Grace Gems for November 2002

All these foes and fears?

(J. C. Philpot, "King Of Kings")

We daily and hourly feel the workings of....
    mighty sins,
    raging lusts,
    powerful temptations,
    besetting evils,
against the least and feeblest of which we
have no strength. But as the eye of faith
views our blessed Lord at the right hand
of the Father, we are led by the power of
His grace to look unto Him, hang upon Him,
and seek help from him.

Trials in providence,
afflictions in the family,
sickness and infirmities in the body,
crooked things in the church,
opposition and persecution from the world,
a vile, unbelieving heart, which we can neither sanctify nor subdue,
a rough and rugged path, increasing in difficulty as we journey onward,
doubts, fears, and misgivings in our own bosom,
inward slips and falls,
startings aside,
hourly backslidings from the strait and narrow path,
jealous enemies watching for our halting,
with no eye to pity, nor arm to help.

How all these foes and fears make us feel our
need of an enthroned King, Head, and Husband,
whose tender heart is soft to pity, whose mighty
arm is strong to relieve!


Seductive scenes of giddiness and mirth?
(Stephen Tyng, "Christ is All")

The true Christian is no longer devoted to
this perishing world! There was a time, when
the pleasures of the world attracted him,
and he loved them. The seductive scenes
of giddiness and mirth invited his affections,
and he yielded to their influence.

He now recalls, with shame, the low and
groveling disposition which made him stoop
to such pursuits.

The enchantments of the world once seemed
to him of vast importance and worth. He did
not think of the inevitable end of such things.
The danger of the everlasting ruin of his soul
never caused him to hesitate in his vain pursuit.

And yet, while he loved the pleasures; and
eagerly sought the gains of this world;
  the trouble which they required in the obtaining,
  their cares and losses,
  the uncertainty which attended their possession,
  the emptiness which came after their enjoyment,
constantly harassed him, and more than counterbalanced
all the gains the world could give.

He now sees the exceeding folly of this futile system of life.

He is ashamed to think that he ever been such a
slave, and risked his eternal soul, for that which
he knew, must eventually leave him and perish.


Wonder, O heavens, and be astonished, O earth!
(Octavius Winslow "Evening Thoughts")

"I tell you the truth, you can go directly to the
 Father and ask Him, and He will grant your
 request because you use My name." John 16:23

That God should have erected in this lower world
a throne of grace, a mercy-seat, around which may
gather, in clustering and welcome multitudes . . .
  the helpless,
  the burdened,
  the friendless,
  the vile,
  the guilty,
  the deeply necessitous—
that no poor comer, be . . .
  his poverty ever so great,
  his burden ever so heavy, or
  his case ever so desperate,
should meet with the refusal of a hearing
or a welcome, does greatly develop and
magnify the riches of . . .
  His grace,
  His wisdom, and
  His love to sinners.

What a God our God must be, thus to have
appointed a meeting-place, an audience-chamber,
for those upon whom all other doors were closed!

But more than this—that He should have appointed
Jesus as the door of approach to that throne—that
He should have given His only-begotten and well
beloved Son to be the "new and living way" of access,
thus removing all obstruction in the path of the soul's
coming, both on the part of Himself, and on the part
of the sinner; that the door should be a crucified Savior
—the wounds of the Son of God—that through blood,
and that blood, the blood of the incarnate Deity,
the guilty should approach—wonder, O heavens,
and be astonished, O earth!

Shall we say even more than this?

For there is a yet lower depth in this love and
condescension of God—that He should have sent
His Spirit into the heart, the Author of prayer . . .
  inditing the petition;
  breathing in the soul;
  implanting the desire
  convincing of the existing necessity;
  unfolding the character of God;
  working faith in the heart; and
  drawing it up to God through Jesus;
seems the very perfection of His wisdom,
benevolence, and grace!  Wonder, O
heavens, and be astonished, O earth!


Extremely derogatory to human pride?
(Stephen Tyng, "Christ is All")

Sin has entirely perverted the nature of man.

The carnal mind is opposed to God in its . . .
  desires, and

God demands that guilty man . . . .
   sacrifice his own imaginary independence,
   renounce his own fancied excellence, and
   acknowledge his personal unworthiness,
before he can be received into the family of God.

Such demands seem extremely derogatory to
human pride.  And for this reason, multitudes
reject all the offers of the Gospel, and treat with
contempt those who yield to the invitations which
they themselves despise, and submit to the motives
which they renounce, as deluded and degraded people.


The wedding feast!
(Octavius Winslow "Evening Thoughts")

"Let us be glad and rejoice and honor Him. For the
 time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb,
 and His bride has prepared herself." Rev. 19:7

Jesus sustains no relation to His Church more
expressive than this. From all eternity He betrothed
her to Himself. He asked her at the hands of her
Father, and the Father gave her to Him. He entered
into a covenant that she should be His. The conditions
of that covenant were great, but not too great for His
love to undertake. They were that He should . . . .
  assume her nature,
  discharge her legal obligations,
  endure her punishment,
  repair her ruin, and
  bring her to glory!

He undertook all, and He accomplished
all—because He loved her!

The love of Jesus to His Church, is the
love of the most tender husband. It is . . .

Jesus . . . .
  sympathizes with her,
  nourishes her,
  provides for her,
  clothes her,
  watches over her, and
 indulges her with the most intimate
 and endearing communion.

The Lord Jesus will come in the clouds of heaven,
and this will be the occasion of His public wedding
of His Church. Her present union to Him is secret
and unknown—invisible to the world. But He will
appear, openly and visibly to take her to Himself;
and before His Father and the holy angels He will
solemnize her eternal union.

Oh what a time of splendor and of rejoicing will
that be! Arrayed in His nuptial robes, Jesus will
descend to make her His own; and she, "prepared
as a bride adorned for her husband," will go forth
to meet Him. Then will be heard the song of angels,
"Let us be glad and rejoice and honor Him. For the
time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb,
and His bride has prepared herself." Yes! "Blessed
are they who are called unto the wedding feast of
the Lamb."


The others, where are they?
(Octavius Winslow "Evening Thoughts")

"I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy,
 and I will have compassion on whom I will have
 compassion." Romans 9:15

Here is the Sovereign! How like Himself He speaks!
He carries forward His gracious purposes of infinite
wisdom and love—chooses or rejects—reveals or
withholds, "working all things after the counsel of
His own will," and "giving no account," either to
angels or to men, "of any of His matters."

Is the reader a child of God? Who and what made
you to differ? You have been taken out of your family,
your kindred, your friends, your companions. From this
circle you alone have been selected, called, and made
a child of grace, an heir of glory.

The others, where are they?
Still dead in trespasses and sin!

The others, where are they?
Living in the world, and to the world;
lovers of pleasure,
lovers of self,
lovers of sin,
hating God,
rejecting Christ.

The others, where are they?
Bursting through every restraint, and bending
their footsteps down to the doom of the lost!

The others, where are they?
Gone, many of them, into eternity; past
the confines of mercy, "in hell lifting up
their eyes, being in torments."

And what are you?
A sinner saved by grace;
a sinner chosen and called;
pardoned and justified;
washed and clothed;
adopted and sanctified;
brought to the foot of the cross;
constrained to welcome Jesus,
to take up His cross, and to follow Him.

Oh the electing love of God!

Oh the distinguishing grace of Jesus!

Oh the sovereign operation of the Eternal Spirit!

Bow down to the sovereignty of His will—silently
wonder, and adore Him who says, "Be still, and
know that I am God."

Oh precious truth!

It stains the pride of human merit!

It lays the axe at the root of self!

It empties and humbles and abases!

It ascribes all the praise, honor, and
glory of salvation, to the Triune God!

"I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy,
 and I will have compassion on whom I will have
 compassion." Romans 9:15


Why should you remain in the hog pens?
(Jared Waterbury, 'Who are the Happy?')

In comparison to the Christian's joy, the
groveling pleasures of the world are empty
and unsatisfying.

Why should you remain in the hog pens?

Why attempt to fill yourself with husks,
when there is food enough to spare in
your Father's house?


F. W. Krummacher (1796 - 1868)

 Therefore, come out from them and separate
 yourselves from them, says the Lord. Don't touch
 their filthy things, and I will welcome you.
        2 Cor. 6:17

There are some things which are inconsistent
with Christian character. What are the theaters,
as they are now a days conducted, but the rallying
points of every kind of worldly delusion and falsehood,
where sin itself is glorified.

What are they, but the propaganda of self deception,
pride and vanity; temples dedicated to sensuality;
decoys of Satan, beset with snares; places from
where everything really holy is derided, or at best,
desecrated and depreciated.

The reigning spirit of such places is frivolity,
materialism, and unbelief.

Participation in the pleasures of the unenlightened
world proceeds from a carnal inclination, and a secret
attachment to the pleasures of sin.

Can a Christian be in his place at such resorts?

Away with that insipid Christianity of modern times,
which is made compatible with all things; that covertly
returns to the world for the enjoyment of every fleshly


What a cluster of sweet hopes!
(Octavius Winslow "Evening Thoughts")

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their
 eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither
 sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any
 more pain." Revelation 21:4

What a cluster of sweet hopes is here! What a
collection of bright beams, throwing, in focal power,
their splendor over that cloudless day! Heaven
will be a state of perfect freedom from all sorrow!

Child of sorrow! Sick ones dear to Christ! Bereaved
mourners! Hear these precious words, and let music
break from your lips! God will dry your tears! As the
mother comforts her sorrowing one, so God will
comfort His. Yes, child of grief, there will be no
more weeping then; for, oh, ecstatic thought!
"God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."

And "there shall be no more death." No more rending
asunder of affection's close and tender ties; no more
separations from the hearts we love; the mourners
no more go about the streets; for death is now
swallowed up in victory!

"Neither sorrow, nor crying." Grief cannot find existence
or place in an atmosphere of such bliss. No frustrated
plans, no bitter disappointments, no withered hopes,
no corroding cares, there mingle with the deep sea of
bliss, now pouring its tide of joyousness over the soul!

"Neither shall there be any more pain." Children of
suffering, hear this! There will be no more pain racking
the frame, torturing the limbs, and sending its influence
through the system, until every nerve and fibre quivers
with an indescribable agony. "The former things are
passed away."

It will be a day of perfect freedom from all sins. Ah!
this methinks will be the brightest and sweetest of
all the joys of heaven. The Canaanite will no more
dwell in the land. Inbred corruption will be done away;
the conflict within us will have ceased; no evil heart
will betray into inconsistencies and sorrows; not a
cloud of guilt will tarnish the unsullied purity of the
soul. You holy ones of God! weeping, mourning over
indwelling and outbreaking sin, the last sigh you
heave will be a glad adieu to pollution; to be
tormented with it no more, to be free from it forever!

"I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with your likeness."
This is heaven indeed!


This man receives sinners!
(Octavius Winslow "Evening Thoughts")

Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came
to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and
teachers of religious law murmur, saying, "This man
receives sinners, and eats with them!"  Luke 15:1-2

The beings whom Jesus sought out,
and drew around Him, were . . . .
  the burdened,
  the bowed down,
  the disconsolate,
  the poor,
  the friendless,
  the helpless,
  the ignorant,
  the weary.

He loved to lavish upon such the fullness of His
benevolent heart, and to exert upon such the skill
of His wonder working power.

Earth's weary sons repaired to His outstretched
arms for shelter, and the world's ignorant and
despised clustered around His feet, to be taught
and blessed.

Sinners of every character, and the disconsolate of
every grade, attracted by His renown, pressed upon
Him from every side. "This man receives sinners" was
the character and the mission by which He was known.

It was new and strange.

Uttered by the lip of the proud and disdainful Pharisee,
it was an epithet of reproach, and an expression of ridicule.

But upon the ear of the poor and wretched outcast,
the sons and daughters of sorrow, ignorance, and woe,
it fell with sweet music.  It passed from lip to lip, it
echoed from shore to shore, "This man receives sinners!"

It found its way into the abodes of misery and poverty;
it penetrated the dungeon of the prisoner and the cell
of the maniac; and it kindled a celestial light in the
solitary dwelling of the widow and the orphan, the
unpitied and the friendless.

Thousands came, faint, weary, and sad; and sat down
beneath His shadow; and thousands more since then
have pressed to their wounded hearts the balsam that
exuded from His bleeding body, and have been healed.

Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came
to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and
teachers of religious law murmur, saying, "This man
receives sinners, and eats with them!"  Luke 15:1-2


Your inheritance?
(Octavius Winslow "Evening Thoughts")

"He who overcomes will inherit all things, and I
 will be his God and he will be my son." Rev. 21:7

How vast, how illimitable, then, the inheritance of
the saints, inheriting "all things!" This is a beautiful
idea of heaven; it is a lovely picture, on which the
eye of faith delights to dwell.

The earthly heir looks at his inheritance, surveys it,
walks through it, luxuriates amidst its beauties, and
anticipates its full possession.

The heir of glory has his inheritance too; it is heaven!
He looks to it, he longs for it; and soon the Saviour will
come in personal glory, and institute him into its full
and eternal possession!


He gave His entire self for us!
(Octavius Winslow "Evening Thoughts")

It is utterly impossible to savingly know Jesus,
and not become inspired with a desire . . . .
  to love Him supremely,
  to serve Him devotedly,
  to resemble Him closely,
  to glorify Him faithfully here, and
  to enjoy Him fully hereafter.

And oh, how worthy is the Savior . . . .
  of our most exalted conceptions;
  of our most implicit confidence;
  of our most self denying service;
  of our most fervent love!

When He could give us no more; and the
fathomless depths of His love and the
boundless resources of His grace would
not be satisfied by giving us less; He
gave us Himself!

Robed in our nature,
laden with our curse,
oppressed with our sorrows,
wounded for our transgressions,
and slain for our sins,
He gave His entire self for us!


Your weeping, aching, languid head!
(Octavius Winslow "Evening Thoughts")

"I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine." Song 6:3

O yes! you have but one beloved of your heart, dear
believer! He is all the universe to you; heaven would
be no heaven without Him; and with His presence here,
earth seems often like the opening portal of heaven!

He loved you,
He labored for you,
He died for you,
He rose for you,
He lives and intercedes for you in glory!

All that is lovely is in Him.

And where would you lean in sorrow but upon the
bosom of your Beloved? Christ's heart is a human
heart, a sinless heart, a tender heart; a heart once
the home of sorrow, once stricken with grief; once
an aching, bleeding, mournful heart. Thus disciplined
and trained, Jesus knows how to pity and to support
those who are sorrowful and solitary. He loves . . . .
  to chase grief from the spirit,
  to bind up the broken heart,
  to staunch the bleeding wound,
  to dry the weeping eye,
  to comfort all who mourn.

It is His delight to visit you in the dark night season
of your sorrow, and to come to you walking upon the
tempestuous billows of your grief, breathing music and
diffusing calmness over your scene of sadness and gloom.

When other bosoms are closed to your sorrow, when
the fiery darts of Satan fly thick around you, and the
world frowns, and the saints are cold, and your path
is sad and desolate; then . . . .
  lean upon the love,
  lean upon the grace,
  lean upon the faithfulness,
  lean upon the tender sympathy of Jesus.

That bosom will always unveil to welcome you!

It will ever be an refuge to receive you,
and a home to shelter you.

Never . . . .
  will its love cool,
  nor its tenderness lessen,
  nor its sympathy be exhausted,
  nor its pulse of affection cease to beat.

You may have grieved it a thousand times over, you
may have pierced it through and through, again and
again; yet returning to its deathless love, penitent
and lowly, sorrowful and humble; you may lay within
it your weeping, aching, languid head . . . .
  depositing every burden,
  reposing every sorrow, and
  breathing every sigh upon the heart of Jesus.


The unsaved man. The saved man.
(Stephen Tyng, "Christ is All")

The unsaved man sees no beauty or attraction
in Jesus. He has not felt His pardoning love.
He has not tasted His transforming grace,
therefore he know nothing of the exceeding
excellence of Jesus.

The saved man is entirely satisfied with Jesus
as his eternal portion. He finds in the knowledge
and love Jesus, in the enjoyment of His presence
and the contemplation of His glory, that which
meets all his desires, and fulfills all his expectations.

The enjoyments which Jesus gives him, renders
the baubles of this world, in all their shapes,
exceedingly trifling and worthless.


Life's hours?
(Jared Waterbury, 'Who are the Happy?')

Life's hours are too precious to allow them to be
consumed with the fleeting vanities of this world.


Who will show us any good?
(Bonar, The Two Cries and the Two Answers")

Many are asking, "Who will show us any good?"
   Psalm 4:6

1. This is the cry of EMPTINESS. They feel that
there is something lacking. They were not made
for this perpetual hunger and thirst. They are
empty, and therefore they cry. They are poor
and needy; but find no supply.

2. This is the cry of WEARINESS. They who
utter it are seeking rest, but finding none; they
labor and are heavy laden. They would sincerely
rest, but know not how or where. UNREST! This
is their portion. Unrest here; sad prelude of the
eternal unrest, the never-ending weariness.

3. This is the cry of DARKNESS. All is darkness
and blindness. They grope about, not knowing
which way to look, or to turn; and they cry,
'Show us something; for our eyes are blind;
we have tried in vain to see.'

4. This is the cry of HELPLESSNESS. They have
tried many expedients; tried to create good for
themselves, or to get it from others; but in vain.
They find themselves helpless.

5. This is the cry of EARNESTNESS. It comes forth
often amid bitter tears and groans. Men are bent
on being happy; they would do or give anything for
happiness. They are mistaken, yet in earnest. They
would take any good, if they could get it.

6. This is the cry of DESPAIR. Who, who, who?
They have tried every one, everything. All in vain.
They are emptier, hungrier, thirstier, sadder than at first.

7. This is a LOUD AND UNIVERSAL cry. Many.
Yes, the whole world. It is Esau's loud and bitter cry
reverberating through the earth. It is the cry of the
many, not of the few. The world is unhappy. It has
no rest. It is thirsty, and knows not where to drink;
it is hungry, and knows not where to find bread. It
weeps, and knows not how to get its tears dried!
Every man walks in a vain show; going about asking,
Who will show us any good?

O, how long will you love vanity? How long will you
doat upon this vain world, and worship it as your idol?
How long will you treat its broken cisterns as if they
were the fountains of living water? Oh, love not the
world! What will its good things profit in the day of
the Lord? Will its pleasures cheer a death bed, or
brighten the gloom of the grave? What is the ball
room when "its flowers are fled, its garlands dead?"
What can the music and the dance do for you when
sickness comes, or the last trumpet sounds? Will
that gay dress of yours do for a shroud?

How will these "revelings and banquetings" appear
to you in the retrospect of time, still more in the
retrospect of eternity? What will you think of your
"idle words," your "foolish talking and jesting," your
"filthy communication," your riotous mirth, your
luxurious feasting, when you stand confronted with
the last enemy, or before the Judge of all? You have
gone from scene to scene, from gaiety to gaiety,
from party to party, from vanity to vanity, from novel
to novel, from ball to ball, in the dreary emptiness
of your poor aching hearts, crying, "Who will show
us any good?" and when the end comes, what is your
gain? Is it heaven, or is it hell? Is it joy, or is it woe?

Many are asking, "Who will show us any good?"
   Psalm 4:6


Such love cannot be described!
(Joel Headley, "Jesus Christ")

Christ's love to man was superhuman, divine.

rejection of His offered blessings,
fiendish thirst for His blood,
could not lessen its gentle force
nor silence its tender appeals.

His whole object is to win hearts.

Acts of personal kindness in the relief of suffering;
sympathy with the distressed;
loving words to the fearful;
cheering promises to the despairing;
offers of peace, pardon, and fullness of joy,
and eternal blessedness to the believing; make up
His life, and form the substance of His message.

He confronts poor, sinful man with every motive,
and addresses him with every form of appeal, to
enkindle within him love and trust.

Whether alone on the mountain top bowed in
prayer, or in the presence of corrupt, degraded
women, the same divine purity invests Him.

Unchanged by circumstances, unmoved by danger,
and never excited by the temptations, or passions,
or ambitions of men, He, though moving in their
midst, is as completely separate from them as
heaven from earth.

Love, overwhelming, inexpressible love, is the only
chain that binds Him to the world in which He lives.

His character exhibits the most striking contrasts,
and qualities apparently the most opposite and
contradictory, and yet it is a perfect, harmonious
whole. With unbounded courage without rashness,
was joined perfect meekness without loss of dignity.
Of heroic firmness under every trial, He yet weeps
at the grave of his friend. Filling us with awe as He
stands amid the glories of the transfiguration today;
He wins our confidence tomorrow by taking little
children in His arms and blessing them.

The Creator of man, He yet allows wicked man to spit
upon Him; and, at last, offers up His life to save him.

In love, He heals the sick, raises the dead, and
comforts the weary and sorrowful. In love, He
exclaims over the city about to crucify him, "O
Jerusalem, Jerusalem! how often would I have
gathered your children, as a hen gathers her
chicks under her wings, but you would not."

It is His incomprehensible, infinite love, that, when
life was ebbing fast away, could look on His murderers,
and say, in tones that will thrill the heart to the end
of time, no, through eternity, "Father, forgive them."

Such love cannot be described!  It can
only be felt by a penitent, loving heart.


What are the ephemeral distinctions of earth?
(Jared Waterbury, 'Who are the Happy?')

The Christian sees others successfully pursuing
and attaining the wealth and honors of this world.

But he must remember, that while the worldling
is receiving his good things in this life, God is
preparing something better for him.

It has pleased God, for the good of His people,
and in love to their souls, to appoint most of
them a lowly lot in life. He has thus exempted
them from the 'deceitfulness of riches,' and from
many of the corroding cares of this world.

After all, what are the ephemeral distinctions
of earth, when the Christian is expecting, after
a few revolving suns, to wear a brighter crown
than the jeweled toy that rests upon an earthly
brow, and to inherit a kingdom richer in resources
than all the kingdoms of the world?

All will be well at last!

The bright shores of heaven will be reached in
safety, and the redeemed shall forget all its
sorrows in the enjoyment of everlasting rest!


For you!
(Stephen Tyng, "Christ is All")

The love of God to guilty man is a love that
passes knowledge. Its riches are unsearchable;
and its extent past finding out.

For you, the heavens have bowed their glory.

For you, the Lord of life has descended to the earth.

For you, the Son of God became the Son of man;
and the possessor of a heavenly throne has been
made the victim of an earthly cross.

For you, this mysterious traveler upon the earth,
was humbled and bruised, has agonized and died.

For you...
   purity was tempted,
   innocence suffers,
   kindness is despised,
   majesty is crushed,
   and all the dignity and glory of
Immanuel is covered with shame.

Jesus did all this just to redeem you from inevitable
condemnation; to save your perishing soul from an
everlasting punishment in hell.


The deadliest enemy of holiness?
(Jared Waterbury, 'Who are the Happy?')

How can a Christian expect to be happy, if
he takes to his bosom the deadliest enemy
of holiness, the world?

How can he expect that his soul will be filled
with heavenly joys, when he is filling it with
the groveling pleasures of this world?


Quaff the muddy and turbulent streams of earth?
(Jared Waterbury, 'Who are the Happy?')

True piety makes the heart sick of all inferior
pleasures. It has henceforth lost, in a great
measure, its relish for the low and transient
delights of the sensual and frivolous.

After having tasted of so pure a fountain, why,
indeed, should it turn back to quaff the muddy
and turbulent streams of earth?

Why, after a glimpse of celestial glories, should
it be intoxicated by the artificial and unsatisfying
round of this world's vain amusements?


The atrocities of Joshua?
(Joel Headley, "Sacred Heroes")

"They completely destroyed everything in
 it—men and women, young and old, cattle,
 sheep, donkeys—everything." Joshua 6:21

It is needless to go into a defense of what
some call the atrocities of Joshua, in slaying
women and children as well as warriors; in
short, making a clean sweep of the inhabitants.

The Lord ordered it, and that is enough.

We may be sure that, whether He obliterates a
nation by war, or blots out the entire race with
a flood, He has good reasons for it, although
He may not choose to give them.

The extinction of one race by another, and the
occupation of its land, is one of the common
things in the history of the world. And whether
it is done by the swift process of the sword,
or by gradual abrasion, or the introduction of
disease and vice, the principle and the fact
remain the same.

The Lord ordered it, and that is enough.

"You are my battle-ax and sword," says the Lord.
"With you I will shatter nations and destroy many
 kingdoms." Jeremiah 51:20


The hope of the hypocrite?
(Bonar, "Gain and Loss for Eternity")

"For what is the hope of the hypocrite,
 though he has gained, when God takes
 away his soul?" Job 27:8

The hypocrite has indeed a "hope."

He has a hope of being saved;
or, at least, of not being lost.

He has a hope of going to heaven;
or, at least, of not going to hell.

But his hope is not "the good hope
through grace."  It is...
  a self originated hope;
  an unscriptural hope;
  a groundless hope;
  an unreasonable hope;
  a fallacious hope;
  a hope that perishes at death.

Thus the hope of the hypocrite leaves him
at death; and all is loss, utter, infinite,
irreparable, eternal loss!

For him there is no morning, but only night;
night without a star, or even a meteor gleam.

His losses cannot be enumerated or estimated,
they are so many and so terrible.

1. He loses HIS SOUL. The soul that is the special
and supreme loss. The loss of that which cannot
die is great beyond measure. He who has lost his
soul is poor indeed. Yet in the case of the ungodly
man that fearful loss is incurred. He loses his soul!
Not that the soul perishes or is annihilated. That
would be some relief to the poor doomed victim of
sin. The soul is lost, but cannot die. The loss of
the soul consists in eternal condemnation and ruin.
All is gone for which the soul existed. It exists now
only for woe. Life is now become worse than death,
for the soul is lost; lost in darkness, woe, anguish,
and an endless hell; lost from God, and goodness,
and blessedness, and from all holy beings forever
and ever!

2. He loses HEAVEN. The future state and place of
blessedness has many names: a kingdom, a city, an
inheritance, a new heaven. All of these are names of
joy. "Heaven" is a noble and glorious name, embodying
in it all that is excellent, and divine, and perfect.
Its joy is perfect, its light is perfect, its holiness
is perfect. Its songs are perfect, its service is perfect.
It is day without night, it is the blessing without the
curse. All this is lost to the hypocrite. What a loss
must a lost heaven be! To be shut out from such a
kingdom, dispossessed of such an inheritance; no,
made the heir of such sorrow and darkness; how
infinitely woeful! Think, O man, amid all your losses,
past or prospective, what a lost heaven must be!
A lost kingdom, a lost city, a lost inheritance! Who
can measure such a loss?

3. He loses CHRIST. Yes, Christ is lost, and this is
the heaviest loss of all. None like it, so infinite and
so irreparable. This is the loss of losses, the woe of
woes. A lost Christ! What can equal that! This is
the loss of the hypocrite. This loss is indeed
unutterable. Men do not see this, or think of it.
Yet it shall one day be felt.

In hell it shall be realized as the loss of losses;
that which makes the place of woe so unutterably
woeful. "I might have had Christ," will the lost
sinner say, "but I would not have him, and now
he is gone forever; I cannot have him now. Instead
of Christ, I have Satan; instead of heaven, hell."

Consider your losses, O you ungodly!

They are unspeakable and eternal.

Look at them now, and prevent them.

There is some little compensation now for such
losses, in the world's pleasure, or lust, or wealth.
There shall be no compensation then. It will be
unmingled woe, a cup of undiluted, unsweetened
gall and wormwood.

What a disappointment to you who have been
hoping and hoping! To lie down with a false hope,
and go up to the Judge expecting to be received!

How dreadful the agony of such a disappointment!

"For what is the hope of the hypocrite,
 though he has gained, when God takes
 away his soul?" Job 27:8

It is not too late.

Your soul is not lost, heaven is not yet lost, Christ
is not yet lost. All may yet be won! The gate stands
wide open; go in, go in!


For you, a vile sinner, a rebel worm!
(David Harsha, "Christ Crucified")

Ponder the amazing love exhibited in the
death of Christ. Would you see the highest
manifestation of eternal love?

Then contemplate Christ crucified. Here
is the grand exhibition of infinite love.

In the crucifixion of the glorious Redeemer, the
brightest love that ever shone on earth is displayed.

What boundless love is seen here!

The infinite love of Christ, shining in all its glory!

What but infinite love brought him from the
height of bliss, to the depths of sufferings, from
the throne of heaven to the cross of Calvary!

What but infinite love made him a
suffering man, and a dying Savior!

What but infinite love made him hasten
to Jerusalem, to suffer for sinners!

What but infinite love led him to Gethsemane,
to endure those agonies for sinners, where his
blessed form was covered with bloody sweat!

What but infinite love nailed him to the
cross, there to bleed and die for sinners!

"Greater love has no man than this, that a
man lay down his life for his friends." But oh!
the greatest wonder in the universe is, that
"while we were yet SINNERS, Christ died for us!"

Think of this, wonder at it, be amazed at it!

Christ, the glorious Son of God, dying
for you, a vile sinner, a rebel worm!

O admire that love which pitied you in your lost
condition, visited your world, and raised you
from the depths of sin and suffering, to become
an heir of eternal life, and of eternal glory!

How vast is this love! The all surpassing love of a
dying Savior! Your breadths and lengths have never
been compassed by a human thought; your depths
never fathomed by a created intelligence; your
heights never scanned by a seraph's gaze!

Stupendous love!

What a theme! the dying love of the crucified Son of God!

Well may angels desire to dwell on this mystery!

Well may saints be enraptured with this profound subject!

What heart is so obdurate as not to be melted
by its touching exhibition, or so benighted as
not to be dazzled by its glory!

How wonderful! That he who kindled up the stars
of heaven, should take upon him our nature, and
die in our room and stead!

Amazing love!

This is the wonder of wonders, the unsearchable riches of Christ!

Truly, the love of Christ passes knowledge!

Those, and those alone, who have stood by the
cross and viewed Immanuel in agonies and death,
bleeding and dying for their sins; and have felt
that healing balm applied to their diseased souls;
have seen all their sins washed away with the
blood of God, their ransom paid, and their pardon
sealed, will realize the following very appropriate
and beautiful lines:
"In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight,
And stopped my wild career.
  I saw One hanging on a tree,
In agony and blood,
Who fixed His languid eyes on me,
As near His cross I stood.
  Surely, never to my latest breath,
Can I forget that look;
It seemed to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke.
  My conscience felt and owned the guilt,
And plunged me in despair,
I saw my sins His blood had spilt,
And helped to nail Him there.
  Alas! I knew not what I did,
But now my tears are vain;
Where shall my trembling soul be hid
For I the Lord have slain.
  A second look He gave, which said,
'I freely all forgive;
This blood is for your ransom paid;
I die that you may live.'
  Thus, while His death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue,
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too!
  With pleasing grief and mournful joy,
My spirit now is filled;
That I should such a life destroy,
Yet live by him I killed." (John Newton)


One fiery trial?
(Winslow, "The God of Comfort")

One fiery trial, sanctified by the grace of the
Holy Spirit, has done more to break up the
crusted ground of the heart, to penetrate
beneath the surface, to dissect, and winnow,
and separate, than a lifetime of reading and
hearing could have done.

Oh, what secret sins have been detected,
what carelessness of walk has been revealed,
what spiritual and unsuspected declension of
soul has been discovered, all leading to deep
self loathing, and to the laying the mouth
in the dust before God!


It is all mercy!
(Thomas Reade, 'Christian Meditations')

It is profitable to consider what I deserve,
and what I enjoy, to awaken self abasement,
and gratitude.

If the righteous Lord were to deal with me
according to my deservings, I would at this
moment be under the rack of excruciating pain;
or, under the pressure of most abject poverty;
thus feeling the foretaste of eternal woe.

If thus dealt with in strictest justice, Death
would receive his commission to hurl my
affrighted soul into the gulf of endless
misery, there to remain an everlasting
monument of the vengeance of a holy God.

All short of this is mercy!

Do I enjoy a portion of health?
It is all mercy!

Am I undergoing a sanctified affliction?
It is all mercy!

Do I partake of the bounties of Providence?
It is all mercy!

Do I possess dear, affectionate friends?
It is all mercy!

Do I experience the love of God in Christ,
pardoning my sins, and purifying my heart?

Oh! this is mercy beyond the power
of language to praise or to express!

Rejoice in such a Savior, who snatched
you as a brand out of the burning!


Frequent mingling with the professing church?
(Stephen Tyng, Christ is All)

The professing church is characterized by a worldly,
covetous and frivolous spirit; which is manifested by
distressing acts of inconsistency and folly.

Far too often, when the true Christian associates
with those within the professed communion of the
followers of Christ, he is met with a low standard
of personal piety.

Frequent mingling with the professing church very
rarely promotes, and far more frequently hinders,
the growth of grace in the true Christian's heart.

Much experience of this impediment to holiness,
compels him to retreat, as often as possible,
from the professing church, to seek for strength
and refreshment at home, in secret with his Lord.