The Preacher's Book
1885

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"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 (nlt)

Not a single sigh for past sins, escapes His ears;
not a groan of the heart, but is heard by Him;
not a tear falls to the ground, but He puts it into His bottle.

Not a breathing of the soul after His holiness;
not a loathing of our own unholiness;
not an act of self-abasement, or humbling ourselves for sin;
not a yearning of the soul for a purity which it has not;
not a single act of mercy;
not an act of self-denial;
every fragment of our poor sorrow and service
God gathers and stores up. Nothing is forgotten or lost!

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"If you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God!" Proverbs 2:4-5

Some look upon the Bible as a garden of spices, in which you may walk, and at your leisure pluck the flowers and gather the fruits of the Eden of God.

More truly is it a mine, in which you must dig and labor, the wealth of which is not to be obtained without labor a mine rich in gold and precious things, but it must be wrought day and night in order to produce them.

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The tears of a slave girl just going to be put up for sale
, drew the notice of a gentleman as he passed through the auction mart of a Southern slave State. The other slaves of the same group, standing in a line, for sale like herself, did not seem to care about it while each knock of the hammer made her shake.

The kind man stopped to ask why she wept, and was told that the others were used to such things, and might be glad even of a change, from a hard, harsh home but that she had been brought up with much care by a good owner, and she was terrified to think who might buy her.

"Her price?" the stranger asked. He stood a moment in deep thought when he heard the greatness of the ransom, but paid it nevertheless.

But no joy came to the poor slave girl's face when he told her she was free. She had been born a slave, and knew not what freedom meant. Her tears fell fast on the signed parchment which her deliverer brought to prove it to her. She only looked at him with fear. At last he prepared to go on his way, and as he told her what she must do when he was gone, it began to dawn on her what freedom was.

With sudden joy, she cried out, "I will follow him! I will serve him all my days!" And to every reason urged against it, she only cried, "He redeemed me! He redeemed me! He redeemed me!"

When strangers afterwards visited that master's house, and noticed, as all did, the loving, constant service of the glad-hearted girl, and asked why she was so eager with unbidden service night and day, she had but one answer, and she loved to give it. "He redeemed me! He redeemed me!"

So may it be with us. When any note the joy that is in our looks, the love in our voice, the freedom of our service we have but one answer, "He redeemed me!"

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He who cannot find time to consult his Bible will find one day that he has time to be sick.

He who has no time to pray must find time to die.

He who can find no time to reflect is most likely to find time to sin.

He who cannot find time for repentance
will find an eternity in which repentance will be of no avail.

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"They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb!" Psalm 19:10

God's Word is like God's world varied, very rich, very beautiful. You can never know exhaust all its secrets.

The Bible, like Nature, has something for every class of mind.

Look at the Bible in a new light, and immediately you see some new charm.

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A Jew one day entered the house of a rich man in Paris. He saw a book handsomely bound and clasped with silver lying on the table. He stole it for the sake of the silver clasps, which he sold. Some time afterwards, he became curious to know what was in the book, and began to read it. The book was the Bible and the truth about Jesus arrested his attention. He read on, the veil of unbelief was removed, and he became persuaded that Jesus is the very Christ.

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"Mother," said a child, "my teacher tells me that this world is only a place in which God lets us live a little while that we may prepare for a better world. But, mother, I don't see anybody preparing. I see you preparing to go into the country, and Auntie is preparing to come here but I don't see anyone preparing to go to Heaven. If everybody wants to go there why don't they try to get ready?"

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To say you have "gained the world" is very often only another way of saying, "the world has gained you."

It is not what a man has, but what he is which makes him prosperous and happy.

True is it, a man's life consists not in the abundance of the things that he possesses.

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"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." Proverbs 17:17

Friendship improves happiness, and abates misery by the doubling of our joys, and the dividing of our griefs.

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Frankincense, when it is put into the fire, gives off the greater perfume.

Spice, if it is pounded and beaten, smells the sweeter.

The earth, when it is torn up with the plough, becomes more fruitful.

The seed in the ground, after frost and snow and winter storms, grows the thicker.

The nearer the vine is pruned to the stock the larger grapes it yields.

The grape, when it is most pressed and beaten makes the sweetest wine.

Linen, when it is washed and wrung and beaten, is so made fairer and whiter.

In the same way, the children of God receive great benefit by affliction for by it God washes and scours, trains and nurtures them.

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A great King once required a charioteer. Many candidates sought this honor one by one they were introduced into the royal presence.

He inquired of the first, "If you were driving my chariot near a precipice, how near could you steer the chariot wheels without falling over?" The man replied that he could drive within two feet of the precipice, and not go over.

Another was interrogated likewise, and he replied that he could safely drive the chariot within one foot of the brink, and not go over.

A third was in like manner questioned, and replied that he could safely come within a few inches, and yet be safe.

Whereupon a fourth being inquired of, at once replied, "If I am engaged as your charioteer, I would consider it my duty to keep as far off as possible from the precipice!"

The last was the best and safest and as such he was instantly hired.

And even so says the Scripture, "Abstain from all appearance of evil!"

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John Newton says, "Satan seldom comes to Christians with great temptations or with a temptation to commit a great sin."

You bring a green log and a candle together, and they are very safe neighbors. But bring a few shavings and set them alight, and then bring a few small sticks, and let them take fire, and the log is in the midst of them, and soon the log will be ablaze.

Just so it is with little sins. You will be startled with the idea of committing a great sin and so the devil brings you a little temptation, and leaves you to indulge yourself. "There is no harm in this!" "There is no great peril in that!" And so by these little chips, we are first easily lighted up, and at last the green log is burned!

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He who prays as he ought, will endeavor to live as he prays.

He who can live in sin, and abide in the ordinary duties of prayer, never prays as he ought!

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The truths that I know best I have learned on my knees. I never know a thing well until it is burned into my heart by prayer. John Bunyan

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"Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple." Luke 14:27

If I have no Cross to bear today, I shall not advance Heavenwards. To have no Cross, to lie quietly on a bed of down, may seem a very sweet existence but pleasant ease and rest are not the lot of a Christian.

Alas! for those who have no daily Cross! What will be my Cross today? How bear it? Dear Cross, you are helping me on, how ought I to love you!

To carry the Cross, is to join ourselves to the Savior, to company with Him.

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The sun begins a new day of existence when he rises from the Eastern sea and we begin a new life of vigor when we rise from our bed of rest.

The eyes of the sleeper ache no more with the glare of the light, or the rush of tears.
His ears are no more dinned with the noise of strife, or the wail of suffering.
His hand is no more weakened by strenuous efforts, and painful weariness.
His feet are no more blistered with journeyings to and fro along a rugged road.

There is rest for aching heads and heavy hearts in the sweet repose of sleep. On his couch, however hard . . .
  the laborer shakes off his toil,
  the merchant his care,
  the thinker his difficulties,
  the sufferer his pains.

Sleep shuts the door of the soul, and bids all intruders wait awhile, that the royal life within may enter, and enjoy its summer garden of repose and ease.

From the sweat of his brow, man is delivered by sleep, and the thorn and thistle of the curse cease to tear his flesh.

So is it with the body that sleeps in the tomb the weary are at rest, the servant as much at ease as his lord. The galley slave no more toils at the oar, the slave forgets the whip. The wheel stands still, the shuttle is motionless the hand which turned the one, and the fingers that threw the other, are quiet too.

The coffin shuts out all disturbance, labor, and effort. The toil-worn believer quietly sleeps, as does the child weary with its play.

Such, too, is the effect of the body's visit to its grave. They go there with furrowed brow, hollow cheek, wrinkled skin they shall wake up in beauty and glory.

The old man totters there, the palsied are borne there, the halt, the lame, and the blind all come trembling to the common sleeping house but they shall not rise decrepit, deformed, or diseased, but strong, vigorous, active, glorious and immortal.

When we wake up after Christ's likeness, it will not be with the infirmities and failings of earth but beautified, and full of strength and vigor.

Blessed death! through the Divine power dissolving us of the leprous rags of the flesh only to clothe us with the spotless wedding garments of incorruption!

Oh! true it is! They are happy who die in the Lord, "they rest from their labors, and their works follow them." Their repose shall never be broken until the great Gardener shall rouse them up to give them their full reward.

Guarded by angel watchers, resting on the lap of earth the inheritors of glory sleep on, until the fullness of time brings to them fullness of salvation.

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No evil propensity of the human heart is so powerful, that it may not be subdued by discipline.

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Any self-denial, however simple, done for the love of your Redeemer is accepted by Him as a bearing of His Cross.