Grace Gems for January 2002

Hanging upon a rich, almighty Savior!
  (Octavius Winslow)
"The holiest of Christians have to acknowledge
 that they are but poor, empty sinners at best;
 hanging upon a rich, almighty Savior, and
 saved alone by His free and sovereign grace."

Levity of spirit.
(adapted from Mary Winslow's, "Heaven Opened")
Watch against levity of spirit.

It grieves the Holy Spirit in
 you, and dishonors God.

"But the end of all things is at hand: be
 therefore sober, and watch unto prayer."
  1 Peter 4:7


The flesh!
(adapted from Octavius Winslow's, "The
Unregenerate and the Regenerate Contrasted")

"That which is born of the flesh is flesh."
That is, it is nothing more than carnal and
corrupt. It is originally corrupt, and corrupt
it remains until it perishes.

"For those who are after the flesh do mind the
things of the flesh." The flesh here refers to the
fallen and carnal state of the unrenewed man.
He lives after the flesh, and his whole life is in
accordance with the dictates of the flesh. All the
objects of attraction, the desires and pursuits of
the carnal mind, are corrupt and worldly.

A fleshly or corrupt mind must act agreeably with
its own nature; and so acting, must be supremely
engrossed with the things of the flesh.

We are thus taken to the very root of all the
depravity and crime which afflicts and degrades
our common nature.

It is not so much the outbreak of sin; the
wretchedness and woe which, working upwards,
floats upon the surface of society; that presents
the most true view of man's fallen condition; as
the fact, that the root of all iniquity dwells in his
nature; and that, when he hates God, and opposes
his government, and violates his laws, and injures
his fellow creatures, it is not an accident of his nature.

But it is the working out of an original and natural
principle; it is the development of an innate and
deep corruption, coursing its way upward, from the
concealed depths of his nature to the surface of his life.

Man bears about with him an original principle of evil.

The religious perceptions of such an unregenerate
mind must be crude and obscure, for they are the
perceptions of a darkened understanding. Their ritual
may be sound, its rites may be scriptural, its forms
may be solemn, its offerings may be costly, it is still
the sacrifice of the dead offered to a living God!

They know him intellectually, historically, speculatively,
notionally, and this is the extent of their knowledge of God.


The Spirit!
(adapted from Octavius Winslow's, "The
Unregenerate and the Regenerate Contrasted")

"Those who live in accordance with the Spirit
have their minds set on what the Spirit desires."
    Romans 8:5

What, reader, is the habitual and supreme bent of your mind?

Is it that which is spiritual, or that which is carnal?

You have your mind either set upon the things
 of the flesh, or upon the things of the Spirit.

You are either born again from above,
 or are groveling in things below.

You are either sanctified, or you are unholy.

You are for the Lord, or you are against him.

You are either Satan's slave, or Christ's freeman.


You inquire, "How may I know that I am of the Spirit?"

We answer, by your producing the fruits of the Spirit:
  a broken heart for sin;
  a felt conviction of the hidden plague;
  a humble and a contrite spirit;
  an utter rejection of a human righteousness;
  a simple, believing reception of the Lord Jesus;
  and a breathing after Divine conformity,
are evidences of a renewed and sanctified state.

If these are yours in any degree, then you are of the Spirit.


Poisonous weeds in the Church!
(adapted from Mary Winslow's, "Heaven Opened")

It is high time we awoke out of sleep, and aim to live
more for eternity, to live more for God, and to God.

With this world and its opinions and maxims,
we, as believers, have nothing to do, for they
are contrary to God's Word.

And as it respects mere professing Christians,
we had better keep away from them, for they are
as poisonous weeds in the Church, infecting,
in some way or other, all around them, and
must, and will be, rooted out in due time.

These are the very bane of the Church!

May God, in mercy, lessen the number daily!


More scarce and precious than a bar of gold!
(adapted from Octavius Winslow's, "The Redeemer,
the Revelation of the Father's Glory" October, 1844)

"The time is surely coming," says the Sovereign Lord,
"when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine
of bread or water but of hearing the words of the Lord."
  Amos 8:11

Already has this famine of the true word of God commenced!

How few, forming their ministry upon the apostolic
model, can affirm with Paul, "My speech and my
preaching are not with enticing words of man's wisdom,
but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power!"

How few, disdaining artificial embellishment, and
scorning the applause of men won by a vain show
of intellect and eloquence, preach that simple truth
of which Jesus is the Author, the Substance, the
Glory, the Power, and the End; purely, boldly,
faithfully, affectionately, uncompromisingly!

How few who honestly and heartily desire to lift up
their Lord and Master; themselves lost behind the
glory of His person and the splendors of His cross!

How sadly, how painfully, is the Lord Jesus Christ
kept in the background! How is His glory obscured,
His beauty veiled, His honor withheld!

"The time will come, when a faithful minister
 of the Gospel will be more scarce and precious
 than a bar of gold!"  John Owen

"The time is surely coming," says the Sovereign Lord,
"when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine
of bread or water but of hearing the words of the Lord."
  Amos 8:11


Solemn words to ministers!
(adapted from Mary Winslow's, "Heaven Opened")
Do not speak peace to a poor soul before God has spoken it.

The murder of souls is the most dire of all murders!

Hold in memory Ezekiel 33:7-8, "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from Me. When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you will surely die,' and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood."

I wish that every man who considers he has been called of the Holy Spirit to preach the Gospel had this whole chapter written upon his heart. In your preaching separate the precious from the vile, and be ready at a moment's warning to give an account of your stewardship. Great is your responsibility! Oh, be faithful over a few things, that you may have a "Well done, good and faithful servant!"

I heard a clergyman in your neighborhood say, "All that we have to do is to keep the people quiet." This man was never called of the Holy Spirit to preach Christ's Gospel. Satan is only too pleased with such. This is just as the Deceiver would have it. He would keep the people quiet in their own sins, and say, "There is no danger; it is time enough yet, for you are good enough, and have done no evil, at any rate, you are no worse than others. Peace, peace!"


Romans 8:28
"And we know that God causes everything to work
 together for the good of those who love God and
 are called according to His purpose for them." Romans 8:28

(adapted from Winslow's, "All Things Working for Good")

It is palpably clear and emphatically true that all
that occurs in the Lord's government of His people
conspires for, and works out, and results in, their
highest happiness, their greatest good.

The gloomiest and most painful circumstances in
the history of the child of God, without a solitary
exception, are all conspiring, and all working
together, for his real and permanent good.

The painful and inexplicable dispensations, which
at the present moment may be thickening and
deepening around your path, are but so many
problems in God's government, which He is working
out to their certain, satisfactory, and happy results.

And when the good thus embosomed in the lowering
cloud of some crushing providence, accomplishes its
benevolent and heaven sent mission, then trial will
expand its dark pinions and fly away; and sorrow will
roll up its somber drapery and disappear.

All things under the government of an infinitely great,
all wise, righteous, and beneficent Lord God, work together
for good. What that good may be, the shape it may assume,
the complexion it may wear, the end to which it may be
subservient, we cannot tell. To our dim view it may appear
an evil, but to God's far seeing eye it is a positive good.

Oh, truth most divine!

Oh, words most consolatory!

How many whose eye traces this page, it may be whose
tears bedew it, whose sighs breathe over it, whose prayers
hallow it, may be wading in deep waters, may be drinking
bitter cups, and are ready to exclaim: "All these things
are against me!"

Oh no, beloved of God, all these things are for you!

Do not be afraid!

Christ restrains the flood upon whose heaving bosom
He serenely sits. Christ controls the waters, whose
sounding waves obey the mandate of his voice.

Christ's cloudy chariot is paved with love!

Then, fear not!

Your Father grasps the helm of your storm tossed
bark, and through cloud and tempest will steer it
safely to the port of endless rest.

Will it not be a good, if your present adversity results in...
  the dethronement of some worshiped idol;
  in the endearing of Christ to your soul;
  in the closer conformity of your mind to God's image;
  in the purification of your heart;
  in your more thorough fitness for heaven?

Will it not be a real good if it terminate...
  in a revival of God's work within you;
  in stirring you up to more prayer;
  in enlarging your heart to all that love the same Savior;
  in stimulating you to increased activity...
     for the conversion of sinners,
     for the diffusion of the truth,
     and for the glory of God?

Oh yes! good, real good, permanent good must result
 from all the Divine dispensations in your history.

Bitter repentance shall end in the experienced sweetness of Christ's love.

The festering wound shall but elicit the healing balm.

The overpowering burden shall but bring you to the tranquil rest.

The storm shall but quicken your footsteps to the Hiding place.

The north wind and the south wind shall breathe together
  over your garden, and the spices shall flow out.

In a little while; oh, how soon! you shall pass away
from earth to heaven, and in its clearer, serener light
shall read the truth, often read with tears before,
"And we know that God causes everything to work
 together for the good of those who love God and
 are called according to His purpose for them."


Worth ten thousand worlds!
(adapted from Mary Winslow's, "Heaven Opened")

What a mercy that there are better things in
store for us than this poor world could give!

Who that knows the truth experimentally
would wish to live in this base world one
moment longer than he could help it.

But what must that place be which
 infinite love has prepared for us!

"There are many rooms in My Father's home,
 and I am going to prepare a place for you.
 When everything is ready, I will come and
 get you, so that you will always be with Me
 where I am."

Does it not appear as though Jesus could
not enjoy heaven itself to the full if all His
redeemed ones were not there?

"Father, I want those you have given Me to
 be with Me where I am, and to see My glory."

To be with Jesus! One moment of
this is worth ten thousand worlds!


Your burden is on his shoulder!
(from Octavius Winslow's, "The Believers Triumph")

"Jesus, who died; more than that, who was raised
 to life; is at the right hand of God and is also
 interceding for us."  Romans 8:34

Jesus, amid the honors and splendors to which God
has highly exalted him, still remembers his brethren
in bonds, and makes intercession for them.

It is an individual, an anticipative, and a present intercession.

It embraces all the personal needs of each believer,
it precedes each temptation and each trial, and at
the moment that the sympathy and the prayers of
the Savior are the most called for, and are felt to be
the most soothing, it bears the saint and his sorrow
on its bosom before the throne!

Just at a crisis of his history, at a juncture, perhaps,
the most critical in his life; and when the heart,
oppressed with its emotions, cannot breathe a prayer,
Jesus is remembering him, sympathizing with him,
and interceding for him!

Oh, who can fully describe the blessings that flow
 through the intercession of the Son of God?

The love,
the sympathy,
the forethought,
the concern,
the minute interest in all our concerns,
are blessings beyond description!

Tried, tempted believer! Jesus makes intercession for you!

Your case is not unknown to him!

Your sorrow is not hidden from him!

Your name is on his heart!

Your burden is on his shoulder!
"Therefore He is able to save completely those
 who come to God through Him, because He
 always lives to intercede for them." Hebrews 7:25


What is your sorrow?
(from Winslow's, "The Broken Heart Bound Up")

What is your sorrow?

Has the hand of death smitten?

Is the beloved one removed?

Has the desire of your eyes been taken away with a stroke?

But who has done it?

Jesus has done it. Death was only His messenger.

Your Jesus has done it. The Lord has taken away.

And what has He removed? Your wife? Ah, Jesus
has all the tenderness that your wife ever had.
Hers was only a drop from the ocean that is in
His heart.

Is it your husband? Jesus is better to you than ten husbands.

Is it your parent, your child, your friend, your all of
earthly bliss? Is the cistern broken? Is the earthen
vessel dashed to pieces? Are all your streams dry?
Jesus is still enough. He has not taken Himself from
you, and never, never will.

Take your bereaved, stricken and bleeding heart
to Him, and rest it upon His, once bereaved, stricken
and bleeding, too; for He knows how to bind up the
broken heart, to heal the wounded spirit and to
comfort those that mourn.

What is your sorrow?

Has health failed you?

Has property forsaken you?

Have friends turned against you?

Are you tried in your circumstances?

Perplexed in your path?

Are providences thickening and darkening around you?

Are you anticipating seasons of approaching trial?

Are you walking in darkness, having no light?

Simply go to Jesus. He is an ever open door.

A tender, loving faithful Friend, ever near.

He is a Brother born for your adversity.

His grace and sympathy are sufficient for you.

Go to Him in every trial, cast upon Him every
burden, take the infirmity, the corruption, the
cross as it arises, simply and immediately to Jesus!

Jesus is your loving and confiding Brother and Friend,
 to go to at all times and under all circumstances.


Poverty, wretchedness, and woe!
(adapted from Mary Winslow's, "Heaven Opened")

We need Jesus!

We cannot do without Him!

We must have Him, for He is our joy,
our exceeding joy, our life, and our all.

Without Him, the world and all it calls good,
  is poverty, wretchedness, and woe!

With Him, a wilderness is a paradise,
a cottage a palace, and the lowliest
spot of earth a little heaven below!


Viewing Hell from Heaven?
"Can the believing husband in Heaven be
happy with his unbelieving wife in Hell?
Can the believing father in Heaven be
happy with his unbelieving children in Hell?
Can the loving wife in Heaven be happy
with her unbelieving husband in Hell?
I tell you, yes! Such will be their sense
of justice that it will increase rather than
diminish their bliss."   Jonathan Edwards


A lost, miserable and hateful sinner!
"No man ever did, or ever will feel himself
 to be a lost, miserable and hateful sinner,
 unless he be powerfully and supernaturally
 convinced by the Spirit of God." John Newton


Love suffering, and bleeding, and expiring!
(from Winslow's, "No Separation from Christ Jesus")

The love of Christ! Such a precious theme!

Of it can we ever weary? Never!

Its greatness can we ever know? Never!

Its plenitude can we fully contain? Never!

Its depths cannot be fathomed, its
 dimensions cannot be measured!

It passes knowledge!

All that Jesus did for His people was but
the unfolding and expression of His love.

Traveling to Bethlehem; I see love incarnate!

Tracking his steps as he went about doing good; I see love laboring!

Visiting the house of Bethany; I see love sympathizing!

Standing by the grave of Lazarus; I see love weeping.

Entering the gloomy precincts of Gethsemane; I see love sorrowing!

Passing on to Calvary; I see love suffering, and bleeding, and expiring!

The whole scene of His life is but an unfolding of the deep,
and awesome, and precious mystery of redeeming love!


The study of prophecy?
(adapted from Mary Winslow's, "Heaven Opened")

As to the subject of the study of prophecy, I would
remark that, we should keep in mind the truth that
"the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy;"
and that the prophecies should be studied with a
view of knowing more of Him; His personal glory,
salvation, and kingdom. There is great danger of
being led away from the 'spirit of prophecy.'

The writings of the prophets would possess no meaning,
 charm, or attraction did they not all testify of Jesus.

"Of Him give all the prophets witness."

    predict His advent,
    describe His death,
    foretell His triumph, and
    portray His kingdom and glory.

The suffering and victorious Messiah is the
central object of their magnificent picture!

In the study of the prophets there is great danger of
being carried away with some favorite prophetical
scheme which, perhaps, we rather bring to, than
take from, their inspired writings. And this is allowed
a too absorbing study and attention, to the exclusion
of more vital and momentous subjects.

May we not be liable to lose, in a too exclusive
and engrossing study of the prophetical writings,
much of that lowliness of mind, close intimacy with
the progress of the kingdom of God within us, and
communion with God Himself, which constitute
the life and spirit of experimental religion?


A fictitious god!
(from Winslow's, "The Enmity of the Carnal Mind")

"The carnal mind is enmity against God."
  Romans 8:7

How completely this declaration sweeps away
all the fancied reverence and admiration for God
which floats before the imagination of the carnal
mind in its profound slumber! The carnal mind may
own its belief in the existence of a god. But what
God? Plainly not the God of the Bible; but a deity
of its imagination.

The god of whom he has thus been dreaming, is not
the God of Scripture, but the god of his own creation!

He is not the holy God whom the Bible makes known;
of whom Jesus is the living and visible embodiment;
but an imaginary being clothed with attributes, and
administering a government harmonizing with the
corrupt tastes and sinful propensities of his carnal mind.

Away with your religion of nature, of sentiment, of poetry!

The god whom you profess to adore and worship is not
the God manifested in Christ, whose justice and holiness,
whose wisdom and truth, are blended and harmonized
with grace and love in the cross of Calvary.

"Anyone who hates Me hates My Father as well."  John 15:23
Of what value is your fancied admiration of God's
character, while yet hating, despising, and rejecting
the Son, who is the "radiance of God's glory and
the exact representation of His being"?

Your heart is a stranger to holiness, and your mind
to peace, while prostrate before a deity of your own
imagination; a fictitious god!

There is nothing in your creed; nothing in your vague,
shadowy, unreal conception of deity, to fix your thoughts,
to soothe your spirit, to allay your fears, to awaken your
affections, and to inspire your hope. Your altar is reared,
and your incense is offered, but it is to the "unknown god."


And what is his religion but vanity?
(adapted from Winslow's, "The Earnest
Expectation of the Renewed Creature")

"We are merely moving shadows, and
 all our busy rushing, ends in nothing."

Man's origin, the earth;
his birth, degenerate;
his rank, a bauble;
his wealth, but glittering dust;
his pomp, an empty pageant;
his beauty, a fading flower;
his pursuits, an infant's play;
his honors, vexations of spirit;
his joys, fleeting as a cloud;
his life, transient as a vapor;
his final home, a grave.

Truly, "vanity" is inscribed in legible
 characters on each 'created' good.

"Surely man in his best estate is altogether vanity."

And what is his religion but vanity?
His native holiness, a vain conceit;
his natural light, Egyptian darkness;
his human wisdom, egregious folly;
his religions forms, and rites, and duties,
   "a vain show in the flesh;"
his most gorgeous righteousness, filthy rags.


by Matthew Mead
"Alas! it is an infinite righteousness that
 must satisfy for our sins, for it is an infinite
 God that is offended by us. If ever your sin
 be pardoned, it is infinite mercy that must
 pardon it; if ever you be reconciled to God,
 it is infinite merit must do it; if ever your
 heart be changed, and your soul renewed,
 it is infinite power must effect it; and if ever
 your soul escape hell, and be saved at last,
 it is infinite grace must save it."


A god to himself?
(from Winslow's, "The Soul Before Conversion")

The unsaved man is a god to himself,
and he has many other gods as well.

Whether it be....
  self righteousness,
  self gratification,
  the world,
in whatever form it appears, "other lords
have dominion over him," to the exclusion
of the one true and living God.

The nature of the human mind is such that it
must love and worship some object supremely.

In his state of innocence, Jehovah was the one and
supreme object of the creature's love and adoration.

Seduced from that state of simple and supreme
affection by the tempter's promise that, if they
ate of the fruit of the tree forbidden by God,
"they should be as gods;" in one moment they
threw off their allegiance to Jehovah, renounced
him as the object of their supreme love, the
center of their holiest affections, and became
gods to themselves!

The temple was ruined,
the altar was thrown down,
the pure flame was extinguished,
God departed and "other lords"
entered and took possession of the soul.

But what a change does grace produce!

It repairs the temple,
rebuilds the altar,
rekindles the flame and
brings God back to man!

Christ is now the supreme object of...
   his love,
   his adoration and
   his worship.

The idol self has been cast down,
self righteousness renounced, and
self exaltation crucified.

The affections, released from their false
deity and renewed by the Spirit, now turn
to and take up their rest in God.

How glorious does Jesus now appear!

Truly it is a new God the soul is brought to know and love!

Never did it see in Him...
   such beauty,
   such excellence,
   such blessedness
as it now sees.

All other glory fades and dies
before the surpassing glory of...
   His character,
   His attributes,
   His government, and
   His law.

God says, "You are mine."

The soul responds, "You are my God! Other lords
have had dominion over me, but henceforth, You
only will I serve, You only will I love.  My soul
follows hard after You; Your right hand upholds me."

The regenerate soul possesses and acknowledges a new
Savior. How glorious, suitable and precious is Jesus to
him now! Not so formerly. Then he had his saviors, his
"refuges of lies," his many fatal confidences. Jesus was
to him as "a root out of a dry ground, having no form
nor loveliness." It may be that he denied His deity,
rejected His atonement, scorned His grace and slighted
His pardon and His love.

Christ is all to him now! He adores Him as the "mighty
 God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace."

Oh, how surpassingly glorious, inimitably lovely and
 unutterably precious is Jesus to a renewed soul!

Truly a new Savior!

"Other lords" he has renounced.

"Refuges of lies" he has turned his back upon.

"False Christs" he no longer follows.

  He has found another and a better Savior;
Jesus, the mighty God, the Redeemer of sinners!

All is 'new' to his recovered sight!

A new world of glory has floated before his mind!

Jesus the Lamb is the light and glory thereof.

Never did he suppose there was....
   such beauty in His person,
   such love in His heart,
   such perfection in His work,
   such power and
   such willingness to save.

That blood which was trampled under foot is now precious.

That righteousness which was scorned is now glorious.

That name which was reviled is now as music to
the soul, even "a name that is above every name."


A god to himself? (part 2)
(from Octavius Winslow's, "The Believer a Temple")

"The carnal mind is enmity against God;"
that enmity showing itself in a thousand ways,
principally in its seeking to dethrone God.

From his affections he has dethroned Him.

"Who is the Lord God, that I should obey him?"

To eject Him from the throne of His moral
government in the universe is the great
and constant aim of the carnal mind.

If this is not so, why this perpetual war against
God; against His being, His law, His will, His
supreme authority to govern and reign?  Why
this refusal to acknowledge and obey Him?

Oh, there is no mystery in the case!

Man has revolted from God and, having thrown
off all allegiance to Him as his Sovereign, he
seeks to be a god to himself.

Self is to him what Jehovah once was;
  the object of supreme delight.

Having cast out God, he moves in a circle
  of which he himself is the center.

All he does is from self, and for self.

From this all the lines diverge,
and to this they all again return.


Oh, the enmity of the carnal mind!
(Octavius Winslow, "The Soul Before Conversion")

"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God..."
  Romans 8:7

Enmity against God, O awful thought!

Enmity to the best of beings, the dearest of friends!

Enmity to Him whose nature and whose name is love!

Enmity to Him who is holy, yes, holiness itself!

Enmity to Him who is good, yes, goodness itself!

Enmity to Him who is true, yes, truth itself!

Enmity to Him, outside of whom nothing
  is good, nothing holy, nothing true!

Enmity to Him, who gave His Son to die for sinners!

Enmity to Him who died for His enemies!

Enmity to Jesus who thus died; who 'flew on wings
of love' to the rescue and the redemption of fallen
man; who took the place, bore the sins, endured
the curse; who gave His life, His obedience, all He
could give: Himself! All this for the poor, the vile,
the worthless; He suffered, bled and died!

All this for sinners, for rebels, for enemies!

Was not this enough?

Could He have done more?

Son of God, is it for this they hate You, despise You, reject You?

Oh, the enmity of the carnal mind!


(Winslow, "The Nature and Necessity of Experimental Religion")

The spiritual mind, fond of soaring through nature
in quest of new proofs of God's existence, and fresh
emblems of His wisdom, power and goodness, exults in
the thought that it is his Father's domain he treads!

He feels that God, his God, is there.

And the sweet consciousness of His all pervading
presence, and the impress of His great perfections
which everywhere meets his eye, overwhelm his
renewed soul with wonder, love, and praise.

O the delight of looking abroad upon nature,
under a sense of pardoning, filial love in the soul
when enabled to exclaim, "this God is my God!"

"The heavens tell of the glory of God.
 The skies display His marvelous craftsmanship.
 Day after day they continue to speak;
 night after night they make Him known.
 They speak without a sound or a word;
 their voice is silent in the skies;
 yet their message has gone out to all the earth,
 and their words to all the world." Psalm 19:1-4


It is a free grace salvation!
(adapted from Mary Winslow's, "Heaven Opened")

Whatever others may say, I am sure there was
nothing good in me to draw the Savior's love.

"I will have mercy upon whom I will have
 mercy, and I will have compassion upon
 whom I will have compassion."

Here is the cause!

Chosen in Christ before the world began; given to
Christ in the councils of eternity; called; justified;
and in due time glorified when the work of
sanctification shall be complete.

This is the glorious mystery which keeps the
poor believing sinner low at the feet of Jesus!

Boasting is here excluded!

A sinner saved, fully and eternally saved through the all
sufficient merit and atoning blood of Christ the Lord.

It is a free grace salvation!

Without money, without price!

No other would have saved such a sinner as me!

If there had been anything necessary in me,
  I would have been lost to all eternity!

It is a free grace salvation!


The Hiding Place!
(by John Andre)

Hail sovereign love which first began
This scheme to rescue fallen man!
Hail sovereign, free, eternal grace
Which gave my soul a hiding place!

Against the God Who ruled the sky
I fought with hand uplifted high;
Despised the mention of His grace
Too proud to seek a hiding place!

Enwrapt in thick Egyptian night,
And fond of darkness more than light,
Madly I ran the sinful race,
Secure without a hiding place.

But thus the Eternal counsel ran:
"Almighty love, arrest that man!"
I felt the arrows of distress,
And found I had no hiding place!

Indignant Justice stood in view,
To Sinai's fiery mount I flew!
But Justice cried with frowning face,
"This mountain is no hiding place!"

'Ere long a heavenly voice I heard,
And mercy's angel soon appeared,
He led me on with gentle pace
To Jesus as my hiding place!

Should sevenfold storms of thunder roll,
And shake this earth from pole to pole;
No thunderbolt shall daunt my face
With Jesus as my hiding place!

A few more rolling suns at most,
Shall land me safe on Canaan's coast.
Where I shall sing the song of grace,
And see my glorious hiding place!


Dwarfish Christians!
(from Spurgeon's, "Foundation Work" #2094.)

"Alas! much has been done of late to promote
 the production of dwarfish Christians.  Poor,
 sickly believers turn the church into an hospital,
 rather than an army.  Oh, to have a church built
 up with the deep godliness of people who know
 the Lord in their very hearts, and will seek to
 follow the Lamb wherever he goes!"


The furnace!
(adapted from Winslow's, "The Sanctification of the Spirit")

Are you a child of affliction?

Ah! how many whose eye falls on this question
shall say, "I am the man that has seen affliction!"

This is the path along which all the Lord's people
are led, and in this path, thorny though it be, they
pluck some of their choicest flowers, and find some
of their sweetest fruits.

God's people are, "chosen in the furnace of affliction."

The furnace is needed.

The furnace is needed to consume the dross and
the tin which adhere so closely to the precious ore.

The furnace is needed....
  to burn up the chaff that mingles with the precious grain,
  to purify the heart,
  to refine the affections,
  to chasten the soul,
  to wean it from this poor, empty world,
  to draw it from the creature, and
  to center it in God.

O the blessed effects of the furnace!

Who can fully unfold them?

That must be blessed indeed....
  which makes sin more exceedingly sinful,
  which weans and draws away from earth,
  which endears Jesus and His precious blood and righteousness,
  and which makes the soul a "partaker of His holiness."

"He will sit and judge like a refiner of silver,
 watching closely as the dross is burned away.
 He will purify the Levites, refining them like
 gold or silver, so that they may once again
 offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord." Malachi 3:3


"This is my infirmity." Psalm 77:10.
(adapted from Octavius Winslow's "Morning Thoughts")

The infirmities of the believer are
as varied as they are numerous.

Some are weak in faith, and are always
  questioning their interest in Christ.

Some, superficial in knowledge, and shallow
in experience, are ever exposed to the crudities
of error and to the assaults of temptation.

Some are slow travelers in the divine life,
and are always in the rear; while yet others
are often ready to halt altogether.

Then there are others who groan beneath the
burden of bodily infirmity, exerting a morbid
influence upon their spiritual experience.

A nervous temperament;
a state of perpetual depression and despondency;
the constant corrodings of mental disquietude;
physical ailment;
imaginary forebodings;
a facile yielding to temptation;
petulance of spirit;
unguardedness of speech;
gloomy interpretations of providence;
an eye that only views the dark hues of the
cloud, the somber shadings of the picture.

Ah! from this dismal catalogue how many, making
their selection, may exclaim, "This is my infirmity."

But be that infirmity what it may, let it endear
to our hearts the grace and sympathy of Him
who for our sake was encompassed with infirmity,
that He might have compassion upon those who
are alike begirt.

 All the fulness of grace that is in Jesus is
for that single infirmity over which you sigh!


Infinite wisdom has appointed the whole!
(adapted from Mary Winslow's, "Heaven Opened")

My heart feels for you, my dear friend, in your
deep, deep trial. This present world is a world
of sadness; but when we think of that world
which is to come, into which sorrow never enters,
and how soon we may be there, we may well
"rejoice in tribulation." Our "light affliction, which
is but for a moment, works for us a far more
exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

In all your sorrows, pour out your heart to the Man of sorrows.

He will bow down His ear and listen to all you say,
and will either remove or moderate your trial, and
give you strength to bear it.

Even this bitter draught He has given you to drink
shall result both in your good and His own glory.

Remember, not a sparrow falls upon the ground
without His guidance, and that the very hairs of
your head are all numbered. How much more has
this trying event been ordered and arranged
by Him who loves you!

Infinite wisdom has appointed the whole!

Never doubt that He loves you
when He the most deeply afflicts.

"When you go through deep waters and great
 trouble, I will be with you. When you go through
 rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you
 walk through the fire, you will not be burned up;
 the flames will not consume you."

May He lift up upon you the light of His countenance,
drawing you nearer to Himself, that you may see what
a tender, loving heart He has for you, and how deeply
and tenderly and considerately He cares for you, as if
there were not another poor sorrowful one to care
for on the face of the whole earth!


How poor and unsatisfying...
(adapted from Mary Winslow's, "Heaven Opened")
How poor and unsatisfying are all things
 here; even the best and the loveliest!

Oh, to walk more intimately with Him, to live
above the world, and hold the creature with a
looser hand, taking God's Word as our guiding
light; our unfailing spring of comfort.

God has eternally provided such a magnificent
and holy heaven for us above, that He is jealous
lest we should set our hearts too fondly and
closely upon the attractions of earth.

Therefore it is that He withers our gourds and
breaks our cisterns; only to dislodge us here,
and lead us to seek those things which are
above, where Christ our treasure is.


Crush this fearful, powerful foe!
(Octavius Winslow's, "The Soul after Conversion")

"For everyone born of God overcomes the world.
 This is the victory that has overcome the world,
 even our faith."  1 John 5:4

Faith then is the conquering grace!

Faith gives the victory!

Faith crushes this tremendous foe!

And how does faith overcome the world?

By leading the believer to the cross of Jesus!

True faith deals with its great object, Jesus.

It goes to Him in the conflict.
It goes to Him when hard pressed.
It goes to Him in its weakness.
It goes to Him in deep distress.

On Him it leans, and through Him it always obtains the victory.

Of the martyrs it is recorded that they
"overcame through the blood of the Lamb!"

Paul employs similar language in describing his victory:
"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus
 Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me,
 and I to the world." Galatians 6:14

It is faith in Christ that gives us the victory!

How could a feeble saint, with no strength or wisdom
in himself, overcome so powerful and subtle an enemy
as the world without supernatural aid?

He never could!

Look at the world!
There are its ten thousand temptations....
   its temptations of pleasure,
   its temptations of ambition,
   its temptations of wealth,
   its false religion,
   its temporizing policy,
   its hollow friendship,
   its empty show,
   its gay deceptions,
   its ten thousand arts to ensnare, beguile, allure and charm.

Oh, how could one poor weak believer ever crush
this fearful, powerful foe but as he is "strong in
the grace that is in Christ Jesus"?

The cross of Christ gives him he victory!

Christ has already conquered the world, and faith
in His blood will enable the feeblest soul to exclaim,
while the enemy lies subdued at his feet, "Thanks be
unto God, who always causes me to triumph in Christ."

Reader! have you obtained the victory over the world,
or has the world obtained the victory over you?  One
of the two is certain; either you are warring against it,
or you are its passive and resistless victim; either you
are "born of God," and "have overcome the world," or
you are yet unregenerate, and the world has overcome you.

On whose side is the victory?

Perhaps you profess faith in the Lord Jesus,
yet love the world, and conform to....
  its maxims,
  its policy,
  its principles,
  its fashions,
  its dress,
  its amusements,
even its very religion- for the world has its hollow forms of religion.

Is it so?

Then hear what the Word of the Lord says to you.
"Stop loving this evil world and all that it offers you,
 for when you love the world, you show that you do
 not have the love of the Father in you." 1 John 2:15.

A solemn declaration for you, you who profess faith
 in Christ, and who are still lovers of the world!

You cannot love God, and love the world at the same time!

Do not be deceived!

The outward garb of religion will not save you!

The mere name, the empty lamp; these will
avail you nothing when you come to die.

If the world has never been ejected from your heart,
if you have never been crucified to it, then the love
of God is not there; if the love of God is absent,
then you are a stranger to the new birth.