constant sunshine, and your life a pleasant psalm?
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“LITTLE CHILDREN, ABIDE IN HIM.”
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “PREPARATION FOR THE COMING OF THE LORD.”
Just as little children are in daily dependence on their parents, Christians depend upon the Lord’s care.
Why, beloved, the Lord has to nurse you! He feeds you with the unadulterated milk of the Word; He comforts you as a mother does her child; He carries you in His bosom, He bears you all your days.
Your new life is as yet weak and struggling; do not carry it into the cold atmosphere of distance from Jesus.
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Little children, since you derive all from Jesus, abide in Him. To go elsewhere will be to wander into a howling wilderness. The world is empty; only Christ has fullness. Away from Jesus you will be as a child deserted by its mother, left to pine, and starve, and die; or as a little lamb on the hillside without a shepherd, tracked by the wolf, whose teeth will soon extract its heart’s blood.
Abide, O child, with your mother! Abide, O lamb, with your shepherd!
Cling to the Lord Jesus in your feebleness, in your fickleness, in your nothingness; and abidingly take Him to be everything to you. 1
THE SUBSTANCE, THE ESSENCE, THE
FULLNESS OF ALL HOLY JOY!
from Octavius Winslow’s, “EXPERIENCING THE JOY OF CHRIST”
Christian, what a ground of joy is your possession of Christ! There is everything in Christ, and in the knowledge and possession of Christ, to make the believing heart joyful. You may have strong corruptions, powerful inbred sins, severe temptations, deep trials, heavy afflictions. Yet if you know Christ, and have Christ in the midst of all, you have ground for the deepest, holiest joy.
All joy apart from Christ is but the inspiration of the wind. It is a false, a spurious, a fatal joy, a joy which will prove but as the crackling of thorns under a pot.
You have found Christ, or rather, Christ has found you, and you have in Him the substance, the essence, the fulness of all holy joy!
–165–

You possess in Christ a divine Redeemer, a loving Friend, a sympathizing Brother, an ever-interceding Intercessor, a powerful Advocate; One whose presence is with you always, encircling you as an atmosphere in all places and under all circumstances. Truly this is a ground of the deepest, holiest joy.
Oh, what a portion is Jesus in a portionless world! What a rest is Jesus in a restless world!
What a joy is Jesus in a joyless world!
What a hope is Jesus in a hopeless world!
Beloved, we too little and too imperfectly realize what we possess in possessing Christ.
Throw into one scale all the good of the world, its rank, its honors, its wealth, its pleasures; all the love, the kindness, the sympathy, the power of the creature and of all creatures.
Place in the other scale, Christ; Christ as your Savior, Christ as your Friend, Christ as your Portion, and Christ as your all.
Which sinks, and which rises the scale?
No, more! Cast into one scale poverty, and sickness, and affliction of every kind, and sorrow of every form: the adversity that swept from you affluence, or the bereavement that tore from you the creature.
Place JESUS in the other scale: Jesus in His deathless love, Jesus in His human sympathy, Jesus in His boundless fullness, Jesus bearing you upon His heart in heaven, and receiving you into His grace on earth. And then decide what should be the nature, the depth, the music of your joy.
“This is my Friend, and this is my Beloved.” Oh, be joyful, then, believer in Jesus!
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There breathes not a being in the universe—tried, tempted, sad though you are—who has greater reason to be of a gladsome spirit than you.
You have the forgiveness of all your sins; the full justification of your person; your inalienable adoption into God’s family; the complete payment of all that great debt of sin you owed, and the assured and certain prospect of being where Christ is, and with Christ, beholding His glory forever!
Is this not a well-grounded source of joy?
Most truly! Why, then, are you not a more joyful believer? Why go you mourning all your days, without one gleam of sunshine, one thrill of joy, one ray of hope, one note of praise?
Is it not because you are looking to yourself and within yourself, to the almost entire exclusion of Christ and of the great and complete salvation wrought for you in and by Christ? No material for joy and gladness, beloved, will you find within yourself. It is all sin there; all corruption there; all gloom there. Its chamber of imagery is all dark, and repulsive, and depressing.
Oh, turn the eye of faith to Christ, look simply, and fully, and exclusively at Him, and every chord of your soul will thrill and resound with the joy of the Lord’s salvation.
THE RELIGION OF JOY
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE SYMPATHY OF CHRIST”
The religion of Christ is the religion of JOY. Christ came to take away our sins, to roll off our curse, to unbind our chains, to open our prison house, to cancel
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our debt; in a word, to give us the oil of joy for mourn- ing, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Is not this joy? Where can we find a joy so real, so deep, so pure, so lasting? There is every element of joy; deep, ecstatic, satisfying, sanctifying joy in the gospel of Christ. The believer in Jesus is essentially a happy man. The child of God is, from necessity, a joyful man. His sins are forgiven, his soul is justified, his person is adopted, his trials are blessings, his conflicts are vic- tories, his death is immortality, his future is a heaven of inconceivable, unthought of, untold, and endless blessedness. With such a God, such a Savior, and such a hope, is he not, ought he not, to be a joyful man?
LIFE, DEATH, AND HELL, AND WORLDS UNKNOWN!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE MUSTARD SEED”
I am sometimes afraid that we teachers may prepare our sermons and addresses too much, so as to make ourselves shine.
If so, we are like the man who tried to grow potatoes; he never grew any, and he wondered much, “for,” said he, “I very carefully boiled them for hours.”
So, it is very possible to extract all the life out of the Gospel, and put so much of yourself into it that Christ will not bless it.
Life, death, and hell, and worlds unknown, hang on the lips of the earnest teacher of the Gospel of Jesus.
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“Slumbering saints and dead sinners compose most of the congregations.”—Mary Winslow
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GOD WILL NEVER FAIL YOU!
by Octavius Winslow
What a source of joy you have in Jehovah amid the joyless, sorrowful path you tread.
There is everything in Him to make you happy. Everything to win your confidence, to inspire your love, to awaken your joy.
Creatures shall fail, resources shall fail, hopes shall fail, but God will never fail you!
His love is as changeless, His power is as omnipotent, His faithfulness is as firm, His resources are as boundless, as infinite as His being.
TRUE COMFORT!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “CONCERNING THE CONSOLATIONS OF GOD”
Christian, are you hoping to find true comfort in the world? Will you be happy if you manage to get that position? if you pass that examination? if you save so much money? I beseech you, do not play the fool; there is no consolation in all this.
There is no satisfaction to be found in the greatest worldly success; millionaires, statesmen, and princes all dissatisfied. The richest men have often been the most miserable, and those who have succeeded best in rising to places of honor have been worn out in the pursuit, and disgusted with the prize.
Wealth brings care, honor earns envy, position entails toil, and rank has its annoyances.
One of our richest men once said, “I suppose you imagine I am happy, because I am rich. Why, a dozen
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times in a year, and oftener, some fellow threatens to shoot me if I do not give him what he wants. Do you suppose that this makes me a happy man?”
Believe me, the world is as barren of joy as the Sahara.
Vain is the hope of finding a spring of consolation in anything beneath the moon.
Seek the kingdom of God, and His righteousness.
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JOY!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE PRECIOUS THINGS OF GOD”
Christian, your joy will be in proportion to the direct- ness and simplicity with which your faith deals with Christ, looks to Christ, lives upon the fullness of Christ, rests in His complete salvation, and draws all its evidences and hopes from Christ.
Nothing can kindle this holy joy in the heart but a believing view of what the Lord Jesus is, and what He has done.
It is only a sense of full pardon, of free justification, of gracious adoption, of the hope of glory, that can awaken joy in the soul of a believing sinner.
What joy can there be in the heart of a convicted felon, or of a condemned criminal, or of a convict paying the sad penalty of his crime in lonely exile, toil, and degra- dation? None whatever! But convey to him a free pardon, unbar his prison, break his manacles, and let him go free; restore him to his country, his family, his home; and bruised and broken though his heart is with a sense of guilt and shame, yet you have awakened in its sad chambers the sweetest chimes, and joy, entrancing joy, thrills and swells in his bosom.
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Such is a picture of a soul cleansed from the guilt of sin, and freed from condemnation of the law by a believing acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ. The moment that Christ is received into the lowly, penitent, and believing heart; the instant that Christ is seen paying the great debt, suffering the penalty, enduring the condemnation; a joy springs up in the soul such as never thrilled an angel’s heart!
You are freed from servitude, delivered from hell and on your way to heaven to spend your eternity forever with the Lord!
Christ’s joy can only remain in you, and your joy be full, when in childlike faith you look directly, and only, and constantly to Christ.1
‘PRACTICAL’ PREDESTINATION!
by Octavius Winslow
There are no guesses, conjectures, or contingencies with God as to the future. Not only does He know all, but He has fixed, appointed, and ordered “all things after the counsel of His own will.”
It would seem impossible to form any correct idea of God, disassociated from the idea of predestination. The sole basis of predestination is the ‘practical’ belief that God is eternal and infinite in and over all.
Predestination is God’s predetermined appointment and forearrangement of all things beforehand, according to His divine and supreme will.
God prearranges, predetermines, and supremely rules in all the concerns of our world. He fixes a constellation in the heavens, guides the gyrations of a bird in the air, directs the falling of an autumn leaf in
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the pathless desert, and conveys the seed, borne upon the wind, to the spot where it should fall.
In predestination we see the everlasting love of God to, and His most free choice of, His people, to be His special and peculiar treasure. What doctrine is more emptying, humbling, and therefore sanctifying, than predestination? It lays the axe at the root of all human boasting. In the light of this truth, the most holy believer sees that there is no difference between him and the vilest sinner that crawls the earth, but what the mere grace of God has made.
One blessing accruing from the doctrine of predestination is the sweet and holy submission into which it brings the mind under all afflictive dispensations. Each step of his pilgrimage, and each incident of his history, the believer sees appointed in the everlasting covenant of grace. He recognizes the ‘discipline’ of the covenant to be as much a part of the original plan as any positive mercy that it contains. That all the hairs of his head are numbered; that affliction springs not out of the earth, and therefore is not the result of accident or chance, but is in harmony with God’s purposes of love; and, thus ordained and permitted, must work together for good.
The radiance which predestination reflects upon the entire history of the child of God, and the calm repose which it diffuses over the mind in all the perplexing, painful, and mysterious events of that history, can only be understood by those whose hearts have fully received this doctrine. Whatever betides him; inexplicable in its character, enshrouded in the deepest gloom, as may be the circumstance; the believer in this truth can ‘stand still,’ and, calmly surveying the scene, exclaim: “This also comes forth from the Lord of Hosts, who is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.
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He who works all things after the counsel of His own will has done it, and I am satisfied that it is well done!”
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FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
by Spurgeon
“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:4
Rich were the blessings of this day if all of us were filled with the Holy Spirit. The consequences of this sacred filling of the soul it would be impossible to overestimate. Life, comfort, light, purity, power, peace; and many other precious blessings are inseparable from the Spirit’s blessed presence.
As sacred oil, He anoints the head of the believer, sets him apart to the priesthood of saints, and gives him grace to execute his office aright.
As the only truly purifying water He cleanses us from the power of sin and sanctifies us unto holiness, work- ing in us to will and to do of the Lord’s good pleasure.
As the light, He manifested to us at first our lost estate, and now He reveals the Lord Jesus to us and in us, and guides us in the way of righteousness. Enlightened by His pure celestial ray, we walk no more in darkness but in the light of the Lord.
As fire, He both purges us from dross, and sets our consecrated nature on a blaze. He is the sacrificial flame by which we are enabled to offer our whole souls as a living sacrifice unto God.
As heavenly dew, He removes our barrenness and fertilizes our lives. O that He would drop from above upon us at this early hour! Such morning dew would be a sweet commencement for the day.
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As the dove, with wings of peaceful love He broods over His Church and over the souls of believers.
As a Comforter He dispels the cares and doubts which mar the peace of His beloved. He descends upon the chosen and bears witness to their sonship by working in them a filial spirit by which they cry Abba, Father.
As the wind, He brings the breath of life to men; blowing where He wills He performs the quickening operations by which the spiritual creation is animated and sustained. Would to God, that we might feel His presence this day and every day.
THE OCEAN OF DIVINE LOVE!
by Octavius Winslow
The love of God to His people was as eternal as the eternity of His being, as everlasting as His uncreated nature. “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” It panted, it yearned for an outlet. It sought and found it in Christ.
Nowhere in the heavens above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth; no star, no flower, no creature, so reveals, expresses, and embodies the love of God as the gift of His dear Son to die for our sins!
Oh, what love is this!
“God so loved the world!”
So loved, that He gave Jesus!
Jesus is the most precious exponent of God’s love: Jesus descends from the bosom of His love; Jesus draws aside the veil of His love; Jesus is God’s love expressed, God’s love incarnate, God’s love speaking, laboring, dying, redeeming! Beyond this it would seem impossible that love could go.
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Jesus is the channel through which the ocean of Divine love washed the shores of this earth, its soul-healing waves spreading like a sea of life over our sin tainted, curse blighted, sorrow stricken humanity.
Oh, let every affection of our heart, every faculty of our soul, every power of our mind, every action of our life, embody as its grateful response the words of the adoring apostle, “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable Gift!”
THE SOLITARY OBJECT OF HIS LOVE!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE PRECIOUS THINGS OF GOD”
It is a great mercy when we can retire from the crowd and deal with God individually; when we can take the precious promises to ourselves individually; when we can repair to Jesus with individual sins, infirmities, and sorrows; feeling that His eye bends its glance upon us; His ear bows down to us; His hand is outstretched to us; His whole heart absorbed in us as though not another petitioner or sufferer offered a request, or unveiled a sorrow. As if, in a word, we were the solitary object of His love!
His invitation to you is, “Come unto Me.” He would have you come.
You cannot honor Him more than recognizing His personal relation to yourself, and disclosing your personal circumstances, making personal confession of personal sin, presenting personal needs, and unveiling personal infirmities, backslidings, and sorrows.
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THE PRECIOUSNESS OF GOD’S CHILDREN
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE PRECIOUS THINGS OF GOD”
Oh, how precious to Jesus is…. your tear of godly sorrow; your touch of trembling faith; your look of lowly love;
your offering of sincere gratitude;
your yearning and longing of holy desire!
So precious to Jesus are you, that His ear is attentive to your faintest cry; His thoughts are never withdrawn from you for a moment; His hand is ever extended to support you.
You are so precious to Jesus that….
He sits at the fountain of grace to supply all your need; He bows His shoulder to your heaviest burden;
He unveils His heart to your deepest sorrow.
O believer, do not live without a deep, constant realization of your preciousness to Jesus; and the depth, tenderness, and constancy of the love He bears towards you. Let your faith grasp it, amid the varied phases and changes of your Christian course, and it will be as a sweet flowing stream gliding and sparkling by your side all through the sandy desert, imparting swiftness to your feet in travel, strength to your hand in labor, nerve to your arm in battle; soothing, reviving, and refreshing your spirit when sad, faint, and drooping by the way.
Be assured of your personal place in His affections, and your home and sanctuary in His heart, and no act of obedience, of love, or of service on your part, will be too costly.
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Your love to Him will be the reflection of His love to you, proportioned in its degree and intensity to the vividness with which His love is seen and realized.
Reader, let your eye see His beauty!
Bow your heart before His cross!
Fall at His feet!
Crown Him Lord and Sovereign of your soul!
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TRUE SPIRITUAL LIFE!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE PRECIOUS THINGS OF GOD”
We really know as much of the gospel of Christ, and of the Christ of the gospel, as we have experience of it in our souls, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
All other acquaintance with divine truth must be regarded as merely intellectual, theoretical, speculative, and of little worth.
True spiritual life is to apprehend, in some measure, the value, the glory, and the preciousness of the Lord Jesus. And, as a consequence, to esteem Him above all good, to reflect His image, to labor in His service, and to be found preparing and waiting for the happy moment when Christ comes and we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He really is.
SACRILEGE!
by Octavius Winslow
Cultivate a profound reverence for God’s Word. Nothing is more grievous to the Holy Spirit than a trifling with revelation. The words of Scripture are
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divinely inspired. “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
Beware of referring to it with levity. To adopt the words of Scripture irreverently, or to employ its phraseology flippantly, is to cast discredit upon inspiration, to press it into the service of the flesh, and to make the Word of God the jest book of the profane. This is awful trifling with the thoughts and words of the Holy Spirit!
Stand in awe of this Holy Book!
God says, “I will bless those who have humble and contrite
hearts, who tremble at My Word.” Isaiah 66:2
“Then all who trembled at the Words of the God of Israel…”
Ezra 9:4
“We will follow the advice given by you and by the others who respect the commands of our God…” Ezra 10:3
“My flesh trembles in fear of You; I stand in awe of Your laws.” Psalm 119:120
“My heart stands in awe of Your Word.” Psalm 119:161
[Editor’s note: How very sad is it that many professing Christians use the holy Word of God to amuse others with ‘bible jokes’ and in other trifling and irreverent ways. Much of today’s pseudo Christian music, movies and children’s literature use the Word of God in a flippant manner, if not in a downright profane and sacrilegious way.]
APPALLING!
by Octavius Winslow
Encompassed as we are by earth, blinded by objects of sense, weighed down by human cares and anxieties, we
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need to be watchful against their secular influence upon our minds.
Oh, it is appalling to think what self-idolatry and self- seeking and self-complacence may reign in our hearts, and prompt and govern our actions!
THE JEWELRY OF THE BIBLE!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE PRECIOUS THINGS OF GOD”
The promises of God are the jewelry of the Bible!
Every page of the sacred volume is rich and sparkling with these divine assurances of Jehovah’s love, faithfulness, and power towards His people.
Upon no spot in this wilderness can the Christian plant his foot, strange and untrodden though that path may be, but a gem from this casket meets his eye, the sight of which inspires his heart with confidence, his spirit with comfort, his soul with hope!
Imagine what would have been the condition of God’s children apart from the divine promises of which the blessed volume is so full. What must have been the desolateness, the sadness, and the sinking, had we not the divine assurances of God’s Word to rely on; by which we are guided in our march heavenward, are upheld in weakness, cheered in depression, and conducted step by step to final blessedness.
The promises are comprehensive in their character, and adapted to all the varied circumstances of our individual history. Child of God, you cannot conceive of any condition in which you may be placed, any circumstance by which you may be surrounded, any sorrow by which you may be depressed, any perils that
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may confront you, any darkness that may overshadow you, or any needs that you may have; in which you may not find some precious promises of His blessed Word that meets your case!
The promises of Scripture are exceedingly precious because they are all signed and sealed with the heart’s blood of Jesus! They are the throbbings of the infinite love of Jesus! The promises are but echoes of His heart sounding from each page of the sacred volume!
If you are sin burdened or sorrow stricken, just stretch forth your hand and receive these precious jewels as they flow out from the open casket of God’s Word!
The promises have stanched may a bleeding wound. The promises have dried many a falling tear.
The promises have calmed many a disturbed mind. The promises have guided your feet through many a
labyrinth.
The promises have shed light on many a lonely path. The promises, like voices of music, have broken sweetly
on many a dreary night of weeping and woe.
We have these rich clusters of precious promises bending down from the Tree of Life!
We may pluck them at all times, in all seasons, and under all circumstances! 1
THE ‘PLAY ROOM’ OF THE SOUL
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE EYE AND THE LIGHT”
Did you ever have the light of God brought to bear upon your imagination? Imagination is the ‘play room’ of the soul. Here many a man considers that he is without law. “Surely,” says he, “thought is free.” The
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man gloats over sins which he would fear to commit. He finds a pleasure in thinking over lusts which his circumstances compel him to avoid. In the dark chambers of imagination the heart commits adulteries, murders, thefts, and all manner of infamies.
When the light of God falls upon the imagination, the man shudders as he learns that “as he thinks in his heart so is he.” He trembles as he perceives that the fond imagination of sin, is sin. Then is the floor of imagination purged, and the foul dust and chaff are driven into the fire. Imagination then gleams in the light of God, and, having washed in the brazen laver, sings songs on her stringed instruments unto the God of her salvation, who has brought her out of darkness into His marvelous light.1
GOD’S HEART!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE PRECIOUS THINGS OF GOD”
O God, I read Your heart…. in the cross,
in the wounds,
in the tears,
in the anguish,
in the blood of Your Son Jesus.
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HOW IT WRITHES IN WRATH, HOW IT
GRINDS ITS TEETH!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE BURDEN OF THE WORD OF THE LORD”
The Word of the Lord gives a rebuff to human pride. The doctrines of the gospel seem shaped on purpose to bring into contempt all human glory.
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Here is a man who is morally of a fine and noble nature, but we tell him that he is born in sin and shaped in iniquity.
Here is a man of a grand righteous character in his own opinion, and we tell him that his righteousness is filthy rags.
Here is a man that can go to heaven by his own efforts, so he thinks, and we tell him that he can do nothing of the sort; that he is dead in trespasses and sins.
Here is a man who hopes that, by strong resolves, he may change his own nature and make himself all that God would have him. But we tell him that his resolutions are so much empty wind, and will end in nothing.
Man stands a convicted criminal, and if saved must owe his salvation entirely to the gratuitous mercy of God. Condemned and ruined, if he ever escapes from his ruin it must be through the work of the Spirit of God in him, and not by his own works.
Thus, you see, human nature does not like our message. How it writhes in wrath, how it grinds its teeth against the doctrine which humbles man, crucifies his pride, and nails his glory to the gibbet!
TWO SEEDS
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “IN THE GARDEN WITH HIM”
So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you will be punished… And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed…” Genesis 3:14-15
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There are two seeds in the world—the seed of the woman, and the seed of the serpent. And if the seed of the serpent never hisses at you, you may be afraid that you do not belong to the seed of the woman. God has put an enmity between the serpent and the woman; between the serpent’s seed and the woman’s seed. And so it must be till the end of time. Take any opposition that you get from worldlings as a token for good, a sign that you are of a different race from those who despise you, a testimonial to your character from those whose homage to goodness embodies itself in persecution. That is the way in which they compliment us.
SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE INTEREST OF CHRIST AND HIS PEOPLE IN EACH OTHER”
Self-righteousness will destroy you, my friend.
I tell you, honestly and plainly, that you might as well hope to get to heaven by flying up in a balloon, as to get there by your ‘good works.’
You may as soon sail to India in a sieve, as get to glory by your own goodness.
Away with your rags, your filthy, rotten rags. They are only a harbor for the parasites of unbelief and pride.
Away with your rotten self-righteousness, your counterfeit gold, your forged wealth. It is of no worth whatever in the sight of God.
Come to Him, empty, poor, and naked!
It grates on your proud ear, does it?
Better to lose your pride, than to lose your soul! Why be damned for pride’s sake?
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Why carry your head so high that it must be cut off?
Why feed your pride on your soul’s blood? Surely there is cheaper stuff than that for pride to drink! Why let it suck the very marrow out of your bones?
Be wise! Bow, stoop, stoop to be saved.
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A PROUD CHRISTIAN?
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “GRACE FOR GRACE”
Christian, be humble. If you know anything, you have been taught it by the Holy Spirit. If you possess anything, it has been given you by God. You are a charity child. The clothes on your back are furnished by the Lord’s favor. The bread in your mouth is the provision of His love. A proud Christian is a contradiction in terms. “For who makes you different? And what do you have that you didn’t receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”
1 Corinthians 4:7
OUR LITTLE TRIALS, LITTLE CARES,
LITTLE NEEDS, LITTLE SORROWS
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE PRECIOUS THINGS OF GOD”
“Casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.”
God is as deeply interested in your small cares, as in your larger ones. Those comparatively trivial events, those lesser circumstances of your history, are often those which you feel the most keenly, which chafe the most sorely, and upon which so much that is important and momentous in your life depends.
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“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.” Learn the blessedness and privilege of hallowing the smallest details of daily life with prayer.
Infinite as Jehovah is, He stoops to our little trials, little cares, little needs, little sorrows. Nothing is too small for God that concerns you, His beloved child.
God made the mote that dances in the sunbeam, and the insect that swims in the ocean drop. Do you think that He can be indifferent to, or regard as beneath His notice, the smallest care, the most delicate sorrow, the smallest need, the lowest interest, that relates to you, His child? Impossible!
Learn, then, to entwine with your petitions, the small cares, the trifling sorrows, the little needs of daily life.
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ADMIRE AND ADORE GOD’S FREE GRACE!
by Thomas Watson
Admire and adore God’s free grace in saving you! That God should pass over so many, that He should pass by the wise and noble, and that the lot of Free Grace should fall upon you! That He should take you out of a state of vassalage, from grinding the devil’s mill, and should set you above the princes of the earth, and call you to inherit the throne of glory!
Fall upon your knees, break forth into a thankful triumph of praise; let your hearts be ten-stringed instruments, to sound forth the memorial of God’s mercy!
None so deep in debt to Free Grace as you, and none should be so high mounted upon the pinnacle of thanksgiving. Say as the sweet singer, “I will extol You, my God, O King; every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever.” Psalm 145:1-2
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Those who are patterns of mercy should be trumpets of praise. O long to be in heaven, where your thanksgivings shall be purer and shall be raised a note higher.
BLOOD!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE PRECIOUS THINGS OF GOD”
Among the precious things of God, there is not one so precious, so inestimable, so influential, as “the precious blood of Christ.”
The atoning blood of Immanuel is the divine bath of the soul.
All salvation, all purity,
all peace,
all holiness, all hope,
all heaven, are bound up in the atoning blood of Immanuel.
There is . . .
no acceptance for the sinner,
no cleansing for the guilty,
no pardon for the penitent,
no sanctification for the believer,
but in the vicarious sacrifice of the Son of God.
A holy Savior offered up a sinless atonement for unholy, sinful man! Look at it, beloved, in this light, and let your hearts glow with love, adoration, and praise, as you kneel before the cross, and feel the distilling upon your conscience of that blood that pardons, covers, and cancels all your guilt.
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GOD’S LANCET!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE PRECIOUS THINGS OF GOD”
Trials are a precious discipline, a precious correction, a precious school, that lead you more fully into the heartfelt experience of the preciousness of the Savior.
Trials make you more intimately acquainted with your best Friend, your dearest Brother, the tender, sympathizing Beloved of your soul.
You will know more of Jesus in one sanctified trial, than in wading through a library of volumes, or listening to a lifetime of sermons.
Sanctified trial opens an outlet for the escape of much ‘soul distemper.’ Deep rooted, hidden and long pent up evil, the existence of which has been as a fretting sore, inflaming, irritating, and impairing the whole spiritual constitution of the soul, has by this process been thrown off, and thus a more wholesome state and healthful action has come.
Oh, what selfishness, what carnality,
what rebellion,
what worldliness,
what secret declension,
has God’s lancet brought to light, revealing it but to inspire self abhorrence, sin loathing, and sin forsaking.
All of this is the costly fruit of a deeply sanctified trial.
Oh, precious trial! Oh, heaven sent affliction! that breaks down the barriers, removes the restraints, thaws the congealings that intercept and interrupt my fellowship with God.
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Our heavenly Father loves to hear the voice of His children; and when that voice is still, when there is a suspension of heart communion, and the tones are silent which were wont to fall as music upon His ear, He sends a trial, and then we rise and give ourselves to prayer.
Perhaps it is a perplexity, and we go to Him for counsel. Perhaps it is a need, and we go to Him for supply. Perhaps it is a grief, and we go to Him for soothing. Perhaps it is a burden, and we go to Him for upholding. Perhaps it is an infirmity, and we go to Him for grace. Perhaps it is a temptation, and we go to Him for help. Perhaps it is a sin, and we repair to Him for pardon.
But whatever form the trial takes, it has a voice, “Rise, and call upon your God!” and to God it brings us.
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THIS POOR, PERISHING WORLD!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “MIDNIGHT HARMONIES”
“Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.” Psalm 131:2
Our heavenly Father would also wean us from this poor, perishing world.
Oh, what an evil does the Christian find this world to be! In consequence of the earthward tendency of his affections, and the deep carnality with which his mind is imbued, many of the things which God designed as blessings to soothe and soften and cheer; become, by their absorbing and idolatrous influence, powerful snares.
Rank may be a snare. It may foster pride and ambition. –188–

Wealth may be a snare. It may increase the thirst for worldly show.
Talent may be a snare. It may inspire a love of human applause.
Friendship may be a snare. It may draw the heart from
Christ.
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THE ONE, PRECIOUS, ALL ABSORBING THEME!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE PRECIOUS THINGS OF GOD”
The Word of God must ever be transcendently precious to the believer. The Bible is, from its commencement to its close, a record of the Lord Jesus. Around Him the divine and glorious Word centers; all its wondrous types, prophecies, and facts gather. His Promise and Foreshadowing, His holy Incarnation, Nativity, and Baptism, His Obedience and Passion, His Death, Burial, and Resurrection, His Ascension to heaven, His Second Coming to judge the world, are the grand and touching, the sublime and tender, the priceless and precious truths interwoven with the whole texture of the Bible, to which the Two Witnesses of Revelation, the Old and the New Testaments bear their harmonious and solemn testimony.
Beloved, let this be the one and chief object in your study of the Bible—the knowledge of Jesus.
The Bible is not a history, a book of science, or a poem; it is a record of Christ. Study it to know more of Him, His nature, His love, His work. With the magnanimous Paul, “count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus your Lord.”
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Then will God’s Word become increasingly precious to your soul, and its truths unfold.
In every page you will…. trace the history of Jesus, see the glory of Jesus, admire the work of Jesus, learn the love of Jesus, and hear the voice of Jesus.
The whole volume will be redolent of His name, and luminous with His beauty.
Oh, what is the Bible to us apart from its revelation of a Savior! Is there not great danger of studying it merely intellectually and scientifically, of reveling among its literary beauties and its grandeur, blind to its true value, and without any desire to know that precious Savior who died for sinners, that Divine Redeemer who purchased the ransom of His Church with His own blood; that Friend who loves us; that Brother who sympathizes with us, that enthroned High Priest who intercedes for us within the veil?
Do we study the “Word of Christ” spiritually and honestly, as those whose souls hunger and thirst for this the bread and water of life?
Do we search it diligently and earnestly as for hidden treasure; treasure beyond all price? Can we say with David, “O how love I Your law! it is my meditation all the day”?
Do we read it with a childlike mind, receive it with a believing heart, bow to its teaching with reverence of soul, and receive its decisions in all questions of faith and practice as decisive and ultimate?
In a word, do we search the Scriptures humbly, prayerfully, depending upon the guidance of the Spirit, to find Jesus in them?
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Of these Scriptures He is the Alpha and the Omega, the substance, the sweetness, the glory, the one, precious, all absorbing theme.
Yes, Lord! Your word is precious to our souls, because it reveals to us Your glory, and tells us of Your love!
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HE HAS DONE ALL THINGS WELL
by Octavius Winslow
In providence and grace,
in every truth of His Word,
in every lesson of His love,
in every stroke of His rod,
in every beam that has shone, and
in every cloud that has shaded,
in every element that has sweetened, and
in every ingredient that has embittered,
in all that has been mysterious, inscrutable, painful, and humiliating,
in all that He gave, and in all that He took away;
this testimony is His just due, and this our grateful acknowledgment through time and through eternity— He has done all things well.1
THE BEST EVIDENCE OF CHRISTIANITY
Jesus is “the chief among ten thousand, the altogether lovely one.”
Christ the Chiefest, or better than the rest. His love is unknowable, Eph 3:19.
His riches are unsearchable, Eph 3:18. His joy is unspeakable, 1 Pet 1:8.
His ways are untrackable, Rom. 11:33. His grace is inexhaustible, 2 Cor. 9:8.
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His peace is unfathomable, Phil. 4:7.
And He Himself is unsurpassable, Ex. 15:11.
His character was beautiful with holiness in every detail, Heb. 7:26.
His love was pure and faithful in all its affection, John 13:1.
His service was true and beneficent in all its workings, Acts 10:38.
His words were tender and true in all their utterances, John 7:45.
His life was consistent in every department, Matt. 27:24; Acts 2:22.
His aim was single and concentrated in glorifying God, John 17:4.
His mission was to benefit all who would have Him in dying a death which they deserved, 2 Cor. 8:9.
Christ is Christianity, and the best evidence of Christianity is Christ.
Jesus is “the chief among ten thousand, the altogether lovely
one.”
THE MORE SECRET AND DELUSIVE LUSTS
by Spurgeon
Surely, believer, from open lusts and sins you are delivered. But have you also escaped from the more secret and delusive lusts of the Satanic fowler?
Have you come forth from the lust of pride? Have you escaped from slothfulness?
Have you clean escaped from carnal security?
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Are you seeking day by day to live above worldliness, the pride of life, and the ensnaring vice of avarice?
Remember that you have been enriched with the treasures of God. If you are indeed the chosen of God, and beloved by Him, do not allow all the lavish treasure of grace to be wasted upon you.
Follow after holiness; it is the Christian’s crown and glory. O Christian, you are God’s king: reign over your lusts. You are God’s chosen: do not associate with Belial.
Heaven is your portion: live like a heavenly spirit, so shall you prove that you have true faith in Jesus, for there cannot be faith in the heart unless there be holiness in the life.
An unholy church! It is useless to the world, and of no esteem among men. It is an abomination, hell’s laughter, heaven’s abhorrence. The worst evils which have ever come upon the world have been brought upon her by an unholy church.
A LIFE OF DAILY DEPENDENCE ON GOD!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “DIVINE REALITIES”
Covet to live a life of daily dependence on God.
Oh! it is a sweet and holy life!
It will save you….
from many a desponding feeling;
from many a corroding care;
from many an anxious thought;
from many a sleepless night;
from many a tearful eye; and
from many an imprudent and sinful scheme.
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Learn to be content with your present lot, with God’s dealings with you, and His disposal of you.
You are just where His ‘providence’ has, in its inscrutable but all wise and righteous decision, has
placed you.
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TRUE PILGRIMS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “MIDNIGHT HARMONIES”
Fellow pilgrims, the heavenly way we travel is more or less a lonely way. We have, at most, but few companions. It is a “little flock,” and only here and there we meet a traveler, who, like ourselves, is journeying towards heaven.
Because the way is narrow, difficult, and humiliating to the flesh, there are only a few, under the drawings of the Spirit, who find it.
If true religion consisted in a ‘mere profession’ then there are many on the way to heaven.
If the marks of discipleship were merely an orthodox creed, excited feelings, or denominational zeal, then there are many who ‘find the way.’
But true pilgrims are
those with broken hearts;
those who are poor in spirit;
those who mourn for sin;
those who know the music of the Shepherd’s voice; those who follow the Lamb;
those who delight in the throne of grace; and
those who love the place of the cross.
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A FATHER’S HAND!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “DIVINE REALITIES”
“My times are in Your hand.” Psalm 31:5 Our times of adversity are also in God’s hand.
As every ‘sunbeam’ that brightens, so every ‘cloud’ that darkens, comes from God. We are subject to great and sudden reverses in our earthly condition. Joy is often succeeded by grief, prosperity by adversity. We are on the pinnacle today, tomorrow at its bottom.
Oh! What a change may one event and in one moment create!
But, beloved, ALL is from the Lord. “Afflictions do not spring from the soil, nor does trouble sprout from the ground.” Job 5:6
Sorrow cannot come until God bids it.
Until God in His sovereignty permits…. health cannot fade,
wealth cannot vanish,
comfort cannot decay,
friendship cannot chill, and loved ones cannot die.
Your time of sorrow is His appointment.
The ‘bitter cup’ which it may please the Lord that you shall drink this year will not be mixed by human hands. In the hand of the Lord is that cup!
Some treasure you are now pressing to your heart, He may ask you to resign.
Some blessing you now possess He may bid you to relinquish.
Some fond expectation you now cherish, He may will that you should forego.
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Some lonely path He may design that you should tread. Yes, He may even bereave you of all, and yet all, ALL is in His hand!
His hand! A Father’s hand, moving in thick darkness, is shaping every event, and arranging every detail in your life!
Has sickness laid you on a bed of suffering? Has bereavement darkened your home?
Has adversity impoverished your resources? Has change lessened your comforts?
Has sorrow in one of its many forms crushed your spirit to the earth?
The Lord has done it!
In all that has been sent,
in all that has be recalled, and
in all that has been withheld;
His hand, noiseless and unseen has moved!
Ah! yes, that hand of changeless love…. blends a sweet with every bitter; pencils a bright bow in each dark cloud; upholds each faltering step;
shelters within its hollow; and
guides with unerring skill,
His chosen people safe to eternal glory!
Dear child of God, your afflictions, your trials,
your crosses, your losses,
your sorrows,
all, ALL are in your heavenly Father’s hand, and they cannot come until sent by Him!
–196–

Bow that stricken heart, yield that tempest tossed soul to His sovereign disposal, to His calm, righteous sway, in the submissive spirit and language of your suffering Savior, “Your will, O my Father! not mine, be done. My times of sadness and of grief are in Your hand.”
Beloved, all is in your Father’s hand! Be those times what they may….
times of trial,
times of temptation,
times of suffering,
times of peril,
times of sunshine or of gloom, or times of life or death,
they are in your Father’s hand!
Has the Lord seen fit….
to recall some fond blessing,
to deny some earnest request,
or painfully to discipline your heart?
All this springs from a Father’s love as fully as though He had unlocked His treasury and poured its costliest gifts at your feet!
All of our times are in our Redeemer’s hands! That same Redeemer who carried our sorrows in His heart, our curse and sins on His soul, our cross on His shoulder; who died, who rose again, and who lives and intercedes for us, and who will gather all His ransomed around Him in glory, is your guardian and your guide!
Your times are in the hands of Him who still bears the
print of the nails!
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LAY IT UPON THE HEART PIERCED BY THE
SOLDIER’S LANCE!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “HELP HEAVENWARD”
If God has regard to the raven, and feeds it when it cries, will He, do you think, be indifferent to the plaintive note of His “dove, His undefiled one?”
It is an especial care with which God cares for you. He cares for all of your temporal interests. Not one worldly anxiety, not one need of the present life, is too insignificant for His regard.
He cares for your spiritual interests; for your soul’s prosperity, for your mental peace, for your joy of heart, for your growth in grace, for your character, your reputation, your usefulness.
It is personal care. He cares for you!
He cares for your individual cares, for your personal interests, never for an instant merging and forgetting your individual claims upon His interest, protection, and love in the great body of His Church. What encouragement this to betake yourself to the Lord, transferring all care from your heart to His!
“Casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.”
Oh yes! the Lord cares for you!
Little, obscure, despised, unworthy though you may be, or deem yourself to be, the Lord has an interest in you, the closest, the tenderest that ever dwelt in a heart of love.
Bought with the Savior’s blood, a temple of the Holy Spirit, sealed with the earnest of the Spirit as a child of
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God and an heir of glory, oh, there is not a bright angel in heaven for whom God so cares as He cares for you!
Others may have ceased to care for you. ‘Change’ has congealed the warm current of love, distance intercepts its flow, or death has stilled its pulse, and you feel as if there existed in this wide world no heart, no spirit, no mind that responded to, or that chimed and blended with your own.
Yet, there is One who cares! Jesus cares for you!
The HEART OF GOD, from which all other hearts kindle their affection, entwines you with its thoughts, its sympathies, its love; and the Eye that searches the universe with a glance, bends upon you its ceaseless look of love.
Then, confide in and lean upon this divine, this human, this precious, this ever-present Savior.
He asks your boundless confidence and your warmest love. Most worthy of it is He. Will you withhold it? Take that anxious care which lies like lead upon your breast, which chases peace from your mind, joy from your heart, slumber from your pillow, shading all the landscape of life with wintry frost and storm; and lay it upon the heart pierced by the soldier’s lance; the heart that distilled its last drop of lifeblood on the tree; and peace shall enfold you beneath its balmy wing.
“Casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.” 1
OUR EARTHLY HOMES
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “HELP HEAVENWARD”
Let us aim to model and to mold our earthly homes after our heavenly home. There righteousness dwells,
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holiness sanctifies, love reigns, perfect confidence and sympathy and concord exist. Why should not the earthly homes of the righteous be types of this?
The home is a most marvelous and benevolent appointment of God, and is designed, among other ends, to unite, strengthen, and sanctify the different relations of life, and thus secure and promote the mutual happiness and well being of each and all.
But, alas! how has sin perverted this! What places of misery are some homes on earth, even where religion is supposed to have found a place! Discord, where there should be harmony; suspicion, where there should be confidence; jealousy, where there should be delight; coldness, distance, and alienation, where there should be the warmest, closest and most endearing communion; harsh, abrupt expressions, where there should be nothing but pleasant words; indifference and neglect, where there should be the profoundest interest and sympathy; in a word, hatred, where there should be love.
But, beloved in the Lord, this should not be so with you!
And with you it is an individual matter; for our homes are just what the individual members of the family make them. One unhappy temper, one unbending will, one unloving, unsympathizing heart may becloud and embitter the sunniest sweetest home on earth.
Oh, cultivate the affections, the sympathies, and the communion you hope to perpetuate in heaven!
By mutual forbearance, gentleness, confidence and love; by deeds of kindness, delicate attention, and graceful demeanor seek to transfer as much of the purity, love, and sunshine of your Father’s House above as you can, to your Father’s house below.
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HEAVEN!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “MIDNIGHT HARMONIES”
‘Companionship of God’ is the highest, purest, sweetest mercy a saint of God can have on earth!
Yes, it is the highest, purest, sweetest bliss the saints of God can have in Heaven! What is the enjoyment of Heaven? Not merely exemption from trial, and freedom from sorrow, and rest from toil, and release from conflict. O no! it is the presence; the full, unclouded presence of our Father there!
To be with Christ;
to behold His glory;
to gaze upon His face;
to hear His voice;
to feel the throbbings of His bosom;
to bask in the effulgence of God’s presence; O this is Heaven, the Heaven of Heaven!
PEACE, AND REST, AND PERFECT BLISS!
from Octavius Winslow’s, “OUR FATHER’S HOUSE”
World, farewell! my soul is weary; I would here no longer stay,
In your desert wild and dreary; Heavenward will I wend my way.
World! in you is war and strife, Pride and vanity are rife,
But in Heaven there ever is Peace, and rest, and perfect bliss!
On that blessed shore arriving, Pain and sadness at an end,
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Done all anxious care and striving, Resting with my dearest Friend!
In the world is need and woe, And at last death’s bitter throe; But in Heaven above shall be Peace, and joy, and purity.
What are earthly joy and pleasure? Cloud and mist and empty wind.
What are worldly wealth and treasure? Burdens for the weary mind.
Oh, what glorious songs are pealing From that chosen, spotless throng; Over the plains of heaven stealing, ‘Holy, holy,’ still their song!
World! in you are scoffs and jeers, Hatred, woe, and bitter tears; While in Heaven there ever is Peace, and rest, and perfect bliss!
Here is weeping and repining, Earthly joy not long endures;
If a while the sun is shining,
Soon dark night his beams obscures.
World! deep anguish is in you, And the final agony;
But in Heaven above there is Peace, and rest, and perfect bliss!
There my Lord unveils His glory, I shall see Him face to face.
And repeat the wondrous story Of a sinner saved by grace.
When the woes of earth are past, And death’s bitter pang at last,
–202–

Then in heaven above will be Peace, and joy, and purity.
Oh to join the thrilling voices
Of that happy, sainted choir! Each in Jesus Christ rejoices,
All their thoughts to Him aspire.
Cheer, my soul, the time is nearing! You your Savior’s face shall see!
Do you love your Lord’s appearing? Joyful shall that moment be.
World! you have but storm and strife, Fear and sadness, death in life;
While in Heaven there ever is
Peace, and rest, and perfect bliss!
Now, in love without dissembling,
Savior, school my willing heart,
That when worlds are round me trembling, ‘Come,’ I hear, and not, ‘Depart.’
World! in you is fear and care, Sin and sadness everywhere;
But at HOME there ever is Peace, and rest, and perfect bliss!
WHAT A BOUNDLESS, FATHOMLESS OCEAN!
by Octavius Winslow
Eternal love moved the heart of Jesus to relinquish heaven for earth; a diadem for a cross; the robe of divine majesty for the garment of our nature; taking upon Himself the leprosy of our sin.
Oh the infinite love of Christ!
What a boundless, fathomless ocean!
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Ask the ‘ransomed of the Lord,’ whose chains He has dissolved, whose dungeon He has opened, whose liberty He has conferred, if there ever was love like His!
What shall we say of the ransom price? It was the riches, the costliest, that Heaven could give. “He gave Himself for us!” What more could He do? He gave Himself; body, soul and spirit. He gave His time, His labor, His blood, His life, His ALL, as the price for our ransom, the cost of our redemption.
He carried the wood and reared the altar. Then, bearing His bosom to the stroke of the uplifted and descending arm of the Father, paid the price of our salvation in the warm lifeblood of His heart!
What a boundless, fathomless ocean!
How is it that we feel the force and exemplify the practical influence of this amazing, all commanding truth so faintly?
Oh, the desperate depravity of our nature! Oh, the deep iniquity of our iniquitous hearts!
Will not the blood drops of Jesus move us? Will not the agonies of the cross influence us?
Will not His dying love constrain us to a more heavenly
life?
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ETERNALLY RePOSE YOUR WEARY SOUL IN
THE BOSOM OF JESUS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “DIVINE REALITIES”
Forward, believer in Christ, to the toils, duties, and trials of another stage of life’s journey! Jesus is enough
–204–

for them all. Jesus will be with you in them all. Jesus will triumphantly conduct you through them all.
Beloved one, live in the constant expectation of soon seeing Jesus face to face; conversing with He whom here below, cheered, comforted, and sweetened many a weary step of your Christian pilgrimage.
That moment is speeding on.
In a little while and all that now wounds and ruffles, tempts and pollutes, will have disappeared like the foam upon the billow, and you shall eternally repose your weary soul in the bosom of Jesus!
AH, MY MUCH ABUSED, MUCH NEGLECTED HEART!
by Octavius Winslow
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!
But for the restraints of His grace and the constraints of His love, and the checks of His gentle corrections, where, oh, where would you have gone?
I thank you, Lord for Your loving discipline; for the dark path, the severed tie, the lonely sorrow; the loving, lenient correction that recalls my heart to You!
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1
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THE PERSONAL ATTRACTIONS OF JESUS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “DIVINE REALITIES”
The personal attractions of Jesus are all inviting and irresistible!
His love wins us.
His glory charms us.
His beauty attracts us.
His sympathy soothes us. His gentleness subdues us. His faithfulness inspires us.
He is the “altogether lovely One!”
Jesus is all that is tender in love.
Jesus is all that is wise in counsel.
Jesus is all that is patient and kind.
Jesus is all that is faithful in friendship.
Jesus is all that is balmy, soothing, and healing.
The heart of Jesus is ever loving towards His children. The disposition of Jesus is ever kind towards His children. The nature of Jesus is ever sympathizing towards His children.
Jesus is your Brother, your Friend, your Redeemer. As your Brother, He knows the need of His brethren in adversity. As your Friend, He shows Himself friendly. As your Redeemer, He has redeemed your soul from sin and hell.
Jesus has ascended up on high to take possession of heaven on your behalf, and to prepare a place for you!
Upon His heart He wears your name as a precious pearl in the priestly breastplate.
There is….
not a moment of your time,
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nor an event of your life,
nor a circumstance of your daily history, nor a mental or spiritual emotion of yours,
in which you are not borne upon the love, and remembered in the ceaseless intercession of Christ.
The personal attractions of Jesus are all inviting and
irresistible!
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A SERIOUS DEFECT!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “DIVINE REALITIES”
We solemnly believe that there may exist a serious defect in the experience of many Christians in their relationship with Jesus.
There is in the walk of many so wide a chasm between Jesus and their personal and confidential fellowship, as to leave upon the mind the conviction that they have no dealings with Jesus at all!
Hence the distressing doubts, the timid fears, the obscure evidences, the beclouded hopes, that shade the luster, impair the vigor, and render dubious the religion of so many.
The secret is, they have so little to do with Jesus!
And, as a natural result, Jesus, in the bestowment of His favors, in the manifestations of Himself, in the breathings of His love, has so little to do with them!
Oh! How sad, that such distance and coldness should ever exist between Christ and a soul redeemed with His most precious blood! What an evidence of the fallen condition of our humanity, and of its but partial sanctification, even in its renewed state.
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STUDY THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “DIVINE REALITIES”
We know so much of divine truth, my reader, as we have in a measure a personal experience of it in our souls. The mere speculatist and notionalist in religion is as unsatisfactory and unprofitable as the mere theorist and declaimer in science. For all practical purposes both are but ciphers.
The character and the degree of our spiritual knowledge begins and terminates in our knowledge of Christ. Christ is the test of its reality, the measure of its depth, and the source of its growth.
If you are advancing in an experimental, sanctifying acquaintance with the Lord Jesus, you are advancing in that knowledge which Paul thus estimates, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord.”
Dear reader, let the chief object of your study be to know the Lord Jesus. It may be in the region of your sinfulness, emptiness, weakness, and foolishness that you learn Him; nevertheless, however humiliating the school, slow the progress, and limited the attainment, count every fresh step you make in a personal acquaintance with the Lord Jesus as a nobler triumph, and as bringing you into the possession of more real wealth than were the whole chests of human knowledge and science mastered, and its untold treasures poured at your feet.
When adversity comes; when death approaches; when eternity unveils; oh! how indescribably valuable, how inconceivably precious will then be one faith’s touch, one faith’s glimpse of a crucified and risen Savior!
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All other attainments then vanish, and the only knowledge that abides, soothes, and comforts, is a heartfelt acquaintance with the most sublime fact of the Gospel, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”
Oh! Whatever other studies may engage your thoughts, forget not, as you value your eternal destiny, to study
the Lord Jesus Christ!
THE CHIEF AMONG TEN THOUSAND, THE ALTOGETHER LOVELY ONE!
by Octavius Winslow
With what pen, dipped though it were in heaven’s brightest hues, can we portray the image of Jesus? The perfection of our Lord was the perfection of holiness. His Deity, essential holiness; His humanity without sin, the impersonation of holiness. All that He was, said, and did, was as flashes of holiness emanating from the fountain of essential purity, and kindling their dazzling and undying radiance around each step He trod. How lowly, too, His character! How holy the thoughts He breathed, how pure the words He spoke, how humble the spirit He exemplified, how tender and sympathizing the outgoings of His compassion and love to man. He is “the chief among ten thousand, the altogether lovely one.”
DEGRADED SERFS OF THE WORLD’S
FIERCE DESPOT!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “HELP HEAVENWARD”
Every unconverted man and woman is a servant, a slave, a captive. “He that commits sin is the slave of sin.”
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And those who are the servants of sin are, by virtue of that relation, equally the vassals of Satan, “are led captive by him at his will.”
They are the most degraded of all vassals; they wear the most galling of all fetters; they are the willing servants, the obedient slaves, the degraded serfs of the world’s fierce despot, Satan!
Reader! you are spiritually a slave or a freeman; which?
Are you….
a slave to an unregenerate nature, a slave of the world,
a slave of Satan,
a slave of self,
a servant of sin?
Or are you one whose fetters Christ has wrenched, whose soul Christ has set free?
Can you say, “Christ has loosed my bonds! I once wore the chain of my sins, and the galling yoke of the law, and the heavy manacles of a poor captive of Satan; but Jesus saw me, and had compassion, and said, ‘Loose him, and let him go!’ and my grave clothes fell off, my bonds were broken, and I sprang into the holy liberty of a sinner pardoned, justified, and forever saved; and my soul overflowed with joy unspeakable, and full of glory. The bliss of that moment, the sweetness of that first taste of liberty, I can never forget!”
THREE STEPS IN THE CHRISTIAN’S LIFE
by Octavius Winslow
“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart…” Deuteronomy 8:2
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There are three steps in the Christian’s life. The first is humility.
The second is humility.
The third is humility.
Jesus, the lowly one, seeks to keep us from the loftiness of our intellect, and from the pride of our heart, by prostrating us low in the dust at His feet.
Holy posture! Blessed place! There, Lord, would I lie; my trickling tears of penitence and love, falling upon those dear feet that have never misled, but have always gone before, leading me by the right way, the best way, to the city of rest.
SELF-DEPENDENCE! SELF-LOVE! SELF-WILL!
SELF-SEEKING!
from John Flavel’s “KEEPING THE HEART”
Man, by his apostasy into sin, has become a most disordered and rebellious creature.
In his self-dependence, he opposes God as the sustainer.
In his self-love, he opposes God as the chief good.
In his self-will, he opposes God as the highest Lord.
In his self-seeking, he opposes God as the highest end. Thus he is quite disordered, and all his actions sinful.
But by regeneration, the disordered soul is set right.
Self-dependence is replaced by faith.
Self-love is replaced by love to God.
Self-will is replaced by subjection and obedience to the
will of God.
Self-seeking is replaced by self-denial.
The darkened understanding is illuminated. –211–
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The refractory will is sweetly subdued.
The rebellious desires are gradually conquered.
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A MORTAL MAN REPOSING AT THE FEET OF THE
INCARNATE GOD!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “DIVINE REALITIES”
How many a believer in Jesus pursues his Christian course with a sad countenance, the reflection of a yet sadder heart, from the consciousness of the indwelling evil of his nature perpetually exhibiting itself in flaws, and failure, and dereliction, to which the eye of human affection is blind, but which to his own inspection are real, palpable and aggravated; not the less humiliating and abhorrent because unknown and unsuspected by all but himself.
The remedy, what is it? Going and telling Jesus! Oh! If there be one view of this privilege more precious, endearing, and sacred than another, it is the liberty of admitting Jesus to the deepest confidence of the heart, of unveiling to Him thoughts, imaginations, and emotions, which no inducement could persuade us to reveal to our most dear and intimate friend.
Perhaps you have wandered far from God, and that you have fallen by your iniquity; that you have pierced afresh the bosom of that Savior that has so often pillowed your head in weakness and grief; yet, go and tell Jesus! There is not in the universe a being who can so understand and sympathize with your case as He. Tell Him how your affections have strayed; how your love has chilled; how the spirit of prayer has waned in your soul, and what ascendancy the world, the creature, and self have obtained in your mind.
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Bending beneath the cross, the eye reposing in faith upon the Crucified, there is no heart wandering, no mental emotion, no secret so profound, no sorrow so delicate, no perplexity so great, no guilt so aggravated which the lowly, penitent heart may not fully and freely tell Jesus.
It is the oversight of this truth that produces so much solitary grief in the minds of many of the Lord’s people. They forget what a Friend, what a Brother, what a Confidant, what a Savior they have in Jesus.
They refuse to go and tell Him all; and thus, brooding over their failures and sins, nursing in loneliness their trials and sorrows, their “sore runs in the night, and their soul refuses to be comforted.”
There is not a thought, a feeling, or a circumstance, with which you may not go and tell Jesus. There is nothing that you may not in the confidence of love, and in the simplicity of faith, tell Jesus.
Go, and lose yourself in the love of Jesus! Go, and hide in the wounds of Jesus!
Go, and wash in the blood of Jesus!
Go, and replenish from the fullness of Jesus! Go, and recline upon the bosom of Jesus!
All the splendor of human philosophy, science, and prowess, pales before the moral grandeur which gathers, like a halo, around a mortal man reposing at the feet of the Incarnate God; unveiling his whole soul in all the childlike confidence of a faith that grasps Jehovah!
The more frequently we go to Jesus, the more intimately we shall know Him; and the more intimately we know Him, the more ardently shall we love, self- denyingly serve, and closely resemble Him. Language cannot describe how growingly precious He will
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become to your soul; how more intensely your heart’s affections will clasp and firmly entwine around Him, your whole soul striving day by day to please and glorify Him here, longing to be with Him that you might see and enjoy Him hereafter forever.
SELF
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “MIDNIGHT HARMONIES”
“Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.” Psalm 131:2
The first object from which our heavenly Father weans His child is from SELF. Of all idols, this he finds hardest to abandon.
Idolatry of SELF has been the great and universal crime of our race!
In the soul of the regenerate, divine grace has done much to dethrone this idol, and reinstate God. The work, however, is but partially accomplished. The dishonored and rejected rival is loath to relinquish his throne, and yield to the supreme control and sway of another. There is still much yet to be achieved before this still indwelling and unconquered foe lays down his weapons in entire subjection to the will and authority of that Savior whose throne and right He has usurped.
Much self-love, self esteem, self confidence and self- seeking remain in the saved person’s heart.
From all of this SELF, our Father seeks to wean us.
He would wean us….
from our own wisdom, which is but folly;
from our own strength, which is but weakness;
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from our own wills, which are often as an uncurbed steed;
from our own ways, which are crooked;
from our own hearts, which are deceitful;
from our own judgments, which are dark; and from our own ends, which are narrow and selfish.
BREATHE THIS PRAYER!
by Octavius Winslow
The meekness, the holiness, the patience, the self- denial, the zeal, the love, traceable in us, though faint and imperfect, are transfers of Christ’s beauteous and faultless lineaments to our renewed soul. Thus the mind that was in Him is in some measure in us.
We should grow more like Christ…. in the purity of His human nature, in the humility He exemplified,
in the self-denial He practiced, and in the heavenly life He lived.
What spiritual heart will not breathe this prayer, “O Lord! I cannot be satisfied merely to profess and call myself Yours. I want more of the power of vital religion in my soul. I pant for Your image. My deepest grief springs from the discovery of the little real resemblance which I bear to a Model so peerless, so divine; that I exemplify so little of….
Your patience in suffering;
Your meekness in opposition;
Your forgiving spirit in injury;
Your gentleness in reproving;
Your firmness in temptation;
Your singleness of eye in all that I do.
Oh, transfer Yourself wholly to me. What is this world, yes, what is heaven itself, without You? A universe of
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creatures, the fondest, the holiest, could not be Your substitute to my yearning, longing soul, O Lord! Come, and occupy Your own place in my heart. Awaken it to Your love. Sweep its chords with Your gentle hand, and it shall breathe sweet music to Your dear name.”
GOD’S CHILDREN MAY BACKSLIDE
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “HELP HEAVENWARD”
If the spirit of prayer is restrained, if the means of grace are neglected; and, as a consequence of all this inward declension, the world should have an ascendancy, Satan prevail, and the sin that does most easily beset them attain a momentary triumph, it is no strange thing that….
their love to Him should wax cold, their faith decline,
their strength decay,
their zeal slacken, and
their godly frames grow sleepy and inert. But still they are God’s children!
O wondrous grace!
O changeless love!
Chastened, corrected, rebuked, and humbled, their heavenly Father will restore them to His pardoning love and gracious favor, and they shall again walk with Him filially, humbly, softly, as His dear children!
Behold, we come just as we are. We come from the swine’s trough; we come from feeding upon husks, upon ashes, and upon the wind. We come with the bruise, the wound, the dislocated limb. We come
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deploring our fall, confessing our departure, mourning over our sin.
Lord receive us graciously, love us freely, and turn Your anger away from us. “I will arise and go unto my Father, and will say unto Him, Father, I have sinned.”
What! after all that I have done! In the face of my willful transgression, of my base ingratitude, of my abused mercies, of my past restorings, of my aggravated departures, of all the past of Your mercy, Your goodness, Your faithfulness, Your love, do You still bid me return?
Does the overture, the outstretched hand, the first step, come from You? Then, behold, I come unto You, for You are the Lord my God!
Your power draws!
Your goodness dissolves!
Your faithfulness binds my heart!
Your grace restores!
Your love pardons!
Your blood heals my soul and, behold! I come.
Your voice, so kind, invites me!
Your feet, so unwearied, seek me!
Your hand, so gentle, leads me!
Your look, so loving, so melting, so forgiving, wins me!
Lord, I must not, I dare not, I cannot stay away. Behold!
I come unto You!
SIN SEEN, HATED, CONQUERED, AND FORSAKEN!
by Octavius Winslow
Believer, every sin and infirmity and deficiency you discover in your heart, Christ has died for, He has shed His blood for, and has forever put away.
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By repairing anew to His atonement and His grace, you shall have your iniquities subdued, and your conscience purified, and your soul reinstated in a sense of pardon and Divine acceptance.
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 shadow of the cross of Christ.
Drag your foe there, and it is slain!
Go there, my soul, and weep, mourn, and love.
In communing with the sin of your own heart, oh, forget not the yet deeper, closer communion with the
heart of Jesus!
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JOHN 10:27-29
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE SECURITY OF BELIEVERS; OR, SHEEP WHO SHALL NEVER PERISH”
“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
“They shall never perish; neither shall any pluck them out of My hand.” If it could be that one sheep were plucked out of His hand, then would the devils in hell rejoice, and say, “He could not keep them. He said that He would, but He could not. We have managed to pluck this one, or that one, out of the pierced hand of their Redeemer.” But such a horrible exultation shall never be heard throughout the ages of eternity.
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None that He has purchased with His blood, and made to be His own, shall ever wander away so as to perish at last.
Who is to loosen the clasp of that hand that was pierced with the nail for me?
My Lord Jesus bought me too dearly ever to let me go. He loves me so well that His whole omnipotence will work with that hand; and unless there is something greater than Godhead, I cannot be plucked away from that dear, fast holding grip.
“My Father gave them to Me.” I picture my blessed Lord looking at each one of His believing people, and saying, “My Father gave you to Me.” That poor woman, that struggling young man, that decrepit old lady, that man who is half starved, but who loves his Lord; Jesus says of each one, “My Father gave this soul to Me.” He cannot lose what His Father gave Him. He would die again sooner than He would lose them. His death has made their salvation safe beyond all jeopardy.
He laid down His life for the sheep.
The lion came, and leaped into the fold; but the Shepherd met the lion; yes, He received him on His naked breast, and held him there. It was a terrible tug. The Shepherd sweat great drops of blood as He held the monster; but He rent him, and He hurled him to the earth, and said, “It is finished,” and it was finished.
He has so saved all His flock until now that we are sure that He will never lose one of those whom His Father committed to His trust.
“My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” There lie the children of God in the hand of Christ. Do you see that fast closed hand? They are safe enough there. Jesus
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says, “No man shall be able to pluck them out of My hand.” But see the Father, He puts His hand over the hand of Jesus! There, now; you are inside two hands, “And no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.” Oh, the serene security of those who hear the voice of Christ, and whom He calls His sheep! A double-handed force keeps them safe against all evil.
Pluck away, Satan! You will never pluck them away from the hand of Jesus, and the hand of His Father!
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PRIDE CANNOT LIVE BENEATH THE CROSS!
by Spurgeon
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?”
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.
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May the Lord bring us in contemplation to Calvary, then our position will no longer be that of the pompous 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.
ALL DROPPING FROM THE OUTSTRETCHED, MUNIFICENT HAND OF A LOVING, GRACIOUS, AND
BOUNTIFUL FATHER!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “DIVINE REALITIES”
Beloved, remember that all our past and all our coming prosperity, if indeed He shall so appoint it, is in the hand of God. It is His wisdom that suggests our plans, it is His power that guides, and it is His goodness that makes them successful.
Every flower that blooms in our path, every smile that gladdens it, every mercy that bedews it, yes, “Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above…”
Oh! for grace to recognize God in all our mercies!
How much sweeter will be our sweets, how much more blessed our blessings, and endeared our endearments, to see them all dropping from the outstretched, munificent hand of a loving, gracious, and bountiful Father!
Oh! for a heart lifted up in holy returns of love,
gratitude and praise!
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IF THE SECRET MUST BE TOLD!
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE FATHER’S LOVE TO HIS DYING SON”
Jesus’ laying down His life for us is the central display of His love, and the chief cause of our affection to Him.
We love Him for the holiness of His character, for the tenderness of His heart, for the excellence of His teaching; and, indeed, we love Him for everything about His blessed person and work.
But, if the secret must be told, our hearts were chiefly won when our Beloved put on the crimson vesture, and stood before us decked with wounds, and pale in death. Then did we sing of Him, “White and ruddy is my Beloved.”
Oh, the beauties of our King when He stands beneath the purple canopy of sacrifice!
Our heart is won and held in joyful captivity when we can say, “You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood.” That text often thrills our heart wherein we read, “Who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree.”
Calvary reveals the great fountain of our love!
The cross is the pole whereon is uplifted the banner of love, both His and ours. We love Him because He first loved us, and Golgotha is the window through which His love looks.
The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
Will a man die for sheep? Yes, that could possibly happen. But could the Son of God die for such base creatures as we are? We were, of ourselves, by no means so great a treasure to Christ as a sheep is to a man; and yet He thought far more of us than shepherds
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do of their flocks. We were by nature only as so many foxes, or serpents, or creeping things; but yet the Lord Christ, having set His love upon us, would not rest until He had laid down His life for us!
Alas! we were as ungrateful as we were unworthy.
We even opposed the efforts of our Savior. We acted more like goats than sheep, for we butted with our horns against our Shepherd.
We were stray sheep, and did not return at His call; we did not follow Him, but we went farther and farther away.
We were lame as to returning; but “when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”
We are sheep, too, that still go astray very grievously. After having been brought back on His shoulders, after having been pastured by His care, yet still we go astray!
We are sheep that were lost; we are sheep that would lose themselves again, if they could; sheep that make a very poor return to Him that shepherds us.
“Is this your kindness to your Friend?” is a question which might often awaken sad memories in our hearts.
Beloved, let us love our Lord more! Surely, we cannot help it, as we perceive our own undeservings, and the greatness of His love whereby He laid down His life for us!
Indulge yourself with a sight of His love as it hangs bleeding on the tree.
Child of God, see how Jesus loves you! Look to His cross!
Look wholly to the slain Jesus!
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Blessed, forever blessed, be your dear name, O Jesus! There is none like it in heaven, nor in the heaven of heavens. How shall we praise You? Our tears of gratitude come to our rescue; if we cannot speak Your praises, we will weep them.
EXTRACT THE HONEY FROM THE WORD!
from Octavius Winslow’s book,
“THE LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF SPIRITUAL LIFE”
The frivolous and frothy literature of the day, of which, alas! the press is so prolific, is exerting a most baneful influence upon the spiritual life of many Christian professors.
In numberless cases the exaggerated fiction; the sensational story; the high wrought romance; is supplanting those works contributed by the most highly cultivated, spiritual minds.
The effect of this upon the Christianity of the age, must be deteriorating and disastrous in the extreme.
Hence the sickly life exhibited by many religious professors!
The prevailing taste for this vapid, worldly literature lowers the intellectual powers of the mind, and impairs the spiritual powers of the soul.
What, then, is the great antidote to this far circulating moral poison?
We unhesitatingly answer—the private and devout study of God’s word. We believe that the Bible can only be spiritually and experimentally understood as the student retreats from the arena of religious controversy, into the privacy of his chamber, and there, as upon his knees, invoking the aid and teaching of the Holy Spirit.
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It is not always in the crowd, and amid the voices of conflicting interpreters, or even from the pulpit, that the literal and spiritual meaning of the Scriptures is understood; but, when we withdraw into the privacy of the closet, or the solitude of the sick chamber, He explains to us, and causes us to understand, the mind of the Spirit in the Word as at no other time and in no other way.
And, oh! in the quietude of that separation; in the stillness of that hour; you may have closer communion with God; know more of Christ and understand more of the truth, than at any previous period of your spiritual life! “And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.”
Oh, it is thus when sequestered from man, and only with God, we excavate the gold and extract the honey
from the Word!
THIS PRECIOUS ANOINTING!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE PRECIOUS THINGS OF GOD”
This holy anointing of the Spirit will impart clearness to your mind, so that you shall have a right judgment in all things.
It will impart sweetness to your temper; gentleness to your spirit, and will give you a lowly, loving, self- condemning heart.
It will make your behavior towards others more Christlike. It will fill you with charity and love; the grace of kindness will be in your heart, and the law of kindness on your lip.
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This precious anointing is so soul transforming, so ‘Christ assimilating’ in its influence, that it is impossible to partake of it in any degree and not be like Jesus.
When you see a religious professor who is…. proud in heart,
lofty in spirit,
covetous in his aims,
condemning others, justifying himself, unsympathizing, or harsh;
you see one who is lacking this anointing. He is not sitting at the feet of Jesus.
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CHRIST’S SCHOOLS!
from Octavius Winslow’s “THE PRECIOUS THINGS OF GOD”
In the world there are various schools for different branches of knowledge and science, where the principles and systems peculiar to each one are alone taught.
Christ has His various schools for His disciples.
There is,
the school of correction,
the school of trial,
the school of sorrow,
the school of temptation,
the school of active service,
the school of patient endurance.
In one, or all of these schools, Jesus is instructing His disciples on earth, teaching them the particular lessons,
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and bringing them into the experience of the particular truths found in to other way.
The school of suffering is also Christ’s school, in which He is teaching, disciplining, and training you for
heaven.
The path of spiritual declension is a ‘sloped plane,’ each step accelerating the rapidity of the soul’s descent.
It commences at the closet. The restraining of prayer; especially private devotion; is the first stage in the decay and declension of the believer in the divine life.
Soon will follow the fascination and power of the world; and when the world enters like a flood, Christ and prayer and eternal realities are swept before its impetuous torrent, then the gracious soul is stranded upon the bleak, rock bound coast of bitter remorse and dark despair.
THE SINS OF OUR MOST HOLY THINGS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “SOUL HEIGHTS AND SOUL DEPTHS”
Beloved, all that we do for God, and for Christ, and for our fellows, is deformed and tainted by human infirmity and sin.
A close scrutiny and analysis of our most saintly act would discover the leprosy of iniquity deeply hidden beneath its apparent loveliness and sanctity.
How humbling, yet how true!
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THE PATH OF SPIRITUAL DECLENSION
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “SOUL HEIGHTS AND SOUL DEPTHS”
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We have need….
to weep over our tears,
to repent of our repentances, and to confess our confessions.
And, when….
our most fervent prayer has been breathed,
our most self-denying act has been performed, our most liberal offering has been presented, our most powerful sermon has been preached, our sweetest anthem has poured forth its music,
we have need to repair to the “blood that cleanses from ALL sin,” even the sins of our most holy things!
How instructive and impressive the type! “You shall make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, Holiness to the Lord…And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord.”
Thus has Christ, our true Aaron, made a full Atonement for the “iniquity of our holy things;” and the mitre is always upon His head, that our persons and our offerings may be ever accepted before the Lord.
MEDITATION
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MINISTRY OF HOME”
“My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned…” Psalm 39:3
That is, while I was retracing all the way the Lord had led me; while I was meditating upon the fullness and preciousness of His Word; and while I was musing
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upon the great love with which He had loved me, the fire in my soul was enkindled.
There are few more powerful aids to growth in grace, to progress in sanctification of heart, and humbleness of mind, than devout meditation.
“Isaac went out to meditate in the field at evening.” “I meditate on You in the night watches.”
Cultivate, my reader, this holy and useful habit.
In a world of incessant action, and in an age of restless excitement, we have great need to imitate these holy examples, and to retire to the “calm retreat, the silent shade,” and there abandon ourselves to devout meditation upon Divine, heavenly, and eternal things.
THIS DIVINE SECRET!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “HELP HEAVENWARD”
“Casting all your cares upon Him; for He cares for you.”
How full of soothing and repose are these words! Where, in the world’s wilderness, grows the flower of heart’s ease as it blooms and blossoms here?
What cares have they lightened!
What anxieties have they removed!
What burdens have they unclasped!
What springs of joy and comfort and hope have they unsealed in many a sad and oppressed heart!
But do you not, beloved reader, need to be put in constant remembrance of this divine secret of rest amid toil, of repose amid disquietude, of soothing amid corroding cares, and of confidence and hope in the midst of change and depression?
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Bewildered and oppressed by the multitude of anxious thoughts within you, is there not a danger of being so absorbed by the care as to overlook the Caretaker? to forget the heart’s ease in the overwhelming of the heart’s anxiety?
“Casting all your cares upon Him; for He cares for you.” 1
IT IS I
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE TREE OF LIFE”
“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Mark 6:50 Listen, then, to the voice of Jesus in the storm.
It is I who raised the tempest in your soul, and will control it.
It is I who sent your affliction, and will be with you in it. It is I who kindled the furnace, and will watch the
flames, and bring you through it.
It is I who formed your burden, who carved your cross, and who will strengthen you to bear it.
It is I who mixed your cup of grief, and will enable you to drink it with meek submission to your Father’s will.
It is I who took from you worldly substance, who bereft you of your child, of the wife of your bosom, of the husband of your youth, and will be infinitely better to you than husband, wife, or child.
It is I who have done it all!
I make the clouds My chariot, and clothe Myself with the tempest as with a garment. The night hour is My time of coming, and the dark, surging waves are the pavement upon which I walk.
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“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
It is I, your Friend, your Brother, your Savior!
I am causing all the circumstances of your life to work together for your good.
It is I who permitted….
the enemy to assail you,
the slander to blast you,
the unkindness to wound you, the need to press you!
Your affliction did not spring out of the ground, but came down from above; a heaven-sent blessing disguised as an angel of light clad in a robe of ebony.
I have sent all in love!
This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God. This bereavement shall not always bow you to the earth, nor drape in changeless gloom your life.
It is I who ordered, arranged, and controlled it all!
In every stormy wind,
in every darksome night, in every lonesome hour, in every rising fear,
the voice of Jesus shall be heard, saying, “Take courage!
It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
HAS THE GOSPEL CHRISTIANIZED YOUR HOME?
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MINISTRY OF HOME”
It is impossible to love Jesus ardently, to behold Him spiritually, and to study Him closely, and not be molded, in some degree, into His lovely likeness!
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Has the Gospel of Jesus made your temper milder, your heart purer, your life holier?
Has it softened your churlishness, subdued your moroseness, sweetened your disposition, rendering you more attractable, admired, and loved?
Has it converted your penuriousness into liberality, your pride into humility, your selfishness into generosity, your love of ease and sloth into active service for the Lord?
Has the Gospel Christianized your home?
O remember that the Gospel of Jesus has done but little for us if it has not done this!
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THE SOLE OCCUPANT OF THIS BOUNDLESS
UNIVERSE!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE PRECIOUS THINGS OF GOD”
It marvelous that God should think of us as He does. God is infinitely great and holy; all worlds, all beings, all events occupy His mind. Yet, He has individual thoughts of His children; not mere passing glances of the mind, but involving the pre-determination and pre- arrangement of each event, circumstance, and step of our personal history, trivial though it be but the falling of a hair from our head.
This is a truth too mighty to grasp were it not too precious to refuse, and too divine to disbelieve.
Doubtless, you have often appeared, in your own estimation, so obscure and insignificant a being; a mere cipher in the great sum of human existence, a single drop in the vast ocean of human life; as to be almost at an infinite distance from God’s notice.
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Isolated, poor and lowly as you may be, God, the great holy Lord God thinks of you, notices you, regards you, sets His heart upon you. His thoughts cluster around you, clinging to you with a grasp so fervent and intense as though He were solely and supremely absorbed with you and your concerns.
Each child of God dwells in His heart, and engages His mind as though he were the sole occupant of this boundless universe!
O child of God! The thoughts that God has of you are so vast that nothing can exceed, and so precious that nothing can equal them. The thoughts of the infinite God encircle you more closely and fondly than the ivy clasps the elm, or the mother the newborn infant.
There is not a moment that He is not thinking of you!
Do not be cast down then, if God appears to forget you. “My way is hidden from the Lord,” says the desponding Christian.
“No!” says God, “I have engraved you on the palms of My hands; you are continually before Me.”
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GOD’S CONSCIOUS COMFORTING PRESENCE!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MINISTRY OF HOME”
Then Moses said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.” Exodus 33:15
What a needed and solemn petition!
God’s presence, going with us! Such is the response of every true God fearing, Christ loving heart. The believer has learned to understand the nature of God’s favor, to know the value of His presence, to test the wisdom of His guidance, and to experience the
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blessedness of the light of His countenance. And now, the one desire and prayer of his heart is, “Let Your presence go with me. Let it accompany me in all the chequered, changeful
history of this year. May Your Presence…. counsel me in difficulty,
soothe me in sickness,
cheer me in solitude,
keep me in danger,
shield me in temptation, strengthen me in service, sustain me in suffering, and deliver me from evil.”
Let, then, the accompanying presence of God be the intense desire of your heart, and the principal element of your Christian experience.
God’s conscious comforting presence has been the experience and the solace of His people in all ages and in all circumstances.
David felt it in the cave.
Daniel in the lion’s den.
Jeremiah in the dungeon.
Jonah in the whale’s belly.
Paul and Silas in the Philippian jail, and John on the Island of Patmos.
And why not you, O child beloved of God, in all the varied journeyings and trials and circumstances of your history? Earnestly covet this blessing: the sensible presence of God throughout your personal history.
Realize that, whatever the varied incidents and afflictions in your experience may be, you are not alone, because your Father is with you.
Live as in His continual atmosphere. Walk as before Him, and be perfect.
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His presence is promised, His help is pledged. “Lo! I am with you always.”
Aspire after the Psalmist’s enviable experience: “I am continually with You. You have held me by my right hand. You shall guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.”
Thus robed with God’s conscious presence, your walk will be so regulated as to please Him in all things. You cannot voluntarily sin against Him, standing as encircled by the halo of His Divine perfections. The place will be too awesome, the atmosphere too pure, the feeling too solemn, for Satan or sin to dare intrude.
Our safety alone is in nearness to the cross; is in walking in close communion with God, in the holy, filial, happy enjoyment of His encircling presence.
THE HUMAN IDOL IS REMOVED!
from Octavius Winslow’s book,
“THE LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF SPIRITUAL LIFE”
Bereavement is often the season of revived spirituality. Eternity is more solemnly realized; the mind is more withdrawn from the affairs of the present life; the heart is disengaged from the shadows of earth; and the things that are seen, and temporal, give place to the things that are unseen and eternal.
Oh, see that this is one hallowed fruit of your present sorrow! God has sent it to revive His work in your soul; to draw off your thoughts and affections from those earth born things which have too much absorbed the vitality and impaired the vigor of your higher life—your life for God; for heaven; for eternity!
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Bereavement is a time of prayer. If ever the solace of prayer is felt, the preciousness of the Mercy Seat is realized, it is now. Your heart, stricken with grief, turns to God. The sad and startling discovery is made; unsuspected while the light of God was upon your tabernacle; that too far and too long your heart had roved from God; your communion had grown distant, and your affections chilled; and, shyness of God and leanness of soul have supervened, as the natural consequence of your remote and careless walk.
But now the shadow of death has darkened the sunshine of your life: the destroyer has invaded the sanctuary of your home, and has plucked a cherished flower from your bosom; or, has broken a ‘strong and beautiful staff’ at your side; or, has laid low a venerable oak spreading its branches beneath the roof tree of your dwelling; and your heart, bowed with grief, now bows itself in prayer to God, and the spiritual life of your
soul throbs with a newer and more quickened pulse.
Oh hail that as a heaven sent blessing; robed though it be with the habiliment of mourning; which wakes the slumbering spirit of prayer, and sets you upon the work of calling upon God!
The human idol is removed, but the Divine Savior takes its place!
Oh, it is so hard to yield what was most dear; to give back to God a loan, the possession of which seemed intertwined with every fiber of the heart, and the existence of which had become essential to life itself!
But tracing a Father’s hand and a Father’s heart; His all wise and righteous government appointing the event, and His infinite and unchanging love sending it; your bewildered mind and bleeding heart bows in submission, with the words of Christ breathing from
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your lips; “My Father, if this cup may not pass from me, except I drink it, may Your will be done.”
And thus, in this submission of your will to God, this terrible calamity has issued in such a development and growth of your spiritual life as leaves its reality without a doubt, and its luster without a cloud. And, as music sounds the sweetest in the still of night, and as flowers, when bruised, breathe their richest perfume; so, your night of weeping and crushing grief has issued in the sweetest song of your bruised spirit, and in the holiest fragrance of your spiritual life.
Oh, who can adequately portray the perfect calm, the hallowed repose, the ecstatic joy, when the Divine will is supremely enthroned in the soul, and the sad heart nestles itself, as a child weaned of its mother, in the very bosom of God!
A TRAGEDY ABOVE ALL TRAGEDIES!
by A. W. Tozer
The average person in the world today, without faith and without God and without hope, is engaged in a desperate personal search throughout his lifetime.
He does not really know where he has been. He does not really know what he is doing here and now. He does not know where he is going.
The sad commentary is that he is doing it all on borrowed time and borrowed money and borrowed strength; and he already knows that in the end he will surely die!
Man, made more like God than any other creature, has become less like God than any other creature. Created
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to reflect the glory of God, he has retreated sullenly into his cave; reflecting only his own sinfulness.
Certainly it is a tragedy above all tragedies in this world that man, made with a soul to worship and praise and sing to God’s glory, now sulks silently in his cave.
Love has gone from his heart. Light has gone from his mind.
Having lost God, he blindly stumbles on through this dark world to find only a grave at the end.
The fall of man has created a perpetual crisis. It will last until sin has been put down and Christ reigns over a redeemed and restored world.
Until that time the earth remains a disaster area and its inhabitants live in a state of extraordinary emergency.
To me, it has always been difficult to understand those Christians who insist upon living in the crisis as if no crisis existed. They say they serve the Lord, but they divide their days so as to leave plenty of time to play and loaf and enjoy the pleasures of the world as well. They are at ease while the world burns! I wonder whether such Christians actually believe in the Fall of man!
Let a flood or a fire hit a populous countryside and no able bodied citizen feels that he has any right to rest till he has done all he can to save as many as he can. While death stalks farmhouse and village no one dares relax; this is the accepted code by which we live.
The critical emergency for some becomes an emergency for all, from the highest government official to the local Boy Scout troop. As long as the flood rages or the fire roars on, no one talks of “normal times.” No times are
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normal while helpless people cower in the path of destruction.
In times of extraordinary crisis ordinary measures will not suffice. The world lives in such a time of crisis. Christians alone are in a position to rescue the perishing.
We dare not settle down to try to live as if things were “normal.” Nothing is normal while sin and lust and death roam the world, pouncing upon one and another till the whole population has been destroyed.
“I’m too often at ease and consumed with my self interests, Lord. Open my eyes to see the tragedy of friends and acquaintances on their way to a Christless eternity. Do it for Jesus’ sake, Amen.”
THIS TREMENDOUS SCENE!
from Octavius Winslow’s book,
“THE LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF SPIRITUAL LIFE”
Pause, then, for a moment, and contemplate, with the eye of faith, or if you have no faith, with the eye of imagination, this tremendous scene!
Look at that point, far away in the ethereal regions, where the gradually lessening form of our Savior disappeared from the gaze of His disciples, when He ascended to heaven. In that point see an uncommon, but faint and undefined, brightness just beginning to appear. It has caught the roving eye of yon careless gazer, and excited his curiosity. He points it out to a second, and a third. A little circle soon collects, and various are the conjectures which they form respecting it. Similar circles are formed, and similar objections made, in a thousand different parts of the world. But conjecture is soon to give place to certainty; awful,
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appalling, overwhelming certainty. While they gaze, the appearance, which had excited their curiosity, rapidly approaches, and still more rapidly brightens. Some begin to suspect what it may prove; but no one dares to give utterance to his suspicions.
Meanwhile the light of the sun begins to fade before a brightness superior to his own. Thousands see their shadows cast in a new direction, and thousands of hitherto careless eyes look up at once to discover the cause. Full clearly they see it; and now new hopes and fears begin to agitate their breasts. The afflicted and persecuted servants of Christ begin to hope that the predicted, long expected day of their deliverance is arrived. The wicked, the careless, the unbelieving, begin to fear that the Bible is about to prove no idle tale. And now fiery shapes, moving like streams of lightning, begin to appear indistinctly amid the bright, dazzling cloud which comes rushing down as on the wings of a whirlwind. At length it reaches its destined place. It pauses. Then, suddenly unfolding, discloses at once a great white throne, where sits, starry, resplendent, in all the glories of the Godhead, the Man Christ Jesus! Every eye sees Him; every heart knows Him.
Too well do the wretched, unprepared inhabitants of earth now know what to expect, and one universal shriek of anguish and despair rises up to heaven, and is echoed back to earth. But louder, far louder, than the universal cry, now sounds the last trumpet; and far above all is heard the voice of the Omnipotent, summoning the dead to arise and come to judgment. New terrors now assail the living on every side, no, under their very feet, the earth heaves as in convulsions; graves open, and the dead come forth; while, at the same moment, a change, equivalent to
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that occasioned by death, is effected by Almighty power on the bodies of the living. Their mortal bodies put on immortality, and are thus prepared to sustain a weight of glory or of wretchedness, which flesh and blood could not endure.
Meanwhile, legions of angels are seen, darting from pole to pole, gathering together the faithful servants of Christ from the four winds of heaven, and bearing them aloft to meet the Lord in the air, where He causes them to be placed at His own right hand, preparatory to the sentence which He is to award to them, everlasting life.
Christian, if you would gain more and greater victories over the world than you have ever done, bring this scene often before the eye of your mind, and gaze upon it until you become blind to all earthly glory. He who gazes long at the sun becomes unsusceptible of impres- sions from inferior luminaries; and he who looks much at the Sun of Righteousness, will be little affected by any alluring object which the world can exhibit.
THE FLAMING SWORD OF JUSTICE QUENCHED IN
THE HOLY, LOVING BOSOM OF JESUS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “SOUL HEIGHTS AND SOUL DEPTHS”
The most significant and appalling demonstration of God’s holiness that the universe ever beheld, infinitely distancing and transcending every other, is the sufferings and death of His only and beloved Son!
The cross of Calvary exhibits God’s hatred and punishment of sin in a way and to an extent which the annihilation of millions of worlds, swept from the face of the universe by the broom of His wrath, could never have done!
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“Who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree.”
Behold the most awful display of God’s hatred of sin! Finding the sins of the Church upon Christ as its Surety, Substitute, and Savior, the wrath of God was poured out upon Him without measure!
God finding the sins of His people laid upon His Son, emptied upon His holy soul all the vials of His wrath due to their transgressions!
Go, my soul, to Calvary, and learn how holy God is, and what a monstrous thing sin is, and how imperiously, solemnly, and holily bound Jehovah is to punish it, either in the person of the sinner, or in the person of a Surety.
Never was the Son of God dearer to the Father than at the very moment that the sword of divine justice, flaming and flashing, pierced to its hilt His holy heart!
But it was the wrath of God, not against His beloved Son, but against the sins which met on Him when presenting Himself on the cross as the substitutionary sacrifice and offering of His Church.
He “gave Himself for us.”
What a new conception must angels have formed of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, when they beheld the flaming sword of justice quenched in the holy, loving bosom of Jesus!
And in what a dazzling light does this fact place the marvelous love of God to sinners!
Man’s sin and God’s love; the indescribable enormity of the one, and the immeasurable greatness of the other; are exhibited in the cross of Christ as nowhere else.
Oh, to learn experimentally these two great facts; sin’s infinite hatefulness, and love’s infinite holiness!
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The love of God in giving His Son to die; the love of Christ in dying; the essential turpitude and unmitigated enormity of sin, which demanded a sacrifice so Divine, so holy, and so precious! 1
NESTLE BENEATH HIS SOFT WING!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MINISTRY OF HOME”
“Jesus wept.”
Perhaps the most sublime spectacle of Jesus’ life is His weeping at the grave of Lazarus. The Son of God, the Creator of heaven and earth, the Maker of all things, the upholder of all worlds, in tears!
Marvelous spectacle!
Jesus stood the Chief Mourner at that grave.
That very same Savior whose tears fell fast and warm upon the grave of His buried friend, who had tears for the mourning sisters, tears for the saddened disciples, and tears for the unbelieving Jews, has tears, sorrowing one, for you!
The sympathy of Christ with our sorrows is not a mere sentiment, a transient emotion, a passing tear quickly shed, and as quickly dried.
O no! His are the tears of a love that once wept tears of blood for us!
His is a compassion that sustains, as well as comforts, that sanctifies as well as soothes.
The sympathy of Christ has a soul transforming effect, a Divinely assimilating power, it makes us Godlike.
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Cling to the sympathy of Christ. Nestle beneath His soft wing; it will enfold and shelter you until these calamities be overpast.
He who mourned with the loved ones in the home of Bethany, and wept over the grave of Lazarus, mourns and weeps with you. Turn from the gloom and mystery of your loss, and lose yourself and it in the loving, sympathizing Savior.
A SOUL-SATISFYING SPECTACLE!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MINISTRY OF HOME”
The sight of Jesus is a soul-satisfying spectacle!
The penitent soul is satisfied, for it sees in Jesus a free pardon of sin.
The condemned soul is satisfied, for it receives in Jesus a free justification.
The believing soul is satisfied, for it discovers in Jesus a fountain of all grace.
The tried, tempted, sorrowful soul is satisfied, for it experiences in Jesus all consolation, sympathy and love.
O, what an all-satisfying Portion is Jesus!
He satisfies every holy desire, for He realizes it.
He satisfies every craving need, for He supplies it. He satisfies every sore grief, for He soothes it.
He satisfies the deepest yearnings, the highest aspirations, the most sublime hopes of the renewed soul, for all these center and end in Him!
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THE SLANDERER! THE BACKBITER!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MINISTRY OF HOME”
The slanderer is not merely the idle gossip, he is more. He is the inventor, or, what is equally criminal, he is the propagator of calumny itself! Envious of a rival, resolved upon shading the luster, or bent upon the total extinguishment of a star circling in a wider and brighter orbit than his own, he either coins, or propagates a lie injurious to the character of some public servant of God, or the reputation and happiness of some private individual moving in the quiet and unobtrusive walks of usefulness.
Is there not death in this unhallowed use of the tongue? Is there not ‘slaying power’ in that false report, that base insinuation, that cruel surmise, that “soft buzzing slander, that eats an honest name”? Most assuredly! The treacherous moth is not a more insidious and dangerous foe to the beautiful fabric it secretly and slowly destroys; nor the worm a more searching and wasting enemy of the costly vellum whose heart it pierces and devours, than he whose tongue is sharper than a sword, “cutting honest throats by whispers.”
It has been remarked that against slander there is no effectual armor of defense. Nothing is easier than to invent a slander, and nothing more difficult than to annihilate it. It generally selects for its victims the most good and worthy, as the birds peck at and destroy the best and loveliest fruit. I do not think that Tophet boasts of a darker fiend, or man can deplore a fouler foe than he who deals in it. Like the Indian, it dips its arrows in deadly poison; like Judas, it betrays the innocent with the kiss of villainy. Assassination is its employment, the guiltless its victims, ruin its sport,
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and the loud laugh of hell its reward! It is a moral pestilence veiled in darkness; a thousand fall beside it and ten thousand at its right hand, so unmercifully and deeply wounded as often never to recover the anguish of heart it has occasioned.
The backbiter is the destroyer of the absent one. Of all evil speaking this is, perhaps, the lowest, the most cruel and dastardly. Taking advantage of the defenseless position of his victim, asserting behind his back what he would not dare to utter before his face; by dark insinuations, by mysterious innuendoes, by a tragic tone; the backbiter will give affected importance and authenticity to what all the while he knows to be unfounded in truth; and by this despicable means do serious and, perhaps, irreparable injury to the character and good name of an innocent, and, it may be, useful servant of the Lord; who, by his absence, is precluded from either defending his innocence or confounding his calumniator.
How sad and unenviable the character of the slanderer, the whisperer, the backbiter, the talebearer, the gossip! What are all these but domestic pests; propagators of a social moral plague?
“Save me, O Lord, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.”
Psalm 120:2
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THE ARROW OF PRAYER!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “SOUL HEIGHTS AND SOUL DEPTHS”
“Out of the depths have I cried unto You, O Lord.” Psalm 130:1
Beloved, out of the depths of your difficulty, your need, your sorrow, cry mightily unto God.
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There is….
no depth so profound,
no darkness so dense,
no privation so pressing, or perplexity so great,
but from it you may cry unto God; the Lord inclining His ear to the softest, faintest breathing of your soul.
Sink the soul as it may, the arrow of prayer, feathered with a divine promise, springing from the bow of faith, and winged by the power of the Spirit, will overcome every obstacle, pierce every cloud, and fasten itself upon the throne of the Eternal God!
Cries out of the depths of ‘soul distress’ have a peculiar eloquence and an irresistible success with God; just as the plaintive wail of a sick and suffering child reaches and penetrates a parent’s heart more quickly and more deeply than all others.
Tried and desponding soul, you can never sink below the everlasting arms of God!
God frequently permits His children to descend into great “depths” of spiritual and mental conflict, and even temporal need, that He might display His love and power in stooping to their necessity. “I was brought low, and He helped me.”
We are but imperfectly aware how low the great God can bend to our case; how condescendingly Christ can stoop to our condition!
We may be brought very low;
our case sad and desperate;
riches may flee;
poverty may come upon us as an armed man; character may be assailed;
children may try; friends may change;
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enemies may wound;
death may bereave; and
our soul be plunged as into fathomless depths.
Nevertheless, sink deep as we may, we shall but sink more deeply into the embrace of Christ, ‘the everlasting arms’ still underneath us.
“He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters.”
Oh we must descend into great depths of affliction, of trial, and of need, to fathom, in some measure, the soundless depths of God’s love, of the Savior’s fullness, of the Spirit’s comfort!
Your heavenly Father waits to enfold you to His loving and forgiving heart!
Soon the soul desponding saint will ascend from the lowest depths of earth to the loftiest height of heaven. Long before the body springs from the dust, your soul, O believer, will have taken its place amid the blood- ransomed throng, clustering in shining ranks around the throne of God and the Lamb. And, reviewing all the way the Lord your God led you, through the wilderness and across the desert, you shall blend the old song of free grace with the new song of eternal glory!
THE HEART OF GOD WILL FLY OPEN!
by Octavius Winslow
If as a poor lost sinner you repair to the Savior, all vile, guilty, unworthy, and weak as you are, He will receive you, and shelter you within the bosom that bled on the cross, to provide an atonement and an asylum for the very chief of sinners. Thus knocking at mercy’s door,
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the heart of God will fly open, and admit you to all the hidden treasures of its love.
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A MASS OF POLLUTION, A DEN OF FILTHINESS, A
SEETHING MASS OF PUTREFACTION!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE WEANED CHILD”
Pride is the besetting sin of mankind.
Your heart is a mass of pollution, it is a den of filthiness. Apart from divine grace, your heart is a seething mass of putrefaction! If God’s eternal Spirit were not to hold it in check, but to let your nature have its way, envyings, lustings, murders, and every foul thing would come flying forth in your daily life.
IT WILL ENGRAFT ITSELF UPON OUR HOLY THINGS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE TREE OF LIFE”
“…so He got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him.” John 13:4-5
This lowly act of Christ is intended to inculcate the precept of humility.
Here was the Infinite Majesty of heaven, the Maker of all worlds and the Creator of all beings, stooping to wash the feet of His disciples!
What a needed precept, what a holy lesson this!
The pride of our hearts is the deep-rooted evil of our depraved nature!
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It is perpetually cropping up; notwithstanding all the prunings by which God seeks to keep it down, and lay it low.
Its forms are many, its name is ‘legion.’
There is….
the pride of ancestry,
the pride of rank,
the pride of wealth,
the pride of place,
the pride of intellect, and the worst of all pride, the pride of ‘self-righteousness.’
There is nothing too little and trivial with which pride will not plume itself!
It can find its boast…. in a fine dress,
in a beautiful face,
in a splendid mansion, in tasteful furniture, in a rare picture,
in any work of man’s device!
No, more, it will engraft itself upon our holy things! How much sinful, hateful pride of heart is intermixed with all our service for Christ! We are proud of our spiritual gifts and graces, proud of our ecclesiastical place and power, proud of our popularity and usefulness, we taint and shade and mar all we do for God.
Pride compasses you about as with a chain; and that chain, unless broken by the power of God, will bind you down to regions of eternal despair!
If you are to be saved by Christ, the pride of your heart, rising in rebellion against the doctrine of a gratuitous salvation, must be brought down, mortified, and slain
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root and branch. Christ, must receive all the honor and glory….
of emancipating you from your sins,
of delivering you from condemnation, and of bringing you to heaven.
But the grace of Christ is all sufficient, and the believing soul will be entirely emptied, root and branch, of this hideous, this God abhorring sin, when it reaches that bright and holy world where all bow in the profoundest humility before the throne of God, and all the glory of the creature is lost in the splendor of the Lamb!
SELF-RIGHTEOUS AND PROUD
Horatius Bonar, “THE SIN BEARER”
An unforgiven person is always self-righteous and proud. It is the free, the complete forgiveness of the cross, that humbles the soul and melts the heart.
THIS GREAT WORLD?
from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“THE DROUGHT OF NATURE, THE RAIN OF GRACE, AND THE LESSON THEREFROM”
Apart from God’s preserving, the whole race of men would be turned to dust, and cease from the land of the living.
All creation exists by the will of the Lord; and if His will should cease to send forth conserving power to maintain the created things in existence, they would all cease to be.
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This great world; the sun, the moon, the stars; would all dissolve; and, as a moment’s foam dissolves into the wave that bears it, they would be lost forever.
At the Lord’s will the universe would be gone, as yonder bubble which your child was blowing but a moment ago, which now has vanished, and left no trace behind.
YES, ALL FOR YOU!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “OVERWHELMING OBLIGATIONS”
I bid you come to that famous garden, where in the dead of the night Jesus knelt and prayed, until in agony He sweat drops of blood. It was for you, for you, believer, that there the bloody sweat drops fell to the ground.
You see Him rise up. He is betrayed by His friend. For you the betrayal was endured.
He is taken.
He is led off to Pilate.
They falsely accuse Him;
they spit in His face;
they crown Him with thorns;
they put a mock scepter of reed into His hands.
For you that ignominy was endured. For you especially and particularly the Lord of Glory passed through these cruel mockings.
See Him as He bears His cross, His shoulder is bleeding from the recent lash. See Him, as along the Via Dolorosa He sustains the cruel load. He bears that cross for you. Your sins are on His shoulders laid, and make that cross more heavy than had it been made of iron.
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See Him on the cross, lifted up between heaven and earth, a spectacle of grievous woe. Hear Him cry, “I thirst!” and hear His cry more bitter still, while heaven and earth are startled by it, “Why have you forsaken Me, my God, my God?”
He is enduring all those griefs for you!
For you the thirst and the fainting.
For you the nakedness and the agony.
For you the bowing of the head.
For you the yielding up the spirit.
For you the slumber in the cold and silent tomb.
For you His resurrection when He rises in the glory of His might, and for you afterwards the ascension into heaven, when they sing, “Lift up your heads, O you gates, and be lifted up, you everlasting doors.”
For you His constant pleading at the right hand of the Father.
Yes, all for you!
What then, should be done for Him?
What tribute shall we lay at the pierced feet?
What present shall we put into that nailed hand? Where are kisses that shall be sweet enough for His
dear wounds?
Where is adoration that shall be reverent enough for
His blessed and exalted person?
Daughters of music, bring your sweetest songs! You men of wealth, bring Him your treasures! You men of fame and learning, come lay your laurels at His feet! Let us all bring all that we have, for such a Christ as this deserves more than all. What shall we render to You for all your benefits towards us?
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DYED IN THE PURPLE STREAM OF HIS OWN
HEART’S BLOOD!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “SOUL HEIGHTS AND SOUL DEPTHS”
“Born of a woman, and made under the law,” our Divine Lord, the moment His infant feet pressed our earth, came under the curse, began His work of obedience, and wove the first thread of that seamless, stainless Robe of Righteousness for the full and free justification of His believing people; which, when completed, He dyed in the purple stream of His own heart’s blood upon the cross. “He was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”
Beloved, you are, perhaps, now in a measure assimilated to your suffering Lord. It is with you a night of grief and solitude, of weeping and watching.
God has smitten you.
The hand of the Almighty is upon you.
What is the cup your Father has given you to drink?
Have riches fled?
Has health faded?
Have friends changed?
Has death bereaved?
Are earthly hopes blighted?
Are worldly expectations disappointed? Are human plans frustrated?
Is your path shaded?
Is your life lonely?
Are your actions misunderstood?
Are your motives misconstrued?
Is your work unrewarded?
Are your sensibilities wounded?
Is your spirit crushed?
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Be it so. Jesus passed through all this before you, and you are but treading the lonely, tearful path He trod.
You are looking for….
some ray of hope,
some means of deliverance,
some source of supply,
some drop of comfort,
some avenue of escape from a present and a crushing
trial.
In the heat of the conflict with suffering and trial, with temptations and tears, you exclaim, “O that my Savior would appear!”
And so it will be! The Lord will not leave you comfortless. It shall not be all night, all sorrow, all tears. Joy will succeed your sorrow, laughter your tears, and your long and dreary night will dissolve into the splendor of perfect and endless day!
AN IRREVOCABLE LOSS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MINISTRY OF HOME”
The loss of an affliction or a trial, is an irrevocable loss! It cannot be repaired.
There was a necessary reason for the ‘rod of correction’ with which our Heavenly Father visited us….
some sin to be removed, or
some backsliding to be restored, or some evil to be checked, or
some lesson to be learned, or some blessing to be bestowed.
If, then, we are not diligent in seeking a sanctified possession of the discipline, earnest in securing the end
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for which our God chastened us, we have lost the mission and the blessing for which it was sent; and O how great and irreparable that loss!
Let us, then, see that we lose not one of our sorrows; they are too precious and valuable to be lost; but that we turn them all to a good account; diligent to extract some sweet thing from the bitter, some nourishing thing from the eater, and to find a penciling of light in the somberest cloud.
Let us see that under the afflictive hand of God we become more humble, more spiritually minded, more dead to the world, more prayerful, more Christlike, and Christ more precious; in a word, made by our Father’s corrections more “a partaker of the Divine holiness.”
O hallowed fruit of sanctified sorrow!
No tongue can adequately describe the costly, sacred blessings flowing from one hallowed sorrow.
We have, perhaps, become more intimately acquainted with the character of God, more experimentally known the Lord Jesus Christ, and more spiritually understood the meaning of God’s holy Word, in one sanctified afflic- tion, than we ever attained to in all our previous history!
THE WOUNDED AND WOUNDING HAND
OF THE SAVIOR!
from Octavius Winslow’s book,
“THE LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF SPIRITUAL LIFE”
There are some believers who only become fruitful in times of trial, who make no headway in their spiritual voyage but in a storm!
Affliction times are ‘fruit promoting’ times to God’s “trees of righteousness.”
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Afflictions deepen the roots, and clothe the boughs with the foliage and fruit of righteousness.
Oh, who can fully estimate the real advance of the spiritual life of the soul in one hallowed trial, through one sanctified sorrow?
The slumbering spirit of prayer is roused! The truant heart is recalled!
Trembling faith is strengthened!
The spirit shaded with sorrow, and the soul bowed with calamity, turns to Jesus, and finds in the wounded and wounding hand of the Savior, the balm and the succor which ‘heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.’
When does the trial end? When, like a faithful servant, it has discharged its errand; when its ‘heaven sent mission’ is fully accomplished, it will dissolve into the light of joy, and issue in a new song of praise.
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the
morning.”
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THE MEDICINE! THE KNIFE! YOUR SONG!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “SOUL HEIGHTS AND SOUL DEPTHS”
The believer has never known how deeply God loves him, how truly a child of God he was, and how tender and faithful His Father’s love, until God has afflicted him.
Then he sees love, and nothing but love…. in the calamity that has impoverished,
in the disease that has wasted,
in the bereavement that has crushed,
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The moment tried and sifted faith disentangles itself of ‘second causes,’ and rests in God, that moment the bitter and unlovely bulb bursts into the sweet and beauteous flower, laden with the dew and bathed in the sunshine of heaven!
It is thus that sanctified sorrows yield to the believer the richest fruit; and that in the ‘valley’ he drinks from sweeter springs than flow from the mountain’s top!
But it is not always that the saints of God accept this discipline of trial without murmur and rebellion.
They too often lose sight of….
the wisdom that appoints, and
the faithfulness that sends the trial, and
the immense good to themselves it was designed to
accomplish.
They do not see the hand of their Heavenly Father, beneath whose loving corrections they lie.
As an old divine remarks, “The physician attacks the disease, and not the patient; his object is to cure him whom he causes to suffer. It is thus that God, whose mercy is infinite, chastises us only to bring us into the way of salvation, or to confirm our course in it. You are not angry with your physician when he applies the cautery or the knife to your gangrened limb; on the contrary, you can scarcely find language adequate to the expression of your gratitude; you keep repeating that he has saved your life by preventing the disease from spreading, and you pay him liberally for his attentions! Yet you murmur against the Lord, who wounds only for our good; and you are unwilling to acknowledge that the afflictions with which He visits us are the only means capable of restoring health to our souls, or of securing the continuance of it when it is restored to us.”
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Expect, then, the happiest results from this curative process of your Divine Physician!
The prescription may be unpalatable, and the excision painful; nevertheless, the richest blessing to you and the highest glory to God will be the happy and hallowed result!
“Every branch that bears fruit, He prunes, that it may bring forth more fruit.” In this light, view your present sickness, suffering, and sorrow.
The medicine is prescribed by Jesus, the knife is in a Father’s hand, and your song shall be, “He has done all
things well.”
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SHADOWS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book,
“THE LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF SPIRITUAL LIFE”
All is shadow here below!
The world is a shadow; and it passes away!
The creature is a shadow; and the loveliest and the fondest may be the first to die!
Health is a shadow; fading, and in a moment gone!
Wealth is a shadow; today upon the summit of affluence, tomorrow at its base, plunged into poverty and dependence!
Human friendships and creature affections are but shadows; sweet and pleasant while they last, but, with a worm feeding at the root of all created good, the sheltering gourd soon withers, exposing us to the sun’s burning heat by day, and to the frost’s cold chill by night!
Oh, yes! ‘passing away’ is indelibly inscribed upon everything here below!
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Yet how slow are we to realize the solemn lesson: “What shadows we are, and
what shadows we pursue!”
Unconverted reader, what is your life but a vapor that passes away? and what are its pursuits but shadows; unreal, unsatisfying, evanescent? Your rank, your wealth, your honors, your pleasures, are but phantoms which appear but for a little while, and then are lost in the deeper shadow of the grave, and the still deeper and longer shadow of eternity! Oh, turn from these dreams and hallucinations, and, as a rational, accountable, immortal being, on your way to judgment, fix your mind upon your solemn, endless future! You are going to die! And, oh, when that dread hour comes, so real and appalling, how will your past life appear?
OUR DESIRE. OUR INTENTION.
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST”
Our desire is that the Holy Spirit, who is the Divine Revealer and Interpreter of Christ and His truth, may impart to your hearts a sober, spiritual and sanctifying receptivity of His Word; abasing self, and exalting Christ!
Our intention is to unfold and illustrate the Lord Jesus Christ in the relation in which He stands to His people, to unveil His glory, beauty, and fullness, to define the close bond of union that unites to Him all His brethren, and to bring you into a more personal realization of what Christ is to you, and of what you are to Christ.
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CHRIST’S GARDEN
by Spurgeon
“I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse.” Song of Solomon 5:1
The heart of the believer is Christ’s garden. He bought it with His precious blood, and He enters it and claims it as His own.
A garden implies separation. It is not the open com- mon; it is not a wilderness; it is walled around, or hedged in. Would that we could see the wall of separa- tion between the church and the world made broader and stronger. It makes one sad to hear Christians saying, “Well, there is no harm in this; there is no harm in that,” thus getting as near to the world as possible. Grace is at a low ebb in that soul which can even raise the question of how far it may go in worldly conformity.
A garden is a place of beauty, it far surpasses the wild uncultivated lands. The genuine Christian must seek to be more excellent in his life than the best moralist, because Christ’s garden ought to produce the best flowers in all the world. Even the best is poor compared with Christ’s deservings; let us not put Him off with withering and dwarf plants. The rarest, richest, choicest lilies and roses ought to bloom in the place which Jesus calls His own.
The garden is a place of growth. The saints are not to remain undeveloped, always mere buds and blossoms. We should grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Growth should be rapid where Jesus is the Husbandman, and the Holy Spirit the dew from above.
A garden is a place of retirement. So the Lord Jesus Christ would have us reserve our souls as a place in
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which He can manifest Himself, as He does not unto the world. O that Christians were more retired, that they kept their hearts more closely shut up for Christ! We often worry and trouble ourselves, like Martha, with much serving, so that we have not the room for Christ that Mary had, and do not sit at His feet as we should. The Lord grant the sweet showers of His grace to water His garden this day.
THE IMAGE AND REFLECTION OF CHRIST!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST”
As Christ is taken into our hearts by faith, He becomes a part of our moral nature, an integrated element of our spiritual being. Consequently we grow Christlike, or rather, Christ grows in us. We become more holy, more meek, more gentle, more humble; in a word, the image of our Lord is more developed in us, and we grow less man-like and more God-like; and the quietness of our spirit, and the courtesy of our demeanor, and the lowliness of our minds, and the gentle, winning sweetness of our whole carriage and speech are but the image and reflection of Christ!
BRING YOUR SORROWS TO ME
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE TREE OF LIFE”
“Bring him here unto ME.” Matthew 17:17
In your moment of disappointment and despair, Jesus meets you with the gracious words, “Bring it here unto me.” And now your spirit revives, your heart bounds, at the words, and you exclaim, “Behold, Lord, I come.”
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Jesus says, “Bring your sorrows to Me.” Never did the soul find so powerful a magnet, attracting to itself affliction in every form, and sorrow in every shade, as Jesus.
Standing as in the center of a world of woe, He invites every daughter of sorrow, of sin, of grief to repair to Him for succor, sympathy, and healing.
As the High Priest of His Church for whom alone He suffered, and wept, and sobbed; He unveils a bosom capacious enough and loving enough, and sympathizing enough, to embrace every sufferer, and to pillow every grief.
Accept, then, His compassionate invitation, and bring your grief to the soothing, sustaining, sanctifying grace
of His heart.
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WHY, THEN, THESE FEARS? WHY THIS DISTRUST?
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST”
Jesus has all the treasures of the everlasting covenant, all the fullness of the Godhead, all the resources of the universe in His keeping, and at His disposal!
Look at the starry sky; Jesus strewed it with its jewelry.
Look at that enchanting landscape; Jesus enameled it with its loveliness.
Look at that cloud capped mountain; Jesus reared it. Look at that beauteous lily; Jesus painted it.
Look at that soaring bird; Jesus feeds it.
He, with whom is all this strength and beauty, is your Brother. Are you not better and dearer to Him than these? He has loved and chosen you from all eternity,
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ransomed you with His blood, and inhabited you by His Spirit.
Why, then, these fears? Why this distrust?
All He requires of you is to bring….
to His fullness your emptiness;
to His sympathy your grief;
to His unerring wisdom your embarrassment; and to His sheltering wing your temptations and trials.
Spread your case before Him in the humble confidence of a child. Listen to His words: “I am the Lord God that brought you up out of the land of Egypt; open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” Psalm 81:10
LEAN HARD!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MINISTRY OF HOME”
“Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain you.” Psalm 55:22
It is by an act of simple, prayerful faith we transfer our cares and anxieties, our sorrows and needs, to the Lord.
Jesus invites you come and lean upon Him, and to lean with all your might upon that arm that balances the universe, and upon that bosom that bled for you upon the soldier’s spear!
But you doubtingly ask, “Is the Lord able to do this thing for me?” And thus, while you are debating a matter about which there is not the shadow of a shade of doubt, the burden is crushing your gentle spirit to the dust.
And all the while Jesus stands at your side and lovingly says, “Cast your burden upon Me and I will sustain
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you. I am God Almighty. I bore the load of your sin and condemnation up the steep of Calvary, and the same power of omnipotence, and the same strength of love that bore it all for you then, is prepared to bear your need and sorrow now. Roll it all upon Me!”
“Child of My Love! Lean hard! Let Me feel the pressure of your care. I know your burden, child! I shaped it—I poised it in My own hand and made no proportion of its weight to your unaided strength. For even as I laid it on, I said I shall be near, and while she leans on Me, this burden shall be Mine, not hers. So shall I keep My child within the circling arms of My own love. Here lay it down! Do not fear to impose it on a shoulder which upholds the government of worlds! Yet closer come! You are not near enough! I would embrace your burden, so I might feel My child reposing on My breast. You love Me! I know it. Doubt not, then. But, loving me, lean hard!”
CREATURE IDOLATRY
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE TREE OF LIFE”
This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans and turn their hearts away from the Lord.” Jeremiah 17:5
We trust either in our own selves or in others, until God writes upon our human dependence the sentence of death.
Thus the Lord empties us of our heart’s idolatry, teaches us the weakness of human power, withers the arm and dries up the spring of creature help, that He might but draw us to Himself.
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Accept, as sent in love to you, child of God, the painful and humiliating discipline of your heavenly Father, which has destroyed all your creature confidences, broken your beautiful vessels and blasted your pleasant gourds of created good.
Oh, never did Jesus evince His love to you as now!
Were not His desire towards you, were He not jealous of your love, and did He not wish to make you supremely happy by bringing you to seek and find that happiness supremely in Himself, then would He have allowed you to follow after your lovers, giving you up to the creature idolatry of your too fond and clinging heart.
How seldom do we repair to Jesus with our burdens, perplexities, and needs until we have tried any and every other resource.
So earthly and carnal beings are we, that if we can but attach ourselves in seasons of conscious sorrow and need and weakness to another creature, however frail the object and feeble the hold, we would rather do so than trust in the invisible God. We bear our burden first to the creature rather than directly and immediately to Jesus Himself.
When all human power failed, and all creature resources dried, and men or angels could not help us, we only then turn to Jesus.
“Bring him here unto ME.” Matthew 17:17
It is the highest as the sweetest privilege of the believer to bring all to Jesus; to come, though He be a last resource; to come, though filled with shame and penitence at not having come to Him before, at not having come to Him at first, yet to come bearing the
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burden, unveiling the grief, disclosing the need to Jesus.
Do not take your burdened heart to minister, nor to saints, nor to sacraments, nor to religious duties, nor to pious services; all, all these, are vain helpers, having no power to lighten you of the burden. Let us endeavor to strengthen and encourage you, my reader, in this holy and helpful privilege of bringing to Jesus what, in all probability, you have brought in vain to man.
Imagine the Lord addressing these words to you, “Bring it here unto me.” The invitation, perhaps, finds you in deep need, in overwhelming distress, at a critical crisis of your history. Human power has proved helpless, friends faithless, plans futile, and you are at your wits’ end.
Do not be ashamed to take your case to Jesus, even though you have gone first to human help.
It is His glory to step in and achieve a work and bestow a blessing when all human power and resources have failed. He loves to unlock His treasury when man’s is utterly exhausted.
Go, then, fall at His feet, and tell Him you have tried all other help, and all has failed you, and at last you come to Him.
In a word, Jesus bids you bring all to Him…. your depression and despondency,
the sadness of your heart, the anxieties of your mind, the wounds of friends,
the calumnies of foes,
the assaults of man, your fear of death and your dread of judgment.
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All, all He invites to the asylum of His love, to the arm of His power, and to the fullness of His sufficiency.
No word of upbraiding will fall from His lip, no look of anger dart from His eye.
Well will He remember how you leaned upon the arm of human power and it failed you, how you reposed upon the heart of human love and it disappointed you, how you resorted to human skill and it could not cure.
And now, in the deepest, tenderest sympathy with your blighted hopes, your wounded affections, your disappointed plans, He would sincerely uplift the flower crushed and trampled in the dust, and, bathing it in the dew of His grace, place it in His sheltering bosom, to freshen and to bloom forever beneath the warm sunshine of His smile.
SWEET TRUTH IS THIS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST”
Our highest source of comfort lies, not in our knowledge of Christ, but in Christ’s knowledge of us.
We too imperfectly deal with Jesus personally.
We too little bring our individual sorrows, needs, and circumstances to Christ.
And yet what a comforting truth is this, and not comforting only, but deeply sanctifying—
Jesus knows me personally,
Jesus has my name on His heart,
Jesus has my position in His mind,
Jesus has my circumstances in His eye,
Jesus is acquainted with my individual state in society, with my trials, temptations, sorrows, and needs.
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Such is His individual and discriminating knowledge; He knows me as if I were the only one He owns and acknowledges on earth!
Sweet truth is this!
You retire to your chamber to brood in solitude and silence over your lonely griefs, perhaps, with the sad thought, “No one knows me, no one sympathizes with me, no one is acquainted with my case, I am like a sparrow alone on the house top. I pray, and sigh, and groan in lonely places, and no one cares for my soul.”
Oh, beloved child of God, there is One who knows you, knows your name, your position, your griefs, your temptations, your loneliness, who says, “I know their sorrows,”—it is Jesus.
Lord, are you acquainted with such a poor, sinful worm as I?
Do you, Lord, care for me; think of me; love me?
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is like Yourself, Divine!
“The foundation of God stands fast, having this seal, the Lord knows those who are His.”
Here is your comfort, your safety, and your hope— Jesus knows you,
Jesus is acquainted with you,
Jesus has His unslumbering eye upon you,
and you can be in no circumstance of sorrow, of peril, of darkness, and of need, in which Christ shall not know and recognize you as His child, and most dearly beloved.
Let the thought of Christ’s knowledge of us be an ever present, ever abiding remembrance.
When darkness or sorrow veils Him from our view, still let us cling to the truth that He knows us; and when
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sin would tempt, and the world seduce, and the creature ensnare, and some false attraction would disturb the central fixedness of our heart on Christ, oh, let the solemn truth that Jesus knows us then instantly break the spell, dissolve the enchantment, and win back the soul to its allegiance and love!
WHAT AN ANGEL’S TONGUE NEVER CAN UNFOLD!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST”
It is splendid when we are led by the Eternal Spirit into a heartfelt acquaintance with the riches and fullness of the gospel. There is no spiritual need of the soul which the provisions of the gospel of Jesus do not meet….
for our wounds it is a balm;
for our fears it is a cordial;
for our battles it is an armor;
for our soul’s hunger and thirst it is manna from
heaven and water from the Rock.
“O Lord, we bless You for the gospel! It is a feast of fat things, a mine of inexhaustible wealth, a spring of all consolation, a good and pleasant land, bathed in the sunshine and laden with the fruit of eternal summer.”
O beloved, into what a rich, spiritual condition Jesus brings us when He brings us into experimental acquaintance with Himself! Oh, to know Jesus; to have the least degree of a spiritual, a heartfelt acquaintance with Christ; a full Christ, a present Christ, a compassionate Christ, a powerful Christ; is what an angel’s tongue never can unfold!
But, beloved, we would have you know into what spiritual wealth, bounty, and peace you are brought when in the least degree you are enabled to realize
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what Christ is to you.
Do you, amid life’s trials and earth’s cares, consider the possessions you have in Jesus?
What a Savior!
What a Redeemer!
What a Brother!
What a Friend!
What an Advocate!
What a Counselor!
What a loving heart loves you!
What a sleepless eye watches over you! What a full hand supplies you!
What a present help in every time of need!
THE GARDEN OF THE SOUL
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MINISTRY OF HOME”
Look well to the condition of your soul! Whatever else is neglected, allow no neglect here.
Your spiritual state infinitely outweighs every other consideration. Nothing demands more incessant watch- fulness, pruning, weeding, and irrigation; since nothing is so susceptible of decay, as the garden of the soul.
Guard against….
the world’s blight,
the canker worm of covetousness,
the nipping frost of carnal association, and the withering heat of religious professional
excitement,
lest the lamentation of old should again be heard: “They made me the keeper of the vineyard, but my own vineyard have I not kept.” 1
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HIS UPLIFTED DART IS INEXORABLE!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST”
We are born to die.
The treasured ones around us have within them the seeds, and upon them the sentence, of death.
The brilliant eye, the rosy cheek, the vermilion lip, the tall, graceful form shooting up, as in a night, like a cedar, are often to a skillful and discerning glance, but as flowers blooming for the tomb.
Our home circles, with all the powerful barriers which affection and influence can cast around them; guarded as by angel sentinels of love; are not a security against the entrance of ‘the king of terrors.’
Youth cannot resist him.
Beauty cannot awe him.
Wealth cannot bribe him. Eloquence cannot persuade him. Learning cannot confound him. Skill cannot baffle him.
Tears cannot move him.
Religion cannot evade his icy touch.
To all this, his uplifted dart is inexorable!
He takes….
the prince from the throne,
the ruler from the state,
the orator from the senate,
the judge from the bench,
the minister from the pulpit,
the head from the family,
the mother from the home,
the babe from its mother’s arms.
None, none are spared!
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Do you see….
that vacant chair?
those unread books?
those portraits on the wall? that treasured locket?
that unworn apparel?
What do they mean?
Oh, how sad, how touching their mute, expressive eloquence! They remind us of the departed. They tell of the eternal land where they have fled, where they will return not again until time be no more.
But what is this sad visitation of bereavement, but one of the appointed dispensations of our heavenly Father, sent in unerring wisdom, righteousness, and love?
LUXURIATING FOREVER!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST”
Beloved, the Lord Jesus intends that His people shall be near unto Him in heaven.
His satisfaction of soul will not be complete until He clusters around Him in glory all for whom His soul travailed in suffering on earth.
Nothing shall separate Him from His people!
Not a jewel from His crown, not a lamb from the fold, shall be missing from the Father’s house!
You will drink of the pure river of the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb!
You will eat of the fruit of the tree of life in the midst of the paradise of God, yielding its fruit every month!
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You will….
behold Christ in His glory,
enjoy God forever,
be perfected in purity, and
swim in the ocean of infinite and eternal blessedness!
There Jesus will take you, dear saints of God.
And there shall be…. no more exile,
no more sorrow,
no more neediness, no more parting, no more sickness, no more death, and no more sin.
You will be luxuriating forever amid the glories and plenitude of the new Jerusalem!
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THE TRUE TEST OF THE SPIRITUAL STATE OF
OUR SOULS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MINISTRY OF HOME”
Christ once seen by faith becomes an object of ever growing desire. The believing soul is never satisfied with the sight it has had of Jesus.
The Apostle Paul saw Jesus as none of the others had seen Him; and yet this was still his great desire, “that I may know Him.”
Thus the desires of the renewed soul after Christ are unlimited and insatiable, and will never be satisfied until it beholds Him in glory; nor even then!
Eternity will be occupied with Jesus; in contemplating His person, in admiring His beauty, in beholding His
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glory, in studying His work, and in sweetly chanting His high praise.
But the Christ loving soul wants to realize more of Jesus now—
more of His love and loveliness;
more of His grace and graciousness;
more of the fitness and completeness of His sacrifice; more of His manifested presence and sacred
communion.
There does not exist a stronger evidence of our union with Christ, and of our interest in His salvation than this one ardent desire of the soul after Him.
Our views and thoughts and aspirations concerning Jesus constitute the true test of the spiritual state of our souls!
Let this, then, evidence the reality of your conversion, and the healthfulness of your growing state; namely, your longings after Christ, your deepening desire to see more of Jesus, to have more real transaction with Him by faith, closer fellowship with Him, and to exalt Him more warmly and supremely upon the throne of your love!
THE SYMPATHETIC LOVE OF THE INCARNATE GOD!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE TREE OF LIFE”
“Jesus wept.” John 11:35
These are among the most wonderful words recorded in the Bible. They mark the most exquisitely tender, touching, and expressive incident in His whole life.
“Jesus wept,” wept from emotion, wept from sympathy. Is there a more consolatory, soothing view of Christ’s love than this?
It is a compassionate, sympathizing, weeping love. –275–
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The sympathy of Jesus never wearies or slumbers, it never chills or forgets. It entwines with our every cross, attaches to our every burden, and frosts with sparkling light, each dark cloud. It is not the vapid sentiment of fiction, nor the morbid sympathy of romance. It is a divine-human reality. It is the sympathetic love of the Incarnate God!
Let your faith, then, repose with confidence on the reality of Christ’s sympathy with your grief.
Oh how sacred and precious are the tears of divine love, the tears of Jesus! Soothed and sustained by such a sympathy as Christ’s, we may well drink meekly the cup our Father mingles; we can well afford to be severed from all other sympathy, and weep out our sorrow in lonely places; Jesus weeping with us by the couch of languor, by the bed of darkness, and at the grave of buried love.
O you afflicted one, tossed with tempest and not comforted, refuse not this cup of consolation which the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, would give you; the sympathy of your Lord and Savior, your Friend and Brother in the time of your calamity. Yield yourself to its irresistible power, and it will draw you submissively to His feet, and hush to rest your sobbing heart upon His bosom!
HUMAN GUIDANCE
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MINISTRY OF HOME”
We have need to be on our watch against the powerful influence of spiritual mentors, lest, fascinated by the fame of some popular leader, we become the willing
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dupes of a childish superstition, or the blind followers of a fatal error.
Do not take your views of Divine truth from man; draw them primarily from God’s Word. Do not study the Bible through your theological system, but let your system be taken from, and faithfully weighed with, the Bible. Our theological system must not be allowed to give its complexion to, or to be the interpreter of, revealed truth. But, on the contrary, God’s Word is to suggest and mold and tint all our thoughts and opinions and systems.
We must not set the sun by our watch; but our watch by the sun. In other words, we must not attempt to make God’s Word dovetail with our creed, but must test every doctrine we hold, every opinion we receive, every principle we maintain, the hope we cherish, by the unerring standard of revealed truth. This will give a Divine and proper complexion to our views.
If we receive the light of the sun through a tinted lens, the light will necessarily reflect the hue of the medium through which it passes. So, if we receive the light of God’s Word through any theological system whatever, it will necessarily reflect the error and imperfection, if such there be, of that system. And thus we shall fail to receive the teaching of God as it flows pure and simple from His Word, as light flows from the sun, and as streams from the fountain.
The Bible is our rule of faith and our only and ultimate appeal. By the law and the testimony let every doctrine, and system, and hope for eternity be tried. Be not, then, carried away by the learning, the influence, or even the piety attaching to a popular name. Allow no human leader the mastery of your mind and conscience.
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Yield yourself meekly and obediently to the authority and teaching of Christ, accepting human guidance only so far as it comes with a “thus says the Lord” as its divine endorsement.
Our only safeguard in a matter of such infinite moment as our future well-being, is God’s pure Word; our only secure place, the feet of the Savior. Sitting there as His lowly disciple, the Holy Spirit will lead our minds into the truth, even “the truth as it is in Jesus,” as it emanates from Jesus, as it speaks of Jesus, as it strengthens our faith in, and inspires our love to, Jesus, and as it prepares us to go and be with Jesus forever.
LOVE FLOWING FROM A SIGHT OF THE CROSS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE TREE OF LIFE”
“Behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that he was reclining in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of ointment. Standing behind at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and she wiped them with the hair of her head, kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment.” Luke 7:37-38
She washed Christ’s feet with the tears of grateful love. Jesus had pardoned all her sins, had absolved her from their guilt, and had released her from their power. How natural was the feeling of gratitude, how appropriate this service of love!
The most genuine contrition for sin flows from a sense of its forgiveness. Nothing breaks the heart so thoroughly as the experience of God’s pardoning love, love flowing from a sight of the cross!
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THE CHILDREN OF WRATH!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE TREE OF LIFE.”
We are all by nature, the children of wrath. There breathes not an individual of our race who is not involved in the fall and wreck of humanity; whose nature is not originally and totally alienated and depraved, tainted by sin and accursed of God; who, dying in that state, unrenewed, unconverted by the Holy Spirit, must pass into eternity but to endure its inconceivable, indescribable, and never ending woe.
OUR POOR, FAMISHED, CRAVING, DESTITUTE
NATURE!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST”
Why this air of restlessness which pervades our nature? Why this look of dissatisfaction imprinted on every countenance? Why those deep furrows on every brow? Why this universal cry of our humanity, “Who will show us any good?”
What! can you find no good in this vast universe that God has formed? Ah, no! Man finds all ‘created good’ to be but a broken cistern.
He hews out cistern after cistern, sets up enterprise after enterprise, devises new plans of happiness, each one more promising than the other, and still his soul is filled with one vast, aching void….
the heart restless,
the spirit anxious, and the mind dissatisfied.
And so our poor, famished, craving, destitute nature travels round the circle of all ‘created’ blessing, and
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terminates the journey by reiterating the plaintive cry,
“Who will show us any good?”
There is a universal existence in our race of a need. That need is happiness; a need for something that will meet the intense yearning, and craving of our spiritual, moral, and intellectual being.
Some seek it in the gay world, some in the sensual world, others in the intellectual world, others more in the political world, and there are not a few who are seeking it in what is termed conventionally the religious world.
These have little or no taste for the world’s gaieties, less for intellectual pursuits, and still less ambition to climb the steep of human distinction and carve their name on some lofty column.
But they seek to meet the yearning, the panting, and the craving of their nature in a religion of their own; and religious duties, religious engagements, religious excitement, and religious rites and ceremonies, are eagerly sought and sedulously cultivated, with a view of meeting this spiritual craving for that which will give repose and satisfaction to the soul.
Oh, we beseech you, keep your eye on the fine line of distinction between a soul only thirsting for ‘religion,’ and a soul spiritually hungering and thirsting for Christ.
Now, what is the one grand requirement of the soul? What will meet this deep, intense craving?
Is it wealth? It has been tried to its utmost, and found lacking. Ask the millionaire, and he will tell you the toil of obtaining it, the risk of investing it, the fear of losing it, and the thought of leaving it, robs him of all comfort in the possession of it, and that thus riches are utterly incompetent to make their possessor happy.
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Is it the world? Ah, no! It has been searched and ransacked through and through, and can scarcely afford a single new source of pleasure or enjoyment. One could sometimes smile, were the spectacle not too awful, at the puerile, childish expedients to which the worldling resorts to meet this intense craving of the mind. See the bubbles he blows, the baubles he chases, the straws he gathers, while the Son of God holds out a jeweled crown to the aspirant for true glory, honor, and immortality.
Can another person supply it? Ask him who has found the noblest, the dearest that earth ever afforded, if that angel of intellect and beauty, before whom the soul burns the incense of adoration, has filled this deep and aching void. What a hallucination, what a fantasy, what a mockery is all this! The mirage of the desert not more deceptive!
The soul of man needs the Gospel, and nothing but the Gospel of Christ will meet its spiritual and deep necessities! Nothing but the Gospel will uplift, ennoble, sanctify, and save our fallen, famishing, and crushed race!
Nothing short of the glorious Gospel of Christ will regenerate, sanctify, and save the soul of man! Oh, keep the eye firmly fixed on this truth, and you will be wiser than the wisest of the worldly wise, a more profound philosopher than the most learned!
HUMILITY
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE TREE OF LIFE”
Humility is an essential element of the true Christian. As humility is one of the first principles of our Christianity, so it is an ever growing and deepening one.
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Nothing more closely evidences an advance in the divine life as our growth in humility of mind.
The nearer we approach to heaven, the lower we grow in the estimate of ourselves.
As the fruit ripens for the gathering grows more mellow, so the soul that matures for glory becomes more humble and Christlike, and is willing not only to wash the saint’s feet, but even to be trampled under foot of the saints.
We learn to take the low place as we become more deeply sanctified, ready for any and every work and office the Master may assign us.
It is the bough most richly laden with fruit that bends downwards, and hangs the lowest. So those Christians who have the richest gifts and are favored with the greatest usefulness think the most lowly of themselves, and hide their gifts and graces and usefulness deepest in the shadow of Christ’s cross, and are the best prepared for the lowliest service of love to the saints.
THE IDOL ‘SELF’ MUST FALL
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST”
The soul of man in its natural condition is devoid of all holiness, of all righteousness, of all spiritual goodness, strength, and love.
The soul of man is full to overflowing with self- righteousness, with rebellion against God, with the love of sin, and the reigning power of all iniquity. It is brimmed and overflowing with all the elements of destruction, which, if left to work their own results,
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will infallibly plunge the soul into the chambers of eternal darkness and despair.
The idol ‘self’ must fall, your own righteousness must be renounced, there must be the deep spiritual conviction of the plague of your own heart; you must feel that you are under the condemnation of the law, and that you have not one claim to God’s mercy, nor one plea springing from yourself whereby He should accept and save you.
It is only a heart deeply, spiritually conscious of its poverty, lowliness, and uncleanness, and emptied and humbled thereby in the dust, that opens its doors to receive and welcome Him who came “not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Oh, if your heart is lowly, empty and penitent, Jesus will make His gracious advent into it, and dwell there forever!
It is the power of God alone that empties a man, that makes him clearly to see the imperfection of his own righteousness, his ignorance of truth, of God, and of Christ.
It is the work of the Holy and Eternal Spirit to show to the poor sinner that all his righteousness is as filthy rags, that he has no spiritual strength, and not one pulse of love to God throbbing in his bosom.
Oh, it is a power as great, as mighty, and as Divine as that which spoke this universe into being, which said, “Let there be light, and there was light,” which alone can empty your soul of all its darkness, its rebellion, its ignorance, its love and homage of self, and bring you to the cross of Christ, to the feet of Jesus as a poor, empty beggar.
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BEWARE OF THAT PRACTICAL ATHEISM!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST”
Beloved, God is in history. God in every man’s history. God is in your history.
He is in every event, and circumstance, and incident of your life. Whatever that history be, God arranged it, shaped it, and tinted it.
Is it dark? He penciled it, with its somber hues.
Is it bright? He has thrown upon the canvas those beauteous colors.
Are they blended? He mingled and harmonized them.
Recognize and acknowledge, adore, love, trust, and glorify Him for all, and in all. “Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways.”
Beware of that practical atheism which excludes God from His own world; which excludes Him from your individual history. He is not only present in His created universe, but He is as much in personal events of life, shaping, guiding, and overruling each and all.
THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD
by Don Fortner
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
Divine providence is the daily, constant, sovereign rule of our God over all things for the accomplishment of His eternal purpose of grace in predestination.
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Predestination is the sovereign, eternal, immutable, unalterable purpose of God almighty, by which He ordained and ordered, according to His own will and good pleasure, all things that come to pass in time.
Divine providence is the accomplishment of God’s sovereign will and purpose. Providence is God bringing to pass in time (sovereignly, absolutely, and perfectly) what He purposed in eternity. Predestination is God’s purpose. Providence is God’s execution of His purpose.
Nothing in the universe happens by luck, chance, fortune, or accident, or by blind fate. Everything that comes to pass in time was purposed by our God in eternity, and is brought to pass by His wise, adorable, good Providence. Nothing comes to pass in time that God did not purpose in eternity, in sovereign predestination. Nothing comes to pass in time except that which God sovereignly brings to pass in His Providence. And that which God predestinated in eternity and brings to pass in His Providence is for the good of His elect, and the glory of His name. This is clearly and incontrovertibly the teaching of Holy Scripture (Ps. 76:10; Pro. 16:4, 9, 33; 21:1; Dan. 4:34, 35, 37; Isa. 46:9-11; Rom. 11:33-36).
Providence is God’s government of the universe. If we have a proper view of God’s Providence, we will see the hand of God and the heart of God in everything, in all the experiences of our lives. Believers ascribe their sorrows, the judgments of God, and even the cursing of their enemies to the hand of their heavenly Father’s wise and good Providence (Job 1:21; 1 Sam. 3:18; 2 Sam. 16:11-12).
God is not idle. He never needs to rest, recuperate, or regroup! God almighty, our God and heavenly Father, is always at work, governing the world. I have frequently
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heard preachers and religious leaders speak of sickness, poverty and war, sin, crime and cruelty, famine, earthquakes and death, as things over which God has no control. Nonsense!
God’s Providence is as ‘minute’ as it is ‘mysterious’ (Matt. 10:30). Our God has ordained the number of hairs on the heads of all. Not even a worthless sparrow falls to the ground without His decree. God’s Providence is ‘all inclusive.’ God rules everything, great and small, everywhere, and at all times. Our God is in control of all inanimate matter. He who created all things rules all things.
Nothing in God’s universe breathes or wiggles contrary to God’s decree (Isaiah 46:9-13).
As a wise, skilled pharmacist mixes medicine, our heavenly Father wisely mixes exactly the right measure of bitter things and sweet, to do us good. Too much joy would intoxicate us. Too much misery would drive us to despair. Too much sorrow would crush us. Too much suffering would break our spirits. Too much pleasure would ruin us. Too much defeat would discourage us. Too much success would puff us up. Too much failure would keep us from doing anything. Too much criticism would harden us. Too much praise would exalt us. Our great God knows exactly what we need. His Providence is wisely designed and sovereignly sent for our good! Let Him therefore send and do what He will. By His grace, if we are His, we will face it, bow to it, accept it, and give thanks for it.
God’s Providence is always executed in the ‘wisest manner’ possible. We are often unable to see and understand the reasons and causes for specific events in our lives, in the lives of others, or in the history of the world. But our lack of understanding does not
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prevent us from believing God. We bow to His will, which is evident in His works of Providence, and say, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!”
The God of Providence rules all things well. How we ought to trust Him! Ever remember, our heavenly Father is God all wise, good, and omnipotent. He is too wise to err, too good to do wrong, and too strong to fail.
HAVE YOU, MY READER, WEPT FOR SIN?
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE TREE OF LIFE”
“Behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that He was reclining in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of ointment. Standing behind at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and she wiped them with the hair of her head, kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment.” Luke 7:37-38
Those tears! who can analyze them? Where shall we find pearls so priceless, or stones so precious and of fairer colors?
She washed Christ’s feet with the tears of penitence. There are no tears in Christ’s view more costly or precious than these.
This woman was poor in spirit, humble and contrite, and as she stood behind her sin-forgiving Savior, her tears of godly sorrow for sin rained fast upon His feet.
Have you, my reader, wept for sin?
Does the recollection of past transgression make you sorry? Does the memory of the sins of your youth, the
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transgressions of riper years, the sinful infirmities of old age, humble you in the dust?
Holier and more precious tears were never shed than those wept for having sinned against God at Christ’s feet.
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SANCTIFICATION & HOLINESS
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST”
Christ Himself is our sanctification.
As Christ, by the Spirit grows in us, and we become conformed to the image of Christ, He becomes our sanctification.
We grow holy only as we approximate to the nature, the spirit, and image of Christ.
This is true holiness, and nothing else is.
Holiness does not consists in fastings, in prayers, in religious duties, rites, and ceremonies. How many there are in the present day who are religiously and rigidly observing all these external things, dreaming of holiness and fitness for heaven, without one particle of real sanctification!
What a fearful and fatal delusion!
Your sanctification, beloved, is Christ: Christ growing in you, “who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.”
Beloved, you have to battle with indwelling sin, and to conflict with outward temptation. But never forget that you are to live upon Christ as much for your sanctification as for your justification; that His grace is pledged to subdue your iniquities, to arm you in the conflict, to give you skill in the holy fight, and the final
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victory over all your enemies. And in proportion as Christ grows in you, you will grow in a true hatred of sin, in a deepening love of holiness, and thus in real, gospel sanctification.
THE SCHOOL OF ADVERSITY!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MINISTRY OF HOME”
Beloved, you are, perhaps, smarting under the severe chastening of your Heavenly Father. The vase is shattered, and the flower that lent to life its sweetest perfume, lies smitten and trailing in the dust, and the hand of God is heavy upon you.
But think of the Name of Jesus, what it involves. Think of it as containing all, and infinitely more, than you have lost. Recall the sweetness of a wife’s fond love, of a husband’s faithful protection, of a child’s tender devotion, of a friend’s soothing sympathy, yes, the sweetness of every earthly good you once possessed, but possess no longer.
Then remember that all this is in Christ! That all this affection, all this counsel, all this care, all this sympathy, and all this pleasantness distilled from Him, the infinite springhead of all blessing!
O what a mercy that, when the rivulet is dried, and the stream is gone, and the cloud shades the pleasant picture that adorned with its presence and brightened with its smile our home circle, Christ remains a sufficient substitute for all; all of which combined could never have been an all satisfying substitute for Him.
Accept, then, the fragrant sympathy of Christ. No being in the universe is so near to you, loves or compassionates
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you so deeply in your present calamity as Christ does. Deem it not hard that He has dealt with you thus.
He has but transferred the flower from your bosom to His own; transplanting it to a sunnier and holier climate. Jealous of your love, He would have your undivided heart, and absorb your whole being in Himself. And O how honored and blest you now are! You shall experimentally know more of Christ, see more clearly His surpassing glory, drink more deeply His fathomless love, and experience more fully His tender sympathy than in all the past of your experience. It is only in the school of adversity that we really know what the Lord Jesus is. How much we learn from Him and of Him in one trial! Until the trial brought us sobbing upon His heart, how little we knew what that heart contained. Welcome, then, the grief that lifts you nearer to God, and that increases your acquaintance with, and your peace and joy in, the Lord Jesus.
THE NET OF EARTHLY, CARNAL, SENSUAL
ENGAGEMENTS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST”
Jesus says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth. Do not worry about your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; neither for your body, what you shall wear.”
We are passing through this fallen world to glory. And the command of our Lord is, that we be constantly forgetting the things that are seen and temporal; nor regard the world, its possessions and attractions; in the anticipation of the world of glory that is before us.
The follower of Christ is to consider earth’s wealth and –290–
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glory, this world’s pleasures and politics, as nothing to him; and constantly detaching himself from the things that are earthly and temporal, he is to be pressing forward to things heavenly and eternal.
How many a child of God, who should be growing in grace and advancing in heavenliness, is constantly clogging his feet with earth’s clay, weaving around him the net and the mesh of earthly, carnal, sensual engagements; thus impeding his spiritual progress! How can he grow in grace and heavenly mindedness if this be so? It is utterly impossible!
You must become more dead to earth, more crucified to the world, and realize more the power of Christ’s resurrection in your soul.
Jesus says to you emphatically, “Do not regard earthly possessions, your belongings, your worldly advantage. Do not regret the loss and sacrifice of home, friends, and property, that you make for your attachment to Me, My service, and My cause. Count it all as vanity and dross; gird up your mind to endure My shame, to share My reproach, yes, to deny all ungodliness, to come out of the world and be My cross-bearing disciples. I have laid up for you treasure in heaven, infinite wealth, an inheritance that is incorruptible, riches that perish not, joys that do not glut, a crown of glory that does not fade away. Count the world as loss, all created good as dross, and the creature itself as vanity, for the glory, and honor, and immortality that will soon be yours!”
Thus would our blessed Lord teach, cheer, and animate us in our heavenly journey, by bidding us cease from needless earthly care, and cultivate the spirit, the mind, and the hopes of pilgrims traveling to the celestial city!
God give us grace to lay to heart these exhortations to heavenly mindedness! We are but crossing a desert
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land on our way home to Christ! He has promised that our bread and our water shall be sure, and that we shall lack no good thing.
Upon Him, then, let us cast our care, anxious for nothing except how we may so walk as to please Him
in all things.
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SHADOWY!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE TREE OF LIFE.”
The worldling lives in the realm of shadow.
All is but shadow that appertains alone to this present life. The toil for wealth, the strife for honor, the pursuit of pleasure, is but the race of shadows.
I summon the worldling as a witness.
Does not your past experience confirm this melancholy fact? Has your lust for gold been satisfied with wealth? Your thirst for happiness, with worldly pleasure? Your longing for rest, with earthly repose? Your sighing for creature friendship, sympathy, and love, with the creature?
Truth and honesty compel your emphatic answer, “No!” And yet see how persistent is your folly!
Although bubble after bubble has burst, and dream after dream has vanished, and shadow after shadow has dissolved, you are as eager and earnest as ever in chase of those phantoms of earth born bliss which dazzle but to bewilder, and which allure but to destroy!
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JESUS
Edited, author unknown
He is….
The First and Last,
The Beginning and the End!
He is….
The keeper of Creation and The Creator of all!
He is….
The Architect of the universe and The Manager of all times.
He always was,
He always is, and He always will be….
Unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never Undone!
He was bruised and brought healing!
He was pierced and eased pain!
He was persecuted and brought freedom! He was dead and brought life!
He is risen and brings power! He reigns and brings Peace!
The world can’t understand Him, The armies can’t defeat Him,
The schools can’t explain Him, and The leaders can’t ignore Him.
Herod couldn’t kill Him,
The Pharisees couldn’t confuse Him, and The people couldn’t hold Him!
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Nero couldn’t crush Him,
Hitler couldn’t silence Him, and The New Age can’t replace Him.
He is Light, Love, Longevity, and Lord.
He is Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and God. He is Holy, Righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure.
His ways are right,
His word is eternal,
His will is unchanging, and His mind is on me.
He is my Redeemer, He is my Savior,
He is my guide, and He is my peace!
He is my Joy,
He is my Comfort, He is my Lord, and He rules my Life!
I serve Him because
His bond is love,
His burden is light, and
His goal for me is abundant life.
I follow Him because….
He is the wisdom of the wise,
The power of the powerful,
The ancient of days,
The ruler of rulers,
The leader of leaders,
The overseer of the overcomers, and
The sovereign Lord of all that was and is and is to come.
He will….
Never leave me, Never forsake me,
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Never mislead me, Never forget me, Never overlook me.
When I fall, He lifts me up!
When I fail, He forgives!
When I am weak, He is strong!
When I am lost, He is the way!
When I am afraid, He is my courage! When I stumble, He steadies me!
When I am hurt, He heals me!
When I am broken, He mends me!
When I am hungry, He feeds me!
When I face trials, He is with me!
When I face persecution, He shields me! When I face problems, He comforts me! When I face loss, He provides for me! When I face Death, He carries me Home!
He is God, He is faithful.
I am His, and He is mine!
God is in control, I am on His side, and That means all is well with my soul.
THE MOST HOLY AND BLESSED LIFE UPON EARTH!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “GRACE AND TRUTH”
Be satisfied, dear reader, to live by faith, and not by sight. You have a full Christ to draw from, and a faithful God to look to. You have a covenant ordered in all things and sure; and the precious promise, “As your days, so shall your strength be,” to lean confidently upon all your journey through.
Be content, then, to be poor and dependent. Be willing to travel on ‘empty handed,’ seeing God’s heart opened,
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and Christ’s hand outstretched to supply your ‘daily bread.’
Oh, it is sweet to be a dependent creature upon God; to hang upon a loving Father; to live as a poor, needy sinner day by day, moment by moment, upon Jesus; to trace God’s hand in ten thousand ways; to mark His wisdom here, His condescension there; now His love, and then His faithfulness, all combining and exerted for our good.
Truly it is the most holy and blessed life upon earth!
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WHY IS IT THERE IS SO MUCH
ERROR IN THE CHURCH OF GOD?
fom Winslow’s book, “THE MAN OF GOD”
The only authoritative Teacher in the Church of God, the only true Prophet, is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why is it there is so much darkness and crudeness in the books we read, and in the sermons we hear?
Why is it that we see so much ignorance and obscurity in setting forth the truth of God?
Why is it there is so much error in the Church of God?
It is because men will not sit at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him. Men would rather learn of their fellow men than of the ‘God man.’
They prefer human writings to the Divine.
They prefer the school of man, to the school of God.
And this is one reason why there is so much false doctrine, the teaching that causes to err, both from the pulpit and from the press.
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We may be carried away by great learning, brilliant genius, and apparently profound piety; but if we place ourselves at the feet of Jesus as a lowly disciple, and there receive our views of truth, we shall then understand those profound mysteries of God’s revealed Word, which are hidden from the worldly wise and prudent, but revealed to those who become learners of Christ.
“Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest for your souls.” Matthew 9:29
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THIS UNGODLY WORLD!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MINISTRY OF HOME”
“Therefore, ‘Come out from among them, And be separate,’ says the Lord, ‘Touch no unclean thing. I will receive you.’” 2 Corinthians 6:17
The question is not, how far you may go into the world and not be worldly; nor is it to be decided by the immediate and sensible effect of worldly amusements upon your feelings.
A professing Christian may indulge in certain worldly gaieties, or employments of questionable propriety, without being conscious of any immediate injury received, and then vainly imagine that he has derived no hurt to himself, whatever it may be with others.
But, has no injury in reality been received?
Has no evil influence been exerted upon the spirituality of an easily susceptible and finely fibered soul? Has not the spirit of devotion been killed, the heart estranged from God, the mind secularized, and all the sweet, holy impressions of religion seriously impaired?
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The question can only be determined by inquiry into the nature, tendencies, and results of scenes enacted at a theater; of sentiments promulgated in a romance novel; of frivolities indulged in at a ball, upon a soul on whom the solemn vows of holy consecration to God are sealed.
Thus the spiritual injury of worldly conformity to a professing Christian is often in a way of which he is the least conscious.
His only safe and consistent path is one of marked and decided separation; combating with the faith that overcomes the world, and crucifying it by the cross upon which it crucified his Lord and Master.
Can we be said to “Come out from among them, touch no unclean thing,” and yet give our personal and practical countenance to the sinful pleasures, frivolous gaieties and vain recreations essentially and professedly of the world?
Love to Christ, attachment to His truth, loyalty to His cause, binds us to obedience, devotion, and consecration to our Savior.
Let our holy living, let our Christlike spirit, be a daily, hourly, solemn protest against the wickedness, heartlessness, and emptiness of this ungodly world!
THE FAVORITE DELUSION OF SINNERS!
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “THE CURSE; AND THE CURSE FOR US”
Salvation by self is man’s darling hope.
Salvation by doings, feelings, or something or other of their own, is the favorite delusion of sinners!
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O WHAT A SAVIOR IS JESUS CHRIST!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “GLIMPSES OF THE TRUTH AS IT IS IN JESUS”
O what a Savior is Jesus Christ!
He is the “chief among ten thousand.”
Look at His sinless, yet real humanity; without a single taint, yet sympathizing with us in all our various conditions….
afflicted in our afflictions; tempted in our temptations; infirm in our infirmities; grieved in our griefs; “wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities;”
and now that He is in glory, still cherishing a brother’s heart, bending down His ear to our petitions, ever standing near….
to catch our sighs,
to dry our tears,
to provide for our needs,
to guide us by His counsel, and afterwards to receive us to glory!
O what a Savior is Jesus Christ!
When He is known, all other beings are eclipsed. When His beauty is seen, all other beauty fades.
When His love is felt, He becomes supremely enthroned in the affections. To know Him more, becomes the one desire of the renewed mind, and to make Him more known, is the one aim of the Christian life.
O what a Savior is Jesus Christ!
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AS THOUGH IT HAD NEVER BEEN!
from Octavius Winslow’s book,
“PERSONAL DECLENSION AND REVIVAL OF RELIGION IN THE SOUL”
Oh! how soon!
All that now loads the heart with care, and brings it sorrow; all that dims the eyes with tears, and renders the day anxious and the night sleepless, will be as though it had never been!
Emerging from the entanglement, the dreariness, the solitude, the loneliness and the temptations of the wilderness, you shall enter upon your everlasting rest, your unfading inheritance, where there is no sorrow, no declension, no sin; where there is no sunset, no twilight, no evening shadows, no midnight darkness; but, all is one perfect, cloudless, eternal day; for Jesus is the joy, the light and the glory thereof!
I WILL BE WITH YOU!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MAN OF GOD”
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle on you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” Isaiah 43:2-3
Jesus is with us….
to counsel our perplexities,
to guide our feet,
to supply our need,
to deliver us from the power of our enemies, to keep us from all evil, and
to bring us home to glory!
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To have Jehovah with us is….
to be encircled by every divine perfection;
to be encompassed by a wall of fire which no foe can
penetrate;
to dwell in the munition of rocks;
to have our bread and our water sure;
to have ever at our side a flowing spring in drought; to have the shadow of a great rock in the heat;
to have a table in the wilderness;
to have the divine cloud and fire safely conducting our
journey homeward.
Precious presence of the Lord! It is…. a shield of adamant,
a garden of delights,
a tower of strength,
a portion of heaven come down to earth.
Child of God! Jesus is with you in all your history!
Let faith deal with this truth in all its battles and its trials. You may seem and feel at times alone. The sun may withdraw itself, and the stars of night may be draped in cloud. Dark, and dreary, and lonesome may be your way. Nevertheless, let faith, whose most brilliant achievements are when it is the most opposed to sense, grapple with thus truth. “I am kept, guided, watched over, encircled by the Unseen God. The Lord is with me, and I will endure as seeing Him who is invisible.”
WATCH!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MAN OF GOD”
Our Lord has set you upon this holy work of watchfulness: “What I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch.”
Believer in Jesus! keep well trimmed, brightly burning, –301–
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and uplifted high, the lamp of a true, holy, undimmed profession of Christ.
Watch against the world, it is seductive; Watch against the creature, it is ensnaring; Watch against Satan, he is subtle;
Watch even against lawful things, they may be
unnecessary;
Watch against your own heart; for it is more sinful,
treacherous, and dangerous than all.
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OH, YOU KILLERS OF TIME!
from Octavius Winslow’s book “THE MAN OF GOD”
Time is the preface to eternity. And as the preface indicates the character of the volume, so the present use of time is the foreshadowing in each one’s history of the future.
We may rob God by a misuse of time.
Time is a solemn and priceless gift, and involves a responsibility and an account of a most tremendous character.
What sin, what madness, then, to abuse a privilege so solemn; to misuse a blessing so precious. To employ time in vain pleasures and frivolous pursuits; to use it in senseless puerilities, sinful engagements; to devote it too absorbingly even to literary and noble pursuits: the studies of the antiquarian, the researches of the historian, the fascination of art, the discoveries of science; may verge upon the crime of robbing God of one of His most costly loans! All these absorbing en- gagements are limited to the present, and have no essential relation to the soul’s certain and solemn future.
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Oh, you killers of time!
How will the ghost of your murdered hours haunt and upbraid you through the interminable centuries of eternity! Oh, what would you not then give for one hour of that precious period of your existence which now you waste and fritter and destroy in vain, useless, and sinful trifles, chimeras, and shadows.
Remember, you rob God when your time is not consecrated to His glory. Ponder well the inspired precept, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Consider the apostolic exhortation, “Brethren, the time is short.”
THE FREE GRACE OF GOD!
from Octavius Winslow’s book “GRACE AND TRUTH”
“By the grace of God I am what I am.” Christian, the only thing that makes you to differ from the vilest being that pollutes the earth, or from the darkest fiend that gnaws his chains in hell, is the free grace of God!
A SYSTEM OF DIVINE AND UNFAILING
CONSOLATION!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “GLIMPSES OF THE TRUTH AS IT IS IN JESUS”
As a system of divine and unfailing consolation, there is a charm in the gospel of Jesus of indescribable sweetness. Originating with that God, not only whose name and whose perfection, but whose very essence is love, and who Himself is the “God of all comfort,” it must be a gospel of “strong consolation,” commensurate with every conceivable sorrow of His people.
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Let a Christian be placed in circumstances of the deepest grief and sorest trial….
the bread and the water of affliction his food; the iron entering his soul;
the heart bereaved;
the mind perplexed;
the spirit dark;
all human hopes blighted,
and ‘creature cisterns’ failing him like a spring in the
summer’s drought; then let the Spirit of God, the Divine Comforter, open this gospel box of perfume, breathing into his soul….
the rich consolations,
the precious promises,
the strong assurances,
the divine counsels, and
the glowing hopes which it contains,
and in a moment the light of love appears in his dark cloud, his fainting spirit revives, and all is peace!
Oh! that must be a charming gospel which can meet the necessities of man at every point; whose wisdom no human perplexity can baffle, and whose resources of sympathy and comfort, no case of suffering or of sorrow can exhaust.
Tried soul! repair to this unfailing spring of comfort! God speaks to you in it.
It is the unsealing of the heart of Jesus.
It is the still small voice of the Spirit.
It speaks to you. It bids you….“cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you;” “Call upon Him in the day of trouble, and He will answer you.” It assures you that amid all your perplexing cares, “He cares for you.” It promises you that for your flint-paved path, your “shoes shall be iron and brass;” and that “as your days are, so shall your
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strength be.” It tells you that a “woman may forget her nursing child, yet God will not forget you;” that “in all your assaults, you shall dwell on high, your place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks;” and that though hemmed in on every side by a besieging foe, and all other supplies cut off, yet “your bread shall be given you, and your water shall be sure.”
It invites you to lay your griefs and weep out your sorrows upon the bosom of Jesus, and so “leaning upon your Beloved, ascend from the wilderness.”
O to be led into the heartfelt experience of these truths!
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THE WEAK, THE SICK, THE BURDENED,
THE LITTLE ONES
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MINISTRY OF HOME”
How shall we, how can we, describe the tenderness of Christ towards His burdened ones, and the gentleness with which He leads them? “He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that are with young (the burdened).” Isaiah 40:11.
You are wearied.
Your deep afflictions are a burden.
Your sinful heart is a burden.
Your lack of faith, and love, and fruitfulness is a burden.
You are, as it were, “with young,” passing through much sore and painful travail of soul, a burden to yourself, cast down and discouraged by reason of the hardness of the way.
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But oh, blessed solace! Jesus leads you, and leads you gently. All others would drive you.
Man would drive you,
the world would drive you,
Satan would drive you,
your own impulsive heart and blind judgment would
drive you, and even
the saints would drive you.
But Jesus leads you, and leads you tenderly, skillfully, and safely. He is the loving, careful Shepherd who does not overdrive His sheep; especially the weak, the sick, the burdened, the little ones of His flock.
Jesus knows your burden. The marvelous language of God is “I know their sorrows.”
He knows how your friend that loved you is gone like a shadow; how your gourd that sheltered you is smitten in a night; how the voice that was the sweetest music to you is hushed in the stillness of death; how the strong and beautiful staff that supported you is broken and lies a ruin in the dust.
Jesus knows all, and He is leading you through all.
He is leading you by these very same dark providences; these events that appear so adverse, this way that seems so dark, these dealings that seem so mysterious, painful, and crushing.
As Jesus thus gently leads, so let us meekly, confidingly follow, believing that….
His hand is powerful,
His heart is loving,
His eye is unslumbering, and that
He is leading us by the right way home to be with
Him forever!
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HIS CROSS, HIS LOVE, HIS GRACE, HIS HEART!
by Octavius Winslow
All contrition for sin flows from a sight of His cross; all obedience to His commands, from a sense of His love; all victory over temptation, from the power of His grace; and all consolation in sorrow, from the sympathy of His heart.
WHAT DO YOU NEED?
from Octavius Winslow’s, “GOD RESTING IN HIS LOVE”
Beloved reader, come and rest in the love of Jesus. He invites you to its blessed repose.
Are you weary, tossed with tempest?
Is there….
sadness in your spirit,
sorrow in your heart,
a cloud upon your mind,
some crystal cistern broken,
some fragrant flower withered,
some fond and pleasant mercy gone?
“Come,” says Jesus, “and rest in my love; rest in the reality of my love; rest in the depth of my love; rest in the tenderness of my love; rest in the deathlessness of my love!”
O blessed rest!
Poor, heart broken sinner, weeping penitent, weary, laboring soul! What do you need?
Mercy? It is in Christ. Forgiveness? It is in Christ. Acceptance? It is in Christ.
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A reconciled Father, a pacified God? He is in Christ.
All that you need is in Christ.
Draw near, then, and rest in His love.
In Jesus’ love, your weary, jaded, trembling spirit may find full and eternal repose.
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POLISHING THE STONES!
from Bonar’s book, “THE NIGHT OF WEEPING”
Christians are “living stones,” placed one by one, upon the great foundation stone laid in Zion for the heavenly temple. These stones must first be quarried out of the mass. This the Holy Spirit does at conversion.
Then, when cut out, the hewing and squaring begin. And God uses affliction as His hammer and chisel for accomplishing this. Many a stroke is needed; and after being thus hewn into shape, the polishing goes on. All roughness must be smoothed away. The stone must be turned around and around on every side that no part of it may be left unpolished.
As the stones of Solomon’s temple were all to be prepared at a distance and then brought to Jerusalem, there to be built together; so the living stones of the heavenly temple are all made ready here on earth, to be fitted in without the noise of an axe or hammer into the glorious building in heaven made without hands.
Every Christian then must be polished here; and while there are many ways of doing this, the most effectual is suffering.
And this is God’s design in chastisement. This is what the Holy Spirit effects: as like a workman He stands over each stone, touching and retouching it, turning it
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on every side, marking its blemishes and roughness, and then applying His tools to effect the desired shape and polish.
Some parts of the stone are so rugged and hard that nothing except heavy and repeated strokes will smooth them down. They resist every milder treatment. And yet, in patient love, this heavenly Workman carries on the Father’s purpose concerning us.
He labors until every part is polished and shaped according to His likeness. No pains are spared, no watchfulness relaxed, until we are made entirely like Him, being changed into the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord.
A GLORIOUS TERMINATION!
from Winslow’s book, “THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST”
Never forget that the Christian pilgrimage has a glorious termination. We must keep this fully in view.
We seek a city that is to come. We are not journeying to any uncertain, imaginary place.
We are going to our heavenly mansion! We are traveling to the celestial city!
O solemn thought!
We are wending our way to our glorious inheritance, and in a little while, it will burst upon us in its glory; blessed, indescribable, inconceivable glory; and we shall exchange an earthly pilgrimage, for the heavenly and eternal rest that awaits the people of God!
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HIS NAME!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MINISTRY OF HOME”
There is everything we need in Jesus to endear His name to our hearts.
He is our Prophet, teaching us the will of the Father.
He is our Priest, offering up Himself as our atoning Victim.
He is our King, erecting His throne in our hearts, and subduing us to Himself as His loving and obedient subjects.
He is our Friend, loving us at all times.
He is our Brother, bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh, born for our adversity.
He is our Great High Priest, touched with the feeling of our infirmities, tempted in all points as we are and in our sorrows, griefs, and trials encircling us with the many-folded robe of His tender, loving sympathy.
O to know Jesus, that most excellent and superlative knowledge! With Paul we may well count all things but loss for its possession.
To know Him as the Savior,
to know Him as our Friend,
to know Him as our Brother, to know Him as our Advocate, to know Him as our Portion,
is endless life and glory! 1 –310–

“THIS MAN RECEIVES SINNERS!”
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “GLIMPSES OF THE TRUTH AS IT IS IN JESUS”
The beings whom Jesus sought out and drew around Him, were….
the burdened, the bowed down, the disconsolate, the poor,
the friendless, the helpless,
the ignorant,
the weary.
He loved to lavish upon such, the fullness of His benevolent heart, and to exert upon such, the skill of His wonder-working power.
Earth’s weary sons repaired to His outstretched arms for shelter, and the world’s ignorant and despised clustered around His feet, to be taught and blessed.
Sinners of every character, and the disconsolate of every grade, attracted by His renown, pressed upon Him from every side.
“This man receives sinners!” was the name and the charac- ter by which He was known. It was new and strange. Uttered by the lip of the proud and disdainful Pharisee, it was an epithet of reproach and an expression of ridicule. But upon the ear of the poor and wretched outcast, the sons and daughters of sorrow, ignorance, and woe, it fell sweeter than the music of the spheres.
It passed from lip to lip; it echoed from shore to shore: “This man receives sinners!” It found its way into the abodes of misery and need; it penetrated the dungeon of the prisoner, and the cell of the maniac; and it
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kindled an unearthly light in the solitary dwelling of the widow and the orphan, the unpitied and the friendless.
Thus received its accomplishment, the prophecy that predicted Him as the “Plant of renown,” whom Jehovah would raise up. Thousands came, faint, and weary, and sad, and sat down beneath His shadow; and thousands more since then have pressed to their wounded hearts the balsam that flowed from His bleeding body, and have been healed!
“This man receives sinners!”
Take your guilt to His blood.
Take your vileness to His righteousness. Take your sins to His grace.
Take your burdens to His arm.
Take your sorrows to His heart.
“This man receives sinners!”
THE BEST!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST”
Beloved, what is heaven? What is the final glory of the saints? Is it not the best place, the richest inheritance provided by the Father for the people ransomed and brought home to glory by His Son?
Heaven is a place designated by God, chosen and consecrated by Him for the Church redeemed by the precious blood of His dear Son.
And when we enter there, we shall enter as children welcomed to a Father’s home.
It will be the best that God can give us! He has ever bestowed upon us, who deserved the least, the best in
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His power to bestow…. the best Savior,
the best robe,
the best banquet,
the best inheritance.
In the new heaven and the new earth there will be…. nothing more to taint,
nothing more to sully,
nothing more to embitter,
nothing more to wound; no serpent to beguile, no Eve to ensnare,
no spoiler to destroy,
no sin to defile,
no adversity to sadden,
no misunderstanding to alienate, no tongue to defame,
no suspicion to chill,
no tear,
nor sickness,
nor death,
nor parting.
It will be the best part of the pure, radiant, glorified universe which God will assign to His people!
Saints of the Most High! let the prospect cheer, sanctify, and comfort you! It will not be long that you are to labor and battle here on earth. It is but a little while that you are to occupy your present sphere of conflict, of trial, and of sorrow. The time is coming; oh, how fast it speeds! Soon the Lord Jesus Christ will bring you home to heaven, and will present you a part of His glorious Church to His Father!
Oh, then, then, will come the reward of grace which Christ will give to all those who have confessed Him
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here on earth; who have witnessed for His truth, endured suffering on His behalf, and have proved faithful unto death.
The Lord grant that in that day we may be found among the presented ones, to whom He will say, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world!”
BECAUSE HE LOVED HER!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “GLIMPSES OF THE TRUTH AS IT IS IN JESUS”
“Behold, the Bridegroom comes!”
Jesus sustains no relation to His Church more expressive than this. From all eternity He forever betrothed her to Himself. He asked her at the hands of her Father, and the Father gave her to Him. He entered into a covenant that she should be His. The conditions of that covenant were great, but not too great for His love to undertake. They were, that He should….
assume her nature,
discharge her legal obligations, endure her punishment,
repair her ruin, and
bring her to glory!
He undertook all, and He accomplished all, because He loved her!
The love of Jesus to His Church is the love of the most tender husband. It is….
single, constant, affectionate, matchless, wonderful.
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Jesus….
sympathizes with her,
nourishes her,
provides for her,
clothes her,
watches over, and indulges her with the most intimate
and endearing communion.
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THE BABEL OF HIS OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS
TOPPLES AND FALLS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MAN OF GOD”
The first work of grace in a person’s heart is that he is taught by the Spirit to know his own sinfulness.
He is made to know the plague of his heart.
Once a man is brought to see his sinfulness, he throws down in the dust all his lofty ideas of human merit and self salvation. The Babel of his own righteousness topples and falls!
Until you know the sin of your heart, you know nothing of true Christianity. I am not speaking merely of sin formally acknowledged, of sin slightly felt, of sin felt but loved, confessed but cherished; but of sin mourned over beneath the cross, sin hated, sin separated from, fastened to the cross, crucified and slain!
THE ‘MYSTERY’ OF PRAYER!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “GLIMPSES OF THE TRUTH AS IT IS IN JESUS”
That there is much of wondrous mystery yet to be unraveled in relation to this holy exercise of prayer, we readily admit.
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How prayer operates upon God we know not.
That it can effect any alteration in His purpose, or change His will, or afford Him information, no one for a moment supposes.
And yet, that it should be an ordained medium by which finite weakness seems to overcome Infinite strength, and a human will seems to turn the Divine will, and man’s shallow mind seems to pour knowledge into the fathomless mind of God; that it should halt a threatened judgment, or remove an existing evil, or supply a present need; is a marvel in which, like all others of Divine revelation, I submit my reason to my faith, receiving and adoring what my reason cannot, unless I were God, perfectly comprehend.
ALL IS TRANSPARENT AND HARMONIOUS
TO HIS EYE!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “DIVINE REALITIES”
We live in a world of mysteries.
They meet our eye, awaken our inquiry, and baffle our investigation at every step.
Nature is a vast arcade of mysteries. Science is a mystery.
Truth is a mystery.
Religion is a mystery.
Our existence is a mystery.
The future of our being is a mystery.
And God, who alone can explain all mysteries, is the greatest mystery of all. How little do we understand of the inexplicable wonders of a wonder-working God,
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“whose thoughts are a great deep,” and “whose ways are past finding out.”
But to God nothing is mysterious.
In His purpose, nothing is unfixed.
In His forethought, nothing is unknown. In His providence, nothing is contingent.
His glance pierces the future as vividly as it beholds the past. “He knows the end from the beginning.”
All His doings are parts of a divine, eternal, and harmonious plan.
He may make “darkness His secret place; His pavilion round about Him dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies,” and to human vision His dispensations may appear gloomy, discrepant, and confused. Yet He is “working all things after the counsel of His own will,” and all is transparent and harmonious to His eye!
THE HEART!
by Octavius Winslow
There exists not upon earth a more vile and unlovely thing, in the self-searching view of the true believer, than his own heart. From every other human eye that bosom is deeply, impenetrably veiled. All that is within is known only to itself. What those chambers of abominations are, God will not permit another creature to know.
Any yet, O wonder of grace! God, by His renewing Spirit, has made of that heart a beautiful, costly and precious censer, the cloud of whose incense ascends and fills all heaven with its fragrance!
With all its indwelling evil and self loathing, God sees its struggles, watches its conflict, and marks its sincerity.
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Not a feeling thrills it,
not an emotion agitates it,
not a sorrow shades it,
not a sin wounds it,
not a thought passes through it,
of which He is not cognizant.
Believer, Jesus loves that heart of yours! He purchased it with His own heart’s blood, agonies, and tears; and He loves it! He inhabits it by His Spirit, and He loves it!
THE HATEFUL, THE ABHORRED, THE ACCURSED
SIN, THAT CAUSED IT ALL.
from Winslow’s book, “GRACE AND TRUTH”
Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes were fountains of tears, that I might weep, dear Lord, while meditating upon the ignominy, the malignity, and the suffering to which mankind subjected You.
Had another order of being….
so insulted Your person;
so mangled Your form;
so requited Your love;
so slighted and abhorred You;
I might have wept in secret places; mourned, and afflicted my soul, and vowed eternal vengeance against Your calumniators and Your murderers!
But it was hatred, ingratitude, and malignity wearing my own nature. It was MAN, yes, Lord, it was I myself! Had it not been for….
my sin, my crime, my hell;
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that spotless soul of Yours had known no burden, that gentle spirit no cloud, that tender heart no grief, and that sacred body no scar.
And when I read the story of how You were wronged: how they calumniated You,
how they blasphemed You,
how they scourged You,
how they spit upon You,
how they mocked You,
how they smote You, and then bore You to a felon’s
death;
I could cover myself with sackcloth, and bury my face in ashes, and no more cherish the sin; the hateful, the abhorred, the accursed sin, that caused it all.
ONE OF THE MOST FATAL DELUSIONS THAT EVER
IMPERILED THE IMMORTAL SOUL!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “GLIMPSES OF THE TRUTH AS IT IS IN JESUS”
Many profess to believe the gospel, but in their practice make it a lie; thus fostering one of the most fatal delusions that ever imperiled the immortal soul!
Do you live as if you believed the gospel to be true?
What moral influence does your professed belief exert over you?
What shape and coloring does it impart to your habits of reflection and of feeling?
You affirm that you believe in the gospel; but upon what part of your conduct is the influence of that belief felt and seen?
You declare that you have faith; but where are its fruits? –319–
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Alas! the moonbeams do not fall more coldly and powerlessly upon the sterile earth, than does the light which your ‘intellectual faith’ sheds upon your whole path to eternity.
You live as if there were…. no God;
no Savior;
no heaven;
no hell;
no death;
no judgment; and no eternity.
Immersed in business, or intent upon wealth, panting for fame, or eager in chase of pleasure, the dread future, whose bleak, rockbound coast you are each moment nearing, is all, all forgotten!
What a mere fragment of your being is your present earthly life! Compared with the eternal future, it is as the particle of sand which the wind lifts and wafts from the shore, or like a drop of the spray which it scatters from the ocean’s wave. And yet see how you live!
The devils believe, and tremble at what they believe. You believe, and yet tremble not!
O what a lie does your whole life give to your faith!
The decided irreligion, worldliness, and thoughtlessness, which make up its history, prove your faith in the gospel to be a most woeful deception! It may be a sound faith, as far as reason and under- standing go; but a ‘mere assent’ of the truth of the gospel is not saving faith!
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THEIR RELIGION IS HOLLOW, UNSUBSTANTIAL,
AND UNREAL
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “GRACE AND TRUTH”
The most beautiful ritual,
the most accurate creed,
the most costly religion,
the most splendid profession,
without Christ in the heart, is but as fuel preparing for the final and eternal conflagration.
What, my reader, if your religion should prove to be nothing but chaff? Does the bare probability startle you?
Ah! there are multitudes whom it might well startle; for multitudes are thus deceived.
Not a grain of saving grace is found in their souls.
There is….
no vitality in their faith,
no solidity in their profession, no substance in their religion.
Before every wind of false doctrine they bend, and by each blast of temptation they are carried away.
The stubble of the field, and the chaff of the threshing floor (fit emblems of their profession), are not more unsubstantial and fleeting than it.
All is woeful deception!
They have substituted….
a form of godliness for its power;
union to the church for union to Christ;
the baptism of water for the regeneration of the Spirit; gospel ordinances for sanctifying grace;
works of benevolence for faith in the Lord Jesus.
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And thus their religion is hollow, unsubstantial, and unreal; possessing a “name to live, they are dead.”
And what will be the end of such?
Departing into eternity in this state of soul deception; building their hope of heaven upon this false foundation; in their sad experience must be realized the awful description which the evangelist gives of the judgment power of Christ; “whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
Thus will perish….
all human religions,
all false hopes,
all hollow professions,
all soul destroying doctrines;
the ‘wood, the hay, the stubble,’ of a form of godliness,
destitute of the power.
AWFUL FACT!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “GRACE AND TRUTH”
How few there are who appear to possess vital religion in their souls!
How few choose Christ with His cross!
The great mass of professors are aiming to separate Christ and His cross! They would sincerely bear the name of Christ, and be accounted as the followers of Christ, and do something for the cause of Christ, but they hide His cross, they are ashamed of His cross, they shrink from His cross.
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Christ and His outward lowliness, Christ and His poverty,
Christ and His humiliation, Christ and the world’s despising,
form no part of their creed nor their religion.
But….
Christ and the world,
Christ and the popular voice, Christ and slavery to sin,
Christ and an unhumbled spirit, Christ and a love of money,
Christ and a love of ease, and Christ and a love of self indulgence,
make up the religion of vast numbers who yet profess, and call themselves Christians.
Awful fact!
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ORDERING, ARRANGING, AND CONTROLLING ALL
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MAN OF GOD”
“…the Lord was with Joseph, and whatever he did, the Lord made it to prosper.” Genesis 39:23
The Lord is with His saints, ordaining and shaping their every step. The man of God advances in no uncertain, unprepared path in life. His whole career, from his cradle to his grave, is a divinely constructed map, prepared in the eternal mind, purpose, and counsel of Jehovah.
Nothing is left to contingency.
There is no divergence in his path, no event that bends, or shades, or burdens it; but the Lord is in it; ordering, arranging, and controlling all.
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THE SEASON OF SICKNESS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “GRACE AND TRUTH”
The season of sickness is the schooling of the soul.
More of God is unfolded then, and more of His truth is learned, than perhaps in any other circumstances.
The individual was, it may be, but little more than a ‘mere theorist.’ He could talk well about God, and Christ, and the Gospel. He could reason accurately, and argue skillfully, and speak fluently, and yet there was an extensive and melancholy deficiency in his religion; much was still lacking.
But a lonely sick chamber has been his school, and sickness the teaching discipline. Oh how the character, and the perfections, and the government of God become unfolded to his mind by the teachings of the Spirit of truth during the season of sickness! His dim views are cleared, his crude ideas are ripened, his erroneous ideas are rectified; he contemplates God in another light, and truth through another medium.
But the sweetest effect of all, is the personal appropriation of God to his own soul. He can now say, “This God is my God, and is my Father, and is my portion forever;” words of assurance hitherto strange to his lips.
The promises of God were never realized as so precious, the doctrines were never felt to be so establishing, and the precepts never seen to be so obligatory and so sanctifying as now; blessed results of a hallowed possession of the season of sickness!
And what a pruning of this living branch has taken place during the season of sickness!
What weanedness from the engrossing claims of the –324–

earthly calling, from an undue attachment to created good, from the creature, from the world, and from what is the greatest weanedness of all—a weanedness from the wedded idol, self!
What humility of mind, what meekness of spirit, and self renunciation follow! Accompany him on his return to the world, where he has again been brought, as from the confines of the grave, and from the land of Beulah. He appears like another man! He entered that chamber as a proud man! he leaves it as a little child. He went into it with much of the spirit of a grasping, covetous, worldly minded professor; he emerges from it with the world under his feet; ‘Consecration to Christ, and holiness to God’ written upon his substance, and engraved upon his brow.
He has been near to eternity!
He has been looking within the veil! He has been reading his own heart! He has been dealing with Christ!
He has seen and felt how solemn a thing it was to approach the gate of death, to enter the presence of God; and from that awful point of vision, he has contemplated the world, and life, and human responsibility, as they are; and he has come back like a spirit from another sphere, clothed with all the solemnities of eternity; to live now as one soon in reality to be there.
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THROW YOURSELF INTO HIS VERY ARMS!
From Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE INNER LIFE”
“He restores my soul,” is the grateful and adoring exclamation in the heart of the reclaimed believer.
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Such is the recovery of the soul from its spiritual and mournful relapse. Brought beneath the cross and in the sight of the crucified Savior….
the heart is broken,
the spirit is melted,
the eye weeps,
the tongue confesses,
the bones that were broken rejoice,
and the contrite child is once more clasped in his Father’s forgiving, reconciled embrace.
O what a glorious God is ours, and what vile wretches are we!
Jesus waits to make that sorrow stricken heart of yours His chief and loved abode; reviving it, healing it, and enshrining Himself forever within its renewed and sanctified affections.
Cast yourself down at His feet, no, in throw yourself into His very arms, that are widely expanded to receive you!
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HOW SOON DOES THE VERDURE WITHER AWAY!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “GLIMPSES OF THE TRUTH AS IT IS IN JESUS”
“The cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” Matthew 13:22
A season of prosperity often proves fatal to a ‘profession of godliness.’ Divine Providence smiles, riches increase, and with them the temptations and the snares, the luxury, indulgence, and worldly show, which are inseparable from the accumulation of unsanctified and unconsecrated wealth.
And what are the results?
In most, cases, the entire relinquishment of the
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‘outward garb of a religious costume.’ Found to be in the way of the full indulgence of the carnal mind, it is laid aside altogether; and thus freed from all the restraints which consistency imposed, the heart at once plunges deep into the world it all the while secretly loved, sighed for, and worshiped.
Oh! what a severe, but true, test of religious principle is this! How soon it detects the spurious and the false!
How soon does the verdure wither away! “The prosperity of fools shall destroy them.”
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SIFTING!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MAN OF GOD”
“For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.” Amos 9:9
Sometimes the Lord uses sanctified trial in order to sift His people. Ah, what a mighty fan is this with which God winnows His people! He leads them about, sends cross providences, dark dispensations, thwarted designs, blasted hopes, and the precious grain is driven about, wondering what will be the outcome. Messenger follows messenger; bearing tidings of woe still more lamentable than the former, and the poor afflicted believer stands appalled, and wonders what the Lord means by all this trial and sifting. But oh, what a blessed result!
Seasons of trial are searching, sifting, and separating seasons. God designs by that trial not to wound you; oh, no! there is too much love in His heart to put you to needless pain; but to separate the precious wheat
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from the refuse; to scatter the chaff that has mingled with the divine grain, concealing and deteriorating it.
Yes, many a child of God living much in the region of the world, and often, perhaps, yielding to its tempta- tions, has been placed by God in this sieve. He has come out, oh what a different character! What a higher tone it has given to his spirituality. How dead he seems to the world! He acts, and speaks, and prays like another man. Why? God has only sifted him; the chaff has been separated, the storm has scattered it, and the image of God has been brought out in all its true beauty and power.
After the great sifting, there comes the declaration that allays all our alarm, and fill us with joy and gladness, “Yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.” Not a particle of the work of God in the soul thus sifted shall perish! It is utterly impossible it should be so. It cost God too much.
When God has carried you through dark and deep waters, have you lost anything worth retaining? You may have lost your worldliness and self-confidence; but was that really worth retaining?
Has Christ ever become less dear to you?
Has the throne of grace become less attractive to you?
Has the onward path of holiness been less dear to you?
Have the saints of God become less lovely to you?
Has the Word of God become less sweet to your taste?
Oh no! not one grain has fallen to the earth of that Divine grace the Holy Spirit has planted in your soul.
“For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.” Amos 9:9
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NEAR THE CROSS OF JESUS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FOOT OF THE CROSS”
“Near the cross of Jesus stood His mother….” John 19:25
Take your place with Mary, by the cross of Jesus.
There meet and blend suffering and love, sorrow and sympathy. Standing in faith by the cross, you are near the suffering Savior, the loving Son, the sympathizing Brother born for your present grief. Jesus, in the depth and tenderness of His love, is at this moment all that He was when, in soul travail, He cast that ineffable look of filial love and sympathy upon His anguished mother. He can….
enter into your circumstances, understand your grief,
sustain and soothe your spirit
as one only can who has partaken of the cup of woe which now trembles in your hand.
Drink that cup submissive to His will, for He drank deeply of it before you, and has left the fragrance of His sympathy upon its brim.
Your sorrow is not new to Christ. Stand close to the cross of Jesus!
It is the most accessible and precious spot this side of heaven; the most solemn and awesome one this side of eternity.
The cross of Jesus is the focus of divine love, sympathy, and power.
Stand by it in suffering, in persecution, in temptation. Stand by it in the brightness of prosperity and in the gloom of adversity.
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Go to Christ’s cross in trouble, repair to it in weakness, cling to it in danger, hide beneath it when the wintry storm rushes fiercely over you.
Near to the cross, you are near a Father’s heart, a Savior’s side.
You seem to enter the gate of heaven, to stand beneath the vestibule of glory. Nothing but love will welcome your approach to the cross of Jesus; love that….
pardons all your sins,
flows over all your unworthiness, heals all your wounds,
soothes all your sorrows, and
will shelter you within its blessed pavilion until earth is changed for heaven, and you lay down the warrior’s sword for the victor’s palm, and spring from the foot of the cross to the foot of the throne, “forever with the Lord.”
THE MOST LUMINOUS, COMPREHENSIVE, AND
GLORIOUS REVELATIONS AND VIEWS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FOOT OF THE CROSS”
The cross is the central fact of God’s moral universe. All glory beams from Christ’s cross.
All spiritual blessings distill from Christ’s cross.
All Divine truth meets in Christ’s cross.
It is at the foot of the cross that the humble, spiritual disciple receives the most luminous, comprehensive, and glorious revelations and views of the Divine Being; and from thence he draws the sweetest and richest blessings to his soul.
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THE CROSS OF CHRIST
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FOOT OF THE CROSS”
Jesus could accomplish man’s redemption in no other way than by crucifixion. He must die, and die the death of the cross.
What light and glory beam around the cross!
Of what prodigies of grace is it the instrument, of what glorious truths is it the symbol, of what mighty, magic power is it the source!
Around it gathers all the light of the Old Testament economy. It explains every symbol, it substantiates every shadow, it solves every mystery, it fulfills every type, it confirms every prophecy of that dispensation which had eternally remained unmeaning and inexplicable but for the death of the Son of God upon the cross.
Not the past only, but all future splendor, gathers around the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. It assures us of the ultimate reign of the Savior, tells of the reward which shall spring from His sufferings; and while its one arm points to the divine counsels of eternity past, with the other it points to the future triumph and glory of Christ’s kingdom in the eternity to come. Such is the lowly yet sublime, the weak yet mighty instrument by which the sinner is saved and God eternally glorified.
The cross of Christ was in Paul’s view the grand consum- mation of all preceding dispensations of God to men.
The cross of Christ was the meritorious procuring cause of all spiritual blessings to our fallen race.
The cross of Christ was the scene of Christ’s splendid victories over all His enemies and ours.
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The cross of Christ was the most powerful incentive to all evangelical holiness.
The cross of Christ was the instrument which was to subjugate the world to the supremacy of Jesus.
The cross of Christ was the source of all true peace, joy, and hope.
The cross of Christ is the tree beneath whose shadow all sin expired, all grace lived.
The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! What a holy thrill these words produce in the heart of those who love the Savior! How significant their meaning, how precious their influence!
Marvelous and irresistible is the power of the cross!
The cross of Christ has….
subdued many a rebellious will,
broken many a marble heart,
laid low many a vaunting foe,
overcome and triumphed when all other instruments
have failed,
transformed the lion-like heart of man, into the lamb-
like heart of Christ.
And when lifted up in its own naked simplicity and inimitable grandeur, the cross of Christ has won and attracted millions to its faith, admiration, and love!
What a marvelous power does this cross of Jesus possess! It changes the Christian’s entire judgment of the world. Looking at the world through the cross, his opinion is totally revolutionized. He sees it as it really is; a sinful, empty, vain thing.
He learns its iniquity, in that it crucified the Lord of life and glory.
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His expectations from the world, his love to the world, are changed. He has found another object of love, the Savior whom the world cast out and slew. And his love to the world is destroyed by that power which alone could destroy it, the crucifying power of the cross.
It is the cross which eclipses, in the view of the true believer, the glory and attraction of every other object.
What is the weapon by which faith combats with and overcomes the world? What but the cross of Jesus?
Just as the natural eye, gazing for a while upon the sun, is blinded for the moment, by its overpowering effulgence, to all other objects; so to the believer, wont to concentrate his mind upon the glory of the crucified Savior, studying closely the wonders of grace and love and truth meeting in the cross, the world with all its attraction fades into the full darkness of an eclipse.
Are not Christ and His cross infinitely better than the world and its love?
“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14
THE ASTONISHING, THE MARVELOUS LOVE!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FOOT OF THE CROSS”
The cross of Jesus inspires our love to Him. It would seem impossible to be brought by the Holy Spirit to the foot of the cross, and not feel the inspiration of love.
Surely a believing apprehension of the amazing, the unparalleled love of Jesus, bending His look of forgiveness upon us from the cross, will thaw our icy hearts into the warmest glow of affection.
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Believe that Jesus loves you, and your heart shall glow with a love in return which will bear it on in a willing obedience and unreserved surrender, in faithful service and patient suffering, enwrapped, consumed amid the flames of its own ‘heaven inspired’ and ‘heaven ascending’ affection.
The astonishing, the marvelous love, He has exhibited in giving you His beloved Son to die in your stead, are cords by which He would draw your loving heart to Himself.
SAD BLOTS!
from Octavius Winslow’s, “NONE LIKE CHRIST”
How much is true religion shorn of its strength by the lack of more ‘spiritual mindedness’ in its professors!
The worldly amusements to which many addict themselves….
the opera,
the card playing,
the ball,
the gay party,
the novel reading,
the luxurious living,
the extravagant customs in which multitudes of church members indulge—are sad blots upon their avowed Christianity, and effectual hindrances to the advancement of holiness in their own souls.
Oh! that with us vital religion; the pure, simple self- denying, unearthly religion of Jesus might be paramount; its holy influence permeating our whole being, and giving form and tint and direction to all our engagements and conduct!
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COVETOUSNESS
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MAN OF GOD”
Let all beware of the sin of covetousness.
It has drowned many souls in perdition.
Whether it be….
Achan’s wedge of gold,
Naboth’s vineyard, or
Ananias and Sapphira’s withheld possession,
the sin is essentially the same.
The sin of covetousness ranks in the catalogue with
sin’s darkest crimes!
OH, BEWARE OF A BLANK LIFE!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FOOT OF THE CROSS”
Does your life have a worthy object?
Are you doing or enduring the will of God?
Is the object….
for which you live,
in which you employ your talents, expend your time,
use your influence,
devote your worldly substance,
worthy of life’s present obligations and future award? Oh, beware of a blank life!
What, reader, is your purpose?
Is anything done for Jesus?
Anything for the glory of God?
Anything for the well being of your fellows?
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Remember that for all your abilities, God holds you accountable, and that before long death will cite you to his bar!
Child of God! be up and doing!
Say to the world, its enchantments, pleasures, and repose, “My purpose is to live for God.”
Christ’s cross of suffering pledges you to a life of labor for Him. There must be no pause, no succumbing to difficulty, no fainting beneath opposition. Life is a real, a solemn thing, too closely linked to a momentous future, to be trifled with.
Again, we ask, what is your object in life?
Are you living for your Lord and for your fellow men?
Do you carry within you a Christ loving, man loving heart, seeking the glory of God in the good of all with whom you come in contact?
Do you live for Christ, and do you feel as if life only were precious as you offer to Him all you hold most dear and valuable?
Is it an object of your life to advance Divine truth, to enlarge Christ’s kingdom, to bring our fellow sinners to partake of His Divine redemption?
Seek by prayer to know what the Master has assigned to you, and keep busy until He comes.
And as you toil, perchance in pensive loneliness, uncomplaining suffering, unnoticed, and unknown, cast your eye earthward and exclaim, “This is the place of labor!” Then raise your eye heavenward and exclaim, “Yonder is the place of rest!”
Oh, beware of a blank life!
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I KNOW MY SHEEP!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE NIGHTINGALE SONG OF DAVID”
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep…” John 10:14
Jesus possesses a perfect knowledge of His sheep, collectively and individually. How else could He meet the demands of each and all of a flock composed of countless numbers, and scattered far and wide over the face of the earth?
He knows….
our names,
our requirements;
all our individual circumstances, positions, and needs.
“I know my sheep,” is His own declaration of this glorious truth, and a more precious truth, one more replete with assurance and comfort never flowed from His grace anointed lips.
My soul, ponder this truth in the light of your individuality, and reason the matter with yourself thus: Jehovah, my Shepherd, knows me individually. He calls me by my name; recognizes my person; is acquainted with my needs; and is cognizant of the path I tread. And although others may but imperfectly know me, or know me not at all; my actions misunderstood, my motives misconstrued; ignorant of my daily cross, my veiled sorrow, and the narrow and difficult path I tread; nevertheless, Jesus the Shepherd has declared; “I know my sheep.” Enough, my Lord!
Not a path perplexes me;
not a cloud shades me;
not a difficulty embarrasses me; not a need grieves me;
not a grief distresses me;
not a being wounds me;
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but You, the Lord my Shepherd, know it altogether. “He knows the way that I take; and when He has tried me, I
shall come forth as gold.”
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep…” John 10:14
CHRIST’S SLEEPLESS VIGILANCE OVER HIS PEOPLE!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “GLIMPSES OF THE TRUTH AS IT IS IN JESUS”
What an exalted and endearing truth is Christ’s sleepless vigilance over His people!
Imagine yourself threading your way along a most difficult and perilous path, every step of which is attended with pain and jeopardy, and is taken with hesitancy and doubt.
Unknown to you and unseen, there is One hovering each moment around you, checking each false step, and guiding each doubtful one; soothing each sorrow, and supplying each need.
All is calm and silent.
Not a sound is heard, not a movement is seen; and yet, to your amazement, just at the critical moment, the needed support comes; you know not from where, you know not from whom.
This is no picture of imagination.
Are you a child of God on your pilgrimage to paradise by an intricate and a perilous way? Jesus is near to you at each moment, unseen and often unknown.
You have at times stood speechless with awe at the strange interposition on your behalf, of providence and of grace. No visible sign betokened the source of your help. There was no echo of footfall at your side, no
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flitting of shadow athwart your path. No law of nature was altered nor suspended, the sun stood not still, nor did the heavens open.
And yet deliverance, strange and effectual deliverance, came at a moment most unexpected, yet most needed.
It was Jesus your Redeemer, your Brother, your Shepherd, and your Guide. He it was who, hovering around you, unknown and unobserved, kept you as the apple of His eye, and sheltered you in the hollow of His hand. It was He who armed you with bravery for the fight, who poured strength into your spirit, and grace into your heart, when the full weight of calamity pressed upon them.
Thus has He always been to His children.
The eye that neither slumbers nor sleeps was upon you.
He knew in what furnace you were placed, and was there to temper the flame when it seemed the severest.
He saw your frail vessel struggling through the tempest, and He came to your rescue at the height of the storm.
How has He proved this in seasons of difficulty and doubt!
How often, at a crisis the most critical of your history, the Lord has appeared for you!
Your lack has been supplied, your doubt has been solved, and your perplexity has been guided.
He has delivered….
your soul from death, your eyes from tears, and your feet from falling.
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You are never for an instant…. out of His heart,
out of His thoughts,
out of His hands, or
out of His eye.
Go, and lay your weariness on Christ.
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HOW PRECIOUS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE INNER LIFE”
Oh, there is more real value in one ray of the Spirit’s light, beaming in upon a man’s soul, than in all the teaching which books can ever impart!
What tongue is sufficiently gifted to describe how precious is the gift of the Holy Spirit?
How precious is His indwelling; an ever ascending,
heaven panting,
God thirsting,
Christ desiring Spirit!
How precious are all the revelations He makes of Christ!
How precious are….
the consolations He brings,
the promises He seals,
the teachings He imparts;
all the emotions He awakens,
the holy breathings He inspires, and the affections He creates.
How precious are those graces in the soul of which He is the Author—
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the love that rises to a gracious God, and
the holy affections which flow forth to all the saints!
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SHIFT THE KALEIDOSCOPE!
by Spurgeon
“Behold, You are handsome, my Beloved.” Song of Solomon 1:16
From every point our Well Beloved is most fair.
Our various experiences are meant by our heavenly Father to furnish fresh standpoints from which we may view the loveliness of Jesus.
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 “altogether 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
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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, and His unutterable loveliness shall more and more ravish all celestial minds!
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MY BELOVED!
Octavius Winslow, “NONE LIKE CHRIST”
“How is your beloved better than others?”
Song of Solomon 5:9
My Beloved bore my sins, and opened in His heart a fountain in which I am washed whiter than snow.
My Beloved….
sustains my burdens,
counsels my perplexities,
heals my wounds,
dries my tears,
supplies my needs,
bears with my infirmities, upholds my steps, and
cheers my pathway to the tomb.
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of death, and with His presence I shall fear no evil.
My Beloved has gone to prepare a place for me in the many mansioned house of my Father, and will come again and receive me to Himself, that where He is, I may be also.
My Beloved will walk with me the gold paved streets of the new Jerusalem, and will lead me to fountains of living waters, and will wipe every tear from my eyes.
I find no love so soothing as His, no friendship so true, so gentle as His. Jesus is my all in all. This is my Beloved, and this is my friend!
Yes, My Beloved is altogether lovely!
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ALL LOVELINESS, ALL EXCELLENCE, ALL GLORY!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FOOT OF THE CROSS”
Jesus is the most lovely, winning, wondrous object upon which the intelligent eye ever rested.
Trace the points of attraction which meet in Jesus, and marvel not that when the eye fixes on them, the heart is irresistibly won, the soul is instantly dissolved, and the believer prostrates himself at the foot of the cross in the profoundest sense of his vileness before God.
All loveliness, all excellence, all glory meet and center in Jesus the Crucified.
He is the most wonderful, as He is the most beauteous and attractive being in the universe.
All the infinite perfection of absolute Deity, all the finite excellence of impeccable humanity, concentrate in
Christ.
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DEEPLY AND PAINFULLY SADDENING!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE INNER LIFE”
A careful observance of the ‘religious world,’ will force upon your mind the painful conviction, that while ‘religious profession’ is greatly on the increase, ‘vital godliness’ is on the decline. While the quantity of religion is increasing, its quality is deteriorating.
The vast number….
whose Christian profession is avowed; whose religious character is recognized; whose theological creed is sound;
whose conversation is pious;
whose sacred observances are rigid;
whose benevolence is applauded;
whose zeal is admired;
who pride themselves upon their eloquent preacher, and their favorite religious author;
but who yet are….
living in the world, and living as the world, and living for the world, is
deeply and painfully saddening!
Where is the salt?
Where are the really living souls?
Where are those who know what true conversion is?
Where are those who are following Christ, and are living for God?
Where are the possessors of the true spiritual life?
Alas! the world has become so like the Church, and the Church so closely resembles the world!
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The world has become so religious, and the Church has become so carnal—that it is difficult to see any
essential difference!
ONE MASS OF MORAL CORRUPTION!
from Octavius Winslow’s, “THE INNER LIFE”
Where divine grace does not exist in the heart, there is nothing to stunt the growth, or to check the progress, or to restrain the power of the soul’s depravity.
The fountain pours out its streams of corruption and death, bidding defiance to all human efforts either to purify or restrain.
The power of the soul’s depravity can’t be restrained by…. education,
public sentiment,
human law,
moral persuasion, or
‘self love.’
All these instruments fail in the attempt.
There is going on in the soul a process of moral decay, which, if not averted by divine grace, must terminate in the intolerable and interminable pangs of the second death; the soul departing into eternity, one mass of moral corruption!
But let one grain of God’s grace fall into this corrupt fountain, and there is deposited a counteracting and transforming element, which at once commences a healing, purifying, and saving process. And, what parental restraint, and the long years of study, and human law, had failed to do, one hour’s deep repentance of sin, one believing glance at a crucified
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Savior, one moment’s realization of the love of God, have effectually accomplished.
O the intrinsic preciousness, the priceless value, the sovereign efficacy of God’s converting, sanctifying grace!
Effecting a lodgement in the most debased and corrupt heart, grace revolutionizes the whole soul, changing its principles, purifying its affections, ennobling its sentiments, and assimilating it to the Divine holiness.
A HIDDEN LIFE!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FOOT OF THE CROSS”
“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:3
The Divine life in the believer, the life of God in the soul of man, is a hidden life!
Not only is it invisible to the world, except in its outward actions, and these are often misunderstood and misinterpreted; but very much so to the saints also. It is often but dimly perceived, and we are slow to recognize it.
It is of all things the most deeply veiled.
Its existence and aspirations, its depressions, defeats, and victories, are known only to Him in whom that life emphatically lives and moves and has its being.
And, then, touching the growth of this hidden spiritual life; it is in the solitude of the Cross that it derives its strongest impulse, and exhibits its mightiest development. The Divine life in the believer is a divine plant which only grows beneath this sacred shadow. If we would advance in grace we must recede frequently
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from the sun’s heat of this world, and dwell amid the solemn shadows of Gethsemane and the deeper solitude of Calvary.
Viewless as the wind, silent as the dew, is that influence which the most vitalizes and promotes our real sanctification. Oh, how blessed to sit there, with myriads like ourselves, silently growing in heavenliness near that marvelous Cross; frail and feeble tendrils entwining around the stem of that glorious Tree of Life.
Let us often heed the invitation of our Lord, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest,” gently led by His outstretched hand to the solitude of His Cross.
OH, WHAT MUSIC IN THE SHEPHERD’S EAR!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE NIGHTINGALE SONG OF DAVID”
From His own infinite and boundless sufficiency, the Shepherd supplies all the needs of His flock.
Christian, you have….
not a sin His grace cannot pardon; not a corruption it cannot subdue; not an infirmity it cannot help;
not a burden it cannot sustain;
not a sorrow it cannot soothe;
not a difficulty it cannot surmount.
Oh, what music in the Shepherd’s ear is the feeble bleat of the lamb, or the plaintive cry of the sheep, appealing in times of sorrow, danger, and need—to His sympathy, power, and protection!
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THE DICTIONARY OF THE ATHEIST?
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE NIGHTINGALE SONG OF DAVID”
We lose much blessing and God much honor, by not more simply and implicitly living upon His providential care.
Those who see God’s goodness in all their temporal supplies; who recognize His superintending and molding hand, ordering and shaping all the events; the most minute of their personal history; shall never be left without some marked and unmistakable evidence of God’s care and bountifulness in providing for their temporal needs, and His wisdom and faithfulness in ordering and directing all their temporal concerns.
Be, then, a close student of God’s providence.
Seek a dislodgment from your mind of that atheism which would exclude God from the government of the world, and from the events and circumstances of our individual history.
The terms ‘chance,’ ‘accident,’ ‘contingency,’ as they are employed by the world in connection with the events of human life, should be entirely expunged from the Christian’s vocabulary. They belong solely to the dictionary of the atheist, and should never pass the lips of the believer.
It is the privilege of the believing mind, to see God’s hand in the most infinitesimal incident of individual life.
Tossed amid the waves of second causes, faith often loses its anchorage on God in dark and mysterious calamities; and the believing and devout mind, thus for the moment loosed from its divine fastening, drifts away amid the breakers and the shoals of doubt and perplexity; and but for the restraining power and the
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restoring grace of the Divine Shepherd would become
an utter wreck.
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FOOT OF THE CROSS”
The cross of Christ is still the central object of attraction to the Christian!
A countless throng of Christ believing, Christ loving souls gather around it,
finding cleansing in its blood, extracting joy from its sorrow, deriving life from its death, and beholding the brightness of glory blended with the darkness of shame.
But is this the true spiritual position and posture of every believer in Jesus? Are all the professed disciples of the Savior seeking and cultivating the religion that is drawn only from, and is cherished only by, close communion with the cross of Christ?
Are we walking with God in a sense…. of pardoned sin,
of personal acceptance,
of filial communion,
of holy obedience,
of unreserved consecration beneath the cross?
Do we delight to be here?
Do we resort there….
that grace might be replenished,
that the fruits of the Spirit might be nourished, that backslidings might be healed,
that the conscience might be cleansed?
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THE CROSS OF CHRIST
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Is the cross of Jesus…. our confessional,
our laver,
our crucifixion, and our boast?
These are searching, solemn questions!
We are persuaded that the foot of the cross is the nearest spot to Heaven; that Heaven’s choicest blessings are found only there; that beneath its warm sunshine the holy fruit of the Spirit ripens, and that under its sacred shade the sweetest repose is found; that, never is the believing soul so near to God, in such intimate fellow- ship with Christ, more really under the direct teaching of the Holy Spirit, as when under the cross of Christ.
When you are in believing, loving adoration at the foot of Christ’s cross, you are at the focus of all divine glory, and at the confluence of all spiritual blessing.
“IS NOT EPHRAIM STILL MY SON,
MY DARLING CHILD?”
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MINISTRY OF HOME”
Perhaps a sense of backsliding from the Lord is your burden. You used to run well, walked closely with God, and loved to feed in green pastures with the flock and beside the Shepherd’s tent. But you did not love the fold, and went away and walked no more with Jesus.
And now the Shepherd has gone after you, and by the gentle moving of His Spirit on your heart is drawing you back with weeping, and mourning, and confession. Your departures are a grievous and a heavy burden, and like Ephraim you smite upon the thigh, and are ashamed, you are even confounded, and exclaim, “Turn
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me and I shall be turned, for You are the Lord my God.”
Come, then, poor backslider, you wanderer from the Shepherd’s side, you truant from the fold, and listen to the tender, forgiving language of that God and Father against whom you have sinned.
“Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a darling child? for as often as I speak against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him.” Jeremiah 31:20
Approach, you penitent soul, though a wanderer, still a son; though a backslider, still a child; and cast the burden of your backslidings upon Jesus, whose unchanging love and restoring grace are now gently and effectually drawing you back to Himself.
“I will arise and go to my Father, and will say unto Him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before You.”
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FREE GRACE AND LOVE!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MINISTRY OF HOME”
All that we receive from the Lord, we receive as the gift of His most free grace and love!
The believer sees and tastes free grace and love in every blessing of His Heavenly Father.
He traces free grace and love…. in the sun that cheers him,
in the spring that refreshes him, in the breeze that fans him,
in the flowers that delight him.
He sees free grace and love….
in the love that comforts him,
in the friendship that strengthens him,
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in the sympathy that soothes him,
in the outstretched hand that relieves his need.
No, more.
The child of God sees free grace and love…. in every cloud that darkens,
in every sorrow that embitters,
in every disappointment that wounds, and in every burden that crushes.
But infinitely beyond all, he sees and tastes free grace and love….
in the blood that pardons him,
in the righteousness that justifies him,
in the love that adopts him,
in the voice that effectually calls him, and
in the promises that engage to bring him home to glory!
HOLY WAR!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FOOT OF THE CROSS”
“They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb.” Revelation 12:11
The weapon that is to conquer the world for Christ, is to conquer the world of evil in our hearts; and, wielded by the arm of faith, is to vanquish and overcome all the spiritual opposition by which our path to heaven is intercepted.
We are to overcome, as these martyrs overcame, by the blood of the Lamb.
Heavenly and invincible is this weapon. No foe can cope with it.
No opposition can resist it.
No confederacy overcome it.
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Feeble though the arm may be that wields it, the blood of Jesus, as both an offensive and defensive weapon, is all powerful and irresistible in our holy war.
Whatever may be the foe with whom you wage this holy war, whatever the obstacle to your advance in the divine life; faith, looking to the blood of Jesus, wielding the cross of Christ, drawing its supplies from the resources of Christ, will enroll you among those who overcome by the blood of the Lamb!
HEAD OR HEART?
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “GLIMPSES OF THE TRUTH AS IT IS IN JESUS”
A person may have well balanced theology, and his general views of truth would be considered evangelical and orthodox. And yet, thus far may he proceed in the deepest ‘self deception.’
With all this “form of knowledge,” this lodgment of the truth in the understanding, this subscription of the intellect to the doctrines of revelation, he is an utter stranger to that ‘heart transformation,’ that inward illumination of the Holy Spirit, without which the soul is spiritually dead, the heart is unrenewed and unholy, and the whole man is unfit for the kingdom of heaven.
In short, we have here the case of one who, while his judgment assents to the truth, his heart entirely rejects it. The Gospel is to him a thing of intellectual subscription, and not of heart experience. Not a single truth of the Bible has become an element of life and holiness in his soul.
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WHAT A CHANGE HAS COME OVER HIM!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “GLIMPSES OF THE TRUTH AS IT IS IN JESUS”
I saw one man just yesterday, living without God, and in total neglect of his soul’s salvation. The solemn eternity to which he was hastening, gave him not a moment’s serious concern. His heart was filled with pharisaical pride, worldly ambition, and covetous desires. Self was his god; the only deity he worshiped. This world was his paradise; the only heaven he desired.
Today I see him the subject of deep and powerful conviction; a humble suppliant, in the spirit of self- abasement, pleading for mercy as the chief of sinners.
What a change has come over him!
How in a moment have old things passed away, and all things become new! And he who only yesterday was dwelling among the tombs, himself dead in trespasses and sins, today is sitting as a lowly disciple and an adoring worshiper at the feet of Jesus! Where did this wondrous transformation, this new creation, come from? Oh, it was the Spirit of God who wrought it, and the work is marvelous in our eyes!
THIS PRECIOUS PANACEA!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE INNER LIFE”
Nothing more effectually quickens us to communion with God than the trial that flows from His love, and is sanctified by His Spirit.
Oh, beloved, betake yourself unto prayer! You shall indeed find it the outlet of all sorrow, and the inlet of all joy.
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Welcome the trouble that thus revives you.
Receive with meekness of spirit, yes with gladness of heart, the discipline, however humbling, that throws you upon God; yes, that severs you from all creatures, and that shuts you up to Him alone.
That discipline, painful as it is, springs from love. In love that trouble is sent,
in love that cross is permitted,
in love that bitter cup is given,
in love that rod is used—
It is to set you upon the work of prayer.
Beloved, “despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are rebuked by Him,” for He only seeks to draw you closer within His bosom.
Give your troubled spirit unto prayer. Yield it to the reposing, soothing influence, of communion with God.
Withhold not from your bleeding wound this healing balsam, rob not your sick heart of this precious panacea.
Give yourself unto prayer. Embosom your tried and weary spirit in the very heart of Jehovah!
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OH! BE SUBMISSIVE, MEEK, AND QUIET!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE INNER LIFE”
What is the great end of all God’s afflictive dealings with His people? For what purpose is the Lord’s furnace in Zion, and His fire in Jerusalem? It is to purify, and sanctify, and ‘fit’ the believer for “the inheritance of the saints in light.”
All your heaven blessed trials, all your sanctified temptations, all the covenant transactions of God with
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you, beloved, in the way of afflictive providences, are designed but to ‘fit’ you more thoroughly for “the inheritance of the saints in light.”
All the disentwining of your affections from around creatures and created things, all the disappointments you meet with—the cisterns He breaks, and the beautiful gourds He withers; yes, all the steps of God with you, beloved, are but to detach you from earth, and earthly things; and thus the more perfectly to ‘fit’ you for “the inheritance of the saints in light.”
In this point of view, who would not welcome the severest chastisement? who would not drink willingly the bitterest cup? who would not take joyfully the spoiling of all that is dear and fond? who would not be willing to have the fetter unbound, the chain snapped, the bond severed, that gives liberty to his struggling and ascending spirit, and brings him, in a state of holy fitness, nearer and still nearer heaven?
Beloved, look upon all the Lord’s afflictive dealings with you as but preparatory to your approaching emancipation from all sin, suffering, and sorrow.
Welcome your trials—they are sent by your Father. Welcome the stroke of His rod—it is a parent smiting.
Welcome, oh! welcome, beloved, whatever detaches you from earth, and wings your spirit heavenward.
Oh! welcome the furnace that consumes the dross and the tin, and brings out the precious gold and silver!
Oh! be submissive, meek, and quiet, under God’s chastening and afflicting hand, and receive all His dispensations as only tending to ‘fit’ you more perfectly for “the inheritance of the saints in light.”
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ARE YOU, BELOVED, WALKING IN THE
MIDST OF TROUBLE?
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE INNER LIFE”
Do not think that you are alone. May your eye of faith be “anointed with fresh eye salve,” to see One walking side by side with you; the same who walked with the three children through the fiery furnace, “whose form is like the Son of God.”
Yes! Jesus is with you in your trial. Christ is with you in your trouble.
The path, however difficult, is not so narrow that your Lord cannot tread it with you, side by side.
Your way is not so intricate that He cannot enable you to thread your steps through the labyrinth.
He is with you, though like the two disciples journeying to Emmaus in mournful communion one with each other, your eyes may be so blinded that you see Him not; yet He is journeying with you along that sad and mournful, that lone and pensive path.
Christ is in your adversity! Christ is in your cross! Christ is in your dilemma! Christ is in your suffering! Christ is in your persecution! Christ is in your sickness!
Yes, Christ is at your side every step you take, and He will conduct you safely to your Father’s house!
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THE CRYING EVIL OF OUR TIMES!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE INNER LIFE”
I am solemnly convinced that the world, in its relation to the religion of the day, is the giant snare and the crying evil of our times!
It is not the world in one form only, but the world in its many shapes, its numerous forms of fascination and power, which gives it so amazing and subtle an influence over the Christian Church.
There is….
no shape it cannot assume,
no garb it will not wear,
no plea it may not urge,
no concession it is not prepared to yield,
thus to obtain the ascendancy over the Christian’s mind.
The compromising character of the prevailing religious profession, present but little obstruction, and offer but faint resistance, to the rapid and alarming encroachments of the world.
There is everything in the ‘easy Christianity’ of the times to court, and but little to discourage, the advances of the world upon the Church;
impairing its strength, crippling its efforts, and shading its luster.
The facile compliance with its solicitations, the inordinate attachment to its principles, the sinful conformity to its customs, the humiliating participation in its pleasures, form the grand secret of the dwarfish religion of so many professors.
The world has devoured their spiritual strength, and thus the life of God in their souls is stunted in its
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growth, and they are but infants when they ought to be men; dwarfs when they should be giants in knowledge, in grace, and in holiness.
The policy of the world;
the gay enjoyments of the world;
the self indulgence of the world;
the soaring ambition of the world;
the vain glory of the world;
the sinful alliances of the world;
the covetous, grasping desires of the world;
the love of vain show and fondness for dress; and the easy religion of the world;
are the fearful and fatal snares into which many professing Christians are drawn.
The ball;
the gay party; the concert; the novel; the drama—
O how do these things devour the little strength that some seem to possess; to what small dimensions do they stunt their Christianity; how do they wither and shrivel up their religion, reducing their spiritual power of resistance to an infant’s weakness!
Worldliness causes….
an exhaustion in the soul,
a wound in the conscience,
a deadness in the spirit,
a vagrancy of thought,
an indolence and listlessness of mind,
with feelings which partake more of earth and less of heaven, which unfit you for communion with God, incapacitate you for any spiritual duties whatever, and leave you, like Samson despoiled of his glory, the victim and the sport of the uncircumcised Philistines. “Have
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you also become weak as we are? Have you become like us?” is the exclamation of the world that has thus cruelly robbed you of your vigor, and now exultingly taunts you with your loss.
I repeat it with earnestness and in bitterness of soul: the world, the WORLD is the deadly foe, and worldliness is the crying sin of the Church of God.
You profess to have separated yourselves from the world, to not be of the world, and by the cross of Jesus to be dead to the world; and yet how opposite and falsifying is your practice!
You mix up with the world! You float down the stream with the world! You woo and embrace the world!
And but for the enrollment of your name upon the records of the Church, we should scarcely suspect that you were a follower of Him who solemnly and emphatically declared, “My kingdom is not of this world.”
With increased earnestness we beseech you…. Do not love the world!
Do not imitate the world!
Do not go needlessly into the world!
It is a cruel, treacherous, soul destroying world!
It crucified your Lord, and seeks nothing less than your eternal destruction. Come out of it, and let your unearthly principles, and holy enjoyments, and heavenly mindedness, and simplicity of walk, integrity and uprightness in all your transactions with the world, be a witness against it for God, for Christ, and for eternity.
Worldliness is the foe and the bane of religion.
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WHAT PHANTOMS THEY WILL CHASE!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FOOT OF THE CROSS”
The divine life in the soul flourishes or decays, is vigorous or sickly, in exact proportion to its proximity to the cross of Jesus. Here alone spiritual religion flourishes.
Nearness to the cross! Alas! it is the exception and not the rule. Standing by the cross! It is the privileged position of the few and not the many.
The world, in some one, or all, of its many forms of power; the creature, in its unsuspected yet insinuating influence; unbelief, in its latent yet ever potent force; sin, in its indwelling and ever working sway, allures the soul from the cross.
And so the Christian disciple, unconscious of the spiritual declension of his heart from Christ, finds himself moving in a distant orbit, cold, and dreary, far remote from the warm, genial influence of the Sun beneath whose divine beams he was wont so joyously to bask in the days of his “first love.”
Jesus is not known, His cross is not recognized, His love is not felt in the walks of worldly gaiety and in the haunts of carnal pleasure. These things are divided from the cross by a wide and ever separating gulf.
You cannot, my reader, mingle with the world and maintain at the same time, spiritual nearness to the cross.
The cross is the crucifier of the world, the death of sin.
Beneath its awful shadow, brought to its sacred foot, the world’s glory pales, sin’s power is paralyzed, and Satan, the arch tempter, recoiling from its brightness
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and writhing beneath its death bruise, relinquishes his victim, and retires, defeated and dishonored, to his own place.
The cross, rugged and gory, heavy and offensive, possesses no beauty or attraction apart from Him who was nailed to its wood.
That which makes Calvary the most hallowed spot to the believer, and the cross the most attractive spectacle on earth, is the wonderful Being who there poured out His soul unto death, a self consumed victim amid the fires of His own love.
Love to Jesus will sweetly attract and powerfully detain you at the foot of the cross, in devout, adoring contemplation.
To him who has no love to Christ, the cross of Christ has no attraction. A heart chilled in its affection to the Savior will wander away in quest of objects more congenial with its carnal taste.
A trifle, a shadow, anything the most childish and insignificant, will win and gratify a heart upon whose affections Christ has no hold.
Oh, it is astonishing what straws men will gather, and what phantoms they will chase, when the soul’s center is not the cross of Jesus! 1
THE GOLDEN KEY! THE GOLDEN THREAD!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “EMMANUEL, OR, TITLES OF CHRIST”
Jesus is the one great theme both of the Old Testament and the New. The whole Bible is designed to testify of Christ, “You search the Scriptures because you believe they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to Me!”
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In Christ the Messiah, in Jesus the Savior, in the Son of God the Redeemer, all the truths of the Bible center.
To Him all the types and shadows point! Of Him all the prophecies give witness!
While all the glory of the Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation, culminates at the cross of Christ.
The Bible would be an inexplicable mystery apart from Christ, who unfolds and explains it all.
He is the one, the golden Key which unlocks the divine treasury of revelation!
Until He is seen, the Bible is, in a sense, a great conundrum. But when He is found, it is a glorious revelation; every mystery opened, every enigma explained, every discrepancy harmonized, and every truth and page, sentence and word, quickened with a life and glowing with a light flowing down from the throne of the Eternal God.
Christ is the substance of the Gospel. All its…. divine doctrines,
holy precepts,
gracious instructions,
precious promises,
glorious hopes,
meet, center, and fill up their entire compass in Jesus.
He is the Alpha and the Omega of the Bible, from the first verse in Genesis to the last verse in Revelation.
Oh, study the Scriptures of truth with a view of learning Christ.
Do not study the Bible as a mere history. Do not read it as a mere poem.
Do not search it as a book of science.
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It is all that, but infinitely more. The Bible is the Book of Jesus! It is a Revelation of Christ!
Christ is the golden thread that runs through the whole!
The Old Testament predicts the New; and the New fulfills the Old; and so both unite in testifying, “Truly, this is the Son of God!”
Blessed Lord Jesus! I will read and study and dig into the Scriptures to find and learn more of You!
You, Immanuel, are the fragrance of this divine box of precious ointment.
You are the beauteous gem sparkling in this divine cabinet.
You are the Tree of life planted in the center of this divine garden.
You are the Ocean whose stream quickens and nourishes all who draw water out of this divine well of salvation.
The Bible is all about You!
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THAT FRIEND!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “MORNING THOUGHTS”
“There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 28:24.
The power of human sympathy is amazing, if it leads the heart to Christ. It is paralyzed, if it leads only to ourselves.
Oh, how feeble and inadequate are we to administer to a diseased mind, to heal a broken heart, to strengthen the feeble hand, and to confirm the trembling knees!
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best exponent of our affection, and the most effectual expression of our aid.
But if, taking the object of our solicitude by the hand, we gently lead him to God; if we conduct him to Jesus, portraying to his view….
the depth of His love,
the perfection of His atoning work,
the sufficiency of His grace,
His readiness to pardon,
His power to save,
the exquisite sensibility of His nature, and thus His perfect sympathy with every human sorrow—
we have then most truly and most effectually soothed the sorrow, stanched the wound, and strengthened the hand in God.
There is….
no sympathy, no love,
no gentleness, no tenderness, no patience,
like Christ’s.
Oh how sweet, how encouraging, to know…. that in all my afflictions He is afflicted; that in all my temptations He is tempted; that in all my assaults He is assailed;
that in all my joys He rejoices; that He weeps when I weep; that He sighs when I sigh;
that He suffers when I suffer; that He rejoices when I rejoice.
May this truth endear Him to our souls!
May it constrain us to unveil our whole heart to Him, in the fullest confidence of the closest, most sacred,
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and precious friendship. May it urge us to do those things always, which are most pleasing in His sight.
Beloved, never forget; and let these words linger upon your ear, as the echoes of music that never die;
in all your sorrows,
in all your trials,
in all your needs,
in all your assaults,
in all your conscious wanderings, in life,
in death, and
at the day of judgment;
you possess a friend that sticks closer than a brother!
That friend is Jesus!
YOUR ALMIGHTY FRIEND!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “EMMANUEL, OR TITLES OF CHRIST”
Because Jesus is the Almighty God, His people have an Almighty Burden Bearer.
We are a burdened people.
Every believer carries a burden peculiar to himself.
What is your burden, O believer?
Is it indwelling sin?
Is it some natural infirmity of the flesh? Is it a constitutional weakness?
Is it some domestic trial?
Is it a personal or relative trial?
Is it the loss of property?
Is it the decay of health?
Is it soul anxiety?
Is it mental despondency?
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Come, oppressed and burdened believer, ready to give up all and sink! Behold Jesus, the Almighty God, omnipotent to transfer your burden to Himself, and give you rest!
It is well that you are sensible of the pressure, that you feel your weakness and insufficiency, and that you are brought to the end of all your own power.
Now turn to your Almighty Friend, who is the Creator of the ends of the earth, even the everlasting God, who does not faint, neither is weary.
How precious is the promise addressed to you! “He gives power to the faint; and to him who has no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but those who wait for Yahweh shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.” Isa. 40:29-31.
Oh, what strength there is in Jesus for the weak, and faint, and drooping of His flock!
You are ready to succumb to your foes, and you think the battle of faith is lost.
Cheer up! Jesus, your Savior, Friend, and Brother, is “the Almighty God,” and will perfect His strength in your weakness. The battle is not yours but His!
Jesus sustains our infirmities, bears our burdens, supplies our needs, and encircles us with the shield of His Almightiness!
What a Divine spring of consolation and strength to the tired and afflicted saint is the Almightiness of Jesus. Your sorrow is too deep, your affliction too heavy, your difficulty too great for any human to resolve. It distances in its intensity and magnitude the sympathy and the power of man.
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Come, you tossed with tempest and not comforted; come, you whose spirit is wounded, whose heart is broken, whose mind is bowed down to the dust, and hide for a little while within Christ’s sheltering Almightiness!
Jesus is equal to your condition. His strength is almighty!
His love is almighty!
His grace is almighty!
His sympathy is almighty!
His arm is almighty!
His resources are infinite, fathomless, measureless!
And all this Almightiness is on your side, and will bring you through the fire and through the water.
Almighty to rescue, He is also your Brother and Friend to sympathize. And while His Divine arm encircles, upholds, and keeps you; His human soul, touched with the feeling of your infirmities, yearns over you with all the deep intensity of its compassionate tenderness.
GOD WITH US!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “EMMANUEL, OR TITLES OF CHRIST”
The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Emmanuel, which means, ‘GOD with us.’
God, in the infinite counsels of His own mind, resolved upon the salvation of His eternally chosen and loved people.
He saw that there was no eye to pity them, and no arm to save them. He resolved upon our salvation, embarked in it, accomplished it; and eternity, as it rolls
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upon its axis, will magnify His name, and show forth His praise.
O beloved! what an assuring and comforting truth is this: GOD with us! Now we feel….
equal to every service, prepared for every trial, armed for every assault.
Deity is our shield!
Deity is our arm!
Deity is our Father and our Friend!
Deity has died for us!
Deity has atoned for us!
Deity has saved us!
And Deity will bring us safely to the realms of bliss!
Come, then, and lean upon His omnipotent arm!
You have no need which from His infinite supplies cannot be met; no stone of difficulty in your pilgrimage which His might cannot remove; no burden which His arm of power cannot bear, no perplexity which His wisdom cannot guide. In a word, you have no condition to which Christ, our ever present God, is not equal.
In faith and humility make practical use of your Savior’s divinity; and when all that is merely ‘human’ has failed, broken like a rope of sand, dissolved like a passing vapor; or has pierced your too fondly leaning hand like a shattered reed; then take hold of this precious truth, and say, “My Savior God is with me in all the boundless resources of His Godhead, why then should I fear?”
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ALONE WITH JESUS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “MORNING THOUGHTS”
“Suddenly looking around, they saw no one with them any more, except Jesus only.” Mark 9:8
It is possible, my dear reader, that this page may be read by you at a period of painful and entire separation from all public engagements, ordinances, and privileges.
The way which it has pleased God to thus to set you aside may be painful and humbling. The inmate of a sick chamber, or curtained within the house of mourning, or removed far remote from the sanctuary of God and the fellowship of the saints, you are, perhaps, led to inquire, “Lord, why this?”
He replies, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Oh the thoughtfulness, the discrimination, the tenderness of Jesus towards His people! He has set you apart from public, for private duties; from communion with others, for communion with Himself. Ministers, friends, privileges are with- drawn, and you are; oh enviable state! alone with Jesus!
And now expect the richest and holiest blessing of your life!
Is it sickness? Jesus will make all your bed in your sickness, and your experience shall be, “His left hand is under my head, and His right hand embraces me.”
Is it bereavement? Jesus will soothe your sorrow and sweeten your loneliness; for He loves to visit the house of mourning, and to accompany us to the grave, to weep with us there.
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speaks, “I will be a sanctuary to you during your time in exile.”
The very circumstances, new and peculiar as they are, in which you are placed, God can convert into new and peculiar mercies; yes, into the richest means of grace with which your soul was ever fed.
The very void you feel, the very need you deplore, may be God’s way of satiating you with His goodness.
Ah! does not God see your grace in your very desire for grace?
Does He not mark your sanctification in your very thirsting for holiness?
And can He not turn that desire, and convert that thirst, into the very blessing itself? Truly He can, and often does.
He can now more than supply the absence of others by the presence of Himself.
Oh, who can compute the blessings which now may flow into your soul from this season of exile and of solitude?
Solitude?
No, it is not solitude! Never were you less alone than now.
You are alone with Jesus, and He is infinitely better than health, wealth, friends, ministers, or sanctuary, for He is the substance and the sweetness of all.
And oh, if while thus alone with Jesus you are led more deeply to search out the plague of your own heart, and the love of His; to gather up the trailing garment; to burnish the rusted armor; to trim the glimmering lamp; and to cultivate a closer fellowship with your Father,
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however much you may mourn the necessity and the cause, you yet will not regret that the Lord has set you apart from others, that you might rest awhile in His blest embrace; alone with Jesus!
LOOK UP!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “MORNING THOUGHTS”
“The first thing I do when I awake in the morning,” remarks an aged saint of God, “is to ask the Holy Spirit to take possession of my mind, my imagination, my heart, directing, sanctifying, and controlling my every thought, feeling, and word.”
What profound spiritual wisdom is there in this conception!
“In the morning will I direct my prayer unto You, and will look up.” Psalm 5:3
Look up! Ah! here is the true and befitting attitude of the spiritual soul.
Looking up for the day’s supply…. of grace to restrain,
of power to keep,
of wisdom to guide,
of patience to suffer,
of meekness to endure, of strength to bear,
of faith to overcome,
of love to obey, and
of hope to cheer.
Jesus stands at the Treasury of Infinite grace, ready to meet every application, and to supply every need.
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He loves for us to bring the empty vessel.
Dear reader, let your first thought be of God, and your first incense be to Jesus, and your first prayer be to the Holy Spirit, and thus anointed with fresh oil, you will glide serenely and safely through the day, beginning, continuing, and ending it with God!
“WHY ARE YOU CAST DOWN, O MY SOUL?”
William Bridge,
“A LIFTING UP FOR THE DOWNCAST”
If you can say, “God is my Father,” have you any reason for your discouragements? Yet how often are God’s own people discouraged and cast down!
“Why are you cast down, O my soul?”
What a mighty, vast difference there is between a godly man and a wicked upon this account.
A godly man has no reason for his discouragements, whatever his condition may be.
A wicked man has no reason for his encouragements, whatever his condition may be.
A godly man is apt to be much discouraged, but he has no true reason for it.
A wicked man is apt to be encouraged, but he has no true reason for it.
It is said of the wicked, “God is angry with the wicked every day.” Whatever the day may be, God is angry with them. Not one day goes over his head, but God is angry with him; and therefore, whatever his condition may be, there is no reason for encouragement.
But as for a godly, gracious man, though his present condition be ever so sad, and his soul ever so much cast
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down, yet he has no reason to be discouraged, whatever his condition is.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul?”
What a glorious condition are the saints in! Who would not be in love with this condition! Who would not be in Christ!
Who would not leave the ways of the wicked! Who would not be godly!
“Why are you cast down, O my soul?”
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GO AND LAY YOUR ICY HEART UPON HIS
FLAMING HEART OF LOVE!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “EMMANUEL, OR TITLES OF CHRIST”
The everlasting love of Christ never veers, never chills, and knows not the shadow of a change.
Measuring Christ’s love to us by our love to Him, we often imagine that it must necessarily be affected by the cold, chilling atmosphere of our hearts; that when our love to Him ebbs, His love to us also ebbs; that when ours proves fickle and treacherous, wandering after some creature idol, then His love, exacting reprisals, in like manner starts off, and leaves us for another and perhaps more faithful object.
No! the love of Jesus to His saints, is as eternal as His being, is as unchangeable as His nature.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”
Yield not, then, to despondency, beloved, when you discover the mercury of your love sink, even though it be to freezing point.
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There may be times when you can scarcely detect its existence, so faint its beating pulse, so congealed its warm current.
But since Christ’s love is not the effect, but the cause of ours to Him, and is an everlasting love, glowing in His heart ages that cannot be numbered or measured, before one pulse throbbed in ours; we may take comfort in the assurance that no variation of affection in us towards the Savior can in the slightest degree affect the tenderness, depth, or immutability of the great love with which He has loved us.
Look, then, to Christ’s love to you, and not to your love to Christ!
Go and lay your icy heart upon His flaming heart of love! Go to His cross, and there muse upon the love that bore your sins, that suffered and bled, that wept, and groaned, and died for you, paying the death penalty of your transgressions; and, while you thus muse, the flame will kindle, the fire will burn, and your tongue will break forth into singing!
POOR WORLDLING, THINK OF THIS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “EMMANUEL, OR TITLES OF CHRIST”
The world, its enjoyments and pleasures, its riches and honors, can give no peace to the soul.
The world is “like the troubled sea, which casts up mire and dirt.” With all its fleshly enjoyments, attractions of rank and affluence, of pomp and power, the worldling is an utter stranger to real, substantial, satisfying peace.
“There is no peace, says any God, to the wicked.” Poor worldling, think of this!
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How long will you seek this priceless, precious pearl of peace, down in the dark mine of this fallen, rebellious, sin tainted, and curse blighted world?
All is turmoil and change here.
All is sickening disappointment here.
And when you….
have traversed every continent,
and have sipped every spring,
and have plucked every flower,
and have eaten of every fruit,
and have heard every claim of fame, and tried all of earth’s good things,
your cry still is, “Who will show me any good?” Poor worldling, think of this!
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FOR ME A WORM!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE ATONEMENT”
O what a truth is this!
The Son of God offering Himself up a sacrifice for sin!
He who knew no sin; who was holy, harmless, and undefiled; not one thought of evil in His heart, yet made sin, or a sin offering!
O the magnitude of the thought!
If God had not Himself declared it, we could not have believed it, though an angel’s trumpet had announced it.
“O blessed and adorable Immanuel! Was this the end and design of Your intense and mysterious sufferings? Was it that You should obey, bear the sin, endure the curse, and bow Your head in death, that I might go free? Was it in my stead, and in my behalf? O
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unexampled love! O infinite and free grace! That God should become incarnate; that the Holy One should so take upon Him sin, as to be dealt with by stern justice as though He were Himself the sinner; that He should drain the cup of wrath, give His back to the smiters, endure the shame and the spitting, and at last be suspended upon the cross, and pour out His last drop of most precious blood; and all this for me! For me a rebel! For me a worm! For me the chief of sinners!”
Be astonished, O heavens! and be amazed, O earth! Was ever love like this?
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THE ASTONISHING, THE MARVELOUS LOVE!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE FOOT OF THE CROSS”
The cross of Jesus inspires our love to Him. It would seem impossible to be brought by the Holy Spirit to the foot of the cross, and not feel the inspiration of love.
Surely a believing apprehension of the amazing, the unparalleled love of Jesus, bending His look of forgive- ness upon us from the cross, will thaw our icy hearts into the warmest glow of affection.
Believe that Jesus loves you, and your heart shall glow with a love in return which will bear it on in a willing obedience and unreserved surrender, in faithful service and patient suffering, enwrapped, consumed amid the flames of its own ‘heaven inspired’ and ‘heaven ascending’ affection.
The astonishing, the marvelous love, He has exhibited in giving you His beloved Son to die in your stead, are cords by which He would draw your loving heart to Himself.
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SO FATHOMLESS, BOUNDLESS, AND INEXHAUSTIBLE!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “EMMANUEL, OR TITLES OF CHRIST”
Christ is wonderful in His love.
Love was the first and eternal link in the golden chain lowered from the highest throne in heaven down to the lowest depth of earth.
That Christ should love us was the beginning of wonders. When we endeavor to comprehend that love, measure it, fathom it, scale it; we learn that it has heights we cannot reach, depths we cannot sound, lengths and breadths we cannot measure!
Such love,
such divine love,
such infinite love,
such everlasting love,
such redeeming, dying love,
is an Ocean whose eternal waves waft into our fallen world every wonder of God and of heaven.
That Jesus should love such beings as us; that He should love us while we were yet sinners; that He should set His heart upon us, choose us, die for us, call us, and finally bring us to glory, knowing what we were, and what we should prove—Oh, this is wondrous love indeed!
Plunge into this fathomless, boundless ocean of love, O you sin burdened one! It will cover all your sins, it will efface all your guilt; it will flood over all your unworthiness; and, floating upon its golden waves, it will gently waft you to the shore of eternal blessedness.
How often have you wondered why Christ should set His heart upon such a one as you! And is it not a wonder that, amid all your fickleness, backslidings,
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cold, base returns, this love of God towards you has not chilled or changed?
But do not rest, do not be satisfied with your present limited experience of Christ’s wonderful love. It is so marvelously great. This Ocean of love is so fathomless, boundless, and inexhaustible, you may plunge, with all your infirmities, sin, and sorrow, into its fullness, exclaiming, “O the depth!”
“The well is deep,” drink abundantly, O beloved!
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A SELF-RIGHTEOUS MAN!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE MAN OF GOD”
I do not hesitate to say that a self righteous man, a man going about to establish a righteousness of his own in opposition to the righteousness of Christ, is, with all his works, with all his charities, a greater offense to God than the poor outcast whose life is one mass of sin.
A self-righteous man denies the holiness of Jehovah, turns his back upon the great work of God’s dear Son, and expects to get to heaven on the basis of his own righteousness.
But when the Holy Spirit convicts a man, He uproots his love of self, his trusting in good works, and lays the soul prostrate at the feet of Jesus.
“Yes most assuredly, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and count them nothing but refuse, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own, that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.” Philippians 3:8-9
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My reader, have you been so separated from a righteousness to which you are so closely wedded by nature, but from which, if saved, you must be entirely divorced by grace?
SOLEMN AND HEART-SEARCHING QUESTIONS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE ATONEMENT”
Do you think you are converted?
What reason have you for thinking so?
Upon what grounds do you base this belief?
Can you give a reason, with meekness and fear, of this supposed hope that is in you?
Where is the evidence of the mighty, spiritual, internal change?
Has that heart of yours ever been broken, softened, humbled?
Has it ever mourned over sin before God?
Have you ever sought and found a secret place for repentance, confession, and prayer?
Have your views of sin essentially altered?
Do you hate, abhor, and loathe sin; and is it the chief cause of your daily sorrow?
Are your views of yourself materially changed? How does your own righteousness appear to you? Are you humble, meek, gentle?
Are you living as a converted, regenerated man? Are you living as a child of God?
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Are you living as an heir of glory?
Is your life that of a cross bearing disciple of the Lord Jesus?
Are you living as one who is a stranger and a pilgrim here?
Is your whole life, your daily walk, your pursuits and the governing principles of your conduct, those of an individual acquainted with the experimental power of the gospel?
Are you a lover of the world, grasping for its honors and its wealth?
Are you living the humble, self-denying life of one professing to “love not the world nor the things of the world?”
Be honest with your soul and with God! These are solemn and heart-searching questions!
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FOR ME, A POOR WORTHLESS SINNER!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “MORNING THOUGHTS”
“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
Blessed announcement! Not the less hateful, nor hated, is the sin because it is forgiven and entirely blotted out.
Oh no! Let the Lord touch your heart, Christian reader, with a sense of His pardoning love, with the assurance of His forgiveness, and you will go and hate, and mortify, and forsake it, more resolutely and effectually than ever.
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And must the Son of God become the Son of man, that those who are by nature children of wrath, might become the sons of God!
Must God, the eternal God, the high and lofty One, stoop so low as to become incarnate, and that for sinners—for me, a poor worthless sinner!
To save me from eternal woe, must the Son of Man suffer, agonize, and die—die in my stead, die for my sins, die an accursed death!
Ah! Lord, what must sin be, what must my sin be! How little have I thought of it, how little have I mourned
for it, still less have I hated it as I ought to have hated it! Lord, how vile, how unutterably vile I am!
Oh hated sin! Do You forgive it, Father of my mercies? This only makes it more hateful still.
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INFINITE WISDOM DIRECTS EVERY EVENT!
from Dagg’s “MANUAL OF THEOLOGY”
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
It should fill us with joy, that God’s infinite wisdom guides the affairs of the world.
Many of its events are shrouded in darkness and mystery, and inextricable confusion sometimes seems to reign. Often wickedness prevails, and God seems to have forgotten the creatures that He has made.
Our own path through life is dark and devious, and beset with difficulties and dangers.
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How full of consolation is the doctrine, that infinite wisdom directs every event, brings order out of confusion, and light out of darkness, and, to those who love God, causes all things, whatever be their present aspect and apparent tendency, to work together for good.
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POUR ALL YOUR SECRETS INTO HIS EAR!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “MORNING THOUGHTS”
“The throne of grace.” Hebrews 4:16
Do not forget, dear reader, it is the throne of grace, to which you come in prayer. It is a throne, because God is a Sovereign. He will ever have the suppliant recognize this perfection of His nature. He hears and answers as a Sovereign.
He hears whom He will, and answers what and when He will. There must be no dictation to God, no refusing to bow to His sovereignty, no rebelling against His will.
If the answer is delayed, or God should seem to withhold it altogether, remember that “He gives no account of any of His matters,” and that He has a right to answer or not to answer, as seems good in His sight.
Glorious perfection of God, beaming from the mercy seat!
But it is also a throne of grace. And why? Because a God of grace sits upon it, and the scepter of grace is held out from it, and all the favors bestowed there are the blessings of grace.
God has many thrones. There is…. the throne of creation,
the throne of providence,
the throne of justice, and
the throne of redemption. –383–

But this is the throne of grace.
This is just the throne we need! We are…. the poor,
the needy,
the helpless,
the vile,
the sinful, the unworthy.
We have nothing to bring but our deep wretchedness and poverty, nothing but our complaints, our miseries, our crosses, our groanings, our sighs, and tears.
But it is the throne of grace. For just such is it erected!
It is set up….
in a world of woe;
in the midst of the wilderness; in the very land of the enemy; in the valley of tears—
because it is the throne of grace.
It is a God of grace who sits upon it, and all the blessings He dispenses from it are the bestowments of grace.
Pardon, justification, adoption, peace, comfort, light, direction—
all, all is of grace.
No worth or worthiness in the creature draws it forth; no price he may bring purchases it; no tears, or complainings, or misery moves the heart of God to compassion.
All is of grace. God is so full of compassion, and love, and –384–

mercy, He does not need to be stimulated to pour it forth. It gushes from His heart as from a full and overflowing fountain, and flows into the bosom of….
the poor,
the lowly,
the humble, and the contrite;
enriching, comforting, and sanctifying their souls. Then, dear reader, whatever be your case, you may come! If it is a throne of grace, as it is, then why not you? Why stand afar off?
If the poor, the penniless, the disconsolate, the guilty are welcome here; if this throne is crowded by such, why make yourself an exception? Why not come too?
What is your case, what is your sorrow, what is your burden? Ah! perhaps you can disclose it to no earthly ear. You can tell it only to God. Then take it to Him.
Let me tell you for your encouragement, God has His secret audience chamber, where He will meet you alone, and where no eye shall see you, and no ear shall hear you, but His; where you may open all your heart, and disclose your real case, and pour all your secrets into His ear!
Precious encouragement! It comes from those lips into which grace was poured.
“But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.”
Upon this promise, go to the throne of grace.
Whatever be the need, temporal or spiritual, take it there. God loves your secrets! 1
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THE BEST OF SAINTS WOULD FALL INTO THE
WORST OF SINS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “EMMANUEL, OR TITLES OF CHRIST”
“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
As the Almighty God, Christ is able to preserve to eternal salvation all His saints. His power is engaged, as His promise is given, to bring to glory every soul redeemed by His most precious blood. All whom the Father has given to Him, shall come to Him, and not one shall perish!
And truly, no power but an Almighty one could keep a single saint from final falling.
The best and holiest saint would perish, but for the upholding, preserving power of Christ.
“Hold me up,” is one of the wisest, and should be one of the constant prayers of a saint of God.
David fell, and Solomon fell, and Peter fell, as if to teach the Church in all future ages, that no child of God could keep himself; but that, left to himself, the best of saints would fall into the worst of sins!
But not one shall finally perish!
They may stumble and fall; fall to the breaking of their bones, and go limping and halting to the grave. Nevertheless, the almightiness of Jesus is pledged to restore and finally to bring them safely into the realms of eternal bliss!
“Kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation,” the –386–

feeblest lamb given to Christ by the Father, and by Him ransomed with atoning blood, and inhabited by the Spirit, shall be brought safe to glory. Having begun the work of grace in your soul, He has power to complete it.
WHAT!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE ATONEMENT”
Towards a sinner standing in the righteousness of His Son, God’s heart is love, all love, and nothing but love. Not an unkind thought lodging there; not a repulsive feeling dwelling there; all is love, and love of the most tender character.
The love of God gushes from His heart, and flows down through the channel of the cross of Christ, to a poor, repenting, believing sinner.
Yes, we dare affirm, that towards His chosen people, there never has been, and there never will be one thought of unkindness, of anger, of rebuke in the heart of God. From eternity it has been love, through time it is love, and on through eternity to come it will be love.
“What! Are not their afflictions, their chastisements, the rough and thorny path they tread, proofs of God’s displeasure? What! Is that individual loved of God, whom I see yonder bearing that heavy and daily cross; against whom billow after billow dashes, and to whom tragic messenger after messenger is sent; whose gourds are withered in a night, and whose fountains are all broken in a day; whose body is diseased, whose domestic comforts are fled; who is poor, feeble, and destitute; What! Is that individual beloved of God?”
Go and ask that afflicted saint; go and ask that cross bearing disciple; go and ask that son and daughter of
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disease and penury; and they will tell you, their Father’s dealings with them are the most costly proofs of His love; that instead of unkindness in that cross, there was love; instead of harshness in that rebuke, there was tenderness;
and that when He withered that gourd, and broke up that cistern,
and removed that earthly prop,
and blighted that budding hope,
it was but to pour the flood of His own love into the heart, and satiate the soul with His goodness.
O dear cross!
O sweet affliction!
O precious discipline!
Thus to open the heart of God;
thus to unlock the treasury of His love; thus to bring God near to the soul,
and the soul near to God.
A LOST AND UNDONE SINNER?
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE ATONEMENT”
No man shall value Christ, or His precious atonement, until he has been made to see and feel himself to be a lost and undone sinner.
Christ is precious only to the soul that feels…. its spiritual poverty,
its vileness,
its emptiness,
its nothingness.
To such an individual, Jesus is everything.
The deeper the Eternal Spirit leads him to an acquaintance with himself, the more precious is that
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Savior, whom he now finds to be the very Savior that he needs.
The daily discovery of…. indwelling corruption, inordinate affection, pride,
self esteem, instability,
love of the world,
and the innumerable other forms which indwelling depravity assumes, endears to him the fountain that cleanses from all sin; he repairs afresh to it, washes again and again in it; and these daily applications to the atoning blood make sin increasingly sinful, and strengthen the panting of his soul for divine conformity.
THE LITTLE THINGS OF LIFE!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “MORNING THOUGHTS”
“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Luke 12:7
You know so little of God, my reader, because you live at such a distance from God.
You have so little transaction with Him,
so little confession of sin,
so little searching of your own conscience,
so little probing of your own heart,
so little transaction with Him in the little things of life.
You deal with God in great matters.
You take great trials to God, great perplexities, great needs; but in the minutiae of each day’s history, in
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what are called the little things of life, you have no dealings with God whatever; and consequently you know….
so little of the love,
so little of the wisdom, so little of the glory,
of this glorious covenant God and reconciled Father.
I tell you, the man who lives with God in little matters, who walks with God in the minutiae of his life, is the man who becomes the best acquainted with God; with His character, His faithfulness, His love.
To meet God in my daily trials, to take to Him the trials of my calling, the trials of my church, the trials of my family, the trials of my own heart; to take to Him that which brings the shade upon my brow, that rends the sigh from my heart; to remember it is not too trivial to take to God; above all, to take to Him the least taint upon the conscience, the slightest pressure of sin upon the heart, the softest conviction of departure from God; to take it to Him, and confess it at the foot of the cross, with the hand of faith upon the bleeding sacrifice; oh! these are the paths in which a man becomes intimately and closely acquainted with God!
INTENSE! MYSTERIOUS! VICARIOUS!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “MORNING THOUGHTS”
“The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6
How shall we account for the sufferings of Christ, which were intense, and mysterious, if not on the ground of their vicarious character?
Those sufferings were intense in the extreme. –390–
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There was a severity in those who, if not required by Divine justice, would be perfectly unaccountable.
Heaven, earth, and hell, all were in league against Him.
Survey His eventful history; mark every step which He took from Bethlehem to Calvary; and what do we learn of His sufferings, but that they were of the most extraordinary and intense character.
His enemies, like dogs of war, were let loose upon Him.
His professed followers themselves stood aghast at the scenes through which their Lord was passing; one betraying Him, another denying Him, and all, in the hour of His extremity, forsaking Him.
Is it any wonder that, in the anguish of His soul, His suffering humanity should exclaim, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I want, but what You want.” Matthew 26:39
In that awful moment, all the waves and billows of God’s wrath, due to the sins of His people, were passing over Him!
The Father, the last resource of sympathy, veiled His face, and withdrew from Him His sensible presence; and on the cross, draining the cup of sorrow, He fulfilled the prophecy, which spoke of Him; “I have trodden the winepress alone; no one was there to help Me.”
His sufferings, too, were mysterious!
Why a holy, harmless being, whose whole life had been one act of unparalleled beneficence, should be doomed to persecution so severe, to sufferings so acute, and to a death so painful and ignominious, the denier of the atonement must be embarrassed to account.
But the doctrine of a vicarious sacrifice explains it all, and presents the only key to the mystery. “For Him who
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knew no sin He made to be sin on our behalf; so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.”
All the mystery now is gone!
He was “made sin for us.” He was “made a curse for us.” He bore the sin, and consequently the penalty of sin.
Had we been left, Christian reader, to bear our sins, we must inevitably have borne alone the punishment of our sins.
But Jesus took upon Himself our sins!
For this, He assumed our nature.
For this, He sorrowed in Gethsemane.
For this, the law of God exacted its utmost claim.
For this, the justice of God inflicted the utmost penalty.
Oh, what a truth is this!
The Son of God offering Himself up a sacrifice for sin!
He who knew no sin; who was holy, harmless, and undefiled; not one thought of evil in His heart, yet made sin, or a sin offering!
Oh the greatness of the thought!
God alone can write it upon the heart.
If God had not Himself declared it, we could not have believed it, though an angel’s tongue had announced it!
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WHEN HE WITHDRAWS HIS RESTRAINING HAND!
from Arthur Pink’s, “THE LIFE OF ELIJAH”
The strongest Christians are as weak as water, when God leaves them to themselves, and withholds His support.
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Samson was as powerless as any other man as soon as the Spirit of the Lord departed from him.
It matters not what growth in grace has been made, how well experienced we may be in the spiritual life, or how eminent the position we have occupied in the Lord’s service.
When He withdraws His restraining hand the madness which is in our hearts by nature at once asserts itself, gains the upper hand, and leads us into a course of folly!
READER! MARVEL NOT THAT YOU MUST
BE BORN AGAIN!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE NIGHTINGALE SONG OF DAVID”
Alas! the life of an unconverted person is one entire, unbroken, departure from God!
What hue sufficiently dark can portray the life of an unrenewed man? He may be….
upright and honorable as a man of the world; faithful in all the relations of life;
admired for his private rectitude, and honored for his public character and career.
His morality, stainless;
his virtue, unquestioned;
his liberality, generous;
his philanthropy, distinguished; his religion, admired.
And yet, destitute of the converting grace of God; a stranger to the great change of the new birth; an unbeliever in the Lord Jesus Christ, his life is but a
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blank; and dying in this condition, he can in no way enter into the kingdom of heaven!
Reader! marvel not that you must be born again! 1
UNTIL WE THROW OFF THIS CUMBROUS CLAY!
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “MORNING THOUGHTS”
The heart is the natural and fertile soil of every noxious weed of sin.
As soon as one sin is cut down, another springs up.
Yes, the same root appears again above the surface, with new life and vigor.
It requires a ceaseless care and vigilance, a perpetual mortification of sin in the body, until we throw off this cumbrous clay, and go where sin is known no more.
HE WILL HAVE THE SUPREME AFFECTION
OF HIS PEOPLE
from Octavius Winslow’s book, “THE ATONEMENT”
The child of God is as much called to live on Christ for sanctification, as for pardon of sin.
Happy and holy is he who thus lives on Jesus.
The fullness of grace that is treasured up in Christ, why is it there? For the sanctification of His people; for the subduing of all their sins.
O forget not, then, that He is the Refiner, as well as the Savior; the Sanctifier as well as the Redeemer.
Take your indwelling corruptions to Him; take the besetting sin, the weakness, the infirmity, of whatever
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nature it is, at once to Jesus. His grace can make you all that He would have you to be.
Remember, too, that this is one of the great privileges of the life of faith; living on Christ for the daily subduing of all sin.
This is the faith that purifies the heart; and it purifies by leading the believer to live out of himself upon Christ. To this blessed and holy life our Lord Jesus referred, when speaking of its necessity in order to the spiritual fruitfulness of the believer: “Remain in Me, and I in you. As the branch can’t bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in Me. I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in Me, and I in Him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5
O that each individual Christian would but realize this truth: that simpler, closer, more experimental views of Jesus would essentially strengthen the tone of inward spirituality and comfort!
The great secret of all comfort in seasons of affliction, is to take the affliction, as it comes, simply to Christ!
And the great secret of all holiness, is to take the corruption, as it rises, simply to Christ!
It is this living upon Christ for all he needs, this going to Christ under all circumstances and at all seasons, which forms the happy and holy life of a child of God.
There is no other path for him to walk in.
The moment he turns from Christ, he becomes like a vessel loosed from its moorings, and driven at the mercy of the winds from billow to billow.
Christ must be all in all to him. –395–

Friends,
domestic comforts, church privileges, ordinances,
means of grace,
nothing must substitute for Jesus.
And why does the Lord so frequently discipline the soul?
O why, but to open away through which He Himself might enter the believer, and convince that lonely, bereaved, and desolate heart, that He is a substitute for everything, while nothing shall ever be a substitute for Him!
He will have the supreme affection of His people.
They shall find their all in Him; and to this end He sends afflictions, crosses, and disappointments; to wean them from their idols, and draw them to Himself.
WE CONVERT OUR BLESSINGS INTO POISONS
From Octavius Winslow’s book, “MORNING THOUGHTS”
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” 1 John 5:21
An idolatrous and unsanctified attachment to the creature has again and again crucified love to Christ in the heart.
Upon the same principle that no man can love the world and God with a like supreme and kindred affection, so no man can give to Christ and the creature the same intensity of regard.
And yet, how often has the creature stolen the heart from its lawful Sovereign!
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That heart that was once so simply and so supremely the Lord’s, those affections that clung to Him with such purity and power of grasp, have now been transferred to another and an inferior object.
The piece of clay that God had given but to deepen the obligation, and heighten the soul’s love to Himself, has been molded into an idol, before which the heart pours its daily incense.
The flower that He has caused to spring forth but to endear His own beauty, and make His own name more fragrant, has supplanted the “Rose of Sharon” in the bosom.
Oh! is it thus that we abuse our mercies?
Is it thus that we convert our blessings into poisons?
Is it thus that we allow the things that were sent to endear the heart of our God, and to make the cross, through which they came, more precious, to allure our affections from their holy and blessed center?
Fools that we are, to love the creature more than the Creator!
Dear reader, why has God been disciplining you as it may be, He has? Why has He removed your idols, crumbled into dust your piece of clay, and blown witheringly upon your beauteous flower?
Why?
Because He hates idolatry; and idolatry is essentially the same, whether it be offered to a lifeless, shapeless stock, or to a being of intellect and beauty.
And what does His voice speak in every stream that He dries, in every plant that He blows upon, and in every disappointment He writes upon the creature?
–397–

“My son, give Me your heart. I want your love, your pure and supreme affection. I want to be the one and only object of your delight. I gave My Son for you; His life for yours. I sent My Spirit to quicken, to renew, to seal, and possess you for Myself; all this I did that I might have your heart. To possess myself of this, I have smitten your gourds, removed your idols, broken your earthly dependences, and have sought to detach your affections from the creature, that they may arise, undivided and unfettered, and entwine around One who loves you with an undying love.”
1
–398–

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