Tag Archives: James Smith

The panacea for all the ills of life!

Grace logoThe panacea for all the ills of life!

(James Smith, “The Spirit’s Work in the Believer” 1861)

“The mind of sinful man is death, but¬†the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6

Spirituality flows from the gracious operations of the Holy Spirit in the soul, who . . .
  kindles spiritual love, 
  awakens spiritual desires, and 
  produces spiritual devotion. 

The Spirit’s work in the believer¬†consists:

1. In convincing us of sin, when we go astray from the right ways of the Lord.

2. In working repentance within us, and leading us to confess and mourn over our sins before God.

3. In opening up, and applying the Word of God, so that it . . .
  meets our case,
  feeds our faith,
  fires our love, and
  deepens our humility.

4. In exciting and drawing forth the soul in¬†prayer, praise, and adoration at the throne of God–so that we sometimes . . .
  melt in contrition,
  are crumbled down in humiliation,
  and are almost dissolved in love.

5. In giving us soul-refreshing glimpses . . .
  of the glorious person of Jesus,
  of the everlasting covenant,
  and of eternal glory.

6. In melting us down in sincere gratitude before God, under a sense of His undeserved favor.

7. In removing all legal fears, and causing holy peace to flow through the soul like a river.

8. In melting us in meekness, and producing sweet submission to the sovereign will of God.

9. In sweetly soothing and consoling under trials and bereavements; and enabling us to look heavenward with hope and joy.

10. In giving us sweet intimations of the love of God to us, by holy discoveries of His grace.

11. In witnessing to our¬†adoption, awakening the cry of¬†“Abba, Father!”¬†in our hearts, and enabling us to claim a filial relationship to God.

12. In drawing forth our souls in¬†love to God–under an overcoming sense of His free and unparalleled love to us.

13. In enabling us to¬†mount upward¬†as on the wings of an eagle, and to¬†run¬†with pleasure and delight in God’s holy ways.

15. In quickening us to rejoice in the Lord, when all things around are calculated to fill us with despondency and gloom.

16. In producing¬†perseverance¬†in our souls, and enabling us to look away from the things which are seen and temporal–and to look to unseen and eternal realities.

The Spirit works within the Christian, teaching him daily to make use of Christ as the panacea for all the ills of life!

In all these things, and many more–the work of the Spirit in the experience of the believer appears.

Reader, do you know anything of these things in your own experience? 
Is the Spirit daily working in your heart, and do you pay attention to . . .
  the lessons He teaches,
  the impressions He makes, and
  the direction in which He points?

O for more of the Spirit’s work within us–that we may live to the praise and glory of Him who loved us, and died to redeem us from sin, death and Hell!

Holy Spirit, work in us more and more–teaching us Your truth, and conforming us to Christ! O for more of Your power, love, and holiness!

The object of God’s tender, perfect and ceaseless care!

Grace logo

The object of God’s tender, perfect and ceaseless care!

(James Smith, “Divine Care!” 1865)

“Casting all your care upon Him–for¬†He cares for you!”¬†1 Peter 5:7

Our¬†cares¬†must be cast upon our God, or they will prove a burden too heavy for us–they will depress, bewilder, and make us wretched!¬†

WHO is it that cares for us? 

It is the¬†Lord Almighty–the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, whose name is holy!¬†
It is He whom the angels obey, the seraphim adore, and all creation glorifies! 
It is the Lord–who is so¬†great, that we have no adequate conception of His greatness!¬†
It is He who is so¬†good–that it is impossible fully to set forth His goodness!¬†
It is He who is so¬†glorious–that no sinner can see His face and live!¬†
It is He who created all things with His Word!
It is He who governs all things by His wisdom!
It is He who upholds all things by His power! 
It is He whose resources are infinite!
It is He whose compassion is exquisite!
It is He whose patience is without limit! 

But though He is so exalted, so happy, and so unspeakably great–He cares for you!

He cares for you–as base as you are.¬†
He cares for you–as sinful as you are.¬†
He cares for you–as depressed and discouraged as you are.¬†

HE cares for YOU!

May I pass through the present world under the impression, “I am¬†the object of God’s tender, perfect and ceaseless care!

“Cast your cares on the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22¬†

The blessed man!

Grace logo

The blessed man!

(James Smith, “Comfort for Christians!”)

Blessed¬†is the man You¬†chasten, O Lord–the man You¬†teach¬†from Your law!” Psalm 94:12¬†¬†¬†
    
The chastenings of the Lord¬†often appear severe–but they are¬†merciful. They . . .
  correct our follies,
  subdue our proud wills, and
  soften and humble our hard hearts before Him.

When God¬†chastens–He¬†teaches. The¬†lessons¬†are found in His Word–but we never learn many of them, until we go through the¬†furnace of affliction!¬†We often learn more truth from one short, sharp affliction–than we do from many books and sermons!

In affliction, God teaches us . . .
  our own emptiness and vanity,
  our dependence on Himself, and
  the insufficiency of all our earthly things! 

In affliction, God . . .
  endears the Lord Jesus and His great salvation to us;
  shows us the value of the provision of grace;
  makes our consciences tender and honest; 
  qualifies us for usefulness on earth; and
  fits us for the enjoyment of Himself in Heaven.

We¬†need¬†chastening. If we do not receive it–we become . . .
  carnal and worldly,
  light and trifling,
  unsavory and useless in both the world and the church! 

It is a blessed thing to be chastened of the Lord, especially when the rod teaches us such important and invaluable lessons! Chastened Christians are generally the most useful and attractive Christians. 

“Heed the¬†rod–and the One who appointed it!” Micah 6:9¬†
Chastened Christian! Seek grace . . .
  to bear the rod, 
  to bless the rod, and 
  to kiss the hand that holds the rod!

Blessed¬†is the man whom God¬†corrects–so do not despise¬†the chastening of the Almighty!” Job 5:17

O for a spirit of habitual prayer!

Grace logo

O for a spirit of habitual prayer!

(James Smith, “The Evening Sacrifice; Or, A Help to Devotion” 1859)

“But I call to God, and the LORD saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress–and He hears my voice!” Psalm 55:16-17¬†

The well taught Christian carries everything to God–and in so doing, obtains relief, enjoys peace, and grows in grace.¬†
For all that we¬†need–we should call upon God.¬†
And from all that we¬†fear–we should flee unto God.¬†

At the close of every day, it is our mercy to call upon the Lord.
We must make confession of sin–and obtain pardon.¬†
We must carry to Him our burdens–and obtain relief.¬†
We must tell out before Him our needs–and obtain a supply.

Oh, how precious it is to go to the Lord at the close of each day, and tell Him all that has . . .
  vexed us,
  grieved us,
  cast us down, or
  disquieted our spirits! 

And how blessed to go to him each morning, and seek grace to live holily and happily through the day! 

Nor is it less blessed to have a few minutes with God at¬†noon–breaking, as it were, the day in two, and keeping short accounts with God.¬†

O for a spirit of habitual prayer
, that at evening, and at morning, and at noon–we may pray, and cry aloud to God!¬†

If we were more with the Lord in prayer, we would have . . .
  more strength to carry our crosses,
  more patience to bear our troubles,
¬† and more¬†comfort¬†amidst life’s sorrows.¬†

Holy Spirit, take up your residence in my heart as a Spirit of prayer, and lead me daily, hourly, yes, very often–to the mercy-seat. Let me find the hours of prayer to be precious seasons. And especially at eventide, when worn and exhausted with the toils and troubles of the day–let me find sweet solace and refreshment in pouring out my soul unto God.¬†

Precious Lord Jesus, draw our souls to You evening by evening, and lead us into the presence of Your Father, that we may have sweet and hallowed fellowship with God! Let our devotions ascend as sweet incense to God.


His mercy is a boundless, fathomless, endless ocean!

Grace logo

His mercy is a boundless, fathomless, endless ocean!

(James Smith, “The Evening Sacrifice; Or, A Help to Devotion” 1859)

“You, O Lord, are good, and ready to forgive–and abundant in mercy to all who call upon You.” Psalm 86:5¬†

What a beautiful representation of God is this! How comforting, at the close of another day’s cares and troubles, sorrows and sins–to be reminded that our “God is good,” and especially that He is “ready to forgive”–ready to pardon all the faults and follies of this day–ready to pass them by, and still treat me as His beloved child!

He only requires me to confess and be sorry for my sins–and in a moment, all is forgiven, all is forgotten, and forgotten forever!¬†

Then He is “abundant in mercy.” The¬†fountain of His mercy¬†has not yet run dry. Run dry! It is not in the least diminished!¬†His mercy is a boundless, fathomless, endless ocean!

God has plenty of mercy for miserable sinners . . .
  mercy to pardon them,
  mercy to purify them,
  mercy to comfort them,
¬† mercy to¬†save¬†them–
mercy for all who call upon Him!

O my soul, take home tonight this lovely representation of your God, and believing that He is good, ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy–go to Him, call upon Him, and plead with Him. Then you may obtain mercy, and find grace to help you in every time of need.¬†

Good and gracious God, I adore You for Your goodness; I bless You that You are ready to forgive; I rejoice that You are abundant in mercy. And now, O Lord, glorify Your mercy in me–show Your readiness to forgive, in me! Let my heart be eased of every sorrow–and let my conscience be cleansed from every sin! Let me lie down to rest tonight guiltless–rejoicing in the glorious fact that You have blotted out my sins as a cloud, and my transgressions as a thick cloud, and are now at eternal peace with me!

 

Home, sweet home! There is no place like home!

Grace logo

Home, sweet home! There is no place like home!

(James Smith, “Rills from the Rock of Ages”, 1860)

“These all died in faith . . . they confessed that they were¬†strangers¬†and¬†pilgrims¬†on the earth” Hebrews 11:13

The day of life with them is ended. Its duties are ended. Its responsibilities are past. Its hours are fled away.

What a trying day some of them had! How stormy. How sultry. How often overcast. How gloomy. But it is now past–and past forever!¬†The toils of the wilderness are over!¬†They had much to afflict and pain them . . .¬†
  a difficult and dangerous journey,
  a long wearisome march,
  many a heavy cross to carry,
  many a stubborn foe to face,
  many a painful doubt,
  numerous gloomy fears.

But now the¬†wilderness¬†is all behind them! The¬†afflictions¬†of the pilgrimage¬†are terminated. Those sufferings were sharp, and some of them continued long. Many of them were endured in secret, without sympathy and without relief. They were¬†soul¬†sorrows, agony of¬†mind–as well as sharp pains of¬†body. But however multiplied, however severe, however protracted those sorrows–they are past and gone, never, never to return!

The sweetest repose is now enjoyed. The poor¬†tabernacle¬†has been taken down, and is laid in a quiet resting-place until the resurrection morning. The¬†soul¬†is gone to be with Jesus. It has traveled through the rough path of life–and is now in God’s presence, where there is fullness of joy, and pleasures for evermore!

As Christians, we are going to the same place. The¬†graves¬†will soon be ready for our bodies–and the¬†mansions of glory¬†for our souls.¬†We are going home!¬†Home to our Father’s house! Home where our¬†hearts¬†have long been. Home where all our¬†prayers¬†will be answered, and all our best¬†desires¬†will be gratified. “Home, sweet home! There is no place like home!”¬†Especially our home!¬†Aparadise¬†without a tempting serpent! A paradise where all are holy, all are safe, all are happy. Those pure and perpetual joys, which are at God’s right hand, await us! We¬†taste¬†them now and are delighted with a¬†sip–but there we shall soon drink¬†full draughts¬†of eternal glory, eternal joy, and eternal blessedness!

Amidst present toils and trials, dangers and distresses–when wearied, way-worn, and tempted to fret–remember that you will soon be HOME! Think, think, O my soul, of an eternity of enjoyment–when the sufferings of time are ended!¬†

“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away!” Revelation 21:3-4¬†

(Please forward this uplifting post to all of your Christian friends who are going through times of affliction.)

A New Year’s Address

Grace logo

A New Year’s Address

James Smith, New Park Street Church, London, 1849


“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever!”¬†
Hebrews 13:8

Everything around us is changing and fast passing away! Nothing appears settled or secure! The old year has fled and has told its tale; a new year begins today and will introduce mercies and trials, comforts and distresses, darkness and light. Who can tell what is folded up in the bosom of this year? 

Could we look through the coming hours, days, weeks, and months of this year; could we count the head-aches and the¬†heart-acheswhich await us; the¬†disappointments¬†we shall meet, the¬†vexations¬†we shall experience, the¬†distresses¬†we must pass through‚ÄĒour hearts would perhaps be wrung with anguish, and our minds be clouded with gloom! But these are¬†wisely concealed¬†from our view, and whatever may be our anticipations or forebodings, the Lord meets us on the threshold of this year and assures us that¬†“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever!”¬†This is our encouragement, beloved friends.

God himself in pity and compassion gives us this sweet, cheering, and animating assurance. Could Jesus change, then we might sink into gloom, despondency, and despair! Creatures¬†may¬†change, and¬†do¬†change for the worse instead of the better‚ÄĒbut Jesus is the same. It is impossible that he should be better‚ÄĒfor he is altogether perfect. And being perfect‚ÄĒhe can never change for the worse. He embodies everything that is amiable, glorious, and inviting in¬†deity; and everything that is excellent, admirable, and sweet in¬†humanity. He blends the¬†attributes of God‚ÄĒand the¬†perfections of man¬†in his sacred character. He is at once our Brother‚ÄĒand our God; our Maker‚ÄĒand our Fellow; our Lord‚ÄĒand our Husband. O admirable mystery! O encouraging connection! O delightful truth!

Brethren, what have the Lord’s people found Jesus to be in bygone days? That, all that‚ÄĒis Jesus NOW. Yes, this new year’s morning he has all that love, kindness, tenderness, pity, compassion, verity, and majesty‚ÄĒwhich his people in every age have proved him to possess. He who¬†sympathized¬†with the widow of Nain, who had¬†compassion¬†on the hungry multitude, and¬†wept¬†with the sisters of departed Lazarus‚ÄĒis just the same now‚ÄĒas then. He has the same nature, the same heart, and the same fellow feeling.¬†

True we have not the same¬†visible¬†expressions of his tenderness and pity‚ÄĒbut they are nevertheless real; he is the same today as he was yesterday, and will be the same forever. We have the same Jesus to deal with‚ÄĒas had the Syrophenician woman, the¬†adulteress¬†at Jacob’s well, or the¬†thief¬†upon the cross. He is deeply interested in our welfare, lovingly concerned to do us good, and ready to help us in every time of trouble.¬†

His¬†ear¬†is at every believer’s heart‚ÄĒlistening to the voice of his sighs, groans, and desires.¬†

His eye is observant of the Christian’s goings, and marks every step he takes.¬†

His hand is stretched out to help him in every time of trial, or circumstance of difficulty. 

His affections yearn over him with indescribable affection and pity in every affliction or trouble. 

He loves us dearly. 

He knows our frame. 

He considers our circumstances. 

He pities our weaknesses. 

He watches our movements. 

He orders our steps. 

He instructs our minds. 

He subdues our sins. 

He frustrates our enemies. 

He will never for one moment leave us, nor on any account forsake us!

No, he will never turn away from doing of us good‚ÄĒbut will rejoice over us to do us good with his whole heart, and with his whole soul. Jesus is the same. He is one with us, has suffered like us, and knows by experience what our temptations, trials, and distresses are! He is no stranger to a troubled heart, a pained body, or the distress occasioned by the loss of the divine presence, he has passed through the whole. Therefore my poor, tried, tempted, and distressed brother, or sister in the Lord, learn to look to Jesus‚ÄĒas Jesus‚ÄĒas one touched with the feeling of your infirmities. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are!”

We are apt to think the¬†Lord¬†changes‚ÄĒwhen his¬†dispensations¬†change. But no! The change of his dispensations proceeds from the immutability of his purpose respecting us, and his love to us. He is determined to bless us indeed, and this being the case‚ÄĒhe must empty us from vessel to vessel, and¬†change his dealings¬†according to the state of our hearts, our enemies, or our temptations. Our immutable Jesus always pursues one steady¬†course, and has one gracious¬†design¬†towards us‚ÄĒall must work to produce our sanctification, and eternal salvation.¬†

The Lord Jesus will not¬†indulge¬†us‚ÄĒwhen indulgence will harm us. He will only¬†correct¬†us‚ÄĒwhen correction will do us good. His infinite¬†wisdom¬†devises our way, and inconceivable¬†love¬†directs our steps. Creatures, providences, experiences may change‚ÄĒbut Jesus is the same!

His heart is as tender, 
His eye is as penetrating, 
His ear is as attentive, 
His arm is as powerful, 
His presence is as near, 
His name is as sweet, 
His blood is as efficacious, 
His righteousness is as glorious, 
His promises are as certain, 
His oath is as sure, 
His throne is as accessible, 
His love is as great, 
His concern for us is as deep, 
His intercession is as prevalent 
‚ÄĒas it ever was! And will be so through every week, day, hour‚ÄĒyes,¬†minute¬†of the present year! May we always keep this in remembrance!

Beloved, you must¬†trust¬†no one,¬†depend¬†on no one,¬†look¬†to no source either for peace, comfort, or supply, through this year‚ÄĒbut Jesus! He is willing and waiting to supply all your needs, according to his glorious riches! Soul needs, body needs, family needs, church needs; needs in sickness, needs in health; needs at home, needs abroad; needs while living, needs when dying‚ÄĒJesus¬†can,¬†will, yes¬†wishes¬†to supply them all.¬†

He will keep his seat on the¬†throne of grace¬†throughout the whole of the year! You will never find him absent for any one moment, or so engaged‚ÄĒthat he cannot attend to you. He will always be pleased to see you come, and will at all times consider your case. But you must go to him¬†first‚ÄĒbe sure you remember this, for he has a jealous eye!¬†
You must go to him alone, 
you must go to him for all, 
you must go to him frequently, 
you must go to him perseveringly,
and as sure as his name is¬†Jesus‚ÄĒyou shall not go in vain!

I proclaim to you in my Master’s name, that he has everything you can need for body or soul‚ÄĒfor time or eternity! And as his herald I cry, “Ho! everyone who thirsts, and whenever you thirst‚ÄĒcome to the waters, come buy and eat! Yes, come, buy wine and milk‚ÄĒwithout money and without cost!”¬†

I have a complaint against some‚ÄĒthat they have not come¬†often¬†enough; and against others‚ÄĒthat they have gone to some other market! But let me interrogate you a little:¬†
Did ever my Master frown you away? 
Did you ever find him lacking in kindness, pity, or love? 
Did you ever need any blessing which was not to be found in his fullness, or to be had at his throne?
Did you ever do better, or so well anywhere else? 
You must all to a man say,¬†No!¬†Why then do you¬†forsake¬†the fountain of living waters? Why do you¬†wander¬†upon every mountain and hill‚ÄĒand forget your true resting place? Jesus addresses you through me, and says, “O my people, what have I done unto you? Wherein have I wearied you? Testify against me!”

None have come too frequent; no‚ÄĒnor ever will. Come, then, and receive, and so glorify Jesus.

But I must draw to a conclusion, there are seven things I wish you may all more fully EXPERIENCE this year:

His Spirit working in your hearts, 
His blood speaking in your consciences, 
His power subduing your corruptions, 
His blessing resting upon your souls, 
His presence cheering your way, 
His righteousness covering your sins, 
His peace keeping your hearts and minds. 

There are seven things I wish you may know it is your privilege to HAVE this year: 
a name in his book, 
a sight of his covenant, 
a tear in his bottle, 
a place in his heart, 
a title to his fullness, 
a right to his promises, and 
an interest in his prayers.

There are seven things I wish you may DO this year:
weep at his cross, 
wrestle at his throne, 
cleave to his truth, 
walk in his ways, 
aim at his honor, 
comfort his people, and 
spread his fame in every direction.

There are seven things which I wish you may ENJOY this year:
the light of his countenance, 
the power of his love,
the hope of his calling, 
the blessings of his chosen, 
contentment under all dispensations, 
liberty in performing his commands,
and victory over every foe. 

There are seven things from which I hope you may be PRESERVED from, this year:
a hard heart, 
a seared conscience, 
a Laodicean state, 
a proud look, 
an unforgiving spirit, 
an envious eye, and 
from distrusting God. 

And now, brethren, Jesus can¬†give¬†all that I wish you to¬†experience, to¬†know, to¬†enjoy!¬†And he can¬†preserve¬†you from all I wish you to be¬†kept from. But he says, “I will be¬†inquired¬†of, by the house of Israel, to do it for them.” You must ask, seek, knock, plead, wrestle, and agonize at his throne‚ÄĒfor he loves a determined, importunate, perservering beggar; as is evident from Luke 11:1-14; 18:1-9.¬†

“May the Lord bless you
 and protect you.
 May the Lord smile on you
 and be gracious to you.
 May the Lord show you his favor
¬†and give you his peace.”
    Numbers 6:24-26

All that we need drops from His palm!

Grace logo

All that we need drops from His palm!

(James Smith, “The Evening Sacrifice; Or, A Help to Devotion” 1859)

“The eyes of all look to You–and You give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand, and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” Psalm 145:15-16¬†

All our¬†supplies¬†come from God, therefore our¬†dependence¬†should be on Him, and our¬†expectations¬†from Him. Creatures act towards us in kindness and sympathy–according to His direction.¬†

The eyes of all creation are upon the Lord, and all the tribes of His creatures are fed by His hand. How much more, then, should His children look to Him, seek from Him, and expect to be supplied by Him! 

Whatever God does–He does wisely and seasonably; and whatever He gives–is in season. When our needs are felt, and our cry is heard–then our supply is certain. It is but for God to open His hand–and¬†all that we need drops from His palm!¬†When God’s hand opens–our desires will soon be satisfied. Every temporal mercy, every spiritual gift, and all the supplies needed by our souls–lie in the hand of God for us. He loves for us to fix our eyes on Him, to lift up our voice to Him, and seek every blessing from Him.¬†

Merciful Lord, You have fed us this day. Your loving heart and open hand have supplied all our needs. We gratefully acknowledge Your wondrous goodness, and bless You for Your suitable supplies. And now, O Lord, close up the day with us in mercy–give us a sense of Your forgiving love, and faith in Your protecting care. Help us to cast every care on You, and to fall asleep tonight as on a parent’s bosom. Let Your peace pervade us, and inspire us with strong confidence in Your providential protection.

“Behold, as the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress–so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till He shows us His mercy.” Psalm 123:2

 

I am in eternity–and you are on the brink!

Grace logo

I¬†am in eternity–and¬†you¬†are on the brink!

(James Smith,¬†“A Solemn Admonition” 1859)

Passing through a country¬†graveyard¬†the other day, an inscription on a head-stone struck my eye. The stone was by the side of the path, where everyone could see it, and it was placed there in memory of a young man who died at the age of¬†seventeen. It was–

¬†¬† “Reader, one moment,
    Stop, and think:
    That I am in eternity!
¬†¬†¬† And¬†you¬†are on the brink!”

In eternity! A young man, only seventeen years of age, in eternity! 

In a fixed, a changeless, an eternal state!

In Heaven–or in Hell!

Saved with an everlasting salvation–or damned forever!

If it should be the latter–what a fearful supposition! And yet many have gone to Hell–before¬†they have been seventeen years of age!

I¬†am in eternity–and¬†you¬†are on the brink!” Yes, though you may be young, apparently healthy, full of life and vigor–you are on the¬†brink¬†of eternity! A slight accident, or a few days illness–and you are¬†in¬†eternity! What a solemn thought!

What will eternity be to you? 

Where will you be in eternity?

Are your sins pardoned? 
Are you reconciled to God by the death of His Son? 
Are you sanctified by the Holy Spirit–and thus made fit for Heaven?¬†

If not, remember that in Hell, there is . . .
  no gospel,
  no means of grace,
  no way of escape from the wrath of God!
Once there–and your doom is fixed forever!¬†

Think, O think . . .
  Of the dreadful consequences of dying in your sins!
  Of going down to the grave in an unconverted state! 
  Of dying under the curse of God!

“Behold, now is the accepted time!¬†
¬†Behold, now is the day of salvation!”

The Holy Spirit

Grace logo

The Holy Spirit

(James Smith, “The Way of Salvation Set Forth”)

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” John 3:6¬†

The Holy Spirit is the author of the great work of regeneration. He takes up His abode in the renewed heart, as His temple. He dwells in us, and shall be with us. Jesus does all for us, in our justification; and the Holy Spirit does all in us, for our sanctification. 

The Holy Spirit is the source of all holy desires, consistent purposes and good works. There is no good thing in us, but what He produces. He dwells within us as the Teacher, the Comforter and the Advocate of the soul. He leads us . . .
  into truth,
  against Satan,
  and to labor for God. 

He . . .
warns us of evil,
directs us to Jesus, and
applies the blessings of salvation to our souls. 
He is in us as a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 

Without the Holy Spirit there is not, there cannot be, genuine religion; for He is its author, guardian, and guide.

To Him we are indebted . . .
  for every good desire,
  for every holy thought,
  for every good word, and
  for every fruitful work.
He works in us to will and to do of His own good pleasure. 

Every tear of penitence, 
every contrite sigh, 
every fervent prayer, 
every ray of spiritual light, 
every holy emotion toward God
–is from the Holy Spirit.¬†

If He left us–our¬†graces¬†would soon wither, fade and die.¬†

When we grieve Him . . .
  our comforts decline, 
  our evidences are beclouded, 
  and our hands wax feeble. 
But . . .
if we sow to the Spirit,
if we walk in the Spirit,
if we¬†aim¬†in all things to please Him–then . . .
  our souls are vigorous,
  our graces are lively, and 
  we are enabled to find our joy in God. 


The aged believer’s cordial

Grace logo

The aged believer’s cordial

(James Smith)

“Hearken unto Me! I have¬†cared¬†for you since you were born. Yes, I¬†carried¬†you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime–until your hair is white with age.¬†I made you, and I will¬†care¬†for you. I will¬†carry¬†you along and¬†save¬†you!” Isaiah 46:3-4¬†

This passage of Scripture is¬†the aged believer’s cordial. Let us look at the beautiful images employed.

God is our parent–a kind and tender-hearted parent. He is peculiarly attached to¬†His people–they are dear to Him, and precious in His sight. They are His¬†portion. He¬†prizes¬†them above all creation. He is strong to sustain, to defend and support them. His¬†strong arm,¬†tender heart, and¬†watchful eye–are all employed for them–and especially so in old age.

The aged believer is as a¬†child. He is weak. He feels exposed and defenseless. He is timid and fearful. But the Lord, as a tender parent, engages to take him up in the¬†arms of His power–and carry him in the¬†bosom of His love!¬†Like a tender lamb in the shepherd’s bosom on a cold and frosty night, borne across a bleak and snow-covered wasteland–so the believer, in the¬†winter of old age, shall be carried in the bosom of his God, across the bleak and cheerless desert of time.¬†

God will carry him¬†tenderly–hushing the weak one’s fears.¬†
He will bear him¬†carefully–so that nothing shall harm or hurt him.¬†
He will¬†soothe¬†him with gentle words, and¬†encourage¬†him with kind acts–until He safely brings him Home!

Dear aged Christian, you have nothing to fear! Your God says, “I will be your God throughout your lifetime–until your hair is white with age! I am your Father–your Friend–your solace–and your confidence! Look unto Me, even to old age–I will¬†carry¬†you. I will bear you up under all that you feel and fear. I will carry you through all that discourages or distresses you. I will¬†deliver¬†you from foes, fears, dangers and death itself! Nothing shall by any means hurt you! My¬†arm¬†is strong enough–trust in it. My¬†bosom¬†is your resting-place–lean on it,¬†lean hard!¬†Do not be afraid . . .¬†
  love dwells there, 
  pity rules there, 
  your name is engraved there! 
Trust me, I will never leave you nor forsake you!

“Hearken!” Believer, your God bids you to “hearken.” His words are true and faithful.¬†
He speaks to banish your fears. 
He speaks to strengthen your faith. 
He speaks to comfort your poor drooping heart. 
He speaks to clothe your care-worn brow, with the light of hope, with the cheerfulness which confidence imparts. 

Hearken to Him–not to unbelief or carnal reason.¬†
It is the Guide of your youth who addresses you. 
It is your tender Parent who seeks to cheer your heart. 
Hearken, it is your Savior who speaks! 

“As one whom his mother comforts”–so does your God comfort you.¬†
He is¬†near¬†you–near you every moment;¬†
He will¬†carry¬†you–carry you every step;¬†
He will¬†deliver¬†you–deliver you from every danger, trouble and foe!

Reader! have you enjoyed the presence of Jesus today?

Grace logo

Reader! have you enjoyed the presence of Jesus today? 

(James Smith, “A Help to Devotion” 1859)

“Abide with us–for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” Luke 24:29

The presence of Jesus, is the life and the joy of the saints. When we enjoy it–we dread the thought of losing it; and when we have lost it–we cannot rest until we have regained it. That is a gloomy day–in which the presence of Jesus is not enjoyed; and that is a dreary night–when Jesus is absent from us.¬†

Reader! have you enjoyed the presence of Jesus today? 
Has He communed with your spirit, thereby . . .
  strengthening your faith,
  exciting your hope, and
  deepening your comfort? 

If so, I know that your prayer tonight will be, “Abide with me! Yes, precious Lord Jesus, we do beseech You to visit us, converse with us, open up the Scriptures to us, and abide with us. Let us feast our eyes on Your glory–and our hearts on Your grace. With You, we can feel at home–we can be happy anywhere. Without You, we cannot rest, we cannot feel satisfied, we cannot enjoy repose–let us have whatever we may. You have won our heart’s love–You have made yourself the center and source of our comfort. Come, then, and abide with us this evening–and then a blessed evening it will be. Your presence will free us from all our cares, and raise us above all our troubles. Your presence will feast us, refresh us, and make us satisfied with our lot, be it what it may!”

To attempt to murder this infant, is Deicide!

Grace logo

To attempt to murder this infant, is Deicide!

(James Smith, “The Love of Christ! The Fullness, Freeness, and Immutability of the Savior’s Grace Displayed!”)

“Herod is going to search for the child to¬†kill¬†Him!” Matthew 2:13

Christ, our Wondrous Lover met with sorry reception in our guilty, ungrateful world! 

At first He was denied a¬†dwelling–but soon it was determined to deprive Him of¬†existence!¬†O height of folly! O depth of wickedness!¬†To attempt to murder this infant, is Deicide!¬†

Foolish Herod! Shall divine predictions be falsified by you–and shall your lust frustrate God’s eternal purpose to save His people?

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because¬†He will save His people from their sins!”¬†Matthew 1:21


If God is our Father

Grace logo

If God is our Father

(James Smith, “The Children’s Privileges!”)

“You are sons of the living God!” Hosea 1:10

To have God for our Father, is the greatest honor conceivable–and it is an infinite source of comfort and joy!¬†

If God is our FatherHe will love¬†us with a strong and tender love!¬†He may try us and hide His face from us, to correct us for our follies–but He will still love us. Nothing shall separate His child from His love, or sever the bond which unites us to Himself.¬†

If God is our Father–He will bear with our numerous and painful infirmities.¬†Because we are His¬†children–He will put the best construction upon everything. For, “Like as a Father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who love Him. He knows our frame. He remembers that we are dust.” He will accept our imperfect services, because we are but¬†children. He knows our weakness, ignorance, and failings; and He also knows our desire to please Him. And when we can only¬†desire–He accepts the will for the deed.

If God is our Father–He will provide for and take care of usmaking¬†provision¬†for us on earth, while He reserves our¬†portion¬†for Heaven. Will an earthly father leave his child to lack–while he has plenty, and can supply him with the greatest ease? He will not! Neither will our Heavenly Father; but He will supply all our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus!

If God is our Father–He will also protect us from all evilsspiritual and temporal.¬†
Sin 
shall not have dominion over us, 
Satan 
shall not overcome us, 
the world shall not destroy us
–for God will protect us!
He will keep us by His power, through faith unto salvation.

If God is our Father–He will reveal His mind and will to us for our comfort and salvation. He may hide the mysteries of the kingdom from the wise and prudent–but He will reveal them unto His babes. (Matthew 11:25) He will send the Comforter, even the Spirit of truth, who will guide us into all truth.¬†

If God is our Father–He will give us freedom of access into His presence with confidence–so that we may carry all our sins, sorrows, troubles, and temptations to Him, and lay them at His feet; feeling that we have to do with a Father–one who loves us, pities us, and delights to bless us!

If God is our Father–He will make all things work together for our good.¬†
Good¬†things–such as mercies, blessings, and comforts.¬†
Bad¬†things–such as sickness, poverty, reproach, persecution, bereavements, death.
ALL shall work our good, and issue in our eternal welfare. 

If we are children of God–we are heirs of every promise in His Book, and joint-heirs with Jesus Himself!¬†He will give us a Father’s blessing–a blessing worthy of His greatness, majesty, and glory. And He will keep us safe in every danger, and from every foe; so that we shall never perish–but possess and enjoy eternal life.

‘I will be a Father to you,¬†and you will be My sons and daughters,’¬†says the¬†Lord Almighty.”¬†2 Corinthians 6:18


Should it be according to your mind?

Grace logo

Should it be according to your mind? 

(James Smith, “Important Questions!” 1858)

Should it be according to¬†your¬†mind?” Job 34:33

We are prone to be fretful, to complain of the dispensations of Divine Providence, and to reflect harshly upon the Lord’s dealings with us.

We want our own way.

We wish to carve for ourselves.

We would be treated as God’s favorites.

We want our ease, and prosperity, and pleasure, consulted in all things. And if this does not appear to be done–if our¬†wills¬†are crossed, if our¬†schemes¬†are frustrated, if our¬†purposes¬†are broken off–then we stumble, think ourselves badly treated, and look for everybody to sympathize with us.

Under these circumstances, God comes to us–as we sit among our broken cisterns, surrounded by our dethroned idols–and puts this question to us: “Should it be according to¬†your¬†mind?”

  Are you wiser than God?

    Are you kinder than God?

      Are you holier than God?

    Are you more just than God?

  Are you better informed than God?

May not your mind be dark, or selfish, or foolish?

Should it then be according to your mind?

Should you¬†reign–or God?

Remember that . . .
  God acts in the highest wisdom,
  His motives are grace and justice,
  and all His purposes are worthy of Himself.

The least the Christian can do is to submit–and to prefer God’s perfect wisdom, ways, and works–to his own. Seeing God has so arranged all events, that all things must work together for the good of His people–they, at least, should daily say, “Father, may¬†Your¬†will be done!”

O my soul, seek grace from God, not only to submit and be resigned to the dispensations of Divine Providence–but to¬†acquiesce¬†in them, and be¬†pleased¬†with the whole of them! Your good is consulted–your best interests are secured. Soon, very soon, it will be seen that infinite wisdom and mercy, grace and goodness, have marked out¬†every step¬†of your road!

“Jesus replied: You do not understand what I am¬†now¬†doing–but someday you will.” John 13:7

You will soon end your tedious, tiresome journey!

Grace logo

You will soon end your tedious, tiresome journey!

(James Smith, “The Believer’s Companion in Seasons of Affliction and Trouble” 1842)

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they confessed that they were¬†strangers¬†and¬†pilgrims¬†on the earth!” Hebrews 11:13

Every believer is a¬†pilgrim. He is traveling to his Father’s house! He is presently a¬†stranger¬†in a strange land, surrounded by temptations, trials, and foes. His¬†journey¬†lies through a great and terrible wilderness. Therefore he must not expect a very¬†smooth path, or many comfortable accommodations. He will have much to grieve and distress him. His heart will be often burdened with grief, and filled with sorrow ‚ÄĒ tears are common to the Christian. He feels the¬†unsuitableness¬†of the things of time to his spirit, profession, and aim. And therefore he confesses, “I am a stranger and a pilgrim¬†‚ÄĒ as all my fathers were!” Psalm 39:12

Weariness¬†and¬†painfulness¬†are his portion now ‚ÄĒ but a¬†rest¬†remains for him! It is a¬†glorious¬†rest. It embraces and includes all that the believer has prayed for ‚ÄĒ or can desire!¬†
It waits for him at the end of his journey, 
it was prepared for him from the foundation of the world, 
it is now promised to him in the faithful word, and 
it will be bestowed upon him when he has fought the good fight, and finished his course.

Everything at present may appear gloomy and distressing; but ahead of you, believer, everything is glorious, magnificent, and blessed! Press on then ‚ÄĒ fight the good fight of faith. Travel on in the strength of Jesus!¬†You are going home¬†‚ÄĒ and you have a glorious home to go to!¬†

The minute after you have entered your rest ‚ÄĒ you will forget all the¬†fatigue, all the¬†dangers, and all the¬†difficulties¬†of the way! You will perhaps be filled with wonder, that you should ever have allowed such¬†trifles¬†to vex you, or such little trials to discourage you ‚ÄĒ with such a glorious end before you.¬†

Fellow-pilgrim, expect trouble ‚ÄĒ but also expect mercy to help you in time of need! Expect to feel your circumstances to be trying ‚ÄĒ but also expect your Savior’s strength to be perfected in your weakness!¬†You will soon end your tedious, tiresome journey¬†‚ÄĒ and enter into the joy of your Lord!

Never forget you are now a¬†pilgrim¬†‚ÄĒ a¬†stranger¬†‚ÄĒ only a¬†sojourner¬†here in this poor world. Here you have no continuing city ‚ÄĒ but you seek for one to come.¬†

Nothing can make this poor world your rest ‚ÄĒ it will always be a¬†wilderness¬†to you. Be content then, to¬†wait until you get home!¬†There you shall enjoy ‚ÄĒ and always enjoy, all your desires! There will not be one unfulfilled want, wish, or desire there! All will be satisfied ‚ÄĒ all will be full. In a little while ‚ÄĒ you will see the portal of your Father’s house, and hear Him say, “Come in, you who are blessed of the Lord, tarry no longer outside!¬†Come, dwell forever with Me!”

In that hand which was once nailed to the cross for your redemption!

Grace logo

In that hand which was once nailed to the cross for your redemption!

(James Smith, “The Believer’s Companion in Seasons of Affliction and Trouble” 1842)

“The Lord¬†disciplines¬†those He¬†loves, and He¬†punishes¬†every one He accepts as a son.” Hebrews 12:6¬†

Afflicted Christian, you are perhaps tempted to think that God cannot love you ‚ÄĒ or He would not so deeply try you. But the reverse is the case ‚ÄĒ if He did¬†not¬†love you, He might perhaps refuse to try you. But because He loves you, and is a Father to you ‚ÄĒ therefore He corrects you.¬†

All of the Lord’s children need correction!¬†Many of them will not grow without very severe discipline ‚ÄĒ consequently your heavenly Father says, “I will¬†melt¬†them, and¬†try¬†them.” “I will turn My hand upon you ‚ÄĒ and will purge away your dross.”

Look to the generations of old, and see if the Lord’s people in every age have not been¬†an afflicted people.¬†Look at Job, at the prophets, at Lazarus; God tenderly loved them ‚ÄĒ and yet how¬†severely¬†He tried them. He has commanded an earthly parent to chasten his son, and not to let his soul spare for his crying ‚ÄĒ and by this rule He also proceeds. He¬†chastens¬†us ‚ÄĒ that He may not¬†destroy¬†us. There is¬†infinite mercy¬†in your present trial ‚ÄĒ as dreadful as it may appear to you. There was an¬†absolute necessity¬†for it ‚ÄĒ for He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve His redeemed children.

He takes pleasure in the spiritual prosperity of His people ‚ÄĒ and therefore He uses¬†means¬†to promote it. He has received you as a son, and He is now . . .
  using His paternal authority; 
  manifesting His infinite wisdom; 
  fulfilling His gracious covenant; 
  making good His precious promises; 
  and displaying His unutterable love!

Every one who is . . .
  adopted into His family; 
  quickened by His grace; 
¬† and united to Jesus ‚ÄĒ¬†
is made to pass under¬†the rod,¬†and prove the truth of the Scripture which says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous ‚ÄĒ but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”¬†

He chastens you, not for His own pleasure or gratification, but for your profit ‚ÄĒ that you might be a partaker of His holiness. What a¬†gracious design¬†is this ‚ÄĒ every way worthy of God. It affords full proof of His infinite wisdom, care, and love!

Think within yourself:
I could not do without this affliction;
it is sent in love; 
it is intended to do me good; 
it is a proof that I am a child of God
¬†‚ÄĒ and you will then think rightly.¬†

Do not despise the chastening of the Lord, by thinking that you could have done as well without it; or that there was no necessity for it. Depend upon it, you must either be . . .
¬† pained ‚ÄĒ or ruined;¬†
¬† tried ‚ÄĒ or injured;¬†
¬† corrected ‚ÄĒ or lost.¬†

Do not¬†faint¬†when the Lord rebukes you. He has promised you, that as your¬†day¬†is ‚ÄĒ so shall your¬†strength¬†be. He says to you, “Do not fear ‚ÄĒ for I am with you; do not be afraid ‚ÄĒ for I am your God. I will¬†strengthen¬†you; I will¬†help¬†you; I will¬†uphold¬†you with My righteous right hand!” Isaiah 41:10. Precious promise of a faithful God! He made it in love. He has not forgotten it ‚ÄĒ no, He intends to make it good. Yes, He is now making it good to you ‚ÄĒ as tried and afflicted as you are.¬†

The rod which afflicts you, is in the hand of Jesus!¬†In that hand which was once nailed to the cross for your redemption!¬†In the hand of that¬†Friend¬†who¬†loves¬†at all times; and who is a¬†Brother¬†born for adversity. Will Jesus who suffered, bled, and died to redeem you ‚ÄĒ ever¬†hurt¬†you? Surely not! His heart is too tender! His love is too great! “He will not break the bruised reed ‚ÄĒ and He will not quench the smoking flax!” He will bind up the broken heart, and comfort the sorrowful spirit.¬†

You say, “He is sorely trying me!” True ‚ÄĒ but He is only making you fit to partake of the inheritance of the saints in light. They are . . .
  loving strokes, 
  valuable trials, 
  blessed afflictions!
As¬†sharp¬†they may be ‚ÄĒ¬†short¬†they must be.¬†

Humble yourself then under the mighty hand of God; 
mourn before Him; 
surrender all to Him;
plead with Him; 
justify Him ‚ÄĒ and . . .
   the rod will soon fall from His hand, 
   the scourging will soon be over, and 
   peaceable fruits of righteousness will make their appearance. 

Look up to your God, and say:

Submissive to Your will, my God, 
I all to you resign;
I bow before Your chastening rod, 
And mourn, but not repine!

Why should my foolish heart complain,
When wisdom, truth, and love,
Direct the stroke, inflict the pain,
And point to joys above?

How short are all my sufferings here!
How needful every cross! 
Away then, my unbelieving fear,
Nor call my gain, my loss.

A most influential sermon!

Grace logo

A most influential sermon!

(James Smith, “Good News for All” 1860)

“You, however, know all about my teaching,¬†my way of life,
 and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my
¬†patience, my love, and my endurance.” 2 Timothy 3:10¬†

A holy life is a most influential sermon!

“You ought to live holy and godly lives!” 2 Peter 3:11

See the cause of my happiness

Grace logo

See the cause of my happiness

(James Smith, “My Savior!” 1860)

My soul, meditate for a few moments on what Jesus¬†is¬†to you, and what Jesus has¬†done¬†for you. Look back and glance at the¬†circumstances¬†in which He found you ‚ÄĒ and the¬†deliverance¬†which He wrought for you.

1. The¬†circumstances¬†in which Jesus found you.¬†Jesus found me¬†out of the way. God by His law had marked out a way in which His creatures should walk ‚ÄĒ its character was holiness, and its end His glory. But all we like sheep had gone astray, we had turned every one to his own way. We were in the path of death and destruction, and on the way to Hell.¬†

We were not only out of the way ‚ÄĒ but we were¬†enslaved. We were . . .
  slaves of sin,
  the drudges of the world, and
  led captive by the Devil at his will. 

We were¬†diseased¬†‚ÄĒ as well as enslaved. We were¬†leprous¬†from head to foot. We had the¬†plague of the heart!¬†The whole head was sick, and the whole heart was faint.¬†

We were¬†imprisoned, as well as diseased. We were shut up in unbelief and sin. Our cell was cold and damp, dark and narrow ‚ÄĒ and our imprisonment was not merely for a few years ‚ÄĒ it was forever!¬†

We were dead, though still conscious, and to some things alive. Dead in trespasses and sins. 

In this state we were ‚ÄĒ and we loved it well. We neither desired, nor sought deliverance.¬†Left to ourselves¬†. . .
  we would have wandered on in darkness, until we had perished in our sins; 
  we would have continued the slaves of sin and Satan forever;
  our disease would have preyed upon our vitals to all eternity; 
  our prison walls would have enclosed us still; 
  we would have remained dead in sin, 
  we would have suffered all the pangs of damnation forever!

2. The deliverance which Jesus wrought for you. Jesus saved me!

He saved me from the roaring lion, who goes about seeking to devour me!

He saved me from my raging lusts, so that sin shall not have dominion over me!

He saved me from righteous wrath, and I, being justified by His blood, shall be saved from wrath through Him!

He saved me from¬†death, the ‘king of terrors,’ depriving the¬†monster¬†of his sting, and giving me the victory over him!

He has also saved me from the¬†flaming furnace of Hell¬†‚ÄĒ from that lake of fire, and those¬†floods of flame¬†in which the lost must welter forever!

See the cause of my happiness¬†‚ÄĒ¬†
I have a Savior! 

A Savior who is divine. 
A Savior who has ever loved me. 
A Savior who lived, labored, and died for me. 
A Savior who pleads for me before the throne of His Father. 
A Savior who is in His Father’s house, preparing a place for me.¬†
A Savior who will soon come and receive me to Himself, that so I may be forever with Him! Yes, I have a Savior ‚ÄĒ one who . . .
  watches over me, 
  walks through the wilderness with me, 
  and rejoices to do me good.

Reader, have you a Savior? 
Can you use these two precious words,¬†“My Savior”?¬†
Have you realized that you were lost? 
Have you fled to His cross? 
Have you fallen into His arms? 
Have you been cleansed by His blood, and clothed in His righteousness? 
Do you possess His Holy Spirit? 

Make sure work, O make sure work!
Eternity is just at hand!
Death is coming!
Judgment follows!
And then ‚ÄĒ an¬†eternity of happiness or woe!
Your eternal all depends on having Jesus for your Savior!
No one can save you but Jesus. 
No one can . . .
  support you in sickness,
  comfort you in death, or
¬† give you victory over the grave ‚ÄĒ but Jesus!

You are walking in the midst of snares and traps!

Grace logo

You are walking in the midst of snares and traps!

(James Smith, “The Pastor’s Morning Visit”)

“Be very careful, then, how you walk!”¬†Ephesians 5:15

To honor Jesus in your thoughts, words, and every action‚ÄĒshould be your constant aim.

You are in an enemy’s land; surrounded by temptations; and have a heart that is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked!¬†

This present world is not your home!¬†Satan’s family¬†are not to be your intimate friends. Riches, honors, or pleasure‚ÄĒare not to be your objects of pursuit.¬†You are walking in the midst of snares and traps!¬†Be watchful, prayerful, depending upon Jesus, and cultivating fellowship with Him.

O keep your eye on Jesus, as your example! Walk by His Word‚ÄĒas your rule. Do not be venturesome or presumptuous, but avoid the very appearance of evil. Never leave the Lord’s ways‚ÄĒto join the world’s vanities or to please a carnal lust. Keep close to Jesus‚ÄĒand follow on to know the Lord.¬†

Walk as a beloved child, who going home to his loving Father’s house!¬†“Be very careful, then, how you walk!”

Carry all your concerns to Him‚ÄĒin the arms of faith!

Grace logo

Carry all your concerns to Him‚ÄĒin the¬†arms of faith!

(James Smith, “The Pastor’s Morning Visit”)

“Casting all your care upon Him‚ÄĒbecause¬†He cares for you!” 1 Peter 5:7

The Lord¬†knows¬†all His people‚ÄĒall their needs, and all their trials.

He¬†thinks¬†upon them‚ÄĒto bless, deliver and supply them.¬†

He keeps His¬†eye¬†upon them‚ÄĒin all places, at all times, and under all circumstances.

He has them in His¬†hand‚ÄĒand will not loosen His hold.

He looks upon them always as His own ‘treasured possession’ . . .
  the objects of His eternal love,
¬† the purchase of His Son’s blood,
  the temples of His Holy Spirit.

They are precious in His sight! 

He knows they are¬†weak¬†and¬†fearful‚ÄĒand that they have many¬†enemies. He teaches them to cast themselves and all their cares into His hands! And He has given them His promise‚ÄĒthat He¬†will¬†care for them.

It is a¬†Father’s care¬†which He exercises. It is a wise, holy, tender, and constant care. Therefore all will be well with you‚ÄĒonly trust Him.

Believe that He cares for you this day.¬†Carry all your concerns to Him‚ÄĒin the¬†arms of faith!¬†Leave¬†all¬†with Him, persuaded that He will manage all by His infinite wisdom, and bring all to a good outcome by His omnipotent power.

Cast all your cares upon Him‚ÄĒas fast as they come in.¬†

Do not worry about anything. 

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will support you! He will never allow the righteous to be shaken!” Psalm 55:22

Should it be according to your mind?

Grace logo

Should it be according to your mind?

(James Smith, “Important Questions!” 1858)

Should it be according to¬†your¬†mind?” Job 34:33

We are prone to be fretful, to complain of the dispensations of Divine Providence, and to reflect harshly upon the Lord’s dealings with us.

We want our own way.

We wish to carve for ourselves.

We would be treated as God’s favorites.

We want our ease, and prosperity, and pleasure, consulted in all things. And if this does not appear to be done ‚ÄĒ if our¬†wills¬†are crossed, if our¬†schemes¬†are frustrated, if our¬†purposes¬†are broken off ‚ÄĒ then we stumble, think ourselves badly treated, and look for everybody to sympathize with us.

Under these circumstances, God comes to us ‚ÄĒ as we sit among our broken cisterns, surrounded by our dethroned idols ‚ÄĒ and puts this question to us: “Should it be according to¬†your¬†mind?”

Are you wiser than God?

Are you kinder than God?

Are you holier than God?

Are you more just than God?

Are you better informed than God?

May not your mind be dark, or selfish, or foolish?

Should it then be according to your mind?

Should you¬†reign¬†‚ÄĒ or God?

Remember that God acts in the highest wisdom; His motives are grace and justice; and all His purposes are worthy of Himself.

The least the Christian can do is to submit ‚ÄĒ and to prefer God’s wisdom, way, and work ‚ÄĒ to his own. Seeing God has so arranged all events, that all things must work together for the good of His people ‚ÄĒ they, at least, should daily say, “Father, may¬†Your¬†will be done!”

O my soul, seek grace from God, not only to submit and be resigned to the dispensations of Divine Providence ‚ÄĒ but to¬†acquiesce¬†in them, and be¬†pleased¬†with the whole of them! Your good is consulted ‚ÄĒ your best interests are secured; and soon, very soon, it will be seen that infinite wisdom and mercy, grace and goodness, have marked out¬†every step¬†of your road!

“Jesus replied: You do not understand what I am¬†now¬†doing ‚ÄĒ but someday you will.” John 13:7

He cannot love you more!

Grace logo

He cannot love you more!

(James Smith, “The Pastor’s Morning Visit”)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

The Lord cares for His children!
 
He knows our¬†needs‚ÄĒand has promised to supply them.¬†
He knows our¬†foes‚ÄĒand will deliver us from them.¬†
He knows our¬†fears‚ÄĒand will make us ashamed of them.¬†

All creatures and things are in His hand, and at His disposal; all circumstances are under His absolute control. He . . . 
  directs the angel,
  feeds the sparrow,
  curbs the devil, and
  manages the tempest! 

He is your Father‚ÄĒand His love to you is infinite. You are His delight‚ÄĒHis dear child. Will He neglect you? Impossible! Cast then your cares upon Him. Tell out all your desires, fears, and troubles to Him; let Him know everything; keep nothing back. And then in the confidence of faith, expect Him to fulfill His Word, and act a Parent’s part.

Bless Him for all He has given, for all He has promised. Plead with Him for all you may need. But never for one moment, or under any circumstances, distrust Him! He cannot love you more! He is your ever present help. He will rejoice over you to do you good, with His whole heart, and with His whole soul.

“Cast all your care upon Him, because He cares about you!” 1 Peter 5:7

The time has come for my departure!

Grace logo

The time has come for my departure!

(James Smith, “The Better Land”)

The time has come for my departure!¬†I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day!” 2 Timothy 4:6-8¬†

Aged believer, the time of your departure will soon come! Do not let your mind be troubled as to . . .
  where you shall die,
  when you shall die,
  or how you shall die!
These are all minor matters ‚ÄĒ and ought not to affect you.¬†

Simply look at¬†death¬†as Jesus did: “Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world ‚ÄĒ and¬†go to His Father!”¬†John 13:1¬†

Why should you regret to leave a poor world like this ‚ÄĒ where sin, sorrow, pain, grief, disappointment, and anxiety meet you at every turn? Why should you be reluctant to go HOME ‚ÄĒ to go to your Father?¬†
Do you not want to see His face? 
Do you not want to enjoy His company? 
Do you not want to be perfectly happy in His presence?

I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far!” Philippians 1:23¬†

My Father’s eye!

Grace logo

My Father’s eye!

(James Smith, “The Pastor’s Evening Visit”)

“Your Father‚ÄĒwho¬†sees¬†in secret.” Matthew 6:6

Can anyone hide himself from the Lord in secret places? 

Can I, under any circumstances, escape His notice? 

Impossible! 

The¬†eye of God¬†has been fixed upon me every second of this day; it is now at this moment fixed fully upon me. But it is¬†my Father’s eye!¬†My Father sees in secret!¬†

He sees my¬†needs‚ÄĒand my¬†woes.¬†

He sees every secret working of my foes‚ÄĒand will save me from them.¬†
He sees every secret influence which is likely to injure me‚ÄĒand will prevent it.¬†

He sees . . .
  the secret workings of my heart,
  my hidden thoughts,
  my unuttered desires,
  my soul conflicts,
  my private temptations. 

But He sees also my secret sins!
Every evil thought, 
every improper action, 
every unfitting¬†word‚ÄĒ
passes under His eye!

Solemn consideration this!

May it make me cautious. May it preserve me. . . 
  from yielding to temptation,
  from nourishing sinful thoughts, and
  from acting inconsistent with my profession. 

My heavenly Father sees me! 

He sees me at this moment!

He sees me every moment!

He sees my most secret motives, thoughts, and purposes!

He who thus sees me‚ÄĒhates every sin with an infinite hatred!


O Lord, There Is None Like You!

When that monster of a man hung!

(James Smith, “The Believer’s Companion in Seasons of Affliction and Trouble” 1842)

“O Lord, there is none like You!” 1 Chronicles 17:20

Truly, our God is without a parallel!

He could dash His enemies to Hell with one word, and drive them to despair. But instead of this, He constantly provides for them–and many of them are fed by Him with the richest blessings of His providence. He . . .

spreads their tables,
supplies their needs, and
pours His favors upon them abundantly–though they . . .
blaspheme His name,
despise the mention of His grace, and
bid Him to depart from them, in disdain!

He preserves them from a variety of dangers, which would otherwise hurry them out of time into eternity.

He bears with them from day to day, and does not allow their wickedness to arouse His ire, to their immediate destruction. Who, besides Jehovah, would thus feed, preserve, warn, and bear with such obstinate, careless, provoking wretches? Surely none!

“What base rebellious wretches they;
And God as strangely kind!”

When, in His own time, any of His enemies are brought to discover their wickedness, feel their danger, desire to escape their deserved doom, and apply to Him–He freely pardons them, and forgets all their past unkindness!

When that monster of a man hung by the side of Jesus on the cross, mocking His dying agonies, reviling His dear name, and endeavoring to add to His tremendous sorrows–Jesus was as silent as one who heard not, as patient as one who felt not, and as kind as one who had been treated with all possible respect! For, no sooner does the bold blasphemer cry, “Lord remember me!” than Jesus answers, “Today you shall be with Me in paradise!”

And can you, O my Savior, freely and fully pardon such a wretch as that? Can you take him in Your arms, to paradise? Can you forget his scarlet crimes, the insults he offered, and the daring wickedness manifested by him but a few minutes before? “O Lord, there is none like You!”

The vile thief enters Heaven, to . . .
the astonishment of angels,
the confusion of devils,
the wonder of glorified saints, and
the honor of the dear, dear Redeemer!

Jesus not only fully pardons the penitent–but He cordially accepts him! He receives him as one of the dear objects of His love, and says to each and every one such, “I have blotted out your sins as a cloud, and your iniquities as a thick cloud!”

He kindly visits them, as though they had never acted unkindly toward Him; and constantly blesses them with spiritual, holy, and eternal blessings. He . . .

clothes them with the garments of His righteousness,
beautifies them with the graces of His Spirit,
comforts them with the promises of His love,
acknowledges them at His throne of grace,
defends them against their cruel and malicious foes,
tenderly expostulates with them when they wander from Him,
mercifully warns them of their dangers and foes,
kindly exhorts them to cleave close to Himself,
wisely corrects them when they wickedly stray, and
will crown them with glory at the end of their race!

And what returns does He frequently get for His kindness and love? Alas! alas! Too often, ingratitude, rebellion, hardness of heart, alienation of affection, forgetfulness of His mercies, and following after other lovers rather than Himself!

“O Lord, there is none like You!” 1 Chronicles 17:20

The Life-Boat Of Free Grace!

The life-boat of free grace!

(James Smith, “The Complaint!” 1864)

“I am cast down!”

And why are you cast down?

“My heart is burdened with a sense of my short-comings! Every duty I perform is so imperfect. Every purpose I form is so soon frustrated. Every hope of seeing better days is so soon beclouded.

My heart is so fearfully depraved.
My life is so unlike the life of Jesus.
My temper is so unholy.
My prayers are so brief and heartless.
My praises are so feeble and fitful.
I do so little good.
I live to so little purpose.
My evidences are so dim.
My prospects are so overcast.
I am harassed sometimes with the fear of death.
I cannot realize the glories of Heaven.
I am dissatisfied with the world ‚ÄĒ and yet glued to it!
I hate sin ‚ÄĒ and yet fall into it!
I am a riddle, a mystery, a mass of inconsistency!
Is it, then, any wonder that I am cast down?”

No, if you look at yourself, and pore over the things you have named ‚ÄĒ then it is no wonder that you are cast down! They are enough to cast anyone down! But if you carry them to the throne of grace, if you there confess them before God, if you look to Jesus to save you from them ‚ÄĒ then, in spite of them ‚ÄĒ you will not long be cast down.

I know it is difficult to do this. There is a natural proneness to pore over such things. One feels at times a secret liking to indulge in gloomy thoughts.

But we must look away from self ‚ÄĒ for if we do not, we shall become anxious, doubting and gloomy! We must run the race, not looking at our imperfections, short-comings, and failures ‚ÄĒ but looking unto Jesus. He knows what we are. He knew what we would be ‚ÄĒ before He called us by His grace; yes, before He shed His blood for us!

He loved us, as sinners.
He died for us, as sinners.
He called us, as sinners.

He saves us, as sinners. He will have all the glory of saving us, and He will get great glory by doing so, because we are such great sinners; and do not, cannot, do anything to repay Him for His wondrous love! Salvation is by free grace ‚ÄĒ from first to last! Believe this, and it will raise up your drooping mind!

The life-boat of free grace has put you on board the vessel of salvation, and that will convey you safely to the port of glory! Do not look at your spiritual destitution, or feebleness, or incapacity, or imperfections ‚ÄĒ but trust in your Pilot, rely on your Captain, and expect His mercy and merit to land you safe in Heaven at last!

As imperfect as you now are, and as imperfect you will be ‚ÄĒ your dying prayer will still be, “God be merciful unto me ‚ÄĒ a sinner!”

Hope in God!
His mercy is great unto the heavens,
His grace is as free as the air,
His love is as changeless as His nature,
His promise is as immutable as His love.

Hope in God, for you shall yet praise Him. He will save you for His own sake, and present you before assembled worlds as a monument of His mercy, and a trophy of His grace!

Angry With God!

Angry with God!

(James Smith)

“The Lord asked: Have you any right to be angry?” Jonah 4:4

Jonah quarreled with his God. And who has not? We may not speak as plainly as he did‚ÄĒbut we have been in the same sullen temper, and manifested the same morose spirit.

Very few are well satisfied with the Lord’s plans.¬†Fewer still are always pleased with the Lord’s works. How many quarrel with His sovereignty! What hard things have been spoken against it! How many complain of His providence‚ÄĒand think it unwise, unkind, and almost unjust!

Beloved, we are often angry with God!

This temper shows itself . . .
in fretfulness,
in complaining,
in sullen gloom.

“Have you any right to be angry?”

Angry with your Father . . .
whose wisdom is infinite,
whose love is as constant as the day, and
who constantly showers His blessings upon you!

Angry with your God, who has . . .
pardoned all your heinous sins,
provided for your innumerable needs,
blessed you with countless spiritual blessings!

Surely it is a sin, a grievous sin, not to be pleased . . .
with all that He does,
with all that He has provided,
and with all that He requires.

“Have you any right to be angry?”

The biggest loser!

The biggest loser!

There are usually two sides:

the one dangerous‚ÄĒthe other safe; the one is uncertain‚ÄĒand the other is sure.

It is always the wisest‚ÄĒto be found on the safe side!

Look at the unbeliever:
He denies the Bible to be God’s book.
He walks by his own reason.
He gratifies his senses and his lusts.
He lives in sin.
He must soon die.
He has no Savior.
He has no true hope.

If the Bible is false‚ÄĒthen he is safe; BUT if the Bible is true‚ÄĒthen he is damned forever!

He is certainly not on the safe side!

There are many things in the Bible which he does not like.
He is prejudiced against it.
It never prophecies good concerning him‚ÄĒbut always evil.
It requires him to change his present sinful course‚ÄĒbut he loves it.
He loves sin‚ÄĒand the Bible condemns it.
He gratifies the lusts of the flesh‚ÄĒand the Bible bids him to mortify them.

In a word, there is as much opposition between the Bible and him‚ÄĒas between light and darkness, holiness and sin, truth and error. Therefore he hates it!

At the best, with him all is uncertain, unsatisfactory, and vexatious.

He is certainly not on the safe side!

Now look at the true Christian:
He believes the Bible to be from God. He has examined it. He has evidence of its inspiration in his heart. He fully believes it.
What the Bible says of himself as a sinner‚ÄĒhe knows to be true.
What it says of Jesus as a Savior‚ÄĒhe has proved to be a fact.
As guilty‚ÄĒhe has applied to God for pardon, and obtained it.
As impure‚ÄĒhe has sought the cleansing operations of the Holy Spirit, and has experienced them.
His guilt is gone‚ÄĒtherefore he has no slavish fears.
His soul is justified‚ÄĒtherefore he has peace with God.
He approves of the inspired precepts‚ÄĒand regulates his life by them.
He carries his cares to God‚ÄĒand is sustained under them.
He realizes that God is his Friend, his Father, and his everlasting Portion.
He is peaceful.
He is often happy.
To him death has no sting‚ÄĒand eternity has no terror.
He knows Jesus as his Savior‚ÄĒand trusts in Him.
He knows God as his Father‚ÄĒand walks with Him.
He knows the Holy Spirit as his comforting Teacher‚ÄĒand listens to Him.

He is, perhaps, more tried than the unbeliever‚ÄĒbut he has supports, consolations, and pleasures‚ÄĒof which the unbeliever knows nothing. He lives to bless others, to honor God, to prepare for a glorious immortality.

He would not change his worst day‚ÄĒfor the unbeliever’s best day!

He is on the safe side!

If the unbeliever should be right‚ÄĒthen the Christian is no loser.

But if the Christian is right‚ÄĒand he is‚ÄĒthen the unbeliever is the biggest loser‚ÄĒan infinite loser!

Reader, on which side are you? There is but one safe side.

There is no safety for a sinner now‚ÄĒbut at the Cross!

There will be no safety at death and judgment‚ÄĒbut in Christ!

He who is on the safe side now‚ÄĒwill be on the safe side then!

There will be no changing sides then!

“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit upon His glorious throne! All the nations will be gathered in His presence, and He will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at His right hand‚ÄĒand the goats at His left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father‚ÄĒinherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world!’ (the safe side)¬†Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones‚ÄĒinto the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons!’ (the perilous side)¬†And they will go away into eternal punishment‚ÄĒbut the righteous will go into eternal life!” Matthew 25:31-46

(James Smith, “The Safe Side!”)

Losses, crosses, disappointments and bereavements.

Steel Quote Logo

“Unto you therefore who believe ‚ÄĒ He is precious!” 1 Peter 2:7

Christ is especially precious to believers ‚ÄĒ when the emptiness of the world is discovered. The soul having tried the world, has found it . . .

false and fickle,
an empty cistern,
a dry well,
a cloud without water,
only vanity and vexation of spirit!

The Christian has experienced that . . .
the world’s pleasures ‚ÄĒ end in pain,
its honors ‚ÄĒ end in disgrace,
and its wealth ‚ÄĒ ends in absolute poverty.

Now turning from the world, to Jesus ‚ÄĒ it finds . . .

solid happiness,
substantial pleasure,
full supplies.

It obtains . . .
a deep and lasting peace which passes all understanding,
unsearchable riches in Christ, and
honors which will never pass away.

O how precious is Jesus, when this world appears to be a valley of tears! Almost everything earthly is at times calculated to . . .

cause sorrow,
fill us with sadness,
and draw forth tears.
Losses, crosses, disappointments and bereavements ‚ÄĒ all conspire to make us sad. Earth is to us a Valley of Achor ‚ÄĒ the place of trouble and sorrow.

Now turning to Jesus, we find a friend who loves at all times, and a brother born for adversity.
He makes up for every loss,
He sanctifies every disappointment,
and He fills for us every relation.

His presence is . . .

like a flowing spring ‚ÄĒ in a dreary desert,
like a cheering fire ‚ÄĒ on a piercing winter’s night,
and like a happy home ‚ÄĒ to the exhausted traveler.

O how precious is Jesus now!

(James Smith, “Christ Precious!” 1861)


Into the Light Adventures

By Sandra Js Photography - Make the rest of your life the best of your life.

Thoughts of a Theist

A blog about Apologetics, Philosophy, Theology, and anything else rattling in my mind.

Living like a green olive tree

This blog is about my walk with God and my love for photography. And just random things too.ūüėú

Love Joy Balance

Life is a balance of holding on and letting go. -Rumi

A New Life

Thoughts On Lessons Learned

Perfect Chaos

The Blog of Philosopher Steven Colborne

TESSEROLOGY

A MOSAIC OF BITS AND PIECES ON TRAVEL, LIFE AND TIMES

Tri Fatherhood

The gentle art of balancing marriage, parenting, and triathlon

%d bloggers like this: