Grace Gems for SEPTEMBER 2009

All the hell that you shall ever have!

("The Mute Christian Under the Smarting Rod"
 or, "The Silent Soul with Sovereign Antidotes"
 by Thomas Brooks, 1659, London.)

Consider Christian, that all your . . .
  trials and troubles,
  calamities and miseries,
  crosses and losses,
which you meet with in this world—is

all the hell that you shall ever have!

Here and now you have your hell.
Hereafter you shall have your heaven!

This is the worst of your condition;
the best is yet to come!

Lazarus had his hell first—and his heaven last;
Dives had his heaven first—and his hell at last.

You have all your pangs, and pains, and throes
here—that you shall ever have! Your ease, and
rest, and pleasure—is yet to come!

Here you have all your bitters;
your sweets are yet to come!

Here you have your sorrows;
your joys are yet to come!

Here you have all your winter nights;
your summer days are yet to come!

Here you have your evil things;
your good things are yet to come!

Death will put an end to all your sins
—and to all your sufferings!

Death will be an inlet to those joys, delights,
and comforts—which shall never have an end!

Who can seriously meditate upon this, and not
be silent under God's most smarting rod?

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The great day of His wrath has come!

(William Dyer, "The Great Day of God's Wrath!")

the great day of His wrath has come—and who shall be able to stand!" Revelation 6:17

Who may abide the day of His coming? Who shall stand when He appears? Oh, beloved! this is not the day of man's wrath! Men have had their day of reigning and raging, and despising God—but that day is over and gone, and now God's day has come! This is the day of His wrath—and woe to wicked, and woe to the whore of Babylon, for the hour of her judgment has come!

This will be a day of great ASTONISHMENT to the wicked and ungodly, "The Lord shall smite them with madness and blindness, and astonishment of heart!" Deuteronomy 28:28

This will be a day of great TERROR to those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus! Therefore, says the apostle, "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men." 2 Corinthians 5:11

This day of God's wrath will be a day of great DISTRESS to the wicked. "I in turn will laugh at your disaster! I will mock when calamity overtakes you—when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you!" Proverbs 1:26-27

This day of God's wrath will be a day of great CONTEMPT to the ungodly. "The Lord Almighty has purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth!" Isaiah 23:9

This day of God's wrath will be a day of great DESTRUCTION. "The wicked are reserved to the day of destruction; they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath!" Job 21:30

Oh, beloved! God's GREAT wrath will be very terrible to the wicked!

1. God's great wrath will tear them in pieces like a lion! "I will be like a lion to Israel, like a strong young lion to Judah. I will tear them to pieces! I will carry them off, and no one will be left to rescue them!" Hosea 5:14. "Consider this, all you who forget God, or I will tear you to pieces, with none to rescue you!" Psalm 50:22

2. God's great wrath will consume them like fire! "The Lord Almighty says—The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. On that day the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed—roots, branches, and all." Malachi 4:1

3. God's great wrath will swallow up all His enemies! "You will capture all your enemies. Your strong right hand will seize all who hate You. You will throw them in a fiery furnace when You appear. In His wrath the Lord will swallow them up, and His fire will consume them!" Psalm 21:8-9

Oh! the wrath of the Almighty is called in the Scripture,
"The fierceness of His great wrath!" 2 Kings 23:26.
"The fierceness of His anger, wrath, and indignation!" Psalm 78:49.
"The fury of His wrath!" Revelation 16:19.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God's jewels!

(Thomas Watson, "Religion Our True Interest")

"They will be Mine!" says the Lord Almighty, "in the day when I make up My jewels!" Malachi 3:17

God's people are His jewels—His own special treasure!

In what sense are the saints,
God's jewels?

Jewels are precious things; the Hebrew word for jewels signifies a treasure. A treasure is made up of costly things: gold, and diamonds and rubies. Such a precious treasure, are the saints to God.

They are jewels for their sparkling quality. Their holiness shines and sparkles in God's eyes! (Song of Solomon 4:9), "You have ravished My heart, with one glance of your eyes!" That is, with one of your graces.

The godly are jewels for their scarcity. Diamonds are not common. Just so, the godly are scarce and rare. There are but few of these to be found. There are many false professors (as there are many plastic diamonds) but few true Christians. Among the millions in Rome, there were but few senators. Just so, among the swarms of people in the world—there are but few true believers.

The godly are jewels for their price. Queen Cleopatra had two jewels which were worth half the price of a kingdom. Thus the saints are jewels, for their value. God esteems them at a high rate; He parted with His best jewel for them—Christ's precious blood was shed to ransom these jewels!

The saints are jewels for their adorning quality. Jewels adorn those who wear them. The saints are jewels which adorn the world. Their piety mixed with prudence honors the gospel. Hypocrites eclipse true religion and make it badly spoken of. The saints as jewels, render it illustrious by their sanctity.

God the Father has chosen these jewels, and set them apart for Himself!

Christ has bought these jewels with His blood!

The Holy Spirit has sanctified them. When they were a lump of sin—He made them into His jewels! He will string these pearls together—and put them into His celestial cabinet!

Bless God who has wrought such a change in you! From lumps of dirt and sin—He has made you into His jewels!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The last pang, and groan, and tear!

(John Angell James, "Afflictions")

The Christian also looks to the end of afflictions! The end may sometimes come in this world. In reference to this, the utmost that the believer can be sure of, is that they will end in God's time.

They may last for his whole life. The sickness which afflicts his body may be unto death! The loss which he has sustained in his property may be irreparable—and poverty may go down with him to the grave! The trial which beclouds and distresses his spirits—may be his lot for life! But on the other hand, they may not! God may be bringing him "through fire and through water to bring him out into a wealthy place." But the Christian leaves this in the hand of God, and endeavors to maintain a hope which shall save him from despondency—checked at the same time by a reverence that guards him from unwarranted presumption.

But if the end of the trial does not come in this world—it will come in the next world—when they will not only forever cease, but leave an eternal blessing behind! "I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us!" "Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!" Four things are set forth in these passages:

1. Our afflictions will have a termination! This is sweet. They are to end—they are not to last forever!
The last pang, and groan, and tear are at hand—and how near the Christian never knows!

2. Our afflictions are not to end like those of the brute creation—in the grave merely—but in heaven!
The last pang, and groan, and tear are to usher in that blessed state of which it is so beautifully said, "The Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters—and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes!" Heaven shall terminate the afflictions of the righteous!

3. Heaven is so glorious, that the first view of its scenes, and the first moment of its enjoyment—shall make amends for the longest life of the most protracted and intense sufferings!

4. The sufferings of our earthly pilgrimage—will enhance and increase the felicities of heaven! Their submissive endurance; the graces which they call into exercise; the sanctification which they promote; the heavenly temper which they cultivate—will be the means of ripening the spirit, and making it fit for its eternal inheritance!

Every tear that is shed;
every groan that is heaved;
every loss that is sustained;
every moment of suffering that is endured;
every disappointment that is experienced, which is borne with patience, with resignation, with unwearied holiness—will not only be followed with millions of ages of ineffable felicity—but will prepare the soul for its enjoyment, and add something to its weight and its luster!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

All the sins of the saints

(Thomas Brooks, "The Crown and Glory of Christianity,
 or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness", 1662)

"We know that all things work together for good,
 to those who love God, to those who are called
 according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

All the afflictions, and
all the temptations, and
all the oppressions, and
all the oppositions, and
all the persecutions—
which befall a godly man,
shall work for his good.

Every cross, and
every loss, and
every disease—
which befall the holy man,
shall work for his good.

Every device,
every snare,
every deceit,
every stratagem,
and every enterprise of Satan against
the holy man, shall work for his good.

They shall all help to make him . . .
  more humble,
  more holy,
  more heavenly,
  more spiritual,
  more faithful,
  more fruitful,
  more watchful.

Every prosperity and every adversity;
every storm and every calm;
every bitter and every sweet;
every cross and every comfort—
shall work for the holy man's good.

When God gives a mercy—
  that shall work for his good.
When God takes away a mercy—
  that shall work for his good.

Yes, even all the falls and
all the sins of
the saints
shall work for their good. Oh . . .
  the care,
  the fear,
  the watchfulness,
  the tenderness,
  the zeal—
which God raises in the souls of His saints by their
very falls! Oh the hatred, the indignation, and the
detestation—which God raises in the hearts of His
children against sin—by their very falling into sin!

Oh what love to Christ,
what thankfulness for Christ,
what admiration of Christ,
what cleaving to Christ,
what exalting of Christ,
what drawings from Christ's grace—
are saints led to, by their very falls!

It is the glory of God's holiness, that . . .
  He can turn spiritual diseases—into holy remedies!
  He can turn soul poisons—into heavenly cordials!
  He can prevent sin by sin, and cure falling by falling!

O Christian! What though friends and relations frown upon you,
what though enemies are plotting and conspiring against you,
what though needs, like armed men, are breaking in upon you,
what though men rage, and devils roar against you,
what though sickness is devastating your family,
what though death stands every day at your elbow—
yet there is no reason for you to fear nor faint, because
all these things shall work for your good! Yes, there is
wonderful cause of joy and rejoicing in all the afflictions
and tribulations which come upon you—considering that
they shall all work for your good.

O Christians! I am afraid, I am afraid—that you do not
run so often as you should—to the breasts of this promise,
nor draw that sweetness and comfort from it, that it would
yield, and that your several cases may require. "We know
that all things work together for good, to those who love
God, to those who are called according to His purpose." I
have been the longer upon this verse, because the condition
of God's people calls for the strongest cordials, and the
choicest and the sweetest comforts.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God's sword!

(William Dyer, "Christ's Voice to London". Preached in London during the time of the 'Great Plague' of 1665-1666. The 'Great Plague' was a massive outbreak of disease, which killed an estimated 100,000 people, 20% of London's population.)

"Listen! The Lord is calling to the city—Hear the rod and the One who appointed it!" Micah 6:9

Oh, London, London! God speaks to you by His judgments! Because you would not hear the voice of His Word—He has made you to feel the stroke of His rod! Oh, great city! how has the plague broken in upon you, because of your abominations! "They provoked the Lord to anger by their wicked deeds—so a plague broke out among them!" Psalm 106:29. Oh! how is the wrath of God kindled against you, that such multitudes of thousands have died within your borders, by this severe plagueGod's sword!

London! how are your streets thinned, your widows increased, and your cemeteries filled, your inhabitants fled, your trade decayed! Oh! therefore lay to heart all these things, and turn from your wicked ways, that the cry of your prayers—may outcry the cry of your sins! Be like the city of Nineveh, who believed Jonah's message from God, and humbled themselves, and fasted and cried mightily unto the Lord. Oh, Did Nineveh repent and turn from their wicked ways—and shall not London?

Perhaps you think that all is now well, and that God is pleased with you, because the plague is abating. I say, blessed be God for this! But "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. Whatever a man sows—that he shall reap!" Galatians 6:7. To whomever God bestows great mercies, if they abound in great wickedness, He will inflict great punishments upon them! Alas! beloved, the plague abates—but your sins increase! There is no turning from sin—nor turning to God! There is no reformation and amendment of life among you! If this is so—then God is not done afflicting you!

If you remain . . .
  as profane as before,
  as superstitious as before,
  as carnal as before,
  as lukewarm as before,
  as hard-hearted as before,
  as proud and vain as before,
  as worldly as before;
I say, if it is thus with you, God is not yet done with London—but has other judgments to pour out upon you, though He now causes the plague to cease. (Editor's note: Shortly after the writing of the above, in September of 1666, the 'Great Fire of London' gutted the city, and consumed 13,200 houses. The social and economic problems created by this disaster were overwhelming.)

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Christ's sympathy

Octavius Winslow, "The Tears of Christ")

"Jesus wept!"
John 11:35

The Creator of all worlds, the Author of all beings, the Upholder of the universe—raining tears of human woe and sympathy upon a grave!

Oh, there lives not a being in the universe who can enter into our bereavements with the sympathy, the support, and the soothing of Christ!

They were tears of sympathy. His heart was touched, deeply touched, with sympathy for the sorrow of others. He wept because the mourning sisters wept. He mingled His tears with theirs.

This is true sympathy, "weeping with those that weep," making their sorrow our own. How really our Lord does this with His people. So completely is He our Surety—that He takes our sins and infirmities, our trials and sorrows upon Himself, as if they were all and entirely His own. Our sins were so completely laid upon Him—that not one remains charged to the account of those who believe in Jesus.

And our present griefs are so entirely absorbed in Him, that, softened by His love, soothed by His sympathy, supported by His grace—the trial is welcome, the affliction is sweet, and the rod of a Father's chastening, buds and blossoms into delectable fruit.

Bereaved mourner! the sympathy of Christ is yours! The Savior who wept at the gave of Bethany, now shares your grief. Do not imagine that your sorrow is isolated, or that your tears are forbidden or unseen. You have a merciful and faithful High Priest who is touched with your present calamity.

There exists no sympathy . . . 
  so real,
  so intelligent,
  so deep,
  so tender,
  so sanctifying—
Christ's sympathy.

And if your heavenly Father has seen it wise and good to remove from you the spring of human

O child of sorrow! will not this suffice—that you possess Christ's sympathy, immeasurable and exhaustless as the ocean, exquisite and changeless as His being! Yield your heart to His rich compassion!

Will Jesus be regardless of what I feel, and the sorrows under which I groan? Oh no! The sigh that bursts in secret from my heart is not secret to Him; the tear that is my food day and night, and drops unperceived and unknown—is known and remembered by Him!

"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book."
Psalm 56:8 pity—it is but that He may draw you closer beneath the wing of Jesus' compassion, presence and love.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The whole world was astonished and followed the beast!

William Dyer, "Follow the Lamb")

"These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes!" Revelation 14:4

"Many are called—but few are chosen" Matthew 20:19

The Lamb's followers may be known discerned from the beast's followers, by fewness of their number. Christ calls His flock, a little flock, "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom!" Luke 12:32. Beloved, there are but a few who truly follow the Lamb. "The whole world was astonished and followed the beast!" Revelation 13:3

The Heathen follow Satan,
the Turks follow Mohammed,
the Jews follow Moses,
the Papists follow the Pope, and
the loose Protestants and carnal professors follow the world, the flesh and the devil!

Believers, though their nature is the sweetest—yet their number is the smallest.

In heaven are the best—but in hell are the most!

Oh, there are but few sincere Christians!

"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 

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He took us, and loved us, and married us!

(William Dyer, "Follow the Lamb")

"My beloved is mine—and I am His." Song of Songs 2:16

"I am married unto you." Jeremiah 3:14

"I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife."
Revelation 21:9

Christ has given Himself to His church by marriage, and therefore she is called—His queen, His spouse, His bride, His wife. Although we had nothing to bring to Christ, but our poverty, shame, sorrow, and misery—yet He took us, and loved us, and married us!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Fuel for hell!

(William Dyer, "The Strait Way to Heaven")

"Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share." 1 Timothy 6:18

There are many men who have a great deal of this world's wealth, and riches, and goods in their hands, and in their houses—but have no grace in their hearts! And therefore they do no good—with the goods of this world. They live so unfaithful, that their lives are scarcely worth a prayer—and their deaths scarcely worth a tear!

Men may as well go to hell for not doing good—as for doing evil. He who bears no good fruit, is fuel for hell—just as much as he who bears bad fruit! You may not be outwardly bad—and yet not be inwardly good. You may be as far from grace—as from vice! The rich glutton was in hell's torments, not for persecuting Lazarus—but for not relieving Lazarus.

"I was hungry—and you gave Me nothing to eat,
 I was thirsty—and you gave Me nothing to drink,
 I was a stranger—and you did not invite Me in,
 I needed clothes—and you did not clothe Me,
 I was sick and in prison—and you did not look after Me."
    Matthew 25:42-43

It is one of the greatest mercies in the world—for God to give a man a heart to do good with that good which He has given him.

Oh! beloved, be always doing good—and hating evil. Look not only where you may get good for yourself—but where you may do good to others. Labor to be helpful to the souls of others, and supply the needs of others.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The Christian's interpreter

(William Dyer, "The Strait Way to Heaven")

The Word of God is the Christian's rule—and the Spirit of God is the Christian's guide.

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness," 2 Timothy 3:16

"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes—He will guide you into all truth." John 16:13

Most people walk by false rules:
  1. Some walk by popular opinions.
  2. Some walk by worldly customs.
  3. Some walk by providence.
  4. Some walk by conscience.
  5. Some walk by their own reason.
  6. Some walk by other men's examples.
  7. Some walk by their own lusts.

But, oh! my dear friends, let me beseech you to walk by none of these false rules—but keep close to the Word and Spirit of God.

The Scripture is a rule outside of us—to show us where we must go; the Spirit is a guide inside of us—to enable us to walk according to the direction of that Word.

The Word of God is a compass, by which we must direct our course; the Spirit is the great pilot, who steers us in this course.

We have no eyes to see the Word—until the Spirit enlightens them.
We have no ears to hear the Word—until the Spirit opens them.
We have no hearts to obey the Word—until the Spirit bows and inclines them.

By the Word of God—we know the mind of the Spirit of God; and by the efficacy of the Spirit—we feel the power of the Word.

The Word of God shows us the way; and the Spirit of God leads us in that way which the Word points out.

The Spirit of God is able to expound the Word of God, and to make it plain to our understanding. The Holy Spirit is the Christian's interpreter; He gives the Scriptures, and He alone can reveal unto us the sense and meaning of the Scriptures.

The Word is God's counsel—to reveal the path in which we are to walk.
The Spirit is God's Counselor—who teaches us to walk in that path.

If God had not put His Spirit into our hearts, as well as His Word into our heads—we would never have arrived at the fair haven of peace.

The Scriptures reveal the very heart of God. God Almighty has, in the sacred Scriptures, as it were, manifested Himself, unfolded all His counsel to the creatures, as far as is necessary to be known for their direction and guidance to everlasting life.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The whore of Babylon's golden goblet!

(William Dyer, "The Strait Way to Heaven")

"The woman wore purple and scarlet clothing and beautiful jewelry made of gold and precious gems and pearls. She held in her hand a golden goblet full of obscenities and the impurities of her immorality." Revelation 17:4

Beware of the whore of Babylon's golden goblet, and her sweet wine! Be like the virgin spouse of Christ—who follows Him wherever He goes.

Beware of false teachers! The devil has his ministers—as well as Christ! "Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves!" Matthew 7:15. Yes, they are ferocious wolves—they never have enough! "They are dogs with mighty appetites; they never have enough. They are shepherds who turn to their own way, each seeks his own gain!" Isaiah 56:11

Oh! false teachers do not feed the flock—but fleece the flock!

They do not convert—but pervert!

They do not purify—but poison!

They do not edify for salvation—but destroy for damnation!

Instead of curing souls—they kill souls!

Just so long as they pilfer the people's money—they care not, though the devil has their souls!

They are dogs and wolves combining together to massacre the flock of Christ! Oh! therefore keep yourselves from Babylon's merchants, who make merchandise of the souls of men, Revelation 18:13.

Oh! the sins of teachers—are the teachers of sins!

Now, beloved, let . . .
  your hearts be upright,
  your judgments sound,
  and your lives holy!

Love the truth, and
obey the truth, and
hold fast the truth!

Keep yourselves . . .
  from false teachers,
  from false doctrines,
  from false worship,
  from false opinions!

If you will be tasting and sipping of Babylon's golden goblet—you must resolve to receive Babylon's plagues! 

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Jesus came leaping!

(William Dyer, "Christ's Famous Titles")

"The voice of my Beloved! Look! Here He comes, leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills!" Song of Songs 2:8

The Scriptures tell us that Jesus came leaping! He came with such love—that He came leaping! When a man goes leaping—you may know that it was with a great eagerness.

Jesus came leaping—how so? He came leaping . . .
  from the throne to the womb,
  from the womb to the cradle,
  from the cradle to the cross, and
  from thence to the throne again!

This was His great leap! Oh! sirs, oh! sirs, how eagerly did Jesus suffer and die for poor believers!

"Christ loved us—and gave Himself up for us!" Ephesians 5:2

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Meditate upon DEATH!

(William Dyer, "Christ's Famous Titles")

Meditate often on these four last things:
   Death, which is most certain.
   Judgment, which is most strict.
   Hell, which is most doleful.
   Heaven, which is most delightful.

Meditate upon DEATH
, which is most certain.
"It is appointed unto men once to die." Hebrews 9:27

Out of the dust was man formed;
into the dust shall man be turned.

To think of death—is a death to some men!

Oh, sirs! Meditate upon death.

Meditation on death—will put sin to death!

Death to the wicked—is the end of all comfort, and the beginning of all misery!
Death to the godly—is the outlet to sin and sorrow, and the inlet to peace and happiness!

The saints' enjoyment shall be incomparable,
when the sinners' torments shall be intolerable!

When a believer's soul goes out of his own bosom—it goes into Abraham's bosom! When a saint dies—he leaves all his bad behind him, and carries his good with him! When a sinner dies—he carries his bad with him, and leaves his good behind him!

The godly man goes from evil—to all good.
The wicked man goes from good—to all evil.

When a saint leaves the world—his soul returns to happiness and rest!
When a sinner leaves this world—his body goes to worms to be consumed, and his soul goes to flames to be tormented!

The saint goes to Abraham's bosom;
the sinner goes to Beelzebub's bosom!

The wheat goes to the barn;
the chaff goes to the fire!

Oh, sirs! meditate upon death!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Meditate upon JUDGMENT!

(William Dyer, "Christ's Famous Titles")

Meditate often on these four last things:
   Death, which is most certain.
   Judgment, which is most strict.
   Hell, which is most doleful.
   Heaven, which is most delightful.

Meditate upon JUDGMENT
, which is most strict.

"We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ!"

Those who will not come before His mercy-seat,
shall be forced to come before His judgment-seat!

Those who will not hear His Word—shall feel His Sword!

Those who are graceless in this day—will be speechless in that day!

At the world's end—such will be at their wits' end, to see:
  the earth flaming,
  the heavens melting,
  the stars falling,
  the graves opening,
  the judgment hastening,
  the sun and moon mourning,
  Christ and His angels coming!

He who comes to raise the dead,
will also come to judge the dead.

Oh! sirs, the great day to great sinners will be a dreadful day—when they shall see Christ coming in the clouds:
  with great power and glory,
  crowned with dignity,
  enraged with anger, and
  attended with His angel reapers!
He will bring all kings and nobles, high and low, rich and poor, to His judgment bar! And there He will judge them, not by the whiteness of their faces—but by the blackness of their hearts! "He comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity!" Psalm 98:9

You who make no account of His coming—
how can you give an account at His coming?

Sirs! Meditation on judgment—may make you judgment proof!

Those who now judge themselves in their own private sessions—
shall not be judged by Christ at His great white throne judgment!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Meditate upon HELL!

(William Dyer, "Christ's Famous Titles")

Meditate often on these four last things:
   Death, which is most certain.
   Judgment, which is most strict.
   Hell, which is most doleful.
   Heaven, which is most delightful.

Meditate upon HELL, which is most doleful!

Heaven is a place where all is joyful;
and Hell is a place where all is doleful.

In Heaven—there is nothing but happiness;
but in Hell—there is nothing but heaviness!

"The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and
all the nations that forget God.'' Psalm 9:17
Mark, sirs—the wicked shall be turned into hell.

Oh, dreadful place—where the devil is the jailer!

Hell is the prison,
damnation is the punishment,
eternity is the duration,
brimstone is the fire, and
men and devils are the fuel!

To endure this will be intolerable;
and to avoid it will be impossible!

This is the day of God's long-suffering;
that will be the day of man's long-suffering!
There they will suffer:
  pain without ease,
  torment without end,
  sorrow without support,
  and misery without mercy!

Sirs! Meditate upon Hell!

Oh, what hells are there in Hell!
Hell is:
the loss of God,
the loss of Christ,
the loss of all good!

Endless, ceaseless, and remediless torments must be their eternal portion!

Oh, that you would often think of Hell!

If once you drop into Hell—then after a thousand years:
you will be as far from coming out of Hell,
as you were at your first entrance into Hell!

There is only one way to KEEP a man out of Hell
—but there is no way to GET a man out of Hell!

In this world, the wheat and the chaff both grow
together, but they shall not always both lie together!

In Hell, there shall not be a saint among those who are terrified!
In Heaven, there shall not be a sinner among those who are glorified!

The sea of damnation—shall never be
sweetened with a drop of compassion!

Will you pity a person who is going to the gallows—and
will you not pity a person who is going to the bottomless pit?

What a dreadful visitation is that—where
the black horse of death goes before, and
the red horse of wrath follows after!

Oh, that must needs be sad—when one death comes upon the back of another;
when the second death comes upon the back of the first death!

A man's condition in this life may be honorable,
and yet his state in eternity may be damnable!

Poor Lazarus
goes to Heaven—
when rich Dives goes to Hell.

It is far better to go to Heaven poorly
—than it is to go to Hell richly!

Oh, sirs! let us go to Hell by contemplation, that
we may never go to Hell by condemnation!

Oh sirs! Meditate upon Hell!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Meditate on HEAVEN!

(William Dyer, "Christ's Famous Titles")

Meditate often on these four last things:
   Death, which is most certain.
   Judgment, which is most strict.
   Hell, which is most doleful.
   Heaven, which is most delightful.

Meditate on HEAVEN, which is most joyful.

"Then the King will say to those on His right—Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world!" Matthew 25:34

"Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter into the joy of your Lord!" Matthew 25:21

Heaven is a place where all joy is enjoyed!
In Heaven, there will be:
  mirth without sadness,
  light without darkness,
  sweetness without bitterness,
  life without death,
  rest without labor,
  plenty without poverty!
Oh, what joy enters into the believer—when
the believer enters into the joy of his Lord!

Who would not . . .
work for glory with the greatest diligence, and
wait for glory with the greatest patience?

Oh, what glories are there in glory!
   Thrones of glory,
   crowns of glory,
   vessels of glory,
   a weight of glory,
   a kingdom of glory!

Here on earth—Christ puts His grace upon His spouse!
There in Heaven—He puts His glory upon His spouse!

In heaven the crown is made for them, and
in Heaven the crown shall be worn by them!

In this life believers have some good things—but
the rest and best are reserved for the life to come!

Oh, sirs! meditate upon Heaven, for meditation on Heaven will make us heavenly!

Heaven is not only a possession promised by Christ—but a possession purchased by Christ!

When our contemplations and minds are in Heaven—then we enjoy Heaven upon earth!
To be IN Christ is Heaven below;
to be WITH Him is Heaven above!

There cannot be a better thing for us, than for us to be with the best of beings! "To me to live is Christ—and to die is gain!" Philippians 1:21

Let our condition now be ever so great—it is Hell without Christ!
let our condition now be ever so bad—it is Heaven with Christ!

"I had rather be in Hell with Christ—than in Heaven without Him!" said Luther.

Hell itself would be Heaven—if Christ was in it!
Heaven would be Hell—if Christ was out of it!

That which makes Heaven so full of joy—is that it is above all fear!
That which makes Hell so full of horror—is that it is beyond all hope!

The vessels of grace—shall swim in the ocean of glory!

We may talk of the greatness of our crowns—but we shall never know the weight of our crowns—until they are set on our heads! 

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Fiery trials—make golden Christians!

(William Dyer, "Christ's Famous Titles")

"For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory!" 2 Corinthians 4:17

Oh Christians! under your greatest troubles—lie your greatest treasures!

"It is good for me to be afflicted—that I might learn Your statutes!" Psalm 119:71

By the greatest affliction—God teaches us the greatest instruction. When a believer lies under God's hand which afflicts him—he lies in God's heart which loves him!

Afflictions are good—but not pleasant.

Sin is pleasant—but not good.

There is more evil in a drop of sin—than there is in a sea of afflictions!

God by affliction, separates the sin He hates so deadly—from the soul He loves so dearly!

The believer studies more how to adorn the cross—than how to avoid the cross! Tell me, oh believer, is not Christ with His cross—better than the world with its crown?

"God disciplines us for our good—that we may share in His holiness." Hebrews 12:10

Suppose, Christian, that the furnace is hot, seven times hotter—it is but to make you seven times more holy! Fiery trials—make golden Christians! Sin has brought many a believer unto suffering—and suffering has kept many a believer from sinning! It is better to be preserved in brine—than to rot in honey!

"I know, O Lord, that Your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness You have afflicted me!" Psalm 119:75

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The sheep's coat shall be stripped off the wolf's back!

(William Dyer, "Christ's Famous Titles")

"Let me die the death of the righteous—and may my end be like theirs!" Numbers 23:10

There is no living a life that is wicked—and then dying a death that is righteous.

Oh, that men would but deal truly with their own souls!

Many talk like a Christian—but few walk like a Christian!

Many know what is to be done—but never do what is to be done.

Many wear Christ's livery—but do the devil's drudgery!

Many have hands as white as snow—whose hearts are as black as hell!

Many appear righteous—who are only righteous in their appearance. But such as deceive others with a false show of holiness—only deceive themselves with a false hope of happiness!

Remember, sirs, that the sheep's coat shall be stripped off the wolf's back! "They come to you in sheep's clothing—but inwardly they are ferocious wolves!" Matthew 7:15

Oh, sirs, that you would consider well these weighty things! Tell me, sir—what did Judas get by all his deceitful dealings? Nothing but a halter—in which his body was hanged; and a fire—in which his soul was burned!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The golden key that lets us into paradise!

(William Dyer, "Christ's Famous Titles")

See what great love Christ bore to His people!

"He was pierced for our transgressions, He was
 crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that
 brought us peace was upon Him, and by His
 wounds we are healed!" Isaiah 53:5

Christ's cross is the golden key that lets
us into paradise!

His red blood—washed away our crimson sins!

Oh precious blood!
  it redeems us,
  it cleanses us,
  it justifies us,
  it sanctifies us,
  it restores us to God,
  it brings us to heaven!

Oh how lovely, how lovely was Christ in His sufferings!

Our blessed Savior died—that we might live!

He endured the greatest pains—that
we might enjoy the greatest pleasures!

Rather than His people be damned to eternal hell,
He came from heaven to suffer all this for them!

Methinks such a Pearl should sparkle in our eyes.

We do not sail to glory in the salt seas of our tears
—but in the red sea of Christ's blood!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The most lovely Christian!

(William Dyer, "Christ's Famous Titles")

"Learn from Me—for I am gentle and humble in heart." Matthew 11:29 

Learn humility—from Christ's humility.

For lack of humility—some angels became devils! Proud sinners are fit companions, for none but proud devils!

When men glory in their pride—God stains the pride of their glory! "The Lord Almighty planned it—to stain the pride of all glory, and to humble all who are renowned on the earth." Isaiah 23:9

The most lowly Christian—is the most lovely Christian!

A believer is like a vessel in the sea: the more it fills—the more it sinks!  

None live so humble on earth—as those who live highest in heaven. See how one of the best of saints looks upon himself—as one of the least of saints, "Unto me who am less than the least of all saints," said the great Paul in Ephesians 3:8.
The most holy men—are always the most lowly men. Where humility is the corner-stone, there piety is the top-stone. The coat of humility—should always be worn on the back of Christianity. "Clothe yourselves with humility." 1 Peter 5:5

God Almighty has two houses in which He dwells: His city-house, and His country-house. His city-house is the heaven of heavens; and His country-house is the humble and lowly heart! Isaiah 57:15, "I dwell in the high and holy place," that is, in heaven, God's city-house; "and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit," that is God's country-house. 

Humility is a 'Bethel' for God's dwelling-place!

Pride is a 'Babel' for the devil's residence!

If you do not keep pride out of your soul, and your soul out of pride—pride will keep your soul out of heaven!

I will not say, that a poor man is never proud—but I will say, that a proud man is never godly. James 4:16, "God resists the proud—but gives grace to the humble." The face of piety—shines brightest through the mask of humility.

"Clothe yourselves with humility." Of all garments, humility best fits Christians, and best adorns their profession. A Christian should look with one eye upon God's grace—to keep him thankful; and with the other eye upon himself—to keep him mournful. When you begin to grow proud of your glistening feathers—look down upon your black feet! 

Revelation 4:10, "The twenty-four elders fall down before the throne, and cast down their crowns before Him who sits on the throne." The only way of keeping our crowns on our heads—is the casting them down at Christ's feet!

Alas! sirs—what are you proud of?
Are you proud . . .
  of your riches,
  of your honors,
  of your relations,
  of your beauty,
  of your strength?
Alas! alas! these are poor base things to boast in!  

Oh, go to the graves of those who have died before you. Are not their bones scattered, their eyes rotted, their flesh consumed, their mouth corrupted! Where now are their ruddy lips, their lovely cheeks, their fluent tongue, their sparkling eyes, their flowing hair? Are they not all gone, as a dream!

And where will you be before long?

And will you be proud of these things?

"I hate pride and arrogance!" Proverbs 8:13

"He is able to humble those who walk in pride!" Daniel 4:37

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Crucify your sins!

(William Dyer, "Christ's Famous Titles")

"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires!" Galatians 5:24

Crucify your sins
—which have crucified your Savior!

Did the rocks rent, when Christ died for our sins—and shall not our hearts rent, who have lived in our sins!

Oh, that the nails which pierced His hands—should now pierce our hearts!

Oh, that they should wound themselves with their sorrows—who have wounded Christ with their sins! Oh, that they who have grieved His heart—should be grieved in their hearts! Oh, that I should be such a bad a child to Him—who has been such a good a Father to me! My sins have been my greatest terror—and my Savior has been my choicest helper!

Oh! put sin to death—for sin was the cause of Christ's death! If someone killed your father—would you hug him and embrace him as your friend, and let him eat at your table? Would you not rather hate and detest the very sight of him!

If a snake should sting your dearly beloved spouse to death—would you preserve it alive, warm it at the fire, and hug it in your bosom? Would you not rather stab it with a thousand wounds!

And were not our sins the cause and instrument of Christ's death? Were not they the whips that scourged Him; the nails, the cords, the spear, the thorns that wounded Him, and fetched the heart-blood from Him! And can we love our sins—which killed our Savior? Can a wife truly love her husband—and still embrace an adulterer?

We complain of the sins of Judas, and seem to hate them, and shudder at their mention! And can we love our Judas sins—which put Christ to death? And yet how many are there—who had rather have sinful-self satisfied, than to have sinful-self crucified.

Oh, sin is that mark at which all the arrows of Divine vengeance are shot!

Were it not for sin—death would never have had a beginning! And were it not for death—sin would never have an ending!

Man began to be sorrowful—when he began to be sinful. The wind of our lusts—blows out the candle of our lives. If man had nothing to do with sin—death would have nothing to do with man.

Oh, did sin bring sorrow into the world? Oh, then—let sorrow carry sin out of the world.

Of all evils—sin is the great evil! "The wages of sin is death!" Romans 6:23. Oh, sin is worse than punishment, banishment and imprisonment! Sin kills both body and soul—it throws the body into cold earth rotting, and the soul into the hot hell burning!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Christ is our Jonah!

(William Dyer, "Christ's Famous Titles")

"Then they picked up Jonah and threw him
into the sea—and the sea stopped its raging!"
  Jonah 1:15

Christ is our Jonah, who threw Himself
into the sea of His Father's wrath—to save
us from everlasting perdition!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Christ is our pelican!

William Dyer, "Christ's Famous Titles")

"While we were still sinners—Christ died for us!" Romans 5:8

He loved us more than His own life! The 'pelican' feeds her young ones with her own blood. Oh! sirs, Christ is our pelican, who has nourished and fed us with His own blood. "My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink," says Christ.

Christ's red blood—has taken away our red guilt!

Scarlet-red sinners—have become milk-white saints, when washed in His blood!

All our precious mercies—come swimming to us in Christ's precious blood!

Christ bled love at every vein! His drops of blood—were drops of love! Yes, the more bloody He was—the more lovely! He was most lovely upon the cross—because then He showed most love to us!

Christ took upon Him our shame—that we might be partakers of His glory!

He died our death—that we might live His life!

He suffered our hell—that we might enjoy His heaven!

He endured the sorest pains—that we might enjoy the sweetest pleasures!

He went through the furnace of wrath—to keep us out of the flames of hell!

Oh! how infinitely does He love us!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The sea of damnation!

(William Dyer, "Christ's Famous Titles")

"Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance? But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed." Romans 2:4-5

Oh! who will pity you who would not pity yourselves—when you are damned—when you are howling and roaring in hell?

If the day of mercy leaves you graceless—the day of judgment will find you speechless!

There is no standing before Christ—but by standing in Christ.

Ungodly men fear no wrath—because they presently feel no wrath.

Because their sin is now unpunished—they think there is no punishment for their sins!

Because God continues to spare them—they go on to provoke Him!

Because He adds to their lives—they add to their lusts!

Because He is very merciful—they will be very sinful!

Because He is very good to them—they will be very bad to Him!

Because His justice now winks—men think He is blind!

Because He does not reprove them for their sins—therefore they think He approves them in their sins!

But JUSTICE will soon avenge the quarrel of abused mercy!

Oh! sinners, though the patience of God is lasting—it is not everlasting!

If by the warnings of God, you are not alarmed—you shall be consumed by His wrath!

The longer God is in raising His omnipotent arm—the heavier will be the blow when it comes!

The day that begins in mercy—may end in judgment!

God is silent for only so long; but know, that God has vials of wrath filled with indignation—for vessels of wrath fitted for destruction!

If God's mercy does not draw you to repentance—God's judgments will drive you to destruction!

The sea of damnation—shall not be sweetened with one drop of compassion!

"How will we escape—if we neglect such a great salvation!" Hebrews 2:3. If you neglect the great salvation—you cannot escape the great damnation!

Oh! sinners, think of this—before the bottomless pit has shut its mouth upon you!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

All the hell that you shall ever have!

William Dyer, "Christ's Famous Titles")

"Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows!" John 16:33

"You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand!" Psalm 16:11

Cheer up, Christian! The sweetness of the crown which shall be enjoyed—will make amends for the bitterness of the cross which was endured. This world is all the hell that you shall ever have!

Here you have your bad things—your good things are yet to come!

Here you have your bitter things—but your sweet things are yet to come!

Here you have your prison—but your palace is yet to come!

Here you have your rags—your royal robes are yet to come!

Here you have your sorrow—your joy is yet to come!

Here you have your hell—your heaven is yet to come!

After the cup of affliction—comes the cup of salvation!

Oh, sirs, under the greatest troubles—lie your greatest treasures!

The seed of sorrow on earth—shall reap a golden crop of joy in heaven!

Those who sow holiness in the seed-time of their lives—shall reap happiness in the harvest of eternity!

Oh! sirs, never think to have an end of your sorrow—until there is an end of your sin!

The apostle tells us, "Our light affliction, which is for a moment—works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!"
A grain of affliction—works a weight of glory!
A short moment of pain—works an eternity of pleasures!

Therefore saints, be of good cheer! Here is comfort for you—your best days are yet to come!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He makes all His subjects kings!

William Dyer, "Christ's Famous Titles")

"He has made us kings and priests to our God!" Revelation 5:10

The Lord Jesus infinitely excels all earthly kings—in that He makes all His subjects kings! He has a crown of glory for every subject! Oh, what a glorious King is this!

Oh, sirs, it is better to be a poor member of Christ—than the head of a nation! Oh, how infinitely happy are all Christ's subjects! They are all kings, all heirs, all favorites, all sons!

Alas! where is there such a king to be found—who makes all his subjects kings?

There are many kings who undo their subjects—but Christ makes His subjects kings!

There are many kings who make their subjects beggars—but Christ makes His subjects kings!

There are many kings who put their subjects to death—but Christ died that His subjects might live!

There are many kings who give their subjects titles—but Christ gives all His subjects heaven!

Now, beloved, here is the excellence of our King—He makes all His subjects kings—and gives them all crowns of glory!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He not only makes them kings

William Dyer, "Christ's Famous Titles")

"To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with Me on My throne!" Revelation 3:21

Jesus Christ is an ENTHRONED King! But, beloved, this is not all; Christ not only sits there Himself—but He has promised that all who overcome, shall sit down with Him upon His throne!

Now, I wonder where there is any king but Christ, who allows his subjects to sit upon his throne with him. Alas! this would be treason for a man to attempt it!

Oh, what a glorious King is Jesus! Every one of His poor subjects shall sit upon the throne with Him! One would think this very promise would draw the whole world after Christ! Oh! what great offers, and privileges, and honors Christ bestows upon all His poor followers! He not only makes them kings—but He brings them to sit upon His very throne with Him!

O believer, you say that it would be an honor indeed, if could you but look into heaven, and merely to see Christ sit upon His throne! But this honor have all His saints; yes, much more—He makes them all kings, and grants to them to sit down with Him upon His throne!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Sailing through the narrow strait of repentance

William Dyer)

To bless God for mercies—is the way to increase them;
to bless Him for miseries—is the way to remove them.

Christ uncrowned Himself—to crown us!
He put off His robes—to put on our rags!
He came down from heaven—to keep us out of hell!
He fasted forty days—that He might feast us to all eternity!
He came from heaven to earth—that He might send us from earth to heaven!

There is no going to the fair haven of glory—without
sailing through the narrow strait of repentance.

  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Beyond this, I have no great desire to live

(Letters of John Newton)

"For to me—to live is Christ and to die is gain!" Philippians 1:21

God will preserve me—as long as He has service for me to do.
Beyond this, I have no great desire to live.

"I desire to depart and be with Christ—which is better by far!" Philippians 1:23