Grace Gems for April 2002

Christ must be all!

(Octavius Winslow, "Morning Thoughts")

We cannot keep our eye too exclusively
   or too intently fixed on Jesus.

All salvation is in Him.

All salvation proceeds from Him.

All salvation leads to Him.

And for the assurance and comfort of our salvation
we are to repose believingly and entirely on Him.

Christ must be all!

Christ the beginning;
Christ the center; and
Christ the end.

Oh sweet truth to you who are sensible of
your poverty, vileness, and insufficiency,
and of the ten thousand flaws and failures
of which, perhaps, no one is cognizant but
God and your own soul!

Oh, to turn and rest in Christ;
    a full Christ;
    a loving Christ;
    a tender Christ,
whose heart's love never chills,
from whose eye darts no reproof,
from whose lips breathes no sentence of condemnation!

Christ must be all!

The Infinite becomes an infant!
(from Spurgeon's sermon, #952
"Negotiations for Peace"  Acts 10:36.)

Jesus Christ, the infinite King of kings and Lord
of lords, stooped to be an infant! He who sustains
all things was laid upon a woman's breast!

Look! The virgin will conceive a child!
    She will give birth to a son,
and He will be called Immanuel,
    which means, "God with us." Matthew 1:23

O love Him!  With all your hearts cherish
and honor of the incarnate God, Immanuel.

The Great Artist's chisel!
(from Spurgeon's "The Tender Pity of the Lord" #941)

Jesus taught the disciples humility by His humility.

He taught them gentleness by His gentleness.

He did not point out their defects in words.

He did not dwell upon their errors, but He
rather let them see their own spots by His
purity, their own defects by His perfection.

Oh, the marvellous tenderness of Christ, who
 so paternally pitied those who feared Him!

Remember that your brethren and sisters in Christ,
with whom you find so much fault, are God's elect.
And if He chose them, why do you reject them?

They are bought with Christ's blood, and if He thought
them worth so much, why do you think so little of them?

Recollect, too, that with all their badness there are
some good points in them in which they excel you.

They do not know so much, but perhaps they act better than you.

It may be that they are more faulty in pride,
 but perhaps they excel you in generosity.

Or if perhaps one man is a little quick in
temper, yet he is more zealous than you.

Look at the bright side of your brother, and
the black side of yourself, instead of reversing
the order as many do.

The drift of this lesson is this; as your heavenly
Father has pity on you, have pity on one another.

Jesus, the Compassionate One, covers
 our sins with the mantle of His love!

Be as tender towards those who sin as the Master was.

He remembers that we are dust; remember this of others.

I will not find fault with you, my friend, if I can
help it, because you will be one day without fault
before the throne of God!

If God will so soon remove your faults,
 why should I take note of them?

I will not peevishly complain of the 'rough stone'; for
I see it is under the Great Artist's chisel, and I will
tarry till I see the beauty which He brings out of it.

The way to escape from the power of sin.
(from Spurgeon's sermon, "The Way" #942)

Christ is the way to escape from the power of sin.

The great object of a penitent soul is
to get away from the tyranny and slavery
of evil habits and of corrupt desires.

The saints in glory overcame through the blood of
the Lamb, and there is no other way of overcoming.
The precious blood of atonement wherever sprinkled
kills sin, and he that lives in the full belief of it will
be purified from sinful habits.

It is living under a sense of divine love as manifest
in Christ; it is living with the full conviction of pardon
through the blood that brings to us freedom from the
reigning power of sin.

There is no way to get the likeness of Christ, except
by learning of His love. You imitate Christ, and so
become like Him. You commune with Christ, and
as you talk with Him, His character sacredly
operates upon yourself, and you are changed
from glory to glory, as by the image of the Lord.

The moment we forget Christ, and then seek after
personal sanctification, we are trying to get to our
journey's end by declining to tread the road to it.

It is impossible to grow in grace except by
abiding evermore at the foot of the cross.

Avoid light, trifling professors of religion
(from Mary Winslow's, "Life in Jesus")
Avoid light, trifling professors of religion;
their influence will be as poison to your souls.
I am convinced that much communion with
lukewarm professors does great injury to the
believer. Oh, avoid such! Light and trifling
conversation acts as a poison to the life of
God in the soul. It grieves the Spirit, and He
withdraws His sensible influence.

Bitter spirited Christians?
(from Spurgeon's, "Ripe Fruit" #945. Micah 7:1)

As we grow in grace, we are sure to grow in
charity, sympathy, and love. We shall, as we
ripen in grace, have greater sweetness towards
our fellow Christians. Bitter spirited Christians
may know a great deal, but they are immature.

Those who are quick to censure may be
very acute in judgment, but they are as
yet very immature in heart.

He who grows in grace remembers that he is
but dust, and he therefore does not expect his
fellow Christians to be anything more.

He overlooks ten thousand of their faults,
because he knows his God overlooks twenty
thousand in his own case. He does not expect
perfection in the creature, and, therefore, he
is not disappointed when he does not find it.

When our virtues become more mature, we shall
not be more tolerant of evil; but we shall be more
tolerant of infirmity, more hopeful for the people
of God, and certainly less arrogant in our criticisms.

We travel through this intricate wilderness
(by Mary Winslow)
It is only by constantly looking to Christ
 that we can get joy and comfort.

Thus, looking to Jesus and going to Jesus,
we travel through this intricate wilderness
comfortably and safely to our home in heaven.

Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats?
by Charles Spurgeon (edited)

An evil is in the 'professed' camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most
shortsighted Christian can hardly fail to notice it. During the past few years this evil has
developed at an alarming rate. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments!

The devil has seldom done a more clever thing, than hinting to the Church that part of
their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them.
From speaking out the gospel, the Church has gradually toned down her testimony, then
winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders.
Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses!

My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the
Scriptures as a function of the Church. If it is a Christian work why did not Christ speak of
it? 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, and provide amusement
for those who do not relish the gospel'.

No such words, however, are to be found. It did not seem to occur to Him. Where do
entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets
persecuted because they amused the people, or because they confronted them? The
'concert' has no martyr roll.

Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and
all His apostles. What was the attitude of the apostolic Church to the world? "You are the
salt of the world", not the sugar candy; something the world will spit out, not swallow.

Had Jesus introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into His teaching, He would
have been more popular. When "many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed
Him," I do not hear Him say, 'Run after these people, Peter, and tell them we will have a
different style of service tomorrow; something short and attractive with little preaching. We
will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it! Be
quick, Peter, we must get the people somehow!'

No! Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them!

In vain will the epistles be searched to find any trace of the 'gospel of amusement'. Their
message is, "Therefore, come out from them and separate yourselves from them... Don't
touch their filthy things..." Anything approaching amusement is conspicuous by its absence.
They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon.

After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the Church had a prayer meeting, but
they did not pray, 'Lord, grant unto your servants that by a wise and discriminating use of
innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are'.

No! They did not cease from preaching Christ. They had no time for arranging
entertainments. Scattered by persecution they went everywhere preaching the gospel. They
turned the world upside down; that is the only difference from today's church.

Lastly, amusement fails to effect the end desired. Let the heavy laden who found peace
through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment
had been God's link in the chain of their conversion, stand up! There are none to answer!
The mission of amusement produces no converts!

The need of the hour for today's ministry is earnest spirituality joined with Biblical doctrine,
so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire.

Lord, clear the Church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her, and
bring us back to apostolic methods!

O you vainglorious churches!
(adapted from Spurgeon's sermon, "A Most Needful
Prayer Concerning the Holy Spirit" #954. Psalm 51:11)

'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,'
  says the Lord Almighty. Zech. 4:6

Everybody may be saying, "How wondrously that church
flourishes! What power! What influence! What numbers!"

And suddenly some radical evil which had been eating
out the very soul of the church may come to its issue,
and then in a moment all the apparent prosperity will
subside, and the Philistines will rejoice.

When the Spirit of God departs from a church,
what remains is but its old records, ancient creeds,
title deeds, traditions, histories and memories.

The great power of the church does not lie in the
power of her organizations. You may have good
schemes for work, wisely arranged and managed,
but they will be a failure without the divine energy.

Too often excellent methods are rigidly adhered
to, and confidently relied upon, and yet without
the Holy Spirit they are sheer folly.

Formal routine satisfies many.

Souls are not saved by systems, but by the Spirit.

Organizations without the Holy Spirit are windmills without wind.

Methods and arrangements without grace are lamps without oil.

Even the most scriptural forms of church government and
effort, are null and void without the "power from on high."

Nor does the strength of a church lie in her wealth.
Money avails nothing to a church devoid of grace; it
does but increase the evil which is corrupting within.

O you vainglorious churches, you may gild your domes,
you may make your pillars of alabaster, and cover your
altars with precious stones, you may clothe your priests
in scarlet and in fair white linen, you may make your
ceremonies imposing, your processions gorgeous, and
your music enchanting, but all this avails nothing if
the Spirit of God is gone; all that remains to you is
as sounding brass, and a tinkling cymbal.

Nor does the strength of a church lie in her numbers.
What is a large church without the Lord's presence,
but a mass of chaff to be scattered with a whirlwind,
or to rot on the threshing floor?

Nor does the strength of a church lie in her doctrines.
The Laodicea church did not hold false doctrines, yet
she was nauseous to the Lord.

Truth may be held in unrighteousness.

Orthodox churches may become lifeless corpses.

'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,'
  says the Lord Almighty. Zech. 4:6

He takes away our props!
(from Mary Winslow's, "Life in Jesus")
Oh, what a mercy to have a throne of grace,
and a tender, compassionate, loving Christ to
go to at all times, and under all circumstances!
A genuine welcome; no frown to fear; no distant
look.  Oh that we all might live upon Him,
moment by moment! For this reason He takes
away our props, that we might lean fully
upon Himself.

The Hell Fire Club?
(edited from Spurgeon's sermon, #950
 "Means for Restoring the Banished" )

Mr. Thorpe was a member of an 'infidel' club.
In those days infidelity was more blasphemous
than now. This infidel society took the name of
the "Hell Fire Club". Among their amusements
was that of holding imitations of religious
services, and exhibiting mimicries of popular

Thorpe went to hear George Whitfield preach,
that he might caricature him before his profane
associates. He listened to Whitfield so carefully
that he caught his tones and his manner, and
somewhat of his doctrines.

When the "Hell Fire Club" met to see his caricature
of Whitfield, Thorpe opened the Bible that he might
take a text to preach from it after the manner of
Whitfield. His eye fell on the passage, "Except you
repent, you shall all likewise perish."  As he spoke
upon that text he was carried beyond himself, lost
all thought of mockery, spoke as one in earnest,
and was the means of his own conversion!

He was carried by the force of truth beyond his
own intention, like one who would play in a river,
and is swept away by its current.

Even the scoffer may be reached by the arrows of truth!
Scripture has often been the sole means in the hands
of its divine Author of converting the soul.

"For the Word of God is full of living power. It is
 sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into
 our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes
 us for what we really are."  Hebrews 4:12

(After his amazing conversion, Thorpe
became a noted preacher of the gospel.)

O sinner!
(by Jonathan Edwards, edited)

O sinner!  The God that holds you over the
pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some
loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and
is dreadfully provoked. His wrath towards you
burns like fire. He looks upon you as worthy of
nothing else, but to be cast into the fire. He is
of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight.
You are ten thousand times more abominable in
His eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent
is in ours.

O sinner!  You have offended Him infinitely more
than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet
it is nothing but His hand that holds you from falling
into the fire every moment.

O sinner!  It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that
you did not go to hell the last night; that you were
allowed to awake again in this world, after you
closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other
reason to be given, why you have not dropped
into hell since you arose in the morning, but
that God's hand has held you up.

O sinner!  There is no other reason to be given why
you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here
in the house of God, provoking His pure eyes
by your sinful wicked manner of attending His
solemn worship.

O sinner!  Yes, there is nothing else that is to be
given as a reason why you do not this very moment
drop down into hell.

O sinner!  Consider the fearful danger you are in!

O sinner!  It is a great furnace of wrath, a wide
and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath,
that you are held over, in the hand of that God
whose wrath is provoked and incensed as
much against you, as against many of the
damned in hell.

O sinner!  You hang by a slender thread, with
the flames of divine wrath flashing about it,
and ready every moment to singe it, and burn
it asunder. And you have no interest in any
Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save
yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath,
nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have
done, nothing that you can do, to induce God
to spare you one moment!

Immanuel's Land!
(from D. A. Harsha's, "The Heavenly Token" 1856.)

"I go to prepare a place for you." John 14:2

How full of consolation are the Holy Scriptures! They animate the Christian in his pilgrimage
on earth; they point out the way of salvation through a crucified Jesus; they lead the
ransomed sinner to the gates of the celestial city, and seat him amid the untold and
inconceivable glories of Paradise! The Scriptures urge us to set our affections on the glories
of the Christian's eternal home. To those in whose hearts Christ is formed the hope of
glory, how beautiful, how tender, how soul reviving is the language of inspiration! It is
written, "If you then are risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ
sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the

In compliance with the sacred command we shall endeavor, through divine assistance, to
raise our thoughts to those scenes of bliss which the redeemed perpetually enjoy before
the throne of God and the Lamb. We shall contemplate the place itself, where all the
precious flock of Christ are to dwell through an endless day. In connection with this we
shall notice a few of the powerful attractions of that blessed abode.

Heaven is a place as well as a state. Among the last words of our Redeemer before He left
this valley of tears, we find this cheering declaration and promise, "I go to prepare a place
for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto
myself; that where I am, there you may be also." Precious words from a loving Friend! But
follow Him to the land of promise. Christ has now gone to prepare that place for us! O
what a place will Jesus prepare for his dear children! What a place will infinite love
make! How attractive will it be! Well may we confess our utter inability to portray the
regions of glory, and exclaim with an enraptured Apostle, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those
who love Him."

Language fails to describe the beauties of Immanuel's land, and the human mind to
conceive its blessedness. "All the glories of kingdoms, all the beauties of gardens, all the
splendor of palaces, yes all the riches of creation, form but a faint sketch of the sublime
original." We cannot know what heaven really is until we enter into 'the holy place' and sit
down under the shadow of the tree of life in the midst of the Paradise of God. Then shall
we see in the light of glory that it is a happy region; a happy home indeed.

Heaven is a holy place where the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God,
unveils His glorious perfections in full effulgence. In that blessed place, the Lamb of God,
the Savior of sinners, dwells in His glorified humanity. There triumphant saints are
gathered home to Christ. There they are made pillars in the temple of God and go no more
out. There the host of heaven dwell in the blissful presence of the King of glory.

This blessed place should attract us. We should look beyond this present fleeting world.
We should endeavor to raise our eyes to Canaan's happy shores, and obtain a glimpse of
those everlasting hills from where our help comes from. Let the Christian ascend the mount
of meditation, and by the help of God's Word, survey those fair regions which lie beyond
the Jordan of death.
"My soul, on Pisgah's mount ascend,
 where Moses once admiring stood.
 There view the promised land extend
 beyond the swelling Jordan's flood."

What glorious prospects are presented to the Christian pilgrim when he, by faith, gazes on
the heights of Mount Zion above! There stands the New Jerusalem, the city of our God, in
dazzling glory. Through its golden streets the river of life rolls its bright waters; and on the
banks of that crystal stream, grows luxuriantly the tree of life, loaded with the richest
fruits. To those fountains of immortality the Lamb conducts His white robed followers, and
in tasting of joys the purest and noblest in feasting on the banquet of redeeming love, the
saints spend the ages of glory.

On those 'walls of jasper' and 'streets of gold' the sunbeams are always shining; but no
earthly sun illuminates the celestial city. The glory of God enlightens it, and the Lamb is
the light thereof. Our Heavenly Father is there, and His glory is manifested there. Jesus our
elder Brother is there and He is the center of heavenly attraction; of heavenly glory.

Heaven is a chosen spot; selected by Christ; prepared from the foundation of the world for
the eternal abode of the righteous. To the heirs of immortality, Christ will at last pronounce
this joyful invitation, "Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for
you from the foundation of the world."

Thus a place is already prepared for the redeemed; a place rendered infinitely attractive by
a display of divine power, wisdom, goodness, and love. The beauty of heaven should
attract us. It is a place of perpetual loveliness; a kingdom of unfading glory. The earthly
Canaan had many attractions, but what was that to the heavenly? It is the Canaan above
that is so glorious! It is that 'pleasant land and goodly heritage' which stretches beyond
the swellings of Jordan, that is so attractive to the Christian. Every child of God longs to
reach those bright shores of a purer climate, where everlasting glory bursts upon the weary

Respecting the earthly Canaan, Moses' prayer was, 'I pray you, let me go over and see that
good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon.' How much more
should every Christian earnestly strive and pray that 'an entrance may be administered
unto him abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.'

The earthly Paradise was a charming spot, where grew every tree that was pleasant to the
sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden; and there issued a
crystal stream to water the lovely region, and to fertilize a blooming world. How delightful
to have dwelt in such a home as this. But Immanuel's land, the everlasting home of God's
children, shines far more glorious than ever shone the earthly Paradise.

How consoling to think that every child of God shall finally be brought to that celestial
world, to gaze with wondering eyes on its untold glories! What gratitude do we owe to
God for providing such an inheritance for us! To Him we should continually raise our hearts
in grateful songs of praise. We should call upon our souls and all that is within us to bless
His holy name. We should exclaim with the Apostle, "Blessed be the God and Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a
living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; to an inheritance incorruptible
and undefiled, and that fades not away; reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the
power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time."

Under many pleasing views, heaven is attractively set forth by the sacred writers. To
accommodate their descriptions to our capacities they adopt various emblems, drawn from
sublunary scenes. These figurative expressions but faintly exhibit the glory of the land of
immortality. But they will suffice us for the present. Indeed, in our present state of
existence, we could not possibly bear the full effulgence of that glory, which will burst upon
the ransomed soul when mortality is swallowed up in life.

1. Heaven is represented as a country, "a better country." Of the Patriarchs it is said that
they 'sought a country,' that they 'desired a better country, that is, a heavenly one;
wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city.'
Heaven is that 'pleasant land' to which all Christian pilgrims are traveling. We are now in a
wilderness world, where the winds of adversity blow upon us, and the tempests of sorrow
sweep along our pathway. But this present world is not our home. Our march is
heavenward; to the glorious land. Guided by the Captain of our salvation, we are coming up
from the wilderness, and our feet shall soon stand on the glorious mount of God. Our
conversation is in heaven, our future inheritance lies there, and we are looking on it as our
eternal home. No wonder then that it should appear so attractive in our eyes. No wonder
that we should long to behold the good land which is afar off.

All true believers desire that 'better country.' They feel that they are strangers and pilgrims
here. They look beyond this present world to those regions of perpetual delight where they
expect to spend countless ages. The hope of salvation animates them in every earthly trial,
and the promises of God's Word elevate their view above this crumbling world. Their hearts
overflow with joy unspeakable, and full of glory, when they are assured of the blessed truth
that their eyes see the King of heaven in His beauty, and the celestial Canaan in its glory!

Heaven is a promised land. We are journeying unto the place of which the Lord said, 'I will
give you.' God's Word is true. Every saint that has lived on earth shall be brought to this
heavenly world, where Jesus reigns in all His glory. Cheer up then, you drooping saints!
View that happy world where your Savior reigns, and where you are shortly to reign with

2. Heaven is described as a glorious city, a city that has foundations, whose builder and
maker is God. But who can perfectly paint the splendor of that city, whose light is the glory
of God? 'Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion.' Where will you
begin to enumerate the attractions of that celestial city, the abode of the redeemed?
Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God. We can gain but a glimpse of its glories
now, in the light of God's Word, but they will be seen and told through all eternity. With
the eye of faith let us now view the city of our God, the New Jerusalem, set on Zion's holy

How dazzling does it appear. Its walls of jasper, its gates of pearls, its streets of gold, the
city itself 'of pure gold like unto clear glass.' When the splendor of 'that great city, the holy
Jerusalem,' was manifested to the beloved John, rapt in heavenly vision on the isle of
Patmos, he describes it as 'having the glory of God, and her light was like unto a stone
most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. And the building of the wall of it
was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the twelve gates were
twelve pearls; every gate was of one pearl. The street of the city was pure gold, as it were
transparent glass.' How brightly shines the heavenly Jerusalem, irradiated by the glory of
God! No city on earth ever shone like this!

Nineveh and Babylon, 'the glory of kingdoms,' were once splendid cities; but that City of
Light, whose foundations were laid before earth rose from chaos; whose builder and maker
is God Himself, far outshines them all in unutterable splendor. Yes, and when all earthly
cities shall have been buried in everlasting ruin, when this terrestrial globe shall have
passed away in one awful conflagration, the celestial city of Zion shall shine in eternal
glory, while ransomed sinners walk on golden streets!

Let the Christian pilgrim who has set out from the city of Destruction to the city of
Immanuel, often contemplate his glorious home. Attracted by its glory, let him look into it,
and long to be among its shining inhabitants, who sound on golden harps the praises of
redeeming love. Standing at the gates of the celestial city, let him gaze, with John Bunyan,
on its splendor, as those pearly gates are opened wide to admit the transfigured pilgrims.
"Now just as the gates were opened to let in the men, I looked in after them, and behold
the city shone like the sun; the streets, also, were paved with gold, and in them walked
many men with crowns on their heads, palms in their hands, and golden harps to sing
praises with. There were of those who had wings; and they answered one another without
intermission, saying, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord.' And after that, they shut up the gates;
which when I had seen, I wished myself among them."

Of that city of glory, John declares, "I saw no temple therein; for the Lord God Almighty
and the Lamb are the temple of it." There was a temple in the earthly Jerusalem, but there
is none in the heavenly. Nor is any required there. Sweet, intimate communion with God
and the Lamb will be enjoyed there without a medium. The glorious manifestation of the
divine presence will forever dispense with the use of all means of communication between
God and His people. Here we worship Him in earthly temples, by the means which He has
appointed; but there we shall dwell in His immediate presence, and drink at the Fountain of

The celestial city is so gloriously illuminated by the effulgence of God that it has no need
of a natural luminary to shine in it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the
moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
The divine presence sheds such a radiance there that it lights up all heaven in everlasting
glory. Jesus, the Sun of Righteousness, shines there; and in His light we shall see light.
Truly light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun. But no light
is so sweet as this, and no sun so pleasant to behold as the Sun of Righteousness shining
in His meridian splendor! In that celestial city, there shall be no night. Eternal day beams
with unclouded splendor in the city of Immanuel. No natural or moral darkness shall ever
overspread the landscape of glory. "Your sun shall no more go down, neither shall your
moon withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be your everlasting light, and the days of your
mourning shall be ended."

But look again at that celestial city. Emanating from God's eternal throne, the river of life
flows through its midst. "And he showed me a pure river of the water of life, clear as
crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb." The heavenly Jerusalem is
enriched with 'the river of God, which is full of water.' This is the stream that makes
Immanuel's land to bloom with immortal joys. This is the river of pleasure; the river
whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the
most High. There, the inhabitants of Zion may bathe in the pure fountains of immortality,
'close by the throne of God,' and drink freely of those swelling streams of purest joy which
flow through the realms of glory.

In the city of our God is the tree of life, of whose delicious fruit the saints eat, and under
whose ambrosial bowers, they dwell in eternal repose, and celestial bliss. "In the midst of
the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bore twelve
kinds of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the
healing of the nations."

There is much in the heavenly Jerusalem to attract you; many crowns of glory; many
mansions of bliss; many songs of praise; much that the eye has never seen, the ear never
heard, nor the human mind never conceived. Strive then to obtain an interest in Jesus, that
you may 'have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.'
How cheering is the promise of the Savior, "To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the
tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God!" Then fight the good fight of faith,
lay hold on eternal life, and you will come off more than a conqueror through Him that
loved you and gave Himself for you.

3. Heaven is represented as a glorious building, the building of God, the future happy home
of the Christian. "For we know," says the Apostle, "that if our earthly house of this
tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands,
eternal in the heavens." Confident of reaching this blessed home, the believer is enabled to
exclaim with the Psalmist, "Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my
life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." Heaven is the eternal Father's house,
in which are many mansions; the home of the redeemed, where congregated nations sing
the song of Moses and the Lamb.

When Christ would comfort His sorrowful disciples He sets forth heaven under the
endearing emblem of a home; a Father's house, adorned with many spacious mansions.
"In my Father's house, says the Savior, are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have
told you." There is something peculiarly attractive in this description of heaven. How sweet
is even an earthly home; but how endeared will be that home above, where we shall meet
with our Heavenly Father, with our elder Brother, with our dear Christian friends, who went
to glory before us; with the whole household of faith! In that house not made with hands,
there are 'many mansions' for our enjoyment. There is ample room and provision for all
God's children in the upper sanctuary, everything to render them happy, unspeakably happy
through all eternity!

May the reader so live in the faith of the gospel, that when his clay tabernacle is ready to
crumble into dust, his immortal spirit, guided by the angels of God, may take its joyful
flight to the mansions of glory, and dwell forever in those realms of bliss, where beauty
smiles eternally, and pleasure never dies!

Touched by an Angel? or a Devil?
"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of
Christ and are turning to a different gospel; which is really no gospel at all. Evidently
some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of
Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one
we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I
say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him
be eternally condemned!" Galatians 1:6-9

I recently received a well intentioned email expressing concern that the TV show,
"Touched by an Angel" will be discontinued for using the word 'God' in every program.

I for one, am pleased that "Touched by an Angel" will be discontinued. In my opinion, it is
one of the worst shows on TV, if not the worst! For it has deceived multitudes of people
into thinking that if they are 'good' and somehow believe in 'God' or 'angels' or 'the
supernatural' they will get to heaven at last.

The show is a master deception of Satan, in that it preaches a false God, and a false
salvation. My lost friends just love the show, because it makes them think they are going
to heaven (while they continue to reject Jesus and His way of salvation!)

The show does not teach salvation by faith in Christ, but "salvation by moralism." But the
Scripture is clear: "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under
heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12

Jesus and His substitutionary work to die in the place of sinners are not mentioned on the
show. Nothing is said about sin or hell.

Yes, perhaps they do mention 'God' in every episode, but not the holy God of Scripture! The

God they portray is a feeble grandfather type who forgives and loves everyone. Everyone
goes to heaven; nobody goes to hell. How contrary is this to the teaching of Scripture: "I
am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me."
John 14:6

Perhaps the show could be more accurately titled, "Touched by a Devil."

"For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.
And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising,
then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their
actions deserve." 2 Cor. 11:13-15

"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of
Christ and are turning to a different gospel; which is really no gospel at all. Evidently
some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of
Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one
we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I
say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him
be eternally condemned!" Galatians 1:6-9

The Devil's Delusion?
(Edited from Arthur Pink's, "Satan and His Gospel")

"And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this
age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the
gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." 2 Cor. 4:3-4

Satan blinds the minds of unbelievers through hiding the light of the Gospel of Christ, and
he does this by substituting his own gospel. Appropriately is he designated "This great
dragon; the ancient serpent called the Devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole
world." Rev. 12:9.

In merely appealing to "the best that is within man," and in simply exhorting him to "lead a
nobler life" there is afforded a general platform upon which those of every shade of opinion
can unite and proclaim this common message.

In contradistinction to the Gospel of Christ, the gospel of Satan teaches salvation by
works. It inculcates justification before God on the ground of human merits. Its motto is,
"Be good and do good." But it fails to recognize that in the flesh there dwells no good
thing. Its various ramifications and organizations are manifold. Temperance, Reform
Movements, Christian Social Leagues, Ethical Culture Societies, Peace Congresses are all
employed (perhaps unconsciously) in proclaiming this gospel of Satan; salvation by works.

The gospel of Satan propagates the principles of self sacrifice, charity and benevolence;
and teaches us to live for the good of others, and to be kind to all. It appeals strongly to
the carnal mind and is popular with the masses, because it ignores the solemn facts that
by nature man is a fallen creature, alienated from the life of God, and dead in trespasses
and sins, and that his only hope lies in being born again.

The gospel of Satan is a bloodless gospel, and presents a crossless Christ!

The apostles of Satan are not saloon keepers and white slave traffickers; but are for the
most part ordained ministers. Thousands of those who occupy our modern pulpits are no
longer engaged in presenting the Gospel, but have turned aside from the Truth and have
given heed unto fables. Instead of magnifying the enormity of sin and setting forth its
eternal consequences, they minimize it by declaring that sin is merely ignorance or the
absence of good. Instead of warning their hearers to "flee from the wrath to come" they
make God a liar by declaring that He is too loving and merciful to send any of His own
creatures to eternal torment.

Their message may sound very plausible and their aim appear very praiseworthy, yet we
read of them, "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as
apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It
is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end
will be what their actions deserve." 2 Cor. 11:13-15

In Proverbs 14:12 we read, "There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end it
leads to death." This "way" which ends in "death" is the Devil's Delusion; the gospel of
Satan; a way of salvation by human attainment. It is a way which "seems right," that is
to say, it is presented in such a plausible way that it appeals to the natural man. It is set
forth in such a subtle and attractive manner, that it commends itself to the intelligence of
its hearers.

By virtue of the fact that it appropriates to itself religious terminology, sometimes
appeals to the Bible for its support (whenever this suits its purpose), holds up before men
lofty ideals, and is proclaimed by those who have graduated from our theological
institutions, countless multitudes are decoyed and deceived by it!

When the 'Father of Lies' enters the pulpit, it is not his custom to flatly deny the
fundamental truths of Christianity, rather does he tacitly acknowledge them, and then
proceed to give an erroneous interpretation and a false application. For example: he would
not be so foolish as to boldly announce his disbelief in a personal God; he takes His
existence for granted and then gives a false description of His character. He announces
that God is the spiritual Father of all men, when the Scriptures plainly tell us that we are
"the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus" (Gal 3:26). Further, he declares that God is
far too merciful to ever send any member of the human race to Hell, when God Himself has
said, "And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into
the lake of fire." Rev. 20:15

There will be many in the Lake of Fire who lived life with good intentions, honest
resolutions and exalted ideals; those who were just in their dealings, fair in their
transactions and charitable in all their ways; men who prided themselves in their integrity,
but who sought to justify themselves before God by their own righteousness; men who
were moral, merciful and magnanimous; but who never saw themselves as guilty, lost, hell
deserving sinners needing a Savior.

The Devil's Delusion is that we can be saved by our own works, and justified by our own
deeds. "He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of his mercy.
He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit." Titus 3:5

"so that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are very familiar with his evil schemes." 2
Cor. 2:11

(from Spurgeon's sermon, "ICONOCLAST" #960.)

"Hezekiah removed the pagan shrines, smashed the
 sacred pillars, and knocked down the Asherah poles.
 He broke up the bronze serpent that Moses had made,
 because the people of Israel had begun to worship
 it by burning incense to it. The bronze serpent was
 called Nehushtan. Hezekiah trusted in the Lord,
 the God of Israel." 2 Kings 18:4-5

There still exists the very common idolatry
of superstitious reverence of buildings.
It is thought that inside certain walls God is
more peculiarly present than outside, where
the trees are growing and the birds singing.

Our forefathers protested against this by
never calling their buildings, 'churches'.
They knew they could not be; they knew that
'churches' were companies of faithful men and
women. They called the places of their usual
worship "meeting houses;" that is what they
were, and nothing more.

The veneration of....
is sheer idolatry.

Our sires also stood out against another
idolatry which still survives in England;
namely, the observing of days and months.

Certain days are set apart as holy, and observed
with great reverence by those calling themselves
Christians. They have like Israel of old, when
under legal bondage, new moons, and appointed
feasts, for which they claim great respect, but to
which none whatever is due.

Our sires said, "This is not of Scripture, therefore it
is of man, therefore it is will worship, and idolatrous!"

And they showed their contempt of "the commandments
of men" by an open disregard of holy days. And we shall
do well in this respect and in all others to maintain their
pure testimony.

Whenever we see 'superstition' in any shape,
we must not flatter the folly, but according to our
ability act the iconoclast's part and denounce it.

There is much idol breaking for Christians to do!

"Hezekiah removed the pagan shrines, smashed the
 sacred pillars, and knocked down the Asherah poles.
 He broke up the bronze serpent that Moses had made,
 because the people of Israel had begun to worship it
 by burning incense to it. The bronze serpent was
 called Nehushtan. Hezekiah trusted in the Lord,
 the God of Israel." 2 Kings 18:4-5

Away with your idolized brazen serpent! away with it!

Go into the temple of your hearts, and use the hammer
a little there!

Like a rock!
(adapted from Spurgeon's sermon, "The Two
Builders and Their Houses" #918.  Mt. 7:24-27.)

The sound Christian is like a rock, if he is
thrown into the pool of false doctrine, he
may be wetted by it, but he does not receive
it into his inner self.  Whereas the unsound
professor is like a sponge, he sucks it all in
greedily, and retains what he absorbs.

The Unconquerable King!
(adapted from Spurgeon's sermon, #949
"The Unconquerable King" Daniel 4:34,35)

"His rule is everlasting,
     and His kingdom is eternal.
 All the people of the earth
     are nothing compared to Him.
 He has the power to do as He pleases
     among the angels of heaven
     and with those who live on earth.
 No one can stop Him or challenge Him..."
           Daniel 4:34-35

There was a time when the creatures were not.

They came from God as vessels from the potter's wheel.

They all depend upon Him for continuance, as
the streamlet on the fountain from where it flows.
And if it were His will they all would melt away
as the foam upon the water!

All that now exists, if so it had pleased God
to ordain, might have been as transient as a
sunbeam, and have vanished as speedily as
the rainbow from the cloud.

Everything sprang from God, and still depends
  upon the necessity of His divine decree.

God is the only independent being.

We creatures must find food with which to repair
the daily wear of the body. We are dependent upon
light and heat, and innumerable external agencies,
and above all and primarily, dependent upon the
outgoings of His divine power towards us.

Only the I AM is self sufficient and all sufficient!

He was as glorious before He made the world as
He is now. He was as great, as blessed, as divine
in all His attributes before sun and moon and stars
leaped into existence, as He is now.

And if He should blot all out, as a man erases
the writing of his pencil, or as a potter breaks
the vessel he has made, He would be none the
less the supreme and ever blessed God.

God is the only immutable being.

Immutability is an attribute of God only.

All created things were once new, but they
are waxing old, they will become older still.

But the Lord has no time, He dwells in eternity.

There is no moment of 'beginning' with the
Eternal God, no 'starting point' from which
to calculate His age. From of old He was
the Ancient of Days, "from everlasting to
everlasting You are God."

Let your mind retreat as far as its capacities will
allow into the remote past of old eternity, and there
it finds Jehovah alone in the fullness of His glory!

Then let the same thought flash forward into the
far off future, as far as unbridled imagination can
bear it, and there it beholds the Eternal; unchanged,
unchangeable. He works changes and effects
changes, but He Himself abides the same.

God is the only invulnerable being.

There is no conceivable force that can
ever wound, injure, or destroy Him!

If we were profane enough to imagine the Lord
to be vulnerable, where is the bow and where
the arrow that could reach Him on His throne?
What javelin shall pierce Jehovah's buckler?

Let all the nations of the earth rise and rage
against God; how shall they reach His throne?
They cannot even shake His footstool.

If all the angels of heaven should rebel against
the Great King, and their squadrons should advance
in serried ranks to besiege the palace of the Most
High, He has but to will it, and they would wither
as autumn leaves! Reserved in chains of darkness,
the opponents of His power would forever become
mementos of His wrath!

None can touch Him!

The God whom we serve reigns as
The Unconquerable King!

He has unlimited sovereignty over all His creatures!

Let us who delight in the living God bow down
before Him, and humbly worship Him, as the God
in whom we live and move, and have our being.

The Unconquerable King! (part 2)
(adapted from Spurgeon's sermon, #949
"The Unconquerable King" Daniel 4:34,35)

Events appear to fly at random like the
dust in the whirlwind; but it is not so.

The rule of the Omnipotent God extends
  over all things at all times!

Nothing is left to its own chance, but
 in wisdom all things are governed.

He is reigning amid all the calamities
which sweep the globe, as much as He
shall be in the halcyon days of peace.

Never is His throne vacant!

Never is His scepter laid aside!

Jehovah is always King, and shall be King forever and forever!

This unconquerable King sits securely on His throne!

There is no doctrine to the advanced Christian
which contains such a deep sea of delight as this.

The Lord reigns!

The Lord is King forever and ever!

Why, then all is well.

Oh, happy subjects, who have such a throne to look lo!

Oh, blessed children, who have such a King to be your Father!

"His rule is everlasting,
     and His kingdom is eternal.
 All the people of the earth
     are nothing compared to Him.
 He has the power to do as He pleases
     among the angels of heaven
     and with those who live on earth.
 No one can stop Him or challenge Him..."
           Daniel 4:34-35

Why an infinitely gracious God permitted
 sin and suffering to enter the universe.
(from Spurgeon's sermon, "The Spur" #943. John 9:4)

A young convert, after finding peace with God, was
heard to say, "I rejoice that I was a lost sinner."

Strange matter to be glad about, you will say,
for of all things it is most to be deplored; but
here was her reason: "Because God's infinite
grace, and mercy, and wisdom, and all His
attributes, are glorified in me as they never
could have been had I not been a sinner and
had I not been lost."

God has allowed moral and physical evil to come
into this world to cause His infinite wisdom, grace,
power, and all His other attributes, to be the better
seen by the whole intelligent universe.

Sin, somehow or other, desperate evil as it is,
will be overruled to display God's goodness.

Were there no sin there had been no Savior;
  if no death, no resurrection;
  if no fall, no new covenant;
  if no rebellious race, no incarnation, no
Calvary, no ascension, no second advent.

Though we do not know, and perhaps shall
never know the deepest reason why an infinitely
gracious God permitted sin and suffering to
enter the universe, yet we may at least be
encouraged this practical thought: God will be
glorified in the overcoming of evil and its

A high esteem of yourself?
(from Spurgeon's, "Ripe Fruit" #945. Micah 7:1)

You are not mature if you have a high esteem
of yourself. He who boasts in himself is but a
babe in Christ, if indeed he be in Christ at all.

Young Christians may think much of themselves.

Growing Christians think themselves nothing.

Mature Christians know that they are less than nothing.

The more holy we are, the more we mourn our infirmities,
  and the humbler is our estimate of ourselves.

"Although I am less than the least of all
 God's people..."  Ephesians 3:8

"Christ Jesus came into the world to save
 sinners; of whom I am the worst." 1 Tim. 1:15

These half hearted pilgrims?
(from Octavius Winslow's, "Christ's
 Sympathy with Christian Perseverance")

"From this time many of His disciples turned
 back and no longer followed Him." John 6:66

Many 'religious professors' backslide
 from 'the way' after a while.

Wearied with the practice of self denial;
tired of bearing the cross after Jesus;
restless beneath His yoke;
impatient of His burden;
they slacken in the race, halt in the journey, and
eventually altogether relinquish their profession.

Such individuals never counted the cost of true
commitment to Christ. They did not take into
consideration the self denial demanded; the
battle with sin involved; the crucifixion to the
world required; and when these things came
upon them, these half hearted pilgrims swerved
from their profession, and returned to the sins
they professed to have renounced, and to the
world they professed to have abandoned, and
walked no more with Jesus.

"From this time many of His disciples turned
 back and no longer followed Him." John 6:66

A melancholy spectacle!
(from Mary Winslow's, "Heaven Opened")

It is no common journey we are upon.

Every step of the way is important, and fraught
with the deepest interest. God the Father is
watching every trembling step we take. God the
Son tenderly and graciously enters into all our
difficulties, discouragements, and conflicts. God
the Holy Spirit instructs and leads us onward,
whispering words of comfort, and imparting new
life and energy to our minds, by leading us
constantly to the Fountain of living waters.

It is a melancholy spectacle to see many who
seemed to run well for a season, slacken in the
race, and afterwards grow weary, and turn back,
and walk no more with Jesus.

It is to the flesh so self denying a way, and its
pleasures and joys so entirely internal, apart from
anything external and visible, that the mere nominal
Christian, the religious formalist, soon wearies,
turns back, and finds that he was not a true pilgrim.

Trials are necessary to wean us from the world.
(by Octavius Winslow)

When we grow wanton, or worldly, or proud, how
does sickness or some other affliction humble us.

Perhaps nothing possesses so detaching, so
divorcing an effect in the experience of the
Christian as affliction.

The world is a great snare to the child of God!
Its rank is a snare;
its possessions are a snare;
its honors are a snare;
its enterprises are a snare;
the very duties and engagements of daily life are a
snare to one whose heart would desire to be more
frequently and exclusively where Jesus, its treasure is.

Oh, how the things that are seen veil the things
that are not seen! How do temporal things banish
from our thought and affections and desires, the
things that are eternal!

God in His wisdom and mercy, sends us trials
to detach us from earth; to lessen our worldly
mindedness; to more deeply convince us how
empty and insufficient are all created things.

He chastens us to intensify our affection for spiritual
  things, and to bring our souls nearer to Himself.

Oh, when the heart is chastened and subdued by
sorrow, when the soul is smitten and humbled by
adversity, when death bereaves, or sickness invades,
or resources narrow, or calamity in one of its many
crushing forms lands heavily upon us, how solemn,
how earnest, how distinct is the voice of our ascended
Redeemer, "Set your affections on things above,
not on things of the earth. I am your Treasure,
your Portion, your All. I have stricken, and wounded
and laid you low; but I will comfort, heal, and raise
you up again.  You will soon be with Me in glory.
Let this trial detach the world from you, wean you
from your idols, and transfer your affections to Me."

Perhaps He will smite you!
(edited from Spurgeon's sermon, #939
 "The Pilgrim's Grateful Recollections")

"So you should realize that just as a parent
 disciplines a child, the Lord your God
 disciplines you to help you." Deut. 8:5

I can truly say of everything I have ever tasted
in this world of God's mercy, (and my path has
been remarkably strewn with divine lovingkindness),
I feel more grateful to God for the bodily pain I have
suffered, and for all the trials of diverse sorts I have
endured, than I do for anything else.

I am sure I have derived more real benefit, and
permanent strength, and growth in grace, and every
precious thing, from the furnace of affliction, than
I have ever derived from prosperity.

I know not how to quite express my meaning,
but even depression of spirit and deep sadness
have a peculiar charm within them, which laughter
in vain may emulate.

It is good for me that I have been afflicted!

Ponder and consider the much gratitude you owe
to God for His chastening rod. Dwell much in your
heart upon what God evidently regards as one of
His distinguishing blessings. Do not lightly pass
over what God would have you consider. Count
the cross and the rod to be doubly worthy of your
deepest thought.

"Hear the rod and Him who has appointed it."

Remember that whenever you are chastened, you are
not chastened as a slave master smites his victim,
nor as a judge orders the criminal to be lashed; but
as a man chastens his son, so are you chastened.

Your chastisement is a sign of sonship, it is
a token of love!  It is intended for your good.

Accept it, therefore, in the spirit of sonship, and
"Do not despise the chastening of the Lord, neither
faint when you are corrected by Him."

It is the Lord your God who chastens you!

If He were not your God He might let you alone!

If He had not chosen you to be His own,
 He would not take such care of you!

If He had not given Himself to be your treasure,
He might not be so diligent in weaning you from
all other treasures!

But because you are His, He will withdraw
 your love away from this poor world.

Perhaps He will take one child after another
from you, that all the love that was lavished
on the children might flow towards Himself.

Perhaps He will leave you a widow, that the
love that ran in the channel of a husband may
run altogether to Himself.

Perhaps he will take away your riches, that
the consolation you derived from them may
be all derived from Him.

Perhaps He will smite you, and then lay you
on His own bosom, faint and helpless, that you
may derive a strength and a joy from close and
near fellowship with Himself, which you would
never have had, if it had not been that these
other joys were removed.

Bless God for your chastenings!

Let the sweetest note of your music be to Him who,
as a loving father, chastens His children for their good.

"So you should realize that just as a parent
 disciplines a child, the Lord your God
 disciplines you to help you." Deut. 8:5

The sweeter morsel for the worm?
(adapted from Spurgeon's sermon, 1 Timothy 4:8.
"The Profit of Godliness in the Life to Come" #946)

How many live for that poor body of theirs
which so soon must moulder back to the dust!

To dress,
to adorn themselves,
to catch the glance of the admirer's eye,
to satisfy public taste,
to follow fashion,
surely an object in life more frivolous
never engrossed an immortal soul.

It seems as strange as if an angel should
be gathering daisies or blowing soap bubbles!

An immortal spirit living...
  to dress the body,
  to paint the face,
  to dye the hair,
  to display a ribbon,
  to show off a pin;
is this the pursuit of an immortal?

Yet tens of thousands live for little else!

As for earth's most lovely ones, how do time, and
death, and the worm together, make havoc of them!

Take up yonder skull, just upturned by the sexton's
careless  spade, and take it to the yonder beauty,
and tell her, though she paint an inch thick, to this
complexion she must come at last! All her dressing
shall end in a shroud, and all her makeup and her
dainty ornaments shall only make her the sweeter
morsel for the worm!

Beloved friends, there is another life beyond this
fleeting existence!  Why then, do you waste your
time and degrade your souls with these frivolities?

"But godliness has value for all things, holding promise
 for both the present life and the life to come." 1 Tim. 4:8

The pursuit of worldly things...
(from Matthew Mead's, "The Almost Christian")

The pursuit of worldly things is unnecessary.
Silver and gold are not necessary.
We may be happy without them.

The pursuit of worldly things is unsubstantial.
The things of this world are more shadow than substance.

Pleasure, honor and profit comprise all things in this
 world, and therefore are the carnal man's trinity!

"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh,
 and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life."

If this is all that is in the world, then it is nothing.

What is pleasure but a dream and cheat?

What is honor but opinion?

What is profit but a bubble?

The things of this world have no substance in them,
 though foolish carnal men call them substance.

The pursuit of worldly things is unsafe.
The gain of worldly things is always with difficulty,
but seldom with safety. The soul is often hazarded
in the over eager pursuit of worldly things.

Myriads pawn, and lose, and damn their precious
souls eternally, for a little silver and gold, which
are but the dross and garbage of the earth!

The pursuit of worldly things is uncertain.
Men make great ventures for the world, but it is
all uncertain. They sow much, yet reap nothing.

As the things of the world are uncertain in the
 getting, they are uncertain in the keeping.

If men do not undo us, moths may.

If robbery does not undo us, rust may.

If rust does not undo us, fire may.

All earthly treasures may succumb to fire.

Solomon paints the world as with wings: "Cast but
a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will
surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle."

Oh, how uncertain are all worldly things!

The pursuit of worldly things is perishing.
All this world's goods are passing away.
Perishing pleasures.
Perishing honors.
Perishing profits.
Perishing comforts.
"Riches are not forever," says Job.

What pains do children take to scrape and
roll the snow together to make a snowman.
But soon after it is done, the heat of the sun
dissolves it, and it comes to nothing.

The greatest treasures of worldly people are
but snowmen!  When death and judgement
come, they melt away, and come to nothing!

The pursuit of worldly things...

Toys! Sports and games for children!
(from Spurgeon's, "The Spur" #943. John 9:4)

"As long as it is day, we must do the work
 of Him who sent Me. Night is coming, when
 no one can work." John 9:4

Some men are spending their time in making
money. That is the main object of their lives.
They would be as usefully employed probably
if they spent all their lives in collecting pins or
cherry stones!

Whether a man lives to accumulate gold coins
or rusty nails, his life will be equally groveling,
and end in the same disappointment.

Money making, or fame making, or power
getting, are mere toys, mere sports and
games for children!

I once heard of a clergyman who often went hunting,
and when he was reproved, he replied that he never
went hunting when he was on duty. But he was asked,
"When is a clergyman off duty?" And so with the
Christian, when is he off duty? He ought to be
always about his Father's business, ready for
anything and everything that may glorify God.

We have a high calling of God in Christ Jesus,
and this must have the supremacy! Poor or rich,
healthy or sick, honored or disgraced, we must
glorify God. This is necessity; all else may be,
this must be!

Our time in which to serve the Lord on earth is very
short. If we would glorify God, we must do it now.

We resolve, sternly resolve, and desperately
determine, that we will not throw away our
lives on trifling objects, but by us God's work
must and shall be done; each man will do his
own share, God helping him.

May the ever blessed Holy Spirit give us power
 and grace to turn our resolves into acts.

"As long as it is day, we must do the work
 of Him who sent Me. Night is coming, when
 no one can work." John 9:4

The Bible is inactive, inoperative; a mere dead letter!
(Octavius Winslow's, "The Holy Spirit Glorifying the Redeemer")

"because our gospel came to you not simply
 with words, but also with power, with the Holy
 Spirit and with deep conviction." 1 Thes. 1:5

Unaccompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit, the
Bible is inactive, inoperative; a mere dead letter!

Apart from the Spirit, it cannot quicken, nor sanctify,
nor comfort. It may be read constantly, and searched
deeply, and known accurately, and understood partially,
and quoted appropriately. Yet, left to its own unassisted
power, 'it comes but in word only', producing no
hallowing, no abiding, no saving results.