Tag Archives: Reformed Quotes

A diligent pupil in the College of Contentment

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A diligent pupil in the College of Contentment 

(Charles Spurgeon)

“I have learned in whatever state I am, therewith to be¬†content.” Philippians 4:11¬†

These words show us that contentment is not a¬†natural propensity¬†of man. Grumbling, discontent, and murmuring are as natural to man–as weeds are to the soil. We need not sow thistles and weeds; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to earth. Just so, we need not teach men to¬†complain; they complain fast enough without any education.¬†

“Ill weeds grow quickly.” But the precious¬†things of the earth must be cultivated. If we would have¬†wheat, we must plough and sow; if we want¬†flowers, there must be the garden, and all the gardener’s care.¬†

Now,¬†contentment¬†is one of the¬†flowers of Heaven, and if we would have it–then it must be cultivated, as it will not grow in us by nature. It is the new nature alone which can produce contentment–and even then we must be especially careful and watchful, that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in us.¬†

Paul says, “I have learned… to be content;” as much as to say, that he did not know how at one time. It cost him some pains to attain to the mastery of that great truth. No doubt he sometimes thought he had learned, and then broke down. And when at last he had attained unto it, and could say, “I have learned in whatever state I am, therewith to be content,” he was an old, grey-headed man, upon the borders of the grave–a poor prisoner shut up in Nero’s dungeon at Rome.

We might well be willing to endure Paul’s infirmities, and share the cold dungeon with him–if we too might by any means attain unto his high degree of contentment. Do not indulge the notion that you can learn contentment without discipline. It is not an ability that may be exercised naturally–but a grace to be acquired gradually. We know this from experience. Brother, hush that murmur, natural though it be–and continue¬†a diligent pupil in the College of Contentment.

People never reject the Bible because they cannot understand it

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People never reject the Bible because they cannot understand it

(J.C. Ryle, Thoughts For Young Men)

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed!” John 3:19-20¬†

Be very sure of this–people never reject the Bible because they cannot understand it.¬†

They understand it only too well! They understand that it condemns their own behavior. They understand that it witnesses against their own sins, and summons them to judgment! They try to believe it is false and useless–because they don’t like to believe it is true.

An evil lifestyle must always raise an objection to this holy book. 

Men question the¬†truth¬†of Christianity–because they hate the¬†practice¬†of it!

“For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie, and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12¬†

The Bible is always a new book to those well acquainted with it!

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The Bible is always a new book to those well acquainted with it!

(Arthur Pink, “The Divine Inspiration of the Bible“)

Although one may know, word for word, the entire contents of some chapter of Scripture; and although he may have taken the time to thoughtfully ponder every sentence therein–yet, on every subsequent occasion, provided one comes to it again in the spirit of humble inquiry, each fresh reading will reveal new¬†gems¬†never seen there before and new¬†delights¬†will be experienced never met with previously. The most familiar passages will yield as much refreshment at the thousandth perusal–as they did at the first!¬†

The Bible has been likened to a fountain of living water–the fountain is ever the same, but the water is always fresh!

The line between the Church and the world seems completely effaced and forgotten!

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The line between the Church and the world seems completely effaced and forgotten!

(J.C. Ryle, 1884)

“For if the trumpet makes an¬†uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle?” 1 Corinthians 14:8¬†

We need a more certain sound about personal holiness. I fear that the standard of holy living is lower just now than it has been for many years. Professing Christians seem unable to realize that there is anything inconsistent in ball-going, theater-going, gambling, card-playing, excessive dressing, novel-reading, and an incessant round of gaiety and amusements! 

The line between the Church and the world seems completely effaced and forgotten!

A crucified life of self-denial and close walking with God, a life of real devotedness and zeal for holy living–is hardly ever to be seen!¬†

Yet surely our Lord meant something when He spoke of “taking up the cross!”¬†

Surely Paul meant something when he said, 
¬† “Come out from among them and be separate!”¬†
¬† “Be not conformed to this world!”¬†
¬† “Without holiness no man shall see the Lord!”¬†

If Christ returns the second time in this generation, we shall find His words about the days of Noah and Lot fully verified. Those days are upon us!

“Just as it was in the days of¬†Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all!”
“It was the same in the days of¬†Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all!” Luke 17:26-29¬†

“Ask for the¬†old paths, where the good way is–and walk in it. Then you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16

What is most needed today!

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What is most needed today!

(Arthur Pink)

It is my deepening conviction that what is most needed today is a wide proclamation of those Scripture truths which are the least acceptable to the flesh.

What is needed today, is a scriptural setting forth of the character of God:
   His absolute sovereignty,
   His ineffable holiness,
   His inflexible justice,
   His unchanging veracity.

What is needed today, is a scriptural setting forth of the condition of the natural man:
   his total depravity,
   his spiritual insensibility,
   his inveterate hostility to God,
¬†¬† the fact that he is “condemned already,” and
   that the wrath of a sin-hating God is even now abiding upon him!

What is needed today,¬†is a scriptural setting forth of the¬†alarming danger which sinners are in–the indescribably awful doom which awaits them; and the fact that if they follow their present course only a little further, they shall most certainly suffer the due penalty of their iniquities!

What is needed today, is a scriptural setting forth of the nature of that dreadful punishment which awaits the lost:
   the dreadfulness of it,
   the hopelessness of it,
   the unendurableness of it,
   and the endlessness of it! 

Overcoming the world!

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Overcoming the world!

(Arthur Pink, “Faith as an Overcomer“)

“For everyone who has been¬†born of God¬†overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our¬†faith.” 1 John 5:4

One of the fruits of the new birth, is a faith which not only enables its possessor to overcome the sensual and sinful customs, and the carnal maxims and policies by which the profane world is regulated–but also the lying delusions and errors by which the¬†professing¬†world is fatally deceived.

The only thing which will or can “overcome the world” is a God-given–but self-exercised faith.

Faith overcomes the world¬†firstly, by receiving into the heart God’s infallible testimony of the world. He declares that “the world” is a corrupt, evanescent, hostile thing, which shall soon be destroyed by Him. His Holy Word teaches that the world is “evil” (Galatians 1:4); that “all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father–but is of the world” (1 John 2:16); that “the whole world lies in wickedness” (1 John 5:19) and shall yet be “burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). As faith accepts God’s verdict of the world, the mind is spiritually enlightened; and its possessor views it as¬†a worthless, dangerous,¬†and¬†detestable thing!

Faith overcomes the world¬†secondly, by obeying the Divine commands concerning it. God has bidden us, “Do not be conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2); “Do not love the world, nor the things that are in the world” (1 John 2:15); and warns us that “Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world, becomes an enemy of God.” (James 4:4). By heeding the Divine precepts, its¬†magic spell¬†over the heart is broken.

Faith overcomes the world¬†thirdly, by occupying the soul with more glorious, soul-delighting and satisfying objects. The more the¬†substance¬†of spiritual realities engages the heart–the less hold will the¬†shadows¬†of the world have upon it. “For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10).

Faith overcomes the world¬†fourthly, by drawing out the heart unto Christ. As it was by fleeing to Him for refuge, that the soul was¬†first¬†delivered from the power and thraldom of this world–so it is¬†throughout¬†the Christian life. The more we cultivate real communion with Christ–the less attraction will the¬†baubles of this world¬†have for us! The strength of temptation lies entirely in the bent of our affections, “for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21). While Christ is beheld as “the chief among ten thousand” (Song 5:10) and as “altogether lovely” (Song 5:16) –the things which charm the poor worldling, will repel us.

The world gains the victory over the unregenerate by captivating their affections and capturing their wills. But the Christian overcomes the world, because his affections are set upon Christ and his will is yielded to Him.

Here–then, we have a sure criterion by which we may determine our¬†Christian progress¬†or¬†spiritual growth. If the things of this world have a decreasing power over me–then my faith is becoming stronger. If I am holding more lightly the things most prized by the ungodly–then I must be increasing in an experimental and soul-satisfying knowledge of Christ. If I am less cast down when some of the riches and comforts of this world are taken from me–then that is evidence they have less hold upon me.¬†

Go dogs, and eat the garbage!

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Go dogs, and eat the garbage! 

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.
 For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?
 Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?
 What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? 
Therefore come out from them and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be My sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18¬†

I believe that one reason why the church at this present moment has so little influence over the world, is because the world has so much influence over the church! Nowadays, we hear mere professors pleading that they may do this, and do that–that they may live like worldlings. My sad answer to them, when they crave this liberty is, “Do it if you dare. It may not cost you much hurt, for you are so bad already. Your worldly cravings show how rotten your hearts are! If you are hungering after such dog’s food–go dogs, and eat the garbage!

Worldly amusements are fit food for pretenders and hypocrites. 

If you were God’s children, you would loathe the thought of the world’s evil joys. Your question would not be, “How far may we be like the world?” but your cry would be, “How can we get away from the world? How can we come out of it?”

“Whatever is¬†true,
 whatever is noble,
 whatever is right,
 whatever is pure,
 whatever is lovely,
 whatever is admirable,
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy
–think about such things!” Philippians 4:8

Think of all the hard things there are in your life

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Think of all the hard things there are in your life

(Susannah Spurgeon, “Words of Cheer and Comfort for Sick and Sorrowful Souls!” 1898)

“Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm.¬†There is nothing too hard for You!”¬†Jeremiah 32:17

“Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: I am the LORD, the God of all mankind.¬†Is anything too hard for Me?”¬†Jeremiah 32:26-27

Dear reader, your difficulties and trials may not be similar to those of “the weeping prophet”–but they are very¬†real, and seemingly¬†insurmountable¬†to you. It is a fact that, of yourself, you can neither¬†overcome¬†nor¬†endure¬†them. So I want to remind you that the Lord’s hand is not shortened–that what was true of His power in Jeremiah’s time, is as certainly true today. Whatever present¬†hardship¬†may press upon you, or whatever¬†burden¬†may be weighing you down–you, yes,¬†you¬†may look up to Him with confident faith, and say,¬†“There is nothing too hard for You!”

Oh, the blessed peace which such an assurance brings! I do not know what your particular¬†sorrow¬†or¬†hardship¬†may be–but I do know that, whatever its nature–cruel, or bitter, or hopeless–it is as “nothing” to Him! He is able to deliver you–as easily as you can call upon Him for support and help.¬†

Now, dear friend, think of all the hard things there are in your life: 
  poor circumstances,
  difficult duties,
  grievous pains,
  sore struggles,
  bitter disappointments,
  harsh words,
  sinful thoughts,
  a hard heart of your own,
  a hard heart in others. 
Gather all these, and many more together, and pile them one on another until you have¬†one great mountain of afflictions–and your God still calmly asks the question:¬†“Is there anything too hard for Me?”

When our hearts are¬†weary¬†of life’s cares and crosses, when our¬†courage¬†flags because of our helplessness, and we cry out with the patriarch,¬†“All these things are against me!”–then what a support and stronghold is the fact that our God has all power in heaven and on earth!¬†There is nothing too¬†mighty¬†for Him to manage–there is nothing too¬†insignificant¬†to escape His notice!Jeremiah’s faith . . .
  sees no obstacles, 
  stumbles at no hindrances,
  faints under no burden,
  shrinks from no responsibilities
–because he realizes the¬†sublime Omnipotence¬†of God, and fortifies himself by calling to remembrance His “outstretched arm” in the¬†creation¬†of the heavens and the earth. Cannot¬†we¬†do likewise?

I took up a book in a leisure moment the other day, opened it carelessly, and this is what I read: “It is a scientifically proved fact, that this great globe on which we live, spins around on its axis at the rate of a thousand miles an hour, and propels through space in its orbit at a speed immensely greater!”¬†

The thought of this, seemed almost to take away my breath! Was I calmly and constantly living in¬†the swirl of such a stupendous miracle¬†as this? Then surely I could say, “Ah, Lord God! there is nothing too hard for You! My little troubles and afflictions–howsmall¬†they must be to You! Yet with what tender compassion, do You stoop from guiding the worlds in their courses–to support and comfort the hearts of those who fear You!”

Never let us give up in despair, while we have¬†such a God¬†to trust in. If there is a great¬†mountain of sorrow or difficulty¬†in your way, dear friend–do not be cast down by the darkness of its shadow. Your God can either make a way for you¬†through¬†it–or He can guide you¬†around¬†it–or, just as easily, He can¬†carry you right over it!¬†There is nothing too hard for Him! Expect Him to make the crooked things straight, and to bring the high things low. And while you keep humbly at His feet, He will work wondrously, and you shall see His salvation!

No sin can be little!

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No sin can be little!

(John Bunyan)

No sin can be little, because it is committed against the great God of heaven and earth. 

To commit little sins–the sinner must find a little god!¬†

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the¬†forgiveness¬†of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace!” Ephesians 1:7

“The blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from¬†all¬†sin.” 1 John 1:7

Tenderly and graciously does He deal with us!

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Tenderly and graciously does He deal with us!

(Francis Bourdillon, “A Psalm of Blessing!” 1864)

“For He knows how weak we are–He remembers we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone–as though we had never been here! But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear Him.” Psalm 103:14-17

The¬†shortness¬†and¬†uncertainty¬†of our lives–our weakness, frailty, and sinfulness–God knows them all.¬†Tenderly and graciously does He deal with us!¬†In His great mercy and compassion, He . . .
  bears with us;
  raises us when we fall;
  strengthens us when we are weak; and
  helps, guides, sustains and comforts us. 

He has . . .
  a perfect knowledge of our needs, 
  an unspeakable compassion for them,
  and full power to supply them all.

His mercy is everlasting. It will never wear out–and never come to an end.¬†

As for us, we are frail and short-lived. Let but a few years pass, and . . .
  the strongest will have fallen to the sythe of death,
  the longest-lived will have all passed away, and
  our own course here below will have come to a close. 
“Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone–as though we had never been here!”¬†

Not so is the mercy of the Lord, and the things which He has prepared for those who love Him. They are from everlasting to everlasting. His promises will never fail. Jesus is . . .
  an all-sufficient Savior,
  an unfailing Advocate,
  an everlasting portion!

Well may every believer join with the Psalmist in rejoicing and praising God,
¬†¬† “Praise the¬†LORD, O my soul–all my inmost being, praise His holy name!
¬† ¬†¬†Praise the¬†LORD, O my soul–and do not forget all His benefits!”¬†Psalm 103:1-2

A man who hears many sermons

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A man who hears many sermons

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Oh, how I love your law! I¬†meditate¬†on it all day long!” Psalm 119:97

It is well to¬†meditate¬†upon the things of God–because it is only by¬†pondering¬†the Scriptures, that we get the real nutriment out of them.¬†A man who hears many sermons–is not necessarily well-instructed in the faith. We may read so many religious books that we overload our brains, and they may be unable to work under the weight of the great mass of paper and of printer’s ink.

The man who reads but one book, and that book his Bible, and then meditates much upon it–will be a better scholar in Christ’s school than he who merely reads hundreds of books, and does not meditate at all!

Oh, that we might get into the very¬†heart¬†of the Word of God–and get that Word into ourselves!¬†

As I have seen the silkworm eat into the leaf and consume it, so ought we to do with the Word of the Lord–not crawl over its surface, but eat right into it until we have taken it into our inmost parts. It is idle merely to let the eye glance over the words, or to recollect the poetic expressions, or the historic facts; but it is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last, you come to talk in Scriptural language, and your very style is fashioned upon Scripture models–and, what is better still, your spirit is redolent with the words of the Lord!

“Your words were found, and I devoured them, and Your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart!” Jeremiah 15:16¬†

“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth;¬†meditate¬†on it day and night, so that you may be careful to¬†do¬†everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful!” Joshua 1:8

The one who profits me most!

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The one who profits me most!

(Arthur Pink)

“Be an example to all believers . . .
  in what you teach,
  in the way you live,
¬† in your love, your¬†faith and your purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

I will name some of the criteria by which I measure the helpfulness of a preacher or writer to my own soul. 

The one who profits me most, is the man . . .
  whose ministry brings the most awe of a holy and sovereign God into my heart,
  who reveals my sinfulness and failures to me,
  who conveys the most light on my path of duty,
  who makes Christ most precious to me,
  who encourages me to press forward along the narrow way.

“Watch your life and doctrine closely.” 1 Timothy 4:16

Alas, how cold are our hearts, how trifling are our thoughts, how small is our zeal and love!

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Alas, how cold are our hearts, how trifling are our thoughts, how small is our zeal and love! 

(Francis Bourdillon, “We Need Stirring Up!” 1864)

“For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to¬†stir you up¬†by reminding you!” 2 Peter 1:12-13¬†

We need stirring up–not so much to be taught something new, as to be stirred up as to what we have learned already.¬†

Most of us have long ago been taught the facts and doctrines of the gospel. Probably we know them well. Perhaps we are even firmly “established in the present truth.” We have learned of¬†Heaven¬†and¬†Hell¬†and¬†eternity. We have been taught our lost estate as sinners, and that Jesus died for sinners–that His precious blood has atoned for sin, that He has opened the way for us to the throne of grace and to acceptance with God. We have heard of¬†death¬†and of¬†judgment–and of the uncertainty of life and the shortness of time. We have been told . . .
¬† of Satan’s devices,
  of the value of prayer,
  of the mercy and love of God in Christ,
  and of the work of the Spirit.

What is our spiritual state, after so much teaching?¬†Alas, how cold are our hearts, how trifling are our thoughts, how small is our zeal and love!¬†How little we have of deep sorrow for sin–and how little sincere faith in Jesus! Where are the fruits of the Spirit in us? Where is . . .
  that deep concern,
  that earnest desire,
  that prayerfulness,
  that watchfulness,
  that warmth of feeling,
¬† that pressing toward the mark–
which might be expected in those who have learned such things?

We need stirring up! 

We should stir ourselves up by the Word of God. 
Let us apply it to ourselves and take it as if addressed to us.
Let us not listen to it or read it carelessly–but as¬†the message of God to us!¬†
Let us not be¬†hearers¬†only–but¬†doers¬†of the Word . . .
¬† receiving it as God’s message,
  pondering it in our minds,
  applying it to ourselves,
  believing it, and
  striving to live by it!

Let us also pray for the¬†quickening influence of God’s Holy Spirit. This alone can really . . .
  stir the depths of our hearts,
  rouse us from spiritual sloth and 
  give us new earnestness and zeal!

How loudly and persuasively does His conduct preach!

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How loudly and persuasively does His conduct preach!

(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

“He who says he abides in Christ, ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” 1 John 2:6

It was highly important and desirable that the Lord Jesus should not only¬†describe¬†Christianity in His discourses, but¬†exemplify¬†it in His life and conduct. In Him, we see pure and undefiled religion embodied. In Him, Christianity lives and breathes. How convincing, how animating is our Savior’s example!¬†How loudly and persuasively does His conduct preach!¬†

Would you learn submission to parental authority? See Him, notwithstanding His exalted character, cheerfully subjecting Himself to the will of His parents; and laboring with them, as a carpenter, for almost thirty years. 

Would you learn contentment with a poor and low condition? See Him destitute of a place where to lay His head. 

Would you learn active beneficence? See Him going about doing good. 

Would you learn to be fervent and constant in devotional exercises? See Him rising for prayer before the dawn of day. 

Would you learn in what manner to treat your brethren? See Him washing His disciples’ feet.¬†

Would you learn filial piety? See Him forgetting His sufferings, while in the agonies of death–to provide another son for His desolate mother.¬†

Would you learn in what manner to pray for relief under afflictions? See Him in the garden of Gethsemane. 

Would you learn how to bear insults and injuries? See Him on the cruel cross!

In short, there is no Christian grace or virtue, which is not beautifully exemplified in His life. 

There is scarcely any¬†situation, however perplexing, in which the Christian, who is at a loss to know how he ought to act–may not derive sufficient instruction from¬†the example of his divine Master.

“Leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21

Do you ask why He is angry?

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Do you ask why He is angry? 

I answer:

He is angry to see rational, immortal and accountable beings–spending twenty, forty, or sixty years in trifling and sin; serving numerous idols, lusts, and vanities, and living as if death were an eternal sleep!¬†

He is angry to see you forgetting your Maker in childhood, in youth, in manhood–and making no returns for all His benefits.

He is angry to see you casting off His fear and rebelling against Him–who has nourished and sustained you.¬†

He is angry to see you laying up treasures on earth–and not in Heaven.¬†

He is angry to see you seeking everything in preference to the one thing needful.

He is angry to see you loving the praise of men more than the praise of God; and fearing those who can only kill the body, more than Him who has power to cast both soul and body into Hell.

He is angry to see that you disregard alike His threatenings and His promises, His judgments and His mercies. 

He is angry that you bury in the earth the talents He has given you, and bring forth no fruit to His glory. 

He is angry that you neglect His Word and His Son, and perish in impenitency and unbelief.

These are sins of which every person, in an unconverted state, is guilty. And for these things God is angry–daily¬†angry,¬†greatlyand¬†justly¬†angry! And unless His anger is speedily appeased, it will most certainly prove your everlasting destruction!

Some professors of religion are like the catbird!

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Some professors of religion are like the catbird!

(Charles Naylor, “How to Fertilize Love” 1920)

There are very many things that may choke¬†out love in the home. One of these is the¬†lack of kindness. If you have grown less kind in your feelings, in your actions, and in your words–then love cannot thrive. Kindness is one of the best fertilizers for love.¬†

There are so many people who have two sets of¬†tones¬†in which to speak–and two sets of¬†manners¬†in which they act. They have their¬†company¬†manners–and their¬†family¬†manners. When they have company–then the voice is soft and pleasant, and the manners are agreeable and kindly. They treat their friends with the greatest consideration; but as soon as their friends are gone, the pleasant voice changes into crossness or harshness and fault-finding–and the pleasantness of manner disappears! In how many homes is this true!

The greater¬†consideration, the greater¬†kindness–is due the¬†home¬†folks. Otherwise, love cannot flourish. If you wish to have love for your home folks–then you must show them the¬†consideration¬†that is due them.

Some professors of religion are like the catbird!
¬†When it is away from its nest–then it is one of the sweetest of the northern warblers; but when it is close to its nest–then you will hear only a harsh, discordant note. It has no sweetness in its voice while at its nest.

In the same way, some people reserve all their kindness, tenderness, and sweetness–for those¬†outside¬†the family circle. Is it any wonder that love dies in such a home?¬†

“Love must be without hypocrisy.” Romans 12:9¬†

A clean path to Hell!

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A clean path to Hell!

(Charles Spurgeon)

Unbelief will destroy the best of us!

Faith will save the worst of us!

There is¬†a clean path to Hell–as well as a dirty one.¬†

You will be lost if you trust to your good works–as surely as if you trusted in your sins.¬†

There is a road to perdition along the ‘highway of morality’–as surely as down the ‘slough of vice’!¬†

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us!” Titus 3:5¬†

You have a heart fit to do the deed!

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You have a heart fit to do the deed!

(J.C. Ryle, “The Gospel of Luke” 1858)

“But they kept shouting:¬†Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”¬†Luke 23:21¬†

Let us often pray that we may thoroughly understand the sinfulness of man’s heart.¬†

Christ is never fully valued–until sin is clearly seen.¬†

We must know the depth and malignity of our disease–in order to appreciate the great Physician.

Few of us, it may be feared, have the least conception of the strength and virulence of the spiritual disease with which we are born! Few entirely realize that “the carnal mind is enmity against God,” and that unconverted human nature, if it had the power–would cast its Maker down from His throne and crucify Him!¬†

The behavior of the Jews before us–is only a picture of what every natural man would do to God, if he only could!¬†

If the bosom of God were within the reach of men, it would be stabbed a million of times in one moment! If the bosom of God were now within your reach, and one blow would rid the universe of God–you have a heart fit to do the deed!”¬†Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Where is Christ in your theological system?

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Where is Christ in your theological system? 

(Charles Spurgeon)

“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning¬†Himself.” Luke 24:27¬†

“These are the Scriptures that testify about¬†Me!” John 5:39¬†

Take this Book and distill it into one word–and that one word will be JESUS! The Bible itself, is but the body of Christ, and we may look upon all its pages as the swaddling bands of the infant Savior–for if we unroll the Scripture, we come upon Jesus Christ Himself.

Where is Christ in your theological system? 
He Himself is . . .
  the Doctor and Doctrine, 
  the Revealer and Revelation, 
  the Illuminator and the Light of men. 

He is exalted in every word of truth, because He is its sum and substance. 

He sits above the gospel, like a prince on His own throne. 

Doctrine is most precious, when we see it distilling from His lips and embodied in His person. 

Sermons are only valuable, in proportion as they speak of Him and point to Him!

Look at it–there is blood still upon the handle!

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Look at it–there is blood still upon the handle!¬†

(Charles Spurgeon)

A sight of Christ on the cross will cause us to hate our sins. 

If you ever, by the¬†eye of faith, see Jesus Christ dying for you–sin will never be sweet to you again.¬†

What was it that slew our blessed Lord? It was our sin!

When we discover that our iniquities put our dearest and best Friend to death, we vow revenge against our iniquities, and henceforth hate them with a perfect hatred. 

Let me illustrate this very simply: 
Here is a¬†knife¬†with a richly carved ivory handle–a knife of excellent workmanship. Yonder woman, we will suppose, has had a dear child murdered by a cruel enemy. This knife is hers, she is pleased with it, and prizes it much. How can I make her throw that knife away? I can do it easily, for that is the knife with which her child was murdered!¬†Look at it–there is blood still upon the handle!She drops it as though it were a scorpion–she cannot bear it. “Put it away,” says she, “it killed my child! Oh, hateful thing!”¬†

Now,¬†sin¬†is such a hateful thing. We play with it until we are told that it was sin which killed the Lord Jesus, who died out of love to us–pure, self-sacrificing love. Then we say, “Hateful thing–be gone! How can I endure you!”¬†

See there the wounds of the Son of God; 
behold the crimson stains on His blessed body;
mark the thorn-crown; 
gaze upon those pierced hands; 
weep over the nailed feet; 
see the deep gash which the lance made in His side! 

Sin did this cruel work–this bloody deed!¬†

Down with our sins!
Drag them to the cross!
Slay them at Calvary!
Let not one of them escape, for they are the murderers of Christ!

“It was you, my sins, my cruel sins,
  His chief tormentors were;
  Each of my crimes became a nail,
¬† And unbelief the spear!”¬†

The Christian is not a good man

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The Christian is not a good man

(Martyn Lloyd Jones)

The Christian is not a good man. 

He is a vile wretch who has been save by the grace of God!

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still¬†powerless, Christ died for the¬†ungodly.” Romans 5:6¬†

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still¬†sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8¬†

“When we were¬†God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son” Romans 5:10¬†

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save¬†sinners–of whom I am the¬†worst!” 1 Timothy 1:15¬†

Oh! look before you, and see where it leads!

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Oh! look before you, and see where it leads!

(Samuel Davies, “Saints Saved with Difficulty; and the Certain Perdition of the Wicked”)

“Enter through the¬†narrow¬†gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But¬†small¬†is the gate and¬†narrow¬†the road that leads to life, and only a¬†few¬†find it!” Matthew 7:13-14

This, my friends, and this alone–is the way of salvation. Is this the way in which¬†you¬†are walking? Or is it the smooth, easy downward road to destruction? You may slide along that without exertion or difficulty, like a dead fish floating with the stream; but¬†oh! look before you, and see where it leads!¬†

Most people . . .
  form some easy system of religion,
  from their own vain imaginations,
  suited to their depraved taste,
  indulgent to their sloth and carnality, 
¬† and favorable to their lusts–
and this they call ‘Christianity’!¬†

But this is not the religion of the Bible! This is not the¬†way to life¬†laid out by God in His Word–but it is¬†the smooth downward road to destruction!

One of the best tests of growth in grace

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One of the best tests of growth in grace

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18

“Grow in grace”–not in¬†one¬†grace only, but in¬†all¬†the Christian graces.¬†

Grow in the starting place of grace, faith. Believe the promises more firmly than you have before. Let faith increase in fullness, constancy and simplicity. 

Grow also in love. Ask that your love may become extended, more intense, more practical, influencing every thought, word and deed. 

Grow likewise in humility. Seek to lie very low, and know more of your own nothingness.

As you grow downward in humility, seek also to grow upward–having nearer approaches to God in¬†prayer¬†and more intimate¬†fellowship with Jesus.¬†

To know Him is “life eternal”–and to advance in the knowledge of Him is to increase in happiness. Whoever has sipped this wine will thirst for more; for although Christ satisfies–yet it is such a satisfaction that the appetite is not only satisfied, but invigorated.

If you know the love of Jesus–then will you pant after deeper draughts of His love.¬†
If you do not desire to know Him better–then you do not love Him at all, for love always cries,¬†“Nearer, nearer!”¬†

Seek to know more of Him . . .
  in His divine and human natures,
  in His sin-atoning work,
  in His excruciating death for you,
  in His present glorious intercession,
  and in His future royal coming in glory! 

Remain by the cross, and search the mystery of His wounds!

An increase of love for Jesus, and a more perfect apprehension of His love for us–is¬†one of the best tests of growth in grace.

Its tones fall like soothing music on the quivering heart!

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Its tones fall like soothing music on the quivering heart!

(J.R. Miller)

“His disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it–and went and told Jesus.” Matthew 14:12

When one dies in our home, and our hearts are breaking–we should go and tell Jesus. It will do us good to tell Him.

We may not care to tell our trouble to any human friend. Some sorrows are too sacred to be unveiled to any eyes. 

But we need never shrink from telling Jesus. He can understand our grief, for He knows all human pain; not alone as God–but as man, for He experienced all sorrow. He will treat our sorrow, too, with most delicate gentleness.

The very words which others speak to comfort us–often fall with crude impact upon our bruised heart and give fresh pain. The gentlest touch of a human hand, often hurts where it is meant to help. But the¬†voice¬†of Jesus is so gentle that¬†its tones fall like soothing music on the quivering heart, and the¬†hand¬†of Jesus is so skillful that its touch gives healing.

We need never fear to tell Jesus of our sorrow. He is the truest Comforter, and the wisest Healer of hurt hearts.

Nothing more than the common consent of fools!

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Nothing more than the common consent of fools!

(Charles Spurgeon)

Any kind of fad which rules the hour, draws a mad crowd after it. No matter how absurd or ridiculous the mania, the worshipers of fashion cry: “These are your gods!” Yes, Satan is marvelously well obeyed by his servants!

Yet many of you church people look around on society–to follow its customs and fashions.¬†

You watch the general current–and then float upon it.

You study the popular breeze–and shift your sails to suit it.¬†

You ask:¬†“Is it fashionable?”¬†
If it is fashionable, then you must do it. 

Fashion is the law of multitudes–but it is¬†nothing more than the common consent of fools!

To follow the fashions and customs of the times, is to be an enemy of God.

“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?
¬†Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world, becomes an enemy of God!” James 4:4¬†

A head full of froth!

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A head full of froth!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“I hate¬†vain thoughts–but I love Your law!” Psalm 119:113

Many of you know more about your¬†magazines¬†and¬†novels–than what God has written in His holy Word!

Many of you will read a¬†novel¬†from the beginning to the end, and what have you got?¬†A head full of froth¬†when you are done! But you cannot read the Bible–that solid, lasting, substantial, and satisfying food goes uneaten,¬†locked up in the cupboard of neglect–while anything that¬†man¬†writes, a best-seller of the day–you greedily devour!

“Turn away my eyes from looking at¬†worthless¬†things!” Psalm 119:37¬†

Sinners in Hell are not the fools they were on earth!

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Sinners in Hell are not the fools they were on earth!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Then He will say to those on His left: Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the¬†eternal fire¬†prepared for the devil and his angels!” Matthew 25:41

Sinners in Hell are not the fools they were on earth! 

In Hell, they do not laugh at everlasting burnings. 

In the pit, they do not despise the words, “eternal fire!”¬†

The worm that never dies, when it is gnawing, gnaws out all joke and laughter. 

You may despise and mock God now–but¬†death will change your note!¬†

“Remember, you can laugh your way into Hell–but you can never laugh your way out of Hell!”

“Then they will go away to¬†eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life!” Matthew 25:46

Among the wonders in Heaven, shall be these three

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Among the wonders in Heaven, shall be these three

(Charles Spurgeon)

Among the wonders in Heaven, shall be these three:

  The first wonder is that we shall see so many there, whom we did not expect to see. 
 
  The second is that we shall miss so many there, whom we did expect to see. 

¬† But the third wonder will be the greatest wonder of all–to see¬†ourselves¬†there!

        And can it be, that I should gain
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† An interest in the Savior’s blood?
        Died He for me, who caused His pain?
        For me, who Him to death pursued?

        Amazing love! how can it be
        That Thou, my God, should die for me?
        Amazing love! how can it be
        That Thou, my God, should die for me?

        Tis mercy all, immense and free
        For O my God, it found out me!
        Amazing love! How can it be,
        That Thou, my God, should die for me?

Hands up, everyone who has a Bible!

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Hands up, everyone who has a Bible!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“His¬†delight¬†is in the law of the Lord,¬†and on His law he¬†meditates¬†day and night!”¬†Psalm 1:2

If I were to say, “Hands up, everyone who has a Bible!“–everybody’s hands here would go up, as I suppose that nobody here is without a Bible.¬†

But if I were to ask, “How many here, as a habit and a delight,¬†meditate¬†upon the Scriptures?”–I wonder how many hands would be raised? Well, I will not ask you that question, but let everybody ask it for himself and judge himself concerning it in the sight of God.

Lord, give us a Bible reading, Bible loving people!

God’s grace is illustrated and magnified in the poverty and trials of believers!

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God’s grace is illustrated and magnified in the poverty and trials of believers!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“But He said to me: ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10¬†

If none of God’s saints were poor and tried, we would not know¬†the consolations of divine grace¬†half so well.¬†

When we find the¬†wanderer¬†who does not have a place to lay his head, who yet can say, “Still I will trust in the Lord”; when we see the¬†pauper¬†starving on bread and water, who still glories in Jesus; when we see the¬†bereaved widow¬†overwhelmed in affliction, and yet relying on Christ–oh what honor it reflects on the Gospel.¬†

God’s grace is illustrated and magnified in the poverty and trials of believers!

Saints bear up under every discouragement, believing that all things work together for their good, and that out of apparent evils a real blessing shall ultimately spring. They know that their God will either work a deliverance for them speedily–or most assuredly support them in the trouble, as long as He is pleased to keep them in it. This perseverance of the saints proves the power of divine grace.

He who would glorify God, must reckon upon meeting with many trials. No man can be illustrious before the Lord, unless his conflicts are many. If then yours is a much-tried path, rejoice in it because you will better show forth the all-sufficient grace of God. As for His failing you, never dream of it–hate the thought. The God who has been sufficient until now, should be trusted to the end.

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11¬†

The awesome, holy, glorious beauty of Christ!

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The awesome, holy, glorious beauty of Christ!

(Charles Spurgeon)

Come here gracious souls, and behold the Man in the garden of Gethsemane. 

Behold His heart so brimming with love that He cannot hold it in–so full of sorrow that it must find a vent.¬†

Behold the Man as they drive the nails into His hands and feet. 

Look up and see the sorrowful ravishing image of your suffering Lord. 

If we would live right, it must be by the contemplation of His death. 

If we would rise to dignity, it must be by considering His humiliation and His sorrow.

The sight of Christ’s loveliness, and that alone–shows the soul its own ugliness.

The sense of the awesome, holy, glorious beauty of Christ kills pride and humbles the soul.

“Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!” Song of Solomon 5:16

Idiots catching flies!

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Idiots catching flies!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless!” Ecclesiastes 1:2¬†

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 them busy adorning their bodies, 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 phantom 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.
Finding them all to be vanity and emptiness, they will become very perplexed and disappointed. But they still continue their fruitless search. Though wearied, they still stagger forward under the influence of spiritual madness, and though there is no result to be reached except that of everlasting disappointment–yet they press forward with much ardor.¬†

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

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

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

Their motto is, “Let us feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!”

They have no forethought for their eternal state–the present hour absorbs them.¬†

Carnal minds pursue earth’s vanities with all their might; 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!¬†

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Christ takes the garbage!

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Christ takes the garbage!

(Charles Spurgeon, “The Meek and Lowly One”)

Jewelers can only prepare and polish the choicest diamonds. 
But Jesus Christ polishes a common pebble, and makes a jewel of it!

Jewelers make their precious treasures, out of precious materials.
Christ makes His precious things, out of dross!

He always begins with bad material. Christ takes . . .
  the despicable,
  the vilest,
  the scum,
  the off-scouring,
  the filth,
  the garbage of the world,
and out of such stuff and matter as that, He builds up a holy temple, and gathers to Himself trophies for His honor and praise!

“Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders¬†nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
And that is what some of you were!¬†But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

The way to escape from the power of sin!

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The way to escape from the power of sin!

(Charles Spurgeon, “The Way” #942)¬†

The great object of a penitent soul is to get away from the tyranny and slavery of evil habits and of corrupt desires. 

The saints in glory overcame through the blood of the Lamb–and there is no other way of overcoming. The precious blood of atonement wherever sprinkled, kills sin; and he who lives in the full belief of it will be purified from sinful habits.¬†

It is living under a sense of divine love as manifest in Christ; it is living with the full conviction of pardon through the blood, which brings to us freedom from the reigning power of sin. 

There is no way to get the likeness of Christ, except by learning of His love. You imitate Christ, and so become like Him. You commune with Christ–and as you talk with Him, His character sacredly operates upon yourself, and you are changed from glory to glory, as by the image of the Lord.¬†

Christ is¬†the way to escape from the power of sin!¬†The moment we forget Christ, and then seek after personal sanctification–we are trying to get to our journey’s end by declining to tread the road to it.¬†

It is impossible to grow in grace, except by abiding evermore at the foot of the cross.

The principle of iniquity is embedded in the human race

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The principle of iniquity is embedded in the human race

(John MacArthur)

The Bible is absolutely crystal clear that all children are sinners from conception…all children.¬†The¬†principle of iniquity¬†is embedded in the human race. Children are born morally corrupt. They are born with an irresistible bent toward evil. And any notion that children are born morally neutral and free from a predisposition to sin is absolutely contrary to Scripture.

All humans are born in sin. If infants were not sinful, if they were not morally corrupt, then they wouldn’t die. If they were born innocent or pure or morally neutral there would be no basis for their death. The very fact that they die indicates that the disease of sin is there in them because sin is the killer. It is in their inherited sin nature that the seeds of death are planted.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

“The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” Genesis 6:5¬†

” . . . every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood.” Genesis 8:21¬†

“The LORD looks down from Heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good,¬†not even one!”¬†Psalm 14:2-3

“Surely I was¬†sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me!” Psalm 51:5¬†

“Even from¬†birth¬†the wicked go astray; from the¬†womb¬†they are wayward and speak lies.” Psalm 58:3¬†

“There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.” Ecclesiastes 7:20¬†

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked!” Jeremiah 17:9¬†

“All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good,¬†not even one!”¬†Romans 3:12

“Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were¬†by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” Ephesians 2:3¬†

We see hands and feet and side, all pouring forth crimson streams of precious blood!

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We see hands and feet and side, all pouring forth crimson streams of precious blood!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“The precious¬†blood¬†of Christ!” 1 Peter 1:19

Standing at the foot of the cross, we see hands and feet and side, all pouring forth crimson streams of precious blood! 

Christ’s blood is precious because of its¬†redeeming and atoning efficacy. By it, all the sins of all Christ’s people are atoned for!

Christ’s blood is also precious in¬†its cleansing power. “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin!” “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”

Through Jesus’ blood, there is not a¬†spot¬†left upon any believer–no¬†wrinkle¬†nor any such thing remains. Oh, precious cleansing blood–which removes the stains of abundant iniquity, and allows us to stand accepted in the Beloved, notwithstanding the many ways in which we have rebelled against our God.

The blood of Christ is likewise precious in¬†its preserving power.¬†Under the sprinkled blood, we are safe from the destroying angel. Remember that it is¬†God’s¬†seeing the blood, which is the true reason for our being spared.¬†Here is comfort for us when the eye of faith is dim, for God’s eye is still the same.

The blood of Christ is precious also in¬†its sanctifying influence. The same blood that¬†justifies¬†by taking away sin–quickens¬†the new nature and leads it onward to subdue sin and to follow out the commands of God.¬†

There is no motive for holiness so great, as that which streams from the veins of Jesus!

With lowly reverence at the foot of the Cross

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With lowly reverence at the foot of the Cross

(Charles Spurgeon)

With lowly reverence at the foot of the Cross, bow down your soul and say, “My Lord, there is no difference between me and the¬†greatest¬†reprobate–but what Your grace has made! There is no difference between me and¬†lost souls in Hell–except what Your infinite compassion has been pleased to make!”¬†

“By the grace of God I am what I am!”¬†1 Corinthians 15:10

They must be burned into us with the hot iron of affliction!

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They must be burned into us with the hot iron of affliction!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Before I was afflicted I went astray ‚ÄĒ but now I obey Your Word.” Psalm 119:67¬†

“It was good for me to be afflicted ‚ÄĒ so that I might learn Your decrees.” Psalm 119:71

Most of the great truths of God have to be learned through trials! They must be burned into us with the hot iron of affliction, otherwise we shall not truly receive them.

“I know, O Lord, that Your laws are righteous ‚ÄĒ and in faithfulness You have afflicted me.” Psalm 119:75¬†

“God disciplines us for our good ‚ÄĒ that we may share in His holiness!” Hebrews 12:10¬†

Mother, don’t you love me?


Grace logoMother, don’t you love me?

(Susannah Spurgeon, “Words of Cheer and Comfort for Sick and Sorrowful Souls!” 1898)

“I have¬†seen¬†his ways ‚ÄĒ and will¬†heal¬†him!” Isaiah 57:18

Here is one of the¬†blessedly incomprehensible paradoxes¬†of God’s love and mercy, which startles us by its excess of compassionate grace: “I have¬†seen¬†his ways, and . . .” ‚ÄĒ one would have thought that the next sentence must be, “I will¬†punish¬†him,” or at least, “I will¬†rebuke¬†him!” But, instead of wrath ‚ÄĒ here is pardon! Pity makes room for love; and in the place of bitterness, the Lord gives a blessing! “I have¬†seen¬†his ways ‚ÄĒ and will¬†heal¬†him!”

O wanderer, will not these tender words cause you to return to your Lord? 
O stony heart ‚ÄĒ will you not break at so loving a touch as this?¬†
O cold and half-dead soul ‚ÄĒ will not such a Divine cordial revive you?

“I have seen his ways.”¬†What¬†“ways” has God seen in you? Have they not been “wicked,” “crooked,” “perverse,” “your¬†own¬†ways” ‚ÄĒ “the ways of¬†death?” Have you not turned aside from the path of life, and refused to walk “in all His way,” and chosen “a stubborn way” for yourself?

Our heart must give a sad assent to all these charges. As we bow humbly before Him, and say, “You are acquainted with all my ways” ‚ÄĒ we feel that such knowledge of us on His part, intensifies our wonder and gratitude at the loving compassion with which He regards us!

When I was a little child, and had been troublesome to my mother ‚ÄĒ her reproof or punishment would often be followed by my trembling question, “Mother, don’t you love me?” And my mother’s reply invariably was, “Yes, I do love you; but I do not love your naughty ways!” Poor mother! Doubtless I tried her very much, and this was the best that¬†grieved parental love¬†could say. But our heavenly Father has sweeter, choicer words than these, for His erring children.

His love is¬†Divine, so He says, “I have¬†seen¬†his ways ‚ÄĒ and will¬†heal¬†him!” O sweet pitifulness of our God! O inexplicable tenderness! O love surpassing all earth’s loveliest affection! Do not our hard hearts yield under the power of such compassion as this?

God knows all our wickedness, He has seen all our waywardness; yet His purpose towards us is one of healing and pardon ‚ÄĒ and not of anger and estrangement.

As I learn more of God, I get so sick of my sin ‚ÄĒ indwelling-sin, heart-sin, that my soul welcomes this Word of the Lord, as a condemned prisoner embraces a pardon, or as a drowning man clutches the life-buoy thrown out for his rescue. To be healed of the disease which wastes us, to be delivered from the deadness and indifference which enchain us, to have a perfect heart with the Lord our God, and to walk before Him in a perfect way ‚ÄĒ this, I take it, is the¬†blessed prospect¬†held out by this promise. Who will claim its fulfillment at once? Who will take our gracious God at His Word, and believingly receive the¬†priceless blessing¬†which His love offers?

O blessed Lord, Your forbearance with us in the past, has been a miracle of mercy! You have seen so much in us which Your soul has abhorred ‚ÄĒ and yet You come now with this gift of healing in Your hands, which means not only pardon ‚ÄĒ but the power to be holy.

Lord, we lift up our empty, beseeching hands ‚ÄĒ to Your full ones. Our own ways have led us farther and farther from You; now let Your forgiving, healing love draw us so close to You, that we can never again be among those “who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness.”

The master-key which fits the locks!

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The master-key which fits the locks!

(Susannah Spurgeon,¬†“Words of Cheer and Comfort for Sick and Sorrowful Souls!”¬†1898)

“The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but¬†because the LORD loved you!” Deuteronomy 7:7-8¬†

My gracious God, there is a honeycomb of delight and sweetness in these words! Will You put the rod of faith into my hand, this morning, and enable me to dip the end thereof into this rich provision, that my soul may eat and be satisfied, and that the eyes of my understanding may be enlightened?

“Because the Lord loved you!”¬†
This is His great “reason” for all of God’s dealings with His redeemed people. It is a full and convincing answer to all the doubts and questionings with which Satan can perplex and distress the Lord’s timid ones. The enemy of souls has, alas! a powerful confederate in the wicked unbelief which lurks within us; but they will both be vanquished when we have learned to use this weapon of war against them.

Come, my heart, try its blessed force and quality at this moment! The foe says, “Why does God send you affliction, and sorrow, and suffering ‚ÄĒ when those who do not fear His Name have continual quietness and abounding prosperity?”

If you can boldly answer,¬†“It is because the Lord loves me!”¬†then you will have given him such a¬†sword-thrust¬†as will free you, for a time, at least, from his cunning devices and fierce onslaughts.

Or, look at the text as a¬†shaft of sunlight, piercing through a chink in the shuttered window of some dark experience. Bring your fears and forebodings out of their dusky corners, and place them within the radiance of this light of love ‚ÄĒ you will be amazed to see them transformed into confident trusts ‚ÄĒ your doubts will vanish as if they had never been, and the evil and bitter things of life will all be transformed into blessings in a moment.¬†

“Because the Lord loved you!”¬†is¬†the master-key which fits the locks¬†of the hardest question, and opens the mysteries of the deepest problem! It is a¬†charm¬†of wondrous efficacy, and every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ may not only rejoice in its possession ‚ÄĒ but use it constantly to obtain all the desire of his heart in spiritual things.

What ails you, poor soul?
¬†Is it loss of health, or friends, or means? Has God taken from you some dearly-loved one, and left you alone on this sad earth? Is He trying and proving you, by many and varied tests and troubles, “to know what was in your heart”? Whatever may be your immediate and peculiar sorrow, if you have grace and faith enough to say,¬†“This is because the Lord loves me!”¬†‚ÄĒ then I dare to promise you that all the bitterness of the affliction will melt away ‚ÄĒ and the¬†peace of God¬†will fill you with a sweet contentment which surpasses understanding. No distress can withstand such Divine solace, no anguish can refuse the relief of this¬†balm of Gilead. If all that happens to you can be traced directly or indirectly to the hand of your loving Lord ‚ÄĒ then how gladly should you bear life’s burdens, and how perfect should be the rest in which heart and mind should dwell!

O gracious Master, looking back over the years that are gone ‚ÄĒ the interminglings of grief and gladness, pass before my eyes as the clouds sail by on an April day. And though the memories of¬†great affliction¬†and¬†sore bereavement¬†cast deep shadows across the scene, and seem for a time to blot out all the brightness ‚ÄĒ yet, above and beyond those changeful skies ‚ÄĒ the sun has never ceased shining, and darkness as well as day has proclaimed the¬†immutability of Your love. When the ears of my soul are attuned to catch the soft whisper of Your voice, I hear You saying: “All this, My child, was because I loved you! Left to yourself; you would have destroyed yourself; but in Me was your help found. All the¬†tribulations¬†you have endured, were but¬†My servants¬†to whom I entrusted the necessary discipline of your earthly life. Do not forget those words of Mine:¬†As many as I love ‚ÄĒ I rebuke and chasten!”

What a compassionate, gracious arrangement!

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What a compassionate, gracious arrangement!

(Susannah Spurgeon,¬†“Words of Cheer and Comfort for Sick and Sorrowful Souls!”¬†1898)

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

Why then, need I worry or tremble? That great, loving, powerful¬†hand¬†keeps all the events of my life sealed and secure within its almighty clasp! And only He, my Maker and my Master, can permit them to be revealed to me as His will for me.¬†What a compassionate, gracious arrangement!¬†How eminently fitted to fulfill that sweet promise of His Word, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You!” If we fully believed this, we would be absolutely devoid of the¬†worry¬†which corrodes and chafes the daily life of so many professing Christians.

“My times.” Not one or two¬†important¬†epochs of my history only ‚ÄĒ but¬†everything¬†that concerns me:
  joys that I had not expected,
  sorrows that must have crushed me, if they could have been anticipated, 
  sufferings which might have terrified me by their grimness, had I looked upon them,
  surprises which infinite love had prepared for me,
  services of which I could not have imagined myself capable
¬†‚ÄĒ all these lay in that mighty hand ‚ÄĒ as the purposes of God’s eternal will for me.¬†

But, as they have developed gradually and silently ‚ÄĒ how great has been the¬†love¬†which appeared enwrapping and enfolding each one!¬†
Has not the grief been measured ‚ÄĒ while the gladness has far more abounded?¬†
Have not the comforts and consolations ‚ÄĒ exceeded the crosses and afflictions?¬†
Have not all things been so arranged, and ordered, and undertaken, and worked out on our behalf ‚ÄĒ that we can but marvel at the goodness and wisdom of God, in meting out from that dear¬†hand¬†of His, all the “times” that have passed over us?

You agree with me in all this, do you not, dear reader? Then, I beg you, apply it to your present circumstances, however dark or difficult they may be. They have come directly from your Father’s hand to you, and they are His dear will for you!

Soul-Comfort

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Soul-Comfort

(Susannah Spurgeon,¬†“Words of Cheer and Comfort for Sick and Sorrowful Souls!”¬†1898)

“When my anxious thoughts multiply within me ‚ÄĒ Your comforts delight my soul.” Psalm 94:19¬†

“Your comforts delight my soul!” Blessed Lord, how sweet is this text in my mouth! The taste of it is “like wafers made with honey.” It is both food and drink to my heart, for every word has joy and refreshing in it; so that, like the “best wine” of the Canticles, it “goes down sweetly.”¬†

The first of Your comforts, gracious God, is this ‚ÄĒ that You have said unto my soul, “I am your salvation!” He¬†saves¬†us, not because of any merit in us, or any deservings of our own; but because sovereign grace¬†chose¬†us, and Divine compassion¬†redeemed¬†us. And when we were afar off, infinite pity brought us back, and made us near by the precious blood of Christ. This may well comfort our hearts ‚ÄĒ coming as it does directly from “our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace!” A saved and pardoned sinner can truly say,¬†“Your comforts delight my soul!”

The next thought is that, having¬†saved¬†us ‚ÄĒ He¬†keeps¬†us. “We are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” Comparatively few Christians put¬†God’s keeping power¬†fully to the test. If we would trust Him for the¬†keeping, as we do for the¬†saving¬†‚ÄĒ our lives would be far holier and happier than they are. “I will keep it every moment,” is one of those grandly unlimited promises which most of us are afraid of; and we store them away in the background because we dare not believe them, and bring them out into the light of our¬†daily practice.¬†O foolish and unbelieving hearts, how much of soul-delighting comfort do we thus miss!

Then comes another thought ‚ÄĒ He¬†cares¬†for us. Dear friends, if you are His, you know the exceeding comfort of¬†casting all your care upon Him¬†‚ÄĒ and being quite sure that He will “undertake” for you. Have we not often come to Him oppressed and burdened with an¬†intolerable weight of anxiety and distress¬†‚ÄĒ and been enabled to roll the whole mass of it on Him, leaving it all at His feet, and returning to our work with a lightened and restful heart? Some of us have had burdens and sorrows, which would have crushed the very life out of us ‚ÄĒ if we had not been enabled to look up and say, “You, O Lord, have helped and comforted me!” Yes, truly, God’s care for us is one of the sweetest comforts of our mortal life!

Closely linked with this, is the thought that He¬†knows¬†all about us. Our enemies ‚ÄĒ sometimes, even our friends ‚ÄĒ misunderstand and malign us; they misconstrue our words and actions, and impute to us motives which never actuated us. But our God knows the¬†thoughts¬†and¬†intents¬†of our heart, and never makes a mistake in the judgment He passes on us. The comfort of this knowledge on the Lord’s part, to those who are “suffering wrongfully,” is inexpressibly precious. They can lift up their heads with joy, and say, “The Lord is good. He knows those who trust in Him.” I have known this comfort to so delight my soul, that trials and temptations had no power to vex or annoy it, for my soul was hidden “secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.”

Lastly (though there are many, many more), one of the multitude of thoughts which stand out prominently from the rest, as a comfort which delights the soul ‚ÄĒ is that He¬†loves¬†us. This truth has been running through the fields of previous thought, as a silver streamlet glides through the meadows ‚ÄĒ here, it would deepen and expand to a broad and fathomless ocean, had I the power to speak of its height, and depth, and length, and breadth, and to tell of the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge! But my pen utterly fails here. You who love Him, and know that He loves you ‚ÄĒ must each one say to himself what that “comfort of His love” is to your own heart. This will be a better commentary than any I can offer.¬†

And, if some poor distressed soul is mourning the loss of the sweet consolation which Christ’s love alone can give ‚ÄĒ let him call to remembrance a tenderly precious promise which the Lord put into the lips of the prophet Isaiah, “I have seen his ways ‚ÄĒ but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him!” Isaiah 57:18¬†

Father knows best!

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Father knows best!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away ‚ÄĒ may the name of the LORD be praised!” Job 1:21

“Shall we accept good from God ‚ÄĒ and not trouble?” Job 2:10¬†
 

Let the Lord do as He wills to us! He will never be unkind to us! He has always been our friend ‚ÄĒ He will never be our foe!¬†

He will never put us into the¬†furnace¬†‚ÄĒ unless He means to purge the¬†dross¬†out of us. Nor will there be one degree more heat in that furnace than is absolutely necessary ‚ÄĒ there will always be¬†mercy¬†to balance the¬†misery¬†‚ÄĒ and strength supplied to support the burden to be borne.
 

Oh, children of God, your¬†Father knows best!¬†Leave everything in His hands and be at peace ‚ÄĒ for all is well.
 

“I was silent; I would not open my mouth ‚ÄĒ for You are the one who has done this!” Psalm 39:9¬†
 

“He is the LORD; let him do what is good in His eyes!” 1 Samuel 3:18¬†

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,¬†and there are no grapes on the vines;¬†even though the olive crop fails,¬†and the fields lie empty and barren;¬†even though the flocks die in the fields,¬†and the cattle barns are empty¬†‚ÄĒ yet I will rejoice in the¬†LORD!¬†I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!” Habakkuk 3:17-18¬†

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

True comfort!

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True  comfort! 
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon, “Concerning the Consolations of God” Job 15:11.¬†

Christian, are you hoping to find true comfort in the world? Will you be happy if you manage to get that position? if you pass that examination? if you save so much money? I beseech you, do not play the fool; there is no consolation in all this. 

There is no satisfaction to be found in the greatest worldly success; millionaires, statesmen, and princes all dissatisfied. The richest men have often been the most miserable, and those who have succeeded best in rising to places of honor have been worn out in the pursuit, and disgusted with the prize. 

Wealth brings care, honor earns envy, position entails toil, and rank has its annoyances. 

One of our richest men once said, “I suppose you imagine I am happy, because I am rich. Why, a dozen times in a year, and oftener, some fellow threatens to shoot me if I do not give him what he wants. Do you suppose that this makes me a happy man?”¬†

Believe me, the world is as barren of joy as the Sahara. 

Vain is the hope of finding a spring of consolation in anything beneath the moon. 

Seek the kingdom of God, and his righteousness. 
  

“Little children, abide in him.”

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Little children, abide in him.”¬†
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon, “Preparation¬†
¬†for the Coming of the Lord.” #2105. 1 John 2:28.¬†

Just as little children are in daily dependence 
on their parents, Christians depend upon the 
Lord’s care.¬†

Why, beloved, the Lord has to nurse you! He 
feeds you with the unadulterated milk of the 
Word; he comforts you as a mother does her 
child; he carries you in his bosom, he bears 
you all your days. 

Your new life is as yet weak and struggling; 
do not carry it into the cold atmosphere of 
distance from Jesus. 

Little children, since you derive all from Jesus, 
abide in him. To go elsewhere will be to wander 
into a howling wilderness. The world is empty; 
only Christ has fullness. Away from Jesus you 
will be as a child deserted by its mother, left 
to pine, and starve, and die; or as a little lamb 
on the hillside without a shepherd, tracked by 
the wolf, whose teeth will soon extract its 
heart’s blood.¬†

Abide, O child, with your mother! 

Abide, O lamb, with your shepherd! 

Cling to the Lord Jesus in your feebleness, 
in your fickleness, in your nothingness; and 
abidingly take him to be everything to you. 

My Father’s eye!

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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!


The back door to the pit!

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The back door to the pit!
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
‚ÄúA Hearer in Disguise‚ÄĚ No. 584. 1 Kings 14:6.

Many come to God’s house disguised in manner
  and appearance. How good you all look!

When we sing and you take your books, how
heavenly-minded!  And when we pray, how
reverent you are! How your heads are all bowed-
your eyes covered with your hands!  I do not know
how much praying there is when you sit in a devout
posture, though you assume the attitude and compose
your countenance as those who draw near to supplicate
the Lord. I am afraid there are many of you who do not
pray a word or present a petition, though you assume
the posture of suppliants.

When the singing is going on there are many who never
sing a word with the spirit and the understanding.

In the house of God I am afraid there are many who wear
a mask, stand as God’s people stand, sit as they sit, pray
as they pray, and sing as they sing-  and all the while what
are you doing?
Some of you have been attending to your children while
we have been singing tonight. Some of you have been casting
up your ledger, attending to your farms, scheming about your
carpentering and bricklaying; yet all the while if we had looked
into your faces we might have thought you were reverently
worshiping God.

Oh! those solemn faces, and those reverent looks,
  they do not deceive the Most High God!

He knows who and what you are!

He sees you as clearly as men see  through glass.
As for hiding from the Almighty, how can you hide
yourself from him? As well attempt to hide in a glass
case, for all the world is a glass case before God!

When you look into a glass beehive, you can see the bees and
everything they do- such is this world, a sort of glass beehive
in which God can see everything. The eyes of God are on you
continually; no veil of hypocrisy can screen you from him.

It is a melancholy and a most solemn reflection that there are
many who profess to be Christians who are not Christians.

There was a Judas among the twelve; there was a Demas among
the early disciples; and we must always expect to find chaff on
God’s floor mingled with the wheat.

I have tried, the Lord knows, to preach as plainly and as
much home to the mark as I could, to sift and try you; but
for all that the hypocrite will come in. After the most searching
ministry, there are still some who will wrap themselves about
with a ‘mantle of deception’. Though we cry aloud and spare
not, and bid you lay hold on eternal life, yet, alas! how many
are content with a mere name to live and are dead.

Many come here and even hold office in the Church, yes,
the minister himself may even preach the Word, and after
all be hollow and empty. How many who dress and look
fair outside, are only fit to be tinder for the devil’s tinder
box, for they are all dry and empty within!

God save as from a profession if it is not real!

I pray that we may know the worst of our case.
If I must be damned, I would sooner go to hell unholy,
than as a hypocrite- that back-door to the pit is the
thing I dread most of all.

Oh! to sit at the Lord’s table, and to drink of the cup of devils!
To be recognized among God‚Äôs own here, and then to find one’s
own name left out when God reads the muster-roll of his servants!

Oh! what a portion for eternity!

I bid you tear off this mask, and if the grace of God is not
in you, I beg you to go into the world which is your fit place,
and abstain from joining the Church, if you are not really a
member of the body of Christ.

‚ÄúYou, God, see me!‚ÄĚ
Write that on the palm of your hand, and look
at it; wake up in the morning with it; sleep with it
before you on your curtains.

‚ÄúYou, God, see me!‚ÄĚ

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