Grace Gems for JUNE 2010

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If you meet that poor wretch who thrust his spear into My side!

(Benjamin Grosvenor, "The Temper of Jesus Christ towards His Enemies, and His Grace to the Chief of Sinners")

"Repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Luke 24:47

It is very affecting that the first offers of grace should be made to those who, of all people in the world—had done it the most harm! One would rather have expected the apostles should have received another kind of charge, and that Christ should have said, "Let repentance and forgiveness of sins be preached—but do NOT carry it to Jerusalem, that wicked city, that has been the slaughter-house of my prophets, whom I have often sent. Last of all, I myself, the Son, came—and with wicked hands, they have crucified and murdered Me! They may do the same to you! Do not let the gospel enter those wicked gates, through which they led Me, its Author, to crucifixion!"

But Christ singles out exactly these—to make monuments of His mercy, and commands the first offer of eternal life to be made to them! As if our Lord had said: "Lest the poor house of Israel should think themselves abandoned to eternal despair—as cruel and vile as they have been—go, make the first offer of grace to them! Let those who spilled My blood—be welcome to its healing virtue. Tell them that there is repentance and forgiveness, even for them!"
"Nay, if you meet that poor wretch who thrust his spear into My side, tell him that there is another way, a better way of coming to My heart—even My heart's love! Tell him, that if he will repent, and look upon Me whom he has pierced, and will mourn—then I will cherish him in that very bosom which he has wounded! Tell him that he shall find the blood which he has shed—to be an ample atonement for the sin of shedding it! And tell him from Me, that he will put Me to more pain and displeasure by refusing this offer of My blood—than when he first drew it forth!"

For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance!" Matthew 9:13

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The situation in which she died is instructive:

(James Smith, "The Pastor's Morning Visit")

She had hospitably entertained the angels,
she had believed their message,
she had obeyed their command,
she had left Sodom behind her,
she had forsaken the ungodly.

Yet her heart was left in the city!

She was cut off by a visible display of God's judgment!

"But Lot's wife looked back—and she became a pillar of salt!"
  Genesis 19:26

The situation in which she died is instructive:

It was not in Sodom—but on the plain.

She escaped one judgment—but was overtaken by another!

She was deprived of eternal life—for too highly prizing earth's comforts!

She was left as sad example of God's jealousy, and His displeasure against sin.

God will be honored either by our obedience—or by our punishment!

It is dangerous to trifle with the smallest of God's commands!

We may overcome one temptation—and yet fall by another!

Here is a warning to the covetous—whose hearts are set on earthly things!

Here is a warning to the self-willed—who trifle with God's commands!

Here is a warning to the undecided—who stand between Sodom and Zoar.

Let us examine—are our hearts detached from the world?

Be not high-minded—but fear!

"Remember Lot's wife!" Luke 17:32

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My Father's eye!

(James Smith, "The Pastor's Evening Visit")

"Your Father—who sees in secret." Matthew 6:6

Can anyone hide himself from the Lord in secret places?

Can I, under any circumstances, escape His notice?


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—and my woes.

He sees every secret working of my foes—and will save me from them.
He sees every secret influence which is likely to injure me—and 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
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—hates every sin with an infinite hatred!

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He was infinitely happy and glorious without us!

(James Smith, "The Pastor's Evening Visit")

"Christ, who loved us!" Romans 8:37

No condition can possibly be more dreary—than to feel that no one loves or cares for us!

There is something peculiarly sweet and pleasant—in being the object of another's love. Even the love of a poor child is sweet. But to be loved by one who is most wealthy, most exalted in station, and most honorable in character—must be peculiarly delightful!

How, then, should we rejoice; how happy should we be—who are loved by the Lord Jesus! Especially when we consider:
on the one hand:
  how despicable,
  how poor,
  how worthless, and
  how unlovely WE are!
And, on the other hand:
  how glorious,
  how wealthy,
  how worthy,
  how lovely JESUS is!

To be loved by Jesus—is to be preferred before the possession of a world!

Think of . . .
  the glory of His person,
  the vastness of His possessions,
  the number of His angelic attendants,
  the unlimited sovereignty which He exercises,
  and the excellent character He bears!

Also bear in mind—that He knew what loving us would cost Him—how He would be treated by us and by others—for our sakes!

Yet He fixed His love upon US!

He loved US—just because He would!

He passed by others more dignified in nature, more exalted in station—but He chose US!

He did not, could not, NEED us—for He was infinitely happy and glorious without us!

Yet He loved us!

He still loves us!

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Alas! you are likely to dance and frolic yourselves into hell!

(Samuel Davies, "The Tender Anxieties of Ministers for Their People")

"I stand in doubt of you." Galatians 4:20

I am in doubt of some of you—that the WORLD has your hearts! Your thoughts seem to be engrossed by it, and your affections are fixed upon it as your supreme good—and hence your mouth is full of it; for out of the abundance of the heart—the mouth speaks. Now if any man loves the world—the love of the Father is not in him. Covetousness is idolatry; and you know that no idolater has eternal life. I fear that this is the character of some of you!

I am no enemy to the lawful pleasures of mankind, nor do I place genuine piety in morose, mopish, melancholy austerities. But after all, I must declare, that I have very little hopes of the success of the gospel among you—if I should have a congregation of dancing, frolicking, worldly professors! Alas! you are likely to dance and frolic yourselves into hell!

If you should die this night—I am in doubt whether heaven or hell will be your eternal residence!

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The price of our freedom

(James Smith,
"The Pastor's Morning Visit")

"Christ has made us free!"
Galatians 5:1

We were once the slaves of sin, Satan, and the world; but Jesus has made us free!

We are now delivered from the law—and are under grace.

We are dead to sin—and are justified from it.

We are delivered from Satan—and are at war with him.

We overcome the world—and are hastening out of it.

We are at liberty to serve God, and walk with Him in friendship and holy love.

The price of our freedom—was the life and death of Jesus!

The grand moving cause—was the infinite and everlasting love of God our Father.

The efficient cause of our freedom—was the power and operation of the Holy Spirit.

The instrument by which we are brought into our freedom—is the holy gospel.

The grace which puts us into possession of our freedom—is faith.

The end of our freedom—is that we may serve our God in righteousness and holiness all the days of our life, and then be glorified with Him forever!

We are freed from sin—that we may be holy and happy.

Let us stand fast in the liberty with which Christ has made us free!

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We shall wither, fade, and die!

(James Smith, "The Pastor's Evening Visit")

"Like autumn leaves—we wither and fall!" Isaiah 64:6

What a contrast between an unchangeable God—and a sinner withering like a leaf! Yet, this is a true picture of us—and of all temporal things.

We began to look green and bright not long ago—and in a little time we shall wither, fade, and die!

"How short is life—and how full of trouble! Like a flower—we blossom for a moment—and then wither!" Job 14:1-2. Humbling consideration! But it may be rendered very useful. Let us endeavor to profit by it.

Shall we soon wither and die? Then let us not be overly concerned by anything that occurs here below. Let us set our affections on things above, and lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven. Let us live by faith on Jesus, walk with God, and aim principally to please Him in all that we do. Let us also watch against a worldly spirit, and pass the time of our sojourning here on earth, in fear.

We shall soon find that . . .
  health gives place to sickness;
  strength gives place to weakness;
  youth gives place to old age!

The dying bed, the coffin, and the grave—are just before us!

Let us therefore make our calling and our election sure.
Let us cultivate close and filial fellowship with God.
Let us dig deep and lay our foundation upon the Rock.

Brethren, the time is short! Eternity with all its glories is just before us!

"Like autumn leaves—we wither and fall!"
Isaiah 64:6

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(James Smith, "The Pastor's Morning Visit")

"Look unto Me!" Isaiah 45:22

A new morning opens upon us—and we are still exposed . . .
  to sorrow,
  to Satan, and
  to disappointment!
Sin lives in us—and a thousand things are ready to distress us!

But our God says, "Look unto Me!"

Look unto Me . . .
  as the source of happiness,
  as the giver of grace,
  as your Friend!

Look unto Me . . .
  in every trial,
  for all you need, and
  in every circumstance.

Look unto Me TODAY, I have blessings to bestow! I am waiting to be gracious to you!

Believe that I am deeply interested in your present and eternal welfare!

Believe that I will perform—all I have promised!

Believe that I am with you—on purpose to bless you! I cannot be unconcerned about anything that affects you! I pledge Myself to make all things work together for your eternal good.

You have looked to SELF, and to others, in times past—and you have only met with trouble and disappointment!

Now look unto Me ALONE!

Look unto Me FOR ALL!

"Look unto Me!"

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He restores the fainting, the dying and the dead!

(James Smith, "The Pastor's Morning Visit")

"I will restore health unto you!" Jeremiah 30:17

Jesus is a skillful Physician.

He heals all the falls, bruises, and dislocations of His people.

He brings health to the heart!

Believer, is your heart . .
  divided, or

Jesus can heal it!

To you He says, "Come and be healed!"

He restores the fainting, the dying and the dead! He is the perfect master of every disease.

His terms are, "I will heal you freely—without money—without price!"

But He will have an absolute surrender to Him!
You must refuse all other remedies!
You must take all that He prescribes—bitter or sweet!

Jesus is Jehovah Rophi, "The God who heals!"

Therefore look for health to no other.

Consult Him daily.

Lay open your whole case to Him!

Never despond until  . . .
  His loving nature changes,
  His skill fails, or
  His promises are withdrawn from His Word.

Be grateful for healing, and show your gratitude by endeavoring to send others to Him. Recommend this gracious Physician!

Beloved, come to Jesus and be healed!

   Savior, I wait Your healing hand!
   Diseases fly at Your command;
   Now let Your sovereign touch impart,
   Life, health, and vigor to my heart!

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He seems to grow more like Satan!

(James Smith, "The Pastor's Morning Visit")

"Their righteousness is from Me!" Isaiah 54:17

The longer the Christian lives—the more he learns. And the more the Spirit teaches him—the more he loathes himself and renounces his own righteousness as filthy rags.

He hoped sensibly . . .
  to grow in holiness,
  to feel his corruptions subdued, and
  to enjoy the presence of his God without interruption.

But instead of this:
  he seems to grow more like Satan,
  his corruption appears to get stronger and stronger, and
  the depravity of his nature appears more and more dreadful!

He thinks himself to be a monster of iniquity, and wonders how God can possibly love him, or show any favor unto him.

Yet, this heart-felt experience . . .
  endears God's free grace,
  renders Christ unspeakably precious,
  and the gift of righteousness invaluable!

How can such a man be just before God? Where is his righteousness to come from? Jehovah answers, "His righteousness is from Me!"
Jesus wrought it;
the Father imputes it to us;
the gospel reveals it; and
faith receives it, puts it on, and pleads it before God.

Precious Jesus! in You alone, I have righteousness and strength!

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Grace personified!

(James Smith, "The Pastor's Morning Visit")

"The glory of His grace." Ephesians 1:6

The glory of grace is its freeness! Grace . . .
  fixes upon objects that are most unworthy;
  bestows upon them the richest blessings;
  raises them to the highest honor;
  promises them the greatest happiness;
  and all for its own glory.
Nothing can be freer than grace!

The glory of grace is its power! Grace . . .
  conquers the stubbornest sinners;
  subdues the hardest hearts;
  tames the wildest wills;
  enlightens the darkest understandings;
  breaks off the strongest fetters;
  and invariably conquers its objects.
Grace is omnipotent!

The glory of grace is its benevolence! Grace . . .
has delivered, supplied, conducted, supported, and glorified thousands;
brings the inexhaustible fullness of God—to supply the creature's needs;
opens the treasury of heaven—to enrich poor, miserable, and wretched creatures on earth.
gives away all it has—reserving nothing for itself!

Jesus is grace personified! In Him grace is displayed in all its beauty, excellency, and loveliness. "Full of grace." John 1:14

O Jesus! glorify Your free powerful, and benevolent grace in me!

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Paul's estimate of himself

(James Smith, "The Pastor's Morning Visit")

"I am nothing!" 2 Corinthians 12:11

This was Paul's estimate of himself: "less than the least of all saints," and "the chief of sinners."

The more we know of ourselves and of Jesus
  the more shall we be humbled in the dust before Him;
  and the lower we lie before Him,
  and the happier and holier we shall be.

Sinful MAN
will, MUST be something—this is both his pride and his misery.
The Christian is willing to be nothing—that Christ may be all in all.

If we daily felt that we are nothing
—how many mortifications we would be spared; what admiring views of the grace of God would fill and sanctify our souls!

Apart from Christ—we are less than nothing; but in Christ—we are something!

    We are empty—but He fills us!

    We are naked—but He clothes us!

    We are helpless—but He strengthens us!
    We are lost—but He finds us!

    We are ruined—but He saves us!

    We are poor—but He supplies us!

All that we are—is by Christ!

All that we have—is from Christ!

All that all we shall be—is through Christ!

Christian, you are nothing! Therefore beware of thinking too highly of yourself; or imagining that you deserve more than you receive—either from God or men.

Humble souls are soon satisfied.

   O could I lose myself in Thee,
   Your depth of mercy prove,
   O vast unfathomable sea
   Of unexhausted love!
   I loathe myself when God I see,
   Content if Christ exalted be!

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To nourish a serpent in the bosom!

(James Smith, "The Pastor's Morning Visit")

"Walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8

Pride is one of our greatest evils!

To indulge pride—is to nourish a serpent in the bosom!

The grace of God always humbles us; and it is only as we are sincerely humble—that we can be truly happy.

God condescends to walk with the humble man—but He keeps the proud man at a distance.

Consider . . .
  what a vile sinner you were by nature,
  what evil now lurks in your heart,
  what you would have been, but for the grace of God
—and be humble.

All you have which is truly good—is the gift of free grace!

All you do that is good—is the effect of God's working in you!

What then, do you have to be proud of?

What reason then, do you have to boast?

Oh, lie low in the dust of self-abasement!

Nourish humbling thoughts of yourself!

Admire the mercy, condescension, and infinite compassion of God—in even noticing so vile, so unworthy a worm as yourself!

Study the character and conduct of the humble Jesus—and endeavor to walk just as He walked. "Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart." Matthew 11:29

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We know not what this day may bring forth

(James Smith, "The Pastor's Morning Visit")

"I will surely do you GOOD!" Genesis 32:12

Though this promise was given to Jacob, it was not confined to him—but is intended for all his spiritual seed. It is thus that God speaks to US this morning. How gracious!

We know not what this day may bring forth
—but we do know that our God, who superintends every event, will do us good.

We may mistake as to what will be for our good—but He is infinite in wisdom and goodness, and therefore cannot mistake. We may look at afflictions, losses, and crosses, and cry out, "All these things are against me!" But read the history of David. What a train of troubles attended him! Hear his acknowledgment: "It is GOOD for me that I have been afflicted!"

Your God will do you good—therefore He will try you, sift you, humble you, and prove you. He will give you needed bitter medicine—as well as food. He will consider nothing too expensive, or too painful—if necessary for your soul's welfare.

Look at your trials, and say, "This also shall turn to my good!"

Look on the past, and acknowledge, "Surely goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life."

Look to the future, and rejoice, "The Lord will surely give me that which is GOOD."

Look in every direction, and say, "Surely the Lord will do me good—I will trust, and not be afraid."

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Tomorrow comes—and they are in hell!

(Samuel Davies, "The Objects, Grounds, and Evidences of the HOPE of the Righteous")

"The wicked is driven away in his wickedness; but the righteous has hope in his death." Proverbs 14:32

"The wicked is driven away in his wickedness."

That is, the wicked man dies—just as he lived.

He lived in wickedness—and in wickedness he dies.

His wickedness sticks fast upon him—when his earthly enjoyments, his friends, and all created comforts leave him forever.

The guilt of his wickedness lies heavy upon him—like a mountain of lead, ready to sink him into the depths of eternal misery!

And the principles of wickedness, which he indulged all his life, still live within him, even after the agonies of death; nay, they now arrive at a dreadful immortality, and produce an eternal hell in his heart!

He leaves behind him not only all his earthly comforts—but all the little remains of goodness which he seemed to have, while under the restraints of divine grace: and he carries nothing but his wickedness along with him into eternity! With this dreadful attendant—his wickedness—he must stand before the tribunal of his holy Judge! To leave his earthly all behind him, and die in the agonies of dissolving nature—this is terrible. But to die in his wickedness—this is infinitely the most terrible of all!

He once flattered himself that though he lived in wickedness—that he would not die in it. He adopted many resolutions to amend, and forsake his wickedness toward the close of life, or upon a death-bed. But Oh! how sorely is he disappointed! After all his promising purposes and hopes—he died as he lived—in wickedness!

This is generally the fate of veterans in sin. They are resolving and re-resolving to reform all their lives; but after all—they die the same as they lived. They intend to prepare for death and eternity—but just not today. They have always something else to do today; and therefore they put off this work until tomorrow. Tomorrow comes, and instead of reforming, they die in their wickedness. Tomorrow comes—and they are in hell!

"The wicked is driven away in his wickedness." He is driven away—in spite of all his reluctance. Let him cling to life ever so strongly—yet he must go! All his struggles are vain, and cannot add one moment to his life.

Indeed, the wicked have so little taste for heaven, and are so much in love with this world—that if they leave it at all—they must be driven out of it—driven out of it, whether they want or not!

When they hope for heaven, they do in reality consider it but a shift, or a refuge, when they can no longer live in this, their favorite world. They do not at all desire heaven—in comparison with this world. They would live forever in this present world—if they could have their choice. But let them grasp ever so hard—they must let go their hold. They must be driven away, like chaff before a whirlwind—driven away into the regions of misery—into the regions of misery, I say; for certainly the happiness of heaven was never intended for such as are so averse to it; and who prefer this wretched world, with all its cares and sorrows—before heaven itself!

"But the wicked will lose hope. They have no escape. Their hope becomes despair." Job 11:20

"When the wicked die—their hopes all perish!" Proverbs 11:7

"The desire of the righteous ends only in good, but the hope of the wicked only in wrath!" Proverbs 11:23

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You are devilized already!

(Samuel Davies, "Evidences of the Lack of Love to God" April 14, 1756)

"If anyone does not love the Lord—that person is cursed!" 1 Corinthians 16:22

What a monstrous soul you have within you—which cannot love God!
Which cannot love supreme excellence, and all perfect beauty;
which cannot love your divine Parent, the Author of your mortal frame;
which cannot love your prime Benefactor and gracious Redeemer;
which cannot love Him, "in whom you live, and move, and have your being,"
which cannot love Him, who alone is the proper happiness for your immortal spirit;
who can love a parent, a child, a friend, with all their infirmities—but cannot love God;
who can love the world; who can love even sinful pleasures—and yet cannot love God;
who can love everything that is lovely—but God, who is infinitely lovely;
who can love wisdom, justice, veracity, goodness, clemency, in creatures, where they are attended with many imperfections—and yet cannot love God, where all center and shine in the highest perfection!

What a monster of a soul is this!

Must it not be a devil
—to be capable of such unnatural horrendous wickedness? Can you be easy, while you have such a soul within you? What a load of guilt must lie upon you!

If love to God is the fulfilling of the whole law—then the lack of love must be the breach of the whole law. You break it all at one blow! Your life is but one continued, uniform, uninterrupted series of sinning! The lack of love to God diffuses a malignity through all you do!

Now, I appeal to you yourselves—is not this a very dangerous situation? While you are destitute of sincere love of God—can you flatter yourselves that you are fit for heaven?

What! fit for the region of divine love?

What! fit to converse with a holy God, and live forever in His presence?

What! fit to spend an eternity in His holy service?

Can you be fit for these things—while you have no love to Him? Certainly not! You must perceive yourselves to be fit for destruction—and fit for nothing else! You are devilized already! Lack of love to God is the grand constituent of a devil, the worst ingredient in that infernal character. And must you not then be doomed to that everlasting fire—which is prepared and fit for the devil and his angels?

"If anyone does not love the Lord—that person is cursed!" 1 Corinthians 16:22

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The daughter of faith

(James Smith, "The Pastor's Morning Visit")

"You, too, must be patient. And take courage, for the coming of the Lord draws near." James 5:8

Our God is a God of patience.
The Lord Jesus is the great Example of patience.
The Holy Spirit is the Agent producing patience.
Trials, troubles, and disappointments, are the means which exercise and strengthen patience.

The patience that God requires, is a disposition to bear all that He has appointed for us, without complaining; yes, with resignation and hope; to wait God's time for the mercies we need—or for answers to the prayers we put up.

Patience is the daughter of faith. It is only as we believe that God has appointed, overrules, or commands all things for our good and His glory—that we can be patient.

Patience . . .
  produces reliance on God,
  shuts the mouth from complaining,
  keeps back the heart from seeking revenge,
  and is a principal point in self-control.

Are you impatient?

Then confess it, and mourn over it before God! Impatience will make you miserable, and lead you to dishonor God. Watch against it!

Look at the patience of the Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs—of Jesus! "You, too, must be patient. And take courage, for the coming of the Lord draws near."

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You see the workings of gratitude even in your dog!

(Samuel Davies, "The Justice of God—and the Sins of Our Country")

"The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master's feeding–trough, but Israel does not know; My people do not understand!" Isaiah 1:3

How few sensible of their dependence upon God, as the great Sustainer of the universe? You see that even the dull ox knows its owner, and the stupid donkey knows its master's feeding–trough; you see the workings of gratitude even in your dog, which welcomes you home with a thousand fondling motions! But how is Jehovah's government and agency practically denied in His own territories! How few receive the blessings of life as from His hand—and make proper returns of gratitude to Him!

"Oh—sinful nation, people weighed down with iniquity, brood of evildoers, depraved children! They have abandoned the Lord; they have despised the Holy One of Israel; they have turned their backs on Him!" Isaiah 1:4

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The only effectual reformer of the world!

(Samuel Davies, "Serious Reflections on WAR" 1757)

"When He comes—He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment!" John 16:8

The Holy Spirit is the only effectual reformer of the world! If He is absent—
  legislators may make laws against crime;
  philosophers may reason against vice;
  ministers may preach against sin;
  conscience may remonstrate against evil;
  the divine law may prescribe, and threaten hell;
  the gospel may invite and allure to heaven;
but all will be in vain!

The strongest arguments, the most melting entreaties, the most alarming denunciations from God and man, enforced with the highest authority, or the most compassionate tears—all will have no effect—all will not effectually reclaim one sinner, nor gain one sincere convert to righteousness!

Paul, Apollos, and Peter, with all their apostolic abilities, can do nothing, without the Holy Spirit. Paul may plant the seed—and Apollos may water it; but God alone can make it grow! "So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything—but only God, who makes things grow!" 1 Corinthians 3:6, 7.

Never will peace and harmony be established in this jangling world—until this Divine Agent takes the work in hand.

It is He alone—who can melt down the obstinate hearts of men into love and peace!

It is He alone—who can soften their rugged and savage tempers, and transform them into mutual benevolence!

It is He alone—who can quench those lusts that set the world on fire, and implant the opposite virtues and graces. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, are mentioned by Paul, as the fruit of the Spirit, because the Spirit alone is the author of them. And if these dispositions were predominant in the world—what a serene, calm, peaceful region would it be, undisturbed with the hurricanes of human passions!

Oh, how much do we need the influence of the blessed Spirit . . .
  to break the heart of stone,
  to enlighten the dark mind, and
  to comfort the desponding soul!

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George is dead!

(Samuel Davies, "On the Death of King George II." Delivered on January 14, 1761, at Princeton College. It is interesting, that Samuel Davies himself died shortly after delivering this sermon, on February 4, 1761.)

"How the mighty have fallen!" 2 Samuel 1:19

George is dead! George, the mighty, the just, the gentle, and the wise! King George, the father of Britain and her Colonies, the guardian of laws and liberty, the protector of the oppressed, the arbiter of Europe, the terror of tyrants! George, the friend of man, the benefactor of millions—is no more!

"How the mighty have fallen!" Fallen under the superior power of death! Fallen under death—the king of terrors, the conqueror of conquerors;
  whom riches cannot bribe,
  whom power cannot resist;
  whom goodness cannot soften;
  whom dignity and nobility cannot deter, or awe to a reverential distance.

Death intrudes into royal palaces—as well as into humble cottages!

Death arrests the monarch—as well as the slave!

The royal robes of majesty—and the filthy rags of beggary—are equal preludes to the shroud!

A throne is only a higher precipice, from whence to fall with greater noise and more extensive ruin—into the grave!

Since death has climbed the British throne, and from thence snatched "George the Mighty"—who then, can hope to escape?

If temperance, that best preservative of health and life; if extensive benefit to half of the world; if the united prayers of nations; if the collected virtues of the king—could secure an earthly immortality—never, O lamented George, never should your fall have added fresh honors to the trophies of death!

But since this king of Britain is no more—then let all the nobles of earthly courts—be prepared for their "long homes" in the dust! Let those earthly idols—prepare to die like men; and to sink down to a level with beggars and worms—in the clay!

The alarm of mortality has sounded from the throne! And he who lived for their benefit, dies for their benefit too; dies to remind them—that they also must die!

But how astonishing and lamentable is the stupidity of mankind! Can the natural or the moral world exhibit another phenomenon so shocking and unaccountable? DEATH sweeps off thousands of our fellow-mortals every year! Our neighbors, like leaves in autumn—drop into the grave, in a thick succession! And our attendance upon funerals is almost as frequent—as our visits of friendship. Nay, sometimes death enters in at OUR windows, and ravages our families before our eyes!

The air, the waters, the earth, and all the elements—are armed with the powers of death; and have their pestilential vapors and inclemencies, their tempests and inundations, their eruptions and volcanoes—to destroy the life of man!

A thousand dangers lie in ambush for us!

Nay, the principles of mortality lurk in our own bodies!

And sickness, the herald of the last enemy, often warns us to prepare!

Yet how few realize the thought—that they must die! How few familiarize to their minds—that all-important hour, pregnant with consequences of great, of incomparable, of infinite importance! How many forget that they must die—until they feel it; and stand fearless and insolent—upon the slippery brink of eternity—until they unexpectedly fall, and are engulfed forever in that boundless ocean!

The sons of 'Adam the sinner', those fleeting phantoms of a day—put on the air of immortality upon earth; and make no provision for their existence in the proper regions—of immortals beyond the grave. Pilgrims and strangers imagine themselves everlasting residents on earth; and make this transitory life their all—as if earth was to be their eternal home—as if eternity was but a fairy land—and heaven and hell but majestic fantasies!

"How the mighty have fallen!" Shall not this loud alarm awaken us out of our vain dream of an earthly immortality? When the mighty has fallen—shall not the feeble tremble?

Since the mighty has fallen, since George is no more—how vain are all things beneath the sun! Vanity of vanities; all is vanity! Can the riches of Britain, or the honors of a crown; can the extent of dominion, or the laurels of victory—now afford the least pleasure to the royal corpse which lies senseless in the dust; or to the royal soul which has winged its flight to its own region, to the eternal world! No! all these are now as insignificant as mere nothings to him!

"How the mighty have fallen!" 2 Samuel 1:19

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

(Samuel Davies, "The Justice of God—and the Sins of Our Country" 1755)

"When disaster comes to a city—has not the LORD caused it?" Amos 3:6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Where am I bound for? For heaven—or for hell?

(Samuel Davies, "A New Year's Gift" January 1, 1760)

"Knowing the TIME, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep!" Romans 13:11

Consider the SHORTNESS of your time! That part of time which is parceled out to you, is not only uncertain—but extremely short! It is uncertain when it will end, but it is absolutely certain that it will end very soon!

In a short time—death will convey you from this world—to heaven or hell.

And is it not high time then for you to awake out of sleep! Your work is great—and your time is short! You have no time to spare—none to trifle away!

Methinks it would shock a man to enter upon a new year, without knowing whether he will be in heaven or hell before the end of it!

We are all standing upon the slippery brink of eternity!

This day let us put this question to our hearts: "What really am I? Am I an humble, dutiful servant of God? Or am I a disobedient, impenitent sinner? Am I a disciple of Christ in reality? Or do I only wear His name, and make an empty profession of His religion? Where am I bound for? For heaven—or for hell? Which am I most fit for in my disposition? For the region of perfect holiness—or for that region of sin and impurity? Shall I stupidly delay the determination, until it is passed by the irrevocable sentence of the Supreme Judge, before whom I may stand before this year is at a close? Alas, if it should then be against me—then my doom will be remediless!"

There is none of this salvation work in hell! They no sooner enter into the eternal world—than their state will be unchangeably and eternally fixed!

All are ripe for eternity, before they are removed into it!

The godly are ripe for heaven—and the wicked are ripe for hell!

The godly are vessels of mercy, prepared for glory; the wicked are vessels of wrath, fitted for destruction, and for nothing else!

And therefore they must remain forever in their respective lodgings!

Sinners do indeed repent when in hell—but their repentance is their punishment, and has no tendency to amend or save them. They mourn and weep—but their tears are but oil to increase the flame! They cry, and perhaps pray in hell—but the hour of acceptance with God is past—past forever! The means of grace are all gone! The sanctifying influences of the Spirit are all withdrawn forever! And hence, they will corrupt and putrefy into mere masses of pure unmingled wickedness and misery!

Sinners, realize this thought—and surely, it must rouse you out of your lethargy and sleep!

Trifle on a little longer—and it is all over with you!

Spend a few days more as you have spent your time past—and you will be engulfed in as hopeless a misery—as any devil in hell!

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The thread of life is held by the divine hand alone!

(Samuel Davies, "A New Year's Gift!" January 1, 1760)

"Knowing the TIME, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep!" Romans 13:11

TIME, like an ever-running stream, is perpetually gliding on—and hurrying each of us into the boundless ocean of eternity!

Consider the UNCERTAINTY of your time! You may die . . .
  the next year,
  the next month,
  the next week,
  the next hour, or
  the next moment!

I once knew a minister who, while he was speaking on this same point—was made a striking illustration of it—and instantly dropped down dead in the pulpit!

You cannot call one day of this next year your own! Before that day comes, you may be done with time—and have entered upon eternity!

People presume upon time, as if it were guaranteed to them for so many years; and this is the delusion which ruins multitudes! How many are now in eternity, who began the last year with as little expectation of death, and hopes of long life—as you have at the beginning of the present year! And this may be your doom!

Should a prophet be sent to open the book of the divine decrees to you—as Jeremiah did to Hananiah; some of you would no doubt see it written there by your name, "This very year you are going to die!" Jeremiah 28:16. Some unexpected moment in this year—will put an end to all the labors and enjoyments of the present state, and all the duties and opportunities peculiar to it!

Therefore, if sinners would repent and believe—NOW is the time, because this is the ONLY time they are certain of! Sinners, you may be in hell before this year finishes its round—if you delay the great business of salvation any longer!

For remember, time is uncertain! Youth, health, strength, business, riches, power, wisdom, and whatever this world contains—cannot insure it. No, the thread of life is held by the divine hand alone; and God can snap it asunder, without warning, in whatever moment He pleases!

"It is appointed unto men once to die—and after that to face judgment!" Hebrews 9:27

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Find rest, O my soul, in God alone!

(James Smith, "The Pastor's Morning Visit")

"I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

There is no rest for the Christian in this world. There will be always something to disturb, perplex or distress him; it is an enemy's land.

But Jesus says, "I will give you rest." He does so by enabling us to . . .
  rely on His Word,
  recognize His hand,
  submit to His will, and
  trust in His perfect work.

He assures us . . .
  that our sins are forgiven;
  that we are safe in His keeping;
  that His presence shall always be with us; and
  that all things shall work together for our eternal good.

We can rest on His faithfulness—for He has been tried, and found faithful.

We can rest on His love—for He loves us to the uttermost.

We can rest on His power—for it is ever engaged on our behalf.

We can rest on His covenant—for it is ordered in all things and sure.

We can rest on His blood—for it speaks peace, pardon, and acceptance with God.

We can rest at His feet—for there we are safe, and can never be injured.

We cannot rest . . .
  on our graces,
  on our comforts,
  on our friends, or
  on our possessions.

We may rest on Jesus alone.

"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken!" Psalm 62:5-6

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A tree is recognized by its fruit!

(Samuel Davies, "The Nature and Author of Regeneration")

"Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness." 2 Timothy 2:19

One distinguishing characteristic of the new birth, is, universal holiness of practice. This consists of a conscientious observance of every known duty—and an honest, zealous resistance of every known sin.

There is no known DUTY, however unfashionable, disagreeable, or dangerous—but what the true convert honestly endeavors to perform!

And there is no known SIN, however customary, pleasing, or gainful—but what he honestly resists, and from which he labors to abstain.

When the heart is made holy—it will infallibly produce habitual holiness of practice. A good tree—must bring forth good fruit.

Oh what a change is this from his former temper!

"Make a tree good—and its fruit will be good; or make a tree bad—and its fruit will be bad; for a tree is recognized by its fruit." Matthew 12:33

"Every tree that does not produce good fruit—will be cut down and thrown into the fire!" Matthew 3:10

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A practical atheist

(Samuel Davies)

A professed atheist—is a monster that we do not often meet with.

But the more absurd and astonishing phenomenon of a practical atheist; one who is orthodox in principle—but an infidel in practice—we find wherever we turn!

"Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?" Luke 6:46

"They claim to know God—but by their actions they deny Him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good!" Titus 1:16

"Those who claim they belong to the Lord—must turn away from all wickedness." 2 Timothy 2:19

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Would it not be better for you to be a cat or dog?

(Samuel Davies, "The Wonderful Compassion of Christ to the Greatest Sinners")

"You will not come to Me—that you might have life!" John 5:40. Yet you think that your not coming to Jesus is no crime. Is this consistent reasoning? Is it not the same as if a rebel should think to excuse himself by pleading, "I have such an inveterate hatred to my king—that I cannot love him!" Or as if a robber should plead in his defense, "I have such an aversion to honesty—that I cannot possibly help stealing!" Would not this be an aggravation of the crime—rather than an excuse! Is the invincible strength of your hatred to Christ—a vindication of it? Are you the more excusable—by how much the more you hate Him?

Sinners, give up this foolish reasoning, for the matter is too important to be trifled with! In short, whatever pleas and excuses you make—you will find at last that your destruction is entirely the effect of your own perverse desires and choice! You simply WILL not come unto Christ—that you might have life—and therefore you must perish without it. This reflection will forever torment you—that you willfully destroyed yourselves, and were guilty of the most unnatural self-murder! To you, therefore, I may properly address that expostulation:

"Why will you die? Why will you? Why do you most willfully destroy yourselves? Why will you die? Why will you causelessly eternally perish by your own act? What can be greater stupidity than this!"

In this light, the conduct of sinners is frequently exposed in the sacred writings: "The ox knows his owner," says Isaiah, "and the donkey his master's crib—but Israel does not know, My people does not consider!" Isaiah 1:3. "Every one turns to his course," says Jeremiah, "as the horse rushes into the battle! Yes, the stork in the heavens knows her appointed times; and the turtle-dove and the crane, and the swallow, observe the time of their coming; but My people," (who are more stupid than these brutes!) "know not the judgment of the Lord." Jeremiah 8:6-7.

To refuse the offer of eternal salvation, when proposed upon the most reasonable terms, is to rush into hell—rather than be saved by the friendly hands of Jesus Christ! It is to suffer the most dreadful execution—rather than accept Christ's free pardon! It is to reject all the bliss of heaven—when freely proposed by Christ! It is to choose the pleasures of sin for a season—rather than an eternity of the most exalted happiness!

Is this the conduct of a reasonable creature? No! Show me the brute, if you can, that would act so stupid a part—in things which come within the sphere of its capacity. Would it not be better for you to be a cat or dog—than that brute man—who is capable of so much

An immortal soul lost! Lost forever! Lost by its own obstinacy! Lost amidst the means of salvation! How tragic a case is this! God dishonored! Jesus rejected! His love spurned! His blood trampled upon! His Spirit grieved! How lamentable is this!

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

All that man can need—and all that God can give!

(Cornelius Tyree, "The Glorious Sufficiency of Christ" 1879)

"God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him!" Colossians 1:19

"In Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden!" Colossians 2:3

Do not only study Christianity—but Christ!

Do not only ponder redemption—but the Redeemer!

Do not only contemplate salvation—but the living Savior!

In this way, the mind will be convinced, and the heart savingly won to Him. In the person, character and work of Christ—is included all that man can need—and all that God can give!

"Indeed, we have all received grace after grace from His fullness!" John 1:16

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An infallible test!

(Samuel Davies, "The Nature of Love to God and Christ, Opened and Enforced")

"If anyone does not love the Lord—a curse be on him!" 1 Corinthians 16:22

If you truly love the Lord Jesus Christ—then you earnestly study and endeavor to please Him by a life of universal obedience. Love is always desirous to please the person beloved; and it will naturally lead to a conduct that is pleasing. This, then, you may be sure of, that if you truly love Jesus—then it is the labor of your life to please Him.

The only way to please Jesus, and the best test of your love to Him—is obedience to His commandments. This is made the decisive mark by Christ Himself: "If anyone loves Me—he will obey My teaching. He who does not love Me—will not obey My teaching." John 14:23, 24.

Jesus repeats this theme over and over in different forms: "Whoever has My commands and obeys them—he is the one who loves Me," verse 21. "If you love Me—you will obey what I command," verse 15. "You are My friends—if you do what I command." John 15:14. "This is love for God," says John; that is, it is the surest evidence, and the natural, inseparable effect of our love to God, "that we obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome." 1 John 5:3; that is, they will not seem grievous to one who obeys them from the principle of sincere love.

Here, then, you who profess to love the Lord Jesus—here is an infallible test for your love! Do you make it the great study of your life to keep His commandments? Do you honestly endeavor to perform every duty which He has required—and that because He has commanded it? And do you vigorously resist and struggle against every sin, however constitutional, however fashionable, however gainful—because He forbids it? And is the way of obedience pleasant to you? Would you choose this holy way to heaven, rather than any other—if it were left to your choice?

Your not loving God—if it continues, will certainly lead you to hell. You are fit for no other place! Where should the enemies of God be—but in an infernal prison? There is the same propriety in throwing you into hell—as in shutting up madmen in bedlam—or rebels in a dungeon! Why, you are devilized already! You have the very temper of devils! Enmity to God is the grand constituent of a devil—it is the worst ingredient in that infernal disposition; and this you have in your hearts, and, as it were, incorporated with your habitual temper! And what do you think will become of you? Judge for yourselves: must you not be doomed to that everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels—whom you resemble?

"If anyone does not love the Lord—a curse be on him!" 1 Corinthians 16:22