Grace Gems Collection

Grace Gems Collection 2007

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Grace Gems Collection 2007

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The text has been lightly revised for contemporary readers.
Sovereign Grace Treasures http://www.lulu.com/gracetreasures 2007

OUR PURPOSE
To humble the pride of man,
to exalt the grace of God in salvation and to promote real holiness in heart and 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 our 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.
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The Editors

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THE YEAR BEFORE OUR EYES
J. C. Philpot
“As your days — so shall your strength be.” Deuteronomy 33:25
The year before our eyes may hold in its bosom events which may deeply concern and affect us. We do not know what is to come. What personal trials, what family trials, what providential trials may await us — we do not know.
Sickness may attack our bodies, death enter our families, difficulties beset our circumstances, trials and temptations exercise our minds, snares entangle our feet, and many dark and gloomy clouds, make our path one of heaviness and sorrow. Every year hitherto has brought its trials in its train; and how can we expect the coming year to be exempt?
If, indeed, we are His, whatever our trials may be, His grace will be sufficient for us.
He who has delivered, can and will deliver.
And He who has brought us thus far on the road, who has so borne with our crooked manners in the wilderness and never yet forsaken us — though we have so often forsaken Him — will still lead us along; will still guide and guard us, and be our God, our Father and our Friend — not only to the end of the next year, if spared to see it, but the end of our life.
Blessed with His presence, we need fear no evil;
favored with His smile, we need dread no foe;
upheld by His power, we need shrink from no trial; strengthened by His grace, we need panic at no suffering.
Knowing what we are and have been when left to ourselves — the slips that we have made, the snares that we have been entangled in, the shame
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and sorrow that we have procured to ourselves — well may we dread to go forth in the coming year alone. Well may we say, “If Your Presence does not go with us — do not send us up from here!” Exodus 33:15
YOU WERE FITTER TO BE LOATHED, THAN LOVED
Thomas Boston, “Human Nature in its Fourfold State” “Remember — that at that time you were without Christ . . .
having no hope and without God in the world.” Ephesians 2:12
Call to mind the state you were in formerly. You are no longer a child of wrath, but an heir of God, and joint heir with Christ!
Remember — that in the day our Lord first took you by the hand, you were in no better a condition than others. O, what moved Him to take you — when He passed by your neighbors? He found you a child of wrath, even as others — but He did not leave you so. He came into the common prison, where you lay in fetters, even as others. From among the multitude of condemned malefactors, He picked you out, commanded your fetters to be taken off, put a pardon in your hand, and brought you into the glorious liberty of the children of God — while He left others in the devil’s fetters!
Remember — there was nothing in you to engage Him to love you, in the day He appeared for your deliverance. You were a child of wrath, even as others. You were fit for Hell, and altogether unfit for Heaven! Yet the King brought you into His palace. The King’s Son made love to you, a condemned criminal, and espoused you to Himself — on the day in which you might have been led forth to execution! “Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight!”
Remember — you were fitter to be loathed, than loved, in that day. Be amazed and wonder — that when He saw you in your blood, that He did not look upon you with abhorrence, and pass you by!
Remember — you are decked with borrowed garments. It is His loveliness which is upon you! It was He who took off your prison garments, and clothed you with robes of righteousness, garments of salvation! He took the chains from off your arms, the rope from around your neck; and put you in such a dress, as you might be fit for the court of Heaven — even to eat at the King’s table!
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Admire that matchless love which brought you out of the state of wrath! Christ’s love brought your soul from the pit of corruption! He gave His life for your life. He gave His precious blood to quench the flames of wrath — which otherwise would have consumed you! He took you out of the horrible pit, and out of the miry clay. How broad was that love, which covered such a multitude of sins! See . . .the length of it — reaching from everlasting to everlasting; the depth of it — going so low as to deliver you from the lowest Hell; the height of it — raising you up to sit in heavenly places!
That your soul is not overwhelmed with the wrath of God, is owing purely to Jesus Christ! That your heart is not filled with horror and despair, is owing to Him alone! That . . .your eyes are not blinded with the smoke of the pit; your hands not fettered with chains of darkness; your tongue is not broiling in the fire of Hell; and your feet are not standing in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone — is owing purely to Jesus Christ!
Walk humbly, as it befits debtors to free grace.
You have no reason to complain of your lot in the world, whatever it is. Well may you bear the cross for Him — who bore your curse; has freed you from eternal wrath; and quenched Hell-fire for you!
GO DOGS, AND EAT THE GARBAGE!
Charles Spurgeon, “The Soul Winner”
“So that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.” Philippians 2:15
I believe that one reason why the church at this present moment has so little influence over the world, is because the world has so much influence over the church! Nowadays, we hear professors pleading that they may do this, and do that — that they may live like worldlings. My sad answer to them, when they crave this liberty is, “Do it if you dare. It may not cost you much hurt, for you are so bad already. Your cravings show how rotten your hearts are. If you are hungering after such dogs food — go dogs, and eat the garbage!
Worldly amusements are fit food for pretenders and hypocrites. If you
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were God’s children, you would loathe the thought of the world’s evil joys. Your question would not be, “How far may we be like the world?” but your cry would be, “How can we get away from the world? How can we come out of it?”
“Whatever is true,
whatever is noble,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable,
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy
— think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
HOW TO CONQUER THE WORLD!
Thomas Brooks, “The Unsearchable Riches of Christ”
Perhaps the world — the smiling world or the frowning world, the tempting world or the persecuting world — lies as a heavy stone or burden upon your heart, as it does upon the hearts of thousands in these days; (witness their attempting anything to get the favors, honors and riches of this world! Ah! how many have turned their backs upon God, and Christ, and truth, etc., to gain the world!) How will you get this burden off? Only by exercise of faith.
Many men hear sermons much — and yet remain worldly. They may pray like angels — and yet live as if there were no Heaven nor Hell. They will talk much of Heaven — and yet those who are spiritual and wise, smell their breath to stink strong of earth. All their endeavors can never cure them of this soul-killing disease — until faith breaks forth in its glorious actings. A man may hear sermons and pray many years — and yet remain as carnal, base, and worldly as ever! There is no way under Heaven to remove this burden — but the exercise of faith!
“For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” 1 John 5:4-5
Faith presents the world to the soul under all those notions which the Scripture holds forth the world unto us by. The Scripture holds forth the
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world as an impotent thing, as a mixed thing, as a mutable thing, as a momentary thing. Now faith comes and sets this home with power upon the soul — and this takes the soul off from the world.
Faith causes the soul to converse with those more glorious, soul-satisfying, soul-delighting, and soul-contenting objects. Now when faith is busied and exercised about soul-ennobling, soul-greatening, soul-raising, and soul- cheering objects — a Christian tramples the world under his feet! In Hebrews 11, it was the exercise of faith and hope upon noble and glorious objects — which carried them above the world — above the smiling world, and above the frowning world, above the tempting world, and above the persecuting world!
Faith conquers the world, by assuring the soul of enjoying of better things. Men may talk much of Heaven, and of Christ, and religion, etc.; but give me a man who does really and clearly live under the power of divine faith — and I cannot see how such a one can be carried out in an inordinate love to these poor transitory things.
DO NOT JUDGE A MINISTER . . .
Thomas Brooks, “The Unsearchable Riches of Christ”
“Consider carefully what you hear.” Mark 4:24
It is sad to see how many preachers in our days, make it their business to enrich men’s heads with high, empty, airy notions; instead of enriching their souls with saving truths.
Fix yourself under that man’s ministry, who makes it his business, his work to enrich the soul, to win the soul, and to build up the soul; not to tickle the ear, or please the fancy. This age is full of such light, delirious souls — who dislike everything — but what is empty and airy.
Do not judge a minister . . .
by his voice, nor
by the multitude who follow him, nor
by his affected tone, nor
by his rhetoric and flashes of wit;
but by the holiness, heavenliness, and spiritualness
of his teaching. Many ministers are like empty orators, who have a flood of words — but a drop of matter.
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Some preachers affect rhetorical strains; they seek abstrusities, and love to hover and soar aloft in dark and cloudy expressions, and so shoot their arrows over their hearers’ heads — instead of bettering their hearers’ hearts. Mirthful things in a sermon are only for men to gaze upon and admire. He is the best preacher, not who tickles the ear — but who breaks the heart.
“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” 1 Corinthians 2:4-5
WE HAVE ACTUALLY OUTSINNED THOUSANDS
Thomas Brooks, “The Unsearchable Riches of Christ”
Sit down and wonder at the matchless love of God.
Oh! what is in us — that should cause the Lord to give such gifts to us as He has given? We were all equal in sin and misery; nay, doubtless, we have actually outsinned thousands, to whom these precious gifts are denied. Let us therefore sit down and wonder at this condescending love of God. Oh! we were once poor wretches sitting upon the ash-heap, yes, wallowing in our blood — and yet behold!
The King of kings, the Lord of lords, has so far condescended in His love, as to bestow Himself, His Spirit, His grace, and all the jewels of His royal crown upon us! Oh! what heart can conceive, what tongue can express, this matchless love!
“I will be yours forever,” says Christ, “and My Spirit shall be yours forever, and My grace yours forever, and My glory yours forever, and My righteousness yours forever. All I am and all I have — shall be yours forever!” O what matchless love is this! Oh! what a Christ is this!
THE MIDAS TOUCH
Thomas Brooks, “The Unsearchable Riches of Christ”
Faith is the most useful grace. It is a Christian’s right eye, without which
he cannot see for Christ; it is his right hand, without which he cannot do
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for Christ; it is his tongue, without which he cannot speak for Christ; it is his very vital spirits, without which he cannot act for Christ.
It is fabled of King Midas, that whatever he touched would be turned into gold. I am sure that whatever faith touches, it turns into gold, that is, into our good. If our faith touches the promises, it turns them into our good; whatever faith lays its hand upon, it appropriates to itself, and turns it into the soul’s good. If faith looks upon God, it says, “This God is my God forever and ever, and He shall be my guide unto death!” When it looks upon Christ, it says, “My Lord and my God!” When it looks upon the crown of righteousness, it says, “This crown is laid up for me!”
Faith is . . .
bread to nourish us,
wine to cheer us,
a cordial to strengthen us,
a sword to defend us,
a guide to direct us,
a staff to support us,
a plaster to heal us,
a friend to comfort us, and
a golden key to open Heaven unto us.
Faith, of all graces, is the most useful grace to the soul of man. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” All those services are lost, wherein faith has not a hand.
You may write ‘loss’ . . .
upon all the prayers you make, and upon all the sermons you hear, and
upon all the tears you shed, and
upon all the alms you give,
if all are not managed by a hand of faith.
OPTIMUM MAXIMUM
Thomas Brooks, “The Unsearchable Riches of Christ”
Christians serve a wonderful Master. They serve Him who is . . .
all ear to hear them,
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all hand to uphold them,
all power to protect them, all wisdom to direct them, all goodness to relieve them, all mercy to pardon them.
They serve that God who is optimum maximum — the best and greatest. God has within Himself all the good of angels, men, and universal nature.
God has . . .
all dignity, all glory, all riches, all treasure, all pleasure, all delight, all joy,
all beatitudes.
God is . . .
goodness,
beauty,
power,
wisdom,
justice,
mercy, and
love itself! God is one infinite perfection in Himself!
“He has all — who has the Haver of all.” Αugustine
A FAITHFUL MINISTER
Thomas Brooks, “The Unsearchable Riches of Christ”
“Let the elders who rule well be accounted worthy of double honor,
especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.” 1 Timothy 5:17
The which is here rendered labor, signifies not simply to labor — but to labor with much travail and toil, to labor even to exhaustion, as he does who chops wood, or who toils in harvest, or who fights in a battle.
Oh what an honor is it to a faithful minister, when he has . . . 12

found the people dark and blind — but left them enlightened; found them dead — but left them alive;
found them a proud people — but left them humble;
found them a profane people — but left them holy;
found them a carnal people — but left them spiritual;
found them a worldly people — but left them heavenly;
found them a wavering people — but left them settled and rooted.
Oh, it is an honor to faithful ministers, when their people are like them in . . . knowledge,
wisdom,
love, humility, holiness!
“Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12
THE CROSS HAS NOT BECOME OBSOLETE!
Horatius Bonar, “The Surety’s Cross”
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing;
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18
The whole world looked with contempt — indignant at the audacity of a few humble Christians, thus affronting and defying the “public opinion” of nations and ages; assailing the religions of earth with the cross as their only sword; striking down their idols with this as their only hammer; and with this, as their one lever, proposing to turn the world upside down! From that day the cross became “a power” in the earth; a power which went forth, like the light — noiselessly yet irresistibly — smiting down all religions alike, all shrines alike, all altars alike — sparing no superstition nor philosophy.
This power remains — in its mystery, its silence, its influence, it remains. The cross has not become obsolete! The preaching of the cross has not ceased to be powerful and effectual!
There are those who would persuade us that, in this modern age — the
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cross is out of date and out of fashion, time-worn. But this shakes us not. It only leads us to clasp the cross more fervently, and to study it more profoundly, as embodying in itself that gospel which is at once the wisdom and the power of God.
Yet the cross is not without its mysteries.
It illuminates — yet it darkens.
It is life — yet it is death.
It is honor — yet it is shame.
It is wisdom — but also foolishness.
It is . . .
both pardon and condemnation; both strength and weakness; both joy and sorrow;
both love and hatred;
both medicine and poison;
both hope and despair.
It is Christ’s humiliation — yet it is His exaltation!
It is Satan’s victory — yet it is Satan’s defeat!
It is the gate of Heaven — and the gate of Hell!
The cross is the key to God’s character, His word, His ways, His purposes. It is the summary of all the Bible — the epitome of Revelation!
A CORRUPT HEART WAS THE SOURCE OF ALL
Thomas Boston, “Human Nature in its Fourfold State”
We have seen what man was, as God made him — a lovely and happy creature. Let us view him now as he has unmade himself — we shall see him a sinful and a miserable creature. This is the sad state we are brought into by the fall. Man’s nature is now wholly corrupted. There is a sad alteration, an astonishing overturning in the nature of man — where, at first, there was nothing evil — now there is nothing good.
“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that
every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5
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All their wicked practices are here traced to the fountain and spring-head — a corrupt heart was the source of all. The soul, which was made upright in all its faculties — is now wholly disordered. The heart, which was made according to God’s own heart — is now the reverse of it, a forge of evil imaginations, a sink of inordinate affections, and a storehouse of all impiety, Mark 7:21, 22. Behold the heart of the natural man, as it is opened in our text. The mind is defiled; the thoughts of the heart are evil; the will and affections are defiled. The imagination of the thoughts of the heart, that is, whatever the heart frames within itself by thinking, such as judgment, choice, purposes, devices, desires, every inward motion — is evil. Yes, and every imagination, every frame of his thoughts, is evil.
But is there not, at least, a mixture of good in them? No, they are only evil. Whatever changes may be found in them, are only from evil to evil; for the imagination of the heart, or frame of thoughts in natural men, is evil continually. Not one holy thought can ever be produced by an unholy heart.
O, what a vile heart is this! O, what a corrupt nature is this! What can that heart be, whereof every imagination, every set of thoughts — is only evil, and that continually? Surely that corruption is ingrained in our hearts, interwoven with our very natures, has sunk deep into our souls, and will never be cured but by a miracle of grace. Now such is man’s heart, such is his nature — until regenerating grace changes it.
ONE CONTINUED DREAM AND DELUSION
Thomas Boston, “Human Nature in its Fourfold State” “There is no one who understands.” Romans 3:11
“They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.” Ephesians 4:18
The natural man’s apprehension of divine things is corrupt. The understanding, that leading faculty, is despoiled of its primitive glory, and covered over with confusion.
Tell them how they may advance their worldly wealth, or how they may gratify their lusts — and they will quickly understand these things. But it
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is very hard to make them know how their souls may be saved, or how their hearts may find rest in Christ. They are very stupid and unteachable in the matters of God. What woeful delusions prevail over them! Do we not often see those, who in other things are the wisest of men — yet are notorious fools with respect to their soul’s interest?
Many who are eagle-eyed in the trifles of time — yet are like owls and bats in the light of eternal realities. Nay, truly, the life of every natural man is but one continued dream and delusion, out of which he never awakes, until either, by a divine light darted from Heaven into his soul, he comes to himself — or, in Hell he lifts up his eyes in torment!
Sin has closed the windows of the soul; darkness covers the whole. The prince of darkness reigns there, and nothing but the works of darkness are framed there. We are born spiritually blind — and cannot be restored without a miracle of grace.
“For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord!” Ephesians 5:8
THE BELIEVER’S GROWTH IN GRACE
Arthur Pink
“Without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Just as the sinner’s despair of any hope from himself is the first prerequisite of a sound conversion; so the loss of all confidence in himself is the first essential in the believer’s growth in grace.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
GOD WOULD BE VOTED OUT OF THE WORLD
Thomas Boston, “Human Nature in its Fourfold State”
“Haters of God.” Romans 1:30
“The carnal mind is enmity against God.” Romans 8:7
Men set up for themselves, an idol of their own fancy, instead of the true
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God, and then fall down and worship it.
Every natural man is an enemy to God — as He is revealed in His word. The infinitely holy, just, powerful, and true God — is not the God whom he loves, but the God whom he loathes! The Pagans finding that they could not be like God in holiness, made their gods like themselves in filthiness; and thereby they show what sort of a god the natural man would have. God is holy; can an unholy creature love His unspotted holiness?
There is not a man, who is wedded to his lusts — as all the unregenerate are — but would desire to blot out the God of justice. Can the malefactor love his condemning judge? Can an unjustified sinner love a just God? No, he cannot!
Men naturally would rather have a blind idol — than the all-seeing God. They no more love the all-seeing, every where present God — than the thief loves to have the judge witness to his evil deeds. If it could be carried by votes, God would be voted out of the world; for the language of the carnal heart is, “The Lord does not see us. The Lord has abandoned the earth.” Ezekiel 8:12
Every unrenewed man is an enemy to the true God.
“They say unto God — Leave us alone!
We have no desire to know Your ways!” Job 21:14
A SPIRITUAL MONSTER!
Thomas Boston, “Human Nature in its Fourfold State”
The unrenewed man’s affections are wholly corrupted, disordered and distempered. Man’s heart naturally is a mother of abominations! “For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.” Mark 7:21, 22
“Men loved darkness.” John 3:19
The natural man’s affections are wretchedly misplaced. He is a spiritual
monster!
His heart is where his feet should be — fixed on the earth.
His heels are lifted up against Heaven — which his heart should be set on.
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His face is towards Hell; his back is towards Heaven.
He loves what he should hate; and hates what he should love.
He joys in what he ought to mourn for; and mourns for what he should rejoice in.
He abhors what he should desire; and desires what he should abhor. “Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” 2 Timothy 3:4
THE ANT’S NEST
Thomas Boston, “Human Nature in its Fourfold State”
Never did any sin appear in the life of the vilest wretch who ever lived; but look into your own corrupt nature, and there you may see the seed and root that sin — and every other sin. There is atheism, idolatry, blasphemy, murder, adultery, and whatever is vile — in your heart! Possibly none of these are apparent to you; but there is more in that unfathomable depth of wickedness than you know. Your corrupt heart is like an ant’s nest, which, while the stone lies on it, none of them appear. But take off the stone, and stir them up but with a straw — and you will see what a swarm is there — and how lively they are! Just such a sight would your heart afford you — did the Lord but withdraw the restraint He has upon it — and allow Satan to stir it up by temptation!
“For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.” Mark 7:21, 22
Christian! the remembrance of what you are by nature, should keep you humble.
THEY STICK THERE LIKE GLUE!
Thomas Boston, “Human Nature in its Fourfold State”
The memory bears evident marks of sin and corruption. What is good and worthy to be remembered, makes but slender impression, so that impression easily wears off; the memory, as a leaking vessel, lets it slip. As a sieve that is full when in the water, lets all go when it is taken out —
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just so is the memory with respect to spiritual things.
But how does the memory retain what ought to be forgotten! Sinful things so bear in themselves upon it, that though men would sincerely have them out of mind — yet they stick there like glue! However forgetful men are in other things, it is hard to forget an injury. So the memory often furnishes new fuel to old lusts; makes men in old age remember the sins of their youth, while it presents them again to the mind with delight, which thereupon returns to its former lusts.
Thus the memory is like a riddle — which lets through the pure grain, and keeps the refuse.
HOLD ME AND NEVER LET ME GO!
A Puritan Prayer
O God of love,
Preserve . . .
my understanding from error,
my affections from love of idols,
my lips from speaking deceit,
my conduct from stain of vice,
my character from appearance of evil; that I may be
harmless,
blameless,
rebukeless,
exemplary,
useful,
light-giving,
prudent,
zealous for Your glory
and the good of my fellow-men.
Cast Your cords of love around my heart, then
hold me and never let me go!
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THE DEATH OF OUR DEAR FRIEND ELMORE

The life and letters of John Angell James
In the death of our dear friend Elmore, the church has lost a very valuable member, and I a most affectionate friend. Cut off in the prime of his life — his death speaks loudly to us all. What now is the world, or any of its concerns, to him? Let our hearts be more in Heaven! We are too earthly and sensual. We are too much elated by the comforts of life; and too much depressed by the sorrows of life — forgetting how close at hand is the event which will render them both alike indifferent to us — and us to them. Eternity, eternity is before us — and what earthly trifle should greatly affect those who are speedily traveling to eternity?
A LION! A DRAGON! A SERPENT!
Henry Law, “Gleanings from the Book of Life”
“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish;
no one can snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:28 The good Shepherd protects His sheep.
Many and mighty are their foes.
In themselves they are weak and tremulous as a broken reed. The wild boar out of the forest marks them as his prey.
The roaring lion watches to devour.
Savage dogs would mangle.
The wind, the rain, the tempest, threaten to destroy. The Shepherd knows these perils, and protects from all.
Satan is the arch enemy of the flock.
For strength — he is a lion,
for fierceness — he is a dragon,
for twisting deviousness — he is a serpent. His might almost reaches almightiness.
His many vassals, as legion, are a universal swarm.
His vigilance never slumbers.
His skill is barbed by world long experience.
His wrath is vehement, because his time is short.
He wars with desperation because a hopeless doom is near.
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How is it that the sheep are not all driven to Satan’s prison cell? There must be a Shepherd almighty to protect.
He who delivered David “from the paw of the lion, and from the paw of the bear” is the same rescuing Lord.
Paul seemed to be in the jaws of ruin, but he testifies, “The Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, and I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.”
In direst extremity let the believer cry, “Rescue me from the mouth of the lion; save me from the horns of the wild oxen!”
A protecting arm will speedily be outstretched.
Thus His sheep never perish, and no one can snatch them out of His hands.
THE HAPPIEST CHRISTIANS
John Newton’s Letters
They are the happiest Christians, who have the lowest thoughts of themselves, and in whose eyes Jesus is most glorious and precious.
“Unto you who believe He is precious.” 1 Peter 2:7
LIKE THE BUBBLE ON THE STREAM
John MacDuff
We shall come, some day, to see the false and fascinating joys of earth in their true light: like the bubble on the stream, dancing its little moment on the surface — and then vanishing forever!
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
Nothing else; nothing less, can satisfy the cravings of an immortal spirit. All other happiness is a mimic happiness; a wretched counterfeit of the true; a base alloy, on which Satan may have stamped the currency of Heaven; but it is “of the earth, earthy,” and upon it Death will put an extinguisher forever!
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INTO THE DEPTHS OF THE SEA!
Thomas Boston, “Human Nature in its Fourfold State”
The sinner outside of Christ is bound over to the wrath of God; he is under an obligation in law to go to the prison of Hell, and there to lie until he has paid the utmost farthing.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
The believer’s sins are pardoned, the guilt of them is removed. The bond obliging him to pay his debt is canceled. God the Father takes the pen, dips it in the blood of His Son, crosses off the sinner’s accounts, and blots them out of His debt-book.
Being united to Christ, God says, “Deliver him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom!” Job 33:24. The sentence of condemnation is reversed, the believer is absolved, and set beyond the reach of the condemning law. His sins, which before were set before the Lord, Psalm 90:8, so that they could not be hidden — God now takes and casts them all behind His back, Isaiah 38:17. Yes, “You will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:19
What falls into a brook may be retrieved — but what is cast into the sea cannot be recovered. But there are some shallow places in the sea; true — but their sins are not cast in there — but into the depths of the sea. The depths of the sea are devouring depths, from whence their sins shall never come forth again. But what if they do not sink? He will hurl them in with force, so that they shall go to the bottom, and sink as lead in the mighty waters of the Redeemer’s blood!
They are not only forgiven — but forgotten, Jeremiah 31:34, “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” And though their after-sins do in themselves deserve eternal wrath, and do actually make them liable to temporal strokes, and fatherly chastisements, according to the tenor of the covenant of grace, Psalm 89:30-33 — yet they can never be actually liable to eternal wrath.
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SUCH A FRIEND
Thomas Brooks, “Apples of Gold” 1660
“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24
Such a friend is Jesus. He is so a friend to every one of His people, as if He were a friend to none besides. Jesus is . . .
an omnipotent friend;
an omniscient friend;
an omnipresent friend; an indeficient friend; a sovereign friend;
an immutable friend; a watchful friend;
a loving friend;
a faithful friend;
a compassionate friend;
a close friend,
a universal friend — a friend in all cases and in all places,
our first friend,
a constant friend — “Whom He loves, He loves to the end.” John 13:1
HALLELUJAH!
Thomas Boston, “Human Nature in its Fourfold State”
“After this I heard something like the loud voice of a vast multitude in Heaven, shouting: Hallelujah! Salvation, glory, and power belong to our God, because His judgments are true and righteous! And again they shouted: Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever!” Revelation 19:1-3
None were so compassionate as the saints when on earth, during the time of God’s patience. But now that time is at an end. Their compassion for the ungodly is swallowed in joy in the Mediator’s glory, and His executing just judgment, by which His enemies are made His footstool.
Though, when on earth, the righteous man wept in secret places for their pride, and because they would not hear; yet “The righteous will rejoice when he sees the retribution; he will wash his feet in the blood of the
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wicked.” Psalm 58:10
No pity shall then be shown them from their nearest relations. The godly wife shall applaud the justice of the Judge, in the condemnation of her ungodly husband! The godly husband shall say Amen! to the condemnation of her who lay in his bosom. The godly parents shall say Hallelujah! at the passing of the sentence against their ungodly child. And the godly child shall, from the bottom of his heart, approve the condemnation of his wicked parents — the father who begat him, and the mother who bore him.
“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns!” Revelation 19:6
A FURIOUS BEAST
Thomas Boston, “Human Nature in its Fourfold State”
“Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood.” Romans 3:13-15
The body itself also is partaker of corruption and defilement. Therefore the Scripture calls it sinful flesh, Romans 8:3. The natural temper, or rather distemper of our bodies have a natural tendency to sin. The body incites to sin, betrays the soul into snares, yes, is itself a snare to the soul. The body is a furious beast, of such a temper, that it will not be beat down, kept under control, and brought into subjection. It will cast the soul into much sin and misery.
The body serves the soul in many sins. Its members are weapons of unrighteousness, whereby men fight against God. The eyes and ears are open doors, by which impure motions and sinful desires enter the soul. The tongue is “a world of iniquity,” “an uncontrollable evil, full of deadly poison;” by it the impure heart vents a great deal of its filthiness. The throat is “an open grave.” The feet run the devil’s errands. The belly is made a god, Phil. 3:19, not only by drunkards and riotous livers — but by every natural man. So the body naturally is an agent for the devil, and a storehouse of weapons against the Lord.
To conclude: man by nature is wholly corrupted, “from the sole of the
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foot, even unto the head, there is no soundness in him.” As in a dunghill, every part contributes to the corruption of the whole, so the natural man grows still worse and worse — the soul is made worse by the body, and the body worse by the soul; and every faculty of the soul (the mind, will, affections, conscience and memory) serves to corrupt another more and more.
SWIM IN AN OCEAN OF UNMIXED DELIGHT
Thomas Boston, “Human Nature in its Fourfold State”
Heaven is a paradise of pleasure and delight. The glorified saints are advanced to this heavenly paradise. There they shall not only see, but “eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God,” Revelation 2:7. They shall behold the Mediator’s glory, and be satisfied with His goodness. They shall “drink from Your rivers of delight,” Psalm 36:8, the sweetest and purest pleasures which Immanuel’s land affords, and shall swim in an ocean of unmixed delight forevermore!
They shall lack nothing that may contribute to their full satisfaction. They may go forever through Immanuel’s land, and behold the glory and riches thereof, with the satisfying thought — that all they see is eternally their own! “He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be My son!” Revelation 21:7
NO HISSING SERPENT
Thomas Boston, “Human Nature in its Fourfold State”
Believers shall be made completely happy in the possession of the kingdom of Heaven. They shall be fully freed from sin, which of all evils, is the worst. They shall be free from all temptation to sin. Satan can have no access to tempt them any more, by himself, or by his agents. No hissing serpent can come into the paradise above! No snare or trap can be laid there, to catch the feet of the saints. They may walk there without fear, for they can be in no hazard in the promised land. They shall be set beyond the possibility of sinning, for they shall be confirmed in goodness.
The guilt and the reigning power of sin are then taken away. The corrupt
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nature will be fully removed; and no vestiges of it left in their souls. Their nature shall be altogether pure and sinless. There shall be no darkness in their minds; but the understanding will be as a globe of pure and unmixed light. There shall not be the least aversion to good, nor the least inclination to evil, in their wills. They will be brought to a perfect conformity to the will of God; blessed with angelic purity, and fixed therein. Their affections shall not be liable to the least disorder or irregularity. They will get such a fixed habit of purity, as they can never lose. They will be so refined from all earthly dross, as never more to savor of anything but of Heaven. Their graces shall then be fully perfected. There will be no more ground for complaints of weakness of grace, or of an evil heart, or a corrupt nature.
And they shall be freed from all the effects of sin: “God will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever!” Revelation 21:4
In Heaven they find the completion and satisfaction of all their desires; having the full enjoyment of God, and uninterrupted communion with Him. In the heavenly Canaan, Immanuel’s land — nothing is lacking to complete the happiness of the inhabitants. This is the happy country; blessed with a perpetual spring, and which yields all things for necessity, convenience, and delight.
SHEEP OR GOAT?
Thomas Boston, “Human Nature in its Fourfold State”
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.’” Matthew 25:31-34
“Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Matthew 25:41, 46
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The general judgment is plainly and solemnly described in this portion of Scripture. We shall take notice of the following particulars:

  1. The coming of the Judge. “When the Son of Man comes in His glory,” etc. The Judge is Jesus Christ, by whose almighty power, the dead will be raised. He is also called the King, verse 34, the judging of the world being an act of the royal Mediator’s kingly office. He will come in glory; glorious in His own person, and having a glorious retinue, even all the holy angels with Him, to minister unto Him at this great solemnity.
  2. The mounting the tribunal. He is a King, and therefore it is a throne, a glorious throne, “He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory,” verse 31.
  3. The appearance of the parties. These are — all nations; all and every one, small and great, of whatever nation, who ever were, are, or shall be on the face of the earth. All shall be gathered before Him, summoned before His tribunal.
  4. The separating of them. He shall separate the elect sheep and reprobate goats, setting each group by themselves. The godly He will set on His right hand, as the most honorable place; the wicked on the left, verse 33.
  5. The sentencing of the parties, and that according to their works; the righteous being absolved, and the wicked condemned, verse 34-41.
  6. The execution of both sentences, in the driving away of the wicked into Hell, and carrying the godly to Heaven, verse 46.
    THE WRATH OF GOD
    Thomas Boston, “Human Nature in its Fourfold State”
    “The wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36
  7. The wrath of God is IRRESISTIBLE, there is no standing before it; “Who can stand in Your sight, when once You are angry?” Psalm 76:7. Can the worm or the moth defend itself against him who designs to crush it? Can the worm, man, stand before an angry God? Foolish men, indeed, bid a defiance against God; but the Lord often, even in this world, opens such sluices of wrath upon them, as all their might cannot stop — they are
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carried away thereby, as with a flood! How much more will it be so in Hell!

  1. The wrath of God is INSUPPORTABLE. What a man cannot resist, he will try to endure. But who shall dwell in devouring fire? Who shall dwell with everlasting burnings? God’s wrath is a weight which will sink men into the lowest Hell. It is a burden which no man can endure.
  2. The wrath of God is UNAVOIDABLE to those who continue impenitently, and die in their sinful course. “He who, being often reproved, hardens his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed — and that without remedy!” Proverbs 29:1. We may now flee from it, indeed, by fleeing to Jesus Christ. But those who flee from Christ, will never be able to avoid it. Where can men flee from the avenging God? Where will they find a shelter? The hills will not bear them. The mountains will be deaf to their loudest supplications, when they cry to them to “hide them from the wrath of the Lamb.”
  3. The wrath of God is POWERFUL and FIERCE. “Who can comprehend the power of Your anger? Your wrath is as awesome as the fear You deserve.” Psalm 90:11. We are apt to fear the wrath of man more than we ought; but no man can apprehend the wrath of God to be more dreadful than it really is. The power of God’s wrath can never be known to the utmost; for it is infinite, and, properly speaking, has no utmost limit. However fierce it is, either on earth or in Hell, God can still carry it farther. Everything in God is most perfect in its kind; and therefore no wrath is so fierce as His. O sinner! how will you be able to endure that wrath, which will tear you in pieces, Psalm 50:22, and grind you to powder! Luke 20:18.
  4. The wrath of God is PENETRATING and PIERCING wrath. It is burning wrath, and fiery indignation. There is no pain more intense than that which is caused by fire; and no fire so piercing as the fire of God’s indignation, which burns unto the lowest Hell, Deuteronomy 32:22. The arrows of men’s wrath can pierce flesh, blood, and bones — but cannot reach the soul. But the wrath of God will sink into the soul, and so pierce a man in the most tender part.
  5. The wrath of God is CONSTANT wrath, running parallel with the man’s continuance in an unregenerate state; constantly attending him from the womb to the grave. There are few days so dark — but the sun sometimes looks out from under the clouds. But the wrath of God is an
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abiding cloud on the objects of it; John 3:36, “The wrath of God abides on him” who believes not.

  1. The wrath of God is ETERNAL. O, miserable soul! if you flee not from this wrath unto Jesus Christ; though your misery had a beginning — yet it will never have an end! Should devouring death wholly swallow you up, and forever hold you fast in the grave — it would be kind. But your body must be reunited to your immortal soul, and live again, and never die; that you may be ever-dying, in the hands of the ever-living God. Death will quench the flame of man’s wrath against us, if nothing else does. But God’s wrath, when it has come on the sinner for millions of ages, will still be the wrath to come! Matthew 3:7; 1 Thessalonians 1:10. While God is, He will pursue the quarrel.
  2. However dreadful it is, and though it is eternal — yet it is most JUST wrath! It is a clear fire, without the least smoke of injustice. The sea of wrath, raging with greatest fury against the sinner, is clear as crystal. The Judge of all the earth can do no wrong. “Is God unrighteous to inflict wrath? Absolutely not! Otherwise, how will God judge the world?” Romans 3:5, 6. The Judge being infinitely just — the sentence must be righteous. Therefore, stop your mouth, O proud sinner! Still your clamor against your righteous Judge!
    “Jesus, 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
    AFFLICTED, TORMENTED, AND DESTROYED!
    Thomas Brooks, “Crown and Glory of Christianity” 1662
    Let me give you a little abridgment of the sufferings of some of the early
    Christians, “of whom the world was not worthy.”
  3. In the reign of Hadrian the emperor, there were ten thousand Christians crowned with a crowns of thorns, thrust into the sides with sharp lances, and then crucified.
  4. Others were so whipped, that their entrails were seen, and afterwards they were thrown upon sharp shells, and then upon sharp nails and thorns. And after all this cruelty, they were thrown to wild beasts to be devoured.
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  5. Multitudes were banished.
  6. Others were pulled apart with wild horses.
  7. Some were beaten and racked with bars of iron.
  8. Others were cast into loathsome dungeons.
  9. Some were burnt in the fire.
  10. Others were knocked down and had their brains beaten out with staves and clubs.
  11. Some were pricked in their faces and eyes with sharp reeds.
  12. Others were stoned to death with stones, as Stephen was.
  13. Some were dashed in pieces against millstones.
  14. Others had their teeth dashed out of their jaws, and their joints broken. 13. Some were cast down from very high places.
  15. Others were beheaded.
  16. Some were tormented with razors. 16. Others were slain with the sword. 17. Some were run through with pikes.
  17. Others were driven into the wilderness, where they wandered up and down, suffering hunger and cold, and where they were exposed to the fury both of wild beasts, and also to the rage of the barbarous Arabians.
  18. Some fled into caves, which their persecutors crammed up with stones, and there they died.
  19. Others were trodden to death by the people.
  20. Some were hanged on gibbets with a slow fire under them.
  21. Others were cast into the sea and drowned.
  22. Some were slain by being thrown in mines.
  23. Others were hanged by the feet, and choked with the smoke of a small
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fire, their legs being first broken.

  1. Some were covered with oil, and then roasted with a soft fire.
  2. Others were hung by one hand, that they might feel the weight of their whole bodies scorching and broiling over burning coals.
  3. Some were shot through with arrows, and afterwards thrown into stinking prisons.
  4. Others were stripped stark naked, and thrown out in cold, frosty nights; and burnt the next day.
  5. In Syria, a company of Christian virgins were stripped stark naked to be scorned by the multitude, then shaved, and then torn in pieces and devoured by beasts.
  6. Lastly, many women had the joints of their bodies pulled from another, and their flesh and sides clawed with talons of wild beasts to the bones, and their breasts seared with torches until they died.
    And thus you have an account of thirty different ways by which the precious sons and daughters of God have formerly been afflicted, tormented, and destroyed! What heart of stone can read over this list with dry eyes? And now tell me, sirs, whether your sufferings are worth a naming in that day, wherein the sufferings of the precious servants of God in the primitive times are spoken of? Oh, no! Well then, take heed of making molehills mountains, and of crying out, “Is there any sorrow compared to my sorrow; or any sufferings compared to my sufferings?”
    A COOLER HELL
    Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
    “God, I thank You that I’m not like other people — greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.” Luke 18:11-12
    Many please and satisfy themselves with mere civility and common morality. They bless themselves that they are not swearers, nor drunkards, nor extortioners, nor adulterers, etc. Their behavior is civil, sincere, harmless, and blameless. But civility is not sanctity. Civility rested in — is
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but a beautiful abomination — a smooth way to Hell and destruction.
Civility is very often . . . the nurse of impiety,
the mother of flattery, and an enemy to real sanctity.
There are those who are so blinded with the fair shows of civility — that they can neither see the necessity nor beauty of sanctity. There are those who now bless themselves in their common morality, whom at last God will scorn and cast off for lack of real holiness and purity.
A moral man may be an utter stranger . . . to God,
to Christ,
to Scripture,
to the filthiness of sin,
to the depths and devices of Satan,
to their own hearts,
to the new birth,
to the great concerns of eternity,
to communion with Christ,
to the secret and inward ways and workings of the Spirit.
Well, sirs, remember this — though the moral man is good for many things — yet he is not good enough to go to Heaven! He who rises to no higher pitch than civility and morality — shall never have communion with God in glory. The most moral man in the world, may be both Christless and graceless.
Morality is not sufficient to keep a man out of eternal misery. All morality can do, is to help a man to one of the best rooms and easiest beds which Hell affords! For, as the moral man’s sins are not so great as others — so his punishments shall not be so great as others. This is all the comfort that can be given to a moral man — that he shall have a cooler Hell than others have. But this is but cold comfort. Morality without piety is as a body without a soul. Will God ever accept of such a stinking sacrifice? Surely not! “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to Heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God.” Luke 18:13-14
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A HOUSE OF FOOLS!
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“The heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.” Ecclesiastes 7:4
A fool prefers toys and trifles — above things of greatest worth. Just so, wicked and ungodly men prefer their lusts before the Lord. Upon choice, they prefer the honors, the riches and glory of the world — above their own souls and the great concerns of eternity.
I have read of the foolish people of Ceylon, who preferred a consecrated ape’s tooth — above an incredible mass of treasure. Such fools are all unholy people, who prefer the toys, the trifles of this world — above the pleasures and treasures which are at God’s right hand. The world is full of such fools.
Says one — “If you behold the lives of men, you will judge the whole world to be a house of fools!” Ah, friends! What folly can be compared to that of men’s spending their time, their strength, their lives, their souls — in getting the great things of this world, and neglecting that one thing necessary — the salvation of their souls! Oh, what vanity is it to prefer . . . a smoke of honor,
a blast of fame,
a dream of pleasure,
a wedge of gold,
a Babylonish garment,
and such like transitory trifles and trash
— before a blessed eternity!
GET OUT OF MY SIGHT!
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
Many now-a-days say there is no Hell. Multitudes think that all that is spoken of Hell in Scripture — is false and mythical. They will not believe that there is a Hell — until they come to feel themselves in Hell — until they find
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everlasting flames about their ears — until they are sentenced to the fire — until they are doomed to everlasting fire!
The last words that Christ will ever speak to the ungodly,
will be the most tormenting, and horrifying, the most killing and damning, the most stinging and wounding! “Then He will also say to those on the left — Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels!” Matthew 25:41. This terrible sentence breathes out nothing but fire and brimstone, terror and horror, dread and woe!
“Depart from Me!” Here is utter rejection — “Pack! Begone! Get out of My sight! Let Me never see your face again!”
“You who are cursed!” Here is malediction. You shall be cursed in your bodies and cursed in your souls! You shall be cursed of God, and cursed of angels, and cursed of saints, and cursed of devils, and cursed of your companions! Yes, you shall curse your very selves, your very souls. All your former curses, all your maledictions — shall at last recoil upon your own souls! Now you curse every man and thing which stands in the way of your lusts, and which cross your designs! But at last all the curses of Heaven and Hell shall meet in their full power and force upon you!
“But, Lord, if we must depart, and depart cursed, oh let us go into some good place!” “No! Depart into the eternal fire!” There is the vengeance and everlasting continuance of it. You shall go into fire, into everlasting fire, which will neither consume itself, nor consume you! Eternity of extreme punishment is the Hell of Hell. If all the fires which ever were in the world were contracted into one fire, how terrible would it be! Yet such a fire would be but as a ‘painted fire’ — compared to the fire of Hell. The greatest and the hottest fires that ever were on earth — are but ice in comparison to the fire of Hell. Ah! how sad, how dreadful would it be to experience what it is to lie in unquenchable fire — not for a day, a month, or a year, or a hundred, or a

thousand years — but forever and ever!
“If it were,” says one, “but for a thousand years, I could bear it — but seeing it is for eternity — this astonishes and affrights me!” “I am afraid of Hell,” says another, “because the worm there never dies, and the fire never goes out!”
It is called “unquenchable fire,” and “eternal fire.” The torments of the damned are very grievous for the bitterness of them — and more grievous for the diversity of them — but most of all grievous for the eternity of them!
Wronged justice can never be satisfied, and therefore the sinner must be forever tormented. The sinner in Hell will sin forever, and therefore he must be punished forever. It will not stand with the unspotted justice and righteousness of God to cease punishing — while the sinner ceases not sinning.
“But, Lord, if I must go into fire, into everlasting fire, oh let me have some good company in my misery!” “No! The devil and his demons shall be your companions!” Ah! who can conceive or express the misery of living with devils and damned spirits and hellish fiends and furies forever!
NO DIRTY DOGS SHALL EVER TRAMPLE
UPON THAT GOLDEN PAVEMENT
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
Throughout the Scriptures, unholy people are branded, to their everlasting contempt — with the worst appellations. They are the most dangerous, and the most harmful beings in the world, and therefore are emblemized: by lions — for they are cruel, Psalm 22:21;
by bears — for they are savage, Isaiah 11:7;
by dragons — for they are hideous, Ezekiel 29:3;
by wolves — for they are ravenous, Ezekiel 22:27;
by dogs — for they are snarling, Revelation 22:15;
by vipers and scorpions — for they are stinging, Matthew 12:34; by spiders and cockatrices — for they are poisoning, Isaiah 59:5;
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by swine — for they are intemperate, Matthew 7:6.
Remember this — that all these stinging expressions and appellations which disgrace and vilify unholy people, were inspired by the Holy Spirit, and published in His holy Word.
The glutton is depicted as a swine;
the fraudulent person is depicted as a fox; the lustful person is depicted as a goat;
the backbiter is depicted as a barking cur; the slanderer is depicted as an asp;
the oppressor is depicted as a wolf;
the persecutor is depicted as a tiger;
the seducer is depicted as a serpent.
Do you think that God admit such vermin as unholy people are — to eternally inhabit His holy Heaven? Surely not! God has long since resolved upon it — that no unclean beasts shall enter into Heaven — that no dirty dogs shall ever trample upon that golden pavement. Certainly God will not allow such beasts and toads and snakes and serpents — to forever live with Him! Heaven is a too holy place to admit such vermin to inhabit!
“Nothing impure will ever enter it.” Revelation 21:27
“Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts,
the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” Revelation 22:15
All in Heaven are holy: the angels holy, the saints holy — but the Lord Himself above all, is most glorious in holiness. Now certainly it would be a Hell to these holy ones to have unholy wretches to be their eternal companions! When the holy angels fell from their holiness — Heaven was so holy that it spewed them out! Certainly there will be no room in Heaven for such filthy beasts as unholy people are! ‘Jerusalem above’ is too glorious a habitation for beasts — or for men of beastly spirits, or beastly principles, or beastly practices. The city of the great God was never built for beasts. A wilderness and not a paradise — is fittest for beasts.
AN IGNORANT, PROFANE, AND SOUL-FLATTERING CLERGY
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Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity,

or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
A preacher’s life should be a commentary upon his doctrine; his practice should be the counterpart of his sermons. Heavenly doctrines should always be adorned with a heavenly life.
An ignorant, profane, and soul-flattering clergy, are the greatest pest, plague, affliction and judgment, which can befall a people! There is no rank nor order of men on earth, who have so enriched Hell, who have been such benefactors to Hell — as the ignorant and profane clergy! How many are there in these days, who are more ready and willing to make a sacrifice of the gospel —
for profit sake,
and preferment sake, and honor sake,
and lust’s sake!
Where there is no serious, sincere, faithful, and powerful preaching — there the people grow abominably wicked, and will certainly perish, and go tumbling to Hell.
Pastors! Either preach as the ministers of Jesus Christ ought to preach — plainly,
spiritually,
powerfully,
feelingly,
fervently,
frequently;
and live as the ministers of Jesus Christ ought to live — heavenly,
graciously,
holily,
humbly,
righteously,
harmlessly,
exemplary
— or else lay down your names of being the ministers of Jesus Christ. Do not any longer a cheat upon yourselves, nor upon the people — by making them believe that you are ministers of Jesus Christ, when you have: nothing of the spirit of Christ,
nor of the anointings of Christ, nor of the grace of Christ,
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nor of the life of Christ in you.
THE FOOL’S BAUBLE, THE FOOL’S FIDDLE
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“The wicked freely strut about, when what is vile is honored among men.” Psalm 12:8
“They love to indulge in evil pleasures.” 2 Peter 2:13 “Their souls delight in their abominations.” Isaiah 66:3 “A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct.” Proverbs 10:23
Evil conduct is the fool’s bauble, the fool’s fiddle. Fools take great delight and pleasure in doing evil. Sin and wickedness are a sport or recreation to a fool. It is a great pleasure and merriment to a fool — to do wickedness.
Proverbs 14:9, “Fools make a mock of sin.” They make a jeer of sin — which they should fear more than Hell itself! They make a sport of sin — which will prove a matter of damnation to them. They make a pastime, a game of sin — which will them miserable to all eternity. They make a mock of sin on earth — for which the devil will mock and flout them forever in Hell.
Justice will at last turn over such fools to Satan, who will be sure to return mock for mock, jeer for jeer, and flout for flout. Those who love such kind of pastime, shall have enough of it in Hell. All unbelievers are such fools — for they delight and take pleasure in sin, which is the most corrupting and dangerous thing in the world. “And so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth, but have delighted in wickedness.”
Well, sirs! Sin is the poison of the soul, the nakedness of the soul, the disease of the soul, the burden of the soul — and if God in mercy does not prevent it — sin will prove the eternal bane of the soul. Oh, then, how great is their folly, who delight in sin, and who make a sport of it!
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RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTS A NATION
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” Proverbs 14:34
It is not valor in war — but righteousness;
it is not policy in government — but righteousness; it is not wittiness of invention — but righteousness; it is not civility in behavior — but righteousness;
it is not antiquity of laws — but righteousness;
it is not largeness of dominion — but righteousness; it is not greatness of command — but righteousness — which is the honor and the safety, the renown and the security of a nation.
It is not rich mines of gold and silver, nor armies, nor councils, nor fleets, nor forts — but justice and righteousness which exalts a nation; and which will make a lowly people to become a great, a glorious, and a famous people in the world. That nation which exalts righteousness — that nation shall be certainly exalted by righteousness.
Ah! England, England! If injustice shall grow rampant, and you shall brandish the sword of protection to the desperate swearer, and to the cruel oppressor, and to the roaring drunkard, and to the cursing monster; and shall be a devouring sword to the upright and godly in the land — divine vengeance will dig your grave, and divine justice will tumble you into it!
WELL, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“Without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14
Well, Ladies and Gentlemen — Do you think that it is good to be going to Hell — that it is good to be dwelling with everlasting burnings — that it is good to be forever separated from the glorious presence of God? Do you think that it is good to forever lie a-sweltering under the wrath of an infinitely just God, and to abide forever and ever under those pains and torments which are endless, easeless, hopeless, and remediless? Do you
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think that it is good to be fettered with devils and damned spirits for all eternity?
“Oh no! this cannot be good! for the very thoughts of these things are enough to raise a Hell on this side Hell — in our hearts!”
Oh then, with all your might press after holiness, and pursue hard after holiness—as after the one thing necessary; for without holiness you shall as certainly go to Hell — as holy people shall certainly go to Heaven! Oh that you would forever remember this — that without all question, you shall never be saved, unless you are sanctified; you shall never be truly and eternally happy, unless you are truly holy!
“Without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14
OH STAND AND WONDER!
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us — that we should be called the sons of God.” 1 John 3:1
It is an infinite condescension in God, to honor us with the title of sons, and therefore we should never think of it, nor ever speak of it — but with much admiration. O sirs! what matter of admiration is this — that the great and glorious God, who has many millions of glorious angels attending Him — that He should . . .
look upon all holy people as His sons, and love them as His sons,
and delight in them as His sons,
and clothe them as His sons,
and feed them as His sons,
and protect them as His sons,
and stand by them as His sons,
and lay up for them as His sons,
and lay out Himself for them as His sons; that those who have not deserved . . .
a smile from God,
a good word from God,
a bit of bread from God,
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or a good look from God,
should be made the sons of God!
What manner of love is this — that those who have . . . so highly provoked God,
walked so cross and contrary to God,
were so exceeding unlike God,
preferred every lust, and every toy and vanity before God, fought many years under Satan’s banner against God, refused all the offers of mercy that have been made by God,
— that those who have deserved to be reprobated by God, damned by God, and
to be thrown to Hell by God
— that these should be made the sons of God!
Oh stand and wonder! Oh stand and admire the freeness of His grace, and at the riches of His grace!
GOD JUDGES HIS PEOPLE
Thomas Brooks, “A Cabinet of Choice Jewels” 1669
God judges His people by their sincerity and the general bent and frame of their hearts — and not by what they are under some pangs of passion, or in an hour of temptation. His eye is more upon His people’s inward disposition, than it is upon their outward actions — more upon their desires than it is upon their work. The Lord will not forsake His people, nor cast off His people — because of those failings and weaknesses that may, and do, attend them. God pities His people under their weakness; He will not reject them for their weakness.
A CLEANER WAY TO HELL
Thomas Brooks, “A Cabinet of Choice Jewels” 1669
It was the saying of a precious saint — that he was more afraid of his duties than of his sins; for his duties often made him proud — but his sins always made him humble.
It was good counsel Luther gave, “We must take heed not only of our sins
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— but of our good works.”
Duties can never have too much diligence used about them — nor too little confidence placed in them. They are good helps — but bad saviors. It is necessary we do them — but it is dangerous to rely upon them. If the devil cannot dissuade us from performing pious duties—then his next work will be to persuade us to rely upon them, to make saviors of them; because this will as certainly ruin our souls, as if we had wholly neglected them.
Resting in your own righteousness, will as certainly and eternally undo you — as the greatest and foulest atrocities!
Open wickedness slays her thousands — but a secret resting upon duties, slays her ten thousands!
Open profaneness is the broad dirty way which leads to Hell; but trusting in pious duties is as sure a way, though a cleaner way to Hell. Ungodly people and formal professors shall meet at last in the same Hell.
Now, let all these things work you to renounce your own righteousness — and to take sanctuary alone in the pure, perfect, and most glorious righteousness of Jesus Christ, and in the free grace of God.
ONE DEAD FLY
Thomas Brooks, “A Cabinet of Choice Jewels” 1669
No hypocrite is totally divorced from the love and liking of every known sin. There is still some secret lust, which as a sweet morsel he rolls under his tongue, and will not spit it out. Every hypocrite lives under the dominion and reign of one base lust or another — and will do what he can to save the life of his sin — though it be with the loss of his soul. A hypocrite always reserves one nest-egg or another in his heart or life, for Satan to sit and brood on.
O sirs! Satan can hold a man fast enough by one sin, as the fowler can hold the bird fast enough by one claw. Satan knows, that one sin lived in and allowed, will as certainly damn a man as many sins; just as one disease, one ulcerous part, may as certainly kill a man as many. One dead fly will mar the whole box of precious ointment. One jarring string will bring the sweetest music out of tune.
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If the leper in the law had the spot of leprosy in any one part of his body, he was accounted a leper; although all the rest of his body was sound and whole, Leviticus 14. Just so, he who has the spot of the leprosy of sin allowed in any one part of his soul, he is a spiritual leper in the eye of God; he is unclean, though in other parts he may not be unclean.
If a swine does but wallow in one miry or dirty hole — it is filthy; and certainly, that soul which does but wallow in any one sin — he is filthy in the eye of God.
O sirs! remember that . . .
as one hole in a ship will sink it, and
as one stab at the heart will kill a man, and
as one glass of poison will poison a man, and
as one act of treason will make a man a traitor,
so one sin lived in and allowed, will damn a man forever!
One millstone will sink a man to the bottom of the sea as well as a hundred. Just so, one sin lived in and indulged, will sink a man to the bottom of Hell as well as a hundred.
BROKE HER HEART ALL IN PIECES
Thomas Brooks, “A Cabinet of Choice Jewels” 1669
The more a man apprehends of the love of God, and of the love of Christ — the more that person will grieve and mourn that he has offended, provoked, and grieved such a Father, and such a Son. The more clear and certain evidences a man has of the love and favor of God to his soul, the more that man will grieve and mourn for sinning against such a God.
There is nothing which thaws and melts the heart, which softens and breaks the heart — like the warm beams of divine love — as you may see in the case of Mary Magdalene. She loved much, and she wept much — for much was forgiven her. A sight of the free grace and love of Christ towards her, in an act of forgiveness, broke her heart all in pieces. A man cannot stand under the shinings of divine love with a frozen heart, nor with dry eyes. The more a man sees of the love of Christ, and the more a man tastes and enjoys of the love of Christ — the more that man will grieve and mourn for all the dishonors that he has done to Christ.
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“Then she knelt behind Him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on His feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing His feet and putting perfume on them.” Luke 7:38
AN ANGEL ON THE OUTSIDE — AND A DEVIL WITHIN
Thomas Brooks, “A Cabinet of Choice Jewels” 1669
“Hypocrites! You are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish; but inside you are filthy — full of greed and self-indulgence!” Matthew 23:25
A hypocrite’s outside never corresponds with his inside.
A hypocrite’s outside is one thing — and his inside another. A hypocrite’s outside is religious — but his inside is wicked.
Hypocrites are like the Egyptian temples, which were beautiful outside— but within there was nothing to be found but serpents and crocodiles, and other venomous creatures. They are like white silver — but they draw black lines. They have a seeming sanctified outside — but are stuffed within with malice, pride, worldliness, envy, etc. They are like window cushions, made up of velvet and richly embroidered — but stuffed within with hay.
A hypocrite . . .
may offer sacrifice with Cain,
and fast with Jezebel,
and humble himself with Ahab,
and lament with the tears of Esau,
and kiss Christ with Judas,
and follow Christ with Demas,
and be baptized with Simon Magus;
and yet for all this, his inside is as bad as any of theirs!
A hypocrite is . . .
a Jacob on the outside — and an Esau within;
a David on the outside — and a Saul within;
a John on the outside — and a Judas within;
a saint on the outside — and a Satan within;
an angel on the outside — and a devil within.
But let all such hypocrites know, that pretend sanctity is double iniquity — 44

and accordingly at last they shall be dealt with. “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to Hell?” Matthew 23:33
THAT GOLDEN DEVIL
Thomas Brooks, “A Cabinet of Choice Jewels” 1669
“Covetousness, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5
Judas’ life was as fair and as free from spots and blots as the lives of any of the apostles; no scandalous sin was to be found upon him. But that golden devil ’covetousness’ was his sin — and his everlasting ruin. His apostleship, preaching, working of miracles, hearing of Christ, and conversing with Him, etc., was to no purpose, because of that serpent he kept in his bosom — which at last stung him to death!
“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:9-10
NO SIN STARTLES LESS — OR DAMNS SURER!
John Flavel, “The Method of Grace”
“He who believes on the Son has everlasting life; but he who does not believe in the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36
Unbelief is man’s great sin, and condemnation is his great misery. How dreadful a sin is the sin of unbelief, which brings men under the condemnation of the great God. No sin startles less — or damns surer! Unbelief is a sin which does not affright the conscience as some other sins do; but it kills the soul more certainly than any of those sins. Other sins could not damn us were it not for unbelief, which fixes the guilt of them all upon us. Unbelief is the sin of sins; and when the Spirit comes to convince men of sin, He begins with this as the capital sin.
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ALL TEARS OF GODLY SORROW DROP FROM THE EYE OF FAITH
Thomas Brooks, “A Cabinet of Choice Jewels” 1669 “They shall look upon Him whom they have pierced
— and shall mourn.” Zechariah 12:10
All godly sorrow is the fruit and effect of evangelical faith. Godly sorrow flows from faith — as the stream from the fountain, the branch from the root, and the effect from the cause. All gracious mourning flows from looking, from believing. Nothing breaks the heart of a sinner like a look of faith. All tears of godly sorrow drop from the eye of faith. Godly sorrow rises and falls — as faith rises and falls. The more a man is able by faith to look upon a pierced Christ — the more his heart will mourn over all the dishonors which he has done to Christ. The more deep and wide the wounds are, which faith shows me in the heart and sides of Christ — the more my heart will be wounded for sinning against Christ.
The free love and favor of God, and His unspeakable goodness and mercy manifested in Jesus Christ to poor sinners — is the very spring and fountain of all evangelical sorrow. Nothing breaks the heart of a poor sinner like the sight of God’s free love in Christ, the Redeemer. A man cannot seriously look upon the firstness, the freeness, the greatness, the unchangeableness, the everlastingness, and the matchlessness of God’s free favor and love in Christ — with a hard heart, or with dry eyes! It is only such a love as this, which sets the soul a-mourning and a-lamenting over a crucified Christ.
The fears of wrath, of Hell, and of condemnation — works unsound hearts to mourn. But it is the sight of a bleeding, dying Savior — which sets sincere, gracious souls a-mourning.
MY FATHER, GOD!
Octavius Winslow, “Our God”
“And because you have become His children, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, and now you can call God your dear Father. Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are
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His child, everything He has belongs to you.” Galatians 4:6-7
Oh, the costly and precious privilege of looking up to this great, this holy Lord God, and exclaiming — “My Father, God!” It is in this character He would have you recognize Him; in this relation He would have you come to Him; in this light He would have you view and interpret all His dealings both of mercy and of judgment. Hesitate not, then, beloved, in all your needs and trials, in all your mental and spiritual depressions, in all your conscious waywardness and disobedience, and in all the corrections and rebukes of His discipline; hesitate not still to love Him, to trust in Him, to submit to Him as your Father.
Are you in need? He is pledged to supply it. Are you bereaved? His hand has done it. Are you sick? His providence has sent it. Are you in the garden of sorrow — with the cup of adversity trembling in your hand? Take it, drink it, looking up to Him with a filial, loving, submissive spirit, and exclaiming, “The cup which My Father has given me — shall I not drink it?”
THE HYPOCRITE’S ONLY CARE
Thomas Brooks, “A Cabinet of Choice Jewels” 1669
The hypocrite’s only care is to keep his outward life from defilement. But the sincere Christian’s care is mainly to keep his heart from defilement; for he very well knows, that if he can but keep his heart clean — he shall with more ease keep his life clean. If the fountain is kept pure — the streams will run pure. The heart is the spring of all actions, and therefore every action is as the spring is, from whence it flows; if the spring is good — the action is good which flows from it; if the spring is evil, the action is evil which flows from it.
Hypocrites are all for the outside; they wash the platters and the cups, and beautify the tombs—like an adulteress whose care is to paint a fair face upon a foul heart.
But a sincere Christian, though he has a great concern for the well- ordering of his outward life — yet his main business and work is about his heart —
Oh that this ignorant heart were but more enlightened!
Oh that this proud heart were but more humble! 47

Oh that this profane heart were but more holy!
Oh that this earthly heart were but more heavenly!
Oh that this unbelieving heart were but more believing!
Oh that this passionate heart were but more meek!
Oh that this carnal heart were but more spiritual!
Oh that this vain heart were but more serious!
Oh that this dull heart were but more quickened!
Oh that this dead heart were but more enlivened!
Oh that this lukewarm heart were but more zealous
for God, and Christ, and the gospel, and the great concerns of eternity!
GLUED TO THEIR LUSTS
Thomas Brooks, “A Cabinet of Choice Jewels” 1669
Sinners’ hearts are so glued to their lusts, that they will rather part with their nearest, dearest, and choicest enjoyments — than part with their sins! Yes, they will rather part with God, Christ, and all the glory of Heaven — than they will part with some darling lust.
“When He comes, He will convict the world about sin.” John 16:8
The first work of the Spirit upon the soul, is to make a man . . .
look upon sin as an enemy,
to deal with sin as an enemy,
to hate sin as an enemy,
to loathe sin as an enemy,
to fear sin as an enemy, and
to arm against sin as an enemy.
Of all the vile things in the world, sin is the most defiling thing; it makes us red with guilt and black with filth.
Inward corruptions grieve the gracious soul.
“Oh,” says the gracious soul, “that I were but rid of . . . this proud heart,
this hard heart,
this unbelieving heart,
this unclean heart, this froward heart,
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this earthly heart of mine!”
The Christian has a universal willingness to be rid of all sin. The enmity which grace works in the heart, is against all sin:
profitable sins,
pleasurable sins,
disparaging sins, disgracing sins, small sins,
great sins.
A gracious heart had much rather, if it were put to his choice, live without all sin — than to have allowance to wallow in any sin. He had rather live without the least sin — than to have liberty to live in the most flesh- pleasing sin. It is certain that sin is more afflictive to a gracious soul, than all the losses, crosses, troubles, and trials that he meets with in the world.
True grace would not have one Canaanite left in the holy land; he would have every Egyptian drowned in the red sea of Christ’s blood!
“I hate every false way.” Psalm 139:24
Saving grace makes a man as willing to leave his lusts, as a slave is willing to leave his chains,
or a prisoner his dungeon, or a beggar his rags.
A sincere heart had much rather be rid of his sins than of his sufferings; yes, of the least sins than of the greatest sufferings.
O THE BLESSED CHEMISTRY OF HEAVEN!
John Flavel, “The Method of Grace”
The Lord makes use even of your sins and infirmities to do you good. By these, He . . .
humbles you,
beats you off from self-dependence,
makes you admire the riches of grace,
makes you long more ardently for Heaven, causes you to entertain sweeter thoughts of death.
Does not the Lord then, make blessed fruits to spring up from such a 49

bitter root? O the blessed chemistry of Heaven — to extract such mercies out of such miseries!
YOU HAVE ALL YOUR HEARTS CAN WISH!
John Flavel, “The Method of Grace”
“My God will supply all your needs according to
His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
O say with a melting heart — I have a full Christ, and He is filled for me! I have . . .
His pure and perfect righteousness to justify me, His holiness to sanctify me,
His wisdom to guide me,
His comforts to refresh me,
His power to protect me,
His all-sufficiency to supply me.
O be cheerful, be thankful — you have all your hearts can wish! And yet be humble — it is all from free-grace to empty and unworthy creatures!
DEVILS IN THEIR HOMES!
Thomas Brooks, “A Cabinet of Choice Jewels” 1669
A true Christian will endeavor to obey God in relative duties. He will not only hear, and pray, and read, and meditate, and fast, and mourn — but he will labor to be godly in domestic relationships.
Remember this forever — everyone is that in reality, which he is at home. Many make a great profession, and have great abilities and gifts, and can discourse well on any pious subject — whose homes are not little heavens, but little hells. Some are very much like angels in public, saints in the church, and devils in their homes!
Domestic graces and duties do better demonstrate true piety and godliness, than public or general duties do. For pride, vain-glory, self- ends, and a hundred other outward carnal considerations, may put a man upon the general duties of religion. But it argues both truth and strength of
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grace, to be diligent and conscientious in the discharge of domestic duties.
O FRIENDS! REMEMBER THIS ONCE FOR ALL
Thomas Brooks, “A Cabinet of Choice Jewels” 1669 “Cleanse me from my hidden faults.” Psalm 19:12 “I hate vain thoughts.” Psalm 119:113
A gracious soul conflicts most with heart-sins, and is most affected with spiritual sins, and laments and mourns most over secret sins — invisible sins — sins which lie most hidden and remote from the eyes of the world. He is most affected and afflicted by inward pollutions and defilements.
Grace will rise and conflict against the most inward and secret vanities of the soul, such as —
secret self-love;
secret hardness of heart;
secret unbelief;
secret carnal confidence;
secret hypocrisy;
secret envy;
secret malice;
secret vain-glory;
secret fretting and murmuring;
secret lustings;
secret runnings-out of the soul after worldly vanities; and secret pride.
True grace makes opposition as well against the being of sin in a man’s nature — as against the breakings out of sin in a man’s life!
True grace will make war against the corruptions of the heart — as well as against the excursions of the feet!
True grace is as willing and desirous to be rid of a polluted heart — as it is willing and desirous to be rid of a polluted hand.
True grace would gladly have, not only sinful acts — but also sinful dispositions; and not only irregular actions — but also inordinate
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affections — mortified and subdued.
O friends! heart sins are root sins! Certainly a proud heart has more of Satan in it than a proud look! And a lustful heart is more vile than a lustful eye! Therefore true grace makes war against heart sins, against spiritual sins, against the most inward secret sins — against those very sins which do not lie within the reach of the piercing eye of the most knowing or observing man in the world — but are only obvious to an Omniscient eye!
Spiritual convictions can reach to the most inward, secret, spiritual, and indiscernible sins. Certainly that is a sincere heart, a heart more worth than gold — which smites a man: for inward sins — as well as for outward sins; for sins done in secret — as well as for sins done in public; for spiritual sins — as well as for fleshly sins; for sins against the soul — as well as for sins against the body.
O friends! remember this once for all — that the main battle, the main warfare of a Christian lies not in the open field, it lies not in visible skirmishes. But his main quarrels and conflicts are most within, and his worst and greatest enemies are those of his own house — those of his own heart. A little grace may reform an evil life — but it must be a great deal of grace that reforms an evil heart! A little grace may make a man victorious over outward gross sins — but it must be a great deal of grace that makes a man victorious over inward sins, secret sins, spiritual sins, heart sins!
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23-24
THE DEVIL’S BRAT!
Thomas Brooks, “A Cabinet of Choice Jewels” 1669
“That sin might become utterly sinful.” Romans 7:13
Paul, to set forth the formidable evil that is in sin, expresses it thus. He could find nothing more evil and odious to express sin by — than itself. Sin is so great an evil, that it cannot have a worse epithet given it. Paul can call it no worse than by its own name — sinful sin. Had he said that sin was a snare, a serpent, a viper, a toad, a plague, a devil, a Hell, etc. — he would have said much — but yet not enough to set forth the transcendent
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evil which is in sin. Therefore he calls it sinful sin.
All other evils are but outward, they only reach the name, the body, the estate, the life — but sin is an inward evil, a spiritual evil, an evil that reaches the precious and immortal soul — and therefore is the greatest evil.
Death puts an end to all other troubles; namely, poverty, sickness, disgrace, scorn, contempt, afflictions, losses, etc. But sin is so great an evil, that death itself cannot put an end to it! Eternity itself shall never put a stop, an end — to this evil of evils!
All other evils can never make a man the object of God’s wrath and hatred. A man may be poor — and yet precious in the eyes of God; he may be greatly abhorred by the world — and yet highly honored by God; he may be debased by men — and yet exalted by God. But sin is so great an evil, that it subjects the sinner’s soul to the wrath and hatred of God!
All other evils do but strike at a man’s present well-being — but sin strikes at a man’s eternal well-being! All other evils can never hinder a man’s communion with God. A man may have communion with God in poverty, in sickness, in prison, in banishment. But sin is so great an evil, that it interrupts communion with God, it cuts off communion with God.
All outward evils are God’s creatures: “Is there any evil in the city — which the Lord has not done?” But sin is the devil’s brat — it is a creature of his own begetting! Yes, sin is worse than the devil! It is that which has turned glorious angels into infernal devils!
All other evils do not fight against the greatest good — but sin is that grand evil that fights against the greatest good. Sin fights against the being of God, the essence of God, the glory of God. Sin is a killing of God — it is a murdering of God.
Sin is a universal evil, it is all evil, it is nothing but evil; there is not one drop, one spark of good to be found in any sin. In all outward evils there is some good; there is some good in poverty, in sickness, in war, in death — but there is not the least good in sin.
Sin is the sole object of God’s hatred! He hates nothing but sin!
He is angry with nothing but sin!
He has forbid nothing but sin!
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He has revealed his wrath against nothing but sin! So great an evil is sin!
Sin is that grand evil which has midwifed all other evils into the world. It was sin which drowned the old world with water. It was sin which destroyed Sodom with fire and brimstone. It was sin which laid Jerusalem in heaps. It was sin which has midwifed sword, famine, and pestilence into the world. It was sin which laid the foundation of Hell — for before sin there was no Hell.
It was sin which crucified the Lord of glory!
Now, oh how great must that evil be — which has ushered in all these great evils into the world!
Sin is enmity against God. God has no enemy in the world but sin, and those whom sin has made enemies. Sin has set all the world against the Lord of glory. It is sin which has turned men into incarnate devils, and which has drawn them out to fight against God, and Christ, and their own souls, and their everlasting peace.
A Christian looks upon sin as the greatest evil in the world, and his heart rises and is enraged against it, because of the vile, filthy, odious, and heinous nature of it!
HIS TENDER MERCIES
Thomas Brooks, “A Cabinet of Choice Jewels” 1669
“His tender mercies.” Psalm 145:9
“The multitude of His mercies.” Psalm 106:45
It is God’s free mercy which every day keeps Hell and my soul asunder.
It is God’s free mercy which daily pardons my sins.
It is God’s free mercy which supplies all my inward and outward needs.
It is God’s free mercy which preserves, and feeds, and clothes my outward man.
It is God’s free mercy which renews, strengthens, and prospers my inward man.
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It is God’s free mercy which has kept me many times from committing such and such sins.
It is God’s free mercy which has kept me many a time from falling before such and such temptations.
It is God’s free mercy which has many a time preserved me from being swallowed up by such and such inward and outward afflictions.
“Great are Your tender mercies, O Lord.” Psalm 119:156
“I will sing of the tender mercies of the Lord forever!” Psalm 89:1
BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT
Thomas Brooks, “A Cabinet of Choice Jewels” 1669
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.”
Matthew 5:3
“Blessed are the poor in spirit;” that is — the broken and humble in heart, who has no high thoughts or conceits of himself — but is lowly in his own eyes, like a young child.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit;” that is — he who has no lofty or puffed up spirit. The poor in spirit are those who are lowly, being truly conscious of their own unworthiness. None are poor in spirit — but the humble.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit;” that is — blessed are those whose spirits are brought into such a humble gracious frame, as willingly, quietly, and contentedly to lie down in a poor low condition — when it is the pleasure of the Lord to bring them into such a condition.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit;” that is — blessed are those who are truly and sincerely sensible of their spiritual needs, poverty, and misery. They see an utter inability and insufficiency in themselves, and in all other creatures — to deliver them out of their sinful and miserable estate. They see nothing in themselves upon which they dare venture their everlasting estates — and therefore fly to the free, rich, sovereign, and glorious grace of God in Christ, as to their sure and only sanctuary!
They see their need of God’s free grace to pardon them. 55

They see their need of Christ’s righteousness to clothe them. They see their need of the Spirit of Christ to purge, change,
and sanctify them.
They see their need of more heavenly wisdom to counsel them.
They see their need of more . . .
of the power of God — to support them,
of the goodness of God — to supply them,
of the mercy of God — to comfort them,
of the presence of God — to refresh them,
of the patience of God — to bear with them, etc.
They see their need of greater measures of faith — to conquer their fears.
They see their need of greater measures of wisdom — to walk holily, harmlessly, blamelessly, and exemplary in the midst of temptations, snares, and dangers.
They see their need of greater measures of patience — to bear their burdens without fretting or fainting.
They see their need of greater measures of zeal and courage — to bear up bravely against all sorts of opposition, both from within and from without.
They see their need of greater measures of love — to cleave to the Lamb, and to follow the Lamb wherever He goes.
They see their need of living in a continual dependence upon God and Christ — for fresh influences, incomes, and supplies of grace, of comfort, of strength — by which they may be enabled . . .
to live for God,
to walk with God,
to glorify God,
to bring forth fruit to God,
to withstand all temptations which tend to lead the heart away from God.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 5:3
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A WORM, A GNAT, A FLY, A HAIR,

A SEED OF A RAISON, A SKIN OF A GRAPE
Thomas Brooks, “A Cabinet of Choice Jewels” 1669 “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know
what a day may bring forth.” Proverbs 27:1
Who can sum up the many possible deaths which are still lurking in his own body; or the innumerable hosts of external dangers which beleaguer him on every side; or the invisible arrows which fly about his ears continually! How soon he may have his mortal wound given him by one or another of them — who can tell? Now, how sad would it be for a man to have a summons to appear before God in that eternal world, before his heart and life are savingly changed!
The life of a man is but a shadow, a runner, a span, a vapor, a flower, etc.
Though there is but one way to come into the world — yet there are many thousand ways to be sent out of the world!
We carry about in our bodies, the material for a thousand deaths, and may die a thousand different ways in several hours. As many senses, as many members, nay, as many pores as there are in the body — so many windows there are, for death to enter in at!
Death needs not spend all his arrows upon us. A worm, a gnat, a fly, a hair, a seed of a raison, a skin of a grape, the stumbling of a horse, the trip of a foot, the prick of a pin, the cutting of a fingernail, the cutting out of a corn; all these have been to others, and any of them may be to us — the means of our death within the space of a few days; nay, of a few hours; nay, of a few moments!
I am sure that the worst of deaths, shall but translate true believers . . . from earth — to Heaven,
from a wilderness — to a paradise,
from misery — to glory, and
from mixed and mutable enjoyments — to
the pure and everlasting enjoyments of God!
AN OUTLET AND AN INLET
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
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“Death has been swallowed up in victory!” 1 Corinthians 15:54 DEATH is an outlet and an inlet to a holy man.
Death is an eternal outlet . . . to all sins,
to all sorrows,
to all shame,
to all sufferings,
to all afflictions,
to all temptations,
to all oppressions,
to all confusions, and to all vexations.
Death is an eternal inlet into . . .
the clear, full, and constant enjoyment of God, the sweetest pleasures,
the purest joys,
the highest delights,
the strongest comforts, and
the most satisfying contentments.
Death is the funeral of all a holy man’s sins and miseries — and the perfection of all his joys, graces, and spiritual excellencies.
Death is not the death of the man — but the death of his sin. Death is a Christian’s discharge from all trouble and misery! Death came in by sin — and sin goes out by death.
Death cures all diseases — the aching head and the unbelieving heart; the diseased body and the defiled soul. Death will cure the holy man of all natural and spiritual distempers.
Death is God’s gentle usher to conduct us to Heaven.
Death to a holy man, is nothing but the changing of . . . his grace — into glory,
his faith — into vision,
his hope — into fruition, and
his love — into eternal rapture! 58

Oh, who would not go through death . . . to Heaven!
to eternal life!
to immortality and glory!
Death, to a Christian, is . . . a welcome guest,
a happy friend,
a joyful messenger!
“Death has been swallowed up in victory!” 1 Corinthians 15:54
MANY DIVINE MIRACLES
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
In every saved person, there are many divine miracles; there is . . . a dead man — restored to life,
a dumb man — restored to speech,
a blind man — restored to sight,
a deaf man — restored to hearing,
a lame man — restored to walking,
a man possessed with devils — possessed with grace, a heart of stone — turned into a heart of flesh, and
a life of wickedness — turned into a life of holiness.
GENUINE ASSURANCE
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
Genuine holiness will yield you a Heaven hereafter; but genuine assurance will yield you a Heaven here. He who has holiness and knows it, shall have two heavens — a Heaven of joy, comfort, peace, contentment, and assurance here — and a Heaven of happiness and blessedness hereafter.
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Genuine assurance will be a spring of joy and comfort in you. It will make heavy afflictions light, long afflictions short, and bitter afflictions sweet. It will make you frequent, fervent, constant, and abundant in the work of the Lord. It will strengthen your faith, raise your hope, inflame your love, increase your patience, and brighten your zeal. It will make every mercy sweet, every duty sweet, every ordinance sweet, and every providence sweet. It will rid you of all your sinful fears and cares. It will give you ease under every burden, and make death more desirable than life. It will make you more strong to resist temptation, more victorious over opposition, and more silent in every difficult condition.
Genuine assurance will turn . . .
every winter night into a summer’s day, every cross into a crown, and
every wilderness into a paradise.
Genuine assurance will be . . . a sword to defend you,
a staff to support you,
a cordial to strengthen you,
a medicine to heal you, and a star to lead you.
Well, remember this — next to a man’s being saved, it is the greatest mercy in this world — to know that he is saved.
I LOOK TO YOU FOR STRENGTH
A Puritan Prayer
The world is before me this day, and I am weak and fearful — but I look
to You for strength.
If I venture forth alone, I stumble and fall — but on the Beloved’s arms I am firm as the eternal hills. If left to the treachery of my heart, I shall shame Your name — but if enlightened, guided, upheld by Your Spirit, I shall bring You glory.
Be . . .
O Lord of grace,
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my arm to support, my strength to stand, my light to see,
my feet to run,
my shield to protect, my sword to repel, my sun to warm.
To enrich me will not diminish Your fullness.
All Your loving-kindness is in Your Son.
I bring Him to You in the arms of faith. Accept . . . His worthiness for my unworthiness,
His sinlessness for my transgressions,
His purity for my uncleanness,
His sincerity for my deceit,
His truth for my lies,
His meekness for my pride,
His steadfastness for my backslidings,
His love for my enmity,
His fullness for my emptiness,
His faithfulness for my treachery,
His obedience for my lawlessness,
His glory for my shame,
His devotedness for my waywardness,
His holy life for my unchaste ways,
His righteousness for my dead works,
His death for my life.
OTHER MEN’S SINS
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
By other men’s sins, a holy man is put in mind of the badness of his own heart. Bernard makes mention of an old man, who, when he saw any man sin, lamented and wept for him; and being asked why he grieved so, for other men’s sins, answered, “He fell today — and I may fall tomorrow!”
The falls of others puts a holy man in mind of the roots of sinfulness which are in himself. Other men’s actual sins are as so many glasses, through which a holy man comes to see the manifold seeds of sin which
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are in his own heart — and such a sight as this cannot but melt him and break him.
A holy heart knows that the best way to keep himself pure from other men’s sins, is to mourn for other men’s sins. He who makes conscience of weeping over other men’s sins — will rarely be defiled with other men’s sins.
A holy heart looks upon other men’s sins as their bonds and chains — and this makes him mourn. Ah, how can tears but trickle down a Christian’s cheeks, when he sees multitudes, fast bound with the cords of their iniquity, trooping to Hell? Who can look upon a sinner as a bound prisoner to the prince of darkness — and not bemoan him?
If holy people thus mourn for the wickedness of others, then certainly those who take pleasure in the wickedness of others — who laugh and joy, who can make a sport of other men’s sins — are rather monsters than men! There are none so nearly allied to Satan as these — nor any so resemble Satan as much as these! (The devil always joys most — when sinners sin most!) To applaud them, and take pleasure in those who take pleasure in sin — is the highest degree of ungodliness!
THE DIAMOND IN THAT RING!
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
The whole Scripture is but one entire love-letter, all written in golden letters, dispatched from the Lord Christ to His beloved spouse on earth. In it, there is so much to be read of . . .
the love of Christ,
the heart of Christ,
the kindness of Christ,
the grace of Christ, and
the glory of Christ,
that a holy heart cannot but love, and embrace, and endeavor to conform to every line.
The whole word of God is a field — and Christ is the treasure which is hidden in that field!
The whole word of God is a ring of gold — and Christ is the diamond in 62

that ring!
“The Scriptures point to Me!” John 5:39
A SILVER VEIN OF SANCTITY
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“In that day shall there be upon the bridles of the horses, Holiness unto the Lord. Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be Holiness unto the Lord Almighty.” Zechariah 14:20-21
Here is holiness written upon the bridles of the horses they ride on, and upon the cups and pots they drink with. A holy heart will be holy in the use of common things. Every piece of his life shall savor of sanctity; and in all the parts of his every-day life, you shall be able to discern something of the power of true religion.
He who is truly holy — will be holy in the use of earthly and common things, as well as in the use of spiritual and heavenly things. He will be spiritual in the use of mundane things; and heavenly in the use of earthly things. There is a silver vein of sanctity which runs through all his worldly concernments. If you look upon him in his eating and drinking — you shall find him holy. If you look upon him in his buying and selling — you shall find him holy. He is holy in his commerce, and holy in his converse. Holiness is written upon his dealings with others, and upon his behavior towards his family and friends. Whatever he puts his hand to in his home — has holiness written upon it.
A holy man makes a Jacob’s ladder of all his earthly enjoyments. All the comforts in his home, lead him on in a way of holiness, and lead him up to a holy God. Look upon a holy man in his vocation — and you shall find him holy. Look upon him in the use of earthly things — and you shall find him holy. Look upon him in his recreations — and you shall find him holy. The habitual frame and bent of his heart is to be holy in every earthly thing which he puts his hand unto. A spirit of holiness runs and shines in all the common actions of his life.
But for the false professor — all his religion, all his holiness, lies in a few religious duties! Take him out of these, and you shall find him as carnal,
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as vain, as foolish, as filthy and as frothy, as light and as slight — as those who have not so much as a cloak of holiness upon them!
Look! as an unholy heart is carnal in spiritual things, and earthly in heavenly things, and unholy in holy things — just so, a man who is truly holy — he is as well holy in the ordinary affairs and actions of this life, as he is holy in any of the exercises of piety.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do — do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
HEAVEN WOULD BE A VERY HELL
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“Yet they say to God — Leave us alone! We have no desire to know Your ways.” Job 21:14
Heaven would be a very Hell to an unholy heart. If now — the presence of God in His servants, and the presence of God in His ordinances — is such a Hell to unholy souls; ah, what a Hell would the presence of God in Heaven be — to unholy hearts!
It is true, an unholy heart may desire Heaven — as it is a place of freedom from troubles, afflictions, oppressions, vexations, etc., and as it is a place of peace, rest, ease, safety, etc. But this is the least and lowest part of Heaven.
To desire Heaven as it is . . . a place of purity,
a place of grace,
a place of holiness,
a place of enjoying God, etc.
— is above the reach of an unholy heart.
The company of Heaven are all holy,
the employments of Heaven are all holy,
the enjoyments of Heaven are all holy — therefore Heaven would be a most undesirable thing to unholy hearts.
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An unholy heart is no way desirous nor ambitious of such a Heaven . . . as will rid him of his darling sins,
as will make him conformable to a holy God,
as will everlastingly divorce him from his precious lusts,
as will link him forever to those gracious souls whom he has scorned, despised, and persecuted in this world.
HOLY HATRED
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“I hate every false way.” Psalm 119:104
Where there is real holiness, there is a holy hatred, detestation, and
indignation — against all ungodliness and wickedness.
A holy man knows that all sin strikes . . . at the holiness of God,
at the glory of God,
at the nature of God,
at the being of God,
at the law of God —
and therefore his heart rises against all sin.
He looks upon every sin as a grieving of the Spirit, as a vexing of the Spirit, and as a quenching of the Spirit; and so nothing will satisfy him but the ruin of them all. He looks upon every sin —
as a dishonor to God,
as an enemy to Christ,
as a wound to the Spirit,
as a reproach to the gospel,
as a moth to his holiness — and therefore his heart and his hand are against every sin.
He looks upon every sin . . .
as that Judas who betrayed Christ;
as that Pilate who condemned Christ; as those soldiers who scourged Christ; as those spears which pierced Christ.
He looks upon every sin as having a hand in the death of his Savior — and
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therefore he cries out, “Crucify them all, crucify them all!”
Look! as every lion has his den, every dog his kennel, every swine his sty, and every crow his nest — just so, every unholy person has one sin or another, to which his heart is engaged and married; and that sin will undo him forever!
As Lysimachus lost his earthly kingdom by drinking one draught of water — just so, many lose a heavenly kingdom by indulging some one sin or another.
One flaw spoils the diamond,
one treason makes a traitor,
one wrong turn brings a man quite out of the way, one leak sinks the ship,
one wound strikes Goliath dead,
one Delilah betrays Samson,
one broken wheel spoils the whole clock,
one dead fly spoils the whole box of ointment.
And as one bastard son destroyed Gideon’s seventy sons, Judges 8, — just so, one predominant sin is enough to destroy the soul forever. As by taking one nap Samson lost his strength, and by eating one apple Adam lost his paradise — just so, many men, by favoring one sin — lose God, Heaven, and their souls forever! He who favors any sin, though he frowns upon many — does but as Benhadad — recover of one disease and die of another; yes, he takes pains to go to hell. Sin favored — always ends tragically.
Sometimes you shall have an unholy person angry with sin, because it has: cracked his credit, or
clouded his honor, or
hindered his profit, or
embittered his pleasure, or
enraged his conscience, or
exposed him to shame here and Hell hereafter;
but never because:
a righteous law is transgressed,
a holy God is dishonored,
a loving Savior is afresh crucified, or the blessed Spirit grieved.
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A holy heart rises against sin because of its defiling nature.
An unholy heart rises against sin because of its damning nature.
A holy man is most afflicted with the evil which is in sin.
An unholy heart is most afflicted with the punishment which is due to sin.
A holy person hates sin because it pollutes his soul. An unholy person hates it because it destroys his soul.
A holy person loathes sin because it makes against God’s holiness. An unholy person loathes it because it provokes God’s justice.
A holy person detests sin because of the Hell which is in sin.
An unholy person detests sin because of the Hell which follows sin.
A holy heart abhors all sin.
An unholy heart is still in league with some sin.
THE FOOLISH INDIANS
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
The foolish Indians preferred every toy and trifle, before their mines of gold. Just so, many foolish professors prefer the trifling vanities of this world, before the glorious treasures and endless pleasures which are at God’s right hand. Witness that high price which they set upon . . .
the toys,
the trifles,
the vanities,
the empty honors,
the fading riches, and
the fleeting pleasures of this world!
How severely are they to be censured — who prefer the poor, base, empty nothings of this world — before all the glory and happiness of the eternal world!
Were there but more holiness in your hearts — all the mirthful and gallant things of this world, would be more contemptible in your eyes.
“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else,
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counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ.” Philippians 3:8
MARTHAS AND MARYS
J. C. Ryle, Mary & Martha, Luke 10:38-42
Observe how different the characters and personalities of true Christians may be. The two sisters of whom we read in this passage were faithful disciples. Both had believed. Both had been converted. Both had honored Christ when few gave Him honor. Both loved Jesus, and Jesus loved both of them. Yet they were evidently women of very different character.
Martha was active, stirring, and impulsive, feeling strongly, and speaking out all she felt. Mary was quiet, still, and contemplative, feeling deeply, but saying less than she felt.
Martha, when Jesus came to her house, rejoiced to see Him, and busied herself with preparing a suitable refreshment. Mary, also, rejoiced to see Him, but her first thought was to sit at His feet and hear His word.
Grace reigned in both hearts, but each showed the effects of grace in different ways.
We shall find it very useful to ourselves to remember this lesson. We must not expect all believers in Christ to be exactly like one another. We must not set down others as having no grace, because their experience does not entirely tally with our own.
The sheep in the Lord’s flock have each their own peculiarities. The trees in the Lord’s garden are not all precisely alike.
All true servants of God agree in the principal things of religion. All are led by one Spirit.
All feel their sins, and all trust in Christ.
All repent, all believe, and all are holy.
But in minor matters, they often differ widely. Let no one despise another on this account.
There will be Marthas and there will be Marys in the Church, until the Lord comes again.
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A SELF-LOATHER
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
True repentance is a daily turning of the soul further and further from sin — and a daily turning of the soul nearer and nearer to God.
True repentance includes . . .
a true sense of sin,
a deep sorrow for sin,
a hearty loathing of sin, and
a holy shame and blushing for sin.
To repent is to make . . .
a clean head and a clean heart; a clean lip and a clean life.
To repent is for a man to loathe himself, as well as his sin. Is this easy for man, who is so great a self-lover, and so great a self-exalter, and so great a self-admirer — to become a self-loather? To repent is to cross sinful self, it is to walk contrary to sinful self, yes, it is to revenge a man’s self upon himself.
True repentance lies in a daily dying to sin, and in a daily living to Him who lives forever.
HELL WOULD BE THE PLACE OF GREATEST PLEASURE
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“They delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil.” Proverbs 2:14
Unsanctified people . . .
take pleasure in unrighteousness, rejoice to do evil,
make a sport of sin,
delight to dishonor God,
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damn their own immortal souls.
Holiness only debars men from the sinful joys, delights, and pleasures of life.
What a mercy it is, to be taken off from that carnal mirth which ends in mourning — and from those vain delights which end in unspeakable torments — and from that foolish jollity which leads to everlasting misery!
Ah, what folly and madness it is, for men to run the hazard of losing the kingdom of Heaven, and the eternal pleasures which are at God’s right hand — for those short-lived pleasures which are like the early dew which soon passes away! Ah, who would endure an ocean of torture — for a drop of sensual pleasure?
All sensual pleasures . . . defile the soul,
debase the soul, debauch the soul,
take off the heart from God, deaden the heart towards God.
Sensual pleasures and delights cannot satisfy the soul of man; they are but frothy and flashy. They only wet the mouth — they never warm the heart. Sensual pleasures seem substantial in the pursuit — but are mere clouds in the enjoyment.
There is nothing in carnal delights, but imagination and expectation. For they can neither fill the heart, nor satisfy the heart.
O sirs, there is no real pleasure in sin! All the pleasures of sin are counterfeit pleasures; they are but the shapes and shadows of pleasure. They are the seeds of future grief; they are but a pledge laid down for sorrow or ruin. Certainly if there were the least real delight in sin — Hell could never be Hell. Yes, then it would follow that Hell would be the place of greatest pleasure — for doubtless Hell is the place of greatest sin.
Oh, don’t deceive your own souls! There can be no real joy in sensual pleasures. What real delight or pleasure can there be in fooling and staggering in an ale-house or tavern; in swaggering and swearing; in dicing and carding; in dancing, partying, and whoring; in pursuing after lying vanities? Surely none! As for those seeming pleasures which attend
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the ways of sin — ah, how soon do they vanish and leave a sting behind them!
Look! all the pleasures which manhood takes a person off from — are babyish and toyish pleasures; such as from delighting in a rattle, a doll, a feather, a hobby-horse, a wooden sword, etc. Just so, all the pleasures and delights which holiness takes a man off from — they are babyish and foolish; yes, they are vile, dangerous, and devilish!
Holiness is only an exchange . . .
of sinful delights — for those which are holy;
of carnal delights — for those which are spiritual; of earthly delights — for those which are heavenly.
He who delights in sensual pleasures shall find at last — that his greatest pleasures will become his bitterest pains!
KILLING LUST
Henry Law, “Christ is All” 1854
You pant to be conformed to the image of Christ. This is well. But holiness can be learned only at the cross. It is a sight of the dying Jesus — which kills lust. It is the shadow of the cross — which causes evil to wither.
“They will look on Me whom they have pierced and mourn for Him as for an only son.” Zechariah 12:10
HEAD, HAND, HEART, LIP, AND LIFE
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
True holiness is diffusive. It extends, diffuses, and spreads itself all over the whole person . . .
the head and the heart;
the lip and the life;
the inside and the outside.
The understanding is nourished on holiness,
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the mind is adorned with holiness,
the will is bowed to holiness, and
all the affections are sprinkled, yes, clothed with holiness — love is holy love,
grief is holy grief,
joy is holy joy,
sorrow is holy sorrow,
fear is holy fear,
care is holy care,
zeal is holy zeal.
Real holiness spreads itself over head, hand, heart, lip, and life.
“May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23
THE PLAGUE OF UNSATISFIEDNESS
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of covetousness; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15
Covetousness is . . .
a very great and grievous sin;
a mother-sin;
a breeding sin;
a sin which has all sin in its womb; a very vile and heinous sin;
the root of all evil.
Covetousness makes the soul earthly — which should be celestial.
Covetousness is an evil which subjects men to the basest and vilest evils.
Covetousness makes a man a fool! “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” Luke 12:20
Covetousness robs a man of all true peace, comfort, contentment and
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quiet.
Covetousness brings men into snares which drown their souls in perdition.
Covetousness renders men unsatisfied under all their outward enjoyments. Though a covetous wretch has enough to sink him — yet he can never have enough to satisfy him. First he wishes for a bag full, and then a chest full, and then a room full, and then a house full, etc.
The plague of unsatisfiedness — is the great plague which covetous men are under. Certainly you shall as soon fill a triangle with a circle, and a chest with grace — as you shall be able to fill and satisfy a covetous mind with money.
A covetous man is like a swine — which is good for nothing while it lives. The horse is good to carry, the ox is good to draw, the sheep is good for cloth, the cow is good to give milk, and the dog is good to guard the house — but the hog is good for nothing while he lives! Just so, a covetous man is only serviceable when he is dead. That scripture often proves true, “the riches of a sinner are laid up for the just.” Job 27:17
No sin lays men under greater woes!
“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:9-10
TEARS HAVE A VOICE
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“The Lord has heard the voice of my weeping.” Psalm 6:8
Tears have a voice. God has an eye as well upon a man’s tears — as upon his prayers. Penitent tears are divine ambassadors, which never return from the throne of grace without answers of grace. Peter said nothing, but went out and wept bitterly — and obtained mercy. Tears are a kind of silent prayers, which will at last prevail for mercy.
“I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears.” Isaiah 38:5
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A sinner’s face never shines so beautiful, as when it is bedewed with penitential tears.
GOD’S LOVE-LETTER
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
The Scripture is God’s love-letter to men. Here the lamb may wade — and here the elephant may swim!
The blessed Scriptures are of infinite worth and value! Here you may find: a remedy for every disease,
balm for every wound,
a plaster for every sore,
milk for babes,
meat for strong men, comfort for the afflicted, support for the tempted, solace for the distressed, ease for the wearied,
a staff to support the feeble, a sword to defend the weak.
The holy Scriptures are:
the map of God’s mercy — and man’s misery, the touchstone of truth,
the shop of remedies against all maladies,
the hammer of vices,
the treasury of virtues,
the exposer of all sensual and worldly vanities, the balance of equity,
the most perfect rule of all justice and honesty.
Ah, friends, no book befits your hands like the Bible!
The Bible is the best preacher. This book, this preacher will preach to you:
in your shops,
in your chambers,
in your closets,
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yes, in your own bosoms!
This book will preach to you at home and abroad; it will preach to you in
all companies; and it will preach to you in all conditions.
By this book you shall be saved — or by this book you shall be damned! By this book you must live.
By this book you must die.
By this book you shall be judged in the great day!
Oh, therefore . . .
love this book above all other books,
prize this book above all other books,
read this book before all other books,
study this book more than all other books!
For he who reads much — and understands nothing, is like him who hunts much — and catches nothing.
“Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long!” Psalm 119:97
SPIT OUT THE SWEET MORSELS OF SIN
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“When He comes, He will convict the world about sin.” John 16:8
A man never comes . . . to see his sins, nor
to be sick of his sins, nor to loathe his sins, nor
to arraign his sins, nor
to condemn his sins, nor
to judge himself for his sins —
until he comes to be possessed by the Holy Spirit.
A man never comes . . .
to spit out the sweet morsels of sin, to make a sacrifice of his only Isaac, to hack his trembling Agag in pieces, to strangle his Delilah,
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and in good earnest to set upon an utter extirpation of his most cherished sins — until the Spirit of holiness comes upon him. Until the Holy Spirit falls upon the hearts of sinners, they will never be turned out of . . .
their pride,
their formality, their carnality, their sensuality, their security.
To make a man holy — is greater than to create a world; it can be done by none but by the Holy Spirit. It is the great work of the Spirit — to shape and form holiness, in all the vessels of glory.
The Spirit sweetly and strongly moves His people . . . to mind holiness,
to fall in love with holiness,
to press after holiness;
to leave off their sins,
to turn to God,
to embrace Christ,
to tremble at threatenings, to embrace promises.
MURDER ALL HIS HEARERS AT ONCE!
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“The leaders of the people have led them down the path of destruction.” Isaiah 9:16
Take heed of settling yourselves under an unholy minister — of one whose life gives the lie to his doctrine. An unholy preacher is the greatest destroyer of the souls of men! He who preaches well — but lives bad — does what he can, to murder all his hearers at once! There is no greater bar to holiness, than ministers’ unholy lives. An unholy life mars the soundest and the sweetest doctrine. The sins of teachers are the teachers of sins!
An unholy minister is the greatest pest, the worst plague, and the greatest mischief — that can be to a people; for his enormities, his wickednesses,
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will have the strongest influences upon the souls and lives of men — to make them eternally miserable. His falls will be the fall and ruin of many; for people are prone to . . .
live more by examples — than by precepts;
mind more what the minister does — than what he says; eye more how he walks — than how he talks.
Let a minister be ever so learned, solid, quaint, elegant, zealous, judicious, sententious, etc. — yet if he is carnal, covetous, worldly, vain, and loose in his life and walk, his hearers will rather slight and abhor the holy things of God.
When the preacher departs out of the way of holiness, the people will quickly wander from all that is good. He whose life is not a standing reproof to sin, will, by his life, encourage sinners more and more in a way of sin. There is nothing which keeps men so off from the love of holiness, and from the pursuing after holiness — than the unholy lives of their ministers.
“Watch your life and doctrine closely.” 1 Timothy 4:16 “Set an example for the believers in speech, in life,
in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12
“In everything set them an example by doing what is good.” Titus 2:7
THOSE WHO HUNT AFTER IT ARE DOGS!
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
Though of all losses, the loss of the soul is the greatest, the saddest, the sorest, the heaviest, and the most intolerable, inconceivable, and irrecoverable loss — yet a man bewitched with the world will run the hazard of losing his eternal soul, of damning it — to enjoy the world.
Men who are bewitched with this world in these days, oh, how do they prefer their sensual delights, their brutish contentments, and their carnal enjoyments — before the beauties of holiness, and before heavenly glory, where holiness sparkles and shines in all its refulgence, and where their souls might be abundantly satisfied and delighted with the most ravishing
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joys, the most surpassing delights, and the most transcendent pleasures which are at God’s right hand!
The Arabic proverb says that “the world is a carcass — and those who hunt after it are dogs!” If this proverb is true, what a multitude of professors will be found to be dogs — who hunt more after earth — than Heaven; who hunt more after terrestrial things — than celestial things; who hunt more after worldly nothingnesses and emptinesses — than they do after those fullnesses and sweetnesses which are in God, Christ, Heaven, and holiness!
PAINTED HOLINESS
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers; therefore you shall receive the greater damnation.” Matthew 23:14
Who had a greater name for holiness, and who made a greater show of holiness, and who did more despise and insult other men for the lack of holiness — than the Scribes and Pharisees? And who so miserable now — as they?
Pretended holiness will double-damn souls at last!
None have so large a portion in Hell as hypocrites have. No man at last will be found so miserable, as he who has the name of a saint upon him — but not the divine nature in him; who has a profession of holiness upon him — but no principles of holiness in him; who has a form of godliness — but not the power; who can cry up godliness — but in practice denies it; who is a professor outwardly — but an atheist, a pagan, a devil inwardly.
Artificial sanctity is double iniquity. He who professes piety without being pious, and godliness without being godly; he who makes counterfeit holiness a cloak to impiety, and a midwife to iniquity; he who is . . .
a Jacob without — and an Esau within,
a David without — and a Saul within, a John without — and a Judas within, a saint without — and a Satan within,
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an angel without — and a devil within, is ripened for the worst of torments!
Sirs, do not deceive your own souls!
A painted sword shall as soon defend a man, and a painted mint shall as soon enrich a man, and
a painted fire shall as soon warm a man, and
a painted friend shall as soon counsel a man, and a painted horse shall as soon carry a man, and
a painted feast shall as soon nourish a man, and a painted house shall as soon shelter a man — as a painted holiness shall save a man!
He who now thinks to put off God with a painted holiness, shall not fare so well at last — as to be put off with a painted happiness. The lowest, the hottest, and the darkest habitation in Hell will be his portion, whose religion lies all in shows and shadows.
Well, spiritual counterfeits, remember this — it will not be long before Christ will unmask you; before He will uncloak you; before He will disrobe you; before He will take off your masks, your cloaks, and turn your rotten insides outward — to your eternal shame and reproach before all the world!
THESE GERGESITES HAD RATHER LOSE CHRIST,
THAN LOSE THEIR PORKERS
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“When they saw Him, they pleaded with Him to leave their region.” Matthew 8:34
A man bewitched with the world will prefer the most base and contemptible things, before the Lord Jesus Christ. He will, with the Gergesenes, prefer his swine before a Savior, Matthew 8:28-34. When they saw what a sad market their hogs were brought to, they desired Christ to depart out of their country. These Gergesites had rather lose Christ, than lose their porkers. They had rather that the devil should possess their souls — than that Jesus should drown their pigs. They prefer their swine, before their salvation! They present a wretched petition for their
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own damnation; they pleaded with Him to leave their region. Though there is no misery, no plague, no curse, no wrath, no Hell — compared to Christ’s departure from a people; yet men bewitched with the world will desire this. “When they saw Him, they pleaded with Him to leave their region.” Matthew 8:34
TURNED INTO BEASTS, BIRDS, STONES, TREES, OR AIR
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“Our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:29
Chaff and stubble cannot stand before that God, who is a consuming fire. Oh, how will the ungodly tremble and quake when the whole frame of Heaven and earth shall break in pieces, and be set in a flame about their ears! Oh, what trouble of mind,
what horror and terror of conscience, what weeping and wailing,
what crying and roaring,
what wringing of hands,
what tearing of hair, and
what gnashing of teeth,
will there be among the ungodly in this day — when they shall see their sins charged upon them on the one side — and divine justice terrifying them on the other side! When they shall look upward, and there see an angry God frowning upon them; and look downward, and there see Hell gaping ready to receive them; and look inward, and there find conscience accusing and gnawing of them! When they shall look on their right hand, and there behold the holy angels standing with so many flaming swords to keep them out of Heaven; and look on their left hand, and there behold the devil and his demons ready to drag them down to the lowest Hell! Oh, now how will they wish for the rocks to fall upon them, and the mountains to cover them! How will they wish that they had never been born; or that they might now be unborn! How will they now wish that their immortal souls were mortal; or that they might be turned into beasts, birds, stones, trees, or air — or anything rather than what they are!
Alas! what heart is able to conceive, or what tongue is able to express — the fear and dread, the horror and terror, the astonishment and amazement, which will fall upon all ungodly people in that day!
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“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9
THE DREGS OF OLD AGE!
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“Let me die the death of the righteous, and may my end be like theirs!” Numbers 23:10
Many desire to repent when old age comes — when . . . their wits are cracked,
their souls distracted,
their senses stupefied,
their hearts astonished,
their minds darkened, and
their bodies diseased and distempered.
Oh, then they think that they will be able to leap into Heaven, with a “Lord have mercy upon me” in their mouths. Even though they have lived like devils — yet they hope they shall die like saints!
Do you think, O vain man — that after you have spent your time, and wasted your strength, and exhausted your energies in the work of Satan, and in the service of your lusts — that God will receive you to His grace and favor? If you do thus flatter yourself — it is ten thousand to one — that you will deceive yourself! Though true repentance is never too late — yet late repentance is seldom true. Ah, how many millions are now in Hell — who have thought, and resolved, and said that they would repent hereafter — but that hereafter never came!
You say “Tomorrow, tomorrow I will repent,” when you know not what a tomorrow will bring forth. Alas! how many thousand ways may death surprise you before tomorrow comes! Though there is but one way to come into the world — yet there are a thousand thousand ways to be sent out of the world. Oh, the diseases, the hazards, the dangers, the accidents, the deaths — which daily — which hourly attend the life of man!
Ah friends! it is a dangerous thing to make repentance to be the task of old age. The longer any man defers his repentance, the more difficult it will be
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for him to repent:
his heart will every day grow more and more hard, and his will more and more perverse, and
his judgment more and more corrupted, and
his affections more and more disordered, and
his conscience more and more benumbed or enraged, and his whole life more and more defiled and debauched.
Friends, do not deceive yourselves! Old age is but a tottering and sinking foundation for you to build your eternal hopes and happiness upon — your eternal making or marring upon! Are the dog-days of old age — are the trembling hands, the wrinkled face, the failing eyes, the gasping lungs, the fainting heart, the feeble knees, and the broken down legs — are these a sacrifice worthy of a majestic God? Is a body full of sores, aches, and diseases — and a soul full of sin — an offering worthy of a holy God? Surely not!
Oh, what madness, what wickedness is this — to serve Satan, your lusts, and this world with full dishes — and to put off God with scraps! To serve Satan, your lusts, and this world in the flower, in the prime and primrose of your days — and to put off God with the dregs of old age! Oh, do not let Satan deceive you, do not let your own hearts delude you!
THE BEAUTY AND GLORY OF A CHRISTIAN
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
Holiness will render you most beautiful and amiable. As holiness is the beauty of God, and the beauty of angels — so it is the beauty and glory of a Christian also. Holiness casts such a beauty upon man, as makes him very amiable and desirable.
The redness of the rose, the whiteness of the lily, and all the beauties of the natural universe — are but deformities, compared to that beauty which holiness puts upon us. If all natural beauty were contracted into one beauty — yet it would be but an obscure and an unlovely beauty, compared to that beauty which holiness puts upon us!
Holiness is lovely, yes — loveliness itself. Purity is a Christian’s splendor and glory. There is no beauty compared to that of sanctity; nothing
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beautifies and bespangles a man like holiness. Holiness is so attractive and so lovely a thing — that it draws all eyes and hearts to an admiration of it. Holiness is so great a beauty — that it puts a beauty upon all other excellencies in a man. That holiness is a very beautiful thing, and that it makes all those beautiful who have it — is a truth that no devil can deny!
“Demetrius,” says Plutarch, “was so lovely of face, that no painter was able to draw him.” Just so, holiness puts so rare a beauty upon man — that no painter under Heaven is able to draw him! Scipio Africanus was so lovely a person, that the Spaniards stood amazed at his loveliness. Holiness puts such a loveliness, and such an amiableness upon a person — that many admire it, and stand amazed at it.
O sirs, as ever you would be amiable and desirable — be holy!
As ever you would be attractive and lovely — be holy!
As ever you would outshine the sun in splendor and glory — be holy!
Many have ventured their names, their estates, their liberties, their lives, yes, their very souls — to enjoy a lovely Bathsheba, an attractive Helena, a beautiful Diana, a lovely Cleopatra, etc., whose beauties have been but clay, well-colored. Oh, how much more, then, should you be provoked to labor and venture your all for holiness — which will imprint upon you that most excellent and most exquisite beauty — which will go to the grave and to glory with you; yes, which will render you not only amiable and excellent in the eyes of men — but also lovely in the eyes of God!
Unholy souls are . . .
foul souls,
ugly souls,
deformed souls,
withered souls,
wrinkled souls, altogether unlovely souls.
THE RICHEST MAN IN THE WORLD
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“Having nothing — and yet possessing all things.” 2 Corinthians 6:10
This is a riddle the world cannot understand. A holy man cannot be a poor
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man. A holy man is always the richest man. The riches of a Christian have no bottom. All a saint’s bags, are bottomless bags.
Experience tells us that unholy men’s bags, purses, coffers, and mints — may be drawn dry. But the treasury, the riches of a saint — can never be exhausted, for he possesses all things in Christ and with Christ! The Christian has the God of all — he has Him who has all.
Though he has nothing in hand — yet he has all things in hope. A holy man is the richest man in the world, for he has the great and glorious God engaged by many thousand promises to own him, to bless him, to stand by him, to give grace and glory to him, and to withhold nothing from him that may be good for him.
When wicked men brag of their great possessions and riches, a holy man may make his boast of God, and say, “God is mine! God is mine! He is my great all; He is my all in all; and therefore I am richer and a greater possessor than any wicked man in the world — yes, than all wicked men in the world put together!”
WITHOUT HOLINESS
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“Without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14
To ‘see’ implies both vision and fruition. Without holiness, no man — be he high or low, noble or ignoble, rich or poor, etc., shall ever come to a blessed acquaintance with God here, or to a glorious fruition and enjoyment of God hereafter.
Oh, how great a misery,
how great a punishment,
how great an affliction,
how great a trouble and torment, how great a tribulation,
how great a Hell
— will it be for all unholy people to be forever and ever banished the court of Heaven, and to be shut out from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power — and to be everlastingly confined to the
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prison of Hell, and to the society and company of that damned crew who will be still a-cursing and a-blaspheming God, and adding to one another’s torments!
Ah, friends! without holiness all is lost . . . your soul is lost,
Christ is lost,
God is lost,
Heaven is lost,
glory is lost!
What are all other losses, compared to these losses?
Well, sirs, if none of these arguments can prevail with you to labor after holiness, I must conclude . . .
that divine justice has hardened you,
that Satan has blinded you,
that your lusts have besotted you,
that this world has bewitched you,
and that it would have been ten thousand thousand times better for you, to have never been born, than
to live without holiness, and
to die without holiness, and
to be everlastingly damned for lack of holiness.
“Without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14
YOU SHOULD FOLLOW IN HIS STEPS
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“He who says he abides in Him, ought himself also to walk even as He walked.” 1 John 2:6
Christians are to set all Christ’s moral actions before them as a pattern for their imitation. In Christ’s life, a Christian may behold the picture or lineaments of all virtues — and accordingly he ought to order his life in this world.
To walk as Christ walked is to walk . . . humbly,
holily,
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justly, meekly, lovingly, fruitfully, faithfully, uprightly.
To walk as Christ walked is to . . . slight the world,
despise the world,
make a footstool of the world,
to live above the world, and
to triumph over the world as Christ did.
To walk as Christ walked is . . . to love those who hate us,
to pray for those who persecute us, to bless those who curse us, and
to do good to those who do evil to us.
To walk as Christ walked is to be patient, and silent, and submissive, and thankful, under the vilest reproaches, the heaviest afflictions, and the greatest sufferings.
“Leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21
SUCH GUILTY, FILTHY, AND POLLUTED SOULS!
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
What a sad roster of vile people! These monstrous sinners and prodigious sins were enough to have brought another flood upon the world; or to have provoked the Lord to rain Hell out of Heaven upon them — as once he did upon Sodom and Gomorrah; or to have caused the ground to open and
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swallow them up — as once it did Korah, Dathan, and Abiram!
And yet behold, verse 11, some of these are changed and sanctified! “And that is what some of you were! But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Oh, the infinite goodness!
Oh, the infinite grace!
Oh, the infinite wisdom and power of God — which has pardoned, washed, sanctified, and cleansed such guilty, filthy, and polluted souls! The worst of sinners should never despair of being made saints — considering what notorious sinners have been made holy. There is no heart so wicked — but grace can make it holy.
Well! sinners, remember this — it is possible that those . . . proud hearts of yours may be humbled;
hard hearts of yours may be softened;
unclean hearts of yours may be sanctified;
blind minds of yours may be enlightened;
stubborn wills of yours may be tamed;
disordered affections of yours may be regulated;
defiled consciences of yours may be awakened and purged; vile and polluted natures of yours may be changed and purified.
ALL THE SINS OF THE SAINTS
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“We know that all things work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
All the afflictions, and
all the temptations, and all the desertions, and
all the oppressions, and all the oppositions, and all the persecutions — which befall a godly man, shall work for his good.
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Every cross, and
every loss, and
every disease —
which befall the holy man, shall work for his good.
Every device,
every snare,
every deceit,
every depth,
every stratagem, and every enterprise of Satan against the holy man, shall work for his good.
They shall all help to make him . . . more humble,
more holy,
more heavenly,
more spiritual, more faithful, more fruitful, more watchful.
Every prosperity and every adversity; every storm and every calm;
every bitter and every sweet;
every cross and every comfort — shall work for the holy man’s good.
When God gives a mercy — that shall work for his good. When God takes away a mercy — that shall work for his good.
Yes, even all the falls and all the sins of the saints shall work for their good. Oh . . .
the care,
the fear,
the watchfulness, the tenderness, the zeal —
which God raises in the souls of His saints by their very falls! Oh the hatred, the indignation, and the detestation — which God raises in the hearts of His children against sin — by their very falling into sin!
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Oh what love to Christ,
what thankfulness for Christ,
what admiration of Christ,
what cleaving to Christ,
what exalting of Christ,
what drawings from Christ’s grace — are saints led to, by their very falls!
It is the glory of God’s holiness, that . . .
He can turn spiritual diseases — into holy remedies! He can turn soul poisons — into heavenly cordials! He can prevent sin by sin, and cure falling by falling!
O Christian! What though friends and relations frown upon you, what though enemies are plotting and conspiring against you, what though needs, like armed men, are breaking in upon you, what though men rage, and devils roar against you, what though sickness is devastating your family, what though death stands every day at your elbow — yet there is no reason for you to fear nor faint, because all these things shall work for your good! Yes, there is wonderful cause of joy and rejoicing in all the afflictions and tribulations which come upon you — considering that they shall all work for your good.
O Christians! I am afraid, I am afraid — that you do not run so often as you should — to the breasts of this promise, nor draw that sweetness and comfort from it, that it would yield, and that your several cases may require. “We know that all things work together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.“ I have been the longer upon this verse, because the condition of God’s people calls for the strongest cordials, and the choicest and the sweetest comforts.
IT WAS THE GOLDEN LINK OF LOVE!
Thomas Brooks, “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures”
“May you have power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.” Ephesians 3:18-19
Oh, such was Christ’s transcendent love — that man’s extreme misery could not abate it. The deploredness of man’s condition did but heighten
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the holy flame of Christ’s love. It is as high as Heaven, who can reach it? It is as low as Hell, who can understand it?
Heaven, with all its glory, could not contain Him. Neither could all Hell’s torments make Him refrain! Such was His perfect matchless love to fallen and miserable man. That Christ’s love should extend to the ungodly, to sinners, to enemies who were in rebellion against Him; yes, not only so — but that He should hug them in His arms, lodge them in His bosom — is the highest degree of love!
It is astonishing . . .
that Christ should come from the eternal bosom of His Father — to a region of sorrow and death;
that God — should be manifested in the flesh;
that the Creator — should be made a creature;
that He who was clothed with glory — should be wrapped with rags of flesh;
that He who filled Heaven — should be cradled in a feeding trough; that the God of strength — should be weary;
that the judge of all men — should be condemned;
that the God of life — should be put to death.
That He would do all this for man, for fallen man, for miserable man, for worthless man — is beyond all conception!
The sharp sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ, from the cradle to the cross, does above all other things, speak out the transcendent love of Jesus Christ to poor sinners.
That wrath, that great wrath, that fierce wrath, that pure wrath, that infinite wrath, that matchless wrath of an angry God — which was so terribly impressed upon the soul of Christ — all this wrath He patiently underwent, that sinners might be saved, and that “He might bring many sons unto glory.”
Oh wonder at the greatness of His love — which made our dear Lord Jesus lay down His life — to save us from Hell, and to bring us to Heaven! Oh unspeakable love!
It was the golden link of love, which alone fastened Christ to the cross, and made Him die freely for us!
Christ’s love is beyond all measure, for . . . 90

time did not begin it, and time shall never end it; place does not bound it;
sin does not exceed it;
tongues cannot express it;
minds cannot conceive it.
Well may we spend all our days in admiring and adoring of Christ’s wonderful love — and be always ravished with the thoughts of it.
“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it.” Ephesians 3:19
PAINTED PLEASURES, SUGARED POISONS, ENVENOMED BAITS
John Owen
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:1-2
Fix your affections upon the things that are above, and this will enable you to mortify sin. Heavenly things are blessed and suitable objects — God Himself, in His beauty and glory; the Lord Jesus Christ, who is ‘altogether lovely,’ the ‘chief of ten thousand’; grace and glory; and the blessed promises of the gospel.
Were our affections filled, taken up, and possessed with these things, as it is our duty that they should be — and it is our happiness when they are — what access could sin, with its painted pleasures, with its sugared poisons, with its envenomed baits, have into our souls? How should we loathe all sin’s proposals, and say unto them, “Away with you, you abominable thing!” For what are the vain, transitory pleasures of sin — in comparison to the heavenly glories which are proposed unto us?
FROM A BURNING HELL — TO A BLISSFUL HEAVEN!
J. C. Philpot, “Daily Portions”
What is to be compared with the salvation of the soul? What are riches,
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honors, health, long life? What are all the pleasures which the world can offer, sin promise, or the flesh enjoy? What is all that men call good or great? What is everything which the eye has seen, or the ear heard, or has entered into the carnal heart of man — put side by side with being saved in the Lord Jesus Christ with an everlasting salvation?
For consider what we are saved from, as well as what we are saved unto.
From a burning Hell — to a blissful Heaven! From endless wrath — to eternal glory!
From the dreadful company of devils and damned spirits, mutually tormenting and tormented — to the blessed companionship of the glorified saints, all perfectly conformed in body and soul to the image of Christ, with thousands and tens of thousands of holy angels; and, above all, to seeing the glorious Son of God as He is, in all the perfection of His beauty, and all the ravishments of His presence and love!
To be done forever with . . .
all the sorrows, troubles, and afflictions of this life;
all the pains and aches of the present clay tabernacle;
all the darkness, bondage, and misery of the body of sin and death.
To be perfectly holy in body and soul, being in both without spot, or blemish, or any such thing — and ever to enjoy uninterrupted communion with God!
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him!” 1 Corinthians 2:9
THE PROSPERITY OF THE WICKED
Thomas Brooks, “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures”
“For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits. They say, ‘How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?’ This is what the wicked are like — always carefree, they increase in wealth. When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me — until I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. Surely You place them on slippery ground; You cast them down
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to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!” Psalm 73
Oh, how little is that man’s condition to be envied, who for these short pleasures of sin — must endure an eternity of torments!
O sirs! Do wicked men purchase their present pleasures at so dear a rate — as eternal torments? And do we envy their enjoyment of them so short a time? Would we envy a man going to execution, because we saw him go up the ladder with a gold chain around his neck and a scarlet gown on his back? Surely not! Oh, no more should we envy the grandeur of worldly men, for every step they take, is but a step to an eternal execution!
Oh, how much more worthy of our pity, than envy — is that man’s condition, who has all his happiness confined to the narrow compass of this present life — but his misery extended to the uttermost bounds of an everlasting duration!
“The rich man also died and was buried. In Hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him — Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire!” Luke 16:22-24
ALL TO SAVE YOU FROM WRATH TO COME!
Thomas Brooks, “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures”
Christians, spend your days in admiring the transcendent love of Christ — in undergoing hellish punishments in your stead! Oh pray, pray hard that you “may be able to comprehend what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of that love of Christ, which passes knowledge!” Ephesians 3:18-19
The love of Christ put Him upon these bodily and spiritual sufferings — which were so exceeding great, acute, extreme, and universal — and all to save you from wrath to come! His miseries, sorrows, and sufferings are unparalleled, and therefore Christians have the more cause to lose themselves in the contemplation of His matchless love. Oh, bless Christ! Oh, kiss Christ! Oh, embrace Christ! Oh, cleave to Christ! Oh, follow Christ! Oh, walk with Christ! Oh, long for Christ — who for your sakes has undergone insupportable wrath and most hellish torments!
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Oh, look up to dear Jesus, and say, “O blessed Jesus, You were accursed — that I might be blessed! You were condemned — that I might be justified! You underwent the very torments of Hell — that I might forever enjoy the pleasures of Heaven! Therefore I cannot but dearly love You, and highly esteem You, and greatly honor You, and earnestly long after You!”
THEY WILL NOT BELIEVE IT UNTIL THEY FEEL IT!
Thomas Brooks, “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures” “Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?” Luke 3:7 “Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.” 1 Thessalonians 1:10

  1. The coming wrath is the greatest wrath. It is the greatest evil which can befall a soul. “Who knows the power of Your wrath?” Psalm 19:11. The coming wrath is such wrath as no unsaved man can either avoid or abide. And yet such is most men’s stupidity, that they will not believe it until they feel it!
    As God is a great God — so His wrath is a great wrath. If the wrath of an earthly king is so terrible — oh how dreadful must the wrath of the King of kings then be!
    The greater the evil is, the more cause we have to flee from it. Now the coming wrath is the greatest evil, and therefore the more it concerns us to flee from it!
  2. The coming wrath is treasured-up wrath. Sinners are still “a-treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath,” Romans 2:5. While wicked men are following their own lusts, they think that they are still adding to their own happiness. But alas, they do but add wrath to wrath! They do but heap up judgment upon judgment, and punishment upon punishment! Look! as men are daily adding to their treasure more and more, so impenitent sinners are daily increasing the treasury of wrath against their own souls.
  3. The coming wrath is pure wrath. It is “judgment without mercy.” The cup of wrath which God will put into sinners’ hands at last, will be a cup of pure wrath — all wrath — nothing but wrath. “They must drink the wine of God’s wrath. It is poured out undiluted into God’s cup of wrath.
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And they will be tormented with fire and burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb.” Revelation 14:10
Look! as there is nothing but the pure glory of God — which can make a man perfectly and fully happy; just so, there is nothing but the pure wrath of God — which can make a man fully and perfectly miserable. Reprobates shall not only sip of the top of God’s cup — but they shall drink the dregs of His cup! They shall not have one drop of mercy, nor one crumb of comfort! They have filled up their lifetime with sin — and God will fill up their eternity with torments!

  1. The coming wrath is everlasting wrath. “And the smoke of their torment ascends up forever and ever!” Revelation 14:11
    “They shall have . . .
    punishment without pity,
    misery without mercy,
    sorrow without support,
    crying without comfort,
    mischief without measure,
    torment without ease —
    where the worm dies not, and the fire is never quenched.”
    The torments of the damned shall continue as many eternities — as there are stars in the skies, as there are grains of sand on the sea-shore, and as there are drops of water found in the sea! When the present worlds are ended, the pains and torments of Hell shall not cease — but begin afresh, and thus this wheel shall turn round and round, without end.
    Oh the folly and vanity, the madness and baseness of poor wretched sinners — who expose themselves to everlasting torments — for a few fleshly momentary pleasures!
    O sirs! “Who can stand before His fierce anger? Who can survive His burning fury? His rage blazes forth like fire, and the mountains crumble to dust in His presence!” Nahum 1:6
    How should these things work poor sinners to flee to Christ, who alone is able to save them from the coming wrath. 1 Thessalonians 1:10
    THE HELL OF HELL
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    Thomas Brooks, “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures”

And as there are a diversity of torments in Hell, so the torments of Hell are everlasting.
“Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels!” Matthew 25:41
The sentence which shall be passed upon them, is eternal. God Himself, who damns them, is eternal.
The prison and chains which hold them, are eternal.
The worm which gnaws them, is eternal.
The fire which torments them, is eternal.
Grievous is the torment of the damned — for the bitterness of the punishments. It is more grievous — for the diversity
of the punishments. But it is most grievous — for the eternity of the punishments!
If, after so many millions of years as there are drops in the ocean, there might be a deliverance out of Hell — this would yield a little ease, a little comfort to the damned. Oh, but this word Eternity! Eternity! Eternity! this word Everlasting! Everlasting! Everlasting! this word Forever! Forever! Forever! will even break the hearts of the damned in ten thousand pieces!
Suppose that the whole world were turned into a mountain of sand, and that a little bird should come once every thousand years and carry away from that heap, one grain of sand. What an infinite number of years would be spent before this great mountain of sand would be fetched away! Just so — if a man should lie in everlasting burnings so long a time as this, and then have an end of his woe — it would give some ease, some hope, and some comfort to him. But when that immortal bird shall have carried away this great mountain of sand — a thousand times over and over — alas, alas, sinful man shall be as far from the end of his anguish and torment as ever he was! He shall be no nearer coming out of Hell, than he was the very first moment that he entered into Hell!
Suppose, say others, that a man were to endure the torments of Hell as many years — as there are . . .
sands on the sea-shore,
drops of water in the sea,
stars in the heavens,
leaves on the trees,
blades of grass on the ground
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— yet he would comfort himself with this poor thought, “Well, there will come a day when my misery and torment shall certainly have an end.” But woe and alas! this word, “Forever! Forever! Forever!” will fill the hearts of the damned with the greatest . . .
horror and terror,
anger and rage,
bewilderment and astonishment!
If the fire of Hell were terminable, it might be tolerable. But being endless, it must needs be easeless, and remediless.
The eternity of Hell — is the Hell of Hell.
The damned shall live as long in Hell — as long as God Himself shall live
in Heaven!
“The reprobate shall have . . . punishment without pity; misery without mercy,
sorrow without support, crying without compassion, mischief without measure, and torment without end!”
“And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:46
All the pains, torments, curse, and wrath which were due to the elect — fell on Christ, until divine justice was fully satisfied. “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9. Oh, exalt that Christ! Oh, extol that Savior, who has saved you from that eternal wrath!
FROM BURNING TO BURNING!
Thomas Brooks, “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures”
The Spirit of God, in Scripture, by metaphors of all sorts of things which are dreadful unto sense — sets forth the condition of the damned, and the torments which He has reserved for them in the life to come. Hell’s punishments do infinitely exceed all other punishments, that there is no
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pain so extreme — as that of the damned.
Look! As there are no joys which can compare to the joys of Heaven — so there are no pains which can compare to the pains of Hell. All the cruelties in the world cannot possibly make up any horror comparable to the horrors of Hell. The brick-kilns of Egypt, the fiery furnace of Babylon — are but as a fleeting spark — compared to this tormenting Tophet which has been prepared of old to punish the bodies and souls of sinners with. Hanging, racking, burning, scourging, stoning, sawing asunder, flaying of the skin, etc., are not to be compared with the tortures of Hell.
If all the pains, sorrows, miseries, and calamities which have been inflicted upon all men, since Adam fell in Paradise, should meet together and center in one man — they would not so much as amount to one of the least of the pains of Hell.
Who can sum up the diversity of torments which are in Hell!

  1. In Hell there is darkness; Hell is a dark region! 2. In Hell there are sorrows!
  2. In Hell there are bonds and chains!
  3. In Hell there are pains and pangs!
  4. In Hell there is the worm which never dies!
  5. In Hell there is the lake of fire!
  6. In Hell there is the furnace of fire!
  7. In Hell there are the devil and his demons! And oh, how dreadful must it be to be shut up forever with those roaring lions!
  8. In Hell there is weeping and gnashing of teeth!
  9. In Hell there is unquenchable fire — everlasting burnings!
    “The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless — Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?” Isaiah 33:14
    O sirs, the torments of Hell will be exceeding great and dreadful — such as will make the stoutest sinners to quake and tremble!
    Wicked men, who are now such jolly fellows, shall one day go from burning to burning! They shall go . . .
    from burning in sin — to burning in Hell;
    from burning in flames of lusts — to burning in flames of torment!
    O sirs! in this devouring fire, in these everlasting burnings, there will be
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no music or merry company to pass time away, nor any dice or cards to pass care away; nor any bottles of wine wherein to drown the sinner’s grief! As in Heaven there shall be all bodily perfection, so there shall be also in Hell all bodily miseries. Whatever may make a man perfectly miserable — shall be in Hell. Out of this fiery bed there is no deliverance!
Oh, how terrible will the torments of Hell be to the damned! The torments of Hell will be universal torments. All torments meet together in that place of torment. Hell is the center . . .
of all punishments,
of all sorrows,
of all pains,
of all wrath,
of all vengeance, etc.
All the pains, torments, curse, and wrath which were due to the elect — fell on Christ, until divine justice was fully satisfied. “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9. Oh, exalt that Christ! Oh, extol that Savior, who has saved you from that eternal wrath!
THE DEVIL’S BEST CUSTOMERS!
Thomas Brooks, “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures”
“God will surely judge people who are immoral.” Hebrews 13:4
If men will not judge them, God Himself will, and give them a portion of misery answerable to their transgression. Sometimes He judges them in this life — by pouring forth of His wrath upon their bodies, souls, consciences, names and estates. But if He does not thus judge them in this life, He will be sure to judge them in the life to come! Yes, He has already adjudged them “to the fiery lake of burning sulfur,” Revelation 21:8
The unchaste are the devil’s best customers! Oh, the thousands of men and women who are sent to Hell for immorality! Other sins are toilsome and troublesome, but sexual immorality is pleasant, and sends men and women merrily to Hell!
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A LIFE OF FAITH
Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan
“The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
Jesus is very precious; and a life of faith in Him, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is . . .
very blessed, world-conquering,
Satan-overcoming, sin-subduing.
HE DRANK IT UP — EVERY DROP!
Thomas Brooks, “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures” “Who can comprehend the power of Your wrath?” Psalm 90:11
Jesus Christ comprehends it, for He underwent it! His whole life was made up of suffering.
From His birth to His death,
from His cradle to the cross,
from the womb to the tomb, — He was a man of sorrows!
Behold His bodily sufferings — the crown of thorns on His head, the smiting of His cheeks,
the spitting on His face,
the scourging of His body,
the cross on His back,
the vinegar in His mouth,
the nails in His hands and feet, the spear in His side,
His crucifixion and death on the cross — might well astonish us!
Behold that head, before which angels cast down themselves and worshiped — crowned with thorns!
Behold those eyes, which were purer than the sun — put out by the 100

darkness of death!
Behold those ears which heard nothing but halleluiahs — hearing the blasphemies of the multitude!
Behold that lovely face — spit on by such beastly wretches!
Behold that mouth and tongue, which “spoke as never any man spoke” —
accused of blasphemy!
Behold those hands, which freely swayed the scepter of Heaven — nailed to the cross!
Behold those feet, “like unto fine brass” — nailed to the cross for man’s sins!
Who can behold Christ thus suffering — and not be struck with astonishment?
1 Peter 3:18, “Christ has suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous.” This is . . .
the wonderment of angels,
the happiness of fallen man, and
the torment of devils — that Christ has suffered. The doleful tragedy of His sufferings is unutterable!
The sufferings of Jesus Christ were very great and heinous. What agony, what torment was our Savior racked with! “He was despised and rejected — a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief!” Isaiah 53:3 He was a man of sorrows — as if He were a man made up of sorrows! He knew more sorrows than any man, yes, than all men ever did! We never read that Jesus laughed at all, when He was in the world. His whole life was filled up with sufferings.
How deep were His wounds!
How weighty His burden!
How full of trembling His cup, when He lay
under the mountains of the guilt of all the elect! How bitter were His tears!
How painful His bloody sweat!
How dreadful His death!
Lamentations 1:12 is very applicable to Christ — “Look and see! Is there any pain like Mine, which was dealt out to Me, which the Lord made Me
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suffer on the day of His burning anger?” What sufferings can you think of, which Christ did not suffer? Christ suffered in His birth, and He suffered in His life, and He suffered in His death. He suffered in His body, for He was diversely tormented. He suffered in His soul, for His soul was exceedingly sorrowful. He suffered in His estate, they parted His clothing, and He had nowhere to rest His head. He suffered in His reputation, for He was called a Samaritan, a devilish sorcerer, a drunkard, an enemy to Caesar, etc. He suffered from Heaven, when He cried out, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” He suffered from the earth, being hungry. He suffered from Hell, Satan assaulting and encountering Him with his most black and horrid temptations. He began His life lowly and basely, and was sharply persecuted. He continued His life poorly and distressedly, and was cruelly hated. He ended His life woefully and miserably, and was most grievously tormented with whips, thorns, nails; and, above all, with the terrors of His Father’s wrath and horrors of hellish agonies! Who can compute how many vials of God’s inexpressible, insupportable wrath, which Christ drank? Yet, He drank it up — every drop, leaving nothing behind for His redeemed people — but large draughts of love and salvation!
The death of Christ on the cross was . . . a bitter death,
a sorrowful death,
a bloody death.
The bitter thoughts of His sufferings put Him into a most dreadful agony: “Being in an agony, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was as great drops of blood falling to the ground.” Luke 22:44
Nothing could fasten Christ to the cross — but the golden link of His free love! Oh, what a wonder of love is this — that Jesus Christ, who is the author of life, the fountain of life, the Lord of life — that He should so freely, so readily, so cheerfully lay down His life for us!
ONE PUDDLE, IF WE WALLOW IN IT
Thomas Brooks, “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures”
One sin stripped the fallen angels of all their glory.
One sin stripped our first parents of all their dignity and excellency. One fly in the box of precious ointment spoils the whole box.
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One thief may rob a man of all his treasure.
One disease may deprive a man of all his health.
One millstone will sink a man to the bottom of the sea, as well as a hundred.
One puddle, if we wallow in it — will defile us.
Just so, one sin allowed and lived in—will make a man miserable forever.
Some will leave all their sins but one. Satan can hold a man fast enough by one sin which he allows and lives in — as the fowler can hold the bird fast enough by one wing or by one claw.
Satan is content that men should yield to God in many things — provided that they will be but true to Satan in some one thing. The devil knows very well, that as one grain of poison may poison a man, and one stab at the heart may kill a man — just so, one sin unrepented of, one sin allowed, retained, cherished, and practiced — will certainly damn a man.
Though all the parts of a man’s body are healthy, except only one part — that one diseased and ulcerous part may be deadly to you. Just so, one sin allowed, indulged, and lived in — will prove killing and damning to you.
It is horrid hypocrisy, damnable folly, and astonishing impudency — for a man to beg the pardon of those very sins which he is resolved never to forsake.
These things should be frequently and seriously thought of, by such poor fools as are entangled by any lust.
JOSEPH SAW GOD IN THE ROOM!
Thomas Brooks, “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures”
“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”
Proverbs 15:9
The harboring of any known sin, either in heart or life, is a high contempt
of the all-seeing eye of God — of the omnipresence of God.
It is well known what Ahasuerus, that great monarch, said concerning Haman, when he found him cast upon the queen’s couch on which she sat: “What!” says he, “Will he even assault the queen right here in the palace,
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before my very eyes!” What! will he dare to commit such a villainy — as I stand and look on?
O sirs! to do wickedly in the sight of God, is a thing which He looks upon as the greatest affront and indignity that can possibly be done unto Him. “What!” says He, “Will you be drunk before Me, and swear and blaspheme before Me, and be wanton and immoral before Me, and break My laws before My eyes!”
This, then, is the killing aggravation of all sin — that is done before the face of God — in the presence of God! The consideration of God’s omnipresence — that He stands and looks on, should be as a bar, to stop the proceedings of all wicked intentions; and a great dissuasive from sin.
It was an excellent saying of Ambrose, “If you cannot hide yourself from the sun, which is God’s minister of light — how impossible will it be to hide yourself from Him whose eyes are ten thousand times brighter than the sun!”
There is no drawing of a curtain between God and you. When you are in secret — consider that God is present.
God is all eye. He sees . . . all things,
in all places,
at all times.
The godly are dissuaded from wickedness, upon the consideration of God’s eye and omniscience. Joseph saw God in the room — and therefore dared not yield to lust. But Potiphar’s wife saw none but Joseph — and so was impudently alluring and tempting him to sin.
I have read of two godly men, who took contrary courses with two harlots — whom they desired to reclaim from their wicked course of life.
One of the men told one of the women, that he was desirous to enjoy her company in secret. After she had brought him into a private room, and locked the door, he told her, “All your bars and bolts cannot keep God out!”
The other godly man asked the other harlot to be unchaste with him openly in the streets — which she rejected as an insane request. He then told her, “It was better to do it before the eyes of a crowd — than before
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the eyes of the all-seeing God!”
Oh, why shall not the presence of that God who hates sin, and who is resolved to punish it with Hell-flames, make us ashamed or afraid to sin, and dare Him to His face! Let your eye be ever on Him — whose eye is always on you!
FIRST PLACE IN YOUR THOUGHTS
Thomas Brooks, “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures”
Friends, these things must have first place in your thoughts:

  1. Your sins — to humble you and abase you before God.
  2. God’s free and rich and sovereign grace — to soften and melt you down into submission to His holy will.
  3. The Lord Jesus Christ — to assist, help, strengthen, and influence you in all your duties and services.
  4. The blessed Scriptures — to guide you and lead you, “and to be a lamp unto your feet, and a light unto your paths.”
  5. The afflictions of the godly — to draw out your charity, mercy, pity, sympathy and compassion to men in misery.
  6. The glory and happiness of the eternal world — to arm you and steel you against all your sins, snares and temptations.
    THE MOST POWERFUL CHARM OF SATAN
    Thomas Brooks, “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures”
    Honors, riches, and pleasures are the three deities, which all people adore, and to whom they continually sacrifice their best thoughts and energies. These, for their unparalleled vanity, may well be called “the vanity of vanities!”
    Honors, riches, and pleasures are but . . . a mere shadow,
    a vapor,
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a feather in the cap, a breath,
a froth,
a dream,
a nothing.
They are without true substance. Like in a dream, you imagine they have substance — you grasp at them and awake — and they are nothing!
And yet, they are the most powerful charm of Satan, whereby he lulls men to sleep in the paradise of fools; to cast them, after they die, into the bottomless pit of eternal woe!
THE BEST OF SAINTS ARE SINNERS
Thomas Brooks, “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures”
A child of God may slip into a sin — as a sheep may slip into the mire. But he does not, and cannot wallow in sin — as the swine wallows in the mire.
The best of saints are sinners, though the worst and weakest of saints do not indulge sin or cherish it; or make daily provision for it; or take daily pleasure and delight in sin; or habitually yield a willing and total subjection to the authority and commands of sin.
There is as much difference between sin in a regenerate person — and sin in an unregenerate person, as there is between poison in a man — and poison in a serpent. Poison in a man is most offensive and burdensome, and he readily uses all remedies and antidotes to expel it and get rid of it. But poison in a serpent, is in its natural place, and is most pleasing and delightful.
Just so, sin in a regenerate man is most offensive and burdensome, and he readily uses all holy means and antidotes to expel it and to get rid of it. But sin in an unregenerate man is most pleasing and delightful, it being in its natural place.
A godly man may have many sins — yet he has not one beloved sin, one bosom sin, one darling sin. His sins are his greatest grief and torment.
Every godly man . . . hates all known sin,
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would sincerely have his sins not only pardoned, but destroyed, groans under the burden of sin,
combats and conflicts with all known sin,
has fixed purposes and designs not to sin,
has a sincere willingness to be rid of all sin.
No sincere Christian indulges himself in any trade, course, or way of sin.
“Oh,” says the gracious soul, “that I could be rid of . . . this proud heart,
this hard heart,
this unbelieving heart,
this unclean heart,
this earthly heart,
this froward heart of mine!”
O sirs, this is most certain — whoever gives up himself freely, willingly, cheerfully, habitually — to the service of any one particular lust or sin — he is in the state of nature, under wrath, and in the way to eternal ruin!
THE BEST WAY TO BE HOLY
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“Turn to the Lord with weeping and with mourning.” Joel 2:12
The best way to be holy is to accuse, indict, arraign, and condemn yourself for your unholiness. Greatly lament and mourn over your own unholiness, over your own wickedness. Go to your closet, and fall down before the most high and holy God, and mourn bitterly over . . .
the unholiness of your nature, the unholiness of your heart,
the unholiness of your affections, the unholiness of your intentions, the unholiness of your thoughts, the unholiness of your words,
the unholiness of your life.
Oh, who can look upon sin . . . as an offence against a holy God, as the breach of a holy law,
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as the wounding and crucifying of a holy Savior, as the grieving and saddening of a holy Sanctifier, and not mourn over it?
Oh, who can cast a serious eye . . . upon the heinous nature of sin,
upon the exceeding sinfulness of sin, upon the aggravations of sin —
and not have . . .
his heart humbled,
his soul grieved,
his spirit melted,
his mouth full of penitential confessions, his eyes full of penitential tears, and
his heart full of penitential sorrow?
The Christian mourns that he has sinned against . . . a God so great,
a God so gracious,
a God so bountiful,
a God so merciful.
Oh, how should a sinner fall a-weeping when he looks upon the greatness of his wickedness, and his lack of holiness! As ever you would be holy, mourn over your own unholiness.
Those who weep not for sin here — shall weep out their eyes in Hell hereafter! It is better to weep bitterly for your sins on earth, than to weep eternally for your folly in Hell.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
HIS TREASURED POSSESSION
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be His people, His treasured possession.” Deuteronomy 7:6
God makes . . .
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many rich, and
many great, and
many honorable, and
many mighty, and
many wise, and
many noble, and
many beautiful, and
many successful —
whom He will never make holy.
But in making you holy — God has made you spiritually great, rich, honorable, wise, and beautiful, etc. Holiness is a singular fruit of God’s special favor and love.
God has a common favor and love for all men, yes, for the worst of men; witness that common preservation, and common protection, and common provision — which He grants to them. But God has a special love and favor — and this runs out only to His holy ones.
Holiness is a divine beam, a heavenly drop, a choice pledge of God’s special favor and love.
O sirs! though the world may slight you, and enemies revile you, and friends disfavor you — yet let this support you, let this rejoice you — that you are God’s treasured possession!
I AM NOT THE MAN THAT I WAS!
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
All true holiness is the immediate fruit of genuine union with Christ. Christ is made not only wisdom, righteousness, and redemption — but He is also made sanctification to us, 1 Corinthians 1:30. He who is in Christ is a new creature. He has . . .
a new head, a new heart, a new lip,
a new life,
a new spirit, new principles,
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new ends.
He can truly say, “I am not the man that I was!
I was a lion — yet holiness has made me a lamb!
I was a wolf — yet holiness has made me a sheep!
I was a raven — yet holiness has made me a dove!”
PLEASURE, DELIGHT, CONTENTMENT
AND SATISFACTION IN GOD
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
There are no people under Heaven, who take any real pleasure, delight, contentment and satisfaction in God — but those who are genuinely holy. “How is your Beloved better than others, most beautiful of women? How is your Beloved better than others, that you charge us so?” Song of Songs 5:9
The covetous man takes pleasure and delight in his money-bags. The ambitious man takes pleasure and delight in his honors.
The voluptuous man takes pleasure and delight in his lusts.
The malicious man takes pleasure and delight in his revenge. The envious man takes pleasure in the harms which befall others. The drunkard takes pleasure and delight in his cups.
The adulterer takes pleasure and delight in his harlots.
The gamester takes pleasure and delight in his shifts and tricks. The worldling takes pleasure in his fopperies and fooleries.
It is only the holy man who takes pleasure and delight in God. To delight and take pleasure in God, is a work too high, too hard, too spiritual, and too noble — for any but holy people!
“My Beloved is dark and dazzling, better than ten thousand others! Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!” Song of Songs 5:10, 16
“I delight greatly in the Lord! My soul rejoices in my God!” Isaiah 61:10
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OH STAND AND WONDER!
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1
O sirs! what matter of admiration is this — that the great and glorious God, who has many millions of glorious angels attending Him — that He should . . .
look upon all holy people as His sons, and
love them as His sons, and delight in them as His sons, and clothe them as His sons, and feed them as His sons, and protect them as His sons!
What great love is this — that those who have . . . so highly provoked God,
walked so cross and contrary to God,
were so exceeding unlike God,
preferred every lust, and every toy and vanity before God, fought many years under Satan’s banner against God, refused all the kind offers of mercy from God;
that those who have deserved to be . . .
reprobated by God,
damned by God, and
to be thrown to Hell by God —
that these should be made the sons of God!
Oh stand and wonder! Oh stand and admire the freeness of His grace, and the riches of His grace!
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1
SO BLIND, SO DEAF, SO DUMB, SO LAME, SO DEAD
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
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The holy Christian is the greatest miracle.

He can tell you that he was so blind — but now God has given him eyes to see sin to be the greatest evil; and Christ to be the choicest good.
He can tell you that once he was so deaf — that though God called very often and very loudly to him — by His word and by His works, by His rods at home and by His judgments abroad, and by his Spirit and conscience, which were still a-preaching in his bosom — sometimes life, sometimes death, sometimes Heaven, and sometimes Hell — yet he could not hear! But now God has given him a hearing ear, so that now he can with delight hear the sweet music of the promises on the one hand; and with a holy trembling listen to the voice of divine threatenings on the other hand.
He can tell you that once he was so dumb — that if he might have had the whole world, he could not have spoken a good word for God, nor for His ways, nor for His people, nor for any of His concernments. Oh! but now his tongue is as the pen of a ready writer — and he is never better, than when he is a-speaking either of God, or for God and His concerns. Now he can contend for the faith, and speak for saints. And though in some cases he may lack power to act for God — yet he never lacks a tongue to speak for God. The spouse’s lips drop honeycombs in Song of Songs 4:11. Yes, his tongue now becomes a tree of life, whose leaves are medicinal.
He can tell you that once he was so lame — that he was not able to move one foot Heaven-wards, nor Christ-wards, nor holiness-wards, etc. But now his feet delight, not only to go — but to run in all the ways of God’s commands!
Yes, he can tell you that once he was so dead — as to all his soul- concerns. But now he is alive, and the life that he leads in the flesh, is by faith in the Son of God, who has loved him and given Himself for him, Galatians 2:20.
It was by a miracle that the Red Sea was driven back; and it is no less a miracle — to see a sinner who was accustomed to do evil — now habituated to do good.
That the tide of sin, which before did run so strong — should be so easily turned; that the sinner who, a little before was sailing Hell-ward, and lacked neither wind nor tide to carry him there — should now suddenly alter his course, and tack about for Heaven — what a miracle is this! To see . . .
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an earthly man become heavenly, a carnal man become spiritual,
a loose man become precise,
a proud man become humble,
a covetous man become liberal, and a harsh man become meek, etc.,
is to behold the greatest of miracles!
WORSE THAN SODOMY!
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that house or town. I assure you: It will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.” Matthew 10:14-15
Sodom and Gomorrah shall have an easier and cooler Hell than such shall have — who have despised the offers of His grace, and the offers of His mercy. Contempt of Christ and His gospel — is worse than sodomy!
“Then the Lord rained down fire and burning sulfur from the heavens on Sodom and Gomorrah!” Genesis 19:24
The punishments of Sodom and Gomorrah, are but scratches on the hand, and flea-bitings — compared to those dreadful and astonishing judgments which God, in the great day of account, will inflict upon all Christ-refusers and gospel-despisers!
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” John 3:36
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“Who is like You, glorious in holiness?” Exodus 15:11
God is . . .
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infinitely holy, transcendently holy, superlatively holy, constantly holy, unchangeably holy, exemplary holy, gloriously holy.
All the holiness that is in the best and choicest Christians is but a mixed holiness, a weak and imperfect holiness. Their unholiness is always more than their holiness. Ah, what a great deal . . .
of pride is mixed with a little humility,
of unbelief is mixed with a little faith,
of peevishness is mixed with a little meekness, of earthliness is mixed with a little heavenliness, of carnality is mixed with a little spirituality,
of harshness is mixed with a little tenderness!
Oh, but the holiness of God is a pure holiness, it is a holiness without mixture; there is not the least drop or the least dreg of unholiness in God! “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5
In God there is . . .
all wisdom without any folly,
all truth without any falsehood,
all light without any darkness, and all holiness without any sinfulness.
God is universally holy.
He is holy in all His ways,
and holy in all His works.
His precepts are holy precepts,
His promises are holy promises,
His threatenings are holy threatenings, His love is a holy love,
His anger is a holy anger,
His hatred is a holy hatred, etc.
His nature is holy,
His attributes are holy, His actions are all holy.
He is holy in sparing;
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and holy in punishing.
He is holy in justifying of some;
and holy in condemning of others.
He is holy in bringing some to Heaven; and holy in throwing others to Hell.
God is holy . . .
in all His sayings,
in all His doings,
in whatever He puts His hand to, in whatever He sets His heart to. His frowns are holy,
His smiles are holy.
When He gives, His givings are holy giving;
when He takes away, His takings are holy takings, etc.
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord Almighty!” Isaiah 6:3
God is eminently holy. He is transcendently holy. he is superlatively holy. He is glorious in holiness.
There is no fathoming,
there is no measuring,
there is no comprehending,
there is no searching, of that
infinite sea of holiness, which is in God.
O sirs! you shall as soon . . . stop the sun in its course, and change the day into night, and raise the dead,
and make a world, and
count the stars of Heaven, and
empty the sea with a cockle-shell, as you shall be able either to conceive or express that transcendent holiness which is in God!
God’s holiness is infinite. It can neither be . . . limited, nor
lessened, nor
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increased.
God is the spring of all holiness and purity.
All that holiness which is in angels and men flows from God, as the streams from the fountain,
as the beams from the sun,
as the branches from the root,
as the effect from the cause.
Ministers may pray that their people may be holy, parents may pray that their children may be holy; but they cannot give holiness, nor communicate holiness to their nearest and dearest relations. God alone is the giver and the author of all holiness. It is only the Holy One who can cause holiness to flow into sinners’ hearts; it is only He who can form, and frame, and infuse holiness into the souls of men. A man shall sooner make a world — than he shall make another holy.
It is only a holy God, who can: enlighten the mind, and
bow the will, and
melt the heart, and
raise the affections, and
purge the conscience, and
reform the life, and
put the whole man into a holy gracious temper.
God is exemplary holy. He is the rule, example, and pattern of holiness. “Be holy, as I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15 God’s holiness is the copy which we must always have in our eye, and endeavor most exactly to write after.
THE BEST MEANS TO MORTIFY SIN
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“Therefore, put to death whatever in you is worldly: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5
While a darling sin lives and keeps the throne in the heart, grace and holiness will be kept exceeding weak and low. But when your darling sin is dethroned and slain by the power and the sword of the Spirit — grace
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and holiness will quickly grow stronger and stronger, and rise higher and higher.
When a man has eaten poison, nothing will make him thrive, until he has vomited up the poison. Beloved sins — they are the poison of the soul, and until these are vomited up, and cast out by sound repentance, and the exercise of faith in the blood of Christ, the soul will never thrive in grace and holiness!
If ever you would attain to higher degrees of holiness, then fall with all your might, upon subduing and crucifying your most raging corruptions, and your most daring lusts!
Oh do not think that your golden and your silver idols will lay down their weapons, and yield the battle, and lie at your feet, and let you trample them to death — without striking a blow! Oh remember that besetting-sins will do all they can to keep their ground, and therefore you must arise with all your strength against them, crush them to powder, and burn them to ashes!
Oh deal with your most enraged lusts, as the Philistines dealt with Samson — pluck out their eyes, and force them to grind in the mill of mortification, until their strength is utterly consumed and wasted.
I have read of five men, who being asked what was the best means to mortify sin, gave these answers.
Said the first, “The best means to mortify sin, is to meditate on death.”
Said the second, “The best means to mortify sin, is to meditate on the judgment-day.”
Said the third, “The best means to mortify sin, is to meditate on the joys of Heaven.”
Said the fourth, “The best means to mortify sin, is to meditate on the torments of Hell.”
Said the fifth, “The best means to mortify sin,
is to meditate on the death and sufferings of Christ.”
Doubtless the last man hit the nail on the head!
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thing which will subdue and mortify darling sins!
O friends! Never leave looking up to a crucified Christ, until virtue flows from Him to the crucifying of those special besetting sins which do most obstruct and hinder the growth and increase of holiness.
IS THERE NO SILENT LESSON HERE FOR US?
Horatius Bonar, “Bethany and Its Feast”
“While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came to Him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on His head as He was reclining at the table.” Matthew 26:6-7
Reverence, homage, love — are all embodied in this act. She grudges no cost for Him whom she so reverently loves.
“She has done a beautiful thing to Me!” Matthew 26:10
It is Mary whom Jesus marks and commends. Her fervent love, pouring itself out in one single act of devotion, gets the highest notice.
Is there no silent lesson here for us? It is not labor, nor suffering, which get the highest commendation from Jesus. It is love — pure, warm, ungrudging, loyal love! It is this which gets the Master’s “Well done.” He can do without the others — but not without this.
YELLOW AND WHITE GUTS AND GARBAGE
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“You cannot serve both God and Money.” Luke 16:13
Riches are the great god of the world, and are rather a hindrance, than a help to Heaven and happiness. Gold and silver, which are but the yellow and white guts and garbage of the earth, is fitly called by the prophet, “thick clay,” which will sooner break a man’s back than satisfy his heart! Oh, what folly and madness is it for a man to be still a-loading of himself with the clay of this world!
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Though the horse is loaded with rich treasure all the day long — yet when night comes he is turned into the dark stinking stable, with an empty belly, and with his back full of galls, sores, and bruises.
Just so, though vain muckworms are loaded with the treasures of this world during the day of their life — yet when the night of death comes, then they shall be turned into a dark stinking Hell, with consciences full of guilt and galls, and with souls full of sores and bruises; and then what good will all their treasures do them?
“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timothy 6:9-10
A SEA OF GRACE — OR BUT A DROP OF GRACE
Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness” 1662
“Those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.” Romans 8:30
God’s love is equal to all His saints, whether they are rich or poor, high or low, slave or free; whether they have a sea of grace — or but a drop of grace. God’s love runs as much out to the weakest Christian, as it does to the strongest; as much to a babe in grace as to a giant in grace.
All saints are equally ELECTED. God never chose one man to be a more vessel of glory than another; the weakest saint is as much elected as the strongest.
All saints are equally REDEEMED by Jesus Christ. Christ bled as much for one saint as another, and He sweat as much for one saint as another, and He sighed and groaned as much for one saint as another, and He trod the wine-press of His Father’s wrath as much for one saint as another. Christ paid as great a price for His lambs — as for His sheep. Christ paid as great a price for Lazarus in his rags — as for David in his royal robes.
All saints are equally EFFECTUALLY CALLED. One saint is as much
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called out of the kingdom of darkness as another; and one saint is as much called to Jesus Christ as another. In effectual calling, God looks with as favorable an eye upon one, as He does upon another.
All saints are equally JUSTIFIED. Though one saint may be more sanctified than another — yet no saint is more justified than another. The weakest believer is as much justified and pardoned before the throne of God as the strongest is. That pure, perfect, matchless, and spotless righteousness of Christ, is as much imputed to one saint as it is to another.
All saints are equally ADOPTED. The weakest believer is as much an adopted son of God, as the strongest believer in the world is. God is no more a father to one than He is to another. In human families, the babe in the mother’s arms is as much a son — as he who is of riper years.
Thus you see that God’s love is equal to all His saints.
WE ARE TO SUBMIT TO HIS HOLY WILL
Mary Winslow, “Walking with Jesus”
There is nothing that can take place towards a child of God but what our heavenly Father designs, in infinite love, for our spiritual advancement, and His own glory. We are to submit to His holy will, and believe that there was a ‘needs be’ for it.
The Lord loves His children too well to lay upon them the weight of a feather, without an absolute necessity, and without some wise and loving purpose. God deals wisely and graciously with us in all His varying dispensations.
If tears could be shed in Heaven, we would weep that we ever mistrusted His goodness in His dealings towards us.
I WAS THAT SOLDIER WHO MURDERED YOU!
Thomas Brooks, “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures”
“He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
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Our sins were the cause of Christ’s sufferings!
It was our transgressions which gave Christ His deadly wounds! It was our sins which smote Him, and bruised Him! Every Christian may look upon Christ and say, “I was that Judas who betrayed You! I was that soldier who murdered You! It was my sins which brought all those sorrows, and sufferings, and evils upon You!
I have sinned — and You have suffered!
I have sinned — and You have died!
I have wounded You — and You have healed me!”
Oh, that we might look upon . . .
a humble Christ — with a humble heart,
a broken Christ — with a broken heart,
a bleeding Christ — with a bleeding heart, a wounded Christ — with a wounded heart!
“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree; by His wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
Here you see that the physician’s blood became the sick man’s salve! Here is the gospel mystery — that the wounding of one, should be the cure of another!
Oh, what an odious thing is sin to God — that He will pardon none without blood, yes, without the precious blood of His dearest Son! Oh, what a Hell of wickedness must there be in sin — that nothing can expiate it but the best, the purest, the noblest blood of Christ! Oh, what a transcendent evil must sin be — that nothing can purge it away but death — the accursed death of the cross! Oh, what a leprosy is sin — that it must have blood, yes, the blood of God, to take it away!
GOD’S BAG AND BOTTLE
Thomas Brooks, “Paradise Opened” 1675
“My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and You sew up my iniquity.”
Job 14:17
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in
your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book.” Psalm 56:8 121

God counted all those weary steps which David took in passing through those great forests, when he fled from Saul. While David was hunted up and down like a partridge, and chased out of every bush, and was driven from one country to another — God was all this while, a-noting down and a-numbering of all his sorrows, and a-bottling up all his tears, and a- booking down all his sighs!
Not a single tear of mine is ever lost, but kept safe in God’s bottle — as so much sweet water.
God is said in Scripture to have a bag and a bottle: a bag for our sins, and a bottle for our tears. And oh that we would all labor to fill His bottle with our tears of repentance, as we have filled His bag with our sins!
THE LAND OF CABUL
Thomas Brooks, “A Word in Season to Suffering Saints”
“An incorruptible inheritance.” 1 Peter 1:4
All earthly inheritances are liable to corruption; they are true gardens of Adonis — where we can gather nothing but trivial flowers, surrounded with many briars, thorns and thistles.
Oh, the hands, the hearts, the thoughts, the lives — which have been corrupted by earthly inheritances! Oh, the impure love, the carnal confidence, the vain boastings, the sensual joys — which have been the products of earthly inheritances!
If a man’s estate lies in money — that may rust, or thieves may break in and steal it. If a man’s estate lies in cattle — they may die, or fall into the hands of the Sabeans and Chaldeans. If a man’s estate lies in houses — they may be burnt. Witness the recent dreadful fire that turned London into a ruinous heap! If a man’s estate lies in lands — a foreign enemy may invade them and conquer them.
All earthly inheritances are no better than the cities which Solomon gave to Hiram, which he called Cabul, that is, ’worthless, good-for-nothing, displeasing, dirty.’
“But when Hiram went from Tyre to see the towns that Solomon had given him, he was not pleased with them. ‘What kind of towns are these
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you have given me, my brother?’ he asked. And he called them the Land of Cabul, a name they have to this day.” 1 Kings 9:12-13
Earthly inheritances do but dirt, daub, and dust people. It is only the heavenly inheritance which is incorruptible.
THEY CHAINED AND NAILED THEIR GOD APOLLO TO A POST
Thomas Brooks, “A Word in Season to Suffering Saints” “Moses said unto God — If Your presence does not go with us,
do not send us up from here!” Exodus 33:15
Nothing would satisfy Moses, below the presence of God, because he knew that it would be better that they should never move a foot farther — as to go on without God’s favorable presence.
God promised that His angel would drive all their enemies out of the land. “Oh, but if Your presence does not go with us — do not send us up from here!”
“Yes, but I will bring the necks of all your proud, stout, strong, and subtle enemies under your feet!” “Oh, but if Your presence does not go with us — do not send us up from here!”
“Yes, but I will bring you to a land flowing with milk and honey. I will make you to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock; and you shall drink the finest wine!” “Oh, but if Your presence does not go with us — do not send us up from here!”
“Yes, but I will bring you to the paradise of the world — to a place of pleasure and delight, to Canaan, a type of Heaven!” “Oh, but if Your presence does not go with us — do not send us up from here! O Lord, if I might have my wish, my desire, my choice — I had infinitely rather to live in a barren, howling wilderness with Your presence — than in Canaan without it! It is a mercy to have an angel to guard us, it is a mercy to have our enemies sprawling under our feet, it is a mercy to be brought into a pleasant land. Oh, but if Your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here! Lord, nothing will please us, nothing will profit us, nothing will secure us, nothing will satisfy us — without Your presence!”
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I have read of the Tyrians, that they bound their gods with chains — that they might secure them, and not be conquered by their enemies. And among the rest, they chained and nailed their god Apollo to a post — that they might be sure to keep their idol, because they thought their safety was in it.
I am sure of this — that our safety, our comfort, our all — lies in the special presence of God with us! Therefore let us, by faith and prayer — chain God to our self! If we let Him go, a thousand worlds cannot make up His absence!
The heathens in Troy imagined that so long as their idol was kept safe, they were unconquerable; all the strength and power of Greece would never be able to prevail against them. Therefore the Grecians sought by all the means they could — to get this idol from them.
O my friends, so long as you keep the presence of God with you — I am sure you are unconquerable! But if God withdraws His special presence — the weakest enemy will be too hard for you; yes, wounded men will prevail over you!
The burning bush, which was a type of the church, was not consumed — because God was in the midst of it. Oh, do but keep God’s special presence with you — and nothing shall hurt you, nothing shall burn you! But if God’s special presence departs — nothing can secure you!
“Moses said unto God — If Your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here!” Exodus 33:15
I BEQUEATH MY PASTOR’S SOUL TO THE DEVIL
Thomas Brooks, “A Word in Season to Suffering Saints” “Covetousness, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5
Covetousness is explicit idolatry.
Covetousness is the darling sin of our nation.
This leprosy has infected all sorts and ranks of men. Covetousness being idolatry, and the root of all evil, is highly provoking to God.
Whatever a man loves most and best — that is his god.
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The covetous man looks upon the riches of the world as his Heaven — his happiness — his great all.
His heart is most upon the world,
his thoughts are most upon the world,
his affections are most upon the world, his discourse is most about the world.
He who has his mind taken up with the world, and chiefly delighted with the world’s music — he has also his tongue tuned to the same key, and takes his joy and comfort in speaking of nothing else but the world and worldly things. If the world is in the heart — it will break out at the lips. A worldly-minded man speaks of nothing but worldly things. “They are of the world, therefore they speak of the world,” John 4:5. The love of this world oils the tongue for worldly discourses, and makes men . . .
forget God, neglect Christ, despise holiness, forfeit Heaven.
Ah! the time, the thoughts, the strength, the efforts, which are spent upon the world, and the things of the world; while sinners’ souls lie a-bleeding, and eternity is hastening upon them!
I have read of a greedy banker, who was always best when he was most in talking of money and the world. Being near his death, he was much pressed to make his will. Finally he dictates:
First, I bequeath my own soul to the devil
— for being so greedy for the muck of this world!
Secondly, I bequeath my wife’s soul to the devil — for persuading me to this worldly course of life.
Thirdly, I bequeath my pastor’s soul to the devil — because he did not show me the danger I lived in, nor reprove me for it.
“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.” 1 Timothy 6:9
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THE PRESENCE OF A LOVING GOD!
Thomas Brooks, “A Word in Season to Suffering Saints”
“You were precious in My sight, and I have loved you.” Isaiah 43:4 God loves His people with a first love! 1 John 4:19
“We love Him because He first loved us.” By nature we were without God, and afar off from God; we were strangers to God, and enemies to God, yes, haters of God! Therefore if God had not loved us first — we would have been everlastingly undone!
God loves His people with a free love! Hosea 14:4, “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely.” I know they are backslidden — but I will heal their backslidings. I know there is nothing at all in them, which is excellent or eminent, which is honorable or acceptable, which is laudable or lovely — yet “I will love them freely” — of My own, free, rich, absolute, and sovereign grace!
God loves His people with an everlasting love! Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, with loving-kindness have I drawn you.” That is, “I love you with the love of perpetuity, or with the love of eternity. My love and My affections to you shall continue forever!”
God loves His people with an unchangeable love! Malachi 3:6, “I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.” Men change, and counsels change, and occurrences change, and friends change, and relations change, and kingdoms change; but God never changes! “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man, that He should change His mind,” 1 Samuel 15:29. God is immutable in His nature, in His essence, in His counsels, in His attributes, in His decrees, in His promises, etc. He is Omnina immutabilis, “Altogether immutable!”
God loves His people . . . with a special love,
with a peculiar love,
with a distinguishing love, with a superlative love!
God loves His people with the greatest love, with a matchless love! John 3:16, “God so loved.” This signifies . . .
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the greatness of God’s love, the vehemence of His love, and the admirableness of His love.
What an unspeakable comfort must this be to God’s people — to have the presence of a loving God, to have the presence of such a loving God with them in all their troubles and deep distresses! If the presence of a loving friend, a loving relation in our troubles and distresses, is such a mercy — oh, what then is the presence of a loving God!
HE LEAPS INTO A SEA OF WRATH!
Thomas Brooks, “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures”
Christ went through Heaven and Hell, life and death, sorrow and suffering, misery and cruelty — and all to bring us to glory! And shall we not prize Him?
When in a storm, the nobles of Xerxes had to lighten the ship to preserve their king’s life — they leaped into the sea! But our Lord Jesus Christ, to preserve our lives, our souls — He leaps into a sea of wrath!
Oh, whenever we cast an eye upon Christ’s sufferings, let us stand and wonder; yes, let us be swallowed up in a deep admiration of Christ’s love, and of His Father’s impartial justice!
A daily eyeing of the cross of Christ, would . . . scatter a Christian’s fears,
arm him against temptations,
support him under afflictions,
weaken his sins, strengthen his graces, cheer his soul, and mend his life!
WOULD HE NOT STAB IT WITH A THOUSAND WOUNDS?
Thomas Brooks, “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures”
Sin never appears so odious, as when we behold it in the red glass of
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Christ’s sufferings. Can we look upon sin as the occasion of all Christ’s sufferings; can we look upon sin as that which made Christ a curse, and which made Him forsaken of His Father, and which made Him live such a miserable life, and which brought Him to die such a shameful, painful, and cruel death — and our hearts not rise against it?
Shall our sins be grievous unto Christ — and shall they not be odious unto us? Shall He die for our sins — and shall not we die to our sins? Did not He suffer for sin — that we might cease from sin?
If one would kill our father — would we hug and embrace him? Surely not! We would be revenged on him. Sin has killed our Savior — and shall we not be revenged on it?
Can a man look upon that snake which has stung his dearly-loved wife to death — and preserve it alive, warm it at the fire, and hug it in his bosom? Would he not stab it with a thousand wounds? It is sin which has stung our dear Jesus to death, which has crucified our Lord, clouded His glory, and shed His precious blood! Oh, how should this stir up our indignation against sin!
Ah, how can a Christian make much of those sins, which have killed his dearest Lord! how can he cherish those sins which betrayed Christ, and bound Christ, and condemned Christ, and scourged Christ, and which violently nailed Him to the cross, and there murdered Him!
It was neither Judas, nor Pilate, nor the Jews, nor the soldiers — which could have done our Lord Jesus the least hurt — had not our sins, like so many butchers and hangmen, come in to their assistance!
KEEP A FIXED EYE UPON A BLEEDING CHRIST
Thomas Brooks, “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures”
Has Jesus Christ suffered such great and grievous things for you? Oh then, in all your fears, doubts, and conflicts with enemies — within or without — fly to the sufferings of Christ as your city of refuge!
In every temptation let us look up to a crucified Christ, who is fitted and qualified to support tempted souls. Oh my soul, whenever you are assaulted, let the wounds of Christ be your city of refuge where you may fly and live! Let us learn, in every trouble which presses us — whether it
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be sin, temptation, or any other evil — to translate it from ourselves to Christ! And all the good in Christ — let us learn to translate it from Christ to ourselves!
Do your sins terrify you? Oh then, look up to a crucified Savior, who bore your sins in His own body on the tree! When sin stares you in the face, oh then turn your face to a dying Jesus, and behold Him . . .
with a spear in His side,
with thorns in His head, with nails in His feet,
and a pardon in His hands!
Oh, remember that there is nothing in Heaven or earth more efficacious to cure the wounds of conscience, than a frequent and serious meditation on the wounds of Christ!
Ah, Christians, under all your temptations, afflictions, fears, doubts, conflicts, and trials — be persuaded to keep a fixed eye upon a crucified Jesus! And remember that all He did — He did for you; and that all He suffered — He suffered for you! This will be a strong cordial to keep you from fainting under all your distresses. Oh, that Christians would labor, under all their soul-troubles, to keep a fixed eye upon a bleeding Christ; for there is nothing which will ease them, quiet them, settle them, and satisfy them, like this!
Many, may I not say most, Christians are more apt to eye their sins, their sorrows, their prayers, their tears, their resolves, their complaints — than they are to eye a suffering Christ. And from hence springs their great woes, wounds, miseries, and dejection of spirit. Oh, that a crucified Christ might be forever in your eye — and always upon your hearts!
HOW SO?
Thomas Brooks, “Paradise Opened” 1675
All mankind would have been eternally lost, had God not, of His own free
grace and mercy, made a covenant of grace with poor sinners.
“They will be My people, and I will be their God.” Jeremiah 32:38
This is a comprehensive promise, for God to be our God — it includes all.
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The covenant of grace is an agreement, which God has made with sinful man, out of His mere mercy and grace, wherein He undertakes for fallen man, to make him everlastingly happy. God engages that He will be our God; that is, as if He said, “You shall have an interest in all My attributes for your good:
My grace shall be yours to pardon you, My power shall be yours to protect you, My wisdom shall be yours to direct you, My goodness shall be yours to relieve you, My mercy shall be yours to supply you, My glory shall be yours to crown you.”
“I will make an everlasting covenant with them; that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put My fear into their hearts — that they shall not depart from Me.” Jeremiah 32:40
The covenant of grace is everlasting on God’s part, and also on our part. On God’s part, “I will never turn away from them to do them good.” And on our part, “they shall never depart from Me.” How so? “I will put My fear into their hearts — that they shall not depart from Me.” That they shall persevere, and hold out to the end — I will so deeply rivet a reverent dread of Myself in their souls — as shall cause them to believe, love, repent, obey, cling and cleave, and keep close to Me forever.
O sirs! this is the glory of the covenant of grace — that whatever God requires on man’s part, that He undertakes to perform for man!
“I will also sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will place My Spirit within you and cause you to follow My statutes and carefully observe My ordinances.” Ezekiel 36:25-27
WHEN ADAM FELL
Thomas Brooks, “Paradise Opened” 1675
Adam’s first estate was a state of perfect knowledge, wisdom and understanding. It was a perfect state of holiness, righteousness and happiness. There was nothing within him, but what was desirable and
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delectable; there was nothing without him, but what was amiable and commendable; nor was there anything around him, but what was serviceable and comfortable. Adam, in his innocent estate, was . . .
the epitome of wisdom and knowledge,
the image of God,
the delight of Heaven, the glory of the creation, the world’s great master, the Lord’s great darling.
But when Adam fell — we fell.
When he lost all — we lost all.
There are five things we lost in our fall:

  1. Our holy image — and so became vile;
  2. Our divine sonship — and so became children of Satan; 3. Our friendship with God — and so became His enemies; 4. Our communion with God — and so became strangers; 5. Our happiness — and so became miserable.
    Sin and death came into the world by Adam’s fall.
    “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17
    O sirs! what a wonder is this — that the great God, who was so transcendently dishonored, despised, provoked, incensed, and injured by poor base sinners; should so freely, so readily, so graciously, condescend to vile forlorn sinners — as to own them, as to love them, and as to enter into a covenant of grace and mercy with them! This may well be the wonder of angels, and the astonishment of men!
    THE COVENANT OF GRACE
    Thomas Brooks, “Paradise Opened” 1675
    “He has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure. Will He not bring to fruition my salvation and grant me my every desire?” 2 Samuel 23:5
    All mankind would have been eternally lost — had God not, of His own
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free grace and mercy, made a new covenant with sinful man. The fountain from whence His new covenant flows, is the sovereign grace and mercy of God. There was nothing outside of God, nor anything in God, but His mere mercy and grace — which moved Him to enter into covenant with poor sinners, who were miserable and loathsome and polluted; and and were actually in arms against Him!
As there was nothing in fallen man to draw God’s favor or affection towards him; just so — there was everything in fallen man which might justly provoke God’s wrath and indignation against him! Therefore it must be a very high act of favor and grace — for the great, the glorious, the holy, the wise, and the all-sufficient God — to enter into covenant with such a forlorn creature as fallen man was!
Oh, the admirable counsel, wisdom, love, care and tenderness of the blessed God — which sparkles and shines in the well-ordering of the covenant of grace! Oh, how lovely and beautiful, with what symmetry and proportion, are all things in this covenant ordered and prepared! Oh, what head can conceive, or what tongue can express — that infinite wisdom which God has manifested in ordering the covenant of grace — so as it may most and best suit to all the needs, and straits, and necessities, and miseries, and desires, and longings of poor sinners’ souls! Here are fit and full supplies for all our spiritual needs! In the covenant of grace, every poor sinner may find . . .
a suitable help,
a suitable remedy, a suitable support, a suitable supply!
The covenant of grace, is so well ordered by the unsearchable wisdom of God, that you may find in it . . .
remedies to cure all your spiritual diseases,
cordials to comfort you under all your soul-faintings,
and a spiritual armory to arm you against . . . all sorts of sins, and
all sorts of snares, and
all sorts of temptations, and
all sorts of oppositions, and
all sorts of enemies — whether inward
or outward, open or secret, subtle or silly. Do you, O distressed sinner — need . . .
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a loving God,
a compassionate God,
a reconciled God,
a sin-pardoning God,
a tender-hearted God?
Here you may find Him in the covenant of grace!
Do you, O sinner — need a Christ . . . to counsel you by His wisdom,
to clothe you with His righteousness, to enrich you with His grace,
to enlighten you with His eye salve, to justify you from your sins,
to reconcile you to God,
to secure you from wrath to come, to bring you to Heaven?
Here you may find Him in a covenant of grace!
Do you, O sinner! need the Holy Spirit . . .
to awaken you,
to convince you of sin, righteousness and judgment, to enlighten and teach you,
to lead and guide you in the everlasting way,
to cleanse you,
to comfort you?
Here you may find Him in the covenant of grace!
O sinner! Do you need grace, all grace, great grace, abundance of grace, multiplied grace? Here you may find it in the covenant of grace!
O sinner! Do you need peace, or ease, or rest, or quiet in your conscience? Here you may find it in the covenant of grace!
O sinner! Do you need contentment, or comfort, or joy, or satisfaction? Here you may have it in the covenant of grace!
O sinner, sinner! whatever your soul needs are — they may all be supplied out of the covenant of grace! God, in His infinite wisdom and love, has laid into the covenant of grace, as into a common storehouse, all those good things, and all those great things, and all those suitable things — that either sinners or saints can either desire or need!
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A MAN OF NEW PRINCIPLES
Thomas Brooks, “Paradise Opened” 1675
“If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away,
behold all things are become new!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
A new creature has . . . a new judgment,
a new will,
new affections,
new thoughts,
new company,
new choices,
new laws,
new ways,
new works, etc.
A new creature is a changed creature throughout.
The new creature includes a new light, a new sight, a new understanding. The new creature sees sin to be the greatest evil, and Christ and holiness to be the chief good. When a man is a new creature, he has a new judgment and opinion — he looks upon God as his only happiness, and Christ as his all in all, and upon the ways of God as ways of pleasantness. The new man has new cares, new requests, new desires, “Oh that my heart may be adorned with grace!”
The new man is a man of new principles.
If you make a serious inspection into his soul, you shall find a principle . . .
of faith,
of repentance,
of holiness,
of love,
of contentment,
of patience, etc.
The new man experiences a new combat and conflict in his soul. “The flesh lusts against the spirit, and the spirit lusts against the flesh.” He combats with all sorts of known sins — whether they are great or small, inward or outward, whether they are the sins of the heart or the sins of the life. This conflict in the new man is a daily conflict, a constant conflict.
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The new creature can never, the new creature will never, be at peace with sin; sin and the new creature will fight it out to the death. The new creature will never be brought into a league of friendship with sin.
The new man is a man of a new life. A new life always attends a new heart. You see it in Paul, Mary Magdalene, Zaccheus, the jailor, and all the others that are upon Scripture record.
The new man has new society, new company. Holy society is the only society for people with holy hearts, and in that society can no man delight, until God renews his heart by grace.
The new man walks by a new rule, which is the written Word of God. This rule he sets up for all matters of faith, and for all matters of practice.
Well, friends, whatever you do forget, be sure that forever you remember this — that none can or shall be glorious creatures, but such as by grace are made new creatures.
FULLY, COMPLETELY AND PERFECTLY
Thomas Brooks, “Paradise Opened” 1675
“I will be their God, and they will be My people. For I will forgive their
wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:10, 12
God will pardon the sins of His people fully, completely and perfectly. Neither the . . .
many kinds of sins,
nor many degrees of sin,
nor many aggravations of sin,
nor even the multitude of sins,
can ever harm those souls who are in covenant with God. God has mercy enough, and pardons enough, for all His covenant-people’s sins — whether original or actual,
whether against the law or against the gospel,
whether against the light of nature or the rule of grace,
whether against mercies or judgments.
The covenant remedy against all kinds and degrees of sin — infinitely transcends and surpasses . . .
all our infirmities and enormities,
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all our weaknesses and wickednesses, all our follies and unworthinesses, etc.
What is . . .
our unrighteousness — compared to Christ’s righteousness; our debts — compared to Christ’s pardons;
our unholiness — compared to Christ’s holiness;
our emptiness — compared to Christ’s fullness;
our weakness — compared to Christ’s strength;
our poverty — compared to Christ’s riches;
our wounds — compared to Christ’s healing balm?
“The Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands; and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.” Exodus 34:6-7
A merciful God, a gracious God — will pardon all kinds of sinners, and all kinds and degrees of sin.
Oh, what astounding mercy, what rich grace is here! that God will not only pardon our light, our small offences; but our great and mighty sins! God will never upbraid His people for . . .
their follies,
their miscarriages, their unkindness, their unfruitfulness, their unthankfulness, their vileness,
their stubbornness, their wickedness.
HIS DREADFUL THREATENINGS!
Thomas Brooks, “Paradise Opened” 1675
Sin and sorrow, iniquity and misery — always go hand in hand.
“The wages of sin is death,” Romans 6:23. Every sinner is worthy of death. “Those who do such things deserve death,” Romans 1:32. If God is a just and righteous God, then sin cannot absolutely escape unpunished; for it is but “a just and righteous thing with God” — to punish the sinner who is worthy of punishment. As God must be just — so He must be
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faithful. And if He must be faithful — then He must carry out His threatenings against sin and sinners!
Look! As there is not a promise of God but shall surely take place; just so, there is not a threatening of God but shall surely take place. The faithfulness of God, and the honor of God, are as much concerned in making good of His dreadful threatenings — as they are concerned in making good of His precious promises. God has given it from His own mouth, that:
“He will by no means clear the guilty;”
“the soul that sins, shall surely die;”
“the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him;” “He will render to every man according to his deeds.”
Will God abrogate His own laws — or will He dare men to sport and play with His threatenings? Will not every wise and prudent king look to the execution of their own laws? And shall not that God, who is wonderful in wisdom, and whose understanding is infinite — see all that all His laws are put in execution against offenders? Surely yes!
“He will repay them for their sins and destroy them for their wickedness; the LORD our God will destroy them!” Psalm 94:23 “I will not look on you with pity or spare you; I will repay you in accordance with your conduct and the detestable practices among you. Then you will know that it is I the LORD who strikes the blow!” Ezekiel 7:9 “When I sharpen My flashing sword and My hand grasps it in judgment, I will take vengeance on My adversaries and repay those who hate Me.” Deuteronomy 32:41
REDEEMED
Thomas Brooks, “Paradise Opened” 1675
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers.” 1 Peter 1:18
Christ redeems us from all sin — and from all the consequences of sin. He endured the wrath of God to the uttermost — for everyone who believes on Him.
By this redemption . . . justice is satisfied,
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wrath is pacified,
grace is procured,
all spiritual enemies are vanquished.
Each child of God is redeemed from . . . the love of sin,
the guilt of sin,
the dominion of sin,
the damnatory power of sin, the power of Satan,
the curse of the law,
Hell and wrath to come!
The work of redemption was a great work. The greatness of the person employed in this work, speaks out the work to be a great work.
The great and invaluable price which was paid down for our redemption, speaks it out to be a great redemption. The price that we are bought with, is a price beyond all computation.
This redemption that we have in Christ, is a free and gracious redemption. All the rounds in this ladder of redemption, are made up of free, rich, and sovereign grace! Though our redemption cost Christ dearly — yet as to us it is most free!
Jesus Christ has completely done the work of our redemption. He does not redeem us from some of our sins, and leave us to grapple with the rest. Oh, no! Christ makes a most complete work of it.
He redeems us from all our iniquities.
He delivers us out of the hands of all our enemies. He pays all debts,
He delivers from all wrath,
He takes off the whole curse,
He saves to the uttermost,
and will settle us in a state of full and perfect bliss —
when grace shall be turned into glory.
The redemption which we have in Jesus Christ, is an eternal, a permanent, a lasting, yes, an everlasting redemption! “Having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Hebrews 9:12
There are many choice and rare spiritual benefits which flow from 138

redemption:
reconciliation with God, remission of our sins, justification of our persons, adoption into God’s family, sanctification,
full glorification.
Redemption sweetens all the bitterest trials and sharpest afflictions, which we meet with in this world.
Redemption is a rich mine, containing a mass of treasure which cannot be valued. Could we dig into it, could we pry into it — we would find that it contains unsearchable riches . . .
riches of grace, of all grace,
riches of justification, riches of sanctification, riches of consolation, riches of glorification, the best of riches,
the most durable riches, soul riches,
heavenly riches!
“They are Your servants and Your people, whom You redeemed by Your great strength and Your mighty hand!” Nehemiah 1:10
GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD
Thomas Brooks, “Paradise Opened” 1675
“God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son.”
John 3:16
Oh! what kind of love is this, for God to give . . . His Son — not His servant;
His begotten Son — not His adopted Son;
His only Son — and not one son of many.
We see here . . .
the firstness of the Father’s love, and the freeness of the Father’s love, and
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the vehemency of the Father’s love, and the admirableness of the Father’s love, and the matchlessness of the Father’s love!
Says God the Father to His Son, “Here is man — fallen from his primitive purity, glory, and excellency — into a most woeful gulf of sin and misery! He who was once a son — has now become a slave; he who was once Our friend — has now become Our enemy; he who was once near Us — is now afar off; he who was once in Our favor — is now cast off; he who was once made in Our image — has now the image of Satan stamped upon him; he who had once sweet communion with Us — has now fellowship with the devil and his demons! Out of this forlorn estate, he can never deliver himself! Neither can all the angels in Heaven deliver him! Now this being man’s woeful case and state, I make this offer to You, O my Son: If, in the fullness of time, You will assume the nature of man, tread the winepress of My wrath alone, bear the curse, shed your blood, die, suffer, satisfy My justice, fulfill My royal law — then I can, upon the most honorable terms imaginable, save fallen man, and put him into a safer and happier condition than he ever was — and give You a noble reward for all Your sufferings.”
Upon this Jesus Christ replies: “O my Father! I am very ready and willing to do, to suffer, to die — to satisfy Your justice, to comply with You in all Your noble and gracious inclinations — that poor sinners may be sanctified and saved, made gracious and glorious, holy and happy; that poor sinners may never perish, that poor sinners may be secured from wrath to come, and be brought into a state of light, life and love! I am willing to make Myself an offering for their sin. Lo, I am come to do Your will, O God.”
THIS IS THE VERY KNIFE WHICH CUT THE THROAT OF YOUR CHILD!
Thomas Brooks, “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures”
Suppose a man should come to his dinner table, and there should be a knife laid down, and it should be told him, “This is the very knife which cut the throat of your child!” If the man would use this knife as a common knife, would not everyone say, “Surely this man had but very little love to his child, who can use this bloody knife as a common knife!”
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Just so, when you meet with any temptation to sin, oh, then say, “This is the very knife which cut the throat of Jesus, and pierced His sides! This very knife was the cause of His sufferings, and made Christ to be a curse!” Ah, how should Christians look upon sin as that accursed thing, which made Christ a curse — and accordingly to abhor it! Oh, with what detestation should every Christian fling away his sins! “Sin, you have slain my Lord — and poured out His heart’s blood! You have been the only cause of the death of my Savior!”
Look upon the cross on which Christ was crucified, and the pains He suffered thereon — and the seeming sweetness which is in sin will quickly vanish. When you are solicited to sin, cast your eye upon Christ’s cross; remember His astonishing sufferings for your sin, and sin will soon grow distasteful to your soul. How can sin not be hateful to us — if we seriously consider how hurtful it was to Jesus Christ?
THE BOOK OF LIFE
Thomas Brooks, “Paradise Opened” 1675
“And another book was opened, which is the book of life.”
Revelation 20:12
The names of the elect are written in the book of life. They do not obtain salvation by chance, but were elected by God to eternal life and happiness before the foundation of the world. Now their names being once written in the book of life, they shall never, never be blotted out of that book! In the book of predestination there is not one blot to be found; the salvation of the elect is most sure and certain!
“I will never blot out his name from the book of life.” Revelation 3:5
The book of life is the book of all those who were elected and redeemed to life, through Jesus Christ. This book of life contains a register of such particular persons in whose salvation, God from all eternity determined to have His mercy glorified; and for whom Christ merited faith, repentance, and perseverance — that they should repent, believe, and be finally saved.
“The book of life shall be opened;” that is to say, the decrees of God will be then published and made known, which now are sealed up in His bosom and locked up in His archives. Then it will be seen whom are appointed to eternal life — for the glorifying of God’s free, rich, and
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sovereign grace; and whom He purposed to leave in their sins, and to perish forever — for the exaltation of His justice.
“Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Revelation 21:27
The book of life shall be opened in the great day, because then it shall be shown . . .
who were elect — and who were reprobates;
who truly believed in Christ — and who did not;
who worshiped God in spirit and in truth — and who did not; who walked with God as Noah did — and who did not;
who truly reverenced God — and who did not;
who followed the Lamb wherever He went — and who did not; who were sincere — and who were not;
who are sheep — and who are goats;
who are sons of God — and who are slaves of Satan;
who have mourned for their sins — and who have made a sport of sin; who preferred Christ above ten thousand worlds — and who did not; who preferred their farms, and their oxen, and their swine,
yes, their very lusts — before a Savior, a Redeemer!
“If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire!” Revelation 20:15
LOOK UPON DEATH
Thomas Brooks, “Words of counsel to a dear dying friend”
Look upon death as that which is best.
“Better is the day of death, than the day of one’s birth.” Ecclesiastes 7:1
“I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far.” Philippians 1:23
The Greek is very significant — “far, far the better!” A saint’s dying day is the daybreak of eternal glory! In respect of pleasure, peace, safety, company and glory — a believer’s dying day is his best day.
Look upon death as a remedy, as a cure. Death will perfectly cure you 142

of all bodily and spiritual diseases at once: the infirm body and the defiled soul, the aching head and the unbelieving heart. Death will cure you of all your ailments, aches, diseases, and distempers.
In Queen Mary’s days, there was a lame Christian, and a blind Christian — both burned at one stake. The lame man, after he was chained, casting away his crutch, bade the blind man to be of good cheer; “For death,” says he, “will cure us both; you of your blindness, and me of my lameness!”
As death will cure all your bodily diseases, so it will cure all your soul distempers also. Death is not the death of the man — but the death of his sin! Death will at once free you fully, perfectly, and perpetually from all sin; yes, from all possibility of ever sinning! Sin was the midwife which brought death into the world — and death shall be the grave to bury sin.
Why, then, should a Christian be afraid to die, unwilling to die — seeing death gives him an eternal separation . . .
from infirmities and weaknesses,
from all aches and pains,
from griefs and gripings, from distempers and diseases, both of body and soul?
When Samson died, the Philistines died together with him. Just so, when a saint dies, his sins die with him.
Death came in by sin, and sin goes out by death! Death kills sin which bred it.
Look upon death as a rest, a full rest.
A believer’s dying day is his resting day . . . from sin,
from sorrow,
from afflictions,
from temptations, from desertions, from dissensions, from vexations, from oppositions, from persecutions.
This world was never made to be the saints’ rest. “Arise and depart, for this is not your resting place, because it is polluted!” Micah 2:10
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Death brings the saints . . . to a full rest,
to a pleasant rest,
to a matchless rest,
to an eternal rest!
THE DIRTY LANE
Thomas Brooks, “Words of counsel to a dear dying friend”
“For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
Look upon your dying day as a gainful day. There is no gain compared to that which comes in by death. A Christian gets more by death, than he does by life. To be in Christ is very good — but to be with Christ is best of all, “I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far!” Philippians 1:23. It was a mighty blessing for Christ to be with Paul on earth — but it was the top of blessings for Paul to be with Christ in Heaven! Seriously consider these things —
By death you shall gain incomparable crowns! A crown of life, Revelation 2:10; James 1:12;
A crown of righteousness, 2 Timothy 4:8;
An incorruptible crown, 1 Corinthians 9:24-25; A crown of glory, 1 Peter 5:4.
There are no crowns compared to these crowns!
By death you shall gain a glorious kingdom! “It is your Father’s pleasure to give you a kingdom!” We must put off their rags of mortality — that we may put on our robes of glory. There is no entering into paradise — but under the flaming sword of this angel, death — who stands at the gate. Death is the dirty lane through which the saint passes . . .
to a kingdom,
to a great kingdom,
to a glorious kingdom,
to a peaceful kingdom,
to an unshaken kingdom, to a durable kingdom,
to a lasting kingdom, yes, to an everlasting kingdom!
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Death is the dark, short way, through which the saints pass to the marriage-supper of the Lamb!
THE FUNERAL OF ALL YOUR SORROWS!
Thomas Brooks, “Words of counsel to a dear dying friend”
At death, you shall gain full freedom and liberty from all your enemies
within and without — namely, sin, Satan, and the world!
Death will free you from the indwelling power of sin. In this present world, sin plays the tyrant; but in Heaven there is no tyranny — but perfect felicity. As in Hell there is nothing but wickedness, so in Heaven there is nothing but holiness.
Death will free you from all provocations, temptations, and suggestions to sin. You shall be above all Satan’s assaults. The old serpent is cast out, and shall be forever kept out of the new Jerusalem above!
Death will free you from all the effects and consequences of sin — namely, losses, crosses, sicknesses, diseases, disgraces, sufferings, etc. When the cause is taken away, the effect ceases. When the fountain of sin is dried up, the streams of afflictions, of sufferings, must be dried up. Sin and sorrow were born together, live together, and shall die together. Death will free you from all bodily infirmities and diseases.
Death will free you from all your sorrows, whether inward or outward, whether for your own sins or the sins of others, whether for your own sufferings or the sufferings of others. Now, it may be, you are seldom without tears in your eyes, or sorrow in your heart. Oh, but death will be the funeral of all your sorrows! Death will wipe all tears from your eyes, “and sorrow and mourning shall flee away!”
Dear friend, death shall do that for you, which all your physicians could never do for you. It shall both instantly and perfectly cure you of all sorts of weaknesses and maladies, both inward and outward, of both your body and your soul! O my dear friend, is it not better to die,
and be rid of all sin;
and be rid of all temptations;
and be rid of all sorts of miseries;
than to live, and still carry about with us our sins, our sorrows, our burdens, and our constant ailments?
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YOU HAVE AFFLICTED ME
Thomas Brooks, “A Word in Season to Suffering Saints” “I know, O Lord, that Your laws are righteous, and
in faithfulness You have afflicted me.” Psalm 119:75 “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey Your word.”
Psalm 119:67
God’s corrections are our instructions, His lashes are our lessons,
His scourges are our schoolmasters,
His chastisements are our admonishments.
By afflictions, troubles, distresses and dangers — the Lord teaches His people to look upon sin as the most loathsome thing in the world; and to look upon holiness as the most lovely thing in the world. Sin is never so bitter, and holiness is never so sweet — as when our troubles are greatest and our dangers highest.
By affliction, the Lord teaches His people to sit loose from this world, and to be prepared for eternity.
By affliction, God shows His people the vanity, vexation, emptiness, weakness, and nothingness of all created things; and the choiceness, preciousness and sweetness of communion with Himself.
It has been the lot and portion of God’s dearest children, to be exercised with very great and grievous afflictions; in order . . .
to the discovery of sin,
to the embittering of sin,
to the preventing of sin,
to the purging away of sin; and
to the discovery of grace,
to the trial of grace,
to the exercise of grace,
to the increase of grace; and
to the weaning of them from this world; and
to the ripening of them for Heaven; and
to the completing of their conformity to Christ, the captain of their
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salvation, “who was made perfect through sufferings,” Hebrews 2:10; and to work in them more pity and compassion to those who are in misery, and who sigh and groan under their Egyptian taskmasters.
THEY POURED OUT A PRAYER
Thomas Brooks, “A Word in Season to Suffering Saints”
The greatest antidote against all the troubles of this life, is fervent prayer.
“Lord, in trouble have they visited you; they poured out a prayer when Your chastening was upon them.” Isaiah 26:16
“They poured out a prayer.” Before, they would say a prayer — but now, they poured out a prayer.
Saints never visit God more with their prayers — than when He visits them most with His rod. Saints never pray with . . .
that seriousness,
that spiritualness,
that heavenliness,
that humbleness,
that brokenness,
that fervency,
that frequency — as they do, when they are under
the mighty chastening hand of God!
A sincere Christian never prays so sweetly — as when under God’s rod. When a Christian is in trouble — then prayer is his food and drink.
Oh, what a spirit of prayer was . . .
upon Jonah — when he was in the whale’s belly; and upon Daniel — when he was among the lions; and upon David — when fleeing in the wilderness; and upon the dying thief — when he was on the cross; and upon Jacob — when his brother Esau came to meet him
with four hundred bloody cut-throats at his heels!
When a Christian is under great troubles, deep distresses, and most extreme dangers; he should pray . . .
more for the sanctification of affliction — than its removal;
more to get off his sins — than to get off his chains;
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more to get good by the rod — than to get free from the rod; that his afflictions may be a purifying and refining fire,
that his heart may be low and his graces high,
that he may be more weaned from this world,
that he be more ripe for eternal glory.
NEITHER CHRIST NOR HEAVEN CAN BE HYPERBOLIZED!
Thomas Brooks, “A Word in Season to Suffering Saints”
What are all . . .
the silks of Persia,
the spices of Egypt,
the gold of Ophir, and
the treasures of both Indies — compared to the glory of Heaven?
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him!” 1 Corinthians 2:9
One of the ancients says, “Our conception of Heaven, is as a little drop from the sea. For those glorious things of Heaven are . . .
so many that they exceed number,
so great that they exceed measure,
so precious that they are above all estimation!” Says another, “Do you ask me what Heaven is?
When I meet you there, I will tell you!”
Says Jerome, “Are you able to put the whole earth, and all the waters of the sea — into a little pot? Can you hold the oceans in your hand? Can you measure the heavens with your fingers — or weight the hills and mountains with a scale? Just so, it is impossible that you can comprehend the least of the joys of Heaven! Certainly, the least of the joys of Heaven are inconceivable and inexpressible!”
Neither Christ nor Heaven can be hyperbolized!
“You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at
Your right hand!” Psalm 16:11
“They feast on the abundance of Your house; You give them drink from
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Your river of delights!” Psalm 36:8
I CRIED
Thomas Brooks, “A Word in Season to Suffering Saints” The child has got many a kiss, and many a hug — by crying.
“In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears.” Psalm 18:6
Prayer is the only means to supply all defects; prayer gets all, and makes up for the loss of all.
It is not the length — but the strength of prayer;
it is not the labor of the lip — but the travail of the heart — which prevails with God. It is not . . .
the arithmetic of our prayers — how many they are; nor
the rhetoric of our prayers — how eloquent they are; nor
the geometry of our prayers — how long they are; nor
the music of our prayers — how sweet they are; nor
the logic of our prayers — how methodical they are — which will prevail with God. It is only fervency in prayer, which will make a man prevalent with God. Fervent prayer hits the mark, and pierces the walls of Heaven!
“In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and He answered by setting me free.” Psalm 118:5
THE GREAT MASTER-SCAR OF THE SOUL
Thomas Brooks, “A Word in Season to Suffering Saints”
“I hate pride and arrogance!” Proverbs 8:13
Take heed of pride and haughtiness of spirit. Pride is the great master- scar of the soul; it will bud and blossom — it cannot be hidden. Pride is the leprosy of the soul, which breaks forth in the very forehead!
Pride is . . .
the sum of all vileness,
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a sea of sin,
a mother sin, a breeding sin —
a sin which has all sorts of sin in its womb!
In pride, all vices are wrapped up together in a bundle!
“The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished!” Proverbs 16:5
God will have nothing to do with proud people.
He won’t come near such loathsome lepers!
Therefore as ever you would enjoy God’s presence, arm yourself against pride,
watch against pride, and
pray hard against pride!
FETCH OUT THE DIRT AND SPOTS
Thomas Brooks, “London’s Lamentations” 1670
“I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away
your dross and remove all your impurities.” Isaiah 1:25
By severe providences and by fiery trials, God designs the growth of His people in grace. Usually the graces of the saints thrive best — when they are under a smarting rod. Grace usually is in the greatest flourish — when the saints are under the greatest trials. The trimming of the candle — makes it burn the brighter. God bruises His spices — to make them send forth the sweeter fragrance. Fiery trials are like the brush, which, though it is sharp and scratching — it makes the cloth more pure and clean. God would not rub so hard, were it not to fetch out the dirt and spots which are in His people.
Stars shine brightest in the darkest nights; and so do the graces of the saints shine brightest in the darkest nights of affliction and tribulation. God will sometimes more carry on the growth of grace by a cross than by a mercy. Yes, the Lord will, sooner or later, more or less — turn all fiery trials into blessings for the helping on the growth of grace in His people’s souls. Though fiery trials are grievous — yet they shall make us more gracious. Though for the present they appear to harm and damage us; yet in the outcome we shall find that God will turn them into the spiritual and
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eternal advantage of our precious souls.
Thrice happy will afflicted Christians be, if under all their crosses and losses they grow into a more deep acquaintance with God and His holiness; with the vanity, mutability, impotency, and uncertainty of the world; and with the deceitfulness, vileness, baseness, and wretchedness of their own hearts!
If under fiery dispensations, we grow . . . more holy than ever,
more humble than ever,
more heavenly than ever,
more meek and lowly than ever,
more tender and compassionate than ever,
more faithful and fruitful than ever,
more patient and contented than ever,
then we may be confident that the grand design of God in bringing all those fiery trials upon us, was for His glory, and our own spiritual and eternal good. “God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness.” Hebrews 12:10
WHO SEES US? WHO WILL KNOW?
Thomas Brooks, “London’s Lamentations” 1670 Atheism reigns in the hearts and lives of sinners.
The covetous make their gold their god.
The drunkard and glutton make their bellies their god. The ambitious make honors their god.
The voluptuous make pleasures their god.
The religionists make pious duties their god.
The moral make virtue their god.
“The fool says in his heart — There is no God!” Psalm 14:1
Atheism denies God either:
in opinion — saying there is no God; or
in affection — wishing there were no God; or in practice — living as if there were no God.
What abundance of atheists there are in the land!
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“He says to himself — God has forgotten; He covers His face and never sees.” Psalm 10:11
“They say — How can God know?
Does the Most High have knowledge?” Psalm 73:11
“They say — The Lord does not see; the God of Jacob pays no heed.” Psalm 94:7
What horrid blasphemy, what gross atheism is here! How do these atheists ungod the great God! How do they deny His omnipotence and omniscience! What an idol-god do they make the great God to be! There are many who sin freely in secret, who can be drunk and filthy in the dark, when the eye of man is not upon them. Certainly those men’s hearts are very atheistic, who dare do that in the sight of God — which they tremble to do before the eyes of men! How many are there who flatter themselves in their sins, and conclude that surely the bitterness of Hell and wrath is past, and that they are in a fair way for Heaven — when every step they take is towards the bottomless pit, and divine vengeance hangs over their heads, ready every moment to fall upon them!
“On Earth are atheists many, But in Hell there are not any.”
“Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their work in darkness and think — Who sees us? Who will know?” Isaiah 29:15
UNFREEZE THE FROZEN GRACES
Thomas Brooks, “London’s Lamentations” 1670
God loves to see the graces of His children in continual exercise. All the glory which God has from us in this life, is from the actings of our graces. Sleepy graces bring God no glory — nor do us any good. There is little difference — as to the comfort and sweet of grace — between sleepy grace, and no grace at all.
The strongest creature, the lion; and the subtlest creature, the serpent — if they are asleep, are as easily surprised and destroyed as the weakest worm!
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Just so, the strongest saints, if grace is not in exercise, are as easily surprised and captivated by sin, Satan, and the world — as the weakest saints are! O sirs! God, by some severe providence or other, by some fiery dispensation or other — will stir up your sleepy graces!
There are several cases wherein the graces in a Christian’s heart may seem to be hidden, cold, dead and covered over; as sparks of fire are hidden in the ashes; or as bits of gold are hidden in a dust heap, or as pearls may be hidden in the mire. The sparks of divine grace, by the prevalency of some strong corruption, or by the violence of some dreadful temptation — may burn low, as to their lively operations. But God by one severe providence or another, by one fiery trial or another — will blow that heavenly grace, that divine fire, into a flame — and cause their hidden graces to revive!
By severe providences and fiery trials, God designs the reviving, quickening, and recovering of our decayed graces.
By fiery trials, He will . . .
inflame that love which was ice-cold,
raise that faith which had fallen asleep,
quicken up those hopes which were languishing, put life and spirit into those spiritual joys and comforts which were withering and dying!
God by fiery trials, will unfreeze the frozen graces of His people, and put new life and spirit into them!
God may have burnt up your outward comforts, so that He might lead you forth to live in a daily exercise of grace . . .
upon Himself,
upon His power,
upon His all-sufficiency, upon His goodness, upon His faithfulness, upon His fullness,
upon His graciousness, upon His unchangeableness, upon His promises.
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THE BENT OF THE NEEDLE

Thomas Brooks, “London’s Lamentations” 1670
“No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues
to sin has either seen Him or known Him.” 1 John 3:6
A trade, a course of sin — is inconsistent with a state of grace. The best saints have sadly miscarried as to particular actions; but he who shall judge of a man’s spiritual state by particular acts, though notorious bad, will certainly condemn, where God acquits. We must always distinguish between some single evil actions, and a serious course of evil actions. It is not this or that particular evil action — but a continued course of evil actions — which denominates a man wicked. Just so, it is not this or that particular holy act — but a continued course of holy actions — which denominates a man holy.
Every man is — as his course is. If his course is holy — the man is holy. If his course is wicked — the man is wicked.
No man ought to conclude, because of some particular good actions — that his spiritual state is good.
No man ought to conclude, because of some particular sinful actions — that his spiritual state is bad.
A course of sinning is not consistent with a course of godliness. Though the needle of the seaman’s compass may jog this way and that way — yet the bent of the needle will still be northward. Just so, though a Christian may have his particular sinful joggings this way or that way — yet the bent of his heart will still be . . .
God-wards, Christ-wards, Heaven-wards, holiness-wards.
WORSHIPERS OF THE GOLDEN CALF!
Thomas Brooks, “London’s Lamentations” 1670
There is a great deal of worldliness, and earthly-mindedness, and covetousness among the professing Christians of our day. They are worshipers of the golden calf! O sirs! the world is all shadow and vanity. The world is like Jonah’s gourd — a man may sit under its shadow for a
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time, but it soon decays and dies.
The main reason why many professors dote upon the world, is because they are not acquainted with a greater glory. If the heart of man is not filled with God — it will be filled with the world, the flesh and the devil.
The world may well be resembled to the fruit which undid us all — which was fair to the sight, smooth in handling, sweet in taste — but deadly in effect and operation!
O sirs! if you can gather grapes off thorns, and figs off thistles, then go on, and dote upon the world still. All the things of this world are vain things — they are vanity of vanities, Ecclesiastes 1:2. All in Heaven count them vain, and all in Hell count them vain; pearls are but as pebbles in their eyes. Lazarus in Heaven is now rich enough, and happy enough; and Dives in Hell is now poor enough, and miserable enough. He who makes the world his god while he is in the world — what will he do for a god when he goes out of this world?
Well, sirs, remember this — an inordinate love of the world will eat out all a man’s communion with God. A man cannot look up to Heaven and look down upon the earth — at the same time.
WHAT A HOLY, HAPPY LIFE IS THIS!
Octavius Winslow, “The Lord’s Prayer” 1866
“Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11
God will have us live a life of daily faith upon His bounty. If we would live a life of holy victory amid the daily conflict of the flesh — we must live a life of daily faith upon Jesus, a life of daily waiting upon God.
“THIS day, my Father! The supplies of yesterday are exhausted; those of tomorrow I leave with You. Give me this day all that its circumstances may demand. Give me . . .
the clearness of judgment,
the soundness of decision, the resoluteness of will, the integrity of principle, the uprightness of heart,
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the moral courage,
the Christ-like meekness,
the holy love,
the watchfulness and prayerfulness,
the integrity and consistency,
its yet unshaped history may require.
I know not . . .
what temptations I shall be exposed to, what foes I shall be assailed by,
what trials I shall pass through,
what clouds will shade,
what sorrows will embitter,
what circumstances will wound my spirit. Lord, give me . . .
grace,
strength,
love,
guidance,
faith. Give me this day my daily bread.”
What a holy, happy life is this!
It removes all care from the mind but the present; and for that present, the believer hangs upon a Father’s care!
Thus begin and continue your day with God. Its history is all . . . undeveloped,
uncertain, and
untraced.
You cannot . . .
foresee one step,
be certain of one circumstance, or control one event.
Let your prayer be, “Give me, Lord, all supplies for this day. I may have . . .
trials of my judgment,
trials of my affections,
trials of conscience,
trials of my principles,
trials from those I most tenderly love.

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Lord, be with me, guide me with Your counsel, hold up my steps that they slide not,
let Your comforts delight my soul.”
Day by day is the life of faith you are to live upon Jesus. It is DAILY bread . . .
Jesus for each and for every day.
Jesus for each day’s needs.
Jesus for each day’s trials. Jesus for each day’s sins. Jesus for life.
Jesus for death.
Jesus forever!
YOU WOULD NOT LIKE IT!
J. C. Ryle, “Having the Spirit”
“Nothing impure will ever enter it” Revelation 21:27
Heaven is the place to which all people hope to go after they die. It would be well for many, if they considered calmly what kind of dwelling-place Heaven is. It is the habitation of the King of kings, who is “of purer eyes than to behold iniquity.” Heaven is a holy place. It is a place where there shall be nothing wicked, sinful or sensual; nothing worldly, foolish, frivolous or profane.
Let the covetous man remember — there shall be no more money in Heaven.
Let the pleasure seeker remember — there shall be no more races, theaters, novel reading, or parties in Heaven.
Let the drunkard and the gambler, remember — there shall be no more strong drink, no more dice, no more betting, no more cards in Heaven.
The everlasting presence of God; the perpetual doing of God’s will; the complete absence of everything which God does not approve — these are the chief things which shall make up Heaven.
For this Heaven we are all by nature utterly unfit.

We have no capacity for enjoying its happiness. We have no taste for its blessings.
We have no eye to see its beauty.
We have no heart to feel its comforts.
Instead of freedom, we would find it bondage.
Instead of glorious liberty, we would find it constant constraint. Instead of a splendid palace, we would find it a gloomy prison.
A fish on dry land, a sheep in the water, an eagle in a cage — would all feel more at ease and in their place, than an unholy man in Heaven.
For this Heaven it is the special office of the Holy Spirit to prepare men’s souls. He alone can change the earthly heart, and purify the corrupt worldly affections. He alone can bring their minds into harmony with God, and tune them for the eternal company of saints, and angels, and Christ. He alone can make them . . .
love what God loves,
hate what God hates, delight in God’s presence.
Let this also be written down on the tablet of your memory. No entrance into Heaven — without the Spirit first entering your heart upon earth! No admission into glory in the next life—without previous sanctification in this life! No Holy Spirit in you in this world — then no Heaven in the world to come!
You would not be fit for it! You would not be ready for it! You would not like it!
You would not enjoy it!
“Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts,
the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” Revelation 22:15
HE NEVER MISSES A SERMON!
William S. Plumer, “Sinners Saved by Unmerited Kindness”
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around
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like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
Though it is not profane, yet it is foolish to speak lightly of the devil. He is not a sacred person — but he is a dangerous person! Thoughts of levity concerning him are quite out of place. They throw us off our guard, make us secure, lead us to sloth and carelessness — and thus to sin.
He who is our adversary, and has slain his thousands and tens of thousands — is never more sure of his prey than when there is least fear of him. He began his work of revolt in Heaven, afterwards invaded Eden, assaulted the Son of God Himself with the greatest violence and rancor — and will always be busy until he is chained down in the pit!
He has no pity. He is wholly malignant and unscrupulous. To dishonor God, destroy souls, fill earth with woe, and Hell with the damned—is his trade and his delight. The keener the anguish, and the deeper the guilt of man — the more is Satan gratified.
He does all he can to make . . . earth like Hell,
men like devils,
saints like sinners.
He delights in seeing all wickedness raging and rioting on earth. He is the god of the men of this world. He commands and they obey. He is the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience. His empire is built on usurpation and fraud, cruelty and crime, blood and rebellion.
Satan rages, and hates, and lies, and murders!
His ways are various. Sometimes he appears as an angel of light. He has cordials for wounded consciences. He speaks much of mercy. He delights in corrupting the truth. His great object is to keep men from embracing Christ. He has much to do with religious men and religious ordinances. He never misses a sermon! He knows that men can go to Hell in the pew of a church, as well as in the seat of a theater. If they will rest in ’religious forms’, and if they will go about to establish their own righteousness — he will encourage them, and help them to be joyful.

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Ephesians 6:11
THAT IMMORTAL BIRD!
Thomas Brooks, “London’s Lamentations” 1670
As the mercy of God is infinite towards the elect — so the justice of God is infinite towards the reprobate in Hell. The reprobate shall have . . .
punishment without pity,
misery without mercy, sorrow without support, crying without compassion, mischief without measure, and torment without end!
All men in misery comfort themselves with
the hope of an ending to their misery.
The prisoner comforts himself with hope of a deliverance. The mariner comforts himself with hope of a safe harbor. The soldier comforts himself with hope of victory.
The slave comforts himself with hope of liberty.
But the impenitent sinner has no hope in Hell! He shall have . . .
death without death,
night without day,
mourning without mirth, sorrow without solace, bondage without liberty!
The damned shall live as long in Hell, as God Himself shall live in Heaven!
Suppose, say some — that the whole world were turned to a mountain of sand, and that a little bird should come every thousandth year and carry away one grain of sand from that heap. What an infinite number of years — not to be numbered by all finite beings — would be spent and expired before this supposed mountain would be fetched away!
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Now if a man should lie in everlasting burnings so long a time as this — and then have an end of his woe — it would administer some ease, refreshment, and comfort to him. But when that immortal bird shall have carried away this supposed mountain a thousand times over and over; alas! alas! man shall be as far from the end of his anguish and torment as ever he was! He shall be no nearer coming out of Hell, than he was the very first moment that he entered into Hell.
If the fire of Hell were terminable, it might then be tolerable; but being endless, it must needs be easeless and remediless!
COULD EVERY DAMNED SINNER WEEP A WHOLE OCEAN!
Thomas Brooks, “London’s Lamentations” 1670 “They will be tormented day and night forever and ever!”
Revelation 20:10
Our earthly fires may be quenched and extinguished. The hottest flames, the greatest conflagrations have been quenched and extinguished by water. Fires on our hearths and in our chimneys often die and go out by themselves. Our fire is maintained with wood — and put out with water. But the fire of Hell never goes out; it can never be quenched. It is . . .
an everlasting fire,
an eternal fire,
an unquenchable fire!
In Mark 9 from verse 43 to verse 49, this fire is five times said to be unquenchable — as if the Lord could never speak enough of it. Beloved, the Holy Spirit is never guilty of idle repetitions; but by these frequent repetitions, the Holy Spirit would awaken men, and teach them to look upon Hell as a real thing, and as a serious thing, and not sport with unquenchable flames — nor go to Hell in a dream!
Certainly the fire into which the damned shall be cast shall be without all intermission of time or punishment. No tears, nor blood, nor time — can extinguish the fire of Hell. Could every
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damned sinner weep a whole ocean — yet all those oceans of tears together, would never extinguish one spark of infernal fire!
The damned are in “everlasting chains of darkness;” they are under the “vengeance of eternal fire;”
they are “in blackness of darkness forever.”
Said a poor despairing creature on his deathbed, “Oh, that word ‘forever’ — breaks my heart!”
The damned in Hell would gladly die — but they cannot. They shall be always a-dying — yet never dead.
They shall be always a-consuming — yet never consumed.
“The smoke of their torment rises forever and ever!” Revelation 14:11
PERPETUAL FUEL TO THE FLAMES OF HELL!
Thomas Brooks, “London’s Lamentations” 1670
Our earthly fire destroys and consumes whatever is cast into it. It turns all combustibles into ashes. But the fire of Hell is not of that nature. The fire of Hell consumes nothing which is cast into it. It rages — but it does not consume or destroy either bodies or souls.
“Men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.” Revelation 9:6
They shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. They shall cry to the mountains to fall upon them and to crush them to nothing! They shall desire that . . .
the fire which burns them — would consume them to nothing,
the worm which feeds on them — would gnaw them to nothing, the devils which torment them — would tear them to nothing!
They shall cry to God, who first made them out of nothing, to reduce them to that first nothing from whence they came! But “their Maker has no compassion on them, and their Creator shows them no favor.” Isaiah 27:11
They shall always be burned — but never consumed.
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Ah, how well would it be with the damned, if in the fire of Hell, they might be consumed to ashes! But this is their misery — they shall be ever dying, and yet never die; their bodies shall be always a-burning — but never a-consuming! It is dreadful to be perpetual fuel to the flames of Hell!
What misery can compare to this — for infernal fire to be still a- preying upon damned sinners, and yet never making an end of them! The fierce and furious flames of Hell shall burn — but never annihilate, the bodies of the damned. In Hell there is no cessation of fire burning, nor of matter burned. Neither flames nor smoke shall consume or choke the impenitent. Both the infernal fire, and the burning of the bodies of reprobates in that fire — shall be preserved by the miraculous power of God!
“Jesus, 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
A HOUSE WITHOUT LIGHT!
Thomas Brooks, “London’s Lamentations” 1670
“Cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there
shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 25:30
Our earthly fire, when it burns it shines, it casts a light. It has light as well as heat in it. But the fire of Hell burns — but it does not shine, it gives no light at all. It retains the property of burning — but it has lost the property of shining. Christ calls it “outer darkness,” or utter darkness — that is, darkness beyond a darkness.
Light is a blessing that shall never shine into that infernal prison. In Jude verse 6, you read of “chains of darkness.” It would be a little ease, a little comfort, to the damned in Hell — if they might have but light and liberty to walk up and down the infernal coasts; but this is too high a favor for them to enjoy; and therefore they shall be shackled and fettered down in chains of darkness, and in blackness of darkness — so that they may fully undergo the scorchings and burnings of divine wrath and fury forever and ever.
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In Jude verse 13 you read, “To whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” The words signify exceeding great darkness. Hell is a very dark and dismal region, and extreme are the miseries, horrors, and torments which are there. Sinners, when they are in Hell, when they are in chains of darkness, when they are in blackness of darkness — they shall never more see light! Hell is a house without light!
Though our earthly fires have light as well as heat — yet the infernal fire has only heat to burn sinners; it has no light to refresh sinners; and this will be no small addition to their torment.
“He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves!” Colossians 1:13
A MISERY BEYOND ALL EXPRESSION!
Thomas Brooks, “London’s Lamentations” 1670
“Then He will say to those on His left — Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels!” Matthew 25:41
This solemn sentence breathes out nothing but fire and brimstone, terror and horror, dread and woe! The last words that Christ will ever speak to the ungodly, will be:
the most tormenting and dreadful,
the most stinging and wounding, the most killing and damning!
Here is utter rejection: “Depart from Me — Pack! Begone! Get out of My sight! Let Me never more see your faces!”
“Depart from Me!” is the first and worst of that dreadful sentence which Christ shall pass upon the ungodly at last. Every syllable sounds horror and terror, grief and sorrow, dread and astonishment — to all whom it concerns. Certainly, the tears of Hell are not sufficient to bewail the loss of Heaven!
Here is imprecation: “You who are cursed!” “But Lord, if we must depart, let us depart blessed!” “No! Depart — you who are
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cursed!” You shall be . . . cursed in your bodies, and cursed in your souls, and cursed by God,
and cursed by Christ,
and cursed by angels,
and cursed by saints,
and cursed by devils,
and cursed by your wicked companions!
Yes, you shall now curse your very selves, your very souls — that ever you have . . .
despised the gospel,
refused the offers of grace,
scorned Christ, and
neglected the means of your salvation!
O sinners, sinners — all your curses, all your maledictions shall at last recoil upon your own souls! Now you curse every person and thing which stand in the way of your lusts, and which cross your designs. But at last, all the curses of Heaven and Hell shall meet in their full power and force upon you! Surely that man is eternally cursed — who is cursed by Christ Himself!
“But, Lord, if we must depart, and depart cursed, oh let us go into some good place!” “No! Depart into the eternal fire!” Here is vengeance and continuance of it. You shall go into fire, into eternal fire! The eternity of Hell — is the Hell of Hell. If all the fires that ever were in the world, were contracted into one fire — how terrible would it be! Yet such a fire would be but as ‘painted fire’ upon the wall — compared to the fire of Hell. It is a very sad spectacle to behold a malefactor’s body consumed little by little in a lingering fire. But ah, how sad, how dreadful, would it be to experience what it is to lie in unquenchable fire — not for a day, a month, or a year, or a hundred or a thousand years — but forever and ever!
“If it were,” says Cyril, “but for a thousand years, I could bear it; but seeing it is for eternity — this frightens and horrifies me!” “I am afraid of Hell,” says Isidore, “because the worm there never dies, and the fire never goes out!”

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To be tormented without end — this is that which goes beyond all the bounds of desperation.
Grievous is the torment of the damned . . .
for the bitterness of the punishments;
but more grievous for the diversity of the punishments; but most grievous for the eternity of the punishments!
To lie in everlasting torments,
to roar forever in anguish of heart,
to rage forever for madness of soul,
to weep, and grieve, and gnash the teeth forever
— is a misery beyond all expression!
Mark, everything that is conducible to the torments of the damned,
is eternal:
God who damns them is eternal!
The fire which torments them is eternal!
The prison and chains which hold them are eternal! The worm which gnaws them is eternal!
The sentence which is upon them, shall be eternal!
Fire is the most furious of all elements, and therefore the bodies of men cannot be more exquisitely tormented than with fire. The bodies which sinned on earth, shall be punished and tormented in Hell. What can be more grievous and vexatious, more afflicting and tormenting to the bodies of men — than eternal fire? Oh, then, how will the bodies of men endure to dwell in unquenchable fire, to dwell in everlasting burnings! The brick-kilns of Egypt, the fiery furnace of Babylon, are but as a spark, compared to this tormenting Hell, which has been prepared of old to punish the bodies of sinners with.
“The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless! Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?” Isaiah 33:14
Wicked men, who are now the jolly fellows of the times, shall one day go from burning — to burning;
from burning in sin — to burning in Hell;
from burning in flames of lusts — to burning in flames of torment; except there be found repentance on their side, and pardoning

grace on God’s side.
Surely, the serious thoughts of the agonies of Hell while people live — is one blessed way to keep them from going into those torments after they die! Look! as there is nothing more grievous than Hell — so there is nothing more profitable than the fear of Hell.
“Jesus, 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
FUEL TO YOUR LUSTS, AND QUENCHERS OF YOUR GRACES
Thomas Brooks, “London’s Lamentations” 1670
By severe providences and fiery trials — God designs the preventing of sin. Prudent physicians sometimes give harsh medicines to prevent diseases; and so does the Physician of souls. Sharp trials preserve the saints from spiritual putrefying, and from spiritual rotting.
Wealth lays men most open to . . . the greatest sins,
the worst of snares, and
the deadliest temptations.
The best of men have fallen the foulest — under their highest worldly enjoyments. Witness David, Solomon, Hezekiah, etc.
Under your outward fullness . . .
how low was your communion with God! how languishing were your graces!
how lean were your souls!
how little God had of . . .
your thoughts,
your hearts,
your time,
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your strength!
O sirs! how bad would you have been by this time, if God had not removed those things, which were but fuel to your lusts, and quenchers of your graces! Well, often think of this: it is a greater mercy to be preserved from sin, yes, from the least sin — than it is to enjoy the whole world!
“Lord, let this fiery trial be so sanctified to me, as that it may eminently issue in . . .
the mortifying of my sins,
the increase of my graces,
the mending of my affections,
the reforming of my life,
the weaning of my soul from everything below You, and the fixing of my heart upon eternal realities!”
THE UNERRING HAND OF INFINITE WISDOM
Thomas Reade, “The Sovereignty of God” “My purpose will stand, and I will do
all that I please.” Isaiah 46:10
Nothing is so calming and comforting to the Christian pilgrim, as the assurance of Divine Guidance in every, even the most minute circumstances which befall him.
Without this perception of his heavenly Father’s care, a thousand intricacies must beset his path. He must be staggered at almost every step. But when he beholds, by faith — the unerring hand of infinite wisdom, wielding the stupendous machine of human events — causing everything to promote the spiritual good of His people — then he quiets himself as a little child, and can say with cheerful resignation, “Father, not my will, but yours be done.”
In such a world of change and trial, how inestimable is a calm reliance on the wisdom, power, and love of God. It fully compensates for the lack of temporal ease and wealth. If, without our heavenly Father, not even a sparrow can fall to the ground; if the very hairs of our head are all numbered — how composed should we be.
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The reins of universal nature are in the hands of Infinite Love! This vast complex machine is guided by Infinite Wisdom and Power! The Almighty Ruler of the sky cannot be taken by surprise. Nothing unforeseen can happen to cross His purposes or thwart His designs. All worlds are open to His view.
If this Great and Glorious Being is our Father and our Friend — then our privilege is to rejoice at all times, and in everything to give thanks. How consoling and encouraging is the assurance that the blessed Redeemer of my soul, is the Great Sovereign of the Universe! Without His permission nothing can happen in the vast dominion over which He sways His scepter! To His will every creature must bow — either in willing obedience, or in just and endless punishment!
“Lord, be pleased to impart unto me, your unworthy servant, this spirit of confidence in You. May I see Your hand in all the events of life — ordering the minor, as well as in the greater movements of Your Providence. This watching and waiting for the manifestations of Your guardian care — will fill me with thankfulness for all my mercies, and make me patient under all my trials.” “My times are in Your hands.” Psalm 31:15
THEIR DREGS AND DROSS
Thomas Brooks, “London’s Lamentations” 1670
“Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says — See, I will refine and test them, for what else can I do because of the sin of My people?” Jeremiah 9:7
By severe providences and fiery trials — God designs the mortifying and purging away of His people’s sins.
“This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold.” Zechariah 13:9
The best of men are but men at the best; they have much corruption and dross in them, and they need refining; and therefore God by fiery trials will refine them — as silver and gold which are purified in the fire. He will so refine them, as that they
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shall leave their dregs and dross behind them.
Look!
What the fire is to the gold,
what the file is to the iron,
what the winnowing fan is to the wheat, what the soap is to the clothes —
that shall fiery trials be to the saints.
All the fiery trials which befall the saints, shall be as a medicinal potion to purge away our soul diseases! May our trials be so sanctified, as to issue in the burning up of our lusts, and in the purging away of our filth!
O sirs! If God, by fiery trials, shall make you more victorious over your strong lusts, and help you to live more virtuous lives — you will have cause to bless Him all your days, though He has turned you out of house and home, and burnt up all your comforts round about you!
“He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.” Malachi 3:3
GOD’S TOOLS AND INSTRUMENTS
Thomas Brooks, “London’s Lamentations” 1670
“I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.” Isaiah 45:7
Let us see the hand of the Lord in this recent dreadful fire which has turned our once renowned London into a ruinous heap! London’s sins were now so great, and God’s wrath was now so hot — that there was no quenching of the furious flames. The decree for the burning of London was now gone forth, and nothing could reverse it. The time of London’s fall was now come. The fire had now received its commission from God — to burn down the city and to turn it into a ruinous heap!
Certainly God is the great agent in all those dreadful judgments which befall people, cities, and kingdoms. Whoever or whatever be
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the rod — it is God’s hand which gives the stroke! The power of bringing judgments upon cities, God takes to Himself, “When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it?” Amos 3:6. Whatever that judgment is, which falls upon a city — God is the author of it; He acts in it and orders it according to His own good pleasure. There is no judgment which accidentally falls upon any person, city, or country. Every judgment is inflicted by a divine power and providence. God had given a commission to the fire — to burn with that force and violence as it did — until London was laid in ashes! Whoever kindled this fire — God blew the coal! And therefore no arts, counsels, or endeavors of men were able to quench it.
All judgments are at the beck of God, and under the command of God. Whatever judgment God commands to destroy a person, a city, or country — that judgment shall certainly and effectually accomplish the command of God — in spite of all that creatures can do. If God commissions the sword of war to walk abroad, and to glut itself with blood — who can command it into the scabbard again? No art, power, or policy can cause that sword to lie still!
God, as He is our Creator, Preserver, and sovereign Lord — has an absolute power both over our persons, lives, estates, and habitations: and when we have transgressed His righteous laws, He may do with us, and all we have — as He pleases. He may turn us out of house and home, and burn up all our comforts round about us — and yet do us no wrong. “Our God is in Heaven; He does whatever pleases Him.” Psalm 115:3. “The Lord does whatever pleases Him — in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.” Psalm 135:6
Those things which seem accidental and chance to us — are ordered by the wise counsel, power, and providence of God. Instruments can no more stir until God gives them a commission — than the axe or the knife can cut by itself, without a hand. God makes use of whatever second causes He pleases, for the execution of His pleasure. And many times He makes the worst of men the rod of His indignation to chastise His people with! All inferior or subordinate causes — are but God’s tools and instruments, which He rules and guides according to His own will, power, and providence.

Job eyed God in the fire which fell from Heaven, and in all the fiery trials which befell him. And therefore, he does not say, “The Lord gave — and the devil took away!” Nor, “The Lord gave — and the Chaldeans and Sabeans took away!” But “The Lord gave — and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised!” Job 1:20-21
Certainly without the cognizance and concurrence of a wise, omniscient, and omnipotent God — no creatures can move. Without His foresight and permission — no event can befall any person, city or country. Whatever the means or instruments of our misery are — the hand is God’s! It behooves us, in every judgment, to see the hand of the Lord, and to look through visible means to an invisible God! “The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me!” Ruth 1:21
“The Lord brings death and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and raises up. The Lord sends poverty and wealth; He humbles and He exalts!” 1 Samuel 2:6-7
OH HOW SWEET IS IT!
Thomas Brooks, “London’s Lamentations” 1670 “Better the little that the righteous have, than
the wealth of many wicked.” Psalm 37:16
The righteous man’s mite, is better than the wicked man’s millions.
The righteous man has his little, from the special love and favor of God. Lazarus’ scraps, crusts and rags — are better and greater mercies than Dives’ riches, purple robes, and dainty fare!
A godly man improves his little, to the stirring up of his heart to thankfulness, and to be much in admiring and blessing of God for his little. The least mercies which the righteous man has, make him humble, “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies which You have showed unto Your servant.” Genesis 32:10
The righteous man enjoys his little, with a great deal of comfort, peace, quiet and contentment. Though he has but necessities from hand to mouth — yet seeing that God feeds him from Heaven, as it
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were with manna — he is content, quiet and cheerful.
All the honors, riches, pleasures, and profits of this world, cannot yield contentment to a worldly man — they are all surrounded with briers and thorns. Who can sum up the many grievances, fears, jealousies, disgraces, temptations and vexations — which men meet with in their vain pursuit after the things of this world! Oh how sweet is it, to lack these bitter-sweets!
Riches may well be called thorns; because they pierce both head and heart — the one with care of getting, and the other with grief in parting with them. The world and all its enchantments, are a paradise to the eye — but painfulness to the soul.
But a righteous man, with his little, enjoys both peace of conscience and peace of contentment; and this makes every bitter — sweet; and every little sweet — to be exceeding sweet. A dish of green herbs, with peace of conscience and peace of contentment, is a noble feast, a continual feast to a gracious soul. In every crust, crumb, drop, and sip of mercy which a righteous man enjoys, he sees much of the love of his God, and the care of his God, and the wisdom of his God, and the power of his God, and the faithfulness of his God, and the goodness of his God — in making the least provision for him.
In contrast, wicked men are like the mule which drinks from the brook — but never thinks of the spring. They are like the swine which eats up the fruit — but never looks up to the tree from whence the fruit falls.
A little will satisfy a temperate Christian. “Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.” Proverbs 30:8. Agur asks only for daily bread, necessary for his life — not for his lusts. He prays for enough to satisfy necessity — not luxury. He asks for bread — not for delicacies. He begs that his body may be sustained — not pampered.
A little will satisfy nature, and less will satisfy grace; yet nothing will satisfy a wicked man’s lusts! Wicked men never have enough — they are never satisfied! Those who are separated from the world’s lusts, can live with a little.
Solomon, the wisest prince who ever sat upon a throne, after his

most diligent, critical, and impartial search into all the creatures, gives this as the sum total of his inquiries, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!” And how then can any of these things, yes, all these things heaped up together, satisfy the soul of man!
BUT WOE AND ALAS!
Thomas Brooks, “London’s Lamentations” 1670
Suppose, say some, that a man were to endure the torments of Hell as many years, and no more, as there are . . .
sands on the sea-shore,
drops of water in the sea,
stars in Heaven,
leaves on the trees,
blades of grass on the ground;
yet he would comfort himself with this poor thought, “Well, there will come a day when my misery and torment shall certainly have an end!” But woe and alas! this word “Forever! Forever! Forever!” will fill the hearts of the damned with the greatest . . . horror and terror,
wrath and rage,
dread and astonishment!
Suppose, say others, that the torments of Hell were to end after a little bird should have emptied the sea, and only carry out in her bill, but one drop once in a thousand years — and so continue until the whole ocean was taken away.
Suppose, say others, that the whole world, from the lowest earth to the highest heavens, were filled with grains of sand, and once in a thousand years an angel should come and fetch away one grain of sand — and so continue until the whole heap were taken away.
Suppose, say others, if one of the damned in Hell should weep after this manner — namely, that he should only weep one tear in a hundred years, and these should be kept together until such time as they should equal the drops of water in the sea. How many millions of ages would pass, before they could make up one river, much more a whole sea! And when that were done, should he weep again after the same manner until he had filled a second sea,
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a third sea, a fourth sea — if then there should be an end of their miseries — there would be some hope, some comfort that they would end at last! But Hell shall never, never, never end! The eternity of Hell — is that which sinks them under the most tormenting terrors and horrors!
THE TRUE SALAMANDER’S SKIN!
Thomas Brooks, “London’s Lamentations” 1670
“The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all our sins.”
1 John 1:7
O you who truly fear the Lord, and who are united to Christ by faith, know for your everlasting comfort and support — that Christ has secured you . . .
from infernal fire,
from everlasting fire,
from unquenchable fire,
from eternal fire, and
from the worm which never dies!
Christ by His blood has quenched the violence of infernal flames— so that they shall never . . .
scorch you nor burn you,
hurt you nor harm you!
Some say that Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace was a type of Hell. Now look! As the three Hebrew children, or rather champions, had not one hair of their heads singed in that fiery furnace — just so, Hell-fire shall never singe one hair of your heads! O sirs, Christ’s blood has so quenched the flames of Hell — that they shall never be able to scorch or burn those souls who are saved by Him! Such as are washed and cleansed from their sins in the blood of Jesus, such shall never experimentally know what everlasting burnings or a devouring fire means. Such as are washed in Christ’s blood — need no purifying by Hell’s flames!
The fable says that a salamander cannot burn. Nero had a shirt made of a salamander’s skin, so that if he walked through the fire in it — it would keep him from burning. O sirs! Christ is the true
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salamander’s skin — which will certainly keep every gracious soul from burning in everlasting flames!
“The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all our sins.” 1 John 1:7
HUSH YOUR INSANE MURMURS, O WORM!
James W. Alexander, “Consolation” 1852 “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
Genesis 18:25
The Judge of all the earth will do right! The reverse is inconceivable. When we think of a being who can do wrong — we no longer think of God. Nothing which He does can be . . .
unjust,
arbitrary, or harsh.
Will not the Judge of all the earth do right? “It is unthinkable that God would do wrong, that the Almighty would pervert justice.” Job 34:12
Hush your insane murmurs, O worm!
Submission to God’s will, and that in the most absolute sense, is the duty of every believer; and is a state of mind to which the influences of the regenerating and sanctifying Spirit infallibly lead.
ACTIVE, OPERATING, INFLUENTIAL PRINCIPLES OF THE LIFE!
John MacDuff, “The Throne of Grace”
It is the work of the blessed Spirit to take of the things of Christ, and to show them to the soul; to reveal to us the precious benefits of redemption, and the riches of Divine grace — and to present them to us in such a transforming, and convincing, and penetrating form, as that they shall not only become sources of abiding
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comfort to the heart — but active, operating, influential principles of the life!
It is the work of the blessed Spirit to be the Comforter of the children of God. Yes . . .
wherever a believer is afflicted;
wherever he sheds a sorrowful tear;
wherever he is pained by some heart-rending grief; wherever he is bowed beneath some oppressive burden
— there is the Comforter to cheer, to solace, to sustain; pointing him . . .
from the wound — to its balm,
from the grief — to its ultimate cure,
from present suffering — to eternal rest at God’s right hand!
The Holy Spirit is not a traveler to sojourn for a season, but He is a Friend to abide and dwell with you — a spiritual mentor to be always near . . .
to guide you — in all seasons of perplexity,
to strengthen you — in all times of weakness,
when you are discouraged — to uphold you,
when you are wandering — to lead you back,
when you are nearly overcome in your spiritual conflict
— to bring you more of His divine strength and grace.
THE OUTPOURING OF THE EVERLASTING WRATH OF GOD
J. C. Philpot, “Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers” “The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Isaiah 53:6
What heart can conceive, what tongue express, what the holy soul of Christ endured — when the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all?
In the garden of Gethsemane . . .
what a load of guilt,
what a weight of sin,
what an intolerable burden of the wrath of God, did that sacred
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humanity endure, until the pressure of sorrow and woe forced the drops of blood to fall as sweat from His brow!
When the blessed Lord was made a sin offering for us, He endured in His holy soul, all the pangs of . . .
distress,
misery,
guilt,
anguish, darkness, condemnation, shame,
guilt, and
unutterable horror,
that all the elect would have felt in Hell forever; as they would have experienced under the outpouring of the everlasting wrath of God!
What heart can conceive, what tongue express — the bitter anguish which must have wrung the soul of our suffering Substitute under this agonizing experience?
THE MONSTERS AND FOOLS OF THE WORLD
Thomas Brooks, “The Glorious Day of the Saints Appearance”
Oh, many say with those in Job 21:15, “Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? What would we gain by praying to Him?” They are ready to say, when they look upon the sorrows, miseries, and evils which attend the saints in this wilderness — “Who have so many miseries, as Christians do? It is madness and folly to live holily as they live, and to do righteously as they do!” Oh, the world accounts them a company of crazy, foolish people, who refrain from evil.
But God will have His people at last appear glorious, that the mouths of ungodly wretches may be stopped, that they may justify God in His goodness and mercy towards His own people. When they shall see those who they accounted as the monsters and fools of the world, men not worthy to live in the world — when they shall see crowns set on their heads, and glorious robes put on their
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backs — oh how will ungodly men gnash their teeth, and say, “Oh! we thought them fools and madmen, who thus served God, and walked with God — but now we see that we ourselves are the only fools, the only mad ones, who have turned our backs on God, and have said — It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out His requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty?” Malachi 3:14
HE LIVED POOR AND DIED POOR
Thomas Brooks, “London’s Lamentations” 1670
“Jesus replied — Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests,
but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” Matthew 8:20
Jesus does not say, Kings have palaces — but I have none. Nor He does say that rich men have houses and lands and mansions to entertain their followers — but I have none; but, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but I have no place to lay My head.”
Your outward condition is not worse than Christ’s was, when He was in the world. Christ’s condition was low, yes, very low and humble in this world. He was born in a stable, lived on the charity of others, and did not have enough money to pay His taxes. The great Architect of the world had no place to lay His head — but emptied Himself of all, and became poor to make us rich, not in goods — but in grace; not in worldly wealth — but in the treasures of the eternal world. He lived poor and died poor.
Are you houseless, are you penniless, are you poor, and low, and base in this world? So was Christ! Remember “the servant is not greater than his Lord!”
It is unfitting to see the Head all begored with blood and crowned with thorns — and the members to be decked with roses and jewels, and to smell of rich spices, and perfumes!
Are you in a worse condition than Christ was, in this world? Oh no, no! Why then do you murmur and complain? Why do you say there is no sorrow like your sorrow, nor any suffering compared to your suffering? O sirs! it is honor enough for the disciples of Christ
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to fare as Christ fared in this world. Why should the servant be in a better condition than His Lord? Did you but seriously and frequently meditate and ponder upon the poverty and low estate of Christ while He was in this world, your hearts would be more calm and quiet under all their crosses and losses!
SUFFERING, GROANING, DYING!
Thomas Boston, “Human Nature in its Fourfold State”
“He who did not spare His own Son!” Romans 8:32
Behold how an angry God dealt with His own Son, standing in the place of elect sinners! Sparing mercy might have been expected here — if any place at all. If any person could have obtained sparing mercy, surely His own Son would have! But God did not even spare His own Son! The Father’s delight — is made a man of sorrows! He who is the wisdom of God — becomes sore amazed, ready to faint away in a fit of horror. The weight of this wrath makes Him sweat great drops of blood. By the fierceness of this fire — His heart was melted like wax.
Behold, here, how severe God is against sin! The sun was struck blind with this terrible sight!
What is a deluge, a shower of fire and brimstone, on the people of Sodom; the terrible noise of a dissolving world, the whole fabric of Heaven and earth disuniting at once, and angels cast down from Heaven into the bottomless pit! What are all these, I say, in comparison with this — God in human nature suffering, groaning, dying upon a cross! Infinite holiness did it, to make sin look like itself, that is, infinitely odious.
Turn your eyes, O sinners, towards the Lord Jesus Christ; and embrace Him, as He offers Himself in the gospel. “Salvation is found in no one else!” Acts 4:12
God is a consuming fire; you are children of wrath; if the Mediator does not interpose between Him and you — you are undone forever! If you would be safe, come under His shadow — one drop of that wrath cannot fall there, for He “delivers us from the wrath to come,” 1 Thessalonians 1:10. His blood will quench that fire
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of wrath which burns against you! In the white raiment of His righteousness you will be safe; for no storm of wrath can pierce it.
A RARE GRACE
Thomas Brooks, “The Legacy of a Dying Mother” “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the
kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:4
Humility is a rare grace. Whoever is little in his own account — is always great in God’s esteem. A humble person looks upon himself . . .
as “not worthy of the least mercies,” with Jacob, Genesis 32:10;
as “dust and ashes,” with Abraham, Genesis 18:27;
as “a poor worm,” with David, Psalm 22:6; and
as “less than the least of all saints,” with Paul, Ephesians 3:8.
The more high in spiritual worth a person is — the more humble in heart that person is. God delights to pour grace into humble hearts.
Humility makes a person . . . peaceable among brethren, fruitful in well-doing, cheerful in suffering, constant in holy walking, precious in the eyes of God.
Be humble Christians. As ever you would be holy — be humble. Humility is of the essence of the “new creature.” He is not a Christian — who is not humble.
The more grace — the more humble. Those who have been most high in spiritual worth — have always been most humble in heart. Humility does not only entitle to happiness — but to the highest degree of happiness. Humility is that Jacob’s ladder — which reaches from earth to Heaven.
“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5
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THE LORD’S GENTLE USHER
Thomas Brooks, “A Heavenly Cordial” 1665
Our life in this world is made up . . . of troubles and trials,
of calamities and miseries,
of crosses and losses,
of reproaches and disgraces.
Death frees the Christian from all these things.
It wipes away all tears from his eyes, it turns . . . his miseries into mercies,
his crosses into crowns, and
his earthly Hell into a glorious Heaven!
When a godly man dies — he shall never more be haunted, tempted and buffeted by Satan!
“Death,” says one, “which was before the devil’s sergeant to drag us to Hell; has now become the Lord’s gentle usher to conduct us to Heaven!”
For a saint to die, is for a saint to be eternally happy. Death is but the entrance into glorious life. That is not death but life — which joins the dying man to Christ! Death will blow the bud of grace into the flower of glory!
Death is not the death of the man — but the death of his sin. When a believer dies — his sin dies with him. As death came in by sin — so sin goes out by death. Death kills sin — which bred it.
The Persians had a certain day in the year wherein they killed all serpents and venomous creatures. Such a day as that, will the day of death be to every believer. All his serpentine and venomous sins will be forever destroyed! Then he shall never again . . .
be proud,
nor passionate,
nor unbelieving,
nor worldly,
nor neglectful of duty,

nor grieve the Holy Spirit, nor wound his conscience, nor break peace with God!
When death takes away a godly man, it takes him away from his sins! And as death rids the believer of all his sins — so it will rid him of all his sorrows. Death cures all diseases, the aching head and the unbelieving heart.
Death does for a godly person, that which all ordinances could never do, and which all their duties could never do, and which all their graces could never do. It immediately frees them from . . .
all their sins,
all their sorrows,
all their tears,
all their temptations, all their oppressions, all their oppositions, all their vexations!
DEATH IS A CHANGE OF EMPLOYMENT
Thomas Brooks, “A Believer’s Last Day, His Best Day”
A valiant Roman emperor’s motto was, “No fight — no pay!”
Just so, I say, “No fight — no crown! No fight — no Heaven!”
A believer’s last day is his best day! Death is a change of employment. The work of a believer in this world, lies in . . . praying,
groaning,
sighing, mourning, wrestling, fighting, etc.
The truth is, the whole life of a believer is a continual warfare. Believers have to deal with . . .
subtle enemies,
malicious enemies,
vigilant enemies,
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untiring enemies!
They have to deal with such enemies as threw down . . . Adam in paradise — the most innocent man in the world, Moses — the meekest man in the world,
Job — the patientest man in the world,
Joshua — the most courageous man in the world, Paul — the best apostle in the world, etc.
A Christian’s life is a warfare. He is continually a-fighting with lusts and corruptions within, and with devils and men abroad!
Death is a change of employment. It changes our hard service, our mourning, wrestling, and fighting — for rejoicing and singing hallelujahs to the Almighty! No longer prayers — but praises! No longer fighting and wrestling — but dancing and triumphing! Can a believing soul look upon this glorious change, and not say, “Surely better is the day of my death, than the day of my birth!”
Death’s shroud wipes away all tears from the believer’s eyes!
DEATH IS A CHANGE OF PLACE
Thomas Brooks, “A Believer’s Last Day, His Best Day”
“The day of death is better than the day of birth.” Ecclesiastes 7:1
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain!” Philippians 1:21
A believer’s last day is his best day! His dying-day is better than his birthday! This is a very sweet and useful truth to all believers.
Death is a change of place. When a believer dies, he does but change his place. He changes . . .
earth for Heaven,
a wilderness for a Canaan,
a dunghill for a palace!
It is said of Judas, that “he went to his place,” Acts 1:25. An unbeliever is not yet in his place — Hell is his place.
Just so, when a believer dies — he goes to his place. Heaven, the bosom of Christ — is his place.
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A believer is not at present, in his place. His soul is still working and warring, and he cannot rest until he comes to center in the bosom of Christ. This Paul understood well, when he said, “I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far!” Philippians 1:23
We are not yet in our place, and therefore we groan to be at home — that is, to be in Heaven, to be in the bosom of Christ — which is our proper place, our most desirable home!
“Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling!” 2 Corinthians 5:2
“We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8
WE MUST EITHER LEAP OVER THEM, OR TREAD UPON THEM!
Thomas Watson, “The Christian Soldier” 1669
“A man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.” Matthew 10:36-38
Take heed of the snare in your family! It is one of the Devil’s great subtleties — to hinder us from piety by our nearest relations — and to shoot us with our own rib!
He tempted Adam by his wife. Who would have suspected the Devil there? He tempted Job by his wife, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!” Job 2:9 Thus would the Devil have cooled Job’s love for God; but the shield of his faith quenched this fiery dart!
Take heed of such tempters! It is better to go to Heaven with their hatred — than to Hell with their love! If our dearest friends and family lie in our way to Heaven — we must either leap over them, or tread upon them!
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ONE OF YOU IS A DEVIL!
Thomas Watson, “The Christian Soldier” 1669
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you — unless, of course, you fail the test?” 2 Corinthians 13:5
Self-examination is a necessary — but difficult work.
Self-examination is the setting up a court in conscience and keeping a register there, that by strict scrutiny a man may know how things stand between God and his own soul. By a serious scrutiny of our hearts, we come to know to what prince we belong — whether to the Prince of Peace, or the prince of darkness.
Self-searching is a heart-anatomy. As a surgeon, when he makes a dissection in the body, discovers the inward parts, the heart, liver, and arteries — just so, a Christian anatomizes himself.
Sentimentality and public opinion are false rules to go by. We must judge the state of souls by the light of Scripture.
Many have foolish, presumptuous hopes. They fancy their state to be good; and while they weigh themselves in the balance of presumption, they pass the test.
Many take their salvation on trust. The foolish virgins thought they had oil in their lamps, the same as the wise. How confident are some of salvation — yet never examine their title to Heaven.
Many rest in the good opinions of others. How vain is this! Alas, one may be gold and pearl in the eye of others — yet God may judge him to be reprobate silver! Others may think him a saint — and God may write him down in His black-book! Judas was looked upon by the rest of the Apostles as a true believer — yet he was a traitor! “Then Jesus replied — Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” John 6:70
Others can but see the outward behavior — but they cannot tell what evil is in the heart. Fair streams may run on the top of a river — but vermin may lay at the bottom!

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IT MAKES MEN SO FILTHY!
Thomas Watson, “The Christian Soldier” 1669
It is a part of our Christian profession — to fight under Christ’s
banner — against the world.
The world is a flattering enemy. It shows its golden apple. It is given to some — as a snare. Take heed of being drowned in the world’s luscious delights!
It must be a strong brain that can bear heady wine. He had need have a great deal of wisdom and grace, who knows how to maintain a great estate. Riches often send up intoxicating fumes, which make men’s heads giddy with pride. It is hard to climb up the hill of God — with too many golden weights!
The world shows its two breasts of pleasure and profit — and many fall asleep with the breast in their mouth!
The world never kisses us — except with an intent to betray us.
The world is a silken halter.
The world is no friend to grace; it chokes our love to heavenly things — the earth puts out the fire.
Naturally we love the world. Too many are wedded to their money — they live together as man and wife.
O let us take heed of being entangled in this pleasing snare! Many who have escaped the rock of scandalous sins — yet have sunk in the world’s golden quicksands!
The sin is not in using the world — but in loving it. “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15
Believers are called out of the world. “They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” John 17:16. They are in the world — but not of it. A true saint is crucified in his affections, to the world, Galatians 6:14. He is dead to the honors and pleasures of it. What

delight does a dead man take in pictures or music?
Jesus Christ gave Himself “to redeem us from this present evil world.” Galatians 1:4
Living fish swim against the stream. We must swim against the world, else we shall be carried down the stream, and fall into the dead sea of Hell!
The world is DECEITFUL. Our Savior calls it, “The deceitfulness of riches.” Matthew 13:22. The world promises happiness — but gives weariness. It promises us Rachel — but gives us bleary-eyed Leah! The world promises to satisfy our desires — but only increases them. The world gives poisoned pills — but wraps them in sugar!
The world is POLLUTING. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: . . . to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” It is called filthy lucre — because it makes men so filthy!
Men will damn themselves to get the world. Ahab would have Naboth’s vineyard, though he swam to it in blood.
The world is PERISHING. “The world and its desires pass away.” The world is like a flower — which withers while we are smelling it!
HE WOUNDED THE OLD SERPENT THREE TIMES!
Thomas Watson, “The Christian Soldier” 1669
What an infinite mercy it is, that God has blessed us with the Scriptures! The barbarous Indians have their golden mines — but not the Scriptures, which are ‘more to be desired than much fine gold.’
Our Savior bids us ‘search the Scriptures’. We must not read these holy lines carelessly, as if they did not concern us, or run over them hastily — but peruse them with reverence and seriousness. The noble Bereans’ searched the Scriptures daily. The Scripture is the treasury of divine knowledge; it is the rule and touchstone of
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truth; out of this well — we draw the water of life.
Read the Word as a book made by God Himself. Other books may be written by holy men — but this book is inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is the library of the Holy Spirit!
Read the Word as the perfect rule of faith; it contains all things essential to salvation. The Word teaches us how to please God; and how to order our lives in the world. It instructs us in all things that belong either to prudence or piety, and is ’able to make us wise unto salvation.’
When you read the Word, look on it as a soul-enriching treasury. Search it as for ‘hidden treasure!’ In this Word are scattered many divine sayings — gather them up as so many jewels! This blessed book will enrich you — it fills your head with divine knowledge, and your heart with divine grace! In this field, the Pearl of price is hidden! What are all the world’s riches compared to these? Islands of spices, coasts of pearl, rocks of diamonds? These are but the riches which reprobates may have — but the Word gives us those riches which angels have!
Look upon the Word as a spiritual armory, out of which you fetch all your weapons to fight against sin and Satan.
Here are weapons to fight against SIN. The Word of God is a holy sword, which cuts asunder the lusts of the heart! When pride begins to lift up itself, the sword of the Spirit destroys this sin! When passion vents itself, the Word of God, like Hercules’ club, beats down this angry fury! When lust boils, the Word of God cools that intemperate passion!
Here are weapons to fight against SATAN. When the devil tempted Christ, He wounded the old serpent three times with the sword of the Spirit — “It is written!” Satan soon foils that Christian when he is unarmed, and without Scripture weapons.
Look upon the Word as a spiritual looking-glass to dress yourselves by! It is a mirror for the blind, ‘The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes!’ In other mirrors you may see your faces; in this mirror you may see your hearts! This mirror of the Word clearly represents Christ. He is . . .
most precious;

altogether lovely;
a wonder of beauty; a paradise of delight!
Look upon the Word as a shop of spiritual antidotes and remedies. If you find yourself dead in duty — here is a medicine. If you find your heart hard — the Word will soften and mollify it. If you are poisoned with sin — here is an herb to expel it.
Look upon the Word as a sovereign elixir to comfort you in distress. It comforts you against all your sins, temptations, and afflictions. What are the promises — but divine cordials to revive fainting souls.
HOW DO I MORTIFY THE FLESH?
Thomas Watson, “The Christian Soldier” 1669
The flesh is a bosom traitor; it is like the Trojan horse within the walls, which does all the mischief. The flesh is a sly enemy — it kills by embracing. The embraces of the flesh are like the ivy embracing the oak; which sucks out the strength of it for its own leaves and berries. So the flesh by its soft embraces, sucks out of the heart all good.
The pampering of the flesh, is the quenching of God’s Spirit. The flesh chokes and stifles holy motions — the flesh sides with Satan. There is a party within us, which will not pray, which will not believe. The flesh inclines us more to believe a temptation than a promise. The flesh is so near to us, its counsels are more attractive. There is no chain of adamant which binds so tightly — as the chain of lust.
In the best of saints, do what they can, sin will fasten its roots in them, and spring out sometimes with inordinate desires. There is always something which needs mortifying. “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5
How do I mortify the flesh?
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  1. Withdraw the fuel that may make lust burn. Avoid all temptations. Take heed of that which nourishes sin. Those who pray that they may not be led into temptation — must not lead themselves into temptation.
  2. Fight against fleshly lusts with spiritual weapons — faith and prayer. The best way to combat with sin is — upon our knees. Beg strength from Christ. Samson’s strength lay in his hair; our strength lies in our head — Christ. This is a mystery to the major part of the world — who gratify the flesh rather than mortify it.
    THE BEST FRIEND — BUT THE WORST ENEMY!
    Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity”
    Woe to all such, as have God against them. He lives forever to be avenged upon them. “Can your heart endure, or can your hands be strong in the day that I shall deal with you?” Such as oppose His people, trampling these jewels in the dust; and such as live in contradiction to God’s Word — engage the Infinite Majesty of Heaven against them! How dreadful will their case be! “As surely as I live, when I sharpen My flashing sword and begin to carry out justice, I will bring vengeance on My enemies and repay those who hate Me!”
    If it is so dreadful to hear the lion roar, what must it be when he begins to tear his prey? “Consider this, you who forget God, lest I tear you in pieces!” Oh that men would think of this — who go on in sin! Shall we engage the great God against us? God strikes slow — but heavy! “Have you an arm like God?” Can you strike such a blow? God is the best friend — but the worst enemy! If He can look men into their grave, how far can He throw them? “Who knows the power of His wrath?” What fools are they, who, for a drop of pleasure — drink a sea of wrath!
    Paracelsus speaks of a craze some have, which will make them die dancing. Just so — sinners go dancing to Hell!
    THE TRIALS AND SUFFERINGS OF THE GODLY
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    Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity”

God’s own people often suffer great afflictions.
“This is what the wicked are like — always carefree, they increase in wealth. Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence. For I am afflicted all day long!” Psalm 73:12-14
How can this be consistent with God’s justice?
‘God’s ways of judgment are sometimes secret, but never unjust!’ The Lord never afflicts His people without a cause; He cannot be unjust towards them.
There is some good in the godly — therefore the wicked afflict them; there is some evil in them — therefore God afflicts them!
God’s own children have their blemishes. “But aren’t you also guilty of sins against the Lord your God?” 2 Chronicles 28:10. These spiritual diamonds — have they no flaws? Do we not read of the spots of God’s children? Are not they guilty of much pride, passion, worldliness? Though, by their profession, they should resemble the birds of paradise, to fly above, and feed upon the dew of Heaven; yet, as the serpent, they often lick the dust!
The sins of God’s people, do more provoke God than the sins of others. “The Lord saw this and was filled with loathing. He was provoked to anger by His own sons and daughters.” Deuteronomy 32:19. The sins of others pierce Christ’s side; the sins of His people wound His heart! Therefore is not God just in all the afflictions which befall them? “You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your sins.” Amos 3:2. I will punish you sooner, surer, sorer — than others.
The trials and sufferings of the godly, are to refine and purify them. God’s furnace is in Zion. Is it any injustice in God to put His gold into the furnace to purify it? Is it any injustice in God, by afflicting His people, to make them partakers of His holiness? What more proclaims God’s faithfulness — than to take such a course with them as may make them more holy?
“I know, O Lord, that Your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness You have afflicted me.” Psalm 119:75
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A SLEEPING LION
Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity” “Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why do the treacherous live at ease?” Jeremiah 12:1
Such as are highest in sin — are often highest in prosperity. This has led many to question God’s justice. Diogenes, seeing a thief live on affluently, said, “Surely God has cast off the government of the world, and does not care how things go on here below.”
How can it be consistent with God’s justice, that the wicked should prosper in the world?
If God lets men prosper a while in their sin — His vial of wrath is all this while filling; His sword is all this time sharpening. Though God may forbear with men a while — yet long forbearance is not forgiveness. The longer God is in taking His blow, the heavier it will be at last! As long as there is eternity, God has time enough to reckon with His enemies!
God’s justice may be as a sleeping lion — but the lion will awake at last, and roar upon the sinner!
“Yes, Lord God Almighty, Your punishments are true and just.” Revelation 16:7
WHO ARE YOU, O MAN, TO TALK BACK TO GOD?
Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity”
“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” Romans 9:15-16
God has a sovereign right and authority over man. He can do with His creatures as He pleases. Who shall dispute with God? Who shall ask Him a reason of His doings? “Who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it — Why did you make me like this?” Romans 9:20
“Our God is in Heaven and does whatever He pleases.” Psalm 115:3
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“The Lord does whatever He pleases in Heaven and on earth, in the seas and all the depths.” Psalm 135:6
God sits as judge in the highest court, and is not bound to give a reason for His proceedings. “He puts down one, and raises up another.” He has salvation and damnation in His power. He has the key of justice in His hand, to lock up whomever he will, in the fiery prison of Hell! And He has the key of mercy in His hand, to open Heaven’s gate to whomever He pleases! The name engraved upon His vesture is, “King of kings, and Lord of lords!” He sits Lord paramount, and who can call Him to account? The world is God’s house, and shall not He do what He desires in His own house?
“My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please!” Isaiah 46:10 “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns!” Revelation 19:6
GOD BOTTLES EVERY TEAR!
Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity”
Is God a God of infinite knowledge? This is comfort to the child of God. Christian, you set hours apart for God, your thoughts run upon Him as your treasure; God takes notice of every good thought! “He had a book of remembrance written for those who thought upon His name.” You enter into your closet, and pray to your Father in secret; He hears every sigh and groan! “My groaning is not hidden from You.” You water the seed of your prayer with tears — God bottles every tear! “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book!” Psalm 56:8
The infiniteness of God’s knowledge is a comfort, in the case of saints who have not a clear knowledge of themselves. They find so much corruption — that they judge they have no grace. “If it is so — why am I thus? If I have grace, why is my heart in so dead and earthly a frame?” Oh remember, God is of infinite knowledge. He can spy grace where you cannot; He can see grace hidden under corruption, as the stars may be hidden behind a cloud. God can see that holiness in you, which you can not discern in yourself. He can spy the flower of grace in you, though overtopped with weeds.
“Because there is some good thing in him.” God sees some good thing in
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His people — when they can see no good in themselves; and though they judge themselves harshly, He will forgive their sins and infirmities.
GOD SEES THROUGH THESE FIG-LEAVES!
Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity”
“My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from Me,
nor is their sin concealed from My eyes!” Jeremiah 16:17
If God is a God of infinite knowledge, then see the folly of hypocrisy. Hypocrites carry it fair with men — but care not how bad their hearts are; they live in secret sin. “They say — How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?” “What does God know? Can He judge through thick darkness?” “God has forgotten, He hides His face, He will never see it!”
But, “His understanding is infinite!” He has a window to look into men’s hearts! He has a key to open up the heart. “Your Father who sees in secret.” God sees in secret. As a merchant enters debts in his book, so God has His debt-book, in which He enters every sin!
The hypocrite thinks to disguise and juggle with God — but God will unmask him. “God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing.” “For they have done outrageous things . . . I know it and am a witness to it — declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 29:23
The hypocrite hopes he shall color over his sin, and make it look very good. Absalom masks over his treason with the pretense of a religious vow. Judas cloaks his covetousness, with the pretense of “charity to the poor.” Jehu makes religion a cloak for his selfish design. But God sees through these fig-leaves!
He who has an eye to see — will find a hand to punish!
Since God is infinite in knowledge, we should always feel as under His omniscient eye. “I have set the Lord always before me.” The consideration of God’s omniscience would be preventive of much sin. The eye of man will restrain from sin; and will not God’s eyes much more?
“Will he even assault the queen right here in the palace, before my very eyes? the king roared.” Esther 7:8. Will we sin when our Judge looks on?
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Would men speak so vainly, if they considered God overheard them? What care would people have of their words, if they remembered that God heard, and His pen was writing everything down in Heaven? Would they commit immorality, if they believed God was a spectator of their wickedness, and would punish them in Hell for it? Would they defraud in their dealings, and use false weights, if they knew God saw them; and for making their weights lighter — would make their damnation heavier?
Is God omniscient, and His eye chiefly upon the heart? Then be sincere — be what you seem!
“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
Men judge the heart — by the actions. God judges the actions — by the heart.
WELL-COLORED DIRT
Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity”
Did God make our bodies out of the dust, and that dust out of nothing? Let this keep down pride! When God would humble Adam, He uses this expression, “You were made from dust.” Why are you proud, O dust and ashes?
David says, “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Your being wonderfully made — should make you thankful; your being made from the dust — should keep you humble. If you have beauty, it is but well-colored dirt!
“For you were made from dust, and to the dust you will return.” Genesis 3:19
MIRROR AND FOUNTAIN
Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity” The Scripture is a mirror to show us our sins;
Christ’s blood is a fountain to wash them away. 196

A LAMP FOR MY FEET
Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity”
“Teach me Your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to Your truth!”
Psalm 86:11
Let us lead Scripture lives. Oh that the Bible might be seen printed in our lives! Obedience is an excellent way of commenting upon the Bible. Let the Word be the sun-dial by which you set your life. What are we the better for having the Scripture, if we do not direct all our speech and actions according to it? What is a carpenter the better for his rule about him, if he sticks it at his back, and never makes use of it for measuring and squaring his work? So, what are we the better for the rule of the Word, if we do not make use of it, and regulate our lives by it? How many swerve and deviate from the rule!
“Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105. It is not only a light to our eyes to mend our sight — but to our feet to mend our walk. Oh, let us lead Bible lives!
WHY IS SALVATION BY FAITH?
Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity”
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
“Jesus said to the woman — Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:50
Why is salvation by faith?
To exclude all glorying in the creature. Faith is a humble grace. If salvation were by repentance or works, a man would say, “It is my righteousness which has saved me!” But if it is of faith, where is boasting? Faith fetches all from Christ — and gives all the glory to Christ!
God’s believing people are a humble people. “Be clothed with humility.” 197

God’s people shrink into nothing in their own thoughts. David cries out, “I am a worm, and not a man!” Though a saint, though a king — yet a worm! When Moses’ face shined, he covered it with a veil. When God’s people shine most in grace — they are covered with the veil of humility. Abraham the father of the faithful, confesses, “I am nothing but dust and ashes.” “God resists the proud.” Surely, God will not take to be with Himself in glory, such as whom He resists.
God’s believing people are a willing people. Though they cannot serve God perfectly — they serve Him willingly. They do not grudge God a little time spent in His worship. They do not murmur at sufferings. They will go through a sea and a wilderness — if God calls. “Your people shall be a willing people.” This spontaneity and willingness is from the attractive power of God’s Spirit. The Spirit does not force — but sweetly draws the will. This willingness makes all our services acceptable. God sometimes accepts of willingness without the work — but never the work without willingness.
God’s believing people are a consecrated people. They have “holiness to the Lord” written upon them. “You are a holy people to the Lord your God.” God’s people are separated from the world — and sanctified by the Spirit. The priests under the law were not only to wash in the laver — but were arrayed with glorious apparel. This was typical, to show that God’s people are not only washed from gross sins — but adorned with holiness of life. They bear not only God’s name — but His image! Holiness is God’s stamp; if He does not see this stamp upon us, He will not own us for His believing people.
WORSE THAN A DOG!
Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity”
Sin cleaves to us, as blackness to the skin of the Ethiopian, so that we cannot get rid of it. Paul shook off the viper on his hand — but we cannot shake off this inbred corruption! Sin comes not, as a lodger, for a night — but as an indweller. “Sin which dwells in me.” Romans 7:17 Sin is an evil spirit, which haunts us wherever we go.
Sin, though latent in the soul, and as a spring which runs under ground — often breaks forth unexpectedly. Christian, you cannot believe that evil which is in your heart, and which will break forth suddenly — if God
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should leave you! “Is your servant a dog that he should do this monstrous thing?” 2 Kings 8:13. Hazael could not believe he had such a root of evil in his heart, that he would rip up pregnant women. “Is your servant a dog?” Yes, and worse than a dog — when corruption within is stirred up!
If one had come to Peter and said, “Peter, within a few hours you will deny Christ;” he would have said, “Is your servant a dog?” But alas! Peter did not know his own heart, nor how far that corruption within would prevail upon him. The sea may be calm, and look clear; but when the wind blows — how it rages and foams! So though now your heart seems good — yet, when temptation blows — how may sin reveal itself, making you foam with lust and passion!
Who would have thought to have found adultery in David, and drunkenness in Noah, and cursing in Job? If God leaves a man to himself — how suddenly and scandalously may sin break forth in the holiest men on the earth!
SEE ITS UGLY FACE!
Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity”
What a heinous and execrable thing is sin! Sin is the distillation of all evil. The Scripture calls it the “accursed thing.” It is compared to the venom of serpents, and the stench of sepulchers. The devil would paint sin with the pleasing colors of pleasure and profit — that he may make it look fair; but I shall pull off the paint, that you may see its ugly face! We are apt to have slight thoughts of sin, and say to it, as Lot of Zoar, “Is it not a little one?” But sin is a great evil.
Sin fetches its pedigree from Hell; sin is from the devil. “He who commits sin is of the devil.” Satan was the first actor of sin, and the first tempter to sin. Sin is the devil’s first-born!
Sin is a defiling thing — a polluting thing. It is to the soul — as rust is to gold, as a stain to beauty. It makes the soul red with guilt, and black with filth! Sin in Scripture is compared to a “menstruous cloth,” and to a “plague-sore.” Sin has blotted out God’s image, and stained the orient brightness of the soul.
Sin makes God loathe a sinner; and when a sinner sees his sin — he loathes himself!
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Sin stamps the devil’s image on a man. Malice is the devil’s eye, hypocrisy his cloven foot. Sin turns a man into a devil. “One of you is a devil!”
Sin is an act of rebellion against God. A sinner tramples upon God’s law, crosses His will, and does all he can to affront, yes, to spite God!
Sin strikes at the very Deity. Sin is God’s would-be murderer. Sin would not only unthrone God — but un-God Him. If the sinner could help it, God would no longer be God.
Sin is an act of ingratitude and unkindness. God feeds the sinner, keeps off evils from him, be-miracles him with mercy; but the sinner not only forgets God’s mercies — but abuses them! He is the worse for mercy; like Absalom, who, as soon as David had kissed him, and taken him into favor, plotted treason against him! Like the mule, who kicks the mother after she has given it milk. God may upbraid the sinner, “I have given you, your health, strength, and estate; but you requite Me evil for good; you wound Me with My own mercies! Did I give you life — to sin against Me? Did I give you wages — to serve the devil? Is this your kindness to your Friend?”
Sin is a disease. “The whole head is sick!” Some are sick with pride, others with lust, others with envy. Sin has distempered the intellectual part — it is a leprosy in the head; it has poisoned the vitals. It is with a sinner as with a sick patient — his palate is distempered — the sweetest things taste bitter to him. The Word, which is “sweeter than the honey-comb,” tastes bitter to him. Nothing can cure this disease, but the blood of the Physician!
Sin is an irrational thing. It makes a man act not only wickedly — but foolishly. It is absurd and irrational to prefer the less, before the greater. The sinner prefers the passing pleasures of sin, before eternal rivers of pleasures. Is it rational to lose Heaven—for the indulging of a lust? Is it rational to gratify an enemy? When sin burns in the soul, Satan warms himself at this fire. Men’s sins feast the devil.
Sin is a painful thing. It costs men much labor to pursue their sins. How do they tire themselves in doing the devil’s drudgery! “They weary themselves to commit iniquity.” What pains did Judas take to bring about his damnation! Many a man goes to Hell, in the sweat of his brow.
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Sin is the only thing God has antipathy against. God does not hate a man because he is poor, or despised in the world. The only thing which draws forth the keenness of God’s hatred, is sin. “Oh, do not do this abominable thing, which I hate!” And surely, if the sinner dies under God’s hatred, he cannot be admitted into the celestial mansions. Will God let that man live with Him — whom He hates? God will never lay such a viper in His bosom!
WHAT IS THE CHIEF END OF MAN?
Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity” Question: What is the chief end of man?
Answer: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever. “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?” Psalm 42:2
Is the enjoyment of God in this life so sweet? How wicked are those who prefer the enjoyment of their lusts, before the enjoyment of God! ‘The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, the pride of life,’ is the evil trinity they worship.
Lust is an inordinate desire or impulse, provoking the soul to that which is evil. Lust, like a feverish heat, puts the soul into a flame. Aristotle calls sensual lusts, brutish, because, when any lust is violent — reason and conscience cannot be heard. These lusts besot and brutalize the man.
How many make it their chief end, not to enjoy God — but to enjoy their lusts! Lust first bewitches with pleasure — and then comes the fatal dart! This should be a flaming sword to stop men in the way of their carnal delights — Who, for a drop of pleasure, would drink a sea of wrath?
IT IS IN THESE STORMS
J. C. Philpot, “Christ Jesus the Lord Received and Walked In”
The very storms through which the believer passes, will only strengthen him to take a firmer hold of Christ. As the same wind that blows down the poplar tree, only establishes the oak tree; so the very storms which uproot
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the shallow professor, only root the child of God more firmly in Christ.
Though these storms may shake off some of his leaves, or break off some rotten boughs, they do not uproot his faith — but rather strengthen it.
It is in these storms that he learns . . .
more of his own weakness, and of Christ’s strength;
more of his own misery, and of Christ’s mercy;
more of his own sinfulness, and of super-abounding grace; more of his own poverty, and of Christ’s riches;
more of his own desert of Hell, and of his own title to Heaven.
It is in these storms that the same blessed Spirit who began the work carries it on; and goes on to engrave the image of Christ in deeper characters upon his heart; and to teach him more and more experimentally — the truth as it is in Jesus.
A WEEPING CREATURE
Thomas Watson, “Harmless as Doves”
“Open to Me, My sister, My darling, My dove, My flawless one.”
Song of Songs 5:2
Christ calls His spouse His “dove.” 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 which 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.
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
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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.
How far from being godly — are those who scarcely ever shed a tear for
sin!
GOD’S HATRED OF SIN
J. A. James, “The Practical Believer Delineated” 1852
The death of Christ, apprehended by faith, presents the strongest motives to holiness — by setting forth in the most vivid and striking manner . . . the evil nature of sin;
the holiness and justice of God;
His determination to punish transgression;
the fearfulness of falling into the hands of the living God.
Not all the judgments God ever inflicted — nor all the threatenings He ever denounced, give such an impressive warning against sin, and admonition to righteousness — as the death of Christ.
The torments of the bottomless pit are not so dreadful a demonstration of God’s hatred of sin, as the agonies of the cross!
A MAN’S GOD
Henry Law
A man’s god is that which . . .
has the greatest influence over him; he sets the highest value upon;
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he chiefly devotes himself and his energies.
CHRIST IS . . .
J. C. Ryle
“Christ is all.” Colossians 3:11
True Christians have trustful thoughts of Christ. They daily lean the weight of their souls upon Him by faith — for pardon and peace. They daily commit the care of their souls to Him — as a man commits a treasure to a safe keeper. They daily cling to Him by faith — as a child in a crowd clings to its mother’s hand. They look to Him daily for . . .
mercy, grace, comfort, help, strength, guidance.
Christ is . . .
the rock under their feet,
the staff in their hands,
their ark and their city of refuge, their sun and their shield,
their bread and their medicine,
their health and their light,
their fountain and their shelter, their portion and their home,
their advocate and their physician, their captain and their elder brother, their life,
their hope,
their all.
CARNALLY MINDED
John Owen
“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be
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spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:6
Let a man profess what he will — if his thoughts are generally conversant about earthly and worldly things — he has an earthly and worldly mind. And if his thoughts are generally conversant about sensual things — he has a sensual and carnal mind. “For as he thinks in his heart — so is he.” Proverbs 23:7
COMMUNION WITH GOD
Thomas Brooks, “Hypocrites Detected, Anatomized, Impeached, Arraigned and Condemned” 1650
Communion with God is . . .
the life of all your graces;
the sweetener of all providences and mercies; the strengthener of your hearts and hands; the soul of your comforts;
the crown of your souls.
Nothing can compare with communion with God —
to fence you against temptations,
to sweeten all afflictions, and
to make you own God, and stand for God, and cleave to God — in the face of all troubles and oppositions.
Communion with God makes bitter things — sweet; and massive things — light.
A man high in communion with God, is a man too big for temptations to conquer — or troubles to subdue!
Those who have but little communion with God, are usually as soon conquered as tempted — as soon vanquished as assaulted.
LITTLE SINNERS
John Flavel, “Keeping the Heart”
Perhaps the smallness of the sin is urged as a reason why you may commit
it: “It is but a little sin—a small matter — a trifle!”
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But, if you commit this little sin — you will offend a great God! Is there any little Hell to torment little sinners in? No! The least sinners in Hell are full of misery! There is great wrath treasured up for those whom the world regard as little sinners.
The less the sin — the less the inducement you should have to commit it. Will you provoke God for a trifle? Will you destroy your peace, wound your conscience, and grieve the Spirit — all for nothing? What madness is this!
INSTRUCTIONS FOR DAILY CONDUCT
Mason’s Select Remains
“For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 4:2

  1. Make the word of God the rule of all you do.
  2. Whatever you do, do it in the strength of Christ. Without Christ, you can do nothing. Of yourself, you cannot even think a good thought; but you may do all things, through Christ strengthening you. Nature is a dry root — no gracious actions spring from it. Grace depends on continual supplies from Christ — as of sap from the root. Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might, and then nothing shall be too hard for you. All things are possible to him who believes and relies upon Christ’s power.
  3. As we are to act by the power of Christ, so we are to present our services for acceptance in the name of Christ. The best we can do — needs His intercession, blood, and merits — to render it acceptable to God. In the Lord alone — we have righteousness and strength.
  4. Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Selfishness is the natural idolatry of the human heart. The design and tendency of piety is to take the heart off self — and set it upon God. That duty which does not begin and end with God is no part of godliness. Self must be cast down — and God alone exalted.
  5. To spend every day well, let your waking thoughts be with God; let your fervent prayers ascend in the name of Christ; let the Word of God be your counselor; let the fear of God be always before your eyes. In all your
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actions, let integrity and uprightness preserve you. Set a watch over your lips, and a guard upon your spirit, that you be not provoked to anger, nor speak unadvisedly with your lips.

  1. At night, review the actions of the day. Give to God the glory of what has been good; take shame to yourself for what has been evil. Review the dispensations of God’s providences — and consider their special meaning and application. Acknowledge the mercies of God received through the day. Submit to the afflictions laid upon you. Commit yourselves afresh to the mercy and protection of God, through Jesus Christ — that you may be preserved through the slumbers of the night, and be permitted to wake in peace — whether it be in earth or Heaven.
    By these points let every action be examined — By whose rule have I acted?
    In whose strength have I acted?
    In whose name have I acted?
    For whose glory have I acted?
    What faith, humility, self-denial, love to God and Christ, have there been
    in my actions?
    AS HUMBLING AS IT MAY BE
    Gorham Abbott, “The Family at Home” 1833
    “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God
    unless he is born again.” John 3:3
    As humbling as it may be, it is a truth — that the loveliest babe that was ever born, and the most amiable youth that eyes ever beheld — is a guilty, depraved creature — and must be born again before it can see the kingdom of God. He who is old enough to sin, is old enough for Hell.
    FINDING HAPPINESS IN A MISERABLE WORLD
    Gorham Abbott, “The Family at Home” 1833
    “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15
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“But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.” 1 Timothy 6:8
A little simple food, and plain clothing, and humble shelter — this is all that man really needs. Outward things can neither make a man happy or miserable. Ahab was discontented on a king’s throne. Paul and Silas were happy in a dungeon.
Nature is content with little; grace is content with less. Luxury is seldom satisfied; lust is never satisfied.
If we have but little in this world, we may content ourselves with the reflection, that it is safer to have little than much. Many have been ruined by prosperity. Many have gone to Hell splendidly clothed, and who lived each day in luxury!
Very wise was the prayer of Agur, “Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.” Proverbs 30:8
Christians should be content, because time is short; and if time is short, trouble cannot be long! “Weeping may endure for a night — but joy comes in the morning!” These light afflictions are but for a moment — and then comes an eternal weight of glory! The Christian is traveling down a rough and dirty piece of road; but he is going home — to his glorious heavenly home! This is the true secret of finding happiness in a miserable world.
DEATH-BED REPENTANCE
Gorham Abbott, “The Family at Home” 1833
“They shall look on Him whom they have pierced, and shall mourn.”
Zechariah 12:10
Repentance is the tear of love, dropping from the eye of faith, when it fixes on Christ crucified.
Repentance begins in the humiliation of the heart, and ends in the reformation of the heart and of the life.
Sincere repentance is never too late, but late repentance is seldom sincere. The thief on the cross repented, and was pardoned in the last hour of his life. We have one such instance in scripture — that none might
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despair; and only one — that none might presume.
Still, however, the probability that apparent repentance, which comes at a dying hour, will be genuine, is very small. The following fact will furnish an affecting illustration of this sentiment, and a solemn warning against the too common delusion of deferring the work of repentance to a dying bed.
The faithful and laborious clergyman of a very large and populous parish had been accustomed, for a long series of years, to preserve notes of his visits to the afflicted, with remarks on the outcome of their affliction — whether life or death, and of the subsequent conduct of those who recovered. He stated, that, during forty years, he had visited more than two thousand people apparently drawing near to death, and who revealed such signs of penitence as would have led him to indulge a good hope of their eternal safety — if they had died at that moment. When they were restored to life and health — he eagerly looked that they should bring forth fruits fit for repentance. But alas! of the two thousand, only two people manifested an abiding and saving change! The rest, when the terrors of eternity ceased to be in immediate prospect, forgot their pious impressions and their solemn vows — and returned with new avidity to their former worldly mindedness and sinful pursuits, “as the dog returns to its vomit again, and as the sow that was washed to its wallowing in the mire.”
THE LOVE OF FINE DRESS
Gorham Abbott, “The Family at Home” 1833
“I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.” 1 Timothy 2:9-10
To many young women, the love of fine dress is a great snare — which leads them into a series of mistakes.
A profusion of fine bows, feathers, necklaces, and earrings — is often the outward and visible sign of inward emptiness and vanity!
A minister, calling to visit a lady, was detained a long time while she was dressing. At length she made her appearance, bedecked in all the frippery
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of fashion and folly. The minister broke into tears. She demanded the cause of his grief; when he replied, “I weep, madam, to think that an immortal being should spend so much of that precious time which was given her to prepare for eternity — in thus vainly adorning that body which must so soon become a prey to worms!”
A lady once asked a minister whether a person might not be fond of fine dress and ornaments, without being proud. “Madam,” replied the minister, “when you see the fox’s tail peeping out of the hole — you may be sure the fox is within!”
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful.” 1 Peter 3:3-5
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
TOO MANY NOVELS
Sophia Smith’s journal entry, 7 November 1863 “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:16 “Of making many books there is no end.” Ecclesiastes 12:12
“I have done too much light reading in the past — too many novels. Although interesting and well written, they take up too much time, and are too absorbing. They induce a disrelish for more substantial reading. And they also have a tendency to dissipate the mind and take it off from more solemn things.”
“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk.” 1 Peter 2:2-3
“Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long!” Psalm 119:97
“There are many books,” said John Newton, “which I cannot sit down to read. They are indeed good and sound — but have a great quantity of pages, compared to their insignificant value. There are some silver books, and a very few golden books; but I have one book worth more than all,
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called the Bible — and that is a book of priceless gems!”
THE WORD OF GOD
Gorham Abbott, “The Family at Home” 1833
To a man who knows the value of the Word of God, it is . . . nearer than his friends,
dearer than his life,
sweeter than his liberty,
pleasanter than his daily comforts.
“How sweet are Your Words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalm 119:103
“They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.” Psalm 19:10
This one book is worth more than all the other books in the world! He who reads this book with attention, humility, prayer, and self application, can never be ignorant of that which it chiefly concerns him to know. “Therein are contained the words of eternal life. It has God for its Author, salvation for its object, and truth, without mixture of error, for its matter.”
Guard against the love of light, trifling reading. At best, it wastes the time and enfeebles the mind, and disqualifies it for the relish of more solid subjects. By giving a false and delusive coloring to the scenes of human life — it excites unreasonable expectations, unfits for common duties, and produces discontent with the sober realities of life.
THE CHRISTIAN’S STRENGTH
Thomas Watson, “The One Thing Necessary”
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Always labor in the strength of Christ. Never go to work alone. Samson’s strength lay in his hair. The Christian’s strength lies in Christ.
When you are . . . to do any duty,
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to resist any temptation,
to subdue any lust,
set upon it in the strength of Christ!
Some go out against sin, in the strength of their resolutions and vows — and they are soon foiled. Do as Samson did — he first cried to God for help and then having taken hold of the pillars, he pulled down the house upon the Philistines! Likewise, only when we engage Christ in the work, can we bring down the house upon the head of our lusts!
Prayer beats the weapon out of the devil’s hand — and gets the blessing out of God’s hand!
NOT WHOM HE MAY BITE — BUT DEVOUR!
Thomas Watson, “The Christian Soldier” 1669
We read in Scripture of Satan’s snares and darts; he hurts more by his
snares than by his darts!
Satan opposes us both by open violence, and secret treachery.

  1. Satan opposes by open violence — so he is called the Red Dragon. He labors to storm the castle of the heart; he stirs up passion, lust and revenge. These are called “fiery darts,” Ephesians 6:16, because they often set the soul on fire. Satan in regard to his fierceness, is called a lion, “Be self- controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour!” 1 Peter 5:8. Not whom he may bite — but devour!
  2. Satan opposes by secret treachery — so he is called the Old Serpent. What he cannot do by force, he will endeavor to do by fraud. Satan has several subtle devices in tempting:
    Satan suits his temptations to the temper of the individual. Satan studies our dispositions, and lays suitable baits. He knew Achan’s covetous heart, and tempted him with a wedge of gold. He tempts the youthful man with lust.
    Satan tempts to sin gradually. He steals into into the heart by degrees. He is at first, more modest. He did not say to Eve at first, “Eat the apple!” No! but he goes more subtly to work. He puts forth a question, “Has God
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said? Surely Eve, you are mistaken; the bountiful God never intended to debar one of the best trees of the garden. Has God said? Surely, either God did not say it; or if He did, He never really intended it.” Thus by degrees he wrought her to distrust God, and then she took of the fruit and ate. Oh, take heed of Satan’s first motions to sin, which seem more modest.
He is first a fox, and then a lion.
Satan tempts to evil in lawful things. It was lawful for Noah to eat the fruit of the grape; but he took too much, and so sinned. Excess turns that which is good — into evil. Eating and drinking may turn to intemperance. Industry in one’s calling, when excessive, becomes covetousness. Satan draws men to an immoderate love of the creature, and then makes them sin in that which they love — as Agrippina poisoned her husband Claudius, in that food which he loved most.
Satan puts men upon doing good, out of evil ends. If he cannot hurt them by scandalous actions — he will by virtuous actions. Thus he tempts some to espouse religion out of ulterior motives. He tempts others to give to charity, for applause, that others may see their good works.
“Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one!” Ephesians 6:16. We must resist the devil by faith. Faith is a wise, intelligent grace. Faith can see a hook under the bait! Faith keeps the castle of the heart, so that it does not yield. Faith beats back the temptation. Faith holds the promise in one hand, and Christ in the other. The promise encourages faith, and Christ strengthens it; so faith beats the enemy out of the field!
We overcome Satan upon our knees! A Christian by prayer fetches in auxiliary forces from Heaven. In all temptations, go to God by prayer. “Lord, teach me to use every piece of the spiritual armor — how to hold the shield, how to wear the helmet, how to use the sword of the Spirit. Lord, strengthen me in the battle; let me rather die a conqueror — than be taken prisoner, and led captive by Satan!”
Remember that Christ has given Satan his death-wound upon the cross. He has bruised the head of the old Serpent! He is a chained enemy, and a conquered enemy; therefore do not fear him. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you!” James 4:7. “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet!” Romans 16:20
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SUCK OUT THE SWEETNESS
Thomas Watson, “The Christian Soldier” 1669
Meditation is a holy exercise of the mind; whereby we bring the truths of God to remembrance — and seriously ponder upon them and apply them to ourselves. It is a work which cannot be done in a crowd. A Christian must retire from the world, to have serious thinking upon God. It is not a few transient thoughts that are quickly gone; but a fixing and staying of the mind upon heavenly objects.
As the bee sucks the honey from the flower — so by meditation we suck out the sweetness of a truth. It is not the receiving of food into the mouth, but the digesting of it, which makes it nutritious. Just so, it is not the receiving of the most excellent truths in the ear, which nourishes our souls — but the digesting of them by meditation.
Satan does what he can to hinder this duty. He is an enemy of meditation. The devil does not care not how much we read — so long as we do not meditate on what we read. Reading begets knowledge — but meditation begets devotion. “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.” Psalm 119:97
Holy meditation quickens the affections. The reason why our affections are so cold to heavenly things — is because we do not warm them at the fire of holy meditation. As the musing on worldly objects makes the fire of lust burn; and as the musing on injuries makes the fire of revenge burn; just so, meditating on the transcendent beauties of Christ, would make our love to Christ flame forth.
Meditation has a transforming power in it. The reading of the Word may affect us — but the meditating upon it transforms us. Meditation stamps the impression of divine truths upon our hearts. By meditating on God’s holiness, we grow holy. While by meditation we look upon God’s purity — we are changed into His likeness.
Meditation produces reformation. “I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.” Psalm 119:59. If we would spend but one quarter of an hour every day in contemplating heavenly objects, it would leave a mighty impression upon us!
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THE RAT GETS INTO HIS BELLY AND EATS HIS ENTRAILS
Thomas Watson, “The Christian Soldier” 1669
Take heed of a slothful, lazy disposition. A slothful person would gladly have Heaven — but is loathe to take it by storm. Sloth is the soul’s sleep. Many, instead of working out salvation, sleep away salvation! Such as will not labor, must be put at last to beg. They must beg, as Dives in Hell — for one drop of water!
God never made Heaven as a hive for drones!
Sloth is a disease apt to grow upon men — shake it off!
A sluggish ship is a prey to the pirate. A sluggish soul is a prey to Satan!
When the crocodile sleeps with his mouth open — the rat gets into his belly and eats his entrails. Just so, while men are asleep in sloth — the Devil enters and devours them!
Our sleeping time is Satan’s tempting time!
IF OUR HEARTS ARE NOT ROCKS
Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity”
“And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and
became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:8
See here the astonishing humility of Christ. That Christ should clothe Himself with our flesh — a piece of that earth which we tread upon — oh infinite humility! For Christ to be made flesh, was more humility than for the angels to be made worms! He stripped Himself of the robes of His glory, and covered Himself with the rags of our humanity!
Christ’s humiliation consisted in His being born, and that in a poor condition; and His undergoing . . .
the miseries of this life,
the cursed death of the cross,
and the wrath of God.
The prime cause of Christ’s humiliation was free grace! Love was the
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intrinsic motive. Christ came to us, out of pity and love. Not our deserts — but our misery, caused Christ to humble Himself. This was a plot of free grace — a design of pure love! Christ incarnate, is nothing but ‘love’ covered with flesh! As Christ’s assuming our human nature was a master- piece of wisdom, so it also was a monument of free grace!
Behold the infinite love of Christ! Had not He been made flesh — we would have been made a curse! Had He not been incarnate, we would have been incarcerate, and had been forever in the prison of Hell.
Consider where Jesus came from. He came from Heaven, and from the richest place in Heaven — His Father’s bosom, that hive of sweetness.
Consider for whom Jesus came. Was it to His friends? No! He came for sinful man — who had defaced His image, and abused His love, and rebelled against Him! Yet He came to man, resolving to conquer our obstinacy with His kindness.
If He would come to any, why not to the fallen angels? The angels are of a more noble origin, are more intelligent creatures, and more able for service! But behold the love of Christ — He did not come to the fallen angels — but to sinful mankind!
Among the several wonders of the magnet is that it will not draw gold or pearl — but despising these, it draws the iron to itself — one of the most inferior metals. Just so, Christ leaves angels, those noble spirits, the gold and the pearl — and comes to poor sinful man, and draws him into His embraces!
Consider in what manner Jesus came. He came not in the majesty of a king, attended with His royal retinue — but He came poor.
Consider the place Jesus was born in — a feeding trough was His cradle,
the cobwebs were His curtains,
the beasts were His companions!
Christ was so poor, that when He needed money, He had to work a miracle to obtain it. When He died, He made no will.
Consider why Jesus came. That He might take our sins upon Him — and so appease God’s wrath for us, and bring us into His kingdom!
He was poor — that we might become rich!
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He was born of a virgin — that we might be born of God!
He took our flesh — that we might have His Spirit!
He lay in the feeding trough — that we might lie in paradise! He came down from Heaven — that we might go up to Heaven!
And what was all this, but love? If our hearts are not rocks, this love of Christ should affect us. “May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it!” Ephesians 3:19
DO NOT BE PROUD OF YOUR FINE FEATHERS!
Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity”
Behold here a sacred riddle or paradox — “God was manifest in the flesh.” That man should be made in God’s image, was a wonder — but that God should be made in man’s image, is a greater wonder!
That the Ancient of Days — should be born;
that He who thunders in the heavens — should cry in the cradle; that He who rules the stars — should suck the breast;
that Christ should be made of a woman — and of that woman which He Himself made; that the mother should be younger than the child she bore; this is the most astonishing miracle! “God was manifest in the flesh” is a mystery we shall never fully understand until we come to Heaven, when our light shall be clear, as well as our love perfect.
“He humbled Himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:8
“God made Him who had no sin — to be sin for us!” 2 Corinthians 5:21
This was the lowest degree of Christ’s humiliation. That Christ, who would not endure sin in the angels, should endure to have sin imputed to Himself — is the most amazing humility that ever was!
Christian! Learn to be humble! Do you see Christ humbling Himself — and are you proud? It is the humble saint, who is Christ’s picture! Christians, do not be proud of your fine feathers! Have you an estate? Do not be proud. The earth you tread on, is richer than you! It has mines of gold and silver in its depths. Have you beauty? Do not be proud. It is but water mingled with dirt! Have you skill and abilities? Be humble.
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Lucifer has more knowledge than you! Have you grace? Be humble. It is not of your own making — it was given to you by God. You have more sin than grace; more spots than beauty. Oh look on Christ — this rare pattern of humility — and be humbled! It is a sad sight, to see God humbling Himself — and man exalting himself; to see a humble Savior — and a proud sinner! God hates the very semblance of pride!
“I hate pride and arrogance!” Proverbs 8:13
“If God,” says Augustine, “did not spare the angels when they grew proud;
will He spare you — who are but dust and sin?”
WALKING PICTURES OF CHRIST!
Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity”
“Leaving you an example — so that you should follow in His steps.”
1 Peter 2:21
“The one who says he remains in Him should walk just as He walked.” 1 John 2:6
“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” John 13:15
True religion is to imitate Christ.
There are four things in which we should labor to be like Christ.

  1. Be like Christ in DISPOSITION. He was of a most sweet disposition. He has a heart to pity us.
    He has breasts to feed us.
    He has wings to cover us.
    He would not break our heart — but with mercy. Let us be like Him in sweetness of disposition. Do not be of a morose spirit. It was said of Nabal, “He’s so ill-tempered that no one can even talk to him!” Some are so sour, and breathe forth nothing but revenge! Or they are like those two men in the gospel, “possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs. They were so violent that no one could pass that way.” Let us be like Christ in mildness and sweetness. Let us pray for our enemies — and conquer them by love. David’s kindness melted Saul’s heart. A frozen heart will be
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thawed, with the fire of love.
2 Be like Christ in HUMILITY. “He humbled himself.” He left the bright robes of His glory — to be clothed with the rags of our humanity — a wonder of humility! Let us be like Christ in this grace. Humility is the glory of a Christian. We are never so lovely in God’s eyes — as when we are black in our own eyes. In this let us be like Christ. Indeed, what cause have we to be humble — if we look within us, about us, below us, and above us!
If we look within us — here we see our sins represented to us in the looking-glass of conscience — lust, envy, passion. Our sins are like vermin crawling in our souls. “How many are my iniquities!” Job 13:23. Our sins are as the sands of the sea for number; as the rocks of the sea for weight! Augustine cries out, “My heart, which is God’s temple — is polluted with sin!”
If we look about us — there is that which may humble us. We may see other Christians outshining us in graces, as the sun outshines the lesser planets. Others are laden with fruit — and perhaps we have but here and there, a berry!
If we look below us — there is that which may humble us. We may see the mother earth, out of which we came. The earth is the most ignoble element. “They were viler than the earth.” Job 30:8
“Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground.” Genesis 2:7. “You will return to the ground from which you came. For you were made from dust, and to the dust you will return.” Genesis 3:19. You who are so proud, behold your pedigree — you are but walking dirt! And will you be proud? What is man? The son of dust! And what is dust? The son of nothing!
If we look above us; there is that which may humble us. If we look up to Heaven, there we may see God resisting the proud. God pursues the proud in vengeance. He threw proud Lucifer out of Heaven! The proud man is the mark which God shoots at — and He never misses the mark! Oh then — be like Christ in humility!

  1. Be like Christ, in the contempt of the WORLD. Christ was not ambitious for titles or honor. He declined worldly dignity and greatness — as much as others seek it. When they would have made Him a king — He refused it. He chose rather to ride upon the foal of an donkey, than be
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drawn in a chariot. He chose rather to hang upon a wooden cross — than to wear a golden crown! He scorned the pomp and glory of the world. He ignored secular affairs. “Who made Me a judge?” He did not come into the world to be a judge — but a Redeemer. He minded nothing but Heaven.
Let us be made like Him — in heavenliness and contempt of the world. Let us not be ambitious for the empty honors and glories of the world. Let us not purchase the world — with the loss our soul. What wise man would damn himself — to grow rich? or throw his soul down to Hell — to build up an earthly estate? Be like Christ in a holy contempt of the world.

  1. Be like Christ in HOLINESS of life. No temptation could fasten upon Him. Temptation to Christ, was like a spark of fire upon a marble pillar, which glides off. “As the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct.” 1 Peter 1:15
    A Christian should be both a magnet and a diamond! A magnet — in drawing others to Christ; a diamond — in casting a sparkling luster of holiness, in his life. Oh let us be . . .
    so just in our dealings,
    so true in our promises,
    so devout in our worship,
    so unblamable in our lives;
    that we may be the walking pictures of Christ!
    HOW SHALL WE KNOW IF WE HAVE SAVING FAITH?
    Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity”
    How shall we know if we have saving faith?
    By the noble fruits and effects of saving faith.
    True faith is a Christ-prizing grace — it puts a high valuation upon Christ. “To you who believe — He is precious.” See how Paul styles all things in comparison with Christ, “I count all things but rubbish, that I may win Christ.” Do we set a high estimate upon Christ? Could we be willing to part with the wedge of gold — for the Pearl of great price?
    True faith is a refining grace. Faith is in the soul as fire among metals — it refines and purifies. Morality may wash the outside — but faith washes the inside. “Having purified their hearts by faith.” Faith makes the heart a
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holy of holies. Faith is a virgin-grace; though it does not take away the life of sin — yet it takes away the love of sin. Examine if your hearts are an unclean fountain, sending out the mud and mire of pride and envy. If there are legions of lusts in your soul, there is no faith. Faith is a heavenly plant, which will not grow in an impure soil.
True faith is an obediential grace. “The obedience of faith.” Faith melts our will into God’s. It runs at God’s call. If God commands duty (though cross to flesh and blood) faith obeys. “By faith Abraham obeyed.” Faith is not an idle grace. As it has an eye to see Christ — so it has a hand to work for Him. It not only believes God’s promises — but obeys His commands. It is not having knowledge that will evidence you to be believers; the devil has knowledge, but lacks obedience — and that makes him a devil. The true obedience of faith, is a cheerful obedience. God’s commands do not seem grievous. Have you obedience, and obey cheerfully? Do you look upon God’s command as your burden — or privilege; as an iron fetter about your leg — or as a gold chain about your neck?
True faith is an assimilating grace. It changes the soul into the image of the object; it makes it like Christ. Never did any look upon Christ with a believing eye — but he was made like Christ. A deformed person may look on a beautiful object, and not be made beautiful; but faith looking on Christ — transforms a man, and turns him into His similitude.
Looking on a bleeding Christ — causes a soft bleeding heart.
Looking on a holy Christ — causes sanctity of heart.
Looking on a humble Christ — makes the heart humble.
As the chameleon is changed into the color of that which it looks upon — so faith, looking on Christ, changes the Christian into the similitude of Christ.
True faith grows. All living things grow. Growth of faith is seen by doing duties in a more spiritual manner, with more fervency. When an apple has done growing in bigness, it grows in sweetness. Just so, duties performed in love and are sweeter, and come off with a better relish.
THE LORD HAS TWO HEAVENS
Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity”
“Just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;
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for it is written — Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16
God is not drawn to any person’s outward beauty, great abilities, noble blood or worldly grandeur. But He is drawn to a heart embellished with holiness. Christ never admired anything but the beauty of holiness. He slighted the glorious buildings of the temple — but admired the woman’s faith, and said, “O woman, great is your faith!” As a king delights to see his image upon a piece of coin; so where God sees His likeness — He gives His love! The Lord has two heavens to dwell in — and the holy heart is one of them!
SPIRITUAL JOYS
Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity”
What are the differences between worldly joys and spiritual joys? The
gleanings of spiritual joys, are better than the vintage of the worldly joys.
Spiritual joys help to make us BETTER; worldly joys often make us worse. “I spoke unto you in your prosperity; but you said — I will not hear.” Pride and luxury are the two worms which are bred from worldly pleasures.
But spiritual joy is cordial medicine, which not only comforts, but purifies —
it makes a Christian more holy;
it causes an antipathy against sin;
it infuses strength to live and suffer for Christ.
Some colors not only delight the eye — but strengthen the sight. Just so, the joys of God not only refresh the soul — but strengthen it. “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Spiritual joys are INWARD, they are heart joys. “Your heart shall rejoice.” True joy is hidden within; worldly joy lies on the outside, like the dew which wets the leaf. “Laughter can conceal a heavy heart; when the laughter ends, the grief remains.” Like a house which has a gilded frontispiece — but all the rooms within are in shambles. But spiritual joy lies most within. “Your heart shall rejoice.” Divine joy is like a spring of water, which runs underground. Others can see the sufferings of a Christian — but they cannot see his joy. His joy is hidden manna — hidden from the eye of the world; he has joyful music which others cannot
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hear. The marrow lies within — the best joy is within the heart.
Spiritual joys are SWEETER than worldly joys. “Your love is sweeter than wine!” Spiritual joys are a Christian’s festival; they are the golden pot, and the sweet manna. They are so sweet, that they make everything else sweet! Spiritual joys sweeten health and estate, as sweet water poured on flowers makes them more fragrant and aromatic. Divine joys are so delicious and ravishing, that they put our mouth out of taste for earthly delights; just as he who has been drinking cordials, tastes little sweetness in water. Paul had so tasted these divine joys, that his mouth was out of taste for worldly things. The world was crucified to him — it was like a dead thing, he could find no sweetness in it.
Spiritual joys are more PURE; they are not tempered with any bitter ingredients. A sinner’s joy is mixed with dregs — it is embittered with fear and guilt — he drinks wormwood wine. But spiritual joy is not muddied with guilt — but like a crystal stream, it runs pure. Spiritual joy is a rose without prickles; it is honey without wax.
Spiritual joys are SATISFYING joys. “Ask, that your joy may be full.” Worldly joys can no more fill the heart, than a drop can fill an ocean! They may please the palate or imagination — but cannot satisfy the soul. “No matter how much we see — we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear — we are not content.” Ecclesiastes 1:8. But the joys of God satisfy. “Your comforts delight my soul.” Psalm 94:19. There is as much difference between spiritual joys and earthly joys — as between a banquet which is eaten — and one which is painted on the wall!
Spiritual joys are STRONGER joys than worldly joys. “Strong consolation.” Hebrews 6:18. They are strong joys indeed, which can bear up a Christian’s heart in trials and afflictions. “Having received the word in much affliction — with joy.” These joys are roses which grow in winter! These joys can sweeten the bitter waters of Marah! He who has these joys — can gather grapes from thorns, and fetch honey out of the carcass of a lion! At the end of the rod — a Christian tastes honey! “As sorrowing — yet always rejoicing.”
Spiritual joys are UNWEARIED joys. Other joys, when in excess, often cause loathing; too much honey nauseates. One may be tired of pleasure — as well as labor. King Xerxes offered a reward to him who could find out a new pleasure. But the joys of God, though they satisfy — yet they never glut. A drop of joy is sweet — but the more of this wine the better!
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Such as drink of the joys of Heaven — are never glutted. Their satiety is without loathing, because they still desire more of the joy with which they are satiated.
Spiritual joys are ABIDING joys. Worldly joys are soon gone. Such as bathe in the perfumed waters of pleasure — may have joys which seem to be sweet — but they are swift. They are like meteors — which give a bright and sudden flash, and then disappear. But the joys which believers have are abiding; they are a blossom of eternity — a pledge of those rivers of pleasure which run at God’s right hand! “In Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures!” Psalm 16:11
If God gives His people such joy in this life, oh! then, what glorious joy will He give them in Heaven! “Enter into the joy of your Lord!” God keeps His best wine until last. What joy will that be — when the soul shall forever bathe itself in the pure and pleasant fountain of God’s love! What joy will that be — to see the orient brightness of Christ’s face, and have the kisses of those lips which drop sweet-smelling myrrh! How may this set us all longing for that place where sorrow cannot live — and where joy cannot die!
YOU HAVE BUT A LITTLE WAY TO GO!
Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity”
“Our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” Romans 13:11
You are within a few days march of Heaven! Salvation is near to you. Christians, it is but a little while, and you will be done weeping and praying — and be triumphing! You shall put off your mourning garments — and put on white robes! You shall put off your battle armor — and put on a victorious crown! You are almost ready to commence eternal glory!
When a man is almost at the end of a race — will he tire, or faint away? You have but a little way to go — and you will set your foot in Heaven! Though the way is up-hill and full of thorns; yet you have gone the greatest part of your way, and shortly shall rest from your labors!
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom!” Luke 12:32
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FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST
Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity”
Paul was a great admirer of Christ. He desired to know nothing but Christ, and Him crucified. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain!” Philippians 1:21
“For to me, to live is Christ.” That is, “Christ is my life!” Or thus, “My life is made up of Christ.” As a wicked man’s life is made up of sin, so Paul’s life was made up of Christ — he was full of Christ. That I may give you the sense of the text more fully, take it in these three particulars:
[1] “For to me, to live is Christ,” that is — Christ is the PRINCIPLE of my life. I fetch my spiritual life from Christ, as the branch fetches its sap from the root. “Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:20. Jesus Christ sends forth life into me, to quicken me to every holy action. Thus, Christ is the principle of my life; from His fullness I live — as the branch lives from the root.
[2] “For to me, to live is Christ,” that is — Christ is the END of my life. I live not for myself — but for Christ. All my living, is to do service to Christ. “Whether we live, we live unto the Lord.” Romans 14:8. We lay out ourselves wholly for Christ. The design of our life is to exalt Christ, and to make the crown upon His head flourish. In this sense, Christ is the end of my life — when my whole life is a living for Christ.
[3] “For to me, to live is Christ,” that is — Christ is the JOY of my life. Psalm 43:4, “God my exceeding joy,” or the cream of my joy. A Christian can rejoice in Christ, when worldly joys are gone. When the tulip in a garden withers — a man still rejoices in his jewels which are locked up in the house. Just so — when worldly joys are gone — a saint can rejoice in Christ, the pearl of great price. In this sense, Christ is the joy of my life — if Christ were gone, my life would be a death to me.
“For to me, to live is Christ!” Christ is the principle of my life, the end of my life, the joy of my life. If we can say, “For to me, to live is Christ,” we may comfortably conclude, “and to die is gain!”
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A DIVINE CHEMISTRY

Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity”
“For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an
absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory!” 2 Corinthians 4:17
The wisdom of God is seen in making the most desperate evils, work to the good of His children. As several poisonous ingredients, wisely tempered by the skill of the apothecary, make a sovereign medicine — so God makes the most deadly afflictions work together for the good of His children. He uses severe afflictions to purify them, and prepare them for Heaven.
These hard frosts hasten the spring flowers of glory! The wise God, by a divine chemistry, turns our afflictions into cordials. He makes His people gainers by losses; and turns their crosses into blessings!
LOSERS!
Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity”
“The hopes of the godly result in happiness, but the
expectations of the wicked are all in vain.” Proverbs 10:28
See the great difference between the death of the godly — and the wicked. The godly are great gainers at death — but the wicked are great losers at death. They lose four things:
(1.) They lose the world — and that is a great loss to the wicked. They laid up their treasure upon earth, and to be turned out of it all at once, is a great loss.
(2.) They lose their souls. Matthew 16:26-27. The soul is more precious than the whole world! But the sinner’s soul is lost; not that the souls of the wicked are annihilated at death — but tormented!
(3.) They lose Heaven. Heaven is the region of happiness and bliss.
(4.) They lose all hope. Though they lived wickedly, they hoped God would be merciful; and they hoped they would go to Heaven. Their hope was not an anchor — but a spider’s web! At death they lose their hopes, and see they did but flatter themselves into Hell! “Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless. What he trusts in is fragile; what he relies on is a spider’s web.” Job 8:13-14. It is dreadful
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to have life and hope cut off together!
“When a wicked man dies, his hope perishes.” Proverbs 11:7
“The desire of the righteous ends only in good, but the hope of the wicked only in wrath.” Proverbs 11:23
THE CHRISTIAN AND THE THEATER
Published by the American Tract Society, 1820’s
If attending on the theater is a sinful waste of time; if it tends to dissipate the mind, and to render it indisposed for all sober, useful, or spiritual employments; if hardly any man living would dare to retire, and, upon his knees, ask the blessing of God upon it before he went, or implore the sanctified use of it after he returned; if theatrical exhibitions are often — very often — indecent and profane, and always demoralizing in their tendency; and if their patrons, by every attendance upon them, encourage and support sin as a trade; then, I ask, can a disciple of Jesus Christ, who professes to be governed by the Spirit, and to imitate the example of his Divine Master; who is commanded to “live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present evil world;” who is warned to have “no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather to reprove them;” who is required to “crucify the flesh, with the affections and lusts;” and “whether he eats or drinks, or whatever he does, to do all to the glory of God;” can a disciple of Christ, I say, who is commanded to “shun the company of the profane,” to “avoid the very appearance of evil,” and to pray, “Lead us not into temptation” — can HE be found in such a place without sin; without polluting his conscience, tarnishing his profession, and offending his God?
THE SCARS OF THE SAINTS!
Thomas Watson, “A Treatise Concerning Meditation”
“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.” 1 Corinthians 1:26
Meditate on the sovereignty of Christ’s love! In the old law, God passed by the noble lion and the eagle — and took the dove for sacrifice. That
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God should pass by so many of noble birth and abilities, and that the lot of free grace should fall upon me — O the depth of divine grace!
How invincible is the love of Christ! “It is strong as death!” Song of Songs 8:6. Death might take away Christ’s life — but not His love! Neither can our sin wholly quench that divine flame of love; the church had her infirmities, her sleepy fits, Song of Songs 5:2, but though blacked and sullied, yet she is still Christ’s dove; Christ could see the faith, and wink at the failing.
He who painted Alexander, drew him with his finger over the scar on his face. Just so, Christ puts the finger of mercy over the scars of the saints! He will not throw away His pearls for every speck of dirt! That which makes this love of Christ the more stupendous — is that there was nothing in us to excite or draw forth His love! He did not love us because we were worthy — but by loving us He made us worthy!
Serious meditation on the love of Christ, would make us love Him in return. Who can tread by meditation upon these hot coals of Christ’s love — and his heart not burn in love to Him?
Meditation on Christ’s love, would set our eyes abroach with tears! O that we should sin against so sweet a Savior! Had we none to abuse — but our best Friend? Must we give Him more gall and vinegar to drink? O, if anything can dissolve the heart into mourning — it is the unkindnesses we give to Christ! When Peter thought of Christ’s love to him — this made his eyes to water! “Peter went out and wept bitterly.”
THERE IS NO SHAKING OFF THIS VIPER!
Thomas Watson, “A Treatise Concerning Meditation”
Meditate upon SIN

  1. Meditate on the GUILT of sin. We are in Adam as in a common head, or root — and he sinning — we become guilty, Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.” By his treason — our blood is tainted! This guilt brings shame with it, as its twin!
  2. Meditate upon the FILTH of sin. Not only is the guilt of Adam’s sin imputed, but the poison of his nature is disseminated to us! Our virgin
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nature is defiled! If the heart is polluted — how then can the actions be pure? If the water in the well is foul — it cannot be clean in the bucket! Isaiah 64:6, “We are all as an unclean thing.” We are like a patient who has no sound part in him — his head is bruised, his liver is swelled, his lungs are gasping, his blood is infected, his feet are gangrened! Thus is it with us before saving grace comes!
In the mind there is darkness!
In the memory there is slipperiness! In the heart there is hardness!
In the will there is stubborness!
“You are sick from head to foot — covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds — without any ointments or bandages!” Isaiah 1:6. A sinner befilthied with sin — is no better than a devil in man’s shape!
And which is sadly to be laid to heart — is the adherency of this sin. Sin is natural to us. The apostle calls it, “the sin that so easily ensnares us!” Hebrews 12:1. Sin is not easily cast off! A man may as well shake off the skin of his body — as the sin of his soul! There is no shaking off this viper until death!
Oh, often meditate on this contagion of sin. How strong is that poison — a drop whereof is able to poison a whole sea! How venomous and malignant was that apple — a taste of which poisoned all mankind!
Meditation on sin would make the plumes of pride fall off! If our knowledge makes us proud — that is sin enough to make us humble. The best saint alive who is taken out of the grave of sin — yet has the smell of the grave-clothes still upon him!

  1. Meditate upon the CURSE of sin. Galatians 3:10. “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Sin is not only a defiling thing — but a damning thing! It is not only a spot in the face — but a stab at the heart! Sin betrays us into the devil’s hands! Sin binds us over to the wrath of God! What then, are all our earthly enjoyments — with the sword of divine vengeance hanging over our head! Sin brings forth the “scroll written with curses” against a sinner, Zechariah 5:5, and it is a “flying scroll” — it comes swiftly — if mercy does not stop it. “You are cursed with a curse!” Thus it is, until the head of this curse is cut off by Christ. Oh meditate upon this curse due to sin.
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Micah had stolen his mother’s money, and heard her curse him, he dared not keep it any longer, but restored it, Judges 17:2. He was afraid of his mother’s curse; what then is God’s curse!
Meditation on this curse would make us afraid of entertaining sin. We would not willingly entertain one in our house who had a deadly plague! Sin brings along with it, the plague of God’s curse, which cleaves to a sinner. The meditation on this, would make us fly from sin! While we sit under the shadow of this bramble of sin — fire will come out of the bramble eternally to devour us! Judges 9:15
SOMETHING EITHER TO DISSATISFY OR NAUSEATE
Thomas Watson, “A Treatise Concerning Meditation”
Meditate upon the vanity of the creature.
When you have sifted out the finest flour that the creature can give, you will find something either to dissatisfy or nauseate. The best wine has its froth, the sweetest rose has its prickles, and the purest comforts have their dregs. The creature cannot be said to be full — unless we say that it is full of vanity. The world is like a broken mirror — which shows a false beauty.
Meditation on worldly vanity would be like the digging about the roots of a tree, to loosen it from the earth. Let a Christian think thus with himself, “Why am I so serious about such a worthless vanity? If the whole earth were changed into a globe of gold — it could not fill my heart!” This would much loosen our hearts from the world, and be an excellent preservative against the love of earthly things.
Meditation on the creature’s vanity would make us look after more solid comforts — the favor of God, the blood of Christ, the influences of the Spirit. When I see that the life which I fetch from the cistern is vain — I will go the more to the ocean! In Christ there is an inexhaustible treasury! When a man finds the bough begin to break, he lets go of the bough, and catches hold on the tree. Just so, when we find the creature to be but a rotten bough, then by faith we shall catch hold on Christ, the tree of life! Revelation 2:7. The creature is but a shaking reed; God is the immovable rock of ages!
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ONE HOUR IN HEAVEN
Thomas Watson, “A Treatise Concerning Meditation”
Meditate upon HEAVEN. Heaven is the quintessence of all blessedness. There the saints shall have all their holy hearts can desire! We shall behold the King in His beauty! What a glorious place will this be! In Heaven “God will be all in all” — beauty to the eye, music to the ears, joy to the heart; and this He will be to the poorest saint, as well as the richest. O Christian, who is now at your hard labor, perhaps following the plough — you shall sit on the throne of glory! The poorest believer shall be taken from his laboring work, and set at the right hand of God, having the crown of righteousness upon his head!
“For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory!” 2 Corinthians 4:17
Meditation on Heaven would excite and quicken OBEDIENCE. It would put spurs to our sluggish hearts, and make us “abound in the work of God, knowing that our labor is not in vain in the Lord!” The weight of glory would not hinder us in our race — but cause us to run the faster! This weight would add wings to duty!
Meditation on Heaven would make us strive after heart PURITY, because only the “pure in heart shall see God.”
Meditation on Heaven would be a pillar of SUPPORT under our sufferings. Heaven will make amends for all. One hour in Heaven will make us forget all our sorrows! The sun dries up the water; just so — one beam of God’s glorious face will dry up all our tears! “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain!” Revelation 21:4
HONEY-STREAMS
Thomas Watson, “A Christian on Earth, Still in Heaven”
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:1-2
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You shall never go to Heaven when you die — unless you begin Heaven here. Grace puts high thoughts, divine affections, a kind of heavenly ambition into the soul.
Oh, how sordid is it for him who has his hope in Heaven — to have his heart upon the earth! The ‘lapwing’ insect has a crown on her head — and yet feeds on dung. A fit emblem of those who have a crown of profession on their head — yet feed with eagerness on earthly vanities.
Let all the golden streams of worldly delights run into the heart of a man — yet the heart is not full. Strain out the quintessence of the creature — it turns to froth, “Vanity of vanities!” But in God is sweet satisfaction and contentment. He is a hive of sweetness, a mirror of beauty, a storehouse of riches! He is the river of pleasure, where the soul bathes with infinite delight!
The bird, the higher it takes its flight, the sweeter it sings. Just so, the higher the soul is raised above the world — the sweeter joy it has. How is the heart inflamed in prayer! How is it ravished in holy meditation! These joys are those honey-streams which flow out of the rock, Christ! He has those tastes of God’s love — which are the beginnings of Heaven. So sweet is this kind of life, that it can drop sweetness into our troubles and afflictions — that we shall be scarcely sensible of them. It can turn the prison into a paradise; the furnace into a festival; it can sweeten death. A soul elevated by grace, can rejoice to think of dying. Death will but cut the string, and the soul, that bird of paradise, shall fly away and be at rest. Happiness is but the cream of holiness!
IF HE SEES THIS SERPENT CREEPING INTO HIS BOSOM
Thomas Watson, “The Upright Man’s Character”
“How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?”
Genesis 39:9
A godly man will not allow himself in any known sin. He dares not touch the forbidden fruit. Every man but has a propensity and inclination to a certain sin. This one master-sin is as dear to him as his right eye! This sin is Satan’s citadel, all his strength lies here. The devil can hold a man as fast by this one link, as by a whole chain of vices. The fowler has the bird held fast enough by one wing. Herod did many things, but there was one
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sin so dear to him, that he would sooner behead the prophet, than behead that sin!
A godly man will not indulge himself in this darling sin. He takes the sacrificing knife of mortification — and runs it through his dearest sin! “I was also upright before Him, and kept myself from my iniquity.”
An upright heart is not only angry with sin, but hates sin! If he sees this serpent creeping into his bosom, the nearer it is, the more he hates it!
PLAYING WITH MONKEYS AND PARROTS
Thomas Watson, “The Christian’s Charter” “You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with
eternal pleasures at Your right hand!” Psalm 16:11
Eternity is the highest link of the saint’s happiness! The believer shall be forever bathing in the pure and pleasant fountain of bliss! There is neither intermission nor expiration — in the joys of Heaven! When once God has set His plants in the celestial paradise, He will never more pluck them up! You may sooner separate light from the sun, than a glorified saint from Jesus Christ. O eternity, eternity! what a never-failing spring of delight will that be!
The glory of Heaven is infinitely satisfying! There is neither lack, nor excess. This cannot be properly said of anything but Heaven. You who look to the world for satisfaction, remember what the creature says, “It is not in me!” Heaven alone, is commensurate to the vast desires of the soul. Here the Christian cries out in a divine ecstasy, “I have enough, my Savior, I have enough!” O eternity, eternity! what a never-failing spring of delight will that be!
“You feed them from the abundance of Your own house, letting them drink from Your rivers of delight!” Psalm 36:8. Not drops — but rivers! These alone can quench the thirst. Every day in Heaven, shall be a feast! There is no lack at this feast! Here is soul-satisfaction! O the glory of this paradise! It is more than we can ever imagine! There is:
unspotted purity, unstained honor, unparalleled beauty!
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There will God give us “infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope!” Is not this enough? What more could we ask for! A man could ask for million of worlds — but in Heaven God will give us more than we can ask; nay, more than we can ever imagine! We could imagine —
what if all the dust of the earth were turned to silver; what if every stone were a wedge of gold;
what if every flower were a ruby;
what if every blade of grass were a pearl;
what if every sand in the sea were a diamond!
Yet all this is nothing — compared to the glory of Heaven! It is as impossible for any man in his deepest thoughts, to comprehend glory — as it would be for him to measure the heavens with a ruler; or drain the great ocean with a thimble. O incomparable place!
But why do I expatiate? These things are unspeakable and full of glory! Had I as many tongues as hairs on my head, I could never sufficiently set forth the beauty and resplendency of this blissful inheritance! Such is the excellency of this celestial paradise, that if the angels should take up their pencil to delineate it in its colors, they would but stain and eclipse the glory of it! I have given you only the dark shadow the picture, and that but crudely and imperfectly!
How should we be inflamed with desire to taste of those rare and sweet delicacies, which are above at God’s right hand! O what madness is it for men to spin out their time, and tire out their strength — in pursuing the vanities of this world! Who would, for the indulging of a lust, forfeit so glorious an inheritance! Lay the whole world in scales with Heaven — it is lighter than vanity!
It is reported of Caesar, that traveling through a certain city, as he passed along, he saw some of the women playing with monkeys and parrots; at which sight he said, “What! have they no children to play with!” So I say, when I see men toying with these earthly and beggarly vanities, “What! are there not more glorious and sublime things to mind!”
NO SWEAT!
Thomas Watson, “The Christian’s Charter”
“Man is born to trouble!” He is the natural heir to it. We run the race of
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life on the track of misery! We go from one suffering — to another. We never finish our troubles; but merely change them. Where the body is, there will afflictions like vultures be gathered together. Afflictions, like hard frosts, nip the tender buds of our comfort. But in Heaven, God “will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain!” Revelation 21:4
In this life, the body is infirm; physicians have much work to repair it and keep it going! How does a holy soul often lodge in a sickly or deformed body! But this body shall be made glorious at the resurrection! It shall have neither diseases nor defects! Leah shall no more complain of her bleary eyes; nor Barzillai of his lameness.
In Heaven, our bodies shall be free from the burdens of nature — such as labor and sweating. There will be no more ploughing or sowing — what is the need of that — when the saints shall receive the full crop of joy?
When the farmer works in the field, he needs his rake, his spade, etc. But let this same farmer is advanced to the throne — now he has no more use for the spade; he is freed from all those labors!
So though now we must “eat our bread with the sweat of our brows;” yet when we are in Heaven, and shall be advanced to the throne — there will be no more need of our working tools! Labor shall cease! Our sweat, as well as our tears — shall be dried up!
“Write this down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from all their toils and trials!” Revelation 14:13
THIS FLATTERING ENEMY!
Thomas Watson, “The Christian’s Charter”
“Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” James 4:4
The world is a deadly enemy. This enemy courts us.
It smiles — that it may deceive. It kills — by embracing!
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The world’s music enchants us. It has a golden apple in one hand
— and a dagger in the other hand!
Riches are but golden dust, which will sooner choke us, than satisfy us. Riches are called thick clay, which will sooner break our back, than lighten our heart.
Marcia gave poison in sweet wine, to the emperor Commodus. Such an aromatic cup does the world present us with — that we may drink and die.
The ivy, while it clasps about the oak, sucks away the heart of it; such are the world’s embraces.
Judas-like, whom the world kisses — it betrays.
The world is a silken halter.
The world is a golden fetter.
Some have been drowned in the sweet waters of pleasure! Others have been choked in silver mines!
Oh arm, arm against this flattering enemy!
THEY HAVE GOD IN THEIR MOUTHS!
Thomas Watson, “God’s Anatomy Upon Man’s Heart” “These people come near to Me with their mouth and honor Me
with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.” Isaiah 29:13
They have God in their mouths — but not in their hearts!
In one chapter, Christ pronounces seven woes against this sin of hypocrisy! “Woe to you hypocrites, Woe! Woe! Woe! Woe! Woe! Woe!” Matthew 23
A hypocrite often makes religion a mask to cover his sin.
Herod pretended to worship Christ — but his intention was only malice, for he really wanted to destroy Christ.
Often evil purposes lie hidden under good pretenses.
Jezebel, to cloak her murderous intentions, proclaims a fast. 1 Kings 21:9 Absalom, to cover over his treason, pretends a religious vow. 2 Sam. 15:7
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Many make religion a cloak for their ambition, “Come, and see my zeal for the Lord,” says Jehu. 1 Kings 10:14. No, Jehu! your zeal was to get the kingdom! Here was double-dyed hypocrisy.
Judas hides his covetousness under a pretense of charity, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor?” John 12:5. How charitable was Judas! But his charity began at home — for he carried the money bag!
How cunning is the hypocrite to go to Hell!
WHITE FEATHERS — BUT BLACK SKIN
Thomas Watson, “The Godly Man’s Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil”
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Matthew 23:27-28
Here is a sharp rebuke to such as are “glittering dross” Christians, who only make a show of godliness. These our Savior calls whitewashed tombs. Their beauty is all paint! Many are painted over with a religious profession, whose seeming luster dazzles the eyes of beholders; but within there is nothing but putrefaction!
Hypocrites are like the swan, which has white feathers — but black skin; or like that flower, which has a lovely appearance — but a foul scent.
The hypocrite deceives others while he lives — but deceives himself when he dies! What good will it do a man when he is in Hell — that others think he has gone to Heaven? Oh, beware of this!
Counterfeit piety is double iniquity. What is this but to abuse God to his face, and to serve the devil in Christ’s livery?
To have only a pretense of godliness will yield no comfort after death. Will painted gold enrich a man? Will painted wine refresh him who is thirsty? He who has only a painted holiness shall have only a painted
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happiness! Let us take heed of this pious pageantry and devout stage-play!
YOU BLIND FOOLS!
Thomas Watson, “The Godly Man’s Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil”
“Yes, He is very precious to you who believe!” 1 Peter 2:7
There is nothing in Christ, but what is precious. His name is precious, His virtues are precious, His blood is precious — more precious than the world. The Rose of Sharon is always sweet!
We cannot prize Christ at too high a rate. We may prize other things above their value. That is our sin. We commonly overrate the creature; we think there is more in it than there is; therefore God withers our gourd, because we over-prize it.
But we cannot raise our esteem of Christ high enough. He is beyond all value! There is no ruby or diamond, but the jeweler can set a fair price on it. But Christ’s worth can never be fully known. No seraphim can set a due value on Him. His riches are unsearchable! Ephesians 3:8. Christ is more precious than Heaven!
True Christians prize Christ, as most precious. He is their chief treasure and delight. This reason why millions perish, is because they do not prize Christ.
The ungodly choose things of no value, before Christ! “You blind fools!” Matthew 23:17. If a person chooses an apple before a priceless diamond — he is judged to be a fool. How many such idiots are there, who choose the gaudy, empty things of this life — before the Prince of Glory!
Give a baby a rattle — and it will not want gold.
Give a worldling his lusts — and he will be content enough without Christ.
We value Christ above honor and riches. This Pearl of Great Price lies nearest our heart. He who prizes Christ esteems the gleanings of Christ — better than the world’s vintage. He counts the worst things of Christ — better than the best things of the world. Moses “regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt.” Heb. 11:26
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If we are the prizers of Christ, we cannot live without Him. A man may live without music, but not without food. A child of God can lack health and friends — but he cannot lack Christ. “Give me children,” said Rachel, “or else I die!” Genesis 30:1. So the soul says, “Give me Christ — or else I shall die! Give me one drop of the water of life to quench my thirst.”
If we are prizers of Christ, then we shall not complain at any pains to get Him. He who prizes gold, will dig for it in the mine. “My soul follows hard after God!” Psalm 63:8 He in whose eye Christ is precious, never rests until he has gained Him: “I sought Him whom my soul loves; I held Him, and would not let Him go!” Song of Songs 3:1, 4 If we are prizers of Christ, then we take great pleasure in Christ. What joy a man takes, in that which he counts his treasure! He who prizes Christ makes Him his greatest joy. He can delight in Christ, when earthly delights are gone. Though a flower in a man’s garden dies, he can still delight in his money and jewels. He who esteems Christ, can solace himself in Christ, when there is a dearth of all other comforts.
If we are prizers of Christ, then we will part with our dearest pleasures for Him. He who esteems Christ, will pull out that lust which is as precious as his right eye! He who sets a high value on Christ, will set his feet on the neck of his sins!
How can they be said to prize Christ — who will not leave a vanity for Him; or who prefer a damning pleasure before a saving Christ!
“Yes, He is very precious to you who believe!”
GOD’S PALACE!
Thomas Watson, “The Godly Man’s Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil”
“Your boasting is not good!” 1 Corinthians 5:6
Pride is the greatest sacrilege; it robs God of His glory. What a horrid sin is pride! Chrysostom calls it “the mother of Hell.” Pride encompasses all vice. Pride is a spiritual drunkenness; it flies up like wine into the brain and intoxicates it. Pride is idolatry; a proud man is a self-worshiper. How odious is this sin to God! “Everyone who is proud in heart, is an abomination to the Lord!” Proverbs 16:5. “I hate pride and arrogance!” Proverbs 8:13
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Those who look at themselves in the magnifying mirror of self-love, appear better in their own eyes than they are. There is no idol like self; the proud man bows down to this idol.
Many are proud of their riches. Their hearts swell with their estates. Pride is the rich man’s cousin. “Your heart has become proud because of your wealth.” Ezekiel 28:5
Many are proud of their apparel. They dress in such fashions, as to make the devil fall in love with them! Painted faces, gaudy attire, naked breasts — what are these, but the banners which sinful pride displays?
Many are proud of their beauty. The body is but dust and blood kneaded together. Solomon says, “Beauty is vain.” Proverbs 31:30. Yet some are so vain — as to be proud of vanity! Shall dust exalt itself?
Many are proud of their gifts and abilities. These trappings and ornaments do not approve them in God’s eyes. An angel is a creature of great abilities; but take away humility from an angel — and he is a devil! God loves a humble soul. It is not our high birth; but our humble hearts, which God delights in.
Oh, let us search if there is any of this leaven of pride in us! Man is naturally a proud piece of flesh. This sin of pride runs in the blood. There are the seeds of this sin of pride in the best of Christians — but the godly do not allow themselves in it. They strive to kill this weed, by mortification.
But certainly where this sin of pride reigns and prevails, it cannot stand with grace. You may as well call him who lacks wisdom, a prudent man; as him who lacks humility, a godly man. “Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5. Put humility on, as an embroidered robe. It is better to lack anything, rather than humility.
The more value any man has, the more humble he is. Feathers fly up — but gold descends! The golden saint descends in humility. Look at a humble Savior — and let the plumes of pride fall off!
A humble heart is God’s palace! “For this is what the high and lofty One says; He who lives forever, whose name is holy — I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit.” Isaiah 57:15 A humble heart glories in this — that it is the presence chamber of
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the great and glorious King!
THEY HAVE MANY SCARS AND SPOTS
Thomas Watson, “The Godly Man’s Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil”
“He has not beheld iniquity in Jacob.” Numbers 23:21
“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart.” Hebrews 10:22
If the heart is sincere, God will wink at many failings. God’s love does not make Him blind; He can see our infirmities. But how does God look at a believer’s sins? Not with an eye of revenge — but of pity, as a physician sees a disease in his patient — so as to heal him. God does not see iniquity in Jacob — so as to destroy him; but to heal him!
How much pride, vanity, passion, does the Lord pass by in His sincere ones! He sees the integrity — and pardons the infirmity. We esteem a picture, though it is not drawn full length. Just so, the graces of God’s people are not drawn to their full length. They have many scars and spots — yet being sincere, they shall find mercy. God loves the sincere, and it is the nature of love to cover infirmity.
“LORD, SMITE THIS SIN!”
Thomas Watson, “The Godly Man’s Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil”
“Your Word is completely pure, and Your servant loves it.” Psalms 119:140
Do we love the holiness of the Word? The Word is preached — to beat down sin, and advance holiness. Do we love it for its spirituality and purity? Many love the Preached Word only for its eloquence and notion. They come to a sermon as to a performance, Ezekiel 33:31, 32, or as to a garden to pick flowers; but not to have their lusts subdued or their hearts purified. These are like a foolish woman who paints her face — but neglects her health!
Do we love the convictions of the Word? Do we love the Word when it 241

comes home to our conscience and shoots its arrows of reproof at our sins? It is the minister’s duty sometimes to reprove. He who can speak smooth words in the pulpit — but does not know how to reprove, is like a sword with a fine handle, but without an edge! “Rebuke them sharply!” Titus 2:15. Dip the nail in oil — reprove in love — but strike the nail home!
Now Christian, when the Word touches on your sin and says, “You are the man!” do you love the reproof? Can you bless God that “the sword of the Spirit” has divided between you and your lusts? This is indeed a sign of grace, and shows that you are a lover of the Word.
A corrupt heart loves the comforts of the Word — but not the reproofs: “You hate the one who reproves…and despise him who tells the truth!” Amos 5:10. “Their eyes flash with fire!” Like venomous creatures that at the least touch, spit poison! “When they heard these things, they were enraged in their hearts and gnashed their teeth at him!” Acts 7:54. When Stephen touched their sins, they were furious and could not endure it.
How shall we know that we love the reproofs of the Word?
When we desire to sit under a heart-searching ministry. Who cares for medicines that will not work? A godly man does not choose to sit under a ministry that will not work upon his conscience.
When we pray that the Word may meet with our sins. If there is any traitorous lust in our heart — we would have it found out, and executed. We do not want sin covered; but cured! We can open our heart to the sword of the Word and say, “Lord, smite this sin!”
When we are thankful for a reproof. “Let a righteous man strike me — it is a kindness; let him rebuke me — it is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it.” Psalm 141:5. David was glad for a reproof.
Suppose a man were in the mouth of a lion, and another should shoot the lion and save the man; would he not be thankful? So, when we are in the mouth of sin, as of a lion, and the minister by a reproof shoots this sin to death — shall we not be thankful?
A gracious soul rejoices, when the sharp lance of the Word has pierced his abscess of sin! He wears a reproof like a jewel on his ear: “Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man’s rebuke to a listening ear.” Proverbs 25:12
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To conclude, it is convincing preaching which must do the soul good. A nipping reproof prepares for comfort — as a nipping frost prepares for the sweet flowers of spring.
THEN YOU WILL BE THANKFUL
Thomas Watson, “The Godly Man’s Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil”
If you wish to be thankful, get a heart deeply humbled with the sense of your own vileness. A broken heart is the best pipe to sound forth God’s praise. He who studies his sins, wonders that he has anything, and that God should shine on such a dunghill: “I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man — but I was shown mercy!” 1 Timothy 1:13. How thankful Paul was! How he trumpeted forth free grace!
A proud man will never be thankful. He looks on all his mercies as either of his own procuring or deserving. If he has an estate, this he got by his wits and industry; not considering that scripture, “Always remember that it is the Lord your God who gives you power to become rich” Deuteronomy 8:18. Pride stops the current of gratitude. O Christian, think of your unworthiness; see yourself as the least of saints, and the chief of sinners — and then you will be thankful.
THE GOLDEN BAIT
Thomas Watson, “The Godly Man’s Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil”
Gain is the golden bait, with which Satan fishes for souls! This was the last temptation he used with Christ: “All these things will I give you!” But Christ saw the hook under the bait! Many who have escaped gross sins, are still caught in a golden net!
A godly man dare not travel for riches, along the devil’s highway. Those are sad gains, which make a man lose Heaven at last!
“What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” Matthew 16:26
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THE CURTAIN-SINNER
Thomas Watson, “The Godly Man’s Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil”
A godly man does not indulge himself in any sin.
Though sin lives in him — yet he does not live in sin. A godly man may
step into sin through infirmity — but he does not keep on that road.
What is it to indulge sin? To indulge sin is to give the breast to it and feed it. To indulge sin is to commit it with delight. The ungodly “delight in wickedness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:12. In this sense, a godly man does not indulge sin. Though sin is in him — he is troubled at it and would gladly get rid of it.
There is as much difference between sin in the wicked, and sin in the godly — as between poison being in a serpent, and poison being in a man. Poison in a serpent is in its natural place and is delightful — but poison in a man’s body is harmful and he uses antidotes to expel it. So sin in a wicked man is delightful, being in its natural place — but sin in a child of God is burdensome and he uses all means to expel it.
A godly man will not allow himself in secret sins. Some are more modest than to commit open gross sin. That would be a stain on their reputation. All will not sin on a balcony — but perhaps they will sin behind the curtain!
But a godly man dare not sin secretly, for he knows that God can neither be deceived by our subtlety, nor excluded by our secrecy. He knows that secret sins are in some sense worse than others. They reveal more deceit and atheism. “He knows the secrets of every heart.” Psalm 44:21
But the curtain-sinner thinks that God does not see: “Have you seen what the leaders of Israel are doing with their idols in dark rooms? They are saying — The Lord doesn’t see us!” Ezekiel 8:12 How it provokes God, that men’s atheism should give the lie to His omniscience! “He who formed the eye — shall He not see?” Psalm 94:9
A godly man knows that secret sins shall not escape God’s justice. A judge on the bench cannot punish the treason of the heart. But the sins of the heart are as visible to God, as if they were written upon the forehead!
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As God will reward secret duties; so He will revenge secret sins!
A godly man enters his protest against sin: “Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin?” Romans 7:24. A child of God, while he commits sin, hates the sin he commits!
THE HARLOT IN YOUR BOSOM!
Thomas Watson, “The Godly Man’s Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil”
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1
There is usually one sin that is the favorite — the sin which the heart is most fond of. A godly man will not indulge his darling sin: “I kept myself from my iniquity.” Psalm 18:23. “I will not indulge the sin to which the bias of my heart more naturally inclines.”
“Fight neither with small nor great — but only with the king.” 1 Kings 22:31. A godly man fights this king sin. If we would have peace in our souls, we must maintain a war against our favorite sin, and never leave off until it is subdued.
Question: How shall we know what our beloved sin is?
Answer 1: The sin which a man does not love to have reproved — is the darling sin. Herod could not endure having his incest spoken against. If the prophet meddles with that sin — it shall cost him his head! “Do not touch my Herodias!” Men can be content to have other sins reproved — but if the minister puts his finger on the sore, and touches this sin — their hearts begin to burn in malice against him!
Answer 2: The sin on which the thoughts run most, is the darling sin. Whichever way the thoughts go, the heart goes. He who is in love with a person cannot keep his thoughts off that person. Examine what sin runs most in your mind, what sin is first in your thoughts and greets you in the morning — that is your predominant sin.
Answer 3: The sin which has most power over us, and most easily leads us captive — is the one beloved by the soul. There are some sins which a
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man can better resist. If they come for entertainment, he can more easily put them off. But the bosom sin comes as a suitor, and he cannot deny it — but is overcome by it. The young man in the Gospel had repulsed many sins — but there was one sin which soiled him, and that was covetousness.
Mark what sin you are most readily led captive by — that is the harlot in your bosom! It is a sad thing that a man should be so bewitched by lust, that if it asks him to part with the kingdom of Heaven — he must part with it, to gratify that lust!
Answer 4: The sin which men most defend, is the beloved sin. He who has a jewel in his bosom, will defend it to his death. The sin we advocate and dispute for, is the besetting sin. The sin which we plead for, and perhaps wrest Scripture to justify it — that is the sin which lies nearest the heart.
Answer 5: The sin which a man finds most difficulty in giving up, is the endeared sin. Of all his sons, Jacob found most difficulty in parting with Benjamin. So the sinner says, “This and that sin I have parted with — but must Benjamin go! Must I part with this delightful sin? That pierces my heart!” A man may allow some of his sins to be demolished — but when it comes to one sin, that is the taking of the castle; he will never agree to part with that! That is the master sin for sure.
The besetting sin is, of all others, most dangerous. As Samson’s strength lay in his hair — so the strength of sin, lies in this beloved sin. This is like a poison striking the heart, which brings death. A godly man will lay the axe of repentance to this sin and hew it down! He will sacrifice this Isaac; he will pluck out this right eye — so that he may see better to go to Heaven.
ONE SIN LIVED IN
Thomas Watson, “The Godly Man’s Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil”
A godly man considers the mischief which one sin lived in, will do.

  1. One sin lived in, gives Satan as much advantage against you as more
    sins. The fowler can hold a bird by one wing. Satan held Judas by one sin. 2. One sin lived in, proves that the heart is not sound. He who hides one
    rebel in his house is a traitor to the crown. The person who indulges one 246

sin is a traitorous hypocrite!

  1. One sin lived in, will make way for more — as a little thief can open the door to more. Sins are linked and chained together. One sin will draw on more. David’s adultery made way for murder. One sin never goes alone! If there is only one nest egg — the devil can brood on it!
  2. One sin lived in, is as much a breach of God’s law as more sins. “Whoever keeps the entire law, yet fails in one point, is guilty of breaking it all.” James 2:10. The king may make a law against felony, treason and murder. If a man is guilty of only one of these — he is a transgressor.
  3. One sin lived in, prevents Christ from entering. One stone in the pipe keeps out the water. One sin indulged in, obstructs the soul and keeps the streams of Christ’s blood from running into it!
  4. One sin lived in, will spoil all your good duties. One dead fly will spoil the whole box of precious ointment. A drop of poison will spoil a glass of wine. Abimelech, a bastard-son, destroyed seventy of his brethren. Judges 9:5. One bastard-sin will destroy seventy prayers.
  5. One sin lived in, will be a cankerworm to eat out the peace of conscience. “Alas! What a scorpion lies within!” (Seneca). One sin is a pirate — to rob a Christian of his comfort. One jarring string puts all the music out of tune. One sin lived in — will spoil the music of conscience.
  6. One sin lived in, will damn as well as more sins. One disease is enough to kill. If a fence is made ever so strong, and only one gap is left open; the wild beast may enter and tread down the corn. If only one sin is allowed in the soul, you leave open a gap for the devil to enter! A soldier may have only one gap in his armor — and the bullet may enter there. He may as well be shot there — as if he had no armor on at all. So if you favor only one sin, you leave a part of your soul unprotected — and the bullet of God’s wrath may enter there — and shoot you! One sin lived in, may shut you out of Heaven! What difference is there, between being shut out of Heaven for one sin — or for many sins? One millstone will sink a man into the sea — as well as a hundred!
    Therefore, beware of cherishing one sin! Give a certificate of divorce to every sin. Kill the Goliath sin! “Let not sin reign over you.” Romans 6:12. In the original it is “Let not sin king it over you.” Grace and sin may be together — but grace and the love of sin cannot. Therefore parley with sin no longer — but with the spear of mortification, spill the heart-blood of
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every sin!
“For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live.” Romans 8:13
“So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you.” Colossians 3:5
I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS
John MacDuff, “The Christian’s Pathway” 1858
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you.
I will uphold you with My victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
The Divine presence is . . .
the believer’s strength in weakness; his support in suffering;
his consolation in the hour of death.
The blessed assurance, “I am with you,” is sufficient to enliven every scene, and sweeten every condition. Its realization opens springs of joy in the cheerless waste of this desert world. The Divine presence . . .
dissipates the thickest darkness,
soothes the anguish of the keenest affliction, and lightens the heaviest load of poverty and distress.
Reader, be anxious to possess an abiding consciousness of the great truth — that the eye of God is ever upon you! Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing — set the Lord always before you. Having Him at your right hand, whatever difficulties and dangers may surround your path — you shall not be moved.
“Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
IT IS UTTERLY IMPOSSIBLE
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Octavius Winslow, 1852

It has been the distinctive aim, and the sincere desire of my ministry — to make known and to endear the Savior to your hearts.
Oh, how worthy is He . . .
of your most exalted conceptions, of your most implicit confidence, of your most self-denying service, of your most fervent love!
When He could give you no more — and the fathomless depths of His love, and the boundless resources of His grace, would not be satisfied by giving you less — He gave you Himself!
Robed in your nature,
laden with your curse,
oppressed with your sorrows, wounded for your transgressions, and slain for your sins —
He gave His entire self for you!
His redeeming work now finished — He is perpetually engaged in meting out blessings to His people, from the exhaustless treasures of His love! He constantly woos your affection — invites your grief — and bids you repair with your daily trials to His sympathy, and with your hourly guilt to His blood. You cannot in your drafts upon Christ’s fullness, be too covetous; nor in your expectations of supply, be too extravagant! You may fail, as, alas! the most of us do, in making too little of Christ — but you cannot fail, in making too much of Him!
It is utterly impossible to know Christ, and not become inspired with a desire . . .
to love Him supremely,
to serve Him devotedly,
to resemble Him closely,
to glorify Him faithfully here, and to enjoy Him fully hereafter!
APANACEA
Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments”
The Scripture is a golden epistle, written by the Holy Spirit — and sent to 249

us from Heaven!
The Scripture is a spiritual looking-glass, to dress our souls by. It shows us heart-sins, vain thoughts, unbelief, etc. It not only shows us our spots — but washes them away!
The Scripture is an armory, out of which we may fetch spiritual artillery to fight against Satan. When our Savior was tempted by the devil, He fetched armor and weapons from Scripture: “It is written!”
The Scripture is a panacea, or universal medicine for the soul. It gives a remedy to cure deadness of heart, Psalm 119:50; pride, 1 Peter 5:5; and infidelity, John 3:36. It is a garden of remedies, where we may gather an herb or antidote, to expel the poison of sin!
The Scripture is “the only standard of conduct.” It is the only rule by which we are to square our lives. It contains in it:
all things needful to salvation;
what duties we are to do;
what sins we are to avoid.
“When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight!” Jeremiah 15:16. All true solid comfort is fetched out of the Word. The Word is a spiritual garden, and the promises are the fragrant flowers or spices in this garden. How should we delight to walk among these beds of spices!
The Scripture is a sovereign elixir, or comfort, in an hour of distress. “Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles!” Psalm 119:50 If we would have the Scripture effectual, let us labor not only to have the light of it in our heads; but its power in our hearts! “I have hidden your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11. The Word, locked up in the heart — is a preservative against sin. As one would carry an antidote with him when he comes near an infected place — so David carried the Word in his heart as a sacred antidote to preserve him from the infection of sin.
When we read the holy Scriptures — let us look up to God for a blessing. Let us pray that God would not only give us His Word as a rule of holiness — but His grace as a principle of holiness! It is said, that the alchemist can draw oil out of iron. God’s Spirit can produce grace in the most obdurate heart!
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GOD’S FLAIL
Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments”
God’s children may sometimes be under sore afflictions. They have no charter of exemption from trouble, in this life. While the wicked are kept in sugar — the godly are often kept in brine.
And, indeed, how could God’s power be seen in bringing them out of trouble — if He did not sometimes bring them into it? How could God wipe away the tears from their eyes in Heaven — if on earth they shed none?
Doubtless, God sees there is need that His children should be sometimes in the house of bondage. “If need be, you are in heaviness.” 1 Peter 1:6. The body sometimes needs a bitter portion — more than a sweet one.
“You refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs.” Psalm 66:10, 11
Why does God bring His people into an afflicted state?
God gives affliction — to purge our corruption. The eye, though a tender part — yet when infected, we put sharp medicines into it, to purge out the disease. Just so, though the people of God are dear to Him as the apple of His eye — yet, when corruption begins to grow in them, He will apply the sharp medicine of affliction — to purge out the disease.
Affliction is God’s flail to beat off our husks.
Affliction is a means God uses to purge out sloth, luxury, pride, and love of the world.
God’s furnace is not to consume — but to refine.
God gives us more affliction — that we may have less sin!
God also gives affliction to increase our graces. Grace thrives most in the iron furnace. Grace in the saints is often as fire hidden in the embers; affliction is the bellows to blow it up into a flame!
God sanctifies all our afflictions. They shall not be destructive punishments — but medicines! They shall corrode and eat out the venom of sin! They shall polish and refine our grace! The more the diamond is cut — the more it sparkles. The more God afflicts us — the more our
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graces cast a sparkling luster! The stones which are cut out for a building, are first hewn and squared. The godly are called “living stones.” 1 Peter 2:5. God hews and polishes them by affliction, that they may be fit for the heavenly building.
THE KNIFE WHICH KILLED HER HUSBAND!
Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments”
The Lord’s Supper is the looking-glass in which we see Him whom our souls love; it is the chariot by which we are carried up to Christ. God has appointed the Lord’s Supper to cheer and revive our sad hearts. When we look on our sins — we have cause to mourn; but when we see Christ’s blood shed for our sins — we rejoice!
In the Lord’s Supper our spiritual needs are supplied, our strength is renewed; there we meet with Christ — and He says to us, “All I have is yours! My love is yours, to pity you! My mercy is yours, to save you!” Christ’s blood is the key which opens Heaven — else we had all been shut out!
The end of the Lord’s Supper, is to work in us an endeared love to Christ. When Christ bleeds for us, well may we say, “Behold how He loved us!” That is a heart of stone — which Christ’s love will not melt!
Another end of the Lord’s Supper is the mortifying of corruption. To see Christ crucified for us — is a means to crucify sin in us. How can a wife endure to see the knife which killed her husband! How can we endure those sins — which made Christ veil His glory and shed His blood! Sin has rent the white robe of Christ’s flesh, and dyed it of a crimson color. The thoughts of this should make us seek to be avenged on our sins!
THE WHOLE LIFE
Henry Law, “Beacons of the Bible” 1869 “Their mind is on earthly things.” Philippians 3:19
To find amusement in the vanities of time; to sip admiration from the cup of flattery;
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to flutter with the giddy moths around the
blaze of merriment — is the whole life of the ungodly.
JESUS CHRIST WENT INTO THE FURNACE OF HIS FATHER’S WRATH
Thomas Watson, “The Wrath of God”
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
Galatians 6:7
God’s wrath is just. The wicked shall drink a sea of wrath — but not
one drop of injustice!
God is justified in condemning sinners at the last day. They deserve wrath, and it is no injustice to give them that which they deserve. If a malefactor deserves death, the judge does him no wrong in condemning him.
See what a great evil sin is — which exposes a person to God’s wrath forever! You may know what an evil sin is, by the wrath and curse it brings! When you see a man brought to the gallows, you conclude he is guilty of some heinous crime, which brings such a punishment. So when a man lies under the fierce anger of God’s wrath, and roars out in flames — you must say, “How horrid an evil sin is!” Those who now see no evil in sin — will see how vile it is — in the looking-glass of Hell-torments!
See here, that which may check a sinner’s mirth. He is now frolicsome; he “sings idle songs to the sound of the harp.” Amos 6:5. “But know that for all these things, God will bring you to judgment!” Ecclesiastes 11:9. Let him remember that the wrath and curse of God hang over him, which will shortly, if he does not repent — be executed upon him!
The sword of God’s justice hangs over a sinner, and when the slender thread of life is cut asunder — it falls upon him! For a drop of pleasure — he must drink a sea of wrath! His momentary pleasure cannot be so sweet — as God’s eternal wrath is bitter! Better lack the devil’s honey — than be stung with the eternal wrath of God!
“None considers in his heart.” See the stupidity of sinners! Though the fierce wrath of God is ready to fall upon them — they have no concern! Though a beast has no shame, it has fear — it is afraid of fire. But sinners are worse than brutish — for they do not fear the “fire of Hell” — until
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they are in it! When they shall feel the vials of God’s wrath dropping, they will cry out as Dives, “Oh! I am tormented in this flame!” Luke 16:24
“Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thessalonians 1:10. Christ is the only screen to stand between us and the wrath of God; He felt God’s wrath — that those who believe in Him should never feel it.
Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace was a type of God’s wrath, and that furnace did not singe the garments of the three Hebrew children, nor did they have “the smell of fire upon them.” Daniel 3:27. Jesus Christ went into the furnace of His Father’s wrath — and the smell of the fire of Hell shall never pass upon those who believe in Him!
To you who have a well-grounded hope that you shall not feel this wrath, which you have deserved — let me exhort you to be very thankful to God, who has given His Son to save you from this tremendous wrath. The Lamb of God was scorched in the fire of God’s wrath for you! Christ felt the wrath which He did not deserve — that you might escape the wrath which you have deserved!
Pliny observes, that there is nothing better to quench fire, than blood. Christ’s blood has quenched the fire of God’s wrath for you! “Upon me be your curse,” said Rebekah to Jacob. Just so, Christ said to God’s justice, “Upon Me be the curse — that My elect may inherit the blessing!”
Be patient under all the afflictions which you endure. Affliction is sharp — but it is not wrath, it is not Hell. Who would not willingly drink the cup of affliction — who knows he shall never drink in the cup of damnation! Who would not be willing to bear the wrath of man — who knows he shall never feel the wrath of God!
Christian, though you may feel God’s rod — you shall never feel God’s bloody axe! Augustine once said, “Strike, Lord, where you will — so long as my sin pardoned.” You should say, “Afflict me, Lord, as you will in this life — seeing I shall escape the wrath to come!”
IT PULLS DOWN THE PLUMES OF HIS PRIDE!
Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments”
The true Christian cannot keep God’s law perfectly. “There is certainly no
righteous man on the earth who does good and never sins.” Ecclesiastes
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7:20. There is in the best actions of a godly man — that which is damnable — if God should weigh him in the balance of justice. Alas! He cannot pray without wandering, nor believe without doubting. “For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it.” Romans 7:18. Paul, though a saint of the first magnitude, was better at desiring than at performing.
The regenerate have a desire to obey God perfectly; but they lack strength; their obedience is weak and sickly. The mark they are to shoot at, is perfection of holiness. But though they take a right aim, and do what they can — they come short of the mark!
A Christian, while serving God, is like the rower who plies the oar, and rows hard — but is hindered, for a gust of wind carries him back again! So says Paul, “For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do.” Romans 7:19. “I am driven back by temptation!”
God permits this inability in His people — to humble us. Man is a self- exalting creature; and if he has but anything of worth, he is ready to be puffed up! But when he comes to see his deficiencies and failings, and how far short he comes of that holiness and perfection which God requires — it pulls down the plumes of his pride, and lays them in the dust!
He weeps over his inability!
He blushes over his leprous spots!
He says with Job, “I abhor myself in dust and ashes!”
God allows this inability be upon us — that we may have recourse to Christ — to obtain pardon for our defects, and to sprinkle our best duties with His blood. When a man sees that he owes perfect obedience to the law — but has nothing to pay, it makes him flee to Christ, to answer for him all the demands of the law, and set him free in the court of Divine justice.
YOU MAY SMITE ANOTHER — AND NEVER TOUCH HIM!
Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments”
The tongue which at first was made to be an organ of God’s praise — has now become an instrument of unrighteousness. God has set two natural fences to keep in the tongue — the teeth and lips.
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“Not slanderers.” 1 Timothy 3:11
In the Greek it is, “not devils.” The same word signifies both a slanderer and a devil. Some think it is no great matter, to misrepresent and slander others; but it is to act the part of a devil. This is a great sin; and I wish I could say it is not common.
The heathen, by the light of nature, abhorred the sin of slandering. Diogenes used to say, “Of all wild beasts, a slanderer is the worst.” Antonius made a law, that if a person could not prove the crime he reported another to be guilty of, he should be put to death.
The Scripture calls slandering, smiting with the tongue. “Come, and let us smite him with the tongue.” Jeremiah 18:18 You may smite another — and never touch him!
The scorpion carries his poison in his tail; the slanderer carries his poison in his tongue!
Job calls slander “the scourge of the tongue.” As a rod scourges the back, so the slanderer’s tongue scourges the name.
Eminence is commonly blasted by slander.
Holiness itself is no shield from slander. The lamb’s innocence will not preserve it from the wolf. Christ, the most innocent upon earth, was reported to be “a glutton and a drunkard.” Matthew 11:19
“The tongue inflicts greater wounds than the sword.”
No physician can heal the wounds of the tongue!
To pretend friendship to a man, and slander him, is most odious.
We must not only not raise a false report — but refuse to hear it. He who raises a slander — carries the devil in his tongue! He who receives a slander — carries the devil in his ear!
You may kill a man in his name as well as in his person. Some are reluctant to take away their neighbor’s goods; but better take their wares out of their shop — than take away their good name! This is a sin for which no reparation can be made; a blot in a man’s name, being like a blot on white paper, which can never be gotten out.
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Surely God will punish this sin. If idle words shall be accounted for, shall not unjust slanders? Oh therefore, take heed of this sin!
FOR A DROP OF PLEASURE
Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments”
“You shall not murder.” Exodus 20:13
Many murder their own souls! They willfully damn themselves, and throw themselves into Hell!
Who are those who murder their own souls?
They willfully murder their souls — who have no sense of God, or the world to come, and are past feeling. Tell them of God’s holiness and justice — and they are not affected at all. “They made their hearts as an adamant stone.” Zechariah 7:12. Sinners have adamantine hearts — nothing will work upon them, neither ordinances nor judgments. They do not believe in God; they laugh at Hell. Thus they murder their own souls, and throw themselves into Hell as fast as they can!
They willfully murder their own souls — who resign themselves to their lusts, let what will, come of it. “Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.” Ephesians 4:19. Let ministers speak to them about their sins, let conscience speak, let afflictions speak — they will have their lusts, even though they go to Hell for them! Do not these murder their own souls? Many say in their hearts, “let our sins damn us — just so that they but please us!” Herod will have his incestuous lusts — though it costs him his soul. For a drop of pleasure — men will drink a sea of wrath! These massacre and damn their own souls!
“A wicked man’s iniquities entrap him; he is entangled in the ropes of his own sin. He will be lost because of his great stupidity.” Proverbs 5:22-23
Oh! take heed of murdering your own souls!
HOW MAY WE KNOW WHETHER WE LOVE GOD?
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Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments”

How may we know whether we love God?
He who loves God desires His presence. Lovers cannot be long asunder, they soon have their fainting fits, for lack of a sight of the object of their love. A soul deeply in love with God desires the enjoyment of Him. David was ready to faint away, when he had not a sight of God. “My soul faints for God.” Psalm 84:2
He who loves God, does not love sin. “You who love the Lord — hate evil.” Psalm 97:10. The love of God — and the love of sin, can no more mix together than iron and clay. Every sin loved, strikes at the being of God. He who loves God, has an antipathy against sin. He who would part two lovers is a hateful person. God and the believing soul are two lovers; sin parts between them, therefore the soul is implacably set against sin. By this try your love to God. How can he say he loves God, who loves sin — which is God’s enemy?
He who loves God is not much in love with anything else. His love is very cool to worldly things. The love of the world eats out the heart of piety; it chokes holy affections, as earth puts out the fire. He who loves God — uses the world but chooses God. The world engages him — but God delights and satisfies him. He says as David, “God, my exceeding joy!” Psalm 43:4. “God is the cream of my joy!”
He who loves God cannot live without him. Things we love, we cannot be without. A man can do without music or flowers, but not food. Just so, a soul deeply in love with God looks upon himself as undone without Him. “Hide not Your face from me, lest I be like those who go down into the pit.” Psalm 143:7. If God is our chief good — we cannot live without Him! Alas! how do they show they have no love to God — who can do well enough without Him! Let them have but food and drink, and you shall never hear them complain of the lack of God.
He who loves God will be at any pains to get Him. What pains the merchant takes, what hazards he runs — to have a rich return. Jacob loved Rachel, and he could endure the heat by day, and the frost by night — that he might enjoy her. A soul that loves God will take any pains for the fruition of Him. “My soul follows hard after You.” Psalm 63:8. The soul is much in prayer; it strives as in agony, that he may obtain Him whom his soul loves. “I will seek Him whom my soul loves.” Song of Songs 3:2
He who loves God, prefers Him before estate. “For Whom I have suffered
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the loss of all things.” Philippians 3:8. Who that loves a rich jewel — would not part with a flower for it?
THE QUEEN OF GRACES
Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments”
“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38
Love to God is a holy expansion or enlargement of soul, by which it is carried with delight after God, as the chief good — “a delight in God, as our treasure.”
Love is the soul of religion; it is a momentous grace. If love is lacking, there can be no true religion in the heart. All else is but pageantry — merely a devout compliment to God.
Love ameliorates and sweetens all the duties of religion; it makes them savory food, which God delights in.
As to the excellence of this grace — love is the first and great commandment. Love is the queen of graces; it outshines all others, as the sun outshines the planets.
Love is the most durable grace. Faith and hope will shortly cease—but love will remain. Thus love carries away the garland from all other graces, as it is the most long-lived grace. Love is a bud of eternity!
Love to God must be pure and genuine. He must be loved chiefly for Himself. We must love God, not only for His benefits — but for those intrinsic excellencies with which He is crowned. We must love God — not only for the good which flows from Him — but for the good which is in Him. True love is not mercenary; he who is deeply in love with God, needs not be hired with rewards, he cannot but love God for the beauty of His holiness. Though it is not unlawful to look for benefits, we must not love God for His benefits alone — for then it is not love of God, but self-love.
Love to God must be with all the heart. We must not love God a little — give Him a drop or two of our love; but the main stream must flow to
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Him.
The mind must think of God,
the will must choose Him,
the affections must pant after Him.
God will not have the heart divided. We must love Him with our whole heart. Though we may love the creature — yet it must be a subordinate love. Love to God must be highest, as oil swims above the water.
Love to God must be flaming. To love coldly, is the same as not to love. The spouse is said to be, “love-sick.” Song of Songs 2:5. The seraphim are so called, because of their burning love. Love turns saints into seraphim; it makes them burn in holy love to God. Many waters cannot quench this love.
MERCY SWIMS TO US THROUGH CHRIST’S BLOOD!
Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments”
Every link in the golden chain of salvation, is wrought and interwoven
with free grace!
God’s love is free. “I will love them freely.” Hosea 14:4
Election is free. “He has chosen us in Him according to the good pleasure of His will.” Ephesians 1:5
Justification is free. “Being justified freely by His grace.” Romans 3:24
God’s saving MERCY is free and spontaneous. To set up merit — is to destroy mercy. We do not deserve mercy, because of our enmity. We may force God to punish us — but not to love us! If God would show mercy only to such as deserve it — He would show mercy to none!
Mercy is an innate propensity in God to do good to distressed sinners. Mercy proceeds primarily, and originally from God. He is called the “Father of mercies.” 2 Corinthians 1:3
God’s saving mercy is powerful. How powerful is that mercy — which softens a heart of stone! Mercy changed Mary Magdalene’s heart, out of whom seven devils were cast. She who was an inflexible adamant — was made a weeping penitent!
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God’s mercy works sweetly — yet irresistibly. It allures — yet conquers! The law may terrify — but mercy mollifies. Of what sovereign power and efficacy is that mercy, which subdues the pride and enmity of the heart, and beats off those chains of sin, in which the soul is held!
God’s mercy is superabundant. The Lord has treasures of mercy in store, and therefore is said to be “plenteous in mercy” Psalm 86:5, and “rich in mercy” Ephesians 2:4. The vial of God’s wrath, only drops — but the fountain of His mercy, runs. The sun is not so full of light — as God is of mercy. His mercy is over-flowing and ever-flowing. His mercy is infinite — without bounds, and without end. “His mercy endures forever.” Psalm 136. Every time we draw our breath — we suck in mercy!
We are all living monuments of God’s mercy! He shows mercy to us in daily supplying us. He supplies us with health. Health is the sauce which makes life sweeter. How those who are chained to a sick-bed, would prize this mercy! God supplies us with provisions. “God who fed me all my life long.” Genesis 48:15. Mercy spreads our tables, and carves for us every bit of bread we eat! We never drink, but in the golden cup of mercy!
God shows mercy in restraining us from sin. Lusts within — are worse than lions without! The greatest sign of God’s anger, is to give men up to their sins. “So I gave them up to their own hearts’ lust.” Psalm 81:12. While the ungodly sin themselves to Hell, God has laid the bridle of restraining grace upon us! As God said to Abimelech, “I withheld you from sinning against Me.” Genesis 20:6. Just so, God has withheld us from those sins which might have made us a prey to Satan, and a terror to ourselves!
God shows mercy in guiding and directing us. He guides our affairs for us; and chalks out the way He would have us to walk. “You shall guide me with Your counsel.” Psalm 73:24. God leads us with the oracles of His Word, and the guidance of His Spirit. He guides our heads to keep us from error; and He guides our feet to keep us from scandal. Oh, what mercy it is — to have God to be our guide and pilot!
God shows mercy in correcting us. He is angry — in love. He smites — that He may save. His rod is not a rod of iron to break us — but a fatherly rod to humble us. “God disciplines us for our good — that we may share in His holiness.” Hebrews 12:10. In our afflictions — God will mortify some corruption, or exercise some grace.
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God shows mercy in saving us. “According to His mercy, He saved us.” Titus 3:5. This is the top-stone of mercy! Here mercy displays itself in all its orient colors. Mercy is mercy indeed, when God perfectly refines us from all the lees and dregs of corruption; when our bodies are made like Christ’s glorious body, and our souls like the angels. Saving mercy is crowning mercy. It is not merely to be freed from Hell — but enthroned in a kingdom! What rich mercy will it be — to fully possess God, to see His smiling face, and to lay in His bosom forever! This will fill us with “a glorious, inexpressible joy!” 1 Peter 1:8. God’s saving mercy, is the diamond in the ring!
Mercy more overflows in God — than sin in us. His mercy can drown great sins — as the sea covers great rocks! Christ’s blood is “a fountain to cleanse them from all their sins and defilement.” Zechariah 13:1. Some of the Jews who had their hands imbrued in Christ’s blood — were saved by that blood! God loves to magnify His mercy, and display the trophies of free grace!
How may I know that my sins are pardoned? Whenever God removes the guilt of sin — He breaks the power of sin. “He will have compassion; he will subdue our iniquities.” Micah 7:19. With pardoning love — God gives subduing grace.
If we would have saving mercy, it must be through Christ. Outside of Christ, there is no saving mercy. We read in the old law, that none might come into the holy of holies, where the mercy-seat stood — but the high- priest. This signifies that we have nothing to do with mercy — but through Christ our High-priest. That the high-priest might not come near the mercy-seat without blood, is to show that we have no right to mercy — but through the expiatory sacrifice of Christ’s blood, Leviticus 16:14. If we would have mercy, we must be in Christ. Mercy swims to us through Christ’s blood!
THE AFFLICTIONS OF THE GODLY
Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments”
How do the afflictions of the godly, differ from the afflictions of the
wicked?
(1) The afflictions of the godly are but corrections; but those on the
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wicked are punishments. The one come from a Father; the other from a Judge.
(2) The afflictions of the godly are fruits of covenant mercy. Afflictions on the wicked are effects of God’s wrath. Afflictions on the wicked are the pledge of Hell; they are like the shackling of a malefactor, which presages his execution.
(3) The afflictions of the godly make them better; but afflictions on the wicked make them worse. The godly pray more; “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.” Psalm 130:1. The wicked blaspheme more. “Men were scorched with great heat — and blasphemed the name of God.” Rev 16:9
Affliction on the godly is like bruising spices — which makes them give off a most sweet and fragrant aroma. Affliction on the wicked is like pounding weeds with a pestle — which makes them give off a foul stench.
It is a sign the affliction is sanctified, when the heart is brought to a sweet submissive frame.
WHY MUST THERE BE A HELL?
Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments”
“The wicked shall be turned into Hell.” Psalm 9:17 “How can you escape the damnation of Hell?” Matthew 23:33
God has built Hell built on purpose, for the damned to lie in.
See the dreadfulness of that place! Hell is the epitome of misery! Besides “the punishment of loss,” which is the exclusion of the soul from the gloried sight of God, which some think is the worst part of Hell — there will be “the punishment of sense.”
In Hell there will be a plurality of torments: There will be the “chains of darkness.” 2 Peter 2:4 There will be the “never-dying worm.” Mark 9:48 This is the worm of conscience.
There will be the “lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15 Other fire is but ’painted fire’ — compared to this.
This house of Hell is haunted with devils! Matthew 25:41. Anselm says, “I
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had rather endure all torments, than see the devil with bodily eyes.” Such as go to Hell, must not only be forced to behold the devil — but must be shut up with this lion in his den! They must keep the devil company! This red dragon is full of spite — and will spit fire in men’s faces!
The torments of Hell abide forever! “The smoke of their torment ascends up forever and ever.” Revelation 14:2. Time cannot finish Hell. Tears cannot quench Hell. Mark 9:44. The wicked will always live in the fire of Hell — but never be consumed. After they have lain millions of years in Hell, their punishment is as far from ending, as it was at the beginning! If all the earth and sea were sand, and every thousandth year a bird should come, and take away one grain — it would be a long time before that vast heap would be removed! Yet, if after all that time the damned might come out of hell — there would be some hope; but this word FOREVER breaks the heart!
If anyone should ask, where is Hell? I wish he may never know experimentally. “Let us not so much,” says Chrysostom, “labor to know where Hell is — as how to escape it.”
Why must there be a Hell? Because there must be a place for the execution of divine justice. Earthly monarchs have their prison for criminals — and shall not God have his? Sinners are criminals, they have offended God. It would not be consistent with His holiness and justice — to have His laws infringed, and not inflict penalties.
How does it seem to comport with God’s justice — to punish a sin committed in a moment — with eternal torment?

  1. Because there is an eternity of sin in man’s nature. They will continue to sin in Hell. “Men gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed the God of Heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.” Revelation 16:10-11
  2. Because sin is “committed against an infinite majesty,” and therefore the sin itself is infinite, and proportionally the punishment must be infinite.
  3. Because a finite creature cannot satisfy infinite wrath, he must be eternally paying what he can never pay.
    “Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath!” 1 Thessalonians 1:10 What infinite cause have they to bless God — who are delivered from
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Hell! Jesus Christ suffered the torments of Hell in His soul — that believers should not suffer them. Oh, how should we bless God to be preserved from the wrath to come!
It may cause more thankfulness in us, to realize that most people go to Hell when they die. To be of the number of those few who are delivered from Hell — is matter of infinite thankfulness. “Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
“Divide the world,” says one, “into thirty-one parts, nineteen parts of it are Jews and Turks, and seven parts are heathen; so that there are but five parts of professing Christians — and among these, so many deceived Papists on the one hand, and so many formal Protestants on the other — that we may conclude that the major part of the world goes to Hell.”
Scripture compares the wicked to “the mire in the streets.” Isaiah 10:6. Few precious jewels are in the street — but you cannot go a step without meeting with mire! The wicked are as common as the dirt in the street! The devil has most of the harvest — and God has only a few gleanings. Oh, then, such as are delivered from Hell, have infinite cause to admire and bless God. How should the vessels of mercy run over with thankfulness! When most others are carried as prisoners to Hell — they are delivered from the wrath to come!
How shall I know if I am delivered from Hell?
(1) Those whom Christ saves from Hell — He saves from sin. “He shall save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21. Has God delivered you from the power of corruption, from pride, malice, and lust? If He has delivered you from the Hell of sin, He has delivered you from the Hell of torment.
(2) If you prize, trust and love Christ — you are delivered from Hell and damnation. “There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1. If you are in Christ, He has put the garment of His righteousness over you — and Hell-fire can never singe it!
HOW DID THOSE SWINE RUN!
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Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments”

“Then they may come to their senses and escape the Devil’s trap, having been captured by him to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:26
Men naturally are enslaved to Satan. Satan is called the prince of this world, John 14:30; and the god of this world, 2 Corinthians 4:4; because he has power to command and enslave his dupes. Though he shall one day be a fellow prisoner in chains — yet now he insults and tyrannizes over the souls of men. Sinners are under his rule, he exercises a jurisdiction over them. He fills men’s heads with error — and their hearts with malice. “Why has Satan filled your heart?” Acts 5:3. A sinner’s heart is the devil’s mansion house. “I will return into my house.” Matthew 12:44
Satan is a comprehensive tyrant.
He rules men’s minds, he blinds them with ignorance. “The God of this
world has blinded the minds of those who believe not.” 2 Corinthians 4:4
He rules their memories. They remember that which is evil, and forget that which is good. Their memories are like a strainer, which lets go all the pure — and retains only the dregs.
He rules their wills. Though he cannot force the will, he draws it. “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father — you will do.” John 8:44. He has control over their hearts, and they willingly obey him. His strong temptations draw men to evil — more than all the promises of God can draw them to good.
This is the state of every man by nature — the devil has him in his power! A sinner grinds in the devil’s mill! He is at the command of Satan — as the donkey is at the command of the driver.
How did those swine run — when the devil entered into them! “They entered the swine. And suddenly the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the water!” Matthew 8:32
It is a dreadful and dismal case, to be under the power and tyranny of Satan! He wholly possesses them. If people should see their pets bewitched and possessed by the devil, they would be much troubled; and yet, though their souls are possessed by Satan, they are not sensible of it! What can be worse, than for men to be in bondage to the devil, and him hurry them on in their lusts — to perdition! Yet they are willingly enslaved to Satan! They love their jailer!
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What an infinite mercy it is — when God brings poor souls out of this house of bondage, when He gives them a deliverance from the prince of darkness.
As David rescued a lamb out of the lion’s mouth — so Christ rescues souls out of the mouth of the roaring lion! Oh, what a mercy it is — to be turned “from the power of Satan, unto God” Acts 26:18, to be brought out of the house of bondage, from being Satan’s captives — to be made subjects of the Prince of Peace!
A BUNDLE OF RIDICULOUS CEREMONIES!
Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments”
“Flee from idolatry!” 1 Corinthians 10:14
It is idolatry, not only to worship a false god — but to worship the true
God in a false manner.
See the goodness of God to our nation, in delivering us from popery, which is Romish idolatry — and causing the light of His truth to break forth gloriously among us. In former times, England was overspread with idolatry. We had . . .
purgatory,
indulgences,
the idolatrous mass,
prayers to saints and angels, and image-worship.
What is the popish religion, but a bundle of ridiculous ceremonies! Their candles, beads, crucifixes; what are these but Satan’s policy, to dress up a carnal worship, fitted to carnal minds! Oh! what cause have we to bless God for delivering us from popery! It was a mercy to be delivered from the Spanish invasion; but it is a far greater mercy to be delivered from the popish religion!
“What have I to do any more with idols?” Hosea 14:8
The following was written by Whitmore Winslow in 1853, age 18, after visiting a Roman Catholic Cathedral in France.
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The whole structure seemed to look down upon you in conscious magnificence, and is intended to inspire you with awe and reverence.
In England, we do not know what Popery really is! We imagine it to be something repulsive, and cannot conceive how people can be deceived by it. But once to witness it as it really is, with its gorgeous pomp, you are admitted to the secret of its power.
No system could possibly have been invented more captivating to the senses, or better adapted to the natural heart.
It allows its devotee free scope to sin, while covering him with a cloak of religion.
MANY DIG THEIR GRAVES, WITH THEIR TEETH!
Thomas Watson, “The Duty of Self-Denial” 1675
More are hurt by excess in lawful things — than by meddling with sinful things. More are killed by wine — than by poison. Many make their belly their god, Philippians 3:19. And to this god, they pour their drink offerings!
One writes of a fish whose heart is in his belly. This is an emblem of epicures — whose heart is in their belly; they are devoted to their appetite.
Excess in food or drink — clouds the mind,
chokes holy affections, provokes lust, and shortens life!
Many dig their graves, with their teeth!
Seneca could say he was born to higher things — than to be a slave to his body. What a shame is it — that the soul, that princely part, which sways the scepter of reason, should be enslaved to the brutish part! What has God given conscience for — but to be a golden bridle to check the inordinacy of the appetite! Deny the sinful cravings of the flesh!
“I beat my body and make it my slave.” 1 Corinthians 9:27
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HIGH, SUPERCILIOUS THOUGHTS OF YOURSELVES
Thomas Watson, “The Duty of Self-Denial” 1675
“Vain man would be wise.” Job 11:12
In the Hebrew it is “Empty man!” Man is a proud piece of flesh! He is apt to have a high opinion of himself.
Such as view themselves in the flattering looking-glass of self-love, appear bigger in their own eyes than they are! They think their spark — is a sun! They think their drop — is a sea!
That you may deny all high, supercilious thoughts of yourselves, consider that self-conceit is a great sin. Chrysostom calls it “the mother of Hell.” It is a kind of idolatry, a self-worshiping. This should pull down the plumes of pride and self-conceit!
“What makes you better than anyone else? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if all you have is from God, why boast as though you have accomplished something on your own?” 1 Corinthians 4:7
Consider that, whatever noble endowments you have, are borrowed. What wise man would be proud of a jewel which was lent to him? The moon has no cause to be proud of her borrowed light.
Consider what a Hell of sin you carry about you! Sin is the accursed thing, Joshua 5:13. It is the quintessence of evil. It was typified by the menstrual cloth, which was the most unclean thing under the Law. This may demolish all proud imaginations.
Grace can never thrive where pride and self-conceit grow. As a body with cancer cannot thrive — so neither can the soul thrive, which is cancered with pride and self-conceit. A proud head — makes a barren heart!
A supercilious conceitedness is odious to God. The more one values himself — the less God values him. Such as have a high opinion of their own excellencies, are on the fast track to eternal ruin! The Lord sometimes lets vain, conceited people fall — not only foully, but finally! “The doves,” says Pliny, “take pride in their feathers, and in their flying high. But they soar so high, that they are prey to the hawk!” Just so, when men fly high in pride, they become prey to the prince of the air!
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All this should make us kill the worm of self-conceit!
Let Paul be our pattern. Though he was the chief of the Apostles, he says, “I am less than the least of all God’s people.” Ephesians 3:8. “I am nothing.” 2 Corinthians 12:11. This illustrious Apostle, a star of the first magnitude, shrank into nothing in his own eyes!
GONE SO SOON WITHOUT A TRACE!
Thomas Watson, “The Godly Man’s Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil”
“Redeeming the time.” Ephesians 5:16
How you spend your time, is a matter of great importance. Many people fool away their time — some in idle visits, others in recreations and pleasures which secretly bewitch the heart, and take it away from holy things. What are our golden hours for — but to attend to our souls? Time misspent is not time lived — but time lost!
Time is a precious commodity. As salvation is to be worked out in it, and a conveyance of Heaven depends on using it well — it is of infinite concern!
Think of your short stay in the world. “We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a shadow — gone so soon without a trace!”
There is only a span between the cradle and the grave! Solomon says there is “a time to be born and a time to die” — but mentions no time of living — as if that were so short, it was not worth naming!
Time, when it has once gone, can never be recalled.
“My life passes more swiftly than a runner. It flees away, filled with tragedy. It disappears like a swift boat, like an eagle that swoops down on its prey.” Job 9:25-26
This Scripture compares time to a flying eagle. Yet time differs from the eagle in this: the eagle flies forward and then back again — but time has wings only to fly forward — it never returns! “Time flies away irrevocably.”
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means of promoting godliness. Whoever considers how flitting and winged his life is — will hasten his repentance.
DESIRING GOD
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
We may know the kingdom of grace is set up in our hearts — by having true desires after God. By the beating of this pulse — we conclude there is life.
A true desire after God is sincere. We desire God for Himself, for His intrinsic excellencies. The savor of the ointment of Christ’s graces draws the virgins’ desires after Him. Song of Songs 1:3. A true saint desires Him not only for what God has — but for what He is; not only for His rewards — but for His holiness. No hypocrite can thus desire God. He may desire Him for His jewels — but not for His beauty!
A true desire after God is insatiable. It cannot be satisfied without God; let the world heap her honors and riches — they will not satisfy. No flowers or music will content him who is thirsty. Just so, nothing will quench the soul’s thirst — but the blood of Christ! He faints away, his heart breaks with longing for God. Psalm 84:2; Psalm 119:20
A true desire after God is active. It flourishes into endeavor. “With my soul have I desired you in the night; yes, with my spirit within me will I seek you early.” Isaiah 26:9. A soul that desires aright says, “I must have Christ! I must have grace! I must have Heaven, though I take it by storm!”
A true desire after God is supreme. We desire Christ, not only more than the world — but more than Heaven! “Whom have I in Heaven but You?” Psalm 73:25. Heaven itself would not satisfy — without Christ. Christ is the diamond in the ring of glory!
A true desire after God is increasing. A little of God will not satisfy — but the pious soul desires still more. A drop of water is not enough for the thirsty traveler. Though a Christian is thankful for the least degree of grace — yet he is not satisfied with the greatest degree of grace. He still thirsts for more of Christ, and His Spirit. A saint would have more knowledge, more sanctity, more of Christ’s presence. A glimpse of Christ through the lattice of an ordinance is sweet; but the soul will never stop longing — until it sees Him face to face! It desires to have grace perfected in glory! It
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desires to be wholly plunged into the sweetness of God. We would be swallowed up in God, and be forever bathing ourselves in those perfumed waters of pleasure, which run at His right hand!
Surely this sincere desire after God is a blessed sign that the kingdom of grace has come into our hearts. The beating of this pulse shows life! “Desires for God — are from God.” If iron moves upwards contrary to its nature — it is a sign some magnet has been drawing it. Just so, if the soul moves towards God in sincere desires — it is a sign the magnet of the Spirit has been drawing it!
SATAN’S WORKSHOP!
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer” “May Your kingdom come.” Matthew 6:10
When we pray, “May Your kingdom come,” we pray that the kingdom of grace may come into our hearts. “The kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21
Why is grace called a kingdom? Because, when grace comes, there is a kingly government set up in the soul. Grace rules the will and affections, and brings the whole man in subjection to Christ. Grace . . .
kings it in the soul,
sways the scepter,
subdues mutinous lusts, and
keeps the soul in a spiritual decorum.
Unless the kingdom of grace is set up in our hearts — our purest offerings are defiled. They may be good as to the matter — but not as to the manner; they lack that which would meliorate and sweeten them. Until the kingdom of grace is in our hearts, our good works do not purify us — but we pollute them! Even the prayer of an ungracious person is sin. “The Lord hates the sacrifice of the wicked.” Proverbs 15:8
A sinner’s best works are ‘opera mortua’ — dead works! And those works which are dead, cannot please God. A dead flower has no sweetness. Hebrews 11:6
Unless the kingdom of grace is set up in our hearts — we are loathsome in God’s eyes. “My soul loathed them.” Zechariah 11:8. A heart void of
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grace looks blacker than Hell. Sin transforms man into a devil. So deformed is a graceless person, that when once he sees his own filth and leprosy, the first thing he does is to loathe and abhor himself. “You shall loathe yourself in your own sight for all your evils!” Ezekiel 20:43
Unless the kingdom of grace is set up in our hearts — we are of the bastard brood of the old serpent — and so cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven! “You are the children of your father the Devil!” John 8:44
Unless the kingdom of grace is set up in our hearts — the kingdom of Satan is set up in them! They are said to be under “the power of Satan.” Acts 26:18. Satan commands the will — by his subtle temptations he can draw it. He is said to take men captive “at his will.” 2 Timothy 2:26
The sinner’s heart is the devil’s mansion-house. “I will return into my house.” Matthew 12:44. The sinner’s heart is Satan’s workshop, where he works. “Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air, who now works in the children of disobedience.” Ephesians 2:2. The members of the body are the tools with which Satan works. He possesses men. In Christ’s time many had their bodies possessed — but it is far worse to have the souls possessed. One is possessed with an impure devil, another with a revengeful devil, another with a covetousness devil, etc.
The ship goes full sail when the wind blows. Just so, men go full sail in sin when the devil, the prince of the air, blows them! Thus, until the kingdom of grace comes — men are under the power of Satan, who writes all his laws in blood.
Unless the kingdom of grace is set up in our hearts — we are exposed to the wrath of God. What will it be — when God stirs up all His anger? So inconceivably torturing is God’s wrath, that the wicked call to the rocks and mountains to fall on them and hide them from it. Revelation 6:16. The hellish torments are compared to a fiery lake. Revelation 20:15. Other fire is but painted fire — in comparison with this! This lake of fire burns forever. Mark 9:44. God’s breath kindles this fire. Isaiah 30:33. Where shall we find buckets to quench it? Time will not finish it; tears will not quench it. To this fiery lake men are doomed — until the kingdom of grace is set up in them. Hell follows death!
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ALL THIS, AND UNSPEAKABLY MORE!

John MacDuff, “The Christian’s Pathway” 1858 “Receiving the end of your faith — the salvation of your souls.”
1 Peter 1:9
The full and final salvation of our souls, embraces the whole of what God has in reserve for His people through eternity! It includes the enjoyment of those pleasures . . .
which no sin can ever pollute,
which no sorrow can ever becloud, which no time can ever impair, which no change can ever affect, which no calamity can ever destroy!
The full and final salvation of our souls, includes . . . whatever the infinite wisdom of God can devise; whatever the infinite love of God can prepare; whatever the infinite power of God can secure; complete deliverance from the bondage of corruption; entire emancipation from the power of every foe;
the body of sin and death forever left behind; every grace, grown to perfect maturity;
all the ineffable treasures of eternal glory; all this, and unspeakably more!
Welcome shame and sorrow — if such an end shall at length be ours! The ungodly world may despise us; even our nearest friends may forsake us. Yet we can well afford to bear their opposition without a single murmur, if we are only permitted to cherish the hope — that our course will eventually terminate in so blissful a consummation!
HE WELCOMES THEM TO HELL
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
“The prince of this world.” John 16:11
The devil has a kingdom. His throne is set up in the hearts of men. Satan does not care for their purses — but their hearts! Satan’s empire is very large. Most people in the world pay tribute to him.
His kingdom has two characters:
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[1] Satan’s kingdom is a kingdom of IMPIETY. Nothing but sin goes on in his kingdom. Murder and heresy, lust and treachery, oppression and division — are the constant trade driven in his dominions. He is called “the unclean spirit.” Nothing else but iniquity is propagated in his kingdom.
[2] Satan’s kingdom is a kingdom of SLAVERY. He makes all his subjects — slaves. The sinner is held captive under the grim tyranny of the devil!
Satan is a tyrant — and a worse tyrant than any other! Other tyrants do but rule over the body: but Satan rules over the soul! He rides his captives — as we ride upon horses.
Other tyrants have some pity on their slaves. Though they make them work in the galleys; yet they give them food, and let them have their hours for rest. But Satan is a merciless tyrant — who gives his slaves poison instead of food, and hurtful lusts to feed on! 1 Timothy 6:9. Nor will he let his slaves have any rest — he wearies them out to do his drudgery. “They weary themselves to commit iniquity.” Jeremiah 9:5. When men have served him to their utmost strength — he welcomes them to Hell with fire and brimstone! Thus he is the worst of tyrants.
Men are willing slaves to Satan! They will fight and die for him! Therefore he is not only called “the prince of this world,” but “the god of this world” 2 Corinthians 4:4, to show what power he has over men’s souls.
O let us pray that “they may come to their senses and escape the Devil’s trap, having been captured by him to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:26
SHARP ARROWS!
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
“Our Father in Heaven.” Matthew 6:9
If God is our Father, then however He treats His children, is done in love. If He frowns; if He dips His pen in gall, and writes bitter things; if He disciplines — it is all done in love! “For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and punishes every son whom He receives.” Hebrews 12:6
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A father loves his child as well when he chastises and disciplines him — as when he settles his inheritance on him! “Those whom I love — I rebuke and discipline.” Revelation 3:19. “Afflictions are sharp arrows — but they are shot from the hand of a loving Father!”
Correction is God’s gymnasium. Correction is God’s school of character. God afflicts His children — in love! He does it to humble and purify. Gentle correction is as necessary as daily bread! There is love in all! God smites — that He may save! “God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness.” Hebrews 12:10
LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE!
John MacDuff, “The Christian’s Pathway” 1858
“Let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works
and give glory to your Father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16
There are many things connected with the Christian’s pathway — which worldlings cannot comprehend. They know nothing of the high and hidden walks of spiritual experience. What is said of the workings of the divine life in the soul — is regarded by them as foolishness and fanaticism.
Its internal principles,
its constraining motives and impulses,
its heavenly aspirations,
its rapturous bliss, and
its agonizing struggles — are things which these strangers cannot comprehend!
But still, there is much which they are able to understand — such as . . . whatever is consistent in character;
whatever is honest and straightforward between men;
whatever is kind and compassionate in behavior;
whatever is forbearing and forgiving under insults and injuries.
Such features, when unostentatiously exhibited — excite their attention, and, generally, call forth their praise. The manner in which the ordinary duties of life are discharged, is something so tangible — that it lies within the province of their own observation. These things they can understand; and it is of the highest importance that all who profess to be Christians,
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should be distinguished by an exhibition of these practical fruits of righteousness.
What if a small band of Christians were placed in some locality, by whom the principles of the gospel were fully lived out. What a powerful effect, we may suppose, would their simple presence produce! Let them be connected with those around them — by the ordinary engagements of life; but without employing any direct means to promulgate their Christian views. There they are — “blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation.” Their hearts are filled, not merely with love to God — but with sincere and ardent affection for all by whom they are surrounded. Selfishness, pride, resentment, censoriousness — have no place among them. Their entire spirit and deportment are influenced and controlled by those noble, and generous, and god-like sentiments and feelings, which Christianity inculcates and inspires. The holy religion they profess, would appear in its true character and beneficent tendency; and men would be constrained by the good works which they beheld — to glorify God.
May the Lord strengthen you with all might, according to His glorious power — “that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way — bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God!”
IT WILL NOT MATTER A SINGLE STRAW!
John MacDuff, “The Christian’s Pathway” 1858
“We labor, that we may be accepted of Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:9
Reader, it will matter but little what you may possess — if you live and die destitute of this great blessing! Were you to attain everything that mankind regard as enviable; were all the treasures of the globe to be heaped upon you; were you endowed with all knowledge, so that the wisest sages would think it an honor to sit at your feet; were the most magnificent titles to be conferred upon you, and your fame to ring to earth’s remotest bounds; were you raised to the heights of universal empire, having all the nations of the world as your willing subjects; in a word, had you all that the most unbounded ambition in her loftiest heights and most extravagant wishes ever panted after — what would the whole be if, instead of being accepted of God, you were disowned and rejected
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by Him, and exposed to His everlasting wrath!
But, enjoying His favor, which is life; and His loving-kindness, which is better than life — it matters but little whether we are rich — or poor; whether the sun of prosperity shines — or the clouds of adversity lower; whether we are reveling in health — or stretched upon beds of languishing; whether we are toiling as slaves — or wearing crowns and diadems. After a few more rising and setting suns — it will not matter a single straw — what our earthly lot may have been! The only matter of importance then — will be whether we have been accepted of God.
LORD, DIG THE EARTH OUT OF MY HEART!
Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments”
“You shall not covet.” Exodus 20:17
Observe the holiness and perfection of God’s law, which forbids the first motions and risings of sin in the heart. The laws of men take hold of actions; but the law of God goes further — it forbids not only sinful actions — but sinful desires. These lusts and desires after the forbidden fruit are sinful.
The world is an idol. It is lawful to use the world, yes, and to desire so much of it as may keep us from the temptation of poverty; and as may enable us to honor God with works of mercy. But the danger is — when the world gets into the heart! Water is useful for the sailing of the ship; the danger is — when the water gets into the ship.
What is it to covet? It is an insatiable desire of getting the world; or an inordinate love of the world.
(1) A man may be said to be given to covetousness, when his thoughts are wholly taken up with the world. A godly man’s thoughts are in Heaven; he is thinking of Christ’s love and eternal recompense. “When I awake I am still with You,” that is, in divine contemplation. Psalm 139:18. A covetous man’s thoughts are in the world; his mind is wholly taken up with it; he can think of nothing but his shop or farm. The imagination is a mint-house, and most of
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the thoughts in a covetous man’s mint are worldly. He is always plotting and projecting about worldly things. “Their mind is on earthly things.” Philippians 3:19
(2) A man may be said to be given to covetousness, when he takes more pains for getting earth than for getting Heaven. He will take many a weary step for the world; but will take no pains for Christ or Heaven. A covetous man, having had a relish of the world, pursues after it, and never ceases until he has got it; but he neglects the things of eternity. He hunts for the world — but he only wishes for Heaven.
(3) A man may be said to be given to covetousness, when all his discourse is about the world. “He who is of the earth, speaks of the earth.” John 3:31. It is a sign of godliness to be speaking of heaven, to have the tongue tuned to the language of Canaan. “The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious;” he speaks as if he had been already in Heaven. So it is a sign of a man given to covetousness to speak always of secular things, of his wares and business. A covetous man’s breath, like a dying man’s, smells strong of the earth. As it was said to Peter, “Your speech betrays you;” so a covetous man’s speech betrays him. He is like the fish in the gospel, which had a piece of money in its mouth. Matthew 17:27. “The words are the looking-glass of the heart,” they show what is within. “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45
(4) A man is given to covetousness when he so sets his heart upon worldly things, that for the love of them, he will part with Heaven. For the “wedge of gold,” he will part with the “pearl of great price.” When Christ said to the young man in the gospel, “Sell all, and come and follow Me”, “He went away sorrowful.” Matthew 19:22. He would rather part with Christ than with his earthly possessions. Cardinal Bourbon said, he would forego his part in paradise, if he might keep his cardinalship in Paris. When they will rather part with Christ and a good

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conscience than with their estate, it is a clear case that they are possessed with the demon of covetousness! “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world.” 2 Timothy 4:10
(5) A man is given to covetousness, when he overloads himself with worldly business. When a man does not have time for his soul, he is under the power of covetousness.
(6) He is given to covetousness whose heart is so set upon the world, that, to get it, he cares not what unlawful means he uses. He will have the world by fair means or foul; he will wrong and defraud, and raise his estate upon the ruins of another. Pope Sylvester II sold his soul to the devil for a popedom.
The DANGER of covetousness. “Take heed and beware of covetousness!” Luke 12:15. It is a direct breach of the tenth commandment. It is a moral vice, it infects and pollutes the whole soul.
(1) Covetousness is a SUBTLE sin. It is a sin that many cannot so well discern in themselves. This sin can dress itself in the attire of virtue. It is called the “cloak of covetousness.” 1 Thessalonians 2:5. It is a sin which wears a cloak, it cloaks itself under the name of frugality and good taste. It has many pleas and excuses for itself; more than any other sin — such as providing for one’s family.
(2) Covetousness is a DANGEROUS sin. It checks all that is good. It is an enemy to grace; it damps holy affections, as the earth puts out the fire. The hedgehog, in the fable, came to the cony-burrows, in stormy weather, and desired harbor; but when once he had got admission, he set up his prickles, and never ceased until he had thrust the poor conies out of their burrows! Just so, covetousness, by fair pretenses, winds itself into the heart; but as soon as you have let it in, it will never leave until it has choked all good beginnings, and thrust all piety out of your hearts. “Covetousness hinders the efficacy of the Word preached.”
In the parable of the sower, the thorns, which Christ expounded to be the cares of this life — choked the good

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seed. Matthew 13:22. Many sermons lie dead and buried in earthly hearts. We preach to men to get their hearts in Heaven; but where covetousness is predominant, it chains them to earth, and makes them like the woman which Satan had bent down for eighteen years, so that she was unable to stand up straight. Luke 13:11. You may as well bid an elephant fly in the air — as a covetous man live by faith. We preach to men to give freely to Christ’s poor; but covetousness makes them like the man in the gospel, who had “a withered hand.” Mark 3:1. They have a withered hand, and cannot stretch it out to the poor. It is impossible to be earthly-minded and charitably-minded. Covetousness obstructs the efficacy of the Word, and makes it prove abortive. Those whose hearts are rooted in the earth, will be so far from profiting by the Word, that they will be ready rather to deride it. The Pharisees, who were covetous, “derided Him.” Luke 16:14
(3) Covetousness is a MOTHER sin. It is a radical vice. “The love of money is the root of all evil.” 1 Timothy 6:10. “O accursed lust for gold! what crimes do you not urge upon the human heart!” Virgil. He who has an earthly itch, a greedy desire of getting the world, has in him the root of all sin. Covetousness is a mother sin. Covetousness breaks the first commandment; “You shall have no other gods but one.” The covetous man has more gods than one; Mammon is his God. He has a god of gold, therefore he is called an idolater. Colossians 3:5. The mammonist covets his neighbor’s house and goods, and endeavors to get them into his own hands. See how vile a sin covetousness is!
(4) Covetousness is a DISHONORABLE sin to religion. For men to say their hopes are above — while their hearts are below; to profess to be above the stars — while they “lick the dust” of the serpent; to be born of God — while they are buried in the earth; how dishonorable is this to religion! The lapwing, which wears a little coronet on its head, and yet feeds on dung, is an emblem of such as profess to be crowned kings and priests unto God, and yet feed immoderately on earthly dunghill comforts. The higher grace is, the less earthly should Christians be; as the

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higher the sun is, the shorter is the shadow.
(5) Covetousness is a DAMNING sin. It exposes us to God’s abhorrence. “The covetous, whom the Lord abhors.” Psalm 10:3. A king abhors to see his statue abused, so God abhors to see man, made in His image, having the heart of a beast. Who would live in such a sin — as makes him abhorred of God? Whom God abhors He curses, and His curse blasts wherever it comes!
Covetousness brings men to eternal ruin, and shuts them out of Heaven. “This you know, that no covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” Ephesians 5:5. What could a covetous man do in Heaven? God can no more converse with him — than a king can converse with a swine! “Those who will be rich fall into a snare, and many hurtful lusts, which drown men in perdition.” 1 Timothy 6:9. A covetous man is like a bee that gets into a barrel of honey, and there drowns itself. As a ferry-man, to increase his fare, takes in too many passengers, that he sinks his boat; so a covetous man takes in so much gold to increase his estate, that he drowns himself in perdition! I have read of some inhabitants near Athens, who, living in a very dry and barren island, took much pains to draw a river to the island to water it and make it fruitful; but when they had opened the passages, and brought the river to it, the water broke in with such force, that it drowned the land, and all the people in it. This is an emblem of a covetous man, who labors to draw riches to him, and at last they come in such abundance, that they drown him in perdition! How many, to build up an estate, pull down their souls! Oh, then, flee from covetousness!
The CURE for covetousness.
(1) Faith. “This is the victory that overcomes the world — even our faith.” 1 John 5:4. The root of covetousness is distrust of God’s providence. Faith believes that God will provide; that He who feeds the birds will feed His children; that He who clothes the lilies will clothe His lambs; and thus faith overcomes the world. Faith is the cure of care. It not only purifies the heart — but satisfies it; it makes God

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our portion, and in Him we have enough. Faith, by a divine chemistry, extracts comfort out of God. A little, with God — is sweet. Thus faith is a remedy against covetousness; it overcomes, not only the fear of the world—but the love of the world.
(2) The second remedy is, judicious considerations. Ah, what poor things, are these earthly things — that we should covet them! We covet that which will not satisfy us. “He who loves silver, shall not be satisfied with silver.” Ecclesiastes 5:10. Solomon had put all the creatures in a scale, and distilled out their essence, and behold — “All was vanity!” Ecclesiastes 2:11. A man with dropsy — “the more water he drinks, the more he craves.” Just so, the more a covetous man has of the world, the more he thirsts. Worldly things cannot remove trouble of mind. When King Saul was perplexed in conscience, his crown jewels could not comfort him. 1 Samuel 28:15
The things of the world can no more ease a troubled spirit — than a gold cap can cure the headache! The things of the world cannot continue with you. The creature has a little honey in its mouth — but it has wings to fly away. Earthly things either leave us — or we leave them! What poor things are they to covet!
(3) The third remedy for covetousness is to covet spiritual things more. Covet grace, for it is the best blessing, it is the seed of God. Covet Heaven, which is the region of perfect happiness — the most pleasant climate. If we covet Heaven more — we shall covet earth less! To those who stand on the top of the Alps, the great cities of Campania seem but as small villages; so if our hearts were more fixed upon the Jerusalem above, all worldly things would disappear, would diminish, and be as nothing in our eyes. We read of an angel coming down from Heaven, and setting his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the earth. Revelation 10:2. Had we been in Heaven, and viewed its superlative glory, how would we, with holy scorn, trample with one foot upon the earth and with the other foot upon the sea! O covet after heavenly things! There is the tree of life, the mountains of spices, the rivers of pleasure,

the honeycomb of God’s love dropping, the delights of angels, and the flower of joy, fully ripe and blown. There is the pure air to breathe in; no fogs or vapors of sin arise to infect that air — but the Sun of Righteousness enlightens the whole horizon continually with His glorious beams. O let your thoughts and delights be always taken up with the city of pearls, the paradise of God! Were our hearts raised by the power of the Holy Spirit up to Heaven, we would not be much absorbed with earthly things.
(4) The best remedy for covetousness is contentment. Be content! “In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content — whether well-fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need.” Philippians 4:12. The best way to be contented, is to believe that condition to be best, which God by His providence carves out to you. If He had seen fit for us to have more — we would have had it. Perhaps we could not manage a great estate. It is hard to carry a full cup without spilling — and a full estate without sinning! Great estates may be snares! There is no better antidote against coveting that which is another’s — than being content with that which is our own.
(5) Pray for a heavenly mind. “Lord, let the loadstone of Your Spirit draw my heart upward. Lord, dig the earth out of my heart! Teach me how to possess the world, and not love it; how to hold it in my hand, and not let it get into my heart!”
CHEER UP, MY FRIEND!
The following is excerpted from a letter written on November 16, 1838, and was published in the ‘Gospel Standard Magazine’
Dear friend,
O the pleasure, wonder, and delight when the dear Comforter brings to my remembrance the way He has led me these forty years in this dreary wilderness — the helps He has afforded me; His never-failing mercy in supplying
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me; His omnipotent power in keeping me; His unwearied patience in bearing with my devilish, crooked ways; His never-failing faithfulness, notwithstanding all my unbelief. It is of His mercies and His unfailing compassion — that I am not consumed. I am confident that it is because He changes not, that such a worm as I am — is not consumed. For I am sure there never was such a stubborn, refractory, stupid, rebellious, proud, presumptuous, blind fool as I am!
My dear friend, it is here where my poor soul wishes to be living and dying — enrapt up in the bosom of everlasting love! O what sweetness to have drops out of this fathomless sea, this boundless river! And, if the drops are so sweet, so soul ravishing, so sin subduing, so devil conquering, so world vanquishing, and so God glorifying; what must it be to be brought to the fountain-head! What must it be, to be delivered forever from a cursed body of sin and death, out of the reach of all the fiery darts of the devil! What must it be, to have no nights, no clouds, no storms, no afflictions, no frowns forever and ever! There it will be an eternity of God’s smiles, an eternity of immortal pleasure — and not one moment of pain nor grief forever and ever!
O sweet home, heavenly rest — “where the wicked cease from troubling,” and the poor, tempted, tossed, tried, weary soul shall be forever at rest — undisturbed forever! O that the dear Comforter may bless us with foretastes of this heavenly kingdom, where we shall sing together, notwithstanding all our present sinkings, murmurings, frettings, wanderings, groanings, and sighings! All that either the world, flesh, or devils have done, can do, or ever shall do — shall never be able to pluck us out of the hands of everlasting love!
Cheer up, my friend, though it is through much tribulation — it is unto the kingdom of God! Though it is through fire and water — it is into a wealthy place! Though it is through a terrible wilderness, through pits, traps, and snares — it is into a land flowing with milk and honey! Though it is through so many fainting fits, so sickly and faint at times — it is into a land where there never is any sickness, for the

inhabitants there never are sick.
Blessed be our dear Lord — He picked us up out of the ruin of the fall — unasked, unsought for, unthought of — and deadened us to all the pleasures and joys that we once lived and delighted in. He has burned up our rags of righteousness and made us sick of them in our very hearts — and brought us to long, pant, and thirst for His holy righteousness. He has given us many blessed drops and tokens of His love — that He is ours, and that we are His!
O blessed Lord, do help us, do keep us, do lead us, and do guide us by Your counsel — and afterwards receive us to glory!
SHE IS A COMMON SEWER!
Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments”
(Editor’s note: This selection is longer, but it is needful in our immoral society. Though it particularly addresses adultery, it easily applies to any kind of immorality. This is the best article I have ever read on how to deal with lust. Every man struggles with lust — so please forward this on.)
“You shall not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14
This commandment is set up as a hedge to keep out impurity; and those who break this hedge — a serpent shall bite them! The fountain of this sin is lust. God is a pure, holy being, and has an infinite antipathy against all impurity. We must take heed of running on the rock of impurity, and so making shipwreck of our chastity. The meaning of the commandment is not only that we should not stain our bodies with immorality — but that we should keep our souls pure. To have a chaste body — but an unclean soul, is like a beautiful face with a cancerous heart. “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16
There is a mental adultery. “Whoever looks on a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Matthew 5:28. As a man may die of an inward
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bleeding — so he may be damned for the inward boilings of lust, if it is not mortified. That I may deter you from the sin of adultery, let me show you the great evil of it.
(1) Adultery is a thievish sin. It is the highest sort of theft. The adulterer steals from his neighbor, that which is more than his goods and estate; he steals away his wife from him!
(2) Adultery debases a person. It makes him resemble the beasts; therefore the adulterer is described like a horse neighing. “Everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife.” Jeremiah 5:8. It is worse than brutish; for some creatures which are void of reason — yet by the instinct of nature, observe some decorum and chastity. The turtle-dove is a chaste creature, and keeps to its mate. And the stork, wherever he flies, comes into no nest but his own. Naturalists write that if a stork, leaving his own mate, joins with any other, all the rest of the storks fall upon it, and pull its feathers from it. Adultery is worse than brutish, it degrades a person of his honor.
(3) Adultery pollutes. The devil is called an unclean spirit. Luke 11:24. The adulterer is the devil’s first-born; he is unclean; he is a moving quagmire. He is all over ulcerated with sin; his eyes sparkle with lust; his mouth foams out filth; his heart burns like mount Etna, in unclean desires. He is so filthy, that if he dies in this sin, all the flames of Hell will never purge away his immorality! And, as for the adulteress, who can paint her black enough? The Scripture calls her a deep ditch. Proverbs 23:27. She is a common sewer! The body of a harlot is a walking dung-hill, and her soul a lesser Hell!
(4) Adultery is destructive to the body. “Afterward you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body.” Proverbs 5:11. Immorality turns the body into a hospital, it brings foul diseases, and eats the beauty of the face. As the flame wastes the candle, so the fire of lust consumes the body. The adulterer hastens his own death. “So she seduced him with her pretty speech. With her flattery she enticed him. He followed her at once, like an ox going to the

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slaughter or like a trapped stag, awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life!” Pr 7:21-23
(5.) Adultery is a drain upon the purse; it wastes not the body only — but the estate. “Keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life!” Proverbs 6:24-26. Whores are the devil’s horse- leeches, sponges that suck in money. The prodigal son spent his inheritance, when he fell among harlots. Luke 15:30. The concubine of King Edward III, when he was dying, got all she could from him, and even plucked the rings off his fingers.
(6) Adultery destroys reputation. “But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys his own soul. Wounds and constant disgrace are his lot. His shame will never be erased!” Proverbs 6:32, 33. Wounds of reputation — no physician can heal. When the adulterer dies, his shame lives. When his body rots underground, his name rots above ground. His bastard children are living monuments of his shame.
(7) Adultery impairs the mind. It steals away the understanding; it stupefies the heart. “Whoredom and wine take away the heart.” Hosea 4:11. It eats all purity out of the heart. Solomon besotted himself with women, and they enticed him to idolatry.
(8) Adultery incurs temporal judgments. The Mosaic law made the penalty for adultery to be death. “The adulterer and adulteress shall surely be put to death;” and the usual death was stoning. Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:24. The Salons commanded people guilty of this sin, to be burnt. The Romans caused their heads to be stricken off. Like a scorpion — this sin carries a sting in its tail. “For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge!” Proverbs 6:34. The adulterer is often killed in the act of his sin. “Lust’s practice

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is to make a joyful entrance — but she leaves in misery.” I have read of two in London, who, having defiled themselves with adultery, were immediately struck dead with lightening from Heaven. If all who are now guilty of this sin were to be punished in this manner, it would rain fire again, as on Sodom.
(9) Adultery, without repentance, damns the soul. “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor homosexual offenders . . . will inherit the kingdom of God!” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. The fire of lust, brings to the fire of Hell. “God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral!” Hebrews 13:4. Though men may neglect to judge them — yet God will judge them! He will judge them assuredly; they shall not escape the hand of justice; and He will punish them severely. The harlot’s breasts keeps from Abraham’s bosom! “The delight lasts a moment — the torment an eternity!” Who for a cup of pleasure — would drink a sea of wrath! “Her guests are in the depths of Hell.” Proverbs 9:18. The harlot is perfumed with powders, and lovely to look on — but poisonous and damnable to the soul! “She has cast down many wounded, yes, many strong men have been slain by her.” Proverbs 7:26
(10) The adulterer does all he can, to destroy the soul of another — and so kills two at once! He is worse than the thief; for, suppose a thief robs a man, yes, and also takes away his life — the man’s soul may be happy; he may go to Heaven as well as if he had died in his bed. But he who commits adultery, endangers the soul of another, and does all he can, to deprive her of salvation. What a fearful thing it is — to be an instrument to draw another to Hell!
(11) The adulterer is abhorred of God. “The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; he who is abhorred by the Lord, will fall into it.” Proverbs 22:14. What can be worse than to be abhorred by God? God may be angry with His own children; but for God to abhor a man — is the highest degree of hatred! The immoral person stands upon the threshold of Hell; and when death gives him a push — he

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tumbles in!
All this should sound a warning in our ears, and call us off from the pursuit of so damnable a sin as immorality. Hear what the Scriptures say: “Her house is the way to Hell.” Proverbs 7:27
I shall give some directions, by way of antidote, to keep from the infection of this sin.
(1) Do not come into the company of a whorish woman; avoid her house, as a seaman does a rock. “Run from her! Don’t go near the door of her house!” Proverbs 5:8. He who would not have the plague, must not come near infected houses; every whore-house has the plague in it. Not to avoid the occasion of sin, and yet pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” is, as if one should put his finger into the candle, and yet pray that it may not be burnt!
(2) Look to your eyes. Much sin comes in by the eye. “Having eyes full of adultery.” 2 Peter 2:14. The eye tempts the imagination, and the imagination works upon the heart. A lustful amorous eye, may usher in sin. Eve first saw the tree of knowledge — and then she took. Genesis 3:6. First she looked — and then she loved. The eye often sets the heart on fire; therefore Job laid a law upon his eyes. “I made a covenant with my eyes — not to look with lust upon a young woman.” Job 31:1
(3) Look to your lips. Take heed of any unclean word which may enkindle unclean thoughts in yourselves or others. “Evil communications corrupt good manners.” 1 Corinthians 15:33. Impure discourse, is the bellows to blow up the fire of lust. Much evil is conveyed to the heart by the tongue. “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth!” Ps 141:3
(4) Look in a special manner to your heart. “Guard your heart with all diligence.” Proverbs 4:23. Every person has a tempter in his own bosom! “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, adultery, all other sexual immorality.” Matthew 15:19. Thinking of sin, makes way for the act of sin. Suppress the first risings of sin in your heart. As the

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serpent, when danger is near — guards his head, so keep your heart, which is the spring from whence all lustful motions proceed.
(5) Look to your attire. We read of the attire of a harlot. Proverbs 7:10. A wanton dress is a provocation to lust. A painted face, and half-naked breasts, are allurements to immorality. Where the sign is hung out — people will go in and taste the liquor. Jerome says, “those who by their lascivious attire endeavor to draw others to lust, though no evil follows — are tempters — and shall be punished, because they offered the poison to others, even though they would not drink.”
(6) Take heed of evil company. Sin is a very contagious disease; one person tempts another to sin, and hardens him in it. There are three cords which draw men to immorality: the inclination of the heart, the persuasion of evil company, and the embraces of the harlot. This threefold cord is not easily broken. “A fire was kindled in their company.” Psalm 106:18. The fire of lust is kindled in bad company.
(7) Beware of going to theaters and plays. A play-house is often a preface to a whorehouse. “Plays furnish the seeds of wickedness.” We are bid to avoid all appearance of evil; and are not plays the appearance of evil? Such sights are there, which are not fit to be beheld with chaste eyes. A learned divine observes, that many have on their death-beds confessed, with tears, that the pollution of their bodies has been occasioned by going to plays.
(8) Take heed of mixed dancing. “Dances are instruments of lust and wantonness.” From dancing, people come to dalliance with another, and from dalliance to immorality. “There is,” says Calvin, “for the most part, some unchaste behavior in dancing.” Dances draw the heart to immorality — by wanton gestures, by unchaste touches, and by lustful looks. Chrysostom inveighed against mixed dancing in his time. “We read,” he says, “of a marriage feast — but of dancing there — we read not.” Matthew 25:7. Many have been ensnared by dancing. “Dancing is not the conduct of a chaste woman — but of the adulteress,” says Ambrose.

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Chrysostom says, “Where dancing is, there the devil is!”
(9) Take heed of lascivious books and pictures, which provoke to lust. As the reading of the Scripture stirs up love to God, so reading vile books stirs up the mind to wickedness. To lascivious books I may add lascivious pictures, which bewitch the eye, and are incendiaries to lust! They secretly convey poison to the heart.
(10) Take heed of excess in diet. When gluttony and drunkenness lead the van, immorality and wantonness bring up the rear. “Wine inflames lust.” “Sodom’s sins were pride, laziness, and gluttony.” Ezekiel 16:49. The foulest weeds grow out of the fattest soil. Immorality proceeds from excess. “When I had fed them to the full, everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife.” Jeremiah 5:8. Get the “golden bridle of temperance.” God allows the refreshment of nature, and what may fit us the better for his service; but beware of surfeit. Excess in temporal things — clouds the mind, chokes good affections, and provokes lust. “I discipline my body and bring it under strict control.” 1 Corinthians 9:27. The flesh pampered — is liable to immorality.
(11) Take heed of idleness. When a man is idle, he is ready to receive any temptation. The devil sows most of his seeds of temptation in fallow ground. Idleness is the cause of sodomy and immorality. “Sodom’s sins were pride, laziness, and gluttony.” Ezekiel 16:49. When David was idle on the top of his house, he espied Bathsheba, and committed adultery with her. 2 Samuel 11:4. Jerome gave his friend counsel to be always well employed in God’s vineyard, that when the devil came, he might have no leisure to listen to temptation.
(12) To avoid fornication and adultery, let every man have a chaste, entire love to his own wife. Ezekiel’s wife was the desire of his eyes. Ezekiel 24:16. When Solomon had dissuaded from immoral women, he prescribed a remedy against it. “Rejoice with the wife of your youth.” Proverbs 5:18. It is not having a wife — but loving a wife — which makes a man live chastely. He who loves his wife, whom

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Solomon calls his fountain, will not go abroad to drink of muddy, poisoned waters. Pure marital love is a gift of God, and comes from Heaven; but, like the vestal fire, it must be nourished, so that it does not go out. He who does not love his wife, is the likeliest person to embrace the bosom of a harlot.
(13) Labor to get the fear of God into your hearts. “By the fear of the Lord, men depart from evil.” Proverbs 16:6. As the embankment keeps out the water, so the fear of the Lord keeps out immorality. Such as lack the fear of God, lack the bridle which should check them from sin! How did Joseph keep from his mistress’ temptation? The fear of God pulled him back! “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God!” Genesis 39:9. Bernard calls holy fear, “the door-keeper of the soul.” As a nobleman’s porter stands at the door, and keeps out vagrants, so the fear of God stands and keeps out all sinful temptations from entering.
(14) Take delight in the Word of God. “How sweet are your words unto my taste.” Psalm 119:103. Chrysostom compares God’s Word to a garden. If we walk in this garden, and suck sweetness from the flowers of the promises, we shall never care to pluck the “forbidden fruit.” “Let the Scriptures be my pure pleasure,” says Augustine. The reason why people seek after unchaste, sinful pleasures — is because they have nothing better. Caesar riding through a city, and seeing the women play with dogs and parrots, said, “Surely, they have no children.” So those who sport with harlots, have no better pleasures. He who has once tasted Christ in a promise, is ravished with delight; and he would scorn a temptation to sin! Job said, that the Word was his “appointed food.” Job 23:12. No wonder then, that he made a “covenant with his eyes.”
(15) If you would abstain from adultery, use serious consideration:
[1] Consider that God sees you in the act of sin! He sees all your curtain wickedness. He is totus oculus — “all eye.”

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The clouds are no canopy, the night is no curtain — to hide you from God’s eye! Whenever you sin — your Judge looks on! “I have seen your detestable acts — your adulteries and your neighings.” Jeremiah 13:27. “They have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives. I know it and am a witness to it! declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 29:23
[2] Consider that few who are entangled in the sin of adultery, ever recover from the snare. “None that go to her return again.” Proverbs 2:19. This made some of the ancients conclude that adultery was an unpardonable sin; but it is not so. David repented. Mary Magdalene was a weeping penitent; upon her amorous eyes which sparkled with lust, she sought to be revenged, by washing Christ’s feet with her tears! Some, therefore have recovered from this snare. “None that go to her return,” that is, “very few.” It is rare to hear of any who are enchanted and bewitched with the sin of immorality, who recover from it. “I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare.” Ecclesiastes 7:26. Her “heart is a trap,” that is, she is subtle to deceive those who come to her; and “her hands are chains,” that is her embraces are powerful to hold and entangle her lovers. This consideration should make all fearful of this sin. Soft pleasures, harden the heart.
[3] Consider what Scripture says, which may lay a barricade in the way to this sin. “I will be a swift witness against the adulterers.” Malachi 3:5. It is good when God is a witness “for us”, when He witnesses to our sincerity, as He did to Job’s; but it is sad to have God as a “witness against us.” “I,” says God, “will be a swift witness against the adulterer.” And who shall disprove God’s witness? He is both witness and judge! “God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.” Hebrews 13:4.
[4] Consider the sad farewell, which the sin of adultery leaves. It leaves a Hell in the conscience. “The lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is

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smoother than oil. But the result is as bitter as poison, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to Hell.” Proverbs 5:3-5. The goddess Diana was so artfully drawn, that she seemed to smile upon those who came into her temple — but frown on those who went out. So the harlot smiles on her lovers as they come to her — but at last, they come to the frown and the sting! “Until an arrow pierces his liver.” Proverbs 7:23. “Her end is bitter.”
When a man has been virtuous, the labor is gone — but the comfort remains; but when he has been wicked and immoral, the pleasure is gone — but the sting remains. “He gains momentary pleasure — but after that, eternal torment,” says Jerome. When the senses have been feasted with unchaste pleasures, the soul is left to pay the reckoning. Stolen waters are sweet; but, as poison, though sweet in the mouth, it torments the conscience. Sin always ends in tragedy! Sad is that which Fincelius reports of a priest in Flanders, who enticed a young girl to immorality. When she objected how vile a sin it was, he told her that by authority from the Pope, he could commit any sin; so at last he drew her to his wicked purpose. But when they had been together a while, in came the devil, and took away the harlot from the priest’s side, and, notwithstanding all her crying out, carried her away! If the devil should come and carry away all who are guilty of immorality in this nation — I fear more would be carried away, than would be left behind!
(16) Pray against this sin. Luther gave a lady this advice, that when any lust began to rise in her heart, she should go to prayer. Prayer is the best armor against sin; it quenches the wild fire of lust. If prayer will “cast out the devil,” it will certainly cast out those lusts which come from the devil.
O let us labor for soul purity! To keep the soul pure — have recourse to the blood of Christ, which is the “fountain open, to cleanse from sin and impurity.” Zechariah 13:1. A soul steeped in the briny tears of repentance, and bathed in the blood of Christ — is made pure! Say, “Lord, my soul is

defiled! I pollute all I touch! O purge me with hyssop — let Christ’s blood sprinkle me, let the Holy Spirit anoint me. O make me pure, that I may be taken to Heaven — where I shall be as holy as You would have me to be — and as happy as I can desire to be!”
THE TROJAN HORSE
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
“Deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:13
In this petition, we pray to be delivered from the evil of our heart, that it may not entice us to sin.
The heart is the poisoned fountain, from whence all actual sins flow. “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.” Mark 7:21-22
The cause of all evil lies in a man’s own bosom — all sin begins at the heart. Lust is first conceived in the heart — and then it is midwifed into the world. Whence comes rash anger? The heart sets the tongue on fire. The heart is the shop where all sin is contrived and hammered out.
The heart is the greatest seducer “Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.” James 1:14. The devil could not hurt us — if our own hearts did not give consent. All that he can do is to lay the bait — but it is our fault to swallow it! How needful, therefore, is this prayer, “Deliver us from the evil of our hearts!”
It was Augustine’s prayer, “Lord, deliver me from that evil man — myself!”
Beware of the bosom traitor — the flesh. The heart of a man is the Trojan horse — out of which comes a whole army of lusts! O let us pray to be delivered from the lusts and deceits of our own heart!
YOUR CUP OF THE CURSE
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“Shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given Me?” John 18:11
Christ took your cup of grief — your cup of the curse, pressed it to His lips, and drank it to its dregs. Then He filled it with His sweet, pardoning, sympathizing love — and gave it back to you to drink, and to drink forever!
FIRST SHE LOOKED — AND THEN SHE LUSTED!
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
“Watch!” Mark 13:37
Many have lost Heaven, for lack of watchfulness. Our hearts are ready to decoy us into sin, and the devil lies in ambush with his temptations. We must every day keep sentinel in our souls. “I will stand upon my watch.” Habakkuk 2:1. Watch your eyes! “I made a covenant with my eyes.” Job 31:1. Much sin comes in by the eye. First Eve saw that the tree was good for food, and pleasant to the eyes — then she took and ate it! First she looked — and then she lusted. The eye, by beholding an impure object, sets the heart on fire. The devil often creeps in, at the window of the eye! Watch your eyes!
Watch your ears! Much poison is conveyed through the ear. Let your ear be open to God — and shut to sin!
Watch your hearts! “The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked.” Jeremiah 17:9
Watch your heart when you are about holy things — it will be slipping out to vanity. When Christ had been praying and fasting, the devil tempted Him. Matthew 4:3. After combating with Satan in prayer, we are apt to grow secure and take our spiritual armor off — and then the devil falls on us and wounds us!
Watch your hearts when you are in bad company. The breath of the wicked is infectious. Nay, watch your hearts when you are in good company. The devil is subtle, and he can as well creep into the dove — as he did once into the serpent. Satan tempted Christ by an apostle.
Watch your hearts in prosperity. Now you are in danger of pride! The higher men’s estates rise — the higher their hearts are lifted up in pride. It
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is hard to carry a full cup without spilling. Just so, it is hard to carry a full, prosperous estate without sinning. As Samson fell asleep in Delilah’s lap — so many have fallen so fast asleep in the lap of prosperity, that they never awoke until they awoke in Hell!
Oh, if you would get to Heaven, be always upon your watch-tower! Keep close sentinel in your souls. Who would not watch — when it is for a glorious kingdom!
THE DELILAH IN THE BOSOM!
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
If you would not come short of the kingdom of Heaven, take heed of indulging any sin. One millstone will drown, as well as more. One sin lived in will damn, as well as more. If any one sin reigns — it will keep you from reigning in the kingdom of Heaven.
Especially keep from sins of your natural constitution; your darling sin. “I kept myself from my iniquity” — that sin which my heart would soonest decoy and flatter me into. As in the hive there is one master bee — so in the heart there is one master-sin. Oh, take heed of this!
How may this darling-sin be known?

  1. That sin for which a man cannot endure the arrow of a reproof, is the bosom-sin. Men can be content to have other sins declaimed against; but if a minister puts his finger upon the sore, and touches upon that one special sin — then their eyes flash with fire, they are enraged, and spit the venom of malice!
  2. That sin which a man’s heart runs out most to, and he is most easily captivated by — is the Delilah in the bosom! One man is overcome with wantonness, another by worldliness. It is a sad thing for a man to be so bewitched by a beloved sin that he will part with the whole kingdom of Heaven — to gratify that lust!
  3. That sin which a man is least inclined to part with, is the endeared sin. Of all his sons, Jacob could most hardly part with Benjamin. “Will you take Benjamin away!” Genesis 42:35. So says the sinner, “This and that sin I have left — but must Benjamin go too? Must I part with this delightful sin? That goes to my heart!”
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Take heed especially of this master-sin. The strength of sin lies in the beloved sin, which, like a cancer striking at the heart, brings death.
I have read of a monarch, who being pursued by the enemy, threw away the crown of gold on his head — that he might run the faster. Just so, the sin which you wore as a crown of gold must be thrown away — that you may run the faster to the kingdom of Heaven.
Oh, if you would not lose glory, mortify the beloved sin! Set it, as Uriah — in the forefront of the battle to be slain. By plucking out this right eye — you will see the better to go to Heaven!
THE WORLD’S GOLDEN SANDS!
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the
world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15
If you would not fall short of the kingdom of Heaven, take heed of worldly-mindedness. A covetous spirit chokes holy affections, as the earth puts out the fire.
“The riches of the world, are the snares of the devil!”
Riches are golden snares! If a man were to climb up a steep rock, and had weights tied to his legs — it would hinder him in his ascent. Just so, many golden weights will hinder us from climbing up the steep rock which leads to Heaven.
The world is no friend to grace. The more the babe sucks — the weaker the mother is. Just so, the more the world sucks — the weaker our grace is.
Had a man a monopoly of all the wealth of the world; could he heap up riches to the stars — yet his heart would not be filled. Covetousness is never satisfied. Joshua could stop the course of the sun — but could not stop Achan in his covetous pursuit of the wedge of gold. He whose heart is locked up in his chest, will be locked out of Heaven!
Some ships which have escaped the rocks — have been wrecked upon the sands. Just so, many who have escaped gross sins — have been wrecked upon the world’s golden sands!
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AN EYESORE TO THE DAMNED IN HELL
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
“There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out!” Luke 13:28
A great aggravation of the loss of Heaven will be to look upon others who have gained the kingdom. The happiness of the godly in Heaven, will be an eyesore to the damned in Hell. When the wicked shall see those whom they hated and scorned — exalted to the kingdom, and shine with robes of glory, and they themselves miss the kingdom — it will be a dagger at the heart, and make them gnash their teeth for envy!
THE PROSPERITY OF THE WICKED
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
“I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. This is what the wicked are like — always carefree, they increase in wealth. Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have
I washed my hands in innocence.” Psalm 73:3, 12-13
The children of God have little cause to envy the prosperity of the wicked. They may have all they can desire; nay, they may have “more than heart can wish.” Psalm 73:7. They steep themselves in pleasure! “They sing to the music of tambourine and harp; they make merry to the sound of the flute.” Job 21:12. The wicked are high — when God’s people are low in the world.
The goats scramble up the mountains of prosperity; when Christ’s sheep are below in the valley of tears! The wicked are clothed in purple; while the godly are in sackcloth. The prosperity of the wicked is a great stumbling block. But there is no cause of envy them, if we consider two things:
First — that this is all they have! “Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things” — you had all your Heaven here.
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Secondly — that God has laid up better things for His children. He has prepared a kingdom of glory for them! They shall have the beatific vision; they shall be crowned with the pleasures of paradise forever! Oh, then do not envy the fleeting prosperity of the wicked!
The wicked go through a pleasant way — to execution! The godly go through a foul way — to coronation!
See how happy all the saints are at death! They go to a kingdom! They shall see God’s face, which shines ten thousand times brighter than the sun in its meridian glory. The godly at death shall be installed into their honor, and have the royal crown set upon their head. They have in the kingdom of Heaven — the quintessence of all delights. They shall lie in Christ’s bosom, that bed of spices.
There is such a pleasant variety in the happiness of Heaven, that after millions of years it will be as fresh and desirable as the first hour’s enjoyment! In the kingdom of Heaven, the saints are crowned with all those perfections which they are capable of. The desires of the glorified saints are infinitely satisfied; there is nothing absent which they could wish might be enjoyed; there is nothing present which they could wish might be removed.
In the kingdom of Heaven there is . . . knowledge without ignorance, holiness without sin,
beauty without blemish,
strength without weakness, light without darkness, riches without poverty, ease without pain,
liberty without restraint,
rest without labor,
joy without sorrow,
love without hatred,
plenty without surfeit,
honor without disgrace,
health without sickness,
peace without discord,
contentment without cessation,
glory in its highest elevation!
Oh, the happiness of those who die in the
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Lord! They go into this blessed kingdom!
TRUE FAITH
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
True faith is joined with holiness. As a little musk sweetens, so a little faith purifies. Though faith does but touch Christ — it fetches a healing virtue from Him. Justifying faith does that in a spiritual sense, which miraculous faith does — it removes the mountains of sin, and casts them into the sea of Christ’s blood!
True faith is prolific. It brings forth fruit; it has Rachel’s beauty — and Leah’s fruitfulness. Faith is full of good works. It believes as if it did not work — and it works as if it did not believe. Faith is the spouse-like grace which marries Christ; and good works are the children which it bears!
THE FIRE, THE WORM, THE PRISON ARE ETERNAL!
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
“And they will go away into eternal punishment,
but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:46
See what opposite ways, the godly and the wicked go at death! The godly go to a glorious kingdom; the wicked go to a loathsome prison! The devil is the jailer, and they are bound with the chains of darkness. Jude 6. What are these chains? Not iron chains — but worse; the chain of God’s decree, decreeing them to righteous torment; and the chain of God’s power, whereby He binds them fast under eternal wrath!
The deplorable condition of impenitent sinners, is that when they die — they go to a dreadful dungeon. Oh, think what horror and despair will possess the wicked, when they see themselves engulfed in misery, and their condition hopeless, helpless, endless! They are in a fiery prison — and there is no possibility of getting out!
A servant under the law, who had a hard master — at every seventh year might go free. But in Hell there is no year of release when the damned shall go free — the fire, the worm, the prison are eternal!
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If the whole world, from earth to Heaven, were filled with grains of sand, and once in a thousand years an angel should come and fetch away one grain — how many millions of ages would pass before that vast heap of sand would be spent! Yet, if after all this time the sinner might come out of Hell, there would be some hope. But this word “forever!” breaks the heart with despair!
MY SWEET POMEGRANATE WINE
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
“Christ’s love compels us.” 2 Corinthians 5:14
True love to love God turns the soul into a seraphim; it makes it burn in a flame of affection. Love is the truest touchstone of sincerity.
Love is the queen of the graces; it commands the whole soul. If our love to God is genuine, we let Him have the supremacy of our love. We will set Him in the highest place of our soul. We will give Him the purest of our love. “I would give You spiced wine to drink, my sweet pomegranate wine.” Song of Songs 8:2. If the spouse had anything better — a cup more juicy and spiced — Christ would drink of that!
We give the creature the milk of our love; but God gets the cream!
NO SERPENT OF SIN WILL BREED THERE
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
“Nothing impure will ever enter it.” Revelation 21:27
The kingdom of Heaven excels all other kingdoms in holiness. Earthly kingdoms are for the most part unholy; there is a common sore of luxury and uncleanness running in them. Earthly kingdoms are stages for sin to be acted on. “All the tables are covered with vomit and there is not a spot without filth.” Isaiah 28:8. But the kingdom of Heaven is so holy — that it will not mix with any corruption. It is so pure a soil — that no serpent of sin will breed there. There, beauty is not stained with lust, and honor is not swelled with pride. Holiness is the brightest jewel of the crown of Heaven.
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“Nothing impure will ever enter it.” Revelation 21:27
WHAT WOULD THE DAMNED IN HELL GIVE, FOR ONE HOUR’S SLEEP!
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
“Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath!” 1 Thessalonians 1:10 In the kingdom of Heaven — we shall be freed from the torments of Hell.
Consider the multiplicity of those torments. In this life, the body is usually exercised with only one pain at one time; but in Hell there is a diversity of torments. There is . . .
darkness to affright,
fire to burn,
a lake of sulphur to choke, chains to bind, and
the worm to gnaw!
The torments of Hell will seize upon every part of the body and soul. The eye shall be tortured with the sight of devils; and the tongue that has sworn so many oaths, shall be tortured. “Send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue.” Luke 16:24. The memory will be tormented to remember the mercies that have been abused, and seasons of grace neglected. The conscience will be tormented with self- accusations.
The pains of Hell are unmitigated, with no mixture of mercy. In this life, God in anger remembers mercy. But in Hell there is no alleviation or lessening of the pains. In Hell, there is no oil of mercy to assuage the sufferings of the damned.
In the pains of Hell, there is no intermission. “The smoke of their torment rises forever and ever, and they will have no rest day or night!” Revelation 14:11. What would the damned in Hell give, for one hour’s sleep! They are perpetually on the rack. There is no expiration in the pains of Hell; they must always lie scorching in flames of wrath!
But in the heavenly kingdom, the elect shall be freed from all infernal torments. “Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath!” A prison is not made for the King’s children. Christ drank that bitter cup of God’s wrath
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— that the saints might never drink it!
YOUR DYING DAY
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased
to give you the kingdom!” Luke 12:32
What little cause have the saints to fear death! Are any afraid of going to a glorious kingdom? What is there in this world that should make us desirous to stay here? Is not this world “a valley of tears” — and do we weep to leave it? Are we not in a wilderness among fiery serpents — and are we afraid to leave these serpents?
God is ever displaying the banner of His love in Heaven, and is there any love like His? Are there any sweeter smiles, or softer embraces than His? What hurt can death do to them — but lead them to a glorious kingdom! Let this be a gospel antidote to expel the fear of death.
Christian, your dying day will be your wedding day — and do you fear it? Is a slave afraid to be set free? Is a virgin afraid to be matched into the crown? Death may take away a few worldly comforts — but it gives that which is better; it takes away a flower — and gives a jewel! If the saints possess a kingdom when they die, they have no cause to fear death. A prince would not be afraid to cross the sea, though tempestuous — if he were sure to be crowned as soon as he came to shore!
Faith gives a title to Heaven — but death gives a possession of Heaven! Death brings us to the end of our sorrow, and the beginning of our joy! Death is the entrance into a blessed eternity!
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom!” Luke 12:32
GOD SHOOTS MANY KINDS OF ARROWS
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer” “May Your will be done.” Matthew 6:10
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We pray here, that we may have grace to submit to God’s will patiently — in whatever He inflicts.
Patient submission to God’s will, is a gracious frame of soul, whereby a Christian is content to be at God’s disposal, and acquiesces in His wisdom. “It is the Lord’s will — let Him do what He thinks best.” 1 Samuel 3:18
Patient submission to the will of God, lies in seeing His hand in the affliction. “Affliction does not spring from the soil, and trouble does not sprout from the earth.” Job 5:6. Affliction does not come by chance! Job eyed God in all that befell him. “The Lord gave me everything I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” Job 1:21. Job looks beyond second causes — he sees God in the affliction! “The Lord has taken it away.” There can be no submission to God’s will — until there is an acknowledging of God’s hand in the affliction.
Patient submission to God’s will, lies in justifying God. God is holy and just, not only when He punishes the wicked — but when He afflicts the righteous. “Now we are being punished because of our wickedness and our great guilt. But we have actually been punished far less than we deserve.” Ezra 9:13
While we live here in this valley of tears, patient submission to God’s will is much needed. The Lord sometimes lays heavy afflictions upon us. “Your arrows have struck deep, and Your blows are crushing me!” Psalm 38:2. God sometimes lays many afflictions upon us. “He multiplies my wounds.” Job 9:17. God shoots many kinds of arrows.
God sometimes afflicts with POVERTY — which is a great affliction. To have an estate reduced almost to nothing, is hard to flesh and blood. “The Almighty has made life very bitter for me. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me home empty.” Ruth 1:20, 21
God sometimes afflicts with REPROACH. Dirt may be cast upon a pearl; and those names may be blotted, which are written in the book of life. Piety shields from Hell — but not from slander.
God sometimes afflicts with the DEATH of loved ones. “Son of man, I am going to take away your dearest treasure. Suddenly she will die!” Ez 24:16
God sometimes afflicts with INFIRMITY of body. Sickness takes away the comfort of life. Sometimes God lets the infirmity continue long. Some diseases are chronic, and linger and hang about the body for many years.
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The Lord is pleased to exercise many of His precious ones with chronic affliction.
God tries His people with various afflictions — so that they have need of patient submission to His will.
Murmuring is not consistent with submission to God’s will. Murmuring is the height of impatience, it is a kind of mutiny in the soul against God. “They began to murmur against God.” Numbers 21:5
When water is hot — then the scum boils up; when the heart is heated with anger against God — then murmuring boils up!
Murmuring springs from pride! Men think they have deserved better at God’s hand; and, when they begin to swell with pride — they spit poison!
GOD’S FILE AND FLAIL
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
“God disciplines us for our profit.” Hebrews 12:10
What profit is in affliction? Afflictions are disciplinary. Afflictions teach us — they are the school of the cross.
Affliction shows us more of our own hearts. Water in a glass looks clear — but set it on the fire, and the scum boils up. Just so, when God sets us upon the fire — corruption boils up which we did not discern before. Sharp afflictions are to the soul, as a soaking rain to the house; we do not know that there are holes in the roof until the shower comes — but then we see it drop down here and there. Just so, we do not know what unmortified lusts are in the soul, until the storm of affliction comes — then the hidden evils of the heart come dropping down in many places. Affliction is a sacred eye-salve, it clears our eye-sight. Thus the rod gives wisdom.
Affliction quickens the spirit of prayer. Jonah was asleep in the ship — but at prayer in the whale’s belly. Perhaps in a time of health and prosperity we prayed in a cold and formal manner, we put no coals to the incense. Then God sends some affliction or other — to stir us up to take hold of Him. “They poured out a prayer — when Your chastening was upon them.” Isaiah 26:16. In times of trouble we pray feelingly and
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fervently.
Affliction is a means to purge out our sins. Affliction cures the pestilence of pride — and the fever of lust. Affliction is God’s file — to scrub off our rust. Affliction is God’s flail — to thresh off our husks. The water of affliction is not to drown us — but to wash off our spots.
Affliction is a means to wean us the world. The world often proves, not only a spider’s web — but a cockatrice egg. Corrupting worldly things, are great enchantments. They hinder us in our passage to Heaven. Affliction sounds a retreat, to call us off the immoderate pursuit of earthly things. When two things are frozen together — the best way to separate them is by fire; so, when the heart and the world are together — God has no better way to separate them than by the fire of affliction.
Affliction is a means to purify us. It works us up to further degrees of sanctity. “God disciplines us for our profit — that we may share in His holiness.” Hebrews 12:10. The vessels of mercy are the brighter for scouring. As you pour water on your linen when you would whiten it — so God pours the waters of affliction upon us to whiten our souls. Afflictions are in themselves bitter — but they bring forth the sweet fruits of righteousness. Hebrews 12:11
HERE IS A STRANGE SIGHT!
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
“Happy is the man whom God corrects.” Job 5:17
Affliction is a means to make us happy. It seems strange to flesh and blood — that affliction should make us happy. When Moses saw the bush burning and not consumed, he said “I will turn aside and see this strange sight!” Exodus 3:3. Likewise, here is a strange sight — a man afflicted, and yet happy. The world counts them happy — who can escape affliction; but truly happy is the man whom God corrects.
How do afflictions contribute to our happiness?
Afflictions make us happy — as they are a means of bringing us nearer to God. The loadstone of prosperity does not draw us so near to God, as the cords of affliction. When the prodigal was pinched with need, he said, “I will arise — and go to my father!” Luke 15:18. As the deluge brought the
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dove to the ark — the floods of sorrow make us hasten to Christ, our ark!
Afflictions make us happy — as they are safe guides to glory. The storm drives the ship into the harbor. Blessed storm — which drives the soul into the heavenly harbor! Is it not better — to go through momentary affliction to eternal glory — than to go through momentary pleasure to eternal misery? The wicked must drink a sea of wrath; but the godly have only a cup of affliction.
Think, O Christian — what affliction leads to! It leads to paradise, where rivers of pleasure are always running!
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17
THREE WORMS WHICH OFTEN BREED IN PROSPERITY
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
“Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11
To make us content with “daily bread,” though God straitens us in our allowance, think seriously of the danger there is in a high, prosperous condition.
Some are not content with “daily bread,” but desire to have their barns filled, and heap up silver as dust; which proves a snare to them. “Those who will be rich fall into a snare.” 1 Timothy 6:9. Pride, idleness, and lust — are three worms which often breed in prosperity.
Prosperity often deafens the ear against God. “I spoke unto you in your prosperity, but you said — I will not hear.” Jeremiah 22:21. Soft pleasures harden the heart. In the body, the more fat — the less vitality. Just so, the more outward plenty — often the less piety.
Prosperity has its honey — and also its sting! Anxious care is the evil spirit which haunts the rich man — and will not let him rest. When his chests are full of money — his heart is full of care, either how to manage or how to increase, or how to secure what he has gotten.
Should this not make us content with that allowance which God gives us
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— if we have daily bread, though not dainties? Think of the danger of prosperity! The spreading of a full table may be the spreading of a snare! Many have been sunk to Hell, with golden weights!
“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction!” 1 Timothy 6:9
The world’s golden sands are quicksands, which should make us take our daily bread, though it be but coarse, contentedly. If we have less prosperity — we have less snare. As we lack the rich provisions of the world — so we lack their temptations. “If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” 1 Timothy 6:8
If God keeps us to a spare diet — if He gives us less of temporal things — He has made it up in spiritual things. He has given us the Pearl of great price — the Lord Jesus, who is the quintessence of all good things. To give us Christ, is more than if God had given us all the world. He can make more worlds — but He has no more Christs to bestow. Christ is such a golden mine, that the angels cannot dig to the bottom! His riches are unsearchable! Ephesians 3:8. From Christ we have justification, adoption and glorification!
Consider that it is not having an abundance, which makes us content. It is not a fancy cage which will make the bird sing. Having an abundance may make one less content. One staff may help the traveler — but a bundle of staffs will be a burden to him. A great estate may be like a long trailing garment — more burdensome than useful.
He who can say, “My God,” has enough to rock his heart quiet in the lowest condition. What can he lack — who has the all-sufficient God for his portion!
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and
be content with what you have, because God has said, Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
THEY ARE NEVER SEPARATED
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
“You were sanctified, you were justified.” 1 Corinthians 6:11
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Justification and sanctification are not the same.
Justification is without us — sanctification is within us. The one is by righteousness imputed — the other is by righteousness imparted. Justification is once and for all — sanctification is gradual. One person is sanctified more than another — but one cannot be more justified than another. One has more grace than another — but he is not more justified than another.
The matter of our justification is perfect, namely, Christ’s righteousness; but our sanctification is imperfect, there are the spots of God’s children. Our graces are mixed with sin, our duties are defiled.
Thus justification and sanctification are not the same.
Yet, for all that, they are never separated. God never pardons and justifies a sinner — but He also sanctifies him. “This is He who came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ.” 1 John 5:6. Christ comes to the soul by blood, which denotes remission of sin; and by water, which denotes sanctification. Let no man say he is pardoned, who is not made holy! This I urge against those who talk of their sin being forgiven, and having a part in Christ — and yet remain unconverted, and live in the grossest sins!
Where God pardons, He purifies. Whoever God forgives, He transforms. Let no man say his sins are forgiven — who does not find an inherent work of holiness in his heart. “I will place My Spirit within you and cause you to follow My statutes and carefully observe My ordinances.” Ez 36:27
GOD IS EITHER BLIND OR FORGETFUL
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him.” Psalm 32:1-2
All the curses of God stand in full force against an unpardoned sinner. It is astonishing, that an unpardoned man could be merry, who is heir to all God’s curses!
Luther professed there were three things which he dared not think of, without Christ:
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his sins,
death,
the day of judgment.
Death to a Christless soul, is the “king of terrors.” Death is sent to the unpardoned soul with dreadful tidings. Death is God’s jailer to arrest him. Death is a prologue to damnation. It takes away all earthly comforts; it takes away sugared morsels; no more mirth or music. “The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again.” Revelation 18:22. The sinner shall never more taste of luscious delights, for all eternity; his honey shall be turned into the “gall of asps.” Job 20:14
The sinner dying unpardoned, must go into damnation! This is the second death — an undying death. He must forever bear the anger of a sin- revenging God. As long as God is God — so long the vial of His wrath shall be dropping upon the damned soul.
Oh! how sad, then, is it to live and die unpardoned! You may lay a grave- stone upon that man, and write this epitaph upon it, “It would have been good for that man — if he had never been born!” He will be engulfed in a dreadful a labyrinth of fire and brimstone for all eternity!
Now, if the misery of an unpardoned state is so inexpressible — what is the reason why so few seek after pardon? If they lack health — they go to the physician; but if they lack forgiveness of sin, they seem to be unconcerned, and do not seek after it.
Why is this?
Men do not seek earnestly after forgiveness of sin, for lack of conviction. Few are convinced what a dreadful thing sin is — that it is distillation of all evil, that it brings all plagues on the body, and curses on the soul. Unless a man’s sins are forgiven, there is not the vilest creature alive — the rat, serpent or toad, which is in a worse condition than the sinner! For when they die they go but into the earth; but he, dying without pardon, goes into Hell torments forever! Men are not convinced of this — so they play with the viper of sin!
Men do not seek earnestly after forgiveness of sin, because they are seeking other things. They seek the world immoderately. The world is a golden snare. “The riches of the world, are the snares of the devil.” The wedge of gold hinders many from seeking after pardon.
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Men do not seek earnestly after forgiveness of sin, out of hope of impunity. They flatter themselves in sin, and because they have been spared so long, therefore think God never intends to reckon with them. “He has said in his heart — God has forgotten; He hides His face and will never see it.” Psalm 10:11. They think that God is either blind or forgetful. But let sinners know — that long forbearance is not forgiveness. God bore with Sodom a long time, but at last rained down fire and brimstone upon them. The adjourning of the court, does not acquit the prisoner. The longer God is taking the blow — the heavier it will be at last, if sinners repent not!
OH, THIS IS HEAVEN, THE HEAVEN OF HEAVEN!
Octavius Winslow
“I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far!” Philippians 1:23
Fellowship with Jesus 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,
freedom from sorrow,
rest from toil,
release from conflict.
Oh no! it is the presence — the full unclouded presence of Christ!
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 His presence, Oh, this is Heaven, the Heaven of Heaven!
THIS LION OF HELL IS EVER HUNTING AFTER HIS PREY!
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Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”

“Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour!” 1 Peter 5:8
Consider Satan’s diligence in tempting. He neglects no time. He who would have us idle — is always busy himself. This lion of Hell is ever hunting after his prey! He compasses sea and land to make a proselyte. He prowls around — he watches where he may throw in the fireball of temptation. He is a restless spirit; if we repulse him, he will not desist — but come again with a new temptation.
Satan’s diligence in tempting, is seen in the variety of temptations he uses. He does not confine himself to one kind of temptation — he has more plots than one. He has many tools to work with. If he finds one temptation does not prevail — he will utilize another.
If he cannot tempt to lust — he will tempt to pride.
If temptation to covetousness does not prevail — he will tempt to
extravagance.
If he cannot make men profane — he will try to make them religious
formalists.
If he cannot make them wicked — he will tempt them to be erroneous.
Error damns as well as vice. Vice pistols; error poisons!
Satan has acquired long experience in the art of temptation. He has been a tempter for as long as he has been a devil. Having such experience, he knows what the temptations are, which have foiled others, and are most likely to prevail — as the fowler lays those snares which have caught other birds.
TO DAMN THEM WITH DELIGHTS!
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
“So that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are very
familiar with his evil schemes.” 2 Corinthians 2:11
The serpent beguiled Eve with his subtlety; let us not be beguiled by his hellish snares and plots.
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Satan has a dexterity in subtle contrivances.
He hurts more as a fox than a lion.
His snares are worse than his darts.
His error damns as well as His vice; poison kills as well as a pistol.
Satan bewitches and ensnares men, by setting pleasing baits before them; as the riches, pleasures, and honors of the world. “All these things will I give you.” Matthew 4:9. How many does he tempt with this golden apple! Pride, idleness, luxury — are the three worms which are bred by prosperity. “Those who will be rich fall into temptation and a snare.” 1 Timothy 6:9. Satan kills with these silver darts! How many are ensnared by his luscious delights!
The pleasures of the world are the great engine by which Satan batters down men’s souls. His policy is to tickle them to death — to damn them with delights! The flesh would gladly be pleased, and Satan prevails by this temptation — he drowns them in the sweet waters of pleasure.
Such as have abundance of the world, walk in the midst of golden snares! We had need watch our hearts in prosperity, and pray not to be led into temptation. We have as much need to be careful that we are not endangered by prosperity — as a man has to be careful at a feast where there are some poisoned dishes of food.
BUFFETED BY SATAN’S TEMPTATIONS
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
Why does God allow His people to be buffeted by Satan’s
temptations? He does it for many wise and holy ends.
God allows His children to be tempted, to test their love. Our love to God is seen, when we can look a temptation in the face — and turn our back upon it. Though the devil comes as a subtle serpent, and offers a golden apple — yet the one who loves God will not touch the forbidden fruit. When the devil offered Christ all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them — such was Christ’s love to His Father, that He abhorred the temptation. True love will not be bribed. When the devil’s darts are most fiery — a saint’s love to God is most fervent. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15
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God allows His children to be tempted, to test their courage. Many have no heart to resist a temptation. No sooner does Satan come with his solicitations — but they yield. They are like the coward, who as soon as the thief approaches, delivers his purse. He is a valorous Christian, who brandishes the sword against Satan, and will rather die than yield. The heroic spirit of a saint is never more seen than in a battlefield, when he is fighting with the red dragon — and by the power of faith puts the devil to flight!
God allows His children to be tempted, that they may be kept from pride. Pride keeps grace low, so that it cannot thrive. As the head swells — the other parts of the body waste away. Just so, as pride swells — grace wastes away. God resists pride; and, that He may keep His children humble, He sometimes allows them to fall into temptation. “To keep me from getting puffed up, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from getting proud.” The thorn in the flesh was to burst the bubble of pride! Better is the temptation which humbles me — than the duty which makes me proud. Rather than a Christian should be proud, God lets him fall into the devil’s hands a while — that he may be cured of swelling pride.
God allows His children to be tempted, that they may be fitter to comfort others who are in the same distress, and speak a word in due season to such as are weary. Paul was trained up in the fencing-school of temptation, and was able to acquaint others with Satan’s wiles and stratagems, 2 Corinthians 2:11. A man who has ridden over a place where there are quicksands, is the fittest to guide others through that dangerous way. Just so, he who has been buffeted by Satan, and has felt the claws of the roaring lion — is the fittest man to deal with one who is tempted.
God allows His children to be tempted, to make them long more for heaven, where they shall be out of gunshot, and freed from the hissing of the old serpent! Satan vexes and molests the saints. He lays his snares, and throws his fireballs! But this only makes the children of God long to be gone from hence, and pray that they had the wings of a dove, to fly away and be at rest! Heaven is the place of rest — no bullets of temptation fly there! The eagle that soars aloft in the air, and sits perching upon the tops of high trees — is not troubled with the stinging of serpents below. Just so, when believers have got into Heaven above, they shall not be stung by the old serpent! The devil is cast out of the heavenly paradise. Heaven is compared to an exceeding high mountain. It is so high, that
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Satan’s fiery darts cannot reach up to it! Death calls the saints off the battlefield, where the bullets of temptation fly thick — so that they may receive a victorious crown!
THE SWORD WHICH WOUNDS THE RED DRAGON!
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
“In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able
to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one!” Ephesians 6:16
No grace more bruises the serpent’s head — than faith. It is both a shield and a sword, defensive and offensive. It is a shield to guard the head and defend the vitals. The shield of faith prevents the fiery darts of temptation from piercing us through. Faith is also the sword which wounds the red dragon!
How does faith come to be so strong — that it can resist Satan and put him to flight?
Because faith brings the strength of Christ into the soul. Samson’s strength lay in his hair — ours lies in Christ. If a child is assaulted — it runs and calls to its father for help. Just so, when faith is assaulted, it runs and calls Christ, and in His strength overcomes!
THE BURDENS OF PROSPERITY
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
People are usually better in adversity, than prosperity. A prosperous condition is not always so safe. True, it is more pleasing to the flesh — but it is not always best. In a prosperous state, there is more burden. Many look at the shining and glittering of prosperity — but not at the burdens of prosperity.
[1] There is the burden of CARE. Therefore God calls riches “cares.” Luke 8:14. A rose has its prickles — so have riches. We think them happy, who flourish in their silks and gold — but we do not see the troubles and cares which attend them! A shoe may have silver lace on it — yet pinch the foot. Many a man who goes to his hard labor, lives a more contented
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life than he who has millions. Disquieting care is the evil spirit which haunts the rich man. When his chests are full of gold — his heart is full of care how to increase them, or how to secure what he has gotten. A large estate, like a long, trailing garment — is often more troublesome than useful.
[2] In a prosperous estate there is the burden of ACCOUNT. Such as are in high places, have a far greater account to give to God than others. “Unto whom much is given — of him shall be much required.” The more golden talents any are entrusted with — the more they have to answer for. The more their revenues — the more their reckonings. God will say, “I gave you a great estate — what have you done with it? How have you employed it for My glory?”
[3] A prosperous condition has more DANGER in it. Such as are on the top of the pinnacle of honor — are in more danger of falling. They are subject to many temptations. Their table is often a snare. Millions are drowned in the sweet waters of pleasure.
A large sail overturns the vessel. Many, by having a too large sail of prosperity, have had their souls overturned! He has need have much wisdom and grace, to know how to wisely bear a high condition. It is hard to carry a full cup without spilling — and a full estate without sinning!
Prosperity breeds pride. When the tide rises higher in the river, the boat rises higher; so, when the tide of an estate rises higher, many men’s hearts rise higher in pride. Prosperity breeds carnal security. Samson fell asleep in Delilah’s lap — so do men in the lap of ease and plenty. The world’s golden sands, are quicksands.
God knows what is best for us. If we have less estate, we are in less danger. If we lack the riches and honors of others — so we lack their temptations. “How hard it is for rich people to get into the Kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” Luke 18:24-25
LOOKING FOR SOME VICTIM TO DEVOUR!
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer” “Deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:13
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In this petition, we pray to be delivered from the evil of Satan — “the wicked one.” Matthew 13:19
In what respect is Satan the wicked one?
He was the first inventor of evil. John 8:44
His inclination is only to evil. Ephesians 6:12
His constant practice is doing evil. 1 Peter 5:8
He has some hand in all the evils and mischief which happen in the world. He hinders from all good.
He provokes to evil. The devil blows the fire of lust and strife. When men are proud, the old serpent has poisoned them, and makes them swell! He is a restless adversary — he never sleeps.
Satan is a subtle contriver; there is no place that can secure us from his assaults and inroads.
Satan is a mighty adversary. He is called the “strong man.” Luke 11:21. He takes men captive at his pleasure. “Who are taken captive by him at his will.” 2 Timothy 2:26
The devil glories in the damnation of souls. His work is to angle for men’s souls; he lays suitable baits:
He allures the ambitious man with honor.
He allures the covetous man with riches; he baits his hook with silver!
He allures the lustful man with beauty; he tempts men to Delilah’s lap — to keep them from Abraham’s bosom!
How needful then is this prayer, “Lord, deliver us from the evil one!”
“Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour!” 1 Peter 5:8
A VEXING VANITY!
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
“Deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:13
In this petition, we pray to be delivered from the evil world.
“He died for our sins, just as God our Father planned — in order to rescue us from this evil world in which we live.” Galatians 1:4
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It is an evil world, as it is a DEFILING world. The opinions and examples of the world are defiling. How easily are we hurried to sin, when we have the tide of natural corruption, and the wind of example to carry us! “You shall not follow a multitude to do evil.” Exodus 23:2. Bad examples are contagious. “They mingled among the pagans — and adopted their evil customs.” Psalm 106:35
Living in the world, is like traveling on a dirty road. It requires a high degree of grace to keep ourselves “unspotted by the world.” James 1:27
It is an evil world, as it is an ENSNARING world. The world is full of snares. Company is a snare; recreation is a snare; riches are golden snares. The apostle John speaks of “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.” 1 John 2:16. The lust of the flesh is beauty; the lust of the eye is money; the pride of life is honor. These are the natural man’s trinity.
The world is a flattering enemy. Whom it kisses — it betrays; it is a silken halter. The pleasures of the world, like opium, cast men into the sleep of carnal security. Lysimachus sold his crown for a cup of water. Just so, many part with Heaven — for the world. They are enslaved with the world’s golden fetters! The world bewitched Demas. 2 Timothy 4:10. One of Christ’s own apostles was caught with a silver bait. It is hard to drink the wine of prosperity — and not be giddy. The world, through our innate corruption, is evil, as it is a snare.
It is an evil world, as it is a DEADENING world. It dulls and deadens the affections to heavenly objects. Earthly things choke the seed of the Word. A man entangled in the world is so taken up with secular concerns, that he can no more mind the things above — than an elephant can fly in the air! And even such as have grace in them — when their affections are beslimed with earth, they find themselves much indisposed to meditation and prayer; it is like swimming with a heavy stone around the neck!
It is an evil world, as it is a DECEITFUL world. The world makes us believe it will satisfy our desires — but it only increases them!
It is an evil world, as it is a VEXING world. It is full of trouble. “In this world you will have trouble.” John 16:33
Basil was of opinion that before the fall — the rose grew without prickles; but now every sweet flower of our life has its thorns! There are many
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things which cause trouble. Some are troubled that they have no children, others that they have children. The world is a vexing vanity! If a man is poor — he is despised by the rich; if he is rich — he is envied by the poor. If we do not find an ensnaring world, we shall find it an afflicting world; it has more in it to trouble us than tempt us.
The world is a sea, where we are tossed upon the surging waves of sorrow, and often in danger of shipwreck!
The world is a wilderness, full of fiery serpents!
What great need then, have we to pray, “Lord, deliver us from being hurt
by this evil world!”
O THE LOVE OF HIS ROYAL HEART!
William Mason, “The Believers Pocket Companion”
“Christ is all!” Colossians 3:2
O for the pen of a ready writer, to set forth the matchless glory and unparalleled excellence of the King — the King of Kings — the King of saints, even King Jesus!
We were once stout-hearted rebels against His crown and government! But, O the love of His royal heart! Instead of executing fierce vengeance upon us, for our sins — lo, He came from Heaven to earth, with a flame of love in His heart, and matchless grace on His lips — on purpose . . .
to die for us,
to wash us from our sins in His own blood,
to conquer the rebellion of our hearts against Him, and to win our affections to Him!
Has He saved us by His precious blood? Has He made us His willing, loving disciples, by His powerful grace? Surely then, we should live in the sweet enjoyment of all the rich blessings of his kingdom, and be holy and happy every day, yes, every hour — IN HIM. This is His loving will concerning us.
O for a single eye to look unto Jesus, a humble heart to sit at His feet, and a simple soul to hear and believe every word from His gracious lips, that we may know the love of Christ — constantly know it by a heartfelt sense
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of it. This, this is the one thing needful — to make poor sinners rich, and miserable sinners happy in time, and joyful to all eternity!
Remember your chief employment. It is not merely to make a profession, and to keep up a form of godliness; but to maintain and keep up a warm, lively, comfortable sense of the love of Christ in your hearts, from day to day, yes, from hour to hour!
IF THE EYE IS ONCE INFLAMED
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
If we would be kept from actual sins — let us be careful to avoid all the
inlets and occasions of sin.
Do not run into evil company. He who would not catch the plague — must
not go into an infected house.
Guard your senses, which may be the inlets to sin. Keep the two portals — the eye and the ear. Especially guard your eyes. Much sin comes in by the eye; the eye is often an inlet to sin; sin takes fire at the eye.
The first sin in the world, began at the eye. “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye — she took some and ate it.” Genesis 3:6
Intemperance begins at the eye, “Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup. In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper!” Proverbs 23:31-32
Covetousness begins at the eye. “When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and a wedge of gold, I coveted them and took them.” Joshua 7:21
The fire of lust begins to kindle at the eye. David walking upon the roof of his house, saw a woman washing herself, and she was, says the text, “beautiful to look upon,” and he sent messengers and took her, and defiled himself with her. 2 Samuel 11:2. Looking begat lusting!
Therefore watch your eyes! Job made a covenant with his eyes. Job 31:1. If the eye is once inflamed, it will be hard to stand out long against sin. If the outworks are captured by the enemy, there is great danger of the whole castle being captured!
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A CONTINUAL SUPPLY OF GRACE, COMFORT, AND STRENGTH
William Mason, “The Believers Pocket Companion” “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me
and gave Himself for me!” Galatians 2:20
That the believer may live cheerfully and comfortably, he is exhorted to
the free and constant use of Christ.
O consider — Christ is given to us — to be enjoyed by us!
He is the bread of life. We are to feed upon Him daily.
He is the water of life, which our souls are to drink of constantly. He is our righteousness. We are to put Him on continually.
So then, we not only have a precious Christ — but we are also to use Him — and enjoy His preciousness! He is not only a well of salvation — but we must draw water out of it with joy — and drink of it to the refreshing of our souls!
Deeply consider, that without this inward enjoyment of Christ — you cannot be . . .
happy in your soul,
comfortable in your walk,
nor holy in your life.
We must live by faith upon Christ — so as to derive a continual supply of grace, comfort, and strength from Him! “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me!” Galatians 2:20
HOW IS ALL THIS TO BE DONE?
William Mason, “The One Thing Needful to Make Poor Sinners Rich — and Miserable Sinners Happy”
Before the believer arrives to the full enjoyment of Christ in eternal glory, he has . . .
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many enemies to encounter;
many trials and troubles to conflict with;
a body of sin and death to be delivered from; many lusts to be mortified;
many corruptions to be subdued;
a legion of sins to strive against;
graces to be exercised;
duties to be performed;
in one word — he has to glorify Christ
in the world, by his life and walk.
How is all this to be done?
Only by Christ strengthening him. Therefore he is constantly to put on Christ — to attain a greater knowledge of Christ — more rich and sweet experience of His grace and love — to be more strongly rooted in His love. He must have his heart, his hopes, his affections more with Christ, and his soul more swallowed up in the ocean of God’s everlasting love in Christ — that he may be more conformed to Christ’s image; and that thus, as a good soldier of Christ, he may manfully fight under His banner against the world, the flesh, and the devil, unto his life’s end.
“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
READY TO SINK AND FAINT?
William Mason, “A Spiritual Treasury for the Children of God” Are our hearts weak and low, ready to sink and faint?
Are our graces upon the decline?
Are our enemies strong — and our troubles increased?
To whom should we fly — but to our almighty God and Savior, Jesus! Faith receives all its courage and strength from its author, Jesus. It is armed with Omnipotence!
Paul says, “I can do all things!” Why? because he was a great apostle? No! Paul was no stronger than the weakest believer! “It is Christ who strengthens me!”
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“The Sovereign Lord is my strength!” Habakkuk 3:19
A LITTLE BOOK, WHICH CONTAINS ONLY THREE PAGES
William Mason, “The One Thing Needful to Make Poor Sinners Rich — and Miserable Sinners Happy”
I have read of a godly man who was once very dissolute. When converted, his former companions sought to bring him back to his former wicked courses. But he told them, “I am deeply engaged in meditating on a little book, which contains only three pages; so at present I have no time for other business.”
Sometime after, being asked if he had finished his book, he replied, “No; for though it contains only three pages, yet there is so much comprised in them, that I have devoted myself to read therein, all the days of my life.
The first page is red. Here I mediate on the sufferings of my Lord and Savior, His shedding His precious blood, as an atonement for my sins, and a ransom for my soul, without which I must have been a damned sinner in Hell, to all eternity!
The second page is white. This cheers my heart with the wonderful consideration of the unspeakable joys of Heaven obtained for me by Christ — and of being forever with Him!
The third page is black. Here I think of the horrible state of the damned — and the perpetual torments they are suffering in Hell. O this excites thankfulness to my Savior, for His wonderful love and rich grace, in snatching me as a brand out of Hell-fire, and saving me from eternal destructions!”
Here is a good man, a good book, and a good example for you and I. “Let us go and do likewise.” Constantly meditate upon Christ; upon the wrath He has saved us from — and the glory He has saved us to!
A ROD OF LOVE TO WHIP YOU!
William Mason, “The One Thing Needful to Make Poor Sinners Rich — and Miserable Sinners Happy”
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“The one who will not use the rod hates his son, but the one who loves him disciplines him diligently.” Proverbs 13:24
There are certain plants which grow in the Red Sea, which, though they are covered with water, and beat upon by the waves — they stand like an immovable rock. They are bettered by the roughness of the sea.
Just so, a Christian planted in the Red Sea of Christ’s blood — is armored against all waves of trouble. He is improved by afflictions; yes, the more he is beat upon, and though overwhelmed with the billows of distress and trouble — the better he thrives, and the more his soul flourishes in spiritual grace! For this is the loving design of our Lord in all our troubles and afflictions — to wean us from the world, and to endear Himself to us! Every affliction has its commission from Him. It comes with the impress of His love upon it.
I have often found by experience, and confessed with joy — that a sickbed has proved like a hotbed to my soul. It has drawn up warm desires, and longing affections to Christ. And I have sweetly found the Sun of Righteousness arising upon me — reviving, cheering and comforting my soul.
It is your wisdom to see the rod of chastisement, in the hand of your loving heavenly Father. All your afflictions are chastenings from the Lord — they are all sent in love! He deals with you as with a son in whom He delights, and whom He designs to profit. He does not punish you with vindictive wrath — He is not taking vengeance of you for your sins. Your Father is not so much punishing you for your sins, as from your sins. That is, in all His chastisements, He intends your spiritual good . . .
that you should be more a partaker of His holiness;
that sin may be more exceedingly sinful;
that you should more humble and vile in your own eyes, that Jesus should be more inestimably precious to you.
All affliction is a rod of love to whip you from the world, self, and sin — into Christ, that you should more love and enjoy Him, who is your righteousness, life and salvation!
WE HAVE BEEN ADMIRING OUR VILE SELVES!
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William Mason, “The One Thing Needful to Make

Poor Sinners Rich — and Miserable Sinners Happy”
“I hate pride and arrogance!” Proverbs 8:13
What a monster of pride is man! How full of that cursed venom, is human nature! We cannot receive any grace or blessing from the Lord — but corrupt nature is prone to be proud of it — and to boast in it! No one is exempt from this. I appeal to your hearts. I refer to your experience. When your heart has been enlarged in prayer; when your soul has been carried out in humblings, meltings, longings, aspirings, etc.; when you have heard the Word with warm affections and heavenly joy; when your tongue has with sweetness and liberty, talked of Christ to others; when your hand has been stretched forth to do any good work; now in all these — have you not found pride very busy? Have not you been ready to stroke yourself with pleasure, and to reflect with delight: “Well, now the Lord loves me indeed! Surely He loves me better — now that I find myself so holy — and feel myself so heavenly!”
But where is our precious Jesus all this while? We have looked at ourselves — until we have lost sight of Him! We have been admiring our vile selves for our graces — instead of being in raptures with Christ, who is altogether lovely, in whom all fullness of grace dwells, and out of whose fullness we receive grace upon grace!
“The Lord detests all the proud of heart!” Proverbs 16:5
THEY LICK THE DUST!
Thomas Watson
“For where your treasure is — there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
Covetous people make the world their treasure. Their treasure does most command their hearts. They can no more live above the world — than a fish can live out of the water. They have the serpent’s curse upon them — they lick the dust! “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life!” Genesis 3:14
Without God — O how empty and insignificant are all worldly things!
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They are . . .
earthly in their matter, painful in their procuring, glutting in their fruition, fleeting in their duration, damning in their conclusion!
“But godliness with contentment is a great gain!” 1 Timothy 6:6
CHRIST – SIN – SELF
William Mason, “The One Thing Needful to Make Poor Sinners Rich — and Miserable Sinners Happy”
Where Christ is most precious — there sin is exceedingly sinful; and self is humbled and loathed!
But — do we not grow stronger in ourselves, and find more help and power from ourselves —
to withstand our enemies,
to fight our good fight,
to run our race, and to perfect holiness?
No! If we think so — it is plain that we are not growing up into Christ — but growing down into self! If the Lord has given me to know anything of this matter, after being upwards of twenty years in precious Christ, I sincerely declare, that I find myself to be just that weak, helpless sinner I was when I first came to Jesus with, “Lord help me! Lord save me — or I perish!” Yes, I find myself more helpless now — than I thought myself then. I see more constant need to put on Christ, and to say, “truly in the Lord (not in myself) I have strength!”
I never more firmly believed than now, this truth of my Lord, “Without Me, you can do nothing.” John 15:5. Never, never did I see less cause to trust in my own strength!
“Hold me up — and I shall be safe!” Psalm 119:117
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DEATH CANNOT HURT YOU!
William Mason, “The One Thing Needful to Make Poor Sinners Rich — and Miserable Sinners Happy”
Christian! Death cannot hurt you! Death is your best friend — who is commissioned by Christ to summon you from the world of vanity and woe, and from a body of sin and death — to the blissful regions of glory and immortality, to meet your Lord, and to be forever with Him!
In the Marian persecution, a godly woman was brought before “Bloody Bonner,” bishop of London, on account of her faith in Christ.
The bishop threatened he would take her husband. Said she, “Christ is my husband!”
Said he, “I will take away your child.”
Said she, “Christ is better to me than ten sons!”
Said he, “I will strip you of all your comforts.”
Said she, “Christ is mine, and you cannot strip me of Him! Take away whatever you will — you cannot take away my Christ from me!”
Just so, death may threaten to take all from you. But you may boldly put death at defiance, as she did Satan’s bishop. Having Christ in your heart, you will take a smiling leave of the world, and (as good old Simeon, with Christ in his arms) say, “Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, You now dismiss your servant in peace, for my eyes have seen Your salvation!” Luke 2:29, 30.
IF GOD LEFT US!
Thomas Watson, “Four Sad Evils” 1663
The sins of the ungodly are looking-glasses in which we may see our own hearts. Do we see a heinous, impious wretch? Behold a picture of our own hearts! Such would we be — if God left us! What is in wicked men’s practice — is in our nature. Sin in the wicked — is like fire which flames and blazes forth. Sin in the godly — is like fire hid in the embers. Christian, though you do not break forth into a flame of scandalous sin — yet you have no cause to boast, for there is as much sin in the embers of your nature! You have the root of all sin in you, and would bear as hellish
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fruit as any ungodly wretch — if God did not either curb you by His power, or change you by His grace!
Why might not God have left you — to the same excess of wickedness? Think with yourself, O Christian — why should God be more merciful to you, than to another? Why should He snatch you, as brand plucked out of the fire — and not him? How should this make you to adore free grace! What the Pharisee said boastingly, we may say thankfully — “God, I thank you that I am not like other men — robbers, evildoers, adulterers, etc.”
If we are not as wicked as others — we should adore the riches of free- grace! Every time we see men hastening on in sin — we are to thank God that we are not such! If we see a crazy person — we thank God that it is not so with us. When we see another infected with the plague — how thankful are we, that God has preserved us from it! Much more when we see others under the power of Satan — how thankful we should be, that this is no longer our condition!
“For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, captives of various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful . . . .” Titus 3:3
THE KEY OF HEAVEN
Thomas Watson, “God is His People’s Great Reward”
Prayer is the key of Heaven which, being turned by the hand of faith —
opens all God’s treasures!
PUT ALL THE ’CREATURES’ INTO A CUP
Thomas Watson, “God is His People’s Great Reward”
“I am your exceeding great reward.” Genesis 15:1
In the Hebrew it is, “I am your superabundant, very exceeding much reward.” The text rises higher and higher — “I am your reward; your great reward; and your exceeding great reward.”
God Himself is His people’s reward! Nothing besides God, can be His people’s reward. Nothing on earth can be their reward. The glittering of the world dazzles men’s eyes; but, like the apples of Sodom, it does not so
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much delight — as delude. The world is but “gilded emptiness!” The world is circular; but the heart is a triangle. A circle cannot fill a triangle. The world is enough to busy us, not to fill us. When we enjoy most of ’the creature’ — yet there is always something lacking. When King Solomon had put all the ’creatures’ into a cup, and went to extract and distill out their worth, they turned to froth! “Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless!” Ecclesiastes 1:2 God never intended that we should dig happiness — out of the earth which He has cursed!
Heaven itself is not a saint’s reward! Psalm 73:25, “Whom have I in Heaven but You?” There are angels and archangels — yes, but though these are for a saint’s comfort — yet they are not properly for his reward. Communion with seraphim is excellent — but God Himself is His people’s reward! “I am your exceeding great reward.” Genesis 15:1
BE ACQUAINTED WITH THE WHOLE RANGE OF SENSUAL DESIRES
Richard Baxter, “The Sinfulness of Flesh-Pleasing”
Be acquainted with the whole range of sensual desires, and pay attention to them, and watch them in all their extravagances. Otherwise, while you are stopping one gap, they will be running out at many more. I will here briefly set some before your eyes:

  1. Watch your appetites as to food and drink — both quantity and quality. Gluttony is a common sin. The flesh enslaves men most — by the appetite; as we see in drunkards and gluttons.
  2. Take heed of the lust of uncleanness, and all degrees of it, and approaches to it; especially immodest embraces and behavior.
  3. Take heed of ribald, filthy talk, and love songs, and of such sensuous snares.
  4. Take heed of too much sleep and idleness.
  5. Take heed of taking too much delight in your riches and lands, your buildings, and delectable conveniences.
  6. Take heed lest honors, or worldly greatness, or men’s applause —
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become too great a pleasure to you.

  1. And take heed lest the success and prosperity of your affairs do too much please you — as the rich fool, “And I’ll say to myself — You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” Luke 12:19
  2. Take heed of an inordinate pleasure in your children, relations, or nearest friends.
  3. Take heed of a delight in vain, unprofitable, sinful company.
  4. Take heed of fineness of apparel — to set you out to the eyes of others.
  5. Take heed of a delight in romances, novels, useless news — which corrupt the mind, and waste your time.
  6. Take heed of a delight in any recreations which are excessive, needless, devouring time, discomposing the mind, enticing to further sin, hindering any duty — especially our delight in God. They are miserable souls, who delight themselves in such unprofitable things — as cards, and dice, and theaters, and immodest dancing.
    WHERE THEN, ARE ALL MY SPOTS?
    Susannah Spurgeon, “A Basket of Summer Fruit”
    “You are all beautiful, My beloved; there is no spot in you!”
    Song of Songs 4:7
    “Ah!” I hear some timid, trembling believer say, “Such a text can have nothing to do with me! I am the very opposite of all that is beautiful and spotless. The eyes of my soul have seen hideous sights within, which I can never forget; and I loathe myself and my sin so much, that though I believe God has forgiven me for Christ’s sake — I feel it impossible to take those precious words as addressed to one so sinful and imperfect as myself!”
    Yet, trembling soul, I would bid you take courage, and look up! Christ’s love for His people is marvelously set forth in this Song of Songs. The same precious blood was poured out to redeem the least lamb of the flock, as for the choicest sheep!
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Come, then, timid one — rejoice in the blessed fact that you are indeed precious to the Lord — and He says, “You are all beautiful, My beloved!” Adoringly bow before Him in wonder — at the miracle His love has wrought in you.
It ill becomes the bride of Christ to ignore His loveliness, which He has put upon her, and go about bemoaning the scars and blemishes which His great love overlooks and forgets.
It is quite true that, in themselves, believers are sorrowfully imperfect and sinful; but if the Lord Jesus, in His marvelous mercy, unrobes Himself to cover over their unrighteousness, they may well be content to be thus made “beautiful” in His sight. We cannot comprehend the mystery and sublimity of Divine love; but it is the sole and all-sufficient reason for the dear Lord’s estimate of us; and when He uses such endearing language — our hearts melt and are ravished by His wondrous condescension. With reverence we say it — when our dear Master deigns to address us in accents of love and admiration, our souls are thrilled with heavenly bliss, and we are uplifted beyond all the sorrows and vexations of this world, into an atmosphere of unspeakable spiritual joy!
“My beloved!” Oh, say it again, dear Savior! Let the music of Your voice touch and vibrate through the deepest chords of my nature, and awaken sweet responses in my soul! You are the fount and source of all love; oh, fill me, overwhelm me, plunge me in this sea of mercy and of grace! I would be swallowed up in it — knowing no other joy or bliss comparable to that of being able to say, “My Beloved is mine — and I am His!”
“There is no spot in you.” Can our loving Lord really mean this? He does, indeed! “Where then, are all my spots, dear Lord, for they were legion — and sin must render me vile and loathsome in Your pure sight?”
All the sins — past, present, and future — all the deformity and blackness — are cleansed away by Christ’s blood — covered by His righteousness! And so completely is this done, that God Himself can find no remnant or stain of that which would have meant eternal death to an unwashed soul. The poor sinner is lifted from the depths of sin — to the heights of heavenly bliss! “What kind of love is this?” It is so Divine and incomprehensible that, in the contemplation of it, we are lost in wonder and amazement!
Lord Jesus, what a glorious Savior You are! All the sin, which made Your bride so black and vile — was laid upon You!
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“There is no spot in you.” An old writer says — “Now, if God sees no spot — why should you be prying after one? Poring over your misery, searching after your blackness and depravity — will be no help to you. This only keeps your eyes off Jesus, instead of up unto Jesus. You cannot look two ways at once. How did the poor serpent-bitten Israelites in the wilderness get relief and healing? By looking to their sores, their wounds, their malady? Oh, no! It was by looking to the brazen serpent! And if you would get relief — it must be by looking to Jesus Christ!”
ALL THE WHYS AND WHEREFORES
Susannah Spurgeon, “A Basket of Summer Fruit”
“The Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing unto you,
because the Lord your God loved you.” Deuteronomy 23:5
Here, my soul, in this most sweet assurance, you will find your Lord’s one
reason for all His dealings with you — whether tender or severe.
In this earthly pilgrimage, you do meet with so many experiences and providences that are inexplicable and mysterious, that you are apt to say, “Why this trial, Lord?” “Why this affliction?” “Why this disappointment of all my hopes and plans?”
Blessed be the Name of the Lord for such a full and amazing answer as is this precious verse — to all the questions with which a doubting heart or a feeble faith can vex me! It must needs be that my finite mind fails to understand the ways of God; but if I can believe that He loves me — this is faith’s sufficiency.
My heart, until you have learned the lesson of perfect trust — doubts and misgivings are sure to arise, and cloud your fairest prospects. The darkness looks impenetrable when you do try to peer into it — the rough places seem impassable when your weary feet stumble over the big stones in the pathway — the mountains of difficulty appear inaccessible when the mists of unbelief veil their true proportions. Truly, the Lord is a God who hides Himself; and, oftentimes, His purposes are carried out on our behalf under cover of the thick clouds, in which He enwraps Himself.
But what a bright star amidst the darkness, what a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path — are the blessed words of this Divinely-illuminated
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text, “Because the Lord your God loved you!” This verse . . . completely solves all doubts,
wipes away all tears,
is a remedy for every fear, and
a refuge from every distress!
No sweeter assurance could fill my trembling heart with joy, no softer resting-place could be found for a weary, heavy-laden sinner!
To know, of a surety, that all God’s dealings with me are those of a loving Father towards a dear and well-beloved child; to be absolutely certain that every sorrow conceals a blessing, because He has appointed it; to look upon pain, and trial, and bitter experiences as the outcome of a love which is so infinite that I cannot fathom it — this is to live in “the secret place of the Most High,” this is to “abide under the shadow of the Almighty!”
If we would but meet every affliction, be it small or great, with a brave confidence in our Father’s mighty love to us, and an unquenchable faith in His power — our trials would either vanish altogether, or be transformed into triumphs which would bring honor to our King!
“My heart melts within me, Lord, when, by Your Holy Spirit’s aid, I can get even a glimpse of that wonderful love which You have for me — so undeserving and so vile! It does seem ‘too good to be true,’ sometimes, that I, notwithstanding all my faults and failings, and despite all my hardness of heart and guilty indifference, should be the recipient of such free, unmerited favor! Lord, open my understanding as well as my heart — that my love may sun itself in Yours, and have a blessed realization of what Your grace really means to my poor soul!”
Now, my soul, from this time forth, decide to answer all the whys and wherefores which perplex your life, by the simple response, “Because the Lord loved me!” Can you imagine a condition more blissful — than that of being so sheltered and surrounded by God’s wondrous love?
THIS I CANNOT UNDERSTAND
author unknown
The grace of God is the unhindered, wondrous, boundless love of His heart, poured out upon His people in a countless variety of ways, without stint or measure — not according to our deserving, but according to His
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infinite heart of love! This I cannot understand — so unfathomable are its heights and depths! God’s love is infinitely tender, and self-sacrificing, and devoted, and patient, and eager to lavish its best of gifts and blessings, upon the objects of His love.
Put together all the tenderest love you know of, the deepest love you have ever felt, and the strongest love that has ever been poured out upon you — and heap upon it all the love of all the human hearts in the world, and then multiply it by infinity — and you will begin, perhaps, to have some faint glimpse of the love and grace of God towards His people!
“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it.” Ephesians 3:19
A GREAT CHANGE
Thomas Watson, “Until My Change Comes”
“All the days of my appointed time will I wait until my change comes.”
Job 14:14 That is, I will wait until my death comes.
Death, whenever it comes, makes a great change.
Death will make a certain change; there is no avoiding it. “No one can live forever; all will die. No one can escape the power of the grave!” Psalm 89:48
It is neither strength, nor courage, nor any worldly grandeur — which can exempt from death. The godly must die, as well as others. Though death does not destroy the treasure of grace — yet death breaks the vessel that this treasure is in. We are not so sure to lie down in our beds — as we are to lie down in our graves! Our days are certain to God — but they are uncertain to us. The Lord alone, knows how long our hour-glass will be running. For all we know, there are but a few sands more to run. Life may expire in an instant. When we breath out — we never know whether we will ever take a breath in again!
Death will make a visible change. One scarcely knows their friends, they are so disfigured by death! The eyes are hollow, the jaws are fallen; death carries away all the goodly spoil of beauty. It changes a living body, into a
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foul carcass, Psalm 39:11, “You make his beauty to consume like a moth.” Take a body of the finest spinning, once death like a moth gets into it, it consumes all the luster and glory of it. Death puts the body into such a frightful state — that nothing can desire it but worms!
Death will make an unalterable change. As the tree falls — so it lies to eternity. Death is a change which puts us into an unchangeable condition.
“It is appointed unto men once to die — and after that to face judgment.” Hebrews 9:27
WHAT A COMFORT IS THIS!
Thomas Watson, “The Good Shepherd”
“I am the good shepherd; I know My sheep.” John 10:14
Christ knows all His sheep. His knowing His sheep — is His loving them. This is a great consolation.
He knows every one of their names. John 10:3, “He calls His own sheep by name.”
He knows all the sighs and groans they make. Psalm 38:9, “My groaning is not hidden from You.”
Christ knows every tear they shed. “I have seen your tears!” 2 Kings 20:5. He bottles their tears as precious wine. Psalm 56:8, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book.”
He knows all their sufferings. “I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them.” Ezekiel 3:9. “The Lord saw the bitter suffering of everyone in Israel.” 2 Kings 14:26
Christ knows all their good works — all their works of piety and charity. “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance.” Revelation 2:2
“I am the good shepherd; I know My sheep.” What a comfort is this! “He will place the sheep at His right hand and the goats at His left. Then
the King will say to those on the right — Come, you who are blessed by
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My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world!” Matthew 25:33-34
OH IT IS A SWEET AND HOLY LIFE!
Octavius Winslow, “Divine Realities” 1860 “My times are in Your hand.” Psalm 31:15
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, placed you. It may be a painful, irksome, trying position — but it is right. Oh yes — it is right!
Strive, then, to live a life of daily dependence upon God. Oh it is a sweet and holy life! It saves . . .
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.
Thus you shall walk with God through this valley of tears, until you exchange . . .
sorrow — for joy,
suffering — for ease,
sin — for purity,
labor — for rest,
conflict — for victory,
and all earth’s chequered, gloomy scenes — for the changeless, cloudless happiness and glory of Heaven!
“My times are in Your hand.” Psalm 31:15
WE MUST FLY TO GOD!
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Thomas Watson, “His Heart is Fixed”

“Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies. I will fly to You to hide me.” Psalm 143:9
Faith is the heart-strengthening grace. If we trust in God aright, then, in all our danger — we will fly to God.
There are some who, when trouble arises — fly to their own wisdom and ability. Alas! Whatever else we trust besides God, will never shelter us in an hour of danger. There is no trusting in riches. Proverbs 23:5, “Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”
There is no trusting in friends; they may die, or, which is worse, they may deceive. Our Lord Jesus was betrayed by a friend.
There is no trusting in great men. “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.” Psalm 118:9
There is no trusting in our own hearts. Why, alas! the heart is full of lust, full of deceit! It is a bosom traitor! “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool!” Proverbs 28:26
Oh! We must fly to God! My brethren, trust in God! He alone, is a never- failing refuge. A little boat, while it is tied fast to a large rock — is very safe. So, when the soul is tied by faith to Christ Jesus, the Rock of Ages — then it is safe. “My God is the Rock of my refuge.” Psalm 46:11
Faith shores up the heart when it is likely to sink. Oh! Get this heart-fixing grace of faith. Thus you will be undaunted even in the worst of times and dangers.
When Satan shoots his fiery darts of temptation, then we must fly under Christ’s wing to shelter us!
When a hawk pursues the dove, it casts itself into the clefts of the rock — and there it hides. So, when Satan pursues us with temptation, we get into the bleeding wounds of Christ, these clefts of the Rock — and there we rest and are safe.
“Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies. I will fly to You to hide me.” Psalm 143:9
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A COMPLEMENTARY KISS
Thomas Watson, “The Peace of Christ”
“Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for His wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.” Psalm 2:12
Kiss Christ with a kiss of obedience. This is to kiss Christ — when we submit to Him, when we obey His laws, when we are under His jurisdiction. There are many who give Christ a complementary kiss. They seem devout — they bow and cringe. O but they don’t obey the Son! They kiss Christ as their Savior — but they will not submit to Him as their King. The truth is, they would have Christ and their lusts together. They would embrace His promises — but they will not obey His commands. O kiss the Son with a kiss of subjection!
Those who will not have Christ’s laws to rule them — shall never have Christ’s blood to save them! He who has no part in the blood of the Lamb — will have a part in the wrath of the Lamb, “They called to the mountains and the rocks — Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!”
Those who will not be ruled by Christ’s royal scepter, His scepter of grace — shall be broken by His rod of iron. “You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots!” Psalm 2:9. Those who oppose Christ, shall be as so many ripe clusters of grapes to be cast into the great winepress of God’s wrath, to be trodden by the Son of God until their blood flows out.
The Lord Jesus shoots His arrows very deep into the very hearts of His enemies, “Your arrows are sharp, piercing Your enemies’ hearts.” Psalm 45:5. The Persians dip their arrows in poison — to kill more mortally. So Jesus Christ shoots His arrows of poison; and because they cannot endure the wrath of the Lamb all at once, they will be enduring it to eternity. Here is terror to all those who do not kiss the Son.
“Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for His wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.” Psalm 2:12
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GOD LAUGHS
Thomas Watson, “Kiss the Son”
“The Lord laughs at the wicked, for He knows their day is coming.”
Psalm 37:13
“Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.” The One enthroned in Heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then He rebukes them in His anger and terrifies them in His wrath!” Psalm 2:3-5
God laughs to see men’s folly — to see poor, weak clay strive with the Almighty Potter. But let the wicked remember that God is never more angry with them — than when He laughs! After His laughing, then He shall speak to them in His wrath. “I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you!” Proverbs 1:26
“Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for His wrath can flare up in a moment! Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.” Psalm 2:12
WHEN HE DOES NOT PUNISH!
Thomas Watson, “The Comforting Rod”
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” Revelation 3:19
God’s afflicting rod has comfort in it — as it is a token of the special favor He bears towards us. We think that God cannot favor us — unless He pampers us in His lap. Yet He loves and favors us — when He gives us the bitter drink of affliction. God’s chastening rod and God’s love both stand together. The rod is a token of God’s love. It is no love in God, to let men go on in sin — and never smite. Is it love to your child — to let him run into the water and drown? To be without the rod of God’s discipline — is a sign of a bastard child, a mark of reprobation. “But if you are without chastisement, then you are bastards, and not sons.” Hebrews 12:8. God’s rod whips us to Heaven!
If God will let any fall upon the rock of ruin, then He will allow them to go on in sin and not correct them. “I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom.” Hosea 4:14. Take notice:
God spares the rod — in anger!
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God’s hand is heaviest — when it is lightest!
God punishes most — when He does not punish!
But God smites His people — that He may save them, and is that not love? Let me feel God’s smiting hand — so that I may have His loving heart.
The Lord comes down with a murdering axe to hew down His enemies — but He has only a rattling rod for His children. This is all the Hell they ever shall feel. 1 Corinthians 11:32, “We are judged and disciplined by the Lord — that we should not be condemned with the world.” Is not this comfort to know — that this is the worst we shall have? God lays upon us a light affliction — and saves us from wrath to come! What is the drop of sorrow which the godly taste — compared to the bottomless sea of wrath, which the damned endure forever?
“Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” Job 5:17
FEAR HIM!
John MacDuff, “The Precepts of Jesus” A guide through life to immortality!
“Who would not fear You, O King of nations?” Jeremiah 10:7
How reasonable it is, that this glorious Being, whose greatness is unsearchable — should be regarded with feelings of the profoundest reverence. It is, indeed, His due, and as such He claims it from all His creatures. “Concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes.” Psalm 36:1 To have no fear of God before their eyes — is at once the greatest injustice, and the most unutterable folly! All who have the impudence to lift up their puny arms in rebellion against Him, are engaged in a conflict, which, if persisted in, is sure to terminate in their utter destruction!
Reader, think of His incomprehensible greatness and majesty. Think of Him as the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity —
the heavens His throne,
the earth His footstool,
the light His garment, the clouds His chariot, the thunder His voice!
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Viewing Him thus — it will be impossible for you to treat Him with indifference, far less with scornful disdain. If you are only brought in some measure, to realize the fact of God’s greatness and majesty, you cannot fail to acknowledge that He is greatly to be feared, and to be held in reverence by all His creatures.
Just so, with all the other attributes of His nature.
Who can think of His power so mighty, so irresistible — a power which is able to crush us into atoms with infinitely greater ease than we can tread the crawling worm beneath our feet — and not fear Him?
Who can think of His knowledge, nothing being hidden from His omniscient glance, the darkness of midnight and the splendor of noon, being altogether alike to Him — and not fear Him?
Who can think of the terrors of His avenging justice, and not fear Him — especially, as when He proclaims from His exalted throne, “There is no god other than Me! I am the one who kills and gives life; I am the one who wounds and heals; no one delivers from My power! As surely as I live, when I sharpen My flashing sword and begin to carry out justice, I will bring vengeance on My enemies and repay those who hate Me!” Deuteronomy 32:39-41 Our God is, truly, a consuming fire! It is most befitting for us, to regard Him with reverence and godly fear!
It is not those who can deprive us of our present life, whom we should so much dread. Limited, and of brief duration — is the power of all mortal foes at best. “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into Hell. Yes, I tell you, Fear Him!” Luke 12:4-5
THE MOST EFFECTIVE ELOQUENCE!
John MacDuff, “The Precepts of Jesus” A guide through life to immortality!
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16
What unspeakable injury has been done to the cause of Christ, by the
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inconsistent lives of many professors of religion! To unholy lives, must be ascribed the comparatively little progress which Christianity has hitherto made. It is this . . .
which emboldens the scoffer,
which encourages the profligate,
which strengthens the hands of the infidel, which seals the eyes of the impenitent in death-like slumber!
Those who bear the name of Jesus should ever remember — that the eyes of an ungodly world are upon them, and that their impression of the gospel, both in its nature and results — is derived from what they witness in the conduct of those who are identified with it!
“The Bible,” as one observes, “is God’s revelation to Christians; and Christians are God’s revelation to the world.” The sacred Scriptures are not read by the careless and ungodly multitude — but they are eager in reading the character of the followers of Christ!
How important is it, then, that they should give, by their spirit and deportment — a correct representation of our holy religion!
Great is the power of impassioned oratory, as embodied in burning words, dramatic gestures, and flowing tears. But, after all, the most effective eloquence — is that of a pure, upright, consistent life! This shames the accusers of our holy faith; and puts to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
Christian, let it be your earnest prayer and daily endeavor, to adorn the doctrine of your Savior, not in some things — but in all things. Adorn it: by the purity of your conversation,
by the blamelessness of your life,
by the integrity of your dealings,
by your abhorrence of all which is base or impure.
Adorn it in the various conditions in which you may be placed — in prosperity or adversity;
in obscurity or eminence;
in health or sickness; in joy or sorrow;
in youth or old age; in life or death.
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“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness;
and to goodness, knowledge;
and to knowledge, self-control;
and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;
and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.”
“For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8
THE HOUSE APPOINTED FOR ALL LIVING
Thomas Boston, “Human Nature in its Fourfold State” “For I know that you will bring me to death, and
to the house appointed for all living.” Job 30:23
While we are in the body, we are but at an inn — on our way homeward. When we come to our grave — we come to our home, our long home. All living must be inhabitants of this house — good and bad, old and young.
Man’s life is a stream, running into death’s devouring deeps. Those who now live in palaces, must leave them — and go home to this house; and those who have not where to lay their heads — shall thus have a house at length. It is long since death began to transport men into another world — and vast multitudes are gone there already. Yet the work is going on still; death is carrying off new inhabitants daily, to the house appointed for all living. Who has ever heard the grave say, “It is enough!” Long has it been getting — but still it asks. We do but come into the world — to go out again. This world is like a great market — where some are coming in, others going out. “One generation passes away, and another generation comes.” Ecclesiastes 1:4
Death is an inexorable, irresistible messenger, who cannot be diverted from executing his orders by . . .
the force of the mighty,
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Death does not reverence the hoary head, nor pity the harmless babe. The bold and daring cannot outbrave it; nor can the faint hearted obtain a discharge in this war. The strongest are but brittle earthen vessels, easily broken in shivers.
IF HE DENIES US
William Mason, “A Spiritual Treasury”
The swarms of corrupt lusts, worldly affections, and carnal desires, which are found with us — are ever opposing the glory of Jesus, and exciting us to seek that happiness in self, which can only be found in the spiritual reign of Jesus, in the heart.
“The Lord bestows grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” Psalm 84:11
The Lord delights in the prosperity of His people; therefore withholds no good thing from them. Yet, it is not our erring judgment — but His unfailing wisdom — which must determine what is best for us. We would pray to be in the height of earthly comfort — and on the pinnacle of worldly joy. But in love, God answers by keeping us in the safe valley of humility and self-abasement. Granting our requests, is not always the effect of love.
So kind and gracious is our dear Savior — that He crosses our wills, and denies our requests — when they are contrary to our spiritual interest. Thus in love, He answers our prayers — by withholding what we ask for! He gives what He knows is best for us. If we ask what is harmful for us to receive — shall we complain of God’s love — if He denies us?
“Those who seek the Lord will not lack any good thing.” Psalm 34:10
WHAT A WRETCHED PLACE WOULD HEAVEN BE!
Jonathan Edwards, “The Way of Holiness”
“Nothing impure will ever enter it.” Revelation 21:27
Everyone hopes for Heaven — and if everyone who hoped for Heaven
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actually went there — Heaven would be full of murderers, adulterers, swearers, drunkards, and thieves! It would be full of all manner of wickedness and wicked men — those who are no better than wild beasts, howling wolves, and poisonous serpents. Yes, Heaven would be full of incarnate devils! What a wretched place would Heaven be — if it were so! That pure, undefiled, glorious place — would be turned into a Hell.
There would be no happiness there for those who are holy — if they were all mixed up together with wicked men and devils! How would one unsanctified person interrupt their happiness — and fill those regions with the loathsome stench of his sin and filthiness!
It is impossible that a God of infinite holiness, who is perfect and hates sin with perfect hatred, who is infinitely lovely and excellent — could embrace in His arms — a filthy, abominable creature, a hideous, detestable monster, more hateful than a toad and more poisonous than a viper! So hateful, base, and abominable — is every unsanctified man!
What a pitiable, miserable condition are they in — to step out of this world into an uncertain eternity, with an expectation of finding themselves exceedingly happy and blessed in Heaven — and all at once find themselves undeceived — and sinking in the bottomless pit!
CHARGING GOD WITH WRONGDOING
Thomas Watson, “A Divine Cordial” 1663
“It is the Lord’s will. Let Him do what He thinks best.”
1 Samuel 3:18
One who genuinely loves God, interprets all His dealings in the best sense. Though He afflicts sharply — the soul takes all well. This is the language of a gracious spirit:
“My God sees what a hard heart I have, therefore He drives in one wedge of affliction after another — to break my heart. He knows how full I am of the cancer of covetousness, or the swelling of pride, or the fever of lust — therefore He gives me bitter remedies, to save my life. This severe dispensation is either to mortify some corruption — or to exercise some grace. How good is God, who will not let me alone in my sins — but smites my body to save my soul!”
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Thus genuine piety puts a good gloss upon all God’s afflictive dealings. It is Satan who makes us have high thoughts of ourselves, and hard thoughts of God. “Take away everything he has — and he will surely curse You to Your face!” Job 1:11
“Then Job fell to the ground in worship and said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.’ In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” Job 1:20-22
A BEAST WITH A MAN’S HEAD!
Thomas Watson, “A Divine Cordial” 1663
Love to God is an expansion of soul, or the inflaming of the affections — by which a Christian breathes after God as the supreme and sovereign good.
“There is nothing on earth that I desire beside You.” Psalm 73:25. The Christian loves God above all other objects. God is the quintessence of all good things; He is superlatively good. The soul admiring in Him that constellation of all excellencies — is carried out in love to Him in the highest degree. God, who is the chief of our happiness — must have the chief of our affections. The creature may have the milk of our love — but God must have the cream! Though some drops of love may run to our kindred and friends — yet the full torrent must run out after Christ. Relations may lie on the bosom — but Christ must lie in the heart!
We set a high value upon God as being the most sublime and infinite good. We so esteem God, as that if we have Him — we do not care though we lack all other things. The stars vanish, when the sun appears. All creatures vanish in our thoughts, when the Sun of righteousness shines in His full splendor. The soul that loves God, rejoices in Him as in his treasure — and rests in Him as his center. The heart is so set upon God — that it desires no more.
We must love God more for what He is (His intrinsic excellencies) — than for what He bestows. True love is not mercenary. You need not hire a mother to love her child. Just so, a soul deeply in love with God needs not be hired by rewards. It cannot but love Him — for that luster of beauty which sparkles forth in Him!
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“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God.” Romans 8:28
Despisers and haters of God — have no lot or part in this privilege. It is children’s bread — it belongs only to those who love God.
This is a sharp reproof to those who do not love God, to such as have not a grain of love to God in their hearts — and are there such reprobates alive? He who does not love God — is a beast with a man’s head! Oh wretch! Do you live upon God’s bounty every day — yet not love Him! These are monsters in nature — devils in the shape of men! Let them read their doom: “If anyone does not love the Lord, that person is cursed!” 1 Corinthians 16:22 How can he expect love from God — who shows no love to Him? Will God ever lay such a viper in His bosom — as casts forth the poison of malice and enmity against Him?
FIVE SHARP STINGS!
Thomas Watson, “A Divine Cordial” 1663
Many love sin, more than God. “They are haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They are forever inventing new ways of sinning.” Romans 1:30
What is there in sin — that any should love it?
Sin is a debt. “Forgive us our debts” Matthew 6:12. Sin is a debt which binds over to the wrath of God! And will you love sin? Does any man love to be in debt?
Sin is a disease. “The whole head is sick” Isaiah 1:5. And will you love sin? Will any man hug a disease? Will he love his plague sores?
Sin is a pollution. The apostle calls it “filthiness” James 1:21. It is compared to leprosy and to poison of asps!
God’s heart rises against sinners. “My soul loathed them!” Zech. 11:8 Sin is a hideous monster. Lust makes a man brutish; malice makes him
devilish! What is in sin to be loved? Shall we love deformity?
Sin is an enemy. It is compared to a “serpent.” Sin has five sharp stings: shame,
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guilt, horror, death, damnation!
Will a man love that which seeks his death? Surely then it is better to love God than sin. God will save you — but sin will damn you! Is he not a fool — who loves damnation!
But love to God will never let sin thrive in the heart. The love of God withers sin. The flower of love kills the weed of sin! How should we labor for that grace of love to God — which is the only corrosive to destroy sin!
TEMPTATIONS WORK FOR OUR GOOD
Thomas Watson, “Four Sad Evils” 1663 (Editor’s note: this excerpt is longer — but choice!)
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
Even temptations are overruled for good, to the children of God. A tree which is shaken by the wind is more settled and rooted. Just so, the blowing of a temptation does but settle a Christian the more in grace.
Temptations are overruled for good in eight ways:
(1.) Temptation sends the soul to prayer. The more furiously Satan tempts, the more fervently the saint prays. The deer being shot with the dart — runs faster to the water. When Satan shoots his fiery darts at the soul — it then runs faster to the throne of grace. When Paul had the messenger of Satan to buffet him, he says, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me” 2 Corinthians 12:8. That which makes us pray more, works for good.
(2.) Temptation to sin, is a means to keep from the perpetration of sin. The more a child of God is tempted — the more he fights against the temptation. The more Satan tempts to
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blasphemy, the more a saint trembles at such thoughts, and says, “Away from me, Satan!” When Joseph’s mistress tempted him to lust — the stronger her temptation was, the stronger was his opposition. That temptation which the devil uses as a spur to sin — God makes a bridle to keep back a Christian from sin!
(3.) Temptation works for good — as it abates the swelling of pride. “To keep me from getting puffed up, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from getting proud!” 2 Corinthians 12:7. The thorn in the flesh was to puncture the puffing up of pride! Better is that temptation which humbles me — than that duty which makes me proud! Rather than a Christian shall be haughty minded — God will let him fall into the devil’s hands awhile, to be cured of his swelling pride!
(4.) Temptation works for good — as it is a touchstone to try what is in the heart. The devil tempts — that he may deceive us; but God allows us to be tempted — that He may try us. Temptation is a trial of our sincerity. It argues that our heart is chaste and loyal to Christ — when we can look a temptation in the face, and turn our back upon it. Many have no heart to resist temptation. No sooner does Satan come with his bait — but they yield; like a coward who, as soon as the thief approaches, gives him his purse. But he is the valorous Christian, who brandishes the sword of the Spirit against Satan, and will rather die than yield. The valor and courage of a saint is never more seen than on a battlefield, when he is fighting the red dragon, and by the power of faith puts the devil to flight. That grace is tried gold, which can stand in the fiery trial, and withstand Satan’s fiery darts!
(5.) Temptations work for good — as God makes those who are tempted, fit to comfort others in the same distress. A Christian must himself be under the buffetings of Satan, before he can speak a word in due season to him who is weary. Paul was well-versed in temptations. “We are very familiar with his evil schemes,” 2 Corinthians 2:11. Thus he was able to acquaint others with Satan’s cursed wiles, 1 Corinthians 10:13. A man who has ridden over a place where there are bogs and quicksands — is the fittest to guide others through that dangerous way. He who has felt the claws of Satan, the roaring lion, and has lain bleeding under those wounds — is the fittest man to deal with one who is tempted. None can better discover Satan’s subtle devices—than those who have been

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long in the fencing school of temptation.
(6.) Temptations work for good — as they stir up fatherly compassion in God to those who are tempted. The child who is sick and bruised — is most looked after. When a saint lies under the bruising of temptations, Christ prays, and God the Father pities. When Satan puts the soul into a fever, God comes with a cordial; which made Luther say, that “temptations are Christ’s embraces,” because He then most sweetly manifests Himself to the soul.
(7.) Temptations work for good — as they make the saints long more for Heaven. There they shall be out of gunshot; Heaven is a place of rest, no bullets of temptation fly there. The eagle which soars aloft in the air, and sits upon high trees — is not troubled with the stinging of the serpent. Just so, when believers are ascended to Heaven, they shall not be molested by the old serpent, the devil. In this life, when one temptation is over, another comes. This makes God’s people wish for death — to call them off the battlefield where the bullets fly so quick — and to receive a victorious crown, where neither the drum nor cannon — but the harp and violin, shall be eternally sounding.
(8.) Temptations work for good — as they engage the strength of Christ. Christ is our Friend, and when we are tempted, He sets all His power working for us. “Since He Himself has gone through suffering and temptation, He is able to help us when we are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:18. If a poor soul was to fight alone with the Goliath of Hell, he would be sure to be vanquished! But Jesus Christ brings in His auxiliary forces — He gives fresh supplies of grace. “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us!” Romans 7:37. Thus the evil of temptation is overruled for our good.
Question. But sometimes Satan foils a child of God. How does this work for good?
Answer. I grant that, through the suspension of divine grace, and the fury of a temptation — a saint may be overcome; yet this foiling by a temptation shall be overruled for good. By this foil, God makes way for the augmentation of grace. Peter was tempted to self-confidence; he presumed upon his own strength; and Christ

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let him fall. But this wrought for his good — it cost him many a tear. “He went out, and wept bitterly,” Matthew 26:75. And now he grows less self-reliant. He dared not say he loved Christ more than the other apostles. “Do you love me more than these?” John 21:15. He dared not say so — his fall into sin broke the neck of his pride!
The foiling by a temptation causes more circumspection and watchfulness in a child of God. Though Satan did before decoy him into sin — yet for the future he will be the more cautious. He will beware of coming within the lion’s chain any more! He is now more vigilant and fearful of the occasions of sin. He never goes out without his spiritual armor — and he girds on his armor by prayer. He knows he walks on slippery ground, therefore he looks wisely to his steps. He keeps close sentinel in his soul, and when he spies the devil coming — he grasps his spiritual weapons, and displays the shield of faith. Ephesians 6:16
This is all the hurt the devil does when he foils a saint by temptation — he cures him of his careless neglect; he makes him watch and pray more. When wild beasts get over the hedge and damage the grain — a man will make his fence the stronger. Just so, when the devil gets over the hedge by a temptation, a Christian will be sure to mend his fence; he will become more fearful of sin, and careful of duty. Thus the being worsted by temptation, works for good.
Objection. But if being foiled works for good, this may make Christians careless whether they are overcome by temptations or not.
Answer. There is a great difference between falling into a temptation, and running into a temptation. The falling into a temptation shall work for good — not the running into it. He who falls into a river is fit for help and pity — but he who desperately runs into it, is guilty of his own death. It is madness running into a lion’s den! He who runs himself into a temptation is like king Saul — who fell upon his own sword.
From all that has been said, see how God disappoints the old serpent — by making his temptations turn to the good of His people. Luther once said, “There are three things which make a

godly man — prayer, meditation, and temptation.” The wind of temptation is a contrary wind to that of the Spirit; but God makes use of this cross wind, to blow the saints to Heaven!
TREASURES AND PLEASURES!
Thomas Watson, “God is His People’s Great Reward”
“I am your exceeding great reward.” Genesis 15:1
God Himself is His people’s reward! In what way is God the reward of His people?
God is a satisfying reward. God is a whole ocean of blessedness, so that the soul, while it is bathing in it, cries out in a divine ecstasy, “I have enough!” Here is fullness — but no excess. Psalm 17:15, “I shall be satisfied when I awake with Your likeness.” That is — when I awake out of the sleep of death, having my soul embellished with the illustrious beams of Your glory — I shall be satisfied. In God there is not only sufficiency — but redundancy; not only the fullness of the vessel — but the fullness of the fountain! In God, this Ark of blessedness, are all good things to be found. Therefore Jacob, having God for his reward, could say, “I have enough!” or, as it is in the original, “I have all!” Genesis 33:11. God is all marrow and fatness. He is such an plenteous reward as exceeds our very faith. If the Queen of Sheba’s heart fainted when she saw all King Solomon’s glory — what would it have done to have beheld the astonishing and magnificent reward which God bestows upon His favorites!
God is a suitable reward. The soul, being spiritual, must have something comparable and suitable to make it happy — and that is God. Light is no more suitable to the eye, nor melody to the ear — than God is to the soul. He pours spiritual blessings into the soul, Ephesians 1:3. He enriches it with grace, feasts it with His love, and crowns it with heavenly glory!
God is a pleasant reward. He is the quintessence of delight! He is all beauty and love! To be feeding upon thoughts of God is delicious. Psalm 104:34, “My meditation on Him shall be sweet.” It is delightful to the bee to suck the flower. Just so, by holy
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musing, to suck out some of the sweetness in God, carries a secret delight in it. To have a prospect of God only by faith is pleasant. 1 Peter 1:8, “In whom believing you rejoice.” Then what will the joy of vision be — when we shall have a clear, personal sight of Him — and be laid in the bosom of divine love! What a delicious reward will God be in heaven! This will be better felt — than expressed. The godly, entering upon their celestial reward, are said to enter into the joy of their Lord, Matthew 25:21. Oh, amazing! The saints enter into God’s own joy! They have not only the joy which God bestows — but the joy which God enjoys!
God is a transcendent reward. The artist, going to paint the picture of Helena, not being able to draw her beauty — drew her face covered with a veil. Just so, when we speak of God’s excellencies — we must draw a veil. He is so super-eminent a reward, that we cannot set Him forth in all His luster and magnificence. Put the whole world in scale with Him — and it is as if you should weigh a feather compared to a mountain of gold. God is far better than all other things put together! He is better than the world — and better than Heaven! He is the original cause of all good things. Nothing is sweet without Him. He perfumes and sanctifies our comforts!
God being an infinite reward, there can be no defect or scantiness in it. There is no lack in that which is infinite. Some may ask, “Is God sufficient for every individual saint?” Yes! If the sun, which is but a finite creature, disperses its light to the universe; then much more God, who is infinite, distributes glory to the whole number of the elect. As every person enjoys the whole sun to himself — so every believer possesses the whole God to himself. The Lord has land enough to give all His heirs. Throw a thousand buckets into the sea — and there is water enough in the sea to fill them. Though there are millions of saints and angels — there is enough in God to fill them. God is an infinite reward, and though He is continually giving out of His fullness to others — yet He has not the less. His glory is imparted — not impaired. It is a distribution, without a diminution.
God is an honorable reward. Honor is the height of men’s ambition. Aristotle calls it the greatest of blessings. What greater dignity than to be taken up into communion with the God of glory, and to possess a kingdom with Him, bespangled with light, and

seated with Christ upon His throne, above all the visible orbs!
God is an everlasting reward. Mortality is the flaw of all earthly things. But God is an eternal reward. Eternity cannot be measured by years nor ages. Eternity makes glory, weighty. Psalm 48:14, “This God is our God forever and ever!” Oh, saints of God, your praying and repenting are but for a while — but your reward is forever! As long as God is God, He will be rewarding you! Hosea 2:19, “I will betroth you unto me forever.” God marries Himself to His people, and this admits of no divorce. God’s love for His elect is as unchangeable as His love for Christ! Psalm 73:26, “My portion forever.” This portion cannot be spent — because it is infinite; nor can it be lost — because it is eternal.
In God are treasures which can never be emptied — and pleasures which can never be ended!
“You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand!” Psalm 16:11
ALL ENAMELED AND INTERWOVEN WITH FREE GRACE!
Thomas Watson, “A Divine Cordial” 1663
“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-29
Without this effectual call — there is no going to Heaven.
This effectual call, is a GRACIOUS call. It is the fruit and product of free grace! That God should call some — and not others; that some should be taken — and others left; that one should be called who is of a more wicked disposition — while another of a sweeter temper, is rejected; here is free grace! That the poor should be rich in faith, heirs of a kingdom, James 2:5, and the nobles and great ones of the world for the most part rejected; this is free and rich grace! “Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in
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Your sight!” Matthew 11:26
That under the same sermon one should be effectually wrought upon — while another is no more moved than a dead man with the sound of music; that one should hear the Spirit’s voice in the Word — while another does not hear it; that one should be softened and moistened with the influence of Heaven — while another, like Gideon’s dry fleece, has no dew upon him; behold here distinguishing, sovereign grace!
What is the cause of this — but the free grace of God! It is all enameled and interwoven with free grace! Those who are monuments of God’s mercies, will be trumpets of His praise. “So that no one may boast before Him!” 1 Corinthians 1:29
FEEL MY BLEEDING HEART
Thomas Watson, “A Divine Cordial” 1663 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1
Our affections for God, should be kindled at the fire of God’s wondrous
love to us. “We love Him, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
What a miracle of love it is — that God should love us, when there was nothing lovely in us. We were rather fit to be loathed — than loved! We had something in us to provoke God’s fury — but nothing to excite His love. What love, passing understanding, was it — that Christ should die for sinners! Augustine says, “The cross is a pulpit — and the lesson Christ preached on it is LOVE.”
Oh the wondrous love of a dying Savior! I think I hear Christ say to us, “Put your hand into the wound in My side. Feel My bleeding heart. See if I do not love you! And will you not bestow your love upon Me? Will you love the world more than Me? Did the world appease the wrath of God for you? Have I not done all this? And will you not love Me?”
“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it!” Ephesians 3:19
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AS PROUD AND CARNAL AS EVER!
Thomas Watson, “A Divine Cordial” 1663 Grace changes the heart!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
The true Christian has a great change wrought. Not a change of the faculties — but of the tendencies. He is altered from what he was before. His body is the same — but not his mind. Oh what a metamorphosis does grace make!
There is a change wrought in the UNDERSTANDING. Before, there was ignorance — but now there is light. The first work of God in the creation of the world was light — likewise it is in the new creation. He now says, “I once was blind — but now I see!” John 9:25. He sees such evil in sin, and excellency in the ways of God — as he never saw before! It is a marvelous light, because it is more penetrating. Other light may shine upon the face — but this light shines into the heart, and enlightens the conscience. 2 Corinthians 4:6
There is a change wrought in the WILL. The will, which before opposed Christ — now embraces Him. The will, which was an iron sinew against Christ — is now like melting wax, and readily receives the stamp and impression of the Holy Spirit. The will now moves heavenward — and carries all the affections along with it. The will now says, “Lord, what will you have me to do?” Acts 9:6. Before, the will kept Christ out; now, it keeps sin out! Oh what a happy change is wrought here!
There is a change wrought in the CONDUCT. He who is saved, walks directly contrary to what he did before. He once walked in envy and malice — now he walks in love! He once walked in pride — now he walks in humility. In the heart there is a new birth — and in the life there is a new conduct.
Thus we see what a mighty change grace makes.
How far are they from salvation, who never had any change! They are the same today — as they were forty or fifty years ago. They are as proud and carnal as ever! They have had no change in their heart. Let not them think to leap out of the harlot’s lap (the world) into Abraham’s bosom! They must either have a gracious change while they live — or a cursed
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change when they die!
IT IS BETTER TO GO TO HEAVEN WITH THE FEW
Thomas Watson, “A Divine Cordial” 1663
“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to Hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
It is better to go to Heaven with the few — than to Hell in the crowd! We must walk in an opposite course to the people of the world.
A SEA OF SIN — AND NOT A DROP OF SORROW!
Thomas Watson, “A Divine Cordial” 1663
One sign of genuine love to God — is grief for sin. Where there is love to God — there is a grieving for our sins of unkindness against Him. A child who loves his father, cannot but weep for offending him. The heart which burns in love — melts in tears. “Oh! that I should abuse the love of so dear a Savior! Shall I give Him more gall and vinegar to drink! How disloyal and hypocritical have I been! How have I grieved His Spirit, trampled upon His royal commands, and slighted His blood!”
This opens a vein of godly sorrow, and makes the heart bleed afresh. “He went out, and wept bitterly!” That Peter should deny Christ after he had received such amazing love from Him — this broke his heart with grief! “He went out, and wept bitterly!”
By this, let us test our love to God. Do we shed the tears of godly sorrow? Do we grieve for our unkindness against God, our abuse of His mercy, our non-improvement the talents which He has given us?
How far are they from loving God — who sin daily, and their hearts never smite them! They have a sea of sin — and not a drop of sorrow! They are so far from being troubled, that they make merry with their sins. “When you engage in your wickedness, then you rejoice!” Jeremiah 11:15. Oh wretch! Did Christ bleed for sin — and do you laugh at it!
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CORROSIVES TO EAT OUT THE PROUD FLESH
Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”
“In this world you will have trouble.” John 16:33
“Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.” Job 5:7
Troubles arise like sparks out of a furnace. The present state of life is subject to afflictions. Man comes into the world with a cry — and goes out with a groan!
Afflictions are some of the thorns which the earth brings forth. We may as well think to stop the sun in its swift motion — as put a stop to troubles. The consideration of a life exposed to troubles and sufferings, should make us say with patience, “May Your will be done.”
It is vain to quarrel with instruments. Wicked men are but a rod in God’s hand! “O Assyria, the rod of My anger.” Isaiah 10:5. Whoever brings an affliction — God sends it! The consideration of this should make us say, “May Your will be done.” What God does—He sees a reason for. This believed, would rock the heart quiet. Shall we mutiny at that which God does? We may as well quarrel with God’s works of creation — as with God’s works of providence.
Consider that there is a necessity for affliction. “If need be, you are in heaviness.” 1 Peter 1:6. It is needful that some things are kept in brine.
Afflictions are needful to keep us humble. Often there is no other way to have the heart low — but by being brought low. When king Manasseh “was in affliction, he humbled himself greatly.” Corrections are corrosives to eat out the proud flesh. “Remembering my misery, the wormwood and the gall; my soul is humbled in me.” Lamentations 3:19, 20. Shall not we quietly submit, and say, “Lord, I see there is a necessity for it. May Your will be done!”
A NEW EXISTENCE
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J. C. Ryle, “Regeneration”

“Truly, truly, I say to you — Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3
To be born again is, as it were, to enter upon a new existence, to have . . . a new mind,
a new heart,
new views,
new principles, new tastes, new affections, new likings, new dislikings, new fears,
new joys,
new sorrows,
new love to things once hated, new hatred to things once loved, new thoughts . . .
of God,
of ourselves,
of the world,
of the life to come,
of salvation.
He who has been born again, is a new man, a new creature — for old things are passed away. He receives an utterly new bias and direction. All things have become new! It is the implanting of a new principle which will surely bear good fruit. It is . . .
opening the eyes of the blind;
unstopping the ears of the deaf;
loosing the tongue of the dumb;
giving hands and feet to the maimed and lame — for he that is born again no longer allows his members to be instruments and servants of unrighteousness — but he gives them unto God, and then only are they properly employed.
“You must be born again.” John 3:7
THIS PERFUME OF FREE GRACE!
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Thomas Watson, “The Beatitudes” 1660

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 5:3
Only those who are poor in spirit, are capable of receiving grace. He who is swollen with self-excellency and self-sufficiency — is not fit for Christ. He is full already. If the hand is full of pebbles — it cannot receive gold. The glass is first emptied, before you pour in wine. God first empties a man of himself, before He pours in the precious wine of His grace.
He who is poor in spirit — is a Christ-admirer. He has high thoughts of Christ. He sees himself naked — and flies to Christ, to be clothed in the garments of His righteousness. He sees himself wounded — and as the wounded deer runs to the water — so he thirsts for Christ’s blood, the water of life. “Lord!” says he, “give me Christ or I die!” His conscience has turned into a fiery serpent and has stung him; now he will give all the world — for a brazen serpent! He sees himself in a state of death; and how precious is one leaf of the tree of life, which is both for food and medicine! The poor in spirit sees that all his riches lie in Christ — “wisdom, righteousness, sanctification” In every need, he flies to this storehouse! He adores the all-fullness in Christ.
He who is poor in spirit — is an exalter of free grace. None so magnify God’s mercy — as the poor in spirit. The poor are very thankful. When Paul had tasted mercy — how thankfully does he adore free grace! “The grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant,” 1 Timothy 1:14. It was super- exuberant grace! He sets the crown of his salvation — upon the head of free grace! As a man who is condemned and has a pardon sent to him — how greatly he proclaims the goodness and mercifulness of his prince! So Paul displays free grace in its magnificent colors. He interlines all his epistles with free grace! As a vessel which has been perfumed, makes the water taste of it — so Paul, who was a vessel perfumed with mercy, makes all his epistles to taste of this perfume of free grace! Those who are poor in spirit, bless God for the least crumb which falls from the table of free grace! Labor for poverty of spirit. Christ begins with this, and we must begin here if ever we are saved. Poverty of spirit is the foundation stone, on which God lays the superstructure of eternal glory!
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 5:3
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WORMS SHOULD BE MADE KINGS!
Thomas Watson, “The Beatitudes” 1660 “Don’t be afraid, little flock, because your Father
delights to give you the kingdom!” Luke 12:32
See here the mercy and bounty of God, who has prepared a kingdom for His people. It is a favor that we poor worms should be allowed to live. But that worms should be made kings — this is divine bounty! It is mercy to pardon us — but it is rich mercy to crown us! ’Behold, what kind of love is this!’
Earthly princes may bestow great gifts on their subjects — but they keep the kingdom to themselves. Though Pharaoh advanced Joseph to honor and gave him a ring from his finger — yet he kept the kingdom to himself. “Only in the throne will I be greater than you,” Genesis 41:40. But God gives a kingdom to His people — He sets them upon the throne!
How David admires the goodness of God in bestowing upon him a temporal kingdom. “Then king David went in, and sat before the Lord and said — Who am I, O Lord God — and what is my house, that You have brought me hitherto?” 2 Samuel 7:18. He wondered that God should take him from the sheepfold — and set him on the throne — that God should turn his shepherd’s staff into a king’s scepter! O then, how may the saints admire the riches of grace — that God should give them a glorious kingdom above all the princes of the earth — nay, far above all heavens!
God thinks nothing too good for His children. We many times think much of a tear, a prayer, or to sacrifice a sin for Him — but He does not think a kingdom is too much to bestow upon us! How will the saints read over the lectures of free grace in Heaven, and trumpet forth the praises of that God, who has crowned them with such astonishing loving-kindness!
See here, that which may make the people of God long for death. Then, they shall enter upon their glorious kingdom! Indeed the wicked may fear death. It will not lead them to a kingdom — but to a horrid prison. Hell is the jail where they must lie rotting forever with the devil and his demons!
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ONLY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST CAN SOFTEN IT!

Thomas Watson, “The Beatitudes” 1660
“I will take away their hearts of stone and
give them tender hearts!” Ezekiel 11:19
Oh the misery of a hard heart!
A heart of stone is insensible. A stone is not sensible of anything. Lay a heavy weight upon it; or grind it to powder — it does not feel. So it is with a hard heart — it is insensible to both its own sin and God’s wrath. The stone in the kidneys is felt — but not the stone in the heart. “Having lost all sensitivity” Ephesians 4:19
A heart of stone is inflexible. A stone will not bend. Just so, the hard heart will not comply with God’s command. It will not stoop to Christ’s scepter. A heart of stone will sooner break, than bend by repentance. It is so far from yielding to God, that like the anvil — it beats back the hammer. A heart of stone will “always resist the Holy Spirit.” Acts 7:51
A hard heart is void of all grace. While the wax is hard — it will not take the impression of the seal. Just so, the heart, while it is hard — will not take the stamp of grace. It must first be made tender and melting. The plough of the Word will not penetrate a hard heart!
A hard heart is good for nothing — but to make fuel for hellfire. “Because of your hardness and unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath!” Romans 2:5
Hell is full of hard hearts — there is not one soft heart there! There is much weeping there — but no softness. We read of “vessels of wrath — prepared for destruction,” Romans 9:22. Hardness of heart, fits these vessels for Hell, and makes them like withered wood, which is fit only to burn!
Hardness of heart makes a man’s condition worse than all his other sins besides. If one is guilty of great sins — yet if he can mourn, there is hope. But hardness of heart binds guilt fast upon the soul. It seals a man under wrath. It is not heinousness of sin — but hardness of heart — which damns! Oh the misery of a hard heart!
A stony heart is the worst heart. If it were bronze, it might be melted in the furnace; or it might be bent with the hammer. But a stony heart is such, that only the arm of God can break it — and only the blood of Christ can soften it!
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“I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart.” Ezekiel 36:26
VIEW SIN IN THE RED GLASS
Thomas Watson, “The Beatitudes” 1660
View sin in the red glass of Christ’s sufferings. The least sin cost His blood. Would you take a true view of sin? Go to Golgotha! Jesus Christ poured out His soul, as an offering for sin! Read the greatness of your sin — in the deepness of Christ’s wounds! Let not Satan cast such a mist before your eyes — that you cannot see sin in its right colors! Remember, not only do great sins carry men to Hell — but lesser sins as well. “The wages of sin is death!” Every sin is damnable. There is death and Hell in every sin. The least sin without repentance — will be a lock and bolt to shut men out of Heaven.
A TEAR DROPPING FROM THE EYE OF FAITH
Thomas Watson, “The Beatitudes” 1660
“Blessed are those who mourn.” Matthew 5:8
It is a sign that the Sun of Righteousness has risen upon us, when our frozen hearts thaw and melt for sin. Weeping for sin is a sign of the new birth. As soon as the child is born — it weeps. Mourning shows a “heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26. A stone will not melt. When the heart is in a melting frame — it is a sign the heart of stone is taken away.
“Let your tears flow like a river. Give yourselves no rest from weeping day or night.” Lamentations 2:18
Tears for sin, are blessed tears. Tears poison our corruptions. Salt-water kills worms. Just so, the brinish water of repenting tears will help to kill that worm of sin which would gnaw the conscience.
Mourning also fences us against the devil’s temptations. Temptations are called “fiery darts,” Ephesians 6:16, because indeed they set the soul on fire. Temptations enrage anger, and inflame lust. Now the waters of holy mourning, quench these fiery darts! Wet gunpowder will not easily catch
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fire. Just so, when the heart is wetted and moistened with sorrow — it will not so easily catch the fire of temptation.
Penitential tears are precious. Tears dropping from a mournful, penitent eye, are like water dropping from the roses — very sweet and precious to God. A fountain in the garden makes it pleasant. That heart is most delightful to God — which has a fountain of sorrow running in it. “Mary stood at Christ’s feet weeping,” Luke 7:38. Her tears were more fragrant than her ointment. The incense, when it is broken, smells sweetest. When the heart is broken for sin, then our services give forth their sweetest perfume.
Surely, God delights much in tears — else He would not keep a bottle for them. “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book.” Psalm 56:8. Tears are powerful orators for God’s mercy. Tears melt the heart of God. When a man comes weeping in prayer and smites on his breast, saying, “God be merciful to me a sinner!” — this melts God’s heart towards him. Tears, though they are silent — yet have a voice, “The Lord has heard the voice of my weeping!” Psalm 6:8. Tears in the child’s eye sometimes move the angry father to spare the child. Penitential tears melt God’s heart and bind His hand. Tears have a mighty influence upon God.
Repentant tears are sweet. Mourning is the way to solid joy. A Christian thinks himself sometimes in the suburbs of Heaven — when he can weep. Sugar when it melts is sweetest. When a Christian melts in tears, now he has the sweetest joy. When the daughter of Pharaoh descended into the river — she found a babe there among the reeds. Just so, when we descend into the river of repenting tears — we find the babe Jesus there, who shall wipe away all tears from our eyes.
Tears water our graces and make them flourish. Where the springs of sorrow run — there the heart bears a fruitful crop. The tender-eyed Christian usually brings forth more of the fruit of the Spirit. A weeping eye is the water-pot to water our graces!
If there is so much profit and benefit in gospel-sorrow, then let every Christian wash his face every morning in the laver of tears.
Our mourning for sin here — will prevent mourning in Hell. Hell is a place of weeping. Matthew 8:12. The damned mingle their drink with weeping. God is said to have His bottle for our tears. Those who will not shed a bottle-full of tears — shall hereafter shed rivers of tears. “Woe to
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you who laugh now — for you shall mourn and weep!” Luke 6:25. You have sometimes seen sugar lying in a damp place, dissolve into water. Just so, all the sugared joys of the wicked, dissolve at last into the water of tears!
There is but one way to blessedness, and that is through the valley of tears. If you do not go this way, you will miss Paradise. “I tell you, unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3. There is only one way leading to Heaven, and that is a tear dropping from the eye of faith. A man may have a disease in his body, which twenty medicines will heal. But only the medicine of repentance, will heal the mortal disease of sin.
Think what a sinner you have been. You have filled God’s book with your debts — and what need you have to fill His bottle with your tears!
He who weeps here is a blessed mourner. He who weeps in Hell is a cursed mourner. If God’s bottle is not filled with tears — His vial will be filled with wrath!
Repentant tears are but finite. It is but a short time that we shall weep. After a few showers fall from our eyes, we shall have a perpetual sunshine. “God shall wipe away all tears!” Revelation 7:17. When sin shall cease — tears shall cease! “Weeping may endure for a night — but joy comes in the morning!” Psalm 30:5
THE WAY TO BE LIKE JESUS
Thomas Watson, “The Beatitudes” 1660
To render evil for evil is brutish; to render evil for good is devilish; to render good for evil is Christian.
“Blessed are the meek.” Matthew 5:5
Meekness is a grace whereby we are enabled by the Spirit of God, to moderate our angry passions. Meekness has a divine beauty and sweetness in it. This meekness consists in three things:
the bearing of injuries,
the forgiving of injuries,
the recompensing good for evil.
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Meekness is opposed to: anger,
malice,
revenge and evil-speaking.
Meekness is a great ornament to a Christian. “The ornament of a meek spirit — which is so precious to God!” 1 Peter 3:4. How lovely is a saint in God’s eye, when adorned with this jewel! No garment is more befitting to a Christian, than meekness. Therefore we are bid to put on this garment, “Put on therefore as the elect of God — meekness.” Colossians 3:12
Meekness is a noble and excellent spirit. A meek man is a valorous man. He gets a victory over himself! Anger arises from weakness of character. The meek man is able to conquer his fury. “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty; controlling one’s temper is better than capturing a city.” Proverbs 16:32. To yield to one’s anger is easy — it is swimming along with the tide of corrupt nature. But to turn against nature — to resist anger, to “overcome evil with good” — this is truly Christian.
Meekness is the best way to conquer and melt the heart of an enemy. Meekness melts and thaws the heart of others. The greatest victory is to overcome an enemy — without striking a blow! Mildness prevails more than fierceness. Anger makes an enemy of a friend. Meekness makes a friend of an enemy.
Meekness is the way to be like Jesus — “Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” Matthew 11:29. It is not profession which makes us like Jesus — but imitation. Where meekness is lacking — we are like brutes. Where it is present — we are like Jesus.
THE HYPOCRITE’S DESIRE
Thomas Watson, “The Beatitudes” 1660
“Let me die the death of the righteous!” Numbers 23:10
This was Balaam’s desire. The hypocrite, when he is about to die and can keep his sins no longer — now he desires a passport to carry him to Heaven! Such desires as these are found among the damned.
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Hypocrites have desires — but no endeavors. They would like to go to Heaven — but they will take no pains. But true desire is always quickened into endeavor.
The hypocrite would have . . .
Heaven — and his sins too,
Heaven — and his pride too,
Heaven — and his covetousness too.
“They have gone astray and have followed the path of Balaam — who loved the wages of unrighteousness.” 2 Peter 2:15
The true Christian says, “Give me Christ on any terms. Let God propound whatever articles He will — I will subscribe to them. Would He have me deny myself? Would He have me mortify sin? I am content to do anything — just so that I may have Christ!” Hypocrites would have Christ — but they will not part with their beloved lust for Him!
The hypocrite does not desire grace for itself. He desires grace — only as a bridge to lead him over to Heaven. He does not so much search after grace — as glory. He does not so much desire the way of righteousness — as the crown of righteousness. His desire is not to be made like Christ — but to reign with Christ. This is the hypocrite’s desire.
But a child of God desires grace for itself, and Christ for Himself. To a believer, not only is Heaven precious — but Christ is precious, “Yes, He is very precious to you who believe!” 1 Peter 2:7
THE INFERNAL DUNGEON OF HELL
John Bunyan
“Depart from Me, you who are cursed — into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels!” Matthew 25:41
Those in the infernal dungeon of Hell, will undergo a variety of torments. Those who are most afflicted upon earth, have seldom any more than one malady at a time. But should they have the plague, the gout, the stone, and fever all at one time — how miserable would they think themselves! Yet all that is but like the biting of a flea — compared to those intolerable, pungent pains which those in Hell endure! There they have all the loathed variety of Hell to grapple with — the unquenchable fire to burn them; a lake of burning brimstone ever choking them; eternal
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chains to bind them; utter darkness to affright them, and a worm of conscience which gnaws upon them eternally. Any one of these is worse to bear, than all the torments which mankind ever felt on earth.
But the torments in Hell are also universal, afflicting each part of the body and soul — which renders what they suffer, most insufferable. In those illnesses which men are seized with on earth, though some parts are afflicted, other parts are free. But in Hell, each member of the soul and body is continually tormented. The eye is tormented with the sight of the devils, who appear in all the horrid and black shapes which sin can give them! The ear is tormented with the loud yellings and continual outcries of the damned. The nostrils are smothered with sulphurous flames; the tongue is covered with burning blisters; and the whole body is rolled in flames of liquid fire! The imagination is tormented with the thoughts of what a Heaven has been lost; the memory is tormented with reflecting on those opportunities they had of being saved. The mind is tormented with considering how vainly precious time has been wasted. The understanding is tormented with the thoughts of of present pains, and future sorrows — which are to last for ever! The conscience is tormented with a continual gnawing worm.
Another thing which makes the misery of Hell so dreadful, is the extremity of the torments. The fire which burns is so violent that all the water in the sea can never quench it! The pains suffered are so extreme, that it is impossible they should be known but by those who feel them.
Another part of Hell’s misery is the ceaselessness of the torments. As various, as universal, and as extremely violent as they are — they are continual, also. Nor have they the least rest from them. If there were any relaxation — it might be some allay. But what makes this condition so deplorable — is that there is no easing of the torments! “They will go away into eternal punishment!” Matthew 25:46
The company they have there, is another element of their misery. Tormenting devils and tormented souls are all the company. Dreadful shrieks and howlings, under the fierceness of pain, and fearful blasphemies, is all the conversation.
The place in which they suffer is another thing which increases the sufferings. Hell is the epitome of all misery —
a prison,
a dungeon,
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a bottomless pit,
a lake of fire and brimstone,
a furnace of fire which burns to eternity, the blackness of darkness forever!
The cruelty of our tormentors is another thing which adds to the torments. The tormentors are devils, in whom there is no pity. Being tormented themselves, they take pleasure in tormenting others.
But that which makes these sufferings most grievous — is that they shall always be so — these most intolerable sufferings shall last to all eternity. “Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire!” will perpetually sound in the ears of the damned! The miserable situation they are in, shall be forever!
CRUEL MERCY
Thomas Watson, “The Beatitudes” 1660
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7
When the sun shines — the ice melts. When the Sun of righteousness once shines with beams of grace upon the soul — then it melts in mercy and tenderness.
Mercifulness is a melting disposition whereby we lay to heart the miseries of others, and are instrumental for their good. We must chiefly be merciful to the SOULS of others. Indeed soul-mercy is the chief of mercies. The soul is the most precious thing; it is a rich diamond set in a ring of clay. Had we seen that madman in the gospel cutting himself with stones — it would have moved our pity. Mark 5:5. To see a sinner stabbing himself and having his hands imbrued in his own blood, should cause us to sincerely pity him.
That is a cruel mercy — when we see men go on in sin, and we let them alone. And that is a merciful cruelty — when we are sharp against men’s sins and will not let them go to Hell quietly.
Fond sentimentality is no better than cruelty.
The surgeon cuts and lances the flesh — but it is in order to a cure. They
are healing wounds. So when we lance men’s consciences and let out the 371

blood of sin, we exercise spiritual surgery. This is showing mercy.
“Rescue others by snatching them from the fire!” Jude 23. If a man had fallen into the fire, though you hurt him a little in pulling him out — he would be thankful and take it as a kindness. Some men, when we tell them of sin say, ‘O, you are unloving!’ No! it is showing mercy. If a man’s house were on fire, and another should see it and not tell him of it, for fear of waking him — would not this be cruelty? When we see others sleeping in their sin, and the fire of God’s wrath ready to burn them up — and we are silent — is not this cruelty?
They are unmerciful ministers who, instead of breaking the bread of life — fill their people’s heads with airy speculations and notions! Some ministers endeavor only to be admired. They go into the pulpit only to amuse the people. Such ministers give poison to their people in a golden cup! They are the devil’s ambassadors, who ride up and down, and with Satan compass the earth — to deceive and devour souls!
THE CHILDREN WHICH FAITH BEARS
Thomas Watson, “The Beatitudes” 1660 “Those who have believed God might be careful
to devote themselves to good works.” Titus 3:8
Grace does not lie as a sleepy habit in the soul, but will put forth itself in vigorous and glorious actings. Grace can no more be concealed, than fire. Grace does not lie in the heart as a stone in the earth — but as seed in the earth. It will spring up into good works! “Our people must also learn to devote themselves to good works.” Titus 3:14
The lamp of faith must be filled with the oil of charity. Faith alone justifies — but justifying faith is never alone. You may as well separate weight from lead, or heat from fire — as works from faith.
Good works, though they are not the causes of salvation — yet they are evidences of salvation. Though they are not the foundation — yet they are the superstructure. Faith must not be built upon works — but works must be built upon faith. “You are married to Christ — that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” Romans 7:4. Faith is the grace which marries Christ, and good works are the children which faith bears.
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Works are distinct from faith — as the sap in the vine is different from the clusters of fruit which grow upon it.
Works are the touchstone of faith. “Show me your faith by your works.” James 2:18
Works honor faith. These fruits adorn the ‘trees of righteousness’. This queen — faith, has the handmaids of good works waiting upon her.
Good works are more visible and conspicuous than faith. Faith is a more hidden grace. It may lie hidden in the heart and not be seen — but when works are joined with it, now it shines forth in its native beauty! Though a garden is ever so decked with flowers — yet they are not seen until the light comes. So the heart of a Christian may be enriched with faith — but it is like a flower in the night. It is not seen until works come. When this light shines before men, then faith appears in its orient colors!
STREWING FLOWERS ON A DEAD CORPSE!
Thomas Watson, “The Beatitudes” 1660
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8
External morality is not heart-purity. A person may be clothed with great moral virtues, such as justice, charity, prudence, and temperance — and yet go to Hell.
We must not rest in mere outward morality. A swine may be washed — yet be a swine still. Morality does but wash a man — grace changes him. Morality may shine in the eyes of the world — but it differs as much from purity, as a pebble differs from a diamond!
Morality is but strewing flowers on a dead corpse! A man who is but highly moral — is but a tame devil.
How many have made ’morality’ their Savior! Morality will damn — as well as vice! A boat may be sunk with gold — as well as with dung.
The moral person, though he will not commit gross sins — yet he is not sensible of heart sins. He is not troubled for unbelief, hardness of heart, vanity of thoughts. He abhors gross-sins, not gospel-sins.
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The snake has a fine appearance — but has a deadly sting! Just so, the moral man is fair to look on — but has a secret antipathy against the holy ways of God.
Morality is not to be rested in. The heart must be pure. God would have Aaron wash the inner parts of the sacrifice. Leviticus 9:14. Morality does but wash the outside; the inside must be washed. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8
HOW BEFILTHYING A THING IT IS
Thomas Watson, “The Beatitudes” 1660) “Unto Him who loved us, and washed us from
our sins in His own blood!” Revelation 1:5
We are all loathsome to God, before we are washed pure in the blood of Christ!
By nature, we are all in a filthy and cursed condition. We are a lump of clay and sin mingled together. Sin not only blinds us — but defiles us. It is called filthiness. James 1:21. And to show how befilthying a thing it is, it is compared . . .
to a plague of the heart; 1 Kings 8:38, to corruption; Deuteronomy 32:5,
to vomit; 2 Peter 2:22,
to a menstrual cloth. Isaiah 30:22.
If all the evils in the world were put together and their quintessence strained out — they could not make a thing so black and polluted as sin is! A sinner is a devil in a man’s shape! When Moses’ rod was turned into a serpent — he fled from it. If God would open men’s eyes and show them their deformities and damnable spots — they would fly from themselves, as from serpents!
When grace comes — it washes off this hellish filth! It turns ravens into swans. It makes those who are as black as Hell — to become as white as snow!
“Christ gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own.” Christ shed His blood — to wash off our filth. The cross was both an altar and a laver. Jesus died
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not only to save us from wrath, 1 Thessalonians 1:10 — but to save us from sin! Matthew 1:21. Out of his side came water which signifies our cleansing—as well as blood which signifies our justifying. 1 John 5:6
WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?
R. A. Torrey, “Looking to Jesus”
If at any time you are in any perplexity as to what to do, simply ask the question — “What would Jesus do?” Ask God by His Holy Spirit to show you what Jesus would do. Study your Bible to find out what Jesus did do — and follow Him.
“I have given you an example to follow.” John 13:15
“Leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21
CATERERS FOR THEIR LUSTS!
Thomas Watson, “The Beatitudes” 1660
“If I regard iniquity in my heart” Psalm 66:18 What is it to regard iniquity in the heart?
When we INDULGE in sin. When sin not only lives in us — but when we live in sin. Some will leave all their sins, but one. Jacob would let all his sons go, but Benjamin. The fowler holds the bird fast enough by one claw. Just so, Satan can hold a man by one sin.
Others HIDE their sins. Many deal with their sins as Moses’ mother dealt with her son. She hid him in the basket, as if she had left him — but her eye was still upon him — and in the end, she became his nurse. Exodus 2:9. Just so, many seem to leave their sins — but they only hide them from the eye of others. Their heart still goes after them, and at last they nurse and give breast to their sins.
To regard iniquity is to DELIGHT in iniquity. Though a child of God sins — yet he does not take a delight in sin. “I do the very thing I hate.” Romans 7:15. But the wicked make a recreation of sin. They “delight in
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wickedness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:12. Never did one feed with more delight on a meal he loves — than a wicked man does upon the forbidden fruit!
To regard iniquity is to make PROVISION for sin. “Make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Romans 13:14. The wicked are caterers for their lusts. This is to make provision for the flesh — when one studies to satisfy the flesh and provide fuel for lust. Thus Amnon made provision for the flesh. 2 Samuel 13:5. He pretends to be sick, and his sister, Tamar, must be his nurse. She must serve his food to him — by which means he defiled her virginity. It is sad when men’s concern is not to be holy — but to satisfy lust!
IF DEATH GIVES THEM A JOG
Thomas Watson, “The Beatitudes” 1660
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, and
after that to face judgment.” Hebrews 9:27
The wicked tread upon the banks of the bottomless pit. If death gives
them a jog — they tumble in! “Prepare to meet your God!” Amos 4:12
RUN TO THIS HEAVENLY FATHER!
Thomas Watson, “The Beatitudes” 1660
“The Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.”
2 Corinthians 1:3
Christians should look upon God under this notion — the Father of all mercy, sitting upon a throne of grace. We should run to this heavenly Father in all conditions!
We should run to our Father with our sins, as that sick child who, as soon as he found himself ill — he ran to his father to help him, “My head! My head!” 2 Kings 4:19 So in case of sin — run to God and say: “My heart! My heart! O this dead heart — Father, quicken it! This hard heart — Father, soften it! Father, my heart, my heart!”
We should run to our Father with our temptations. A child, when another strikes him, runs to his father. So when the devil strikes us with his
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temptations, let us run to our Father: “Father, Satan assaults and hurls in his fiery darts at me! Father, it is Your child who is assaulted by this red dragon! Father, take off the tempter!”
“Cast all your care upon Him, because He cares about you!” 1 Peter 5:7. What a sweet privilege is this! When any burden lies upon our hearts — we may go to our Father and unload all our cares and griefs into His loving bosom! “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will support you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken!” Psalm 55:22
SIN FIRST ENSLAVES — AND THEN DAMNS!
Thomas Watson, “The Beatitudes” 1660
“I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” John 8:34
“You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires!” John 8:44
It is the sad misery of an unregenerate person, that he is in a state of vassalage. He is under the tyranny of sin. “It is the greatest slavery in the world for a man to be a slave to his own passions!”
A wicked man is as much a slave — as he who works in the galley! Look into his heart — and there are legions of lusts ruling him! He must do what sin will have him to do. A slave is at the service of a usurping tyrant. If he bids him dig in the mine, or hew in the quarries, or tug at the oar — he must do it. Thus every wicked man must do what corrupt nature, inspired by the devil, bids him to do. If sin bids him to be drunk, or to be unchaste — he is at the command of sin, as the donkey is at the command of the driver.
Sin first enslaves — and then damns!
“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” Romans 6:22
GOD HAS TWO FIRES
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Thomas Watson, “The Beatitudes” 1660

“I have refined you in the furnace of affliction.” Isaiah 48:10
“Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his demons! And they will go away into eternal punishment!” Matthew 25:41, 46
God has two fires —
one where He puts His gold, one where He puts His dross.
The fire where He puts His gold,
is the fire of affliction — to purify them.
The fire where He puts His dross,
is the fire of damnation — to punish them.
THERE ARE NAILS IN THAT CROSS!
Thomas Watson, “The Beatitudes” 1660
“If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
Self-denial is the highest sign of a sincere Christian. Hypocrites may have great knowledge and make large profession — but it is only the true- hearted believer who can deny himself for Christ.
Self-denial is the foundation of godliness, and if this foundation is not well-laid, the whole building will fall. If there is any lust in our souls which we cannot deny — it will turn at length, either to scandal or apostasy. Self-denial is the thread which must run along through the whole work of piety.
A man must deny self-esteem. Every man by nature has a high opinion of himself. He is drunk with spiritual pride. A proud man disdains the cross. He thinks himself too good to suffer. Oh deny self-esteem! Let the plumes of pride fall off! Let us shake off this viper of pride!
A man must deny carnal self. This I take to be the chief sense of the text. He must deny fleshly ease. The flesh cries out for ease. It is loath to put its neck under Christ’s yoke or stretch itself upon the cross. The flesh cries
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out, “Oh! the cross of Christ is heavy! There are nails in that cross which will lacerate, and fetch blood!” We must deny our self-ease, and be as a deaf adder, stopping our ears to the charmings of the flesh! Those who lean on the soft pillow of sloth, will hardly take up the cross.
This self-denying frame of heart is very hard. This is “to pluck out the right eye.” It is easier to overcome men and devils, than to overcome self. “Stronger is he who conquers himself, than he who conquers the strongest walled city.”
SELF is the idol, and how hard it is to sacrifice this idol, and to turn self- seeking into self-denial! But though it is difficult — it is essential. A Christian must first lay down self — before he can take up the cross.
Alas! how far are they from self-denial — who cannot deny themselves in the least things; who in their diet or apparel, instead of martyring the flesh — pamper the flesh! Instead of taking up the cross — take up their cups! Is this self-denial — to let loose the reins to the flesh? Oh Christians, as ever you would be able to carry Christ’s cross, begin to deny yourselves.
“Everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for My sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will have eternal life!” Matthew 19:29. Here is a very choice bargain!
POPE SELF
J. C. Ryle, “The Gospel of Luke” 1858
“An argument started among the disciples as to
which of them would be the greatest.” Luke 9:46
Astonishing as it may seem, this little company of fishermen and
publicans was not beyond the plague of a self seeking and ambitious spirit.
There is something very instructive in this fact. It ought to sink down deeply into the heart of every Christian reader. Of all sins, there is none against which we have such need to watch and pray — as PRIDE.
No sin is so deeply rooted in our nature. Pride cleaves to us like our skin!
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Its roots never entirely die. They are ready, at any moment, to spring up, and exhibit a most pernicious vitality.
No sin is so senseless and deceitful. It can wear the garb of humility itself!
Pride can lurk in the hearts of the ignorant, the vile, and the poor — as well as in the minds of the great, the learned, and the rich.
It is a quaint and homely saying, but only too true — that no pope has ever received such honor as “Pope Self.”
Of all creatures, none has so little a right to be proud as man; and of all men, none ought to be so humble as the Christian. Is it really true that we confess ourselves to be “miserable sinners,” and daily debtors to mercy and grace? Are we the followers of Jesus, who was meek and humble of heart? Then let that same mind be in us which was in Him. “Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart.” Matthew 11:29
SUCH A WONDER-WORKING GRACE
Thomas Watson, “The Beatitudes” 1660
“In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able
to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one!” Ephesians 6:16 “Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory
that has overcome the world — even our faith.” 1 John 5:4
Why is faith such a wonder-working grace?
Faith unites the soul to Christ, and that blessed Head sends forth grace into the members. “I can do all things through Christ, who give me strength!” Philippians 4:13. Faith goes to Christ — and fetches His strength into the soul.
Faith works a contempt of the world into the heart. Faith gives a true map of the world, “When I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve — everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun!” Ecclesiastes 2:11
Faith shows the world in its night-dress, having all its jewels pulled off. Faith makes the world appear in its true state. Faith shows the soul better
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things than the world. It gives a sight of Christ and eternal glory. Faith climbs up above sense and reason, into Heaven and sees Christ — and the soul, having once viewed His superlative excellencies, becomes crucified to the world. Says the Christian — “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ!” Philippians 3:8
Faith gets strength from God’s promises. Faith lives upon the promises. Take the fish out of the water — and it dies. Take faith out of a promise — and it cannot live. The promises are breasts of consolation. The child by sucking the breast, gets strength. Faith gets strength — by sucking the breast of a promise. When faith begins to be weak and is ready to faint in the day of battle, then the promises muster their forces together, and all come in for faith’s relief — and now it is able to hold out in the fiery trial.
Faith gives the soul a right notion of suffering. Faith draws the true picture of sufferings. What is suffering? Faith says, “it is but the suffering of the body — which must shortly by the course of nature, drop into the dust.” Thus faith gives the soul a just measure of sufferings — which enables a Christian to prostrate his life at the feet of Christ.
Faith picks sweetness out of suffering. The bee gathers the sweetest honey from the bitterest herb. So faith gathers the sweetest comforts, from the sharpest trials. Faith looks upon suffering as God’s love-token! “Afflictions are sharp arrows — but they are shot from the hand of a loving Father!” Faith can taste honey at the end of the afflicting rod. Faith fetches joy out of suffering, “Your sorrow will turn to joy!” John 16:20. Faith gets honey from the belly of the lion. Faith finds a jewel under the cross! “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
THE DARK TALE
Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan
December 31st, 1837. The last day of the year has come again! How rapidly are the wheels of time revolving and bearing me on to a boundless eternity! Another year closing, and of what do its “gone-by” periods testify? Why! of aggravated transgression and ingratitude on my part — and most astonishing mercy and longsuffering from my covenant God!
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There has also been granted more laying hold of Christ; and, when sensible of sin, more running to Him for pardon and cleansing, and, as it were, hanging upon Him in my desperate case. All this, with much more, I take to be very, very great mercy.
But, oh! the dark tale of my own sin, which has also marked this year — it is too black to be told!
Ingratitude,
murmuring,
carnality,
worldliness,
unbelief,
backsliding,
and a thousand other evils — make up a list which ought to sink me into shame and self-abasement!
Almighty Spirit, condescend to melt me into real contrition, that having received much — I may love much; and having sinned much — I may have much forgiven.
I am sure the flesh is no friend of mine, and as I have not resolution to cut off its right-hand sins, and to pluck out its right-eye sins — it is most merciful of the Lord to do it for me. And though I often cry out from pain, my heart says — Go on, Lord, deal with me as You will; only support and bring me to walk closely with You.
288 OPINIONS ABOUT THE WAY TO HAPPINESS
Thomas Watson, “The Beatitudes” 1660
In what does happiness consist?
Millions of people mistake both the nature of happiness, and the way there. Some of the learned have noted 288 opinions about the way to happiness — and all have shot wide of the mark!
How do men thirst after the world — as if the pearl of happiness hung upon an earthly crown! “Oh,” says one, “if I had but such an estate — then I would be happy! Had I but such a comfort — then I would sit down satisfied!” Well, God gives him that comfort and lets him suck the very juice out of it — but, alas, it falls short of his
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expectation. It cannot fill the emptiness and longing of his soul!
Happiness does not lie in the acquisition of worldly things. Happiness cannot by any chemistry — be extracted from the world. Christ does not say, ‘Happy are the rich,’ or ‘Happy are the noble.’ Yet too many idolize these things. How ready is man to terminate his happiness in external worldly things! If they have but worldly accommodations, they are ready to say with that brutish fool in the gospel, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years, take your ease — eat, drink and be merry!”
But alas! The tree of happiness does not grow in an earthly paradise. Has not God ‘cursed the ground’ because of sin? Yet many are digging for happiness here — as if they would fetch a blessing out of a curse! A man may as well think to extract oil out of a stone, or fire out of water — as happiness out of earthly things!
King Solomon had more worldly things than any man. His crown was hung full of jewels. He had treasuries of gold. He had the flower and quintessence of all delights — sumptuous fare, stately edifices, vineyards, lands, all sorts of music to enchant and ravish the senses with joy. If there were any rarity — it was present in king Solomon’s court. Thus did he bathe in the perfumed waters of pleasure.
Never did the world cast a more smiling aspect upon any man! Yet when he comes to give his impartial verdict, he tells us that the world has ’vanity’ written upon its frontispiece; and all those golden delights he enjoyed, were but a painted felicity — a glorious misery! “Behold! All was vanity!” Happiness is too noble and delicate a plant, to grow in this world’s soil. Worldly joys are but sugared lies — pleasant deceits — which have not one grain of true happiness! Nothing on earth can satisfy the soul’s desires!
“The world passes away!” 1 John 2:17. Worldly delights are winged. They may be compared to a flock of birds in the garden — which stay a little while — but when you come near to them — they take their flight and are gone! Just so, “riches make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward Heaven!” They are like a meteor which blazes — but soon burns out. They are like a castle made of snow — lying under the fiery beams of

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the sun. Worldly comforts are like tennis balls — which are bandied up and down from one to another. They are like a bouquet of flowers — which withers while you are smelling it. They are like ice — which melts away while it is in your hand.
Those things which do more vex than comfort — cannot make a man truly happy. As riches are compared to wind — to show their vanity; so they are compared to thorns — to show their vexation. Thorns are not more apt to tear our garments — than riches to tear our hearts! They are thorns in the gathering — and they prick with anxious care. They pierce the head with care of getting, so they wound the heart with fear of losing. Happiness is not to be fetched out of the earth! Worldly comforts cannot make you happy. You might live rich — and die cursed! You might treasure up an estate — and God might treasure up wrath!

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