Short pithy gems from Matthew Henry

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Eve was not taken out of Adam's head to top him, neither out of his feet to be trampled on by him but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected by him, and near his heart to be loved by him.

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We cannot expect too little from man nor too much from God!

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A garment that is double dyed, dipped again and again will retain the color a great while. Just so will a truth which is the subject of meditation.

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A life spent in the service of God and communion with Him is the most pleasant life that anyone can live in this world.

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By the light of nature we see God as a God above us,
by the light of the law we see Him as a God against us,
but by the light of the gospel we see Him as Emmanuel, God with us.

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The Bible is a letter God has sent to us.
Prayer is a letter we send to Him.

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Nothing exposes religion more to the reproach of its enemies than the worldliness and half-heartedness of its professors.

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Nature is content with little;
grace
is content with less;
lust
is content with nothing!

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Christ's followers cannot expect better treatment in the world than their Master had.

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Whatever we have of this world in our hands, our care must be to keep it out of our hearts lest it come between us and Christ.

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Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces.

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When God intends great mercy for his people He first of all sets them praying.

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Saying and doing are two things.

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We should take heed of pride it is the sin that turned angels into devils!

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Come, and see the victories of the cross!
Christ's wounds are your healings,
His agonies are your repose,
His conflicts are your conquests,
His groans are your songs,
His pains are your ease,
His shame is your glory,
His death is your life, and
His sufferings are your salvation!

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It was the greatest honor God did to man that He made man in His own image.
It is the greatest dishonor man has done to God that he has made God in his own image.

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Brotherly love is still the distinguishing badge of every true Christian.

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Peace is such a precious jewel that I would give anything for it but truth.

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God is either your best friend or your worst enemy.

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Knowledge is vain and fruitless which is not reduced to practice.

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There is a burden of . . .
  care in getting riches;
  fear in keeping riches;
  temptation in using riches;
  guilt in abusing riches;
  sorrow in losing riches; and
  a burden of account at last to be given concerning riches!

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What peace can they have who are not at peace with God?

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The best evidence of our having the truth is our walking in the truth.

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None can know their election but by their conformity to Christ; for all who are chosen are chosen to sanctification.

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The first lesson in Christ's school is self-denial.

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It ought to be the business of every day to prepare for our last day!

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Hope for the best prepare for the worst and then take what God chooses to send!

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Every tear of sorrow sown by the righteous springs up as a pearl.

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Those who teach by their doctrine must teach by their life or else they pull down with one hand what they build up with the other.

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Our duty as Christians is always to keep Heaven in our eye and earth under our feet!

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The meek are those who quietly submit themselves to God, to His Word and to His rod, who follow His directions, and comply with His designs, and are gentle toward all men.

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God has wisely kept us in the dark concerning future events, and reserved for himself the knowledge of them that he may train us up in a dependence upon himself and a continued readiness for every event.

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There is one death-bed repentance recorded in the Bible (the thief on the cross), so that no one despair but there is ONLY one, so that no one will presume.

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The riches we impart are the only wealth we shall always retain.

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He whose head is in Heaven need not fear to put his feet into the grave.

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None live so easily, so pleasantly as those who live by faith.

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In prayer, God's Word must be the guide of our desires and the ground of our expectations. We must never promise ourselves any more than God has promised us.

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Those who will not deliver themselves into the hand of God's mercy cannot be delivered out of the hand of His justice!

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Days of trouble must be days of prayer.

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No attribute of God is more dreadful to sinners, than His holiness.

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It is not talking, but walking which will bring us to Heaven.

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The fear of God reigning in the heart is the beauty of the soul.

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Men may die like lambs and yet have their place forever with the goats. "All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left." Matthew 25:32-33

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Holy joy will be oil to the wheels of our obedience.

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Do nothing until you have well considered the end of it.

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Humility is the great preserver of peace and order in all Christian churches and societies. Consequently pride is the great disturber of them, and the cause of most dissensions and breaches in the church.

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Men cannot expect to do ill and fare well.

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God will work when he pleases, how he pleases, and by what means he pleases.

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Christ died. He left a will in which He gave . . .
His soul to His Father,
His body to Joseph of Arimathea,
His clothes to the soldiers, and
His mother to John.
But to His disciples, who had left all to follow Him, He left neither silver nor gold but something far better His peace!

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A modest dress is a very good thing, if it is the genuine indication of a humble heart. But it is a bad thing, if it is the hypocritical disguise of a proud ambitious heart. Let us be really as good as we seem to be but not seem to be better than really we are.

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When we are calling to God to turn the eye of His favor towards us He is calling to us to turn the eye of our obedience towards Him.

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That which God plants He will take care to keep watered.

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Thanksgiving is good but Thanksliving is better.

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Man takes great pains to heap up riches, and they are like heaps of manure in the furrows of the field good for nothing unless they are spread.

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Those whom God will employ are first struck with a sense of their unworthiness to be employed.

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Seducers are more dangerous enemies to the church, than persecutors.

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It is not enough for us to be where God is worshiped if we do not ourselves worship him.

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No man will say, "There is no God" until he is so hardened in sin that it has become his interest that there should be no God to call him to account.

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Grace is the free, undeserved goodness and favor of God to mankind.

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None are sent empty away from Christ but those who come to him full of themselves.

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May Christ be our joy, our confidence, our all. May we daily be made more like to Him, and more devoted to His service.

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It is good for us to keep some account of our prayers that we may not unsay them in our practice.

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Wherever the fear of God rules in the heart it will appear both in works of charity and piety, and neither will excuse us from the other.

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Those who have a heart to do good, never need complain for lack of opportunity.

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The way to preserve the peace of the church, is to preserve its purity.

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None are damned by the justice of God but those who refuse to be reformed by the grace of God.

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It is easy to be religious when religion is in fashion; but it is an evidence of strong faith and resolution, to swim against the stream to Heaven.

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The best we can say to God in prayer, is what He has said to us in His Word.

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If God and his grace do not rule us then sin and Satan will have possession of us.

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Some people do not like to hear much of repentance. I think it is so necessary. that if I should die in the pulpit I would desire to die preaching repentance; and if I should die out of the pulpit I would desire to die practicing repentance.

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What we count the adversities of life are often blessings in disguise, resulting in good to us in the end. Though for the present they are not joyous but grievous yet, if received in a right spirit, they work out fruits of righteousness for us at last.

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Better to get up late and be wide awake than to get up early and be asleep all day.

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They will soon come to make nothing of God who will not be content to make him their all.

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Prayer is a salve for every sore and a remedy for every malady. When we are afflicted with thorns in the flesh, we should give ourselves to prayer. If an answer is not given to the first prayer, nor to the second, we are to continue praying. Troubles are sent to teach us to pray. They are continued, to teach us to continue instant in prayer.

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Goodness makes greatness truly valuable and greatness makes goodness much more serviceable.

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What God requires of us, he himself works in us or it is not done. He who commands faith, holiness, and love creates them by the power of his grace going along with his word, that he may have all the praise.

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We best oppose error by promoting a solid knowledge of the word of truth. The greatest kindness we can do to children is to make them early to know the Bible.

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We have no sufficient strength of our own. All our sufficiency is of God. We should stir up ourselves to resist temptations in a reliance upon God's all-sufficiency and the omnipotence of his might.

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The Scriptures contain shallows where a lamb could wade and depths where an elephant would drown.

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Those who set God always before them and walk before him with all their hearts shall find him as good as his word and better; he will both keep covenant with them and show mercy to them.

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Prayer time must be kept up as duly as meal-time.

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Those, and those only, can expect to be taught by God, who are ready and willing to do as they are taught. Those who go up to the house of the Lord with an expectation that He will teach them His ways must go with a humble resolution that they will walk in His paths.

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The service of sin is perfect slavery.

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The more reverence we have for the Word of God the more joy we shall find in it.

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Everlasting life is a jewel of too great a value, to be purchased by all the wealth of this world.

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Nothing can make a man truly great but being truly godly, and partaking of God's holiness.

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The provisions of Christ's gospel appear mean and scanty to the world yet they satisfy all who feed on him in their hearts by faith with thanksgiving.

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Those who complain most are most to be complained of!

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You may as soon find a living man who does not breathe as a living Christian who does not pray.

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Prayer is the midwife of mercy, which helps to bring it forth.

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None so deaf as those who will not hear.
None so blind as those who will not see.

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Though we cannot by our prayers give God any information yet we must by our prayers give him honor.

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Christ is our temple, in whom by faith all believers meet.

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Pride is at the bottom of a great many errors and corruptions; and even of many evil practices, which have a great show and appearance of humility.

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The counsels and decrees of God do not truckle to the frail and fickle will of man.

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Hard words indeed break no bones but many a heart has been broken by them.

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God warns, before he wounds.

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Death to a godly man, is his release from the imprisonment of this world and his departure to the enjoyments of another world.

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Though He had so much work to do with others yet He chose sometimes to be alone, to set us an example.

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A man who is endued with the powers of reason, by which he is capable of knowing, serving, glorifying, and enjoying his Maker and yet lives without God in the world, is certainly the most despicable and the most miserable beast under the sun.

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To wait on God is to live a life of . . .
  desire toward Him,
  delight in Him,
  dependence on Him,
  and devotedness to Him.

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If we would be angry and not sin we must be angry at nothing but sin. We should be more jealous for the glory of God than for any interest or reputation of our own.

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Brown bread and the Gospel, is good fare.

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Were we to think more of our own mistakes and offences we should be less apt to judge other people.

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It is better to take time to consider than find time to repent.

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To a godly man, God gives not only wisdom and knowledge but joy.

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There is a curse which attends that which is ill-gotten which will waste it. The same corrupt dispositions which incline men to the sinful ways of getting will incline them to the like sinful ways of spending.

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Those that abide in Christ as their heart's desire shall have, through Christ, their heart's desire.

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It is more to the honor of a Christian by faith to overcome the world than by monastic vows to retreat from it. It is more for the honor of Christ to serve him in the city than to serve him in the monastery.

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The beauty of holiness is that which the grave, which consumes all other beauty, cannot touch, or do any damage to.

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We must believe that He is able to do what He will, wise to do what is best, and good, according to His promise, to do what is best for us if we love Him, and serve Him.

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Prayer is the breath of the new man drawing in the air of mercy in petitions and returning it in praises. Prayer proves and maintains the spiritual life.

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In order to the attaining of all useful knowledge this is most necessary, that we fear God. We are not qualified to profit by the instructions that are given to us unless our minds are possessed with a holy reverence of God, and every thought within us be brought into obedience to Him. As all our knowledge must take rise from the fear of God, so it must tend to it as its perfection and center. Those know enough who know how to fear God, who are careful in everything to please Him and fearful of offending Him in anything this is the Alpha and Omega of knowledge.

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Though we may now think some sins light and little if the Lord awakens the conscience, we shall feel even the smallest sin heavy upon our souls.

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Anger cannot rest in the bosom where love reigns.

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I thank You first because I was never robbed before; second, because although they took my purse they did not take my life; third, because although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth because it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed.

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See what a hidden life the life of a good Christian is, and how much it is concealed from the eye and observation of the world. The most important part of the business lies between God and our own souls, in the frame of our spirits and the working of our hearts, in our actions that no eye sees except the all-seeing God. Justly are the saints called God's hidden ones, and His secret is said to be with them. They have food to eat and work to do that the world does not know of as well as joys, griefs, and cares that a stranger does not share.

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All this and Heaven too!

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Sanctified afflictions are spiritual promotions.

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A godly man is willing to know the worst of himself. Particularly under affliction, he desires to be told why God contends with him and what God designs in correcting him.

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We read of preaching the Word out of season but we do not read of praying out of season, for that is never out of season.

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No sooner was the wound given than the remedy was provided and revealed. (Genesis 3:15)

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Esther came to a proud imperious man but we come to the God of love and grace.

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The kingdom of Heaven was never intended to indulge the ease of triflers but for the rest of those who labor.

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Grace in the soul is Heaven in that soul.

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Why will you be so sottish, such an enemy to yourself, as to prefer puddle-water, and that also poisoned and stolen before pure living waters out of your own well?

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Love is the root obedience is the fruit.

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Riches are a blessing or a curse to a man according as he has or has not a heart to make good use of them.

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When we cannot do the good we would we must be ready to do the good we can.

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Conscience is that candle of the Lord, which was not quite put out by Adam's fall into sin.

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Meekness springs from a heart of humility, radiating the fragrance of Christ.

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Those who go as gold into the furnace will come out purified.

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We have a cunning adversary, who watches to do mischief and will promote errors, even by the words of Scripture.

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Many a dangerous temptation comes to us in mirthful, fine colors.

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Those who deceive others, deceive themselves as they will find at last, to their cost.

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Earth is embittered to us that Heaven may be endeared.

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A state of apostasy is worse than a state of ignorance.

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Brotherly love is the badge of Christ's disciples.

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Love is from God. He is the fountain, author, parent, and commander of love it is the sum of his law and gospel!

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The greatest of men must turn beggars when they have to do with Christ.

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Poor people are as much in danger from an inordinate desire towards the wealth of the world as rich from an inordinate delight in it.

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Riches, in the hands of a man who is wise and generous, are good for something but in the hands of a sordid, sneaking, covetous miser, they are good for nothing.

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I would think it a greater happiness to gain one soul to Christ than mountains of silver and gold to myself.

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Christ shall supply me with whatever I need. If I have not everything I desire, I may conclude it is either not fit for me or I shall have it in due time.

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All obedience begins in the affections. Nothing in religion is done right, which is not done there first.

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He who is in haste, may contract much guilt in a little time. What we say or do unadvisedly when we are hot we must unsay or undo again when we are cool.

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In all God's providences, it is good to compare His word and His works together; for we shall find a beautiful harmony between them, and that they mutually illustrate each other.

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What harrowing is after sowing, the same is meditation after hearing it hides the Word in the heart.

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It is better to get wisdom than gold. Gold is another's wisdom is our own. Gold is for the body and time wisdom for the soul and eternity.

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The flower of youth never appears more beautiful, than when it bends toward the sun of righteousness.

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Joy in the Lord puts our mouths out of taste for the pleasures with which the tempter baits his hooks.

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God's promises are to be our pleas in prayer.

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Nothing has the like resemblance to the divine nature, as light has. God does not only dwell in light but he is light. Light is a pure, bright, clear, spiritual, unmixed substance. God is infinitely so.

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If evil thoughts at any time enter into the mind of a godly man he does not roll them under his tongue as a sweet morsel.

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None shall be saved by Christ, but those only who work out their own salvation, while God is working in them by His truth and His Holy Spirit. We cannot do without God and God will not do without us.

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The sentences in the book of providence are sometimes long and you must read a great way before you understand their meaning.

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Were a man to live as long as Methuselah, and to spend all his days in the highest delights which sin can offer one hour of the anguish of Hell which must follow, would far outweigh them.