Grace Gems for February 2002


(adapted from Mary Winslow's, "Life in Jesus")

Life is a journey, often a short one, and always uncertain.

But there is another journey.

The believer is traveling through a waste howling
wilderness, to another and a glorious region, where
ineffable delight and happiness await us.

The road is narrow, the entrance strait, so strait
that thousands miss it and perish in the wilderness.
But true believers, under the teaching and convoy
of the Holy Spirit, find it and walk in it.

The King, in His infinite love and compassion, has
made a hedge about them, separating and defending
them from the many beasts of prey that lurk around
them; and although they hear their howlings and
behold their threatenings, they are safe from their power.

But their strongest foe is within themselves; a heart
deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. From
this there is no escape but by constant watchfulness, and
earnest cries to their best Friend and Guide for protection.

Were it not for this faithful Guide, how often, discouraged
by reason of the way, would they turn back!  But He....
  watches over them by night and by day,
  strengthens them when weak,
  upholds them when falling,
  encourages them when cast down,
  defends them when attacked,
  provides for them when in need,
  leads them by living streams, and
  causes them there to lie down in pleasant
     pastures, and on sunny banks.

And as they advance they obtain brighter views of
the good land they are nearing, and they long to see
the King in His beauty, and the land that is yet very
far off, and to meet those that have already arrived
on that happy shore.


Self  dies!
(from Winslow's "The Nature and Source of Spiritual Life")

Self is the first citadel of the soul against
   which Grace directs its battery.

Self righteousness, Self trust, Self glorifying,
must yield to the humbling, emptying power
of the Spirit.

Self must be mortally wounded before Christ
lives in us. The two sovereigns cannot reign at
the same time and upon the same throne.

Self righteousness, Self glorifying, Self seeking,
must fall when Christ enters triumphantly to
set up His kingdom, to erect His throne, and to
subjugate all the powers and faculties of the
soul to His own holy and gracious supremacy.

Oh what vigilance it demands, lest this wretched
Self in us obtain a partial, or even a momentary,

The two principles; Self and Grace, are in deadly
antagonism the one to the other in the regenerate.

In proportion as Christ lives in us, Self dies!


Alas! how we forget that we are but strangers
and pilgrims on the earth; that we are journeying
to our eternal home, and will soon be there!
(Winslow, "Present Suffering Weighed with Future Glory")


Grace denial?
(adapted from Octavius Winslow's, "The
 Glory of the Redeemer in His People")

Be cautious of grace denial.

You will need much holy wisdom here, lest
you overlook the work of the Spirit within you.

You have thought, it may be, of the
glory that Christ receives from....
  brilliant genius,
  and profound talent,
  and splendid gifts,
  and glowing zeal,
  and costly sacrifices,
  and even extensive usefulness.

But have you ever thought of the glory, the far
greater, richer glory, that flows to Him from....
  the contrite spirit,
  the broken heart,
  the lowly mind,
  the humble walk;
  the tear of godly repentance that falls
    when seen by no human eye;
  the sigh of godly sorrow that is breathed
    when heard by no human ear;
  the sin abhorrence;
  the self loathing;
  the deep sense of vileness, and poverty, and
infirmity that takes you to Jesus with the prayer:
"Lord, here I am; I have brought to You....
  my rebellious will,
  my wandering heart,
  my worldly affections,
  my peculiar infirmity,
  my besetting and constantly overpowering sin.
Receive me graciously, put forth the mighty power
of Your grace in my soul, and subdue all, and rule
all, and subjugate all to Yourself! Will it not be for
Your glory, the glory of Your great name.....
if this strong corruption were subdued by Your grace;
if this powerful sin were nailed to Your cross;
if this temper so volatile,
if this heart so impure,
if these affections so truant,
if this mind so dark,
if these desires so earthly,
if these pursuits so carnal,
if these aims so selfish,
were all entirely renewed by Your Spirit, sanctified by
Your grace, and made each to reflect Your image? Yes,
Lord, it would be for Your glory, through time and
through eternity."


Let your daily history
(adapted from Octavius Winslow's, "The
 Glory of the Redeemer in His People")

  every corruption to His sanctifying grace;
  every burden to His omnipotent arm;
  every sorrow to His sympathizing heart;
  every need to His overflowing fulness;
  every wound to His healing hand;
  every sin to His cleansing blood; and
  every deformity to His all covering righteousness.

Live upon Jesus for spiritual supplies;
live upon Him for temporal supplies.

Go to Him in dark providences, that you may be kept from sinking;
go to Him in bright providences, that you may be kept from falling.

Go to Him when the path is rough, that you may walk in it contentedly;
go to Him when the path is smooth, that you may walk in it surely.

Let your daily history
be a traveling to Jesus empty,
and a coming from Jesus filled.
Taking to Him....
  the corruption, as it is discovered;
  the guilt, as it rises;
  the grief, as it is felt;
  the trial, as it is experienced;
  the wound, as it is received.


The best sermons!
(adapted from Spurgeon's sermon, "Christ
the Glory of His People" #826. Luke 2:32.

The best sermons are the sermons
   which are most full of Christ.

A sermon without Christ....
  it is an awful, a horrible thing;
  it is an empty well;
  it is a cloud without rain;
  it is a tree twice dead, plucked by the roots.

It is an abominable thing to give men
stones for bread, and scorpions for eggs,
and yet they do so who preach not Jesus.

A sermon without Christ! As well talk of
a loaf of bread without any flour in it.
How can it feed the soul?

Men die and perish because Christ is not
there, and yet His glorious gospel is the
easiest thing to preach, and the sweetest
thing to preach; there is most variety in it,
there is more attractiveness in it than in
all the world besides!


True Christian ministry
 (adapted from Octavius Winslow's, "The
Glory of the Redeemer in His Resurrection")

There may be an undue, idolatrous, if not
superstitious, attachment to, and reverence
for, Christian ministers by churches and by
individuals, the existence and growing extent
of which demand a prompt and effectual check.
The office of the Christian ministry is strangely
misunderstood at the present time. By one
part of the professing Church, the Christian
minister is all but deified; and exalted into
the place of God; so that multitudes, in the
blindness of their superstitious attachment,
worship him as God.

Seek to divest your mind of all unscriptural,
superstitious, and idolatrous views and feelings
in reference to the nature and powers of the
Christian ministry.

Remember it is but a human instrumentality,
possessing no essential, inalienable grace or
holiness of its own.

True Christian ministry disclaims all superstitious
reverence, and rejects all idolatrous attachment
and worship from the creature.

But the evil against which many of the Lord's
people need to be tenderly cautioned is that of
undue exalting of, and the setting of the affections
upon, the pastor. A Church may so vaunt itself
of the talents, the gifts, the attainments, the
popularity, and even the success of its pastor,
as greatly to detract from the glory of God, grieve
the Spirit, and seriously injure both itself and the
object of its adulation.

How keenly is the spiritual mind pained by the
humiliating spectacle of 'man worship' which
sometimes meets the eye! What applauding of
human eloquence; what burning of incense at
the shrine of human intellect and genius; what
vain boasting of profound learning, and brilliant
talent, and popular gifts; while the infinitely
weightier attributes of a holy, powerful, and
useful ministry, are lightly esteemed, if not
totally dispensed with!

The evils which arise from this vain glorying in
'men', and this undue admiration of, and exclusive
attachment to, a particular order of ministerial
character and fitness, are many and various.

The pastor should be received gratefully, as the
Lord's messenger, and esteemed very highly in love
for his work's sake. Yet hold him infinitely subordinate
to Christ, and with a loose and gentle grasp.

Cherish a devout and grateful spirit for the precious
and invaluable gift of a holy, affectionate, and useful
minister; but rest not in him short of Jesus. Give to
him his proper place in your affections and thoughts:
a place infinitely beneath the adorable Son of God,
God's "unspeakable gift."


Cheer up!
  (adapted from Octavius Winslow's,
"The Prophetical Glory of the Redeemer")

Child of God, are you fallen?
Jesus bids you take hold of His strength.

Are you burdened?
Jesus bids you cast that burden on His arm.

Are you wearied?
Jesus bids you recline on Him for rest.

Does the world persecute you? Do your fellow
Christians misunderstand and wrong you?
Jesus bids you take refuge within the hallowed
sanctuary of His own pierced and loving heart.

Do you need grace?
Jesus bids you sink your empty vessel beneath the
depths of His ocean fullness, and draw freely more grace.

Whatever corruptions distress you,
whatever temptations assail you,
whatever adversity grieves you,
whatever cloud darkens you,
whatever necessity presses upon you;
as the watchful Shepherd, as the tender Brother,
as the faithful Friend, as the great High Priest,
Jesus bids you draw near, and repose in His love.

Oh, Jesus has a capacious bosom! There is room, there
is a chamber in that heart for you, my Christian reader!

Do not think your lot is desolate, and lonely, and friendless.

Do not think that all have forsaken you, and that in
sadness and in solitude you are threading your way
through an intricate desert.

There is One....
   that loves you,
   that thinks of you,
   that has His eye upon you,
and is at this moment guiding, upholding,
and caring for you; that one is Jesus!

Oh that you could but look into His heart, and see
how Jesus loves you; oh that you could but hear
Him say, so gently, so earnestly, "Abide in my love!"

Cheer up!

You are in Christ's heart, and Christ is in your heart.

You are not alone: your God, even your Father, is with you.

Your Shepherd guides you; the Comforter spreads
around you His wings, and heaven is bright before you.

Soon you will be there!

The pilgrim will soon repose his weary limbs;
the voyager will soon be moored in his harbor of rest;
the warrior will soon put off his armor, and shout his song of triumph.

Then look up!

Christ is yours, God is yours, heaven is yours!

If God is for you, who can be against you?

And if you find disappointment in 'created good',
it will but endear Jesus; and if you know more of
the inward plague, it will but drive you to the
atoning blood; and if you have storms and
tempests, they will but shorten the voyage,
and waft you the quicker to glory!

Cheer up!


God is my Shepherd, and all my concerns
are in His hands. Blessed, forever blessed,
be His dear and holy name, who has looked
with everlasting mercy on such a poor, vile
sinner as me; and encouraged me with such
sweet manifestations of His love, to trust
my soul and all my interests in His hands!
(adapted from Mary Winslow's, "Life in Jesus")


Is it winter with your soul?
(adapted from Octavius Winslow's, "Morning Thoughts")

"You did run well; who hindered you?"
    Galatians 5:7

To the reader conscious of secret declension in his
soul, we propose the same searching and tender inquiry.

You did run well; who hindered you?

What stumbling block has fallen in your way?

What has impeded your onward course?

What has...
   enfeebled your faith,
   chilled your love,
   drawn your heart from Jesus,
   and lured you back to the weak and
     beggarly elements of a poor world?

You set out fair; for a time you did run well; your
zeal, and love, and humility gave promise of a useful
life, of a glorious race, and of a successful competition
for the prize; but something has hindered you.

What is it?

Is it....
   the world,
   creature love,
   presumptuous sin,
   unmortified corruption,
   the old leaven unpurged?

Search it out!

Rest not until it be discovered.

Your declension is secret, perhaps the cause is secret;
some spiritual duty secretly neglected, or some known
sin secretly indulged. Search it out, and bring it to light.

You are not as you once were.

Your soul has lost ground;
the divine life has declined;
the fruit of the Spirit has withered;
the heart has lost its softness,
the conscience has lost its tenderness,
the mind has lost its lowliness,
the throne of grace has lost its sweetness,
the cross of Jesus has lost its attraction.

Oh, how sad and melancholy the change that
has passed over you!

And have you not the consciousness of it in your soul?

Where is the blessedness you spoke of?

Where is the sunlit countenance of a reconciled Father?

Where are the rich moments spent before the cross?

Where are the hallowed seasons of communion in the
closet, shut in with God?

Where is the voice of the turtledove, the singing
of birds, the green pastures where you did feed,
the still waters on whose banks you did repose?

Is it all gone?

Is it winter with your soul?

Ah! yes; your soul is made to feel that it is an evil
and a bitter thing to depart from the living God.


Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
This world is not, and never was intended
to be, our rest.  It is a wilderness we are
passing through, and shame, shame to us,
that we so often want to sit down amid its
weeds and briars, and amuse ourselves with
the trifles of a fallen world lying in the wicked
one.  All here is polluted and tainted by sin;
therefore does Christ say, "Arise, my love,
my fair one, and come away."
(adapted from Mary Winslow's, "Life in Jesus")


Oh, what is all the grandeur, wealth, and
honor of this fleeting world, compared with
the glory that awaits the believer in Jesus?
Kings and queens pass away, and leave their
crowns; but the Christian goes to his, and
wears it through eternity, ever bright, ever pure!
(adapted from Mary Winslow's, "Life in Jesus")


What a place must that be!
(adapted from Mary Winslow's, "Life in Jesus")

Let us keep our eye and our hearts upon our blessed home.

Earth is but a stage erected as our passage
to the place Jesus has gone to prepare for us.

What a place must that be! which Infinite
 power and love has engaged to provide!

Oh, let us not lose sight of heaven for a moment.

How prone are we to allow our minds and hearts
(treacherous hearts!) to become entangled with
the baubles of a dying world. No wonder Christ
exhorted us to watch and pray.

Heaven is our home; our happy home.

We are but strangers and pilgrims here.

Try and realize it.

Let us keep ourselves ready to enter with Him
to the marriage supper of the Lamb. In a little
while, and we shall see Him, not as the 'Man
of sorrows,' but the 'King in His beauty.'

Then let us fight against earth and all
its false attractions, for it passes away.


Beloved, soon, O how soon! all that now
loads the heart with care, and wrings it with sorrow;
all that dims the eye with tears, and renders the
day anxious and the night sleepless, will be as
though it had never been!

Emerging from....
  the entanglement,
  the dreariness,
  the solitude,
  the loneliness, and
  the temptations of the wilderness,
you shall enter upon your everlasting rest,
your unfading inheritance, where there is....
  no sorrow,
  no declension,
  no sin,
  no sunset,
  no twilight,
  no evening shadows,
  no midnight darkness,
but all is one perfect, cloudless, eternal day, for
JESUS is the joy, the light, and the glory thereof!

"And now, all glory to God, who is able to keep
 you from stumbling, and who will bring you into
 His glorious presence innocent of sin and with
 great joy! All glory to Him, who alone is God our
 Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Yes, glory,
 majesty, power, and authority belong to Him, in
 the beginning, now, and forevermore! Amen."
    Jude 1:24-25
(adapted from Winslow's, "The Lord, the Keeper of His People")


The infinite ocean of Christ's love!
(adapted from Octavius Winslow's,
 "The Emotion of Love in Christ")

The mind has often been sensible of a feeling
of awe as we have stood upon the shore, and
gazed upon the vast expanse of the ocean.
With a similar, yet far transcending emotion,
we approach the infinite ocean of Christ's love!

Like the eternity of God, we cannot fathom
where His love begins, or where it terminates.

There is no other solution to the marvellous
mysteries of His Incarnation and Sacrificial
Death but this: Christ has loved us.

Love originated all, explains all, illustrates all.

Love is the interpreter of every Divine mystery.

There is not a circumstance of our Lord's history
which is not another form or manifestation of love.
His incarnation is love stooping.
His sympathy is love weeping.
His compassion is love supporting.
His grace is love acting.
His teaching is the voice of love.
His silence is the repose of love.
His patience is the restraint of love.
His obedience is the labor of love.
His suffering is the travail of love.
His cross is the altar of love.
His death is the burnt offering of love.
His resurrection is the triumph of love.
His ascension into heaven is the enthronement of love.
His sitting down at the right hand of God is the intercession of love.

Such is the deep, the vast, the boundless ocean
of Christ's love! The soul muses in silent awe as
it gazes upon this fathomless, limitless sea!

Nothing short of a divine love could or would have
borne our sins, and the punishment of our sins.
The weight of the one, and the terribleness of the
other, would have crushed and annihilated a mere
'created' affection. There existed no love but the
love of Jesus equal to the work of salvation.

Who was willing, who was able, to bear that heavy
load, to endure that overwhelming curse, but Jesus?

Oh, think, beloved reader, what the love
of Christ has done and suffered for you....
  the burden it bore,
  the sorrow it felt,
  the humiliation it underwent,
  the insults,
  the ignominy,
  the privation through which it traveled;
  its groans,
  its sighs,
  its tears,
  its darkness,
  how inconceivably it agonized,
  how freely it bled,
  how voluntarily it died,
  the sins it has pardoned,
  the guilt it has cleansed,
  the declensions it has restored,
  the backslidings it has healed,
  the sorrows it has soothed,
  the patience it has exercised,
  the gentleness it has exhibited,
and then ask, could any other but the love of
Jesus have done all this, and endured all this?

Such is the love of Christ!

To have saved us upon such terms...
  a stoop so low,
  a humiliation so profound,
  a labor so immense,
  mental anguish so acute,
  bodily suffering so agonizing,
  a death so ignominious...
Was ever love like this?

Was it ever equaled? Where shall we find its parallel?

Love less divine, less strong, less gentle, could
never have won your heart, uprooted your enmity,
tore you from your idols; enthroning Christ, all of
Christ, Christ only, Christ supremely, Christ forever!

The love of Christ will be the wonder, the study, and
the song of all pure, holy intelligences through eternity!

Beloved, nothing shall take the love of Christ from you,
or separate you from it. It does not ebb with the ebbing
of your feelings; it does not chill with the chill of your
affections; it does not change with the changing scenes
and circumstances of your life.

The love of Christ has depths we cannot sound,
heights we cannot explore, an infinite fulness and
freeness tiding over all the sins, infirmities, and
sorrows of its blessed and favored objects.

Seek to know this love of Christ, though it is so vast
that it 'passes knowledge.' Infinite though it is, you
may experience its reality, taste its sweetness, and be
influenced by its all commanding, all constraining power.

Do not limit your heart experience of Christ's love, for
it is infinite in its nature, and boundless in its extent.

As yet, how many of us stand but upon the shore
of this ocean! How little do we know, experimentally,
of the love of Christ in our souls!

Bring your heart with....
  its profoundest emptiness,
  its most startling discovery of sin,
  its lowest frame,
  its deepest sorrow, and
sink it into the depths of the Savior's love!

That infinite sea will flow over all, erase all,
absorb all, and your soul shall swim and sport
amid its gentle waves, exclaiming in your joy
and transport, "Oh, the depths!"

The Lord direct your heart into the love of God!
Just as it is...
  sad and

Christ's love touching your hard heart, will dissolve it!

Christ's love touching your cold heart, will warm it!

Christ's love touching your sinful heart, will purify it!

Christ's love touching your sorrowful heart, will soothe it!

Christ's love touching your wandering heart, will draw it back to Himself.

Only bring your heart to Christ's love!

Believe that He loves you, and just as love begets
love, so the simple belief in the love of Jesus will
inspire you with a reflected, responsive affection;
and your soul, like the flower, will burst from its
captivity, and bloom, and, soaring in life, liberty,
and beauty, will float in the sunbeams of Gods full,
free, and eternal love; and, in a little while, will
find itself in heaven, where all is love!

"Blessed Jesus! Your love, like Your agonies, is an
unknown and unfathomable depth! It passes knowledge.
Let it rise and expand before me, until it fills the entire
scope of my soul's vision; occupies every niche of my heart;
and bears me onward by its all commanding, all constraining
influence, in the path of a holy loving obedience and surrender."

"May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so
 great you will never fully understand it." Ephes. 3:19


How emptying, humbling, and abasing!
(adapted from Octavius Winslow's, "The
  Prophetical Glory of the Redeemer")

Cultivate frequent and devout contemplations
of the glory of Christ. Immense will be the
benefit accruing to your soul. The mind thus
preoccupied, filled, and expanded, will be
enabled to present a stronger resistance to
the ever advancing and insidious encroachments
of the world.

No place will be found for vain thoughts, and
  no desire or time for carnal enjoyments.

Oh, how crucifying and sanctifying are
clear views of the glory of Emmanuel!

How emptying, humbling, and abasing!

With the patriarch, we then exclaim, "I abhor
  myself, and repent in dust and ashes."

And with the prophet, "Woe is me! for I am
undone; because I am a man of unclean lips,
My eyes have seen the King."

And with the apostle, "As for me, God forbid
that I should boast about anything except the
cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that
cross, my interest in this world died long ago,
and the world's interest in me is also long dead."

Oh, then, aim to get your mind filled with enlarged and
yet expanding views of the glory of the Redeemer.

Let it, in all the discoveries it affords of the Divine
mind and majesty, be the one subject of your
thoughts, the one theme of your conversation.

Place no limit to your knowledge of Christ.

Ever consider that you have but read the preface
to the volume; you have but touched the fringe
of the sea. Stretching far away beyond you, are
undiscovered beauties, and precious views, and
sparkling glories, each encouraging your advance,
inviting your research, and asking the homage of
your faith, the tribute of your love, and the
dedication of your life.

Go forward, then!

The glories that yet must be revealed to you in
a growing knowledge of Jesus, what imagination
can conceive, what pen can describe them?

"You shall see greater things than these,"
 is the promise that bids you advance.

Jesus stands ready to unveil all the beauties of His
person; and to admit you into the very arcade of His
love. There is not a chamber of His heart that He will
not throw open to you; not a blessing that He will not
bestow upon you; not a glory that He will not show to you.

You shall see greater things than you have yet seen:
greater depths of sin in your fallen nature shall be
revealed; deeper sense of the cleansing efficacy of
the atoning blood shall be felt; clearer views of your
acceptance in the Beloved; greater discoveries of God's
love; and greater depths of grace and glory in Jesus
shall be enjoyed. Your communion with God shall be
closer, and more the fruit of adopting love in your heart;
your feet shall be as hinds' feet, and you shall walk
on your high places. Your "peace shall flow as a river,
and your righteousness as the waves of the sea."

Sorrow shall wound you less deeply;
affliction shall press you less heavily;
tribulation shall affect you less keenly;
all this, and infinitely more, will result
from your deeper knowledge of Jesus.

Ah, wonder not that the heaving, panting,
thirsting soul of the apostle exclaimed,
"Yes, everything else is worthless when compared
with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my
Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it
all as garbage, so that I may have Christ.
I want to know Christ...." Philip. 3:8,10


The happy secret of retaining our mercies!
(Octavius Winslow "The Glory of the Redeemer")

The happy secret of retaining our mercies is
to receive and enjoy Christ in them; to turn every
blessing bestowed into an occasion of knowing, and
loving, and enjoying more of Jesus; apart from
whom, poor indeed were the most costly blessing.

Blessed indeed would our blessings then be!

Leading our affections up to God; giving us a deeper
insight into a Father's love; laying us lower in the
dust at His feet; filling the spirit with secret contrition
and tender brokenness, the heart with adoring love,
the mouth with grateful praise; endearing the channel
through which it descends, and the mercy seat at
which it was sought and given; encouraged and
stimulated by the gift, to devote person, time,
influence, and property, more simply and unreservedly,
to the glory of God; then should we keep a longer
possession of our sanctified blessing, nor fear the
thought, nor shrink from the prospect of its removal;
or, if removed, we should be quite satisfied to have
God alone as our portion and our all.


The tyrant of the soul!

 (adapted from Octavius Winslow's, "The
Glory of the Redeemer in His Resurrection")

"What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue
 me from this body of death?" Romans 7:24

Oh, what a cumbrance is this body of sin!

Its corruptions,
its infirmities,
its weaknesses,
its ailments,
its diseases,
all conspire to render it the tyrant of the soul,
if grace does not keep it under and bring it into
subjection as its slave.

How often, when the mind would pursue its favorite
study, the wearied and overtasked body enfeebles it!

How often, when the spirit would expatiate and soar
in its contemplations of and in its communings with
God, the inferior nature detains it by its weight, or
occupies it with its needs!

How often, when the soul thirsts for Divine knowledge,
and the heart pants for holiness, its highest aspirations
and its strongest efforts are discouraged and thwarted
by the clinging infirmities of a corrupt and suffering humanity!

"But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus
Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for Him to return
as our Savior. He will take these weak mortal bodies
of ours and change them into glorious bodies like His
own....."  Philip. 3:20-21

Then, oh then, shall we be perfectly like Christ.

"But we do know that when He comes we will be like
 Him, for we will see Him as He really is." 1 John 3:2

Like Him in the spotless purity of the mind,
like Him in the perfect beauty of the body.

Transporting thought!


This little idol?
(adapted from Octavius Winslow's,
  "The Sympathy of Christ")

To affirm, as the Scriptures of truth positively do,
that mankind is originally and totally depraved, is
but to portray it with every feature of its pristine
nobleness, purity, and excellence utterly spoiled!

Mankind has become the living embodiment,
the acting impersonation, the very incarnation
of fallen SELF love; SELF love in the form of
complete SELFishness.

The original Center of the soul forsaken,
man had become a center to himSELF.

The God He worshiped, was the deification of SELF.

The religion He professed, was the adoration of SELF.

The powers He cultivated were consecrated to SELF.

His whole existence was one act of service and devotion to SELF.

The Divine Center abandoned,
He knew no other god,
acknowledged no other sufficiency,
recognized no other end than himSELF.

Every faculty and thought, every affection and action,
was made to contribute to the cloud of incense which
rose as in one dense column before this little idol, SELF.

SELF the first;
SELF the last;
SELF all in all!

And is it not so now?

SELF, in some shape, is still the Deity of the natural man!

SELFishness is still the universal sin of our nature,
exhibited in one or more of its thousand modifications,
its endless forms.

All are in pursuit either of wealth, or ambition,
or pleasure, or honor, or gratification under the
'law of SELFishness'.

SELF is the only recognized principle and rule of
action which regulates the conduct of the great
majority of our depraved species.

The indictment is heavy, the picture is dark, the
sin is awful, we admit; but it is borne out by daily
observation and frequent experience, and by the
faithful, unerring Word of God, "All men seek their own."

What, we ask, is all this....
this SELF exaltism?
this egotism?
this envy and jealousy?
this attempt to supplant others in esteem, influence, and power?
this prodigality and love of worldly show?
this eager chase of wealth?
this covetousness and penuriousness?
this love of ease and sloth?
this niggardly dole of charity?
this cruel, heartless, grinding oppression?
this growing sensuality and crime?

What, we ask, is all this, and a thousand times more,
but the one appalling, cancerous sin of SELFishness
existing in the very heart of depravity, and sending
its fatal poison along all the fibers of human society?


We resolve that the murderers shall die!
(from Dagg's "Manual of Theology")
It may be profitable to linger yet a little time
at the cross, that we may again survey its glory,
and feel its soul subduing power.

In the cross of Christ, all the divine perfections
are gloriously and harmoniously displayed. Infinite
love, inviolable truth, and inflexible justice are all
seen, in their brightest and most beautifully mingled
colors. The heavens declare the glory of God; but
the glory of the cross outshines the wonders of the
skies. God's moral perfections are here displayed,
which are the highest glory of his character.

The cross of Christ is our only hope of life everlasting.
On him who hangs there, our iniquities were laid, and from
his wounds flows the blood that cleanses from all sin.
Our faith views the bleeding victim, and peacefully relies
on the great atoning sacrifice. It views mercy streaming
from the cross; and to the cross it comes to obtain
every needed blessing.

In the cross, the believer finds the strongest motive to
holiness. As we stand before it, and view the exhibition of
the Savior's love, we resolve to live to him who died for us.

The world ceases to charm.

We become crucified to the world, and the world crucified to us.

Sin appears infinitely hateful. We regard it as the
accursed thing which caused the death of our beloved
Lord; and we grow strong in the purpose to wage
against it an exterminating war. By all the Savior's
agonies, we vow to have no peace with it for ever.

The cross is the place for penitential tears.

We look on him whom we have pierced, and mourn.

Our hearts bleed at the sight of the bleeding
sufferer, murdered by our sins; and we resolve
that the murderers shall die!

The cross is a holy place, where we learn to be like
Christ, to hate sin as he hated it, and to delight in
the law of God which was in his heart.

In the presence of the cross, we feel that omnipotent
grace has hold of our heart; and we surrender to dying
love. The doctrine of the cross needs no other demonstration
of its divine origin, than its power to sanctify the heart,
and bring it into willing and joyful subjection to Christ.


The diamonds of heaven!
"Behold, he prays."  Acts 9:11

(adapted from Spurgeon)

Prayers are instantly noticed in heaven.

The moment Saul  began to pray the Lord
heard him. Here is comfort for the distressed,
but praying soul.  Oftentimes a poor broken
hearted one bends his knee, but can only
utter his wailing in the language of sighs
and tears; yet that groan has made all the
harps of heaven thrill with music; that tear
has been caught by God and treasured in
the lachrymatory of heaven. "You put my
tears into your bottle," implies that they
are caught as they flow.

The suppliant, whose fears prevent his words,
will be well understood by the Most High.
He may only look up with misty eye; but
"prayer is the falling of a tear."

Tears are the diamonds of heaven!

Sighs are a part of the music of Jehovah's
court, and are numbered with "the most
sublime strains that reach the majesty
on high."

Think not that your prayer, however weak
  or trembling, will be unregarded.

Our God not only hears prayer but also loves
to hear it. "He forgets not the cry of the humble."
True, He regards not high looks and lofty words;
He cares not for the pomp and pageantry of kings;
He listens not to the swell of martial music;
He regards not the triumph and pride of man;
but wherever there is a heart big with sorrow,
or a lip quivering with agony, or a deep groan,
or a penitential sigh, the heart of Jehovah is open;
He marks it down in the registry of His memory.
He puts our prayers, like rose leaves, between
the pages of His book of remembrance, and when
the volume is opened at last, there shall be a
precious fragrance springing up therefrom.


Oh lovely posture!
(adapted from Octavius Winslow's "Morning Thoughts")

"But if we judged ourselves, we would
 not come under judgment." 1 Cor. 11:31

Self condemnation averts God's condemnation.

When a penitent sinner truly, humbly, graciously
sits in judgment upon himself, the Lord will never
sit in judgment upon him.

The penitent publican, who stood afar off, wrapped
in the spirit of self condemnation, retired from His
presence a justified man.

The proud, self righteous Pharisee, who marched
boldly to the altar and justified himself, went forth
from God's presence a condemned man.

When God sees a penitent sinner arraigning, judging,
condemning, loathing himself, He exclaims, "I do not
condemn you; go and sin no more." He who judges
and condemns himself upon God's footstool, shall be
acquitted and absolved from God's throne.

The Lord give unto us this secret spirit of self judgment.

Such was Job's, when in deep contrition he declared,
"I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."

Such was David's, when he penitentially confessed,
"Against You, You only have I sinned, and done this
evil in Your sight."

Such was Peter's, when he vehemently exclaimed,
"Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord."

Such was Isaiah's, when he plaintively cried, "Woe is me,
for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips."

Such was the publican's, when he humbly
prayed, "God be merciful to me a sinner."

Oh lovely posture!

Oh sacred spirit of self abhorrence, of self condemnation!

The Holy Spirit works it in the heart, and this stamps
it as so precious, so salutary, and so safe. The great
day of the Lord will unveil blessings passing all thought,
and glories passing all imagination, to the soul who
beneath the cross lies prostrate, in the spirit of self

The judgment day of the self condemning soul is on
this side of eternity! While the judgment day of the
self justifying soul is on the other side of eternity!

And oh, how terrible will that judgment be!


Away, you sons of Antichrist!
(adapted from Spurgeon's sermon, "The
Putting Away of Sin" #911. Hebrews 9:26.)

There is not a word anywhere in Scripture about
any renewed and repeated sacrifice by Christ. The
Romanists tell us that they continue to present
the sacrifice of Christ in the unbloody sacrifice of
the mass. But this is a mere invention of their
priests!  Away, you sons of Antichrist!


He has guided our feet there!
(adapted from Mary Winslow's, "Life in Jesus")

Broad is the road to destruction, and many go
therein; narrow is the road that leads to glory,
and there are few, comparatively, who find it,
happy few! And, oh, what a mercy that He has
guided our feet there!

Our souls and bodies ought to be devoted to Him,
to glorify Him for His distinguishing grace! For what
are we more than others, that He should fix His
everlasting love upon us while we were dead in
trespasses and in sins?

Blessed be God, who passes by so many, and who
has deigned to look upon us who were lying as others,
dead in sin. Infinite in sovereignty, infinite in goodness,
infinite in power! Why He passes by some and calls
others is only known to Himself.

But He will have mercy upon whom He will have mercy.

Blessed, forever blessed, be His adored name!

Oh, for grace to serve Him better, and to love Him more!


We must not expect much in this base world.
All our richest blessings are to come. This world is
but a preparatory state. We are disciplining and
preparing for the glorious inheritance above. But
how often, through wretched unbelief, we seem
to wish to have our all here. And although, from
bitter experience, we feel and acknowledge that
this poor world is polluted, and it is not our rest,
yet more or less we go on, often repining, because
we cannot have things just as we wish.  Oh, to
leave ourselves in a loving, tender Father's hands!
He knows what we need, and what we ought to
have, and will deny us no good thing. But He must
judge for us, who are but as babes, who cannot
judge for ourselves.
(adapted from Mary Winslow's, "Life in Jesus")


The world and its nothings!
(adapted from Mary Winslow's, "Life in Jesus")

The world and its 'nothings' are
often a sad snare to God's saints.

Oh that by faith we may overcome
it all, and keep close to Jesus!

We are not of the world.

Let us try and not attend to its gewgaws!

Keep a more steadfast, unwavering eye
upon Christ. He has gone a little before us,
and stands beckoning us to follow.

Live for eternity!

Let go your hold upon the world!

Receive this exhortation from an aged pilgrim,
who, as she nears the solemn scenes of eternity,
and more realizes the inexpressible joys that
await us there, is anxious that all the believers
who are traveling the same road might have their
hearts and minds more disentangled from earth
and earthly things, and themselves unreservedly
given to Christ.

Let us aim in all things to follow Him who,
despising this world's show, left us an example
how we should walk. Dearest Jesus! help Your
pilgrims to live more like pilgrims, above a poor
dying world, and more in full view of the glory that
awaits them when they shall see You face to face!

Have your lamp trimmed and brightly burning,
for every day and every hour brings us nearer
and nearer to our home!


The sights and shows of this perishing world!
(adapted from Mary Winslow's, "Life in Jesus")

I wonder what business a man, declaring himself
sent of God to lead poor sinners to Christ, has to do
with the sights and shows of this perishing world!

How can he exhort his flock to live above the world and
 all its vanities, while he himself is going after them?

I cannot understand some Christians, and they do
not understand me. I may be wrong; but when I read,
"Come out from among them, and be separate."  "Do
not love not the world, nor the things that are in the
world;" and many other such solemn exhortations,
I realize the way a believer in Christ should live, and
have only to regret I so often wander from it myself.

Oh, how the world, with all its cares, crowds upon
the poor pilgrim, even in his most solemn moments!


A deadly snare, a fatal rock!
(adapted from Octavius Winslow's, "Christ's
 Sympathy with Christian Perseverance")

The world is great cause of apostasy from
a religious profession. It is a deadly snare,
a fatal rock to many a towering professor.
Its seductions are so powerful,
its disguise so successful,
its pleas so plausible,
its eddies so numerous,
its vortex so powerful and absorbing,
few who profess to have come out of and to
have renounced it forever, escape from its entire
enthrallment, and hold on their Christian course
of daily dying to its fascination and power.

Oh, what a snare to the Christian profession is the
ungodly world! And is there not, at the present moment,
cause for alarm at the growing encroachment of the
world upon the professing Church of Christ?

We verily think so.

What means this....
eager pursuit of wealth,
this love of display,
this extravagance of living,
this conformity to the world in a hundred different
ways, so conspicuous and so increasing among
Christian professors?

Wherein, but in an outward profession, do these
avowed disciples of the Crucified differ from the
unregenerate, ungodly, world around them?

If these are true disciples of Christ, where are we to look for the worldlings?

If these are worldlings, where are we to look for the true followers of Christ?

The Church in its worldly conformity, looks so like the world,
and the world in its religious forms, looks so like the Church,
we are at times embarrassed where to look for the one or
for the other. But this amalgamation must not be!