Grace Gems for September 2002


(John MacDuff, "The Night Watches")

"And they shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in
 that day when I make up my jewels!" Malachi 3:17

"MY JEWELS!" (margin, My special treasure!)

Of what favored creatures does Jehovah thus speak?

Is it of seraphs?

Is it of angels?

Methinks, at such a title, even they would take
the dust of abasement, and veiling their faces,
cry, "Unclean! unclean!"

But, marvel of marvels! It is redeemed sinners
of the earth; the fallen children of men; once rude,
unshapely stones, lying in "the horrible pit and the
miry clay," amid the rubbish of corruption, who are
thus sought out by grace, purchased by love, and
destined through eternity to be set as jewels
in the crown of the eternal Savior!

A jewel in Immanuel's crown!

Not only raised from the ash heap to be set among
princes; but to gem through eternity the Forehead
that for me was once wreathed with thorns!

"And they shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in
 that day when I make up my jewels!" Malachi 3:17


My child,
Lo, I give Myself to you, and all things with Myself.

I will be all to you that you can wish. I will be a
FRIEND to you. My secrets shall be with you, and
you shall have free access to Me, and liberty to
pour out all your heart into My bosom.

I am the everlasting Father, and I will be a FATHER to you.
Behold, I receive you not as a servant, but as a son to
abide in My house forever. Whatever love or care children
may look for from their father, that you may expect
from Me, and so much more since I am wiser, greater,
and better than any earthly parents. If earthly fathers
will give good things to their children, much more will
I give to you. If such cannot forget their children,
much less will I forget you. What would My children
have? Your Father's heart, His house, His care, His
ear, His bread, and His rod? These shall all be yours.

You shall have My fatherly affection. My heart I share
with you. My tenderest loves I bestow upon you.
You shall have My fatherly compassion. As a father
pities his children, so will I pity you. I will consider
your frame, and not be extreme to mark what is done
amiss by you, but will cover all with the mantle of My
excusing love. I will be your Comforter in your solitude,
your Counselor in your distress.

I will be a PHYSICIAN to you. I will heal your
backslidings and cure all your diseases. Fear not,
for never did a soul miscarry that left itself in My
hands, and would follow My prescriptions.

I will be a SHEPHERD to you. Do not be afraid of
evil tidings, for I am with you. My rod and My staff
shall comfort you. You shall not lack, for I will feed
you; you shall not wander or be lost, for I will restore
you. I will cause you to lie down in green pastures,
and will lead you beside the still waters. I will gather
you with My arm, carry you in My bosom, and will
lead you softly. I will bind up that which was broken,
and strengthen you when sick. I will watch over My
flock by night. My own eyes shall keep a perpetual
watch by night and by day. The Keeper of Israel never
slumbers nor sleeps, nor withdraws His eyes from the
righteous. I will guide you with My eye. I will never
trust you out of My sight.

I will be a HUSBAND to you. In lovingkindness and
mercy I will betroth you unto Myself forever. I will
embrace your interest, and will be as one with you,
and you with Me. You shall be for Me and not for
another; and I also will be for you. Though I found
you as a helpless infant, exposed in its own blood,
all your unworthiness did not discourage Me. Lo, I
have looked upon you, and put My loveliness upon
you. Moreover, I swear unto you, and enter into
covenant with you, and you shall be Mine. Behold,
I do here solemnly, in My marriage covenant, give
away Myself to you, and with Myself all things. I
will be an everlasting portion to you. Now lift up
your eyes to the east, to the west, to the north,
and to the south. Have you not a worthy portion,
a goodly heritage?

Can you fathom your riches or count your own
happiness? Can you grasp immensity, reach
omnipotence, or comprehend eternity? All this
is yours! I will set open all My treasures to you,
and will keep back nothing from you.

I will be a never failing fountain of joy, peace,
and bliss unto you! I will be your God, your Father,
and your Friend as long as I have any being. I have
made My everlasting choice in electing you. Fear not,
for the eternal God is your refuge, and underneath
you are the everlasting arms. My unsearchable
riches shall be yours. Though all should forsake
you, yet will I not forsake you!

I am your rock and your fortress, your deliverer, your
strength, the horn of your salvation, and your high tower.

I am God Almighty, your almighty Protector, your
almighty Benefactor! My fullness is your treasure.
My house is your home. You may come as freely to
My store as to your own cupboard. You may have
your hand as freely in My treasures as in your own
purses. You cannot ask too much; you cannot look
for too much from Me. I will give you (or will be
Myself to you instead of) all comforts. You shall
have children, or I will be better to you than ten
children. You shall have riches, or I will be more
to you than all riches.

Can you put out the lamp of heaven, or empty the
boundless ocean with your hands? Why, the sun
shall be dark and the sea dry before the Father of
lights, the Fountain of mercies shall be exhausted.
And My infiniteness shall be the extent of your
inheritance! I am your inheritance, which no line
can measure, no arithmetic can value, and no
surveyor can describe.

But all this is but a taste of what I have prepared.

You must have but smiles and hints now, and be
content with glimpses and glances here. But you
shall be shortly taken up into your Father's bosom
and live forever in the fullest views of His glory!

The day of your death shall be the birthday of your glories!
(Joseph Alleine, "The Gospel in a Map")


We sicken, and die, and moulder away in the grave
(Gardiner Spring, "Death and Heaven")

"Dust you are, and unto dust shall you return."
 Genesis 3:19

Death strikes with unsparing and indiscriminate hand.

However fair, and beautiful, and vigorous, nothing
can shield it from decay. The head that is crowned
with honor must lie low. The eye that beams with
sensibility and intelligence must become dim. The
tongue shall become mute that moves with powerful
and melting persuasion. The warm and throbbing
heart shall become still and cold as marble.

Wherever we cast our eyes, we see all that is most
permanent hastening to decay. Disease springs up
in every climate; death multiplies his victims under
every sky, and reigns over every age of time.

We sicken, and die, and moulder away in the grave.

With all his capacity for great and noble
achievement, man has never been able to
rescue a single victim from the 'King of Terrors'.

Death's arrows are sharp.

His hand is unerring and ruthless.

The giant stalks unseen, and throughout
all the vast arena of his conflicts, none
can resist, or evade his ravages.

We may weep.

We may tremble.

But we cannot escape his fury.


Prepare to meet the monster!
(Harsha, "The Love of Christ in the Hour of Death")

This young lady had been confined to a bed
of severe suffering for one year. At last her
soul was ripened for glory. The time came
that she must die and her death bed was a
scene of triumph. Christ was very precious to
her; and his love was wonderfully manifested
to her soul. She often exclaimed, "My beloved
is mine, and I am his."

The following are among her last words.

To her distant brother she thus dictated a letter.
"Dear brother, I know not whether I shall meet you
again on earth; but I hope to meet you in heaven,
where we shall be forever singing the praises of
God; where the Lamb, who is in the midst of the
throne, shall feed us, and lead us unto living
fountains of waters, and where God shall wipe
away all tears from our eyes."

To her father, who said to her, "I fear I must
lose you;" she replied, "Your loss will be my gain!
I have a building from God, a house, not made with
hands, eternal in the heavens." And again when
he said, "I think you will fall asleep in Jesus;"
she responded, "It will be a happy change!"

She exclaimed in a transport of joy, "Oh! I
would not give up Christ for all the world!"

Her earthly course being nearly finished, she
opened her eyes, which were soon to be closed
in death, and in the language of strong, unshaken
faith, exclaimed with Job, "But as for me, I know
that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand
upon the earth at last. And after my body has
decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will
see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my
own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!"

Once she broke out into a rapture and exclaimed,
"O, to be ever with the Lord, what a happy change!"

Her faith remained firm unto the end, and her
hope and confidence unshaken to the last. Her
sky was clear and serene, her mind calm and
composed, and thus she fell asleep in Jesus,
and entered into the joy of her Lord.

A few days before this young lady died, she
requested the following lines to be read
at her funeral.

To my young companions:
"My youthful mates, both small and great,
Stand here, and you shall see,
An awful sight, which is a type
Of what you soon will be!

I used to appear once fresh and fair
Among the youthful crowd;
But now behold me dead and cold,
Wrapped in a sable shroud!

My cheeks once red, like roses spread,
My sparkling eyes so gay;
But now you see how 'tis with me,
A lifeless lump of clay!

When you are dressed in all your best,
In 'fashion' so complete,
You soon must be as you see me,
Wrapped in a shrouding sheet!

Ah, youth beware, and do prepare
To meet the monster, death!
For he may come when you are young,
And steal away your breath!

When you unto your frolics go,
Remember what I say;
In a short time, though in your prime,
You may be called away!

Now I am gone, I can't return;
No more of me you'll see;
But it is true that all of you,
Must shortly follow me!

When you unto my grave do go,
That gloomy place to see,
I say to you who stand and view,
Prepare to follow me!"

What an awful thing it is to die without salvation
by Christ, without a saving interest in him; and yet
millions live without God, and without hope in the world.
And millions more die in the same awful condition,
and plunge into a dark and miserable eternity!

"Let me die like the righteous; let my
 life end like theirs." Numbers 23:10


Our true, abiding home.
(David Harsha, "The Savior's Ascension")

Heaven is now our true, abiding home.

While on earth we are strangers and pilgrims,
far from our final rest. And while such is our
condition here, should we not often think of
our heavenly home? Should not heaven attract
us more and more as we journey through life?

Shall we still cleave to earth, since Christ has
obtained eternal salvation for us, and passed
into the heavens to prepare a way for our entrance
into those unending joys in the presence of God?

Oh, let our best affections be placed on
those spiritual and divine things above.

Let the noblest aspirations of our minds be
after a more intimate knowledge of Jesus.

Let us look beyond this valley of tears and keep
our eyes fixed on that better country where the
Savior ever reigns in glorious majesty; where the
fountains of bliss ever flow; where the tree of
life ever spreads its delightful shade, and yields
its immortal fruits; where all is unending joy,
and love, and peace, and felicity!

Let our hearts be more and more disentangled from
the cares and temptations of the present life; let us
live in the world as those who are not of it; as those
whose treasure is in heaven, and whose hearts are
there also.

The nearer a Christian comes to heaven the
less he loves or esteems this present world.

May our affections rise heavenward, endeavoring
to bring the realities of future, eternal things more
vividly before our minds, and to realize our interest
in them.

O my soul, rise above these earthly scenes; and,
on the wings of faith, soar to the realms of the
blessed, where Jesus is enthroned in unspeakable
glory, reigning as my life, my hope, and my treasure!

Blessed Jesus, we beseech You to show us Your glory,
and to raise our hearts, our hopes, and our desires, to
that blessed world to which You have ascended. O
may our souls be daily rising, in holy thought, towards
our home where the ransomed of the Lord shall forever
obtain joy and gladness. May our thoughts become
heavenly, and our hearts be attuned to those songs with
which the arches of heaven shall resound to all eternity!
O my Savior, wean my heart from earth, and enable me
to place my affection on things above.


Oh, this is heaven, the heaven of heaven!
(Octavius Winslow, "Morning Thoughts")

Fellowship with God is the highest, purest,
sweetest mercy a saint of God can have on
earth. Yes, it is the highest, purest, sweetest
bliss the saints of God can have in heaven.

What is the enjoyment of heaven?

Not merely...
  exemption from trial;
  freedom from sorrow;
  rest from toil;
  release from conflict.

Oh no! it is the presence; the full
unclouded presence of our Father there.

To be with Christ;
to behold His glory;
to gaze upon His face;
to hear His voice;
to feel the throbbings of His bosom;
to bask in the effulgence of His presence;
Oh, this is heaven, the heaven of heaven!


Above the decaying objects around him?
(David Harsha, "Wanderings of a Pilgrim")

No man begins the journey to the heavenly home,
until by the gracious influence of the Holy Spirit,
his soul is attracted to Christ, the Living Way, the
Truth, and the Life.

At that happy hour when the heart is opened, and
the understanding enlightened to discern spiritual
things, the Savior's love is the first to beam in mild,
sweet, constraining influence upon the soul of the
renewed man.

He wonders that he was not able before to discern
the beauty, the excellence and glory of Immanuel.
Now, Jesus appears to him as the chief among ten
thousand, and altogether lovely. Now, he is ready
to exclaim, "My beloved is mine, and I his. Whom
have I in heaven but you? There is none upon
earth that I desire besides you!"

Thus enlightened by divine grace, the pilgrim turns
from the City of Destruction, to the Heavenly Mansions.

He leaves the crowded road which leads to eternal
darkness and woe, and enters on the narrow pathway
that conducts the weary traveler to realms of light
and bliss.

His views are now elevated above the decaying
objects around him. His affections are placed upon
things above. He contemplates with rapturous delight
the bleeding glories of Immanuel, and the shining
abode of Zion's pilgrims in the celestial kingdom.

He has become a spiritually minded man.

He lives and walks by faith in the Son of God.

Though in the world, he is no longer of it;
but belongs to the kingdom of Jesus Christ.

As an heir of glory, as a traveler to the skies, as an
expectant of eternal bliss, he looks above and beyond
the troublesome scenes of a fleeting pilgrimage.

He enjoys the charming and sublime prospect beyond
the precincts of time! He beholds in that brighter world,
an ocean of glory, without a shore, and without a storm!

As the Christian pursues his journey, with his eye
fixed on the solemn realities of eternity, earth and
sublunary grandeur appear to him as transitory as
the morning cloud and early morning dew, compared
with those immeasurable ages of bliss, which roll
before his transported vision.

He who has been constrained, by the Savior's love,
to begin the blessed journey from the wilderness
of this world to the heavenly Canaan, will delight
to meditate on the riches and glory of his Father's
house, in the pure, unclouded realms of eternal day.


Not our home?
(David Harsha, Immanuel's Land")

"For this world is not our home; we are
 looking forward to our city in heaven,
 which is yet to come." Hebrews 13:14

We are strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

This present world is not our home.

We are coming up from the wilderness with
our faces Zionward; we are traveling to the
celestial city!

Our path is rough; but the Savior sustains us.

Our pilgrimage lies through a wilderness, but
faith cheers us with a view of the glorious rest
of the redeemed in our Father's house; in
mansions of blessedness.

Let this consideration animate us amid the
conflicts of life. In a little while we shall obtain
a joyous entrance into the rest above. The
storms of life's ocean will soon carry us into
the haven of peace, where there is no trouble.

The language of inspiration is, "Get up, go away!
For this is not your resting place, because it is
defiled, it is ruined, beyond all remedy." Micah 2:10

Your Savior, pilgrim Christian, has prepared
for you a nobler rest than this polluted world.

In his Father's house are many spacious mansions,
where your happy spirit, after tasting the bitter
cup of life's sorrow, shall rest in eternal blessedness!

"For this world is not our home; we are
 looking forward to our city in heaven,
 which is yet to come." Hebrews 13:14


The Happy Home?
(Harsha, "Thoughts on the Love of Christ")

"In my Father's house are many mansions;
 if it were not so, I would have told you. I
 go to prepare a place for you." John 14:2

Christ has manifested most amazing love to
believers, in preparing for their eternal abode,
mansions of glory, a house not made with hands,
eternal in the heavens; a city which has foundations,
whose builder and maker is God.

Heaven is a prepared place for believers;
prepared by Christ in his infinite love.

The love of Christ will make heaven a glorious,
happy abode indeed. Oh! what a happy home will
heaven be! There all the redeemed shall finally
assemble, to spend one eternal day in the
glorious presence of Emmanuel.

Who can fully describe the joys of the Christian's
happy home? Feeble mortals could not comprehend
the description if it should be given.

What human mind can conceive of the unspeakable
blessedness which awaits the child of God in that
upper and better world, his happy home!

Dear believer, to know what heaven really is, you
must put off mortality. "No eye has seen, no ear
has heard, and no mind has imagined what God
has prepared for those who love him."

Do you not long for the approach of that joyful
day, which will introduce you into the mansions of
glory, and bring you to your endless, happy home?

How short is the space that lies between you and glory!

The map of heaven is laid wide open for your inspection.

Often obtain a glimpse of the happy land. Be always
looking heavenward and homeward. Let heaven be
always in your eye, and the earth under your feet,
and in a little while....
  God shall wipe away all tears;
  you will reach your journey's end;
  then faith shall be turned into vision;
  hope, into fruition; and you will be fully
satisfied with the goodness of God's house.

As you now survey the glories of your happy
home, does not your heart exult at the prospect?

Christian, heaven is your only true home.

Here on earth, you have no continuing city nor
place of abode. The divine command is, "Arise,
and depart; for this is not your rest."

"There remains therefore a rest for the people of God."

God has provided a better home
for you, than this polluted world!

O, remember that you are a stranger and pilgrim on earth.

Let your course be onward in the Christian's journey.

Quicken your pace on the road to glory.

Your happy home will soon be in possession!

Reader, are you pressing upward to the Christian's
happy home? Is heaven the home which you expect
to reach? Do you long to arrive at those everlasting
mansions in the sky?

Then let the hope of eternal glory elevate
your affections above all sublunary objects!

Christian, soon shall the interposing veil of mortality
be drawn aside, and you will behold the glories of that
land which no mortal pen can now describe.

But is heaven soon to be your happy home? Are you
there to reign with Jesus, in the realms of everlasting
day? there to behold the uncreated glory of Emmanuel?

Then how trifling should the transient concerns of earth
appear to you! You should smile at "the frowns of time".

The angry tempest will soon be over. The swelling waves
of life's ocean will soon rise no more. You will soon have
reached the desired haven of eternal rest, the blessed
shores of immortality, the happy home; and that home
will more than compensate for all the toil of the way!

Live with your  happy home always in view.

Let the glories of a coming eternity revive your
drooping spirits, amid life's trials and life's conflicts.

The road to glory is but a short one. A moment but
intervenes, and then eternal ages commence to roll
away. After this present brief moment has passed,
you will enter upon a state of endless felicity!

Arrived at your happy home, you will take up an
everlasting song of praise; you will celebrate the
victories of redeeming love, through one unending day!

You shall stand a monument of God's love, and mercy,
and grace! You shall be made a pillar in his glorious
temple above, where there shall be no more going out.

You shall live with Christ, and praise him throughout the
endless ages of eternity! You shall behold Emmanuel in his
unveiled glory. You shall praise him for that unbounded
love, which has obtained for you immortal bliss!

O, Christian! the love of Christ has procured that
unfailing wreath of glory, which will one day be
entwined around your brow; that radiant diadem
which you will forever wear.

The love of Christ has prepared a happy home
for your reception, when this sublunary scene
shall have vanished from your mortal vision.

All the happiness you enjoy in time; all the
glory that will crown you through eternity,
flow from the love of Christ.

You quickly glide over the narrow stream of
time; until you find yourself sailing on the vast
unbounded ocean of eternity!

Come, Christian, survey the happy land, your
everlasting home. Life is fast hastening away.
The oscillating tides of time are bearing you
onward and homeward. Every wave of life's
tempestuous ocean is only wafting you to the
happy shores of a blessed eternity!

Then look beyond this poor dying world!

Look at that eternal home which Christ has
prepared for you! View the celestial city,
irradiated by the glory of God and the Lamb!
See the pearly gates, the golden streets, the
shining inhabitants of the New Jerusalem!

The glory of God will enlighten that city
of everlasting habitation, which the love
of Christ has prepared.

What a blessed habitation has Christ prepared for believers!

What a glorious inheritance has he promised them!

Come, my soul, and survey it!

O my soul, rise and soar aloft to the heavenly Canaan!

Mount up as upon eagles' wings, and behold the
king in his beauty, and the land that is afar off!

Leave the world to those who seek their pleasures
and happiness in its perishing enjoyments, and set
your affections on things above!

How the world recedes from your view, as
you obtain a glimpse of the heavenly land!

The short lived pleasures of earth, and the transient
show of sublunary magnificence, no longer fascinate
the mind, as it gains a heavenly view of the Christian's
endless happy home, the glories of which baffle all

Blessed Jesus! Spiritualize my affections; elevate
my views to the world of glory. Wean my heart
from the fleeting enjoyments of this mortal life,
this perishing earth.

Reader! look beyond this sublunary scene of
changing mortality. Soar aloft on the wings of
faith, and roam in imagination through the myriads
of ages that lie beyond the precincts of time.

And in those regions of immortality, may you realize
the joys of endless life, of an immortal existence,
and of an inheritance before which the splendor of
a thousand worlds fades; which will endure when
this earth and all her terrestrial glory shall have
passed away, and when the sun shall have cast his
last rays, and the stars have set in endless night!

"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


Who can describe the miseries of a lost
soul, when the door of the bottomless pit
has closed upon it forever?
(David Harsha, "Come to the Savior")


The most amazing, most affecting, most
melting sight that mortals ever witnessed!
(David Harsha, "Thoughts on the Love of Christ")

In the death of Christ, we behold the most
astonishing exhibition of divine love that has
ever been manifested to a lost world.

Such love as is here displayed, is without a
precedent; without a parallel in the annals
of time or in the records of eternity.

To behold the Son of God, the Maker of worlds,
bowing his head on the cross, and yielding up
his immaculate soul amid the agonies of death,
is the most amazing, the most affecting, the
most melting sight that mortals ever witnessed!

Around the Cross of Christ there shine the
most resplendent rays of divine love that
ever beamed from the Sun of Righteousness;
that ever emanated from the Deity.

O, my soul, look and wonder!

Behold your Savior bleeding on the cross;
bleeding from every pore, that your sins
might be washed away in the flowing stream!

See him pouring out his soul unto death, for
your salvation! Is not this a manifestation of
unparalleled love to you?

Christ's suffering and dying for us is a great
mystery, a mystery of unfathomable love!

How vehement was the love of Christ, that led
him to endure death in its most terrible form,
even the death of the cross! "Love is strong as
death; the coals thereof are coals of fire, which
has a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot
quench love; neither can the floods drown it."

Such is the love of Christ.

All the waters of affliction and suffering; all the
billows of divine wrath that rolled over our blessed
Redeemer, were not sufficient to quench the ardency
of that love which he felt for a dying world of sinners!


What a sight!
(David Harsha, "Christ Crucified")

The death of Christ was the most affecting
and solemn scene ever presented to the view
of men or angels.

What a sight! to see Christ on the cross
bleeding for sinners!

How astonishing! to see the King of glory,
whom all the angels of heaven worship and
adore, bow his head in death!

Earth never before witnessed such a sight!

Heaven never before looked upon such a scene.

O my soul, draw near and contemplate it.

Look towards Calvary with the cross erected
in your view, and behold the Son of God nailed
to the accursed tree, his blessed hands, and
side and feet pierced, his blood streaming from
every pore, until pallid death sits upon his
heavenly brow, and he cries, "Father, into
your hands I commend my spirit."


(David Harsha, "Christ Crucified")

Why does the Lord of life and glory suffer?

Why does he endure that piercing agony and
that bloody sweat in gloomy Gethsemane?

Why is he condemned to the death of Calvary?

Look at the crucified Jesus!

Why does he hang on that bloody cross?

Why are those blessed hands and feet nailed to the accursed tree?

Why is that dear side pierced with the soldier's spear?

Why does the immaculate Lamb of God thus bleed?

Ah! believing sinner, it is for you!

For you, Christ endured that indescribable agony in
Gethsemane, and those excruciating pains on Calvary.

For you, the blood trickles down those pale
cheeks, and streams from that pierced side.

For you, the Son of God endures the hidings of
his Father's face, until he is led to exclaim in
the bitterness of his soul, "My God, my God,
why have you forsaken me?"

For you, his last breath is drawn, and
his last cry uttered, "It is finished."

O could you but see with faith's vision, what
Christ has done for you, surely your whole heart
would burn with love to such a Savior, who, to
ransom your precious soul from eternal woe,
shed his own blood! That precious blood was
poured out to cleanse you from the guilt of sin.

Sin, then, was the cause of the sufferings and
death of God's dear Son. Ah! sinner, you have
slain the innocent Lamb of God. You have
caused those wounds on Immanuel's glorious

Your sins pierced him to the very heart!


Look at the King in his beauty!
(David Harsha, "Wanderings of a Pilgrim")

"Your eyes will see the King in his beauty and
 view a land that stretches afar." Isaiah 33:17

Contemplate your blessed Redeemer,
seated on his great white throne,
encircled with heavenly glory.

Look at the King in his beauty!

It is the sight of a glorified Savior that
will make the heaven of the believer.

Endeavor now, by the eye of faith,
to behold the Lord Jesus in all his
matchless beauty and excellence.

  his glorious character;
  his infinite mercy;
  his unparalleled condescension,
  and his boundless love.

There is enough in Jesus to employ the soul in
rapturous meditation through a vast eternity!

His excellence, his goodness, and
his love can never be fathomed!

O keep your eye fixed on this adorable Savior,
while you sojourn in this valley of tears; and
in a little while you shall see him as he is; face
to face, and ascribe to him unceasing praise!


The world will lose its charms!
(David Harsha, "Christ, and Him Crucified")

"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."
Gal. 6:14

There is nothing so animating to
the Christian as a sight of Calvary.

How despicable does the world appear
in his view, when he obtains a glimpse
of that cross on which his Savior died!

Everything else loses its luster when, by
the eye of faith, the cross of Christ is seen.

   "A sight of Jesus on the cross,
    Makes all this world appear as dross."

In this wicked world, the Christian thirsts for
God, and pants to reach the mansions of glory.

The Christian looks beyond this dying world
to his eternal home in glory. The cross of Jesus
enables him to soar on high, and leave the
world behind him. He looks forward to the
glory that is to be revealed in him. He sets
his affections on things above.

Oh, keep gazing on a crucified Savior,
and the world will lose its charms!

We overcome the world through the cross.

It is a sight of the cross of Christ that weans
the affections from sublunary objects, and
centers them on heavenly and divine things.


No 'reverence' is due to me!
(by Charles Spurgeon)

I very much demur to the designation,
"To the Reverend C. H. Spurgeon,"
for no 'reverence' is due to me!

Assuredly, 'Reverend' and 'sinner' make
a curious combination. And as I know I
am the second, I repudiate the first.

To me, it is surprising that such a flattering
title should have been invented, and more
amazing still, that good men should be found who
are angry if this title be not duly given to them.

"It is the Lord your God you must follow,
 and Him you must REVERE." Deut. 13:4

".... so that you may learn to REVERE the
 Lord your God always." Deut. 14:23

".... REVERE this glorious and awesome
 name: the Lord your God." Deut. 28:58

".... REVERE Him, all you descendants
 of Israel!" Psalm 22:23

"Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the
 people of the world REVERE Him." Psalm 33:8

".... holy and REVEREND is His name." Psalm 111:9

"I know that everything God does will endure
 forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing
 taken from it. God does it so that men will
 REVERE Him." Eccles. 3:14

"Who should not REVERE You, O King of the
 nations? This is Your due." Jeremiah 10:7


(Hannah More, "Cultivation of a Devotional Spirit")

Miscalculation of the relative value of things
is one of the greatest errors of our spiritual life.

We estimate them in an inverse proportion
to their value, as well as to their duration.

We lavish earnest and durable thoughts on
things so trifling that they deserve little regard,
so temporary that they "perish with the using;"
while we bestow only slight attention on things
of infinite worth; only transient thoughts on
things of eternal duration.


Our proper enjoyment of every earthly blessing?
(Hannah More, "The Love of God")

There are three requirements to our proper enjoyment
of every earthly blessing which God bestows on us:

1. A thankful reflection on the goodness of the giver.

2. A deep sense of the unworthiness of the receiver.

3. A sober recollection of the precarious tenure by which we hold it.

The first would make us grateful, the second humble, the last moderate.


(John MacDuff, "The Night Watches")

"He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will
 carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close
 to his heart. He will gently lead the mother
 sheep with their young."  Isaiah 40:11

How soothing, in the hour of sorrow, or bereavement,
or death, to have the countenance and sympathy of
a tender earthly friend. Reader, these words tell you
of One nearer, dearer, tenderer still; the Friend that
never fails; a tender God!

By how many endearing epithets does Jesus exhibit
the tenderness of His relation to His people.

Does a shepherd watch tenderly over his flock?
"The Lord is my Shepherd."

Does a father exercise fondest solicitude towards
his children?  "I will be a Father unto you."

Does a mother's love exceed all other earthly
types of affection.  "As one whom his mother
comforts, so will I comfort you."

Is the 'apple of the eye' (the pupil) the most
sensitive part of the most delicate bodily organ?
He guards His people "as the apple of His eye!"

"He will not break the bruised reed."

When the Shepherd and Guardian of Souls finds
the sinner, like a lost sheep, stumbling on the
dark mountains, how tenderly He deals with him!
There is no look of wrath; no word of upbraiding. In
silent love "He lays him on His shoulders rejoicing!"

Reader, are you mourning over...
  the weakness of your faith;
  the coldness of your love;
  your manifold spiritual declensions?

Fear not. He knows your frame! He will give
'feeble faith' tender dealing. He will "carry" in
His arms those that are unable to walk, and
will conduct the burdened ones through a path
less rough and rugged than others.

When "the lion" or "the bear" comes, you may
trust the true David, the tenderest of Shepherds!

Are you suffering from outward trial?

Confide in the tenderness of your God's dealings
with you. The strokes of His rod are gentle strokes;
the needed discipline of a father yearning over his
children the very moment He is chastising them.
The gentlest earthly parent may speak a harsh
word at times; it may be, needlessly harsh. But
not so God. He may seem, like Joseph to his
brethren, to 'speak roughly'; but all the while
there is love in His heart.

The 'pruning knife' will not be used
unnecessarily. It will never cut too deeply.

The 'furnace' will not burn more fiercely than is
absolutely required. A tender God is seated by
it, tempering the fury of its flames.

And what, believer, is the secret of all this
tenderness? "There is a Man upon the Throne!"
Jesus, the God Man Mediator; combining with
the might of Godhead, the tenderness of spotless

Is your heart crushed with sorrow? so was His!

Are your eyes dimmed with tears? so were His?
"Jesus wept!" Bethany's Chief Mourner still wears
'the Brother's heart' in glory!

Others may be unable to enter into the
depths of your trial; Jesus can; Jesus does!

With such a tender God....
  caring for me,
  providing for me,
  watching my path by day, and
  guarding my couch by night,
"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone,
 O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8


The world's trinity?
(Thomas Reade, "Christian Meditations")

Everything to which we give the heart, becomes our idol.

Pleasure, wealth, and power, form the world's trinity!

Before these idols they bow down in adoration.

All their thoughts, time, and talents are employed
in their service. No sacrifice is deemed too great to
obtain possession of these vanities.

Alas! thousands, who call themselves Christians,
who have been baptized in the name of Christ,
and who make a nominal profession of Christianity,
worship these idols which Satan has set up.


Self vaulted into the vacant throne?
(Octavius Winslow, "Midnight Harmonies")

"Looking unto Jesus" Hebrews 12:2

We must look away from ourselves. SELF
is, perhaps, the most common and insidious
object that comes between the eye of the
soul and Jesus.

When God was ejected from the heart of
man, self vaulted into the vacant throne,
and has ever since maintained a supremacy.

We must look from righteous self; from all
works of righteousness which we can perform,
from our almsgivings, from our charities, from
our religious observances, our fastings, and
prayers, and sacraments; from all the works
of the law by which we are seeking to be
justified; from all our efforts to make ourselves
better, and thus to do something to commend
ourselves to the Divine notice, and to propitiate
the Divine regard.

From all this we must look, if we rightly look
unto Jesus to be saved by his righteousness,
and by his alone.

"I once thought all these things were so very
important, but now I consider them worthless
because of what Christ has done. 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 and become
one with him. I no longer count on my own
goodness or my ability to obey God's law, but
I trust Christ to save me. For God's way of
making us right with himself depends on faith."


The wretched worm of the earth?
(Thomas Reade, "The Evil of Pride")

"God resists the proud." James 4:6

Pride rules and governs the hearts of
natural men. It is continually in operation.

Pride militates against the soul
humbling doctrines of the Gospel.

Salvation by grace, through faith in the blood
of Christ, is most offensive to the pride of
the natural man.

The idea of being wholly indebted to another
for admission into the kingdom of heaven, is
extremely disgusting to self love.

Such an idea is rejected with disdain by every heart,
unhumbled and untaught by the Spirit of God.

Fallen man needs to have some share in the great
work of salvation, to have something whereof to boast.

But God has declared that this shall not be.

No flesh shall boasts in his presence.

Oh! what cursed pride dwells in the heart of man!

But what will become of proud looks, and proud
pretensions, when Christ shall sit on the throne
of his glory, and render unto every man according
to his works?

Then will the contrite soul, who, while on
earth was trodden down by the foot of pride,
be exalted to the heights of glory!

Then will the proud sinner, once admired and
applauded, be hurled into the depths of hell.

The wretched worm of the earth, inflated
with pride, will sink into endless woe!

"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty
 spirit before a fall."  Proverbs 16:18


Throw the creature down in the dust!
(by J. C. Philpot)

Man's religion is to build up the creature.

God's religion is throw the creature down in
the dust of self abasement, and to glorify Christ.


This humiliating doctrine?
(Thomas Reade, "Christian Meditations")

Are any saved?

It is through the grace of God; through the
love of a dying Savior, through the operation
of the Holy Spirit producing faith in their
hearts to lay hold of, and delight in, the
ever precious Jesus.

Have you received this gift of grace, a saving
faith in the adorable Redeemer? Then, cease
not, O my soul, to extol the Giver of such
sovereign mercy.

Why should the Sovereign of the universe
condescend to visit you? Why should he pour
this oil of grace, this unction from the Holy
One, on you? Why convert you into a vessel
of mercy fitted for the Master's use, while
thousands around you are vessels of wrath,
fitted to destruction?

Why is this?

Amazement seizes on my mind!

Love and praise should fill my heart!

O why is this?

Because he will have mercy on whom he will have mercy!

I must resolve all into...
   the sovereign will,
   the electing love,
   the free grace of the Great Jehovah!

"I have loved you, my people, with an
 everlasting love. With unfailing love I
 have drawn you to myself." Jerem. 31:3

Many reject this blessed truth.

The pride of man cannot bear this humiliating
doctrine, so subversive of human merit.

But what are its genuine effects?

  humbles the sinner,
  exalts the Savior, and
  promotes holiness.

That doctrine must be true, which places
Christ on his throne, and the creature in
the dust; which opposes the evil of sin,
and delights in holiness.


No chance!
(John MacDuff, "The Night Watches")

"The Lord does whatever pleases Him
 throughout all heaven and earth, and
 on the seas and in their depths." Ps. 135:6

How blessed that elementary truth: "The Lord reigns!"

To know that there is no chance or
accident with God; that He decrees...
  the fall of a sparrow;
  the destruction of an atom;
  the annihilation of a world!

The Almighty is not like Baal, "asleep." "He that
keeps Israel" can never for a moment "slumber."

Man proposes; but God disposes.

"You, Lord have done it," is the history of
every event, past, present and to come.

His purposes none can change.

His counsels none can resist.

Believer, how cheering to know that all that
befalls you is thus ordered in the eternal purpose
of a Covenant God! Every minute circumstance of
your lot; appointing the bounds of your habitation;
meting out every drop in the cup of life; arranging
what by you is called its "vicissitudes;" decreeing
all its trials; and at last, as the great Proprietor
of life, revoking the lease of existence when its
allotted term has expired!

How it should keep the mind from its guilty
proneness to brood and fret over second causes,
were this grand but simple truth ever realized:
that all that befalls us are integral parts in a
stupendous plan of wisdom; that there is no
crossing or thwarting the designs and dealings
of God.

"He does all things well."

"Our God is in heaven; He does
 whatever pleases Him." Psalm 115:3


A more vile and unlovely thing?
(Octavius Winslow, "Midnight Harmonies")

There exists not upon earth a more vile and
unlovely thing, in the self searching view of
the true believer, than his own heart.

From every other human eye that bosom is
deeply, impenetrably veiled. All that is within
is known only to itself. What those chambers
of abomination are, God will not permit another
creature to know.

But oh, how dark, how loathsome, how unholy
to him "who knows the plague of his own heart!"

Believer! Jesus loves that heart of yours!
He purchased it with his own heart's blood,
agonies, and tears!

With all its indwelling evil and self loathing, God
sees its struggles, watches its conflict, and marks
its sincerity. He has his finger upon its pulse, he
feels every beat, records every throb. Not a feeling
thrills it, not an emotion agitates it, not a sorrow
shades it, not a sin wounds it, not a thought passes
through it, of which he is not cognizant.


Happy sickness?
(Harsha, "Thoughts on the Love of Christ")

Affliction comes upon all.

None are exempt from the sufferings incident
to our fallen nature. The young, the old, the
rich and the poor, alike feel the withering touch
of affliction and of sorrow. Disease invades the
strongest constitution, and affliction prostrates
the mightiest energy. Often those in the prime
and vigor of life are laid down on the bed of
sickness, and made to feel that they are dying
creatures. How true it is, that "How frail is
humanity! How short is life, and how full of
trouble!" Job 14:1

The children of God are not exempted from the
afflictions of this life; but it is their blessed
consolation to know that they have a Friend
to sympathize with them in all their sorrows
and sufferings, while in this mortal state.

Yes, Jesus is that friend, who watches over their
sick beds, and consoles their desponding spirits
amid the frailty of sinking nature.

Oh! how often does the blessed Jesus wonderfully
manifest his love to his afflicted ones! How often
does he whisper words of peace and love and
consolation in their ears! How often, in the
manifestation of his love, do their souls overflow
with joy, even when their bodies are racked
with severe pain!

All the afflictions of the children of God are
designed for their good. They come from a
kind heavenly Father, from a God of love;
and one of their designs is their purification
and sanctification.

Afflictions make us fit for glory; they enable us to
obtain a correct view of the vanity of terrestrial
happiness; they tend, through grace, to fix our
souls on Him, in whom alone we can find true
happiness and immortal joys.

Happy sickness, that leads the soul to Jesus,
the only source of blessedness! Afflictions, then,
promote our spiritual welfare, and are ordered
for our good.


What trash does it appear!
(by Mary Winslow)

What a brittle thing is all the glory, wealth,
and honor of this vain world! How empty, and
what trash does it appear! And yet men sell
their souls to grasp it, and at last pass away
from it and find it all a phantom. How unceasing
is Satan in forever bringing it before our eyes,
in some form or other! What is all the pomp and
wealth and rank of this poor fleeting world, in
contrast with the glory that shall soon be
revealed in all those who love His appearing?


A worldly spirit?

(Hannah More, "Periodical Religion")

Do not consider a worldly spirit as a little
infirmity; as a natural, and therefore a
pardonable weakness; as a trifling error,
which will be overlooked for the sake of
our many good qualities.

A worldly spirit is, in fact, the essence of our
other faults, the temper that stands between
us and our salvation, the spirit which is in direct
opposition to the Spirit of God.

Individual sins may more easily be cured, but a
worldly spirit is the principle of all spiritual disease.

A worldly spirit, where it is rooted and cherished,
runs through the whole character, insinuates itself
in all we say, and think, and do. It is this which
makes us so dead in religion, so averse to spiritual
things, so forgetful of God, so unmindful of eternity.