Tag Archives: Puritan Quotes

A lamp for my feet

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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‚ÄĒbut to our feet to mend our walk.¬†
Oh, let us lead Bible lives!

Who are you, O man, to talk back to God?

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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‚ÄĒWhy did you make me like this?” Romans 9:20

“Our God is in heaven and does whatever He pleases.”
 Psalm 115:3 

“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

A sleeping lion

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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‚ÄĒare 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‚ÄĒHis¬†
vial of wrath is all this while filling; His sword is 
all this time sharpening. Though God may forbear 
with men a while‚ÄĒyet 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‚ÄĒbut the¬†
lion will awake at last, and roar upon the sinner!

“Yes, Lord God Almighty, Your punishments are
¬†true and just.” Revelation 16:7

Adultery Pollutes

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She is a common sewer!

(Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments.¬†

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‚ÄĒso 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‚ÄĒa 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‚ÄĒbut that we should keep our¬†souls¬†pure. To have a chaste body‚ÄĒbut 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 bleeding‚ÄĒso 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‚ÄĒyet 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 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!” Proverbs 7:21-23.¬†

(5.) Adultery is a drain upon the purse; it wastes not the body only‚ÄĒbut 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‚ÄĒno 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. Lev 20:10; Deut. 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‚ÄĒthis 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 is to make a joyful¬†entrance‚ÄĒbut 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‚ÄĒyet¬†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‚ÄĒthe¬†torment¬†an eternity!” Who for a cup of pleasure‚ÄĒwould 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‚ÄĒbut 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‚ÄĒand 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‚ÄĒ 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‚ÄĒto 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‚ÄĒis the highest degree of hatred! The immoral person stands upon the threshold of hell; and when¬†death¬†gives him a push‚ÄĒhe 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 Pet 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‚ÄĒand then she¬†took. Gen 3:6. First she¬†looked‚ÄĒand 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‚ÄĒnot 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 Cor. 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!” Psalm 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 serpent, when danger is near‚ÄĒguards 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‚ÄĒpeople 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‚ÄĒare tempters‚ÄĒand 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 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. 

(9) 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.” Jer. 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‚ÄĒclouds the mind, chokes good affections, and provokes lust. “I discipline my body and bring it under strict control.” 1 Cor. 9:27. The¬†flesh pampered‚ÄĒis liable to immorality.

(10) 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.

(11) 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‚ÄĒbut¬†loving¬†a wife‚ÄĒ which makes a man live chastely. He who loves his wife, whom 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.

(12) 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.

(13) 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‚ÄĒis 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.”

(14) 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‚ÄĒ“all eye.” The¬†clouds¬†are no canopy, the¬†night¬†is no curtain‚ÄĒto hide you from God’s eye! Whenever you sin‚ÄĒyour Judge looks on! “I have seen your detestable acts‚ÄĒyour adulteries and your neighings.” Jer. 13:27. “They have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives. I know it and am a witness to it! declares the Lord.” Jer. 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.” Eccl. 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 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‚ÄĒbut frown on those who¬†went out. So the harlot¬†smiles¬†on her lovers as they¬†come¬†to her‚ÄĒbut 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‚ÄĒbut the¬†comfort¬†remains; but when he has been wicked and immoral, the¬†pleasure¬†is gone‚ÄĒbut the¬†sting¬†remains. “He gains momentary pleasure‚ÄĒbut 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‚ÄĒI 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‚ÄĒhave recourse to the blood of Christ, which is the “fountain open, to cleanse from sin and impurity.” Zech. 13:1. A soul¬†steeped¬†in the briny tears of repentance, and¬†bathed¬†in the blood of Christ‚ÄĒis made pure! Say, “Lord, my soul is defiled! I pollute all I touch! O purge me with hyssop‚ÄĒlet Christ’s blood sprinkle me, let the Holy Spirit anoint me. O make me pure, that I may be taken to heaven‚ÄĒwhere I shall be as¬†holy¬†as You would have me to be‚ÄĒand ashappy¬†as I can desire to be!”

The Delilah in the bosom!

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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‚ÄĒit 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”‚ÄĒthat¬†
sin which my heart would soonest decoy and flatter me 
into. As in the hive there is one master bee‚ÄĒso 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‚ÄĒthen 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‚ÄĒis¬†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‚ÄĒto 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!” Gen 42:35. So says¬†
the sinner, “This and that sin I have left‚ÄĒbut must¬†Benjamin¬†go¬†
too? Must I part with this delightful sin? That goes to my heart!”

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‚ÄĒthat he might run¬†
the faster. Just so, the sin which you wore as a crown of gold 
must be thrown away‚ÄĒthat 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‚ÄĒin the forefront of the battle to be slain. By plucking¬†
out this¬†right eye‚ÄĒyou will see the better to go to heaven!


The Trojan horse

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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‚ÄĒall¬†
sin begins at the heart. Lust is first conceived in the 
heart‚ÄĒand 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‚ÄĒif our own hearts did not give consent.
 All that 
he can do is to lay the bait‚ÄĒbut 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‚ÄĒmyself!”

Beware of the¬†bosom traitor‚ÄĒthe flesh. The heart¬†
of a man is¬†the Trojan horse‚ÄĒout of which comes¬†
a whole army of lusts! O let us pray to be delivered 
from the lusts and deceits of our own heart! 

Murder all his hearers at once!

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¬†‚ÄĒof 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‚ÄĒbut lives bad‚ÄĒdoes 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‚ÄĒthat can be to a people; for his enormities, his wickednesses, will have the strongest influences upon the souls and lives of men‚ÄĒto make them eternally miserable.¬†

His falls will be the fall and ruin of many; for people are prone to . . .

live more by examples‚ÄĒthan by precepts;
mind more what the minister does‚ÄĒthan what he says;
eye more how he walks‚ÄĒthan how he talks.

Let a minister be ever so learned, solid, quaint, elegant, zealous, judicious, sententious, etc.‚ÄĒyet 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‚ÄĒthan 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

Tears Of Repentance

Tears Of Repentance

(Charles Spurgeon)

“As she stood behind Him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them!” Luke 7:38

O that our eyes were as ready with tears of repentance as were hers! O that our hearts were as full of love as hers and our hands as ready to serve the forgiving Lord!

If she has exceeded some of us in the heinousness of her sin–yet she has exceeded all of us in the fervency of her affection!

I Bequeath My Pastor’s Soul To The Devil!

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.

Covetousness being idolatry–is highly provoking to God.

This leprosy has infected all sorts and ranks of men.

Whatever a man loves most and best–that is his god. 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 the world and worldly things. If the world is in the heart–it will break out at the lips. A worldly-minded man speaks mostly of 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

Hold your hand in this fire!

Hold your hand in this fire!

(Ralph Venning, “The Plague of Plagues!” 1669)

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account!” Hebrews 4:13

Take heed of what men call secret sins. There are only too many who continue in wickedness, because as they think, no one knows how wicked they are. They are drunkards–but it is in the night. They are immoral–but it is in the dark. Their mystery of iniquity trades in the works of darkness and in the dark. Indeed, if men could sin and no eye see them–then they might sin securely; but this is a falsehood as well as a mistake.

Once a young maiden was tempted to be unchaste. The person who solicited her, promised to do great things for her if she would yield.

“I will,” he said, “do anything for you!”

“Will you?” she said, “then hold your hand in this fire!”

“Oh, that is unreasonable!” he answered.

“But,” she replied, “it is much more unreasonable that I should burn forever in Hell for your sake! Who would venture his soul to eternal torment–to gratify his own or another’s pleasure and lust?”

We cannot escape God’s sight–any more than we can escape His judgment. He sees us, though like Adam and Eve we cover ourselves with fig-leaves. And He will one day call to us, as He did to them, “Sinner–where are you?”

You cannot flee from His presence. You may more easily hide from yourselves–than from God.

I hope you will say, for I am sure you will see cause to do so, “How shall I do this wickedness–and sin against God!”

“Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him? Do not I fill heaven and earth?” Jeremiah 23:24

Worse Than Devilish!

Worse than devilish!

(Ralph Venning, “The Plague of Plagues!” 1669)

“Fools mock at sin!” Proverbs 14:9¬†

Those who mock at sin, are worse than fools and madmen!

Tell them, as Lot told his sons-in-law of the danger and judgments which hang over their head–and, as with Lot, you seem to them as one who jokes. Genesis 19:14. They laugh at it, as if God were not in earnest when He threatens sinners–and as if those who preach against sin were deranged.¬†

“To do evil, is like sport to a fool!” Proverbs 10:23.

There are some who sport themselves on their way to Hell–as if sin were but a recreation! What fools are they–who laugh at their own folly and destruction! It is a devilish nature in us, to mock at the calamity of others–but to laugh at our own calamity, seems to be worse than devilish!

There are many, too many, who mourn under affliction–yet laugh over their sins! They sigh and weep when they feel any burden on their body–but make merry at that which destroys their soul! Can anything be more mad than this–to laugh, mock and make sport at that which eternally wrongs and damns their own souls!

The wicked laugh over their sin now. But if they do not repent–then they will weep forever in Hell over it!

When will it be my time to be eaten?

When will it be my time to be eaten?

(Charles Spurgeon)

All men persist in thinking all men mortal, but themselves.

If there were a great monster in our city, which ate ten of the inhabitants alive every day–we would be dreadfully miserable, especially if we never knew when it would be our turn to be devoured!

If we were certain that it would eat all in our city by-and-bye, but would only eat ten in a day–we would all tremble as we passed by the huge monster’s den, and say, “When will it be my time to be eaten?” This would cast a dark cloud over the whole metropolis, blacker than its usual fog.

But here is a monster, DEATH, which devours its hundreds at its meal. With its iron tongue, the funeral knell keeps crying out for more! Its greedy and insatiable throat is never filled–its teeth are never blunted–and its ravenous hunger is never satisfied.

And though it will be our turn by-and-bye to be devoured of this great monster–yet how little do we think about it!

All men persist in thinking all men mortal, but themselves.

Dear wife, farewell!

Dear wife, farewell!

(An excerpt from a letter by Christopher Love, to his wife, on the morning of his execution)

My most gracious beloved,
I am now going from a prison to a palace! I have finished my work. I am now to receive my wages. I am going to Heaven! Rejoice in my joy. The joy of the Lord is my strength. O, let it be yours also!

Dear wife, farewell! I will call you wife no more! I shall see your face no more! Yet I am not much troubled–for now I am going to meet the Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom I shall be eternally married!

Your dying, yet most affectionate friend until death,
Christopher Love
August 22, 1651, the day of my glorification!

“Hope, Yet No Hope. No Hope, Yet Hope”

“Hope, Yet No Hope. No Hope, Yet Hope”

Charles Spurgeon

Most people are not seeking to escape from the wrath to come, they are busy in worldly things while hell is near them. They are like idiots catching flies on board a ship which is in the very act of sinking!

We see many people busy about their bodies, decorating themselves, when their soul is in ruin. They are like a man painting the front door, when the house is in flames! Men are in a restless pursuit after satisfaction in earthly things.

They will hunt the purlieus of wealth, they will travel the pathways of fame, they will dig into the mines of knowledge, they will exhaust themselves in the deceitful delights of sin, and, finding them all to be vanity and emptiness, they will become very perplexed and disappointed.

But they will still continue their fruitless search.

Though wearied, they still stagger forward under the influence of spiritual madness, and though there is no result to be reached except that of everlasting disappointment, yet they press forward with much ardor.

Living for today is enough for themРthat they are still alive, that they possess present comforts and present enjoyments, this contents the many.

As for the future, they say, “Let it take care of itself.”

As for eternity, they leave others to care for its realities; the present life is enough for them.

Their motto is, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

They have no forethought for their eternal state; the present hour absorbs them.

Carnal minds pursue with all their might earth’s vanities,¬†and when they are wearied in their pursuit they but change¬†their direction, and continue the idle chase.

They turn to another and another of earth’s broken¬†cisterns, hoping to find water where not a drop was¬†ever discovered yet.

Father and mother, if I am damned ‚ÄĒ it is by copying the example you placed before me!

Father and mother, if I am damned ‚ÄĒ it is by copying the example you placed before me!

(Archibald Brown, “Do Not Sin Against the Child!” 1870)

“Do not sin against the child!” Genesis 42:22

One way of sinning against a child is by bad example. The characters of the parents are carefully watched and imitated by their children.

You profess, dear friend, to be a Christian, and your child knows you are a member of this church. He has seen you partake of the Lord’s supper ‚ÄĒ and then, when you have gone home, he has in a moment detected the discrepancy between your behavior at church ‚ÄĒ and your daily life at home. The angry temper ‚ÄĒ the selfish spirit ‚ÄĒ the worldly conversation ‚ÄĒ all these have been so many sins against the child! By some evil example seen by them in early life, an impression may be made upon their souls, the effects of which will remain to their dying day ‚ÄĒ and beyond!

Oh, how dreadful the thought, that by our own hypocritical lives we may be sinning against the little darlings we often feel we could die for. God forbid, that at the last great day, any of our children should turn to us with blanched cheek and say, “Father and mother, if I am damned ‚ÄĒ it is by copying the example you placed before me!”

You may also sin against the child by neglecting the means of its salvation. Do you have to confess before the Lord, that the eternal interests of your children find but a small space in your PRAYERS? O do not sin so against the child ‚ÄĒ he is worth praying for!

What are you DOING to try and bring them to Jesus? Do you ever, with the tear in your eye, tell them of the love of Jesus? Have you ever tried to show them their need of a Savior, and pointed them to Him who said, “Let the little children to come to Me?”

These are solemn questions, for I say to you dear parents in all love and from the very depths of my heart, “If you neglect the means for bringing your little ones to Christ, you are sinning against the child ‚ÄĒ and his blood will be required of you!” “If you do not teach them ‚ÄĒ the devil will.”

O friends, it is a crying shame, that in our prayer meetings there are to be found men who pray as if they were dying to see the world converted ‚ÄĒ and yet never pray for their own children! It is a sad, sad fact that there are many who seem wondrously in earnest about the conversion of strangers ‚ÄĒ who yet let their own children go to Hell without a warning or entreaty!

A Holy New Year’s Resolution!

A Holy New Year’s Resolution!

(Matthew Henry)

“My times are in Your hand!” Psalm 31:15

Firmly believing that my times are in God’s hand, I here submit myself and all my affairs for the ensuing year, to the wise and gracious disposal of God’s divine providence. Whether God appoints for me . . . .

health ‚ÄĒ or sickness,
peace ‚ÄĒ or trouble,
comforts ‚ÄĒ or crosses,
life ‚ÄĒ or death

‚ÄĒ may His holy will be done!

All my time, strength, and service, I devote to the honor of the Lord Jesus ‚ÄĒ and even my common actions. It is my earnest expectation, hope, and desire, my constant aim and endeavor ‚ÄĒ that Jesus Christ may be magnified in me.

In everything I have to do ‚ÄĒ my entire dependence is upon Jesus Christ for strength. And whatever I do in word or deed, I desire to do all in His name, to make Him my Alpha and Omega. I have all from Him ‚ÄĒ and I would use all for Him.

If this should prove a year of affliction, a sorrowful year to me ‚ÄĒ I will fetch all my supports and comforts from the Lord Jesus and stay myself upon Him, His everlasting consolations, and the good hope I have in Him through grace.

And if it should be my dying year ‚ÄĒ then my times are in the hand of the Lord Jesus. And with a humble reliance upon His mediation, I would venture into the eternal world looking for the blessed hope. Dying as well as living ‚ÄĒ Jesus Christ will, I trust, be gain and advantage to me.

Oh, that the grace of God may be sufficient for me, to keep me always in a humble sense of my own unworthiness, weakness, folly, and infirmity ‚ÄĒ together with a humble dependence upon the Lord Jesus Christ for daily grace and strength.

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!”)

Novels

Novels

As to novels, I join with every other moral and religious writer in condemning, as the vilest trash, the greater part of these productions, which have carried a turbid stream of vice over the morals of mankind.

Novels . . .

corrupt the taste,
pollute the heart,
debase the mind,
demoralize the conduct.

Novels throw prostrate the understanding; sensualize the affections; enervate the will; and bring all the high faculties of the soul into subjection to a wild imagination.

Novels generate a morbid, sickly sentimentalism, instead of a just and lovely realism.

A wise man should despise novels, and a godly man should abhor them!

(James, “The Christian Father’s Present to His Children”)

Noah’s Ark

Noah’s Ark!

“HE wiped out every living thing that was on the surface of the ground, from mankind to livestock, to creatures that crawl, to the birds of the sky, and they were wiped off the earth! Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark!” Genesis 7:23

Finally, the frightful morning began! The heavens gathered blackness. Angry tempests conflicted in the skies. The lightnings flashed over the world! Word was spread, that Noah and his family had entered into the ark. The ungodly then began to fear!

Before long, floods of water poured from the sky. Some now began to turn their eyes towards the ark; others stood doubting; others still dared to scoff!

The waters go on to increase. The rivers fill–and start to overflow. The waters begin to rise in the streets. Some flee into their houses; others, more intimidated, hasten to the hills! Others are now convinced, and with dreadful fright, are seen wading towards the ark!

The fountains of the great deep are now broken up! The waters rise more rapidly, and begin to rush with impetuous force. With difficulty they stand against the stream. They struggle for their lives to reach the ark! Thousands come–some wading, some swimming, some sinking, some hanging onto the ark with the grasp of death–all screaming for admission!

But it is too late! Time was, when the ark was open and they might have entered in–but that time is past! Where are now those tongues which derided the enormous vessel and the man who built it? Now what do you think of him–who for more than a century has borne the character of a fool and madman! They would give a thousand worlds–to be in his condition now!

Those nearest to the ark, cry and plead for admission, but in vain! The waters roar! The ark is lifted up! They sink and are seen no more!

By this time, every wretch on earth is thoroughly convinced. Hear their cries from the tops of the houses, which are answered by wails from those on the hills. See the multitudes who have fled to the mountains. How like frightened sheep they crowd together! Now the waters, roaring and foaming, have reached their feet! They flee up to the highest ridge–but the floods pursue them there! Some are able to climb the lofty oaks–and the waves overtake them there! They flee to the highest branches, and for a moment have time to reflect on their former madness: “How could I disbelieve the Lord’s prophet? Where is now the ark which I scorned? Where am I going? O eternity! eternity! What a dreadful God have I despised!” On the topmost bough, the impetuous torrent sweeps them away! Their hold is broken–and they sink to rise no more!

The ark floats by–and sails over the heads of the revilers and persecutors! Only that blessed family in the ark are safe!

The same terrors will seize an unbelieving world when Jesus comes again! “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and swept them all away! That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man!” Matthew 24:37-39

(Edward Griffin,

Such weather vane preachers are worthless!

Such weather vane preachers are worthless!

A weather vane preacher is any preacher who changes what he preaches or how he preaches when the wind changes direction. The preacher who alters his message or his method because of the ever-changing advice, counsel, and opinions of men is not a leader, but a follower. Such weather vane preachers are worthless! They only do harm to the souls of men, and they need not preach at all. True, gospel preachers are pillars in the church of God ‚ÄĒ not puppets in the hands of men.

“On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.” 1 Thessalonians 2:4

“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage ‚ÄĒ with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths!” 2 Timothy 4:2-4

(Frank Hall)

A Cheap, Easy Christianity

A cheap, easy Christianity

“Any of you who does not give up everything he has, cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33

What does it cost to be a Christian?

I grant freely that it costs little to be a mere outward Christian. A man has only got to attend a place of worship twice on Sunday, and to be tolerably moral during the week ‚ÄĒ and he has gone as far as thousands around him ever go in religion. All this is cheap and easy work ‚ÄĒ it entails no self-denial or self-sacrifice. If this is saving Christianity and will take us to Heaven when we die ‚ÄĒ we must alter the description of the way of life, and write, “Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to Heaven!”

But it does cost something to be a real Christian, according to the standard of the Bible. There are . . .

enemies to be overcome,
battles to be fought,
sacrifices to be made,
an Egypt to be forsaken,
a wilderness to be passed through,
a cross to be carried,
a race to be run.

Conversion is not putting a man in a soft armchair, and taking him pleasantly to Heaven. It is the beginning of a mighty conflict, in which it costs much to win the victory. Hence arises the unspeakable importance of “counting the cost.”

True Christianity will cost a man . . .

his self-righteousness,
his sins,
his love of ease, and
the favor of the world.

A religion which costs nothing ‚ÄĒ is worth nothing!

A cheap, easy Christianity, without a cross ‚ÄĒ will prove in the end a useless Christianity, without a crown!

(J.C. Ryle, “The Cost!”)

A truly thoughtful person.

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Some people seem to have a genius for making others miserable! They are continually touching sensitive hearts, so as to cause pain. They are always saying things which sting and irritate. If you have any bodily defect, they never see you without in some crude way, making you conscious of it. If any relative or friend of yours has done some dishonorable thing, they seem to take a cruel delight in constantly referring to it when speaking with you. They lack all delicacy of feeling, having no eye for the sensitive things in others, which demand gentleness of treatment.

Thoughtfulness is the reverse of all this. It simply does not do the things which thoughtlessness does. It avoids the painful subject. It never alludes to a man’s clubfoot or humpback, nor ever casts an eye at the defect, nor does anything to direct attention to it or to make the man conscious of it. It respects your sorrow–and refrains from harshly touching your wound. It has the utmost kindliness of feeling and expression. A truly thoughtful person, is one who never needlessly gives pain to another.

Thoughtfulness does not merely keep one from doing thoughtless things; it also leads to continued acts of kindness and good will. It ever watches for opportunities to give pleasure and happiness. It does not wait to be asked for sympathy or help–but has eyes of its own, and sees every need, and supplies it unsolicited. When a friend is in sorrow, the thoughtful man is ready with his offer of comfort. He does not come the next day, when the need is past–but is prompt with his kindness, when kindness means something.

Thoughtfulness is always doing little kindnesses. It has an instinct for seeing the little things that need to be done, and then for doing them!

There are some rare Christians who seem born for thoughtfulness. They have a genius for sympathy. Instinctively they seem to understand the experiences of pain in others, and from their heart, there flows a blessing of tenderness which is full of healing. This is the highest and holiest ministry of love. It is not softness nor weakness; it is strength–but strength enriched by divine gentleness.

Thoughtfulness is one of the truest and best tests of a noble Christian character. It is love working in all delicate ways. It is unselfishness which forgets self, and thinks only of others. It is love which demands not to be served, to be honored, to be helped–but thinks continually of serving and honoring others. He who has a truly gentle heart, cannot but be thoughtful. Love is always thoughtful.

(J. R. Miller, “The Grace of Thoughtfulness” 1896)

Where is there a more sinful spot to be found upon our guilty globe?

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“When disaster comes to a city‚ÄĒhas not the LORD caused it?” Amos 3:6

It concerns us all to seriously reflect upon our own sins, and the sins of our land‚ÄĒwhich have brought these calamities upon us.

We and our countrymen are sinners, aggravated sinners! God proclaims that we are such‚ÄĒby His judgments now upon us: by withering fields and scanty harvests, by the sound of the trumpet and the alarm of war!

O my country, is not your wickedness great, and your iniquities infinite? Where is there a more sinful spot to be found upon our guilty globe? Pass over the land, take a survey of the inhabitants, inspect into their conduct‚ÄĒand what do you see? What do you hear?

You see the gigantic forms of vice bidding defiance to the God of heaven‚ÄĒwhile true religion and virtue are forced to retire, to avoid public contempt and insult!

You see herds of drunkards swilling down their cups, and drowning all morality within them!

You hear the swearer venting his fury against God‚ÄĒtrifling with that Name which prostrate angels adore, and imprecating that damnation, under which the hardiest devil in hell trembles and groans!

You see avarice hoarding up her useless treasures, dishonest craft planning her schemes of unlawful gain, and oppression unmercifully grinding the face of the poor!

You see prodigality squandering her stores! You see luxury spreading her table!

You see vanity laughing aloud and dissolving in empty, unthinking mirth; regardless of God, of time and eternity!

You see sensuality wallowing in carnal pleasures, and aspiring, with perverted ambition‚ÄĒto sink as low as her four-footed brethren in the stalls!

You see cards more in use than the Bible; the backgammon table more frequented than the table of the Lord; novels and romances more read‚ÄĒthan the history of the blessed Jesus!

You see trifling, and even evil diversions and amusements, become a gigantic business! The outcome of a horse-race is more anxiously attended to‚ÄĒthan the concerns of eternity!

And where these grosser forms of vice do not shock your senses‚ÄĒyou often meet with the appearances of a more refined impiety, which is equally dangerous!

You hear the conversation of reasonable creatures, of candidates for eternity‚ÄĒ engrossed by trifles, or vainly wasted on the affairs of time! These are their important subjects of conversation, even at the threshold of the house of God!

You see swarms of prayerless families all over our land! You see ignorant, wicked children, unrestrained and untaught by those to whom God and nature have entrusted their souls!

You see the holy religion of Jesus‚ÄĒabused, neglected, disobeyed, and dishonored by its professors!

You see crowds of professed believers, who are in reality, practical atheists! These nominal Christians are really unholy heathens! They are abandoned slaves of sin‚ÄĒwho yet pretend to be the servants of the holy Jesus!

You see multitudes lying in a deep sleep in sin all around us! You see them eager in the pursuits of the vanities of time‚ÄĒbut stupidly unconcerned about the important realities of the eternal world just before them! So few are concerned what shall become of them‚ÄĒwhen all their connections with earth and flesh must be broken, and they must take their flight into strange, unknown regions! So few lamenting their sins! So few crying for mercy and a new heart! So few flying to Jesus!

(Samuel Davies, “The Justice of God‚ÄĒand the Sins of Our Country” 1755)

If You Dare!

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“Then I saw a great white throne‚ÄĒand HIM who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from His presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened . . . If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life‚ÄĒhe was thrown into the lake of fire!” Revelation 20:11, 12, 15

What an astonishing scene is this! The stable earth and sky cannot bear the majesty and terror of His look; they fly away affrighted! This is the Judge before whom we must stand; and this is the manner of His appearance!

But is this the babe of Bethlehem‚ÄĒwho lay and wept in the manger?

Is this the supposed son of the carpenter, the despised Galilean?

Is this the man of sorrows?

Is this He who was . . .

arrested,
condemned,
buffeted
,
spit upon,
crowned with thorns,
executed as a slave and a criminal, upon the cross?

Yes, it is Him! The very same Jesus of Nazareth!

But oh how changed! How deservedly exalted! Heaven and earth flee before Him!

Now let his enemies appear and show their contempt and malignity!

Now, Pilate‚ÄĒcondemn the King of the Jews as a usurper!

Now, you Jews, raise the clamor, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Now bow the knee in scorn, spit in His face, and buffet Him! Now tell the scourged impostor that He must die!

Now despise His grace,
now laugh at His threatenings, and
now make light of His displeasure‚ÄĒif you dare!

Ah! now their courage fails, and terror surrounds them! Now they try to hide in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. Now they call 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! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

But, alas! That LAMB who once bled as a sacrifice for sin‚ÄĒnow appears in all the terrors of a LION! Oh! could they hide themselves in the bottom of the ocean, or in some rock that bears the weight of the mountains‚ÄĒhow happy would they think themselves!

(Samuel Davies, “The Universal Judgment!”)

The characteristics of the modern Christian pulpit!

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“John said to the crowds coming out to be baptised by him: You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath! Produce fruit in keeping with repentance!” Luke 3:7-8

Well would it be for the Church of Christ, if it possessed more plain-speaking ministers like John the Baptist.

A morbid dislike to strong language;
an excessive fear of giving offence;
a constant flinching from directness and plain speaking;

are, unhappily, too much the characteristics of the modern Christian pulpit!

Uncharitable language is no doubt always to be deprecated. But there is no ‘charity’ in flattering unconverted people ‚ÄĒ by abstaining from any mention of their vices, or in applying smooth names to their damnable sins!

There are two texts which are too much forgotten by Christian preachers. In one it is written, “Woe unto you ‚ÄĒ when all men shall speak well of you!” (Luke 6:26)

In the other it is written, “Obviously, I’m not trying to be a people pleaser! No, I am trying to please God. If I were still trying to please people ‚ÄĒ I would not be Christ’s servant.” (Galatians 1:10)

(J.C. Ryle)

More fit to be called a devil than a parent!

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“Bring them up in the training and instruction¬†of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)

Parents! Your example and life are a continual and powerful sermon, which is always seen by your children!

Parents! Your children have an everlasting inheritance of happiness to attain–and it is that which you must bring them up for. They have an endless misery to escape–and it is that which you must diligently teach them. If you don’t teach them to know God, and how to serve Him, and be saved, and to escape the flames of hell–you teach them nothing, or worse than nothing. It is in your hands to do them the greatest kindness or cruelty in all the world! Help them to know God and to be saved, and you do more for them than if you helped them to be kings or princes. If you neglect their souls, and bring them up them in ignorance, worldliness, ungodliness, and sin–you betray them to the devil, the enemy of souls, even as truly as if you sold them to him! You sell hem to be slaves to Satan! You betray them to him who will deceive them and abuse them in this life–and torment them in eternity!

If you saw but a burning furnace, much more the flames¬†of hell–would you not think that man or woman more fit to be called a devil than a parent, who could find in their hearts to cast their child into it? What monsters then of inhumanity are you, who read in Scripture which is the way to hell, and who they are that God will deliver up to Satan, to be tormented by him–and yet will bring up your children in that very way, and will not take pains to save them from it!

If you love them, show it in those things on which their everlasting welfare depends. Do not say you love them–and yet lead them unto hell! If you do not love them, yet do not be so unmerciful to them as to damn them! You cannot possibly do more to damn them, than to bring them up in . ..

ignorance,
carelessness,
worldliness,
sensuality and
ungodliness!

There is no other way to hell. And yet, will you bring them up in such a life–and say that you do not desire to damn them?

But if you train up your children in ungodliness, you may as well say that you intend to have them damned! And is not the devil more excusable, for dealing thus cruelly to your children–than you who are their parents, who are bound by nature to love them, and prevent their misery?

Let me seriously speak to the hearts of those careless and ungodly parents, who neglect the holy education of their children. Oh, do not be so unmerciful to those who you have brought into the world! Oh, pity and help the souls that you have defiled and undone! Have mercy on the souls that must perish in hell, if they are not saved! Oh help them that have so many enemies to assault them! Help them that have so many temptations to pass through; and so many difficulties to overcome; and so severe a judgment to undergo! Help them that are so weak, and so easily deceived and overthrown! Help them speedily; before sin hardens them, and Satan makes a stronger fortress in their hearts!

Oh be not cruel to their souls! Do not sell them to Satan, and that for nothing! Do not betray them not by your ungodly negligence to hell! If any of them will perish, let it not be because of you–who are so much bound to do them good. The undoing of your children’s souls is a work much fitter for Satan, than for their parents!

(Richard Baxter, “Motives for a Holy
and Careful Education of Children
“)


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