Grace Gems for JUNE 2004

They cherish the viper, though

it stings them to death!

(Thomas Reade, "Christian Experience")

True happiness cannot possibly be found in any
of those earthly things which so much occupy the
time, and captivate the hearts of dying mortals.

Pleasures may fascinate.

Riches may dazzle.

Honors may inflate.

But what can these sources of supposed comfort
yield in the hour of death and judgment?

Unconverted men hug their chain, though they sigh
under its weight. They cherish the viper, though
it stings them to death!


The largest slice of the well-sugared cake

(J. C. Philpot)

"They confessed that they were strangers
 and pilgrims
on the earth." Hebrews 11:13

Many profess that they are strangers and pilgrims here
below. But they take care to have as much of this world's
comforts as they can scrape together by hook and by crook.

They talk about being 'strangers', yet can be in close
friendship with men of the world. And could you see them
at the exchange, at the market, behind the counter, or at
home with their families—you would not find one mark
to distinguish them from the ungodly!

Yet they come to chapel—and if called upon to pray, they
will tell the people they are "poor strangers and pilgrims in
a valley of tears"—while all the time their hearts are in the
world—and their eyes stand out with fatness—and they are
as light and trifling as a comic actor—and have no concerns
except to get the largest slice of the well-sugared cake
that the world sets before them!

It is not the 'mere profession of the lips'—but 'grace in
the heart', that makes a man a stranger and a pilgrim.

God's people are strangers and sojourners—the world is not
their home—nor can they take pleasure in it. Sin is often a
burden to them—guilt often lies as a heavy weight upon
their conscience—a thousand troubles harass their minds
—a thousand perplexities oppress their souls. They cannot
bury their minds in business and derive all their happiness
from their successes, for they feel that this earth is not their
home. They are often cast down and exercised, because they
have to live with such an ungodly heart in such an ungodly

"They confessed that they were strangers
 and pilgrims
on the earth." Hebrews 11:13

In whose hand?

(Octavius Winslow, "Divine Realities" 1860)

"My times are in Your hand." Psalm 31:15

In whose hand are the believer's times?

In a Father's hand!

Be those times what they may . . .
  times of trial,
  times of temptation,
  times of suffering,
  times of peril,
  times of sunshine,
  times of gloom,
  times of life,
  times of death,
—they are in a heavenly Parent's hand!

Is your present path lonely and dreary?

Has the Lord seen fit . . .
  to recall some fond blessing,
  to deny some earnest request,
  to painfully discipline your heart?

All this springs from a Father's love as fully
as though He had unlocked His treasury, and
poured its costliest gifts at your feet!

In a Redeemer's hand, also, are our times!

That same Redeemer who carried . . .
  our sorrows in His heart,
  our curse and transgressions on His soul,
  our cross on His shoulder,
who died—who rose again—and who lives
and intercedes for us—and who will gather
all His ransomed around Him in glory—is
your guardian and your guide!

Can you not cheerfully confide all your earthly
concerns—all your spiritual interests to His
keeping and control?

"My times are in Your hand." Psalm 31:15

The things which men despise

(J. C. Philpot, "The Lord's Thoughts" 1847)

"The things which are highly esteemed among men
 are an abomination in the sight of God!" Luke 16:15

The pride, ambition, pleasures, and amusements, in
which we see thousands and tens of thousands engaged
—and sailing down the stream into a dreadful gulf of
eternity—are all an abomination in the sight of God!

Whereas the things which men despise, such as . . .
  brokenness of heart,
  tenderness of conscience,
  contrition of spirit,
  sorrow for sin,
  looking to Jesus,
  taking up the cross,
  denying one's self,
  walking in the narrow path that leads to eternal life,
—are despised by all—and by none so much as mere heady
religious professors—who have a name to live, while dead.

"The things which are highly esteemed among men
 are an abomination in the sight of God." Luke 16:15

Can they beat back this monster to his filthy den?

(J. C. Philpot, "The Savior of Israel" 1847)

"Hold me up, and I shall be safe!" Psalm 119:117

The Lord's people are a tempted people. Satan is ever
waiting at their gate, constantly suggesting every hateful
and improper thought—perpetually inflaming the rebellion
and enmity of their carnal mind—and continually plaguing,
harassing, and besieging them in a thousand ways!

Can they repel him?

Can they beat back this monster to his filthy den?

Can they beat back this leviathan? They cannot—they feel
they cannot. They know that nothing but the voice of Jesus,
inwardly speaking with power to their souls, can beat back
the lion of the bottomless pit!
One whisper, one soft word
from the lips of His gracious Majesty, can and will put every
temptation to flight!

"Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called
 you by name—you are Mine! When you go through deep
 waters and great trouble—I will be with you! When you
 go through rivers of difficulty—you will not drown! When
 you walk through the fire of oppression—you will not be
 burned up—the flames will not consume you. For I am
 the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel—your Savior!"
    Isaiah 43:1-3

When it comes in the guise of a friend

(J. C. Philpot, "Peace, Tribulation, Victory" 1847)

"Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

Does not this show that the world is an enemy to
the Lord, and to the Lord's people? and never so
much an enemy—never to be so much dreaded—as
when it comes in the guise of a friend. When it . . .
  steals upon your heart,
  engrosses your thoughts,
  wins your affections,
  draws away your mind from God,
—then it is to be dreaded.

When the world smites us as an enemy—its
blows are not to be feared. It is when it smiles
upon us as a friend
—it is most to be dreaded.

When our eyes begin to drink it in,
when our ears begin to listen to its voice,
when our hearts become entangled in its fascinations,
when our minds get filled with its anxieties,
when our affections depart from the Lord
and cleave to the things of time and sense,
—then the world is to be dreaded.

Canaanitish idols and heathenish abominations

(J. C. Philpot, "The Mighty Watcher" 1847)

"You shall destroy their altars, and break down
 their images, and cut down their groves, and burn
 their engraved images with fire!" Deuteronomy 7:5

Our hearts are by nature full of Canaanitish idols and
heathenish abominations
, which must be destroyed!

Lusts after evil things,
adulterous images,
idolatrous desires,
strong hankerings after sin—
along with evils which have the impudence
to wear a religious garb
—such as . . .
  towering thoughts of our own ability,
  pleasing dreams of creature holiness,
  swellings up of pride—dressed out and painted
in all the tawdy colors of Satanic delusion—how
can these abominations be allowed to run rampant
in the human heart?

The altars and religious rites of Canaanites were to be
destroyed as much as their idols! And thus we may say
of that very religious being—man, that his false worship
and heathenish notions of God must be destroyed—as well
as his more flagrant, though not more dangerous, lusts
and abominations.

The sentence against both is, "Destroy them!" They
must not stand side by side with Immanuel, who is
to have the preeminence in all things, and who is
"the Alpha and the Omega—the first and the last."

And O what a mercy it is to have both our FLESHLY and
RELIGIOUS abominations both destroyed!
For I am sure
that God and self never can rule in the same heart—that
Christ and the devil can never reign in the same bosom
—each claiming the supremacy!


This inward conflict

(Philpot, "The Knowledge of Good and Evil" 1845)

"I know that nothing good lives in me—that is, in
 my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what
 is good—but I cannot carry it out." Romans 7:18

Now it is this which makes the Lord's people such a
burdened people—that makes them so oppressed in
their souls as to cry out against themselves daily,
and sometimes hourly—that they are what they are
—that they would be spiritual, yet are carnal—that
they would be holy, yet are unholy—that they would
have sweet communion with Jesus, yet have such
sensual alliance with the things of time and sense—
that they would be Christians in word, thought, and
deed; yet, in spite of all, they feel their carnal mind,
their wretched depravity intertwining, interlacing,
gushing forth—contaminating with its polluted stream
everything without and within—so as to make them
sigh, groan, and cry being burdened, "What a wretched
man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?"
   Romans 7:24

He would not be entangled in these snares for ten thousand
worlds—he hates the evils of his heart, and mourns over the
corruptions of his nature. They make the tear fall from his
eye, and the sob to heave from his bosom—they make him
a wretched man—and fill him day after day with sorrow,
bitterness, and anguish.

None but a saved soul, under divine teaching, can see
this evil—and mourn and sigh under the depravity, the
corruption, the unbelief, the carnality, the wickedness,
and the deceitfulness of his evil heart.

This inward conflict, this sore grief, this internal burden,
that all the family of God are afflicted with—is an evidence
that the life and grace of God are in their bosoms.

"Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord!
 So you see how it is—in my mind I really want to obey
 God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a
 slave to sin." Rom. 7:25

Who really knows how bad it is?

(J. C. Philpot, "Getting and Losing" 1846)

"The human heart is most deceitful and
 desperately wicked! Who really knows
 how bad it is?
" Jeremiah 17:9

Without a knowledge of the corruptions
and abounding evils of our deceitful and
desperately wicked heart . . .
  worldly mindedness,
there will be . . .
  no humility,
  no self loathing,
  no dread of falling,
  no desire to be kept,
  no knowledge of the super-aboundings
     of grace, over the aboundings of sin.

The youngest, the weakest, the sickliest

(by J. C. Ryle)

"I have not lost a single one of those You gave Me."
    John 18:9

These words are meant for the encouragement of
all true Christians. Our Lord Jesus is a Shepherd,
who cares tenderly for every soul committed to His
charge. The youngest, the weakest, the sickliest
of His flock are as dear to Him as the strongest.
They shall never perish. None shall ever pluck
them out of His hand.

He will lead them gently through the wilderness of
this world. He will not overdrive them a single day,
lest any die. He will carry them through every difficulty.
He will defend them against every enemy. With such
a Shepherd, who, having once begun, need fear being
cast away?

So many truly sincere and religious people

(J. C. Philpot, "Answers to Inquiries")

"Cornelius and all his family were devout and
 God-fearing; he gave generously to those in
 need and prayed to God regularly." Acts 10:2

Yet Cornelius and his family weren't saved! (Acts 11:14)

–A generous centurion build a synagogue. (Luke 7:3-5)

–A young man keeps the commandments from his
  youth up. (Luke 18:21)

–Balaam prophesies. (Numbers 23:16)

–Saul weeps. (1 Samuel 24:16)

–Judas preaches the gospel. (Matthew 10:5-8)

Yet none of these men were saved!

It is at times, enough to fill one's heart with mingled
astonishment and sorrow, to see so many truly sincere
and religious people
, whose religion will leave them short
of eternal life—because they are destitute of saving grace.

To see so much . . .
  loveliness of character,
  consistency of life,
all inescapably dashed against the rock of inflexible justice,
and there shattered and lost—swallowed up with its unhappy
possessors in the raging billows beneath—such a sight, did
we not know that the Judge of the whole earth cannot do
wrong, would indeed stagger us to the very center of our being!


Sick of SIN, sick of SELF, sick of the WORLD

(J. C. Philpot, "Spiritual Delight" 1845)

"Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give
 you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

By nature we delight in SIN. It is the very element of
our nature—and even after the Lord has called us by
His grace and quickened us by his Spirit—there is the
same love to sin in the heart as there was before.
We delight in it—we would wallow in it—take our full
enjoyment of it—and swim in it as a fish swims in
the waters of the sea!

By nature we also are prone to IDOLATRY. Self is
the grand object of all our sensual and carnal worship.
Our own exaltation,
our own amusement,
our own pleasure,
our own gratification.
Something whereby SELF may be . . .

is the grand end and aim of man's natural worship.

By nature we also delight in the WORLD. It is . . .
  our element,
  our home,
  what our carnal hearts are intimately blended with.

>From all these things, then, which are intrinsically
evil—which a pure and holy God must hate with
absolute abhorrence—we must be weaned and
effectually divorced—we need to have these
things embittered to us.

All the time we are doing homage and worship to
self—all the time we are loving the world—all the
time we delight in sin—all the time we are setting
up idols in the secret chambers of imagery—there
is no delighting ourselves in the Lord.

We cannot delight ourselves in the Lord until we are
purged of creature love—until the idolatry of our hearts is
not merely manifested, but hated and abhorred—until by . . .
  cutting temptations,
  sharp exercises,
  painful perplexities,
  and various sorrows,
we are brought to this state—to be . . .
  sick of SIN,
  sick of SELF,
  sick of the WORLD

Until we are brought to loathe ourselves, we are not
brought to that spot where none but God Himself can
comfort, please, or make the soul really happy.

Now the very means that God employs to embitter the
world to us are cutting and grievous dispensations—as
unexpected reverses in fortune—or afflictions of body,
of family, or of soul. But these very means that the Lord
employs to divorce our carnal union from the world, stir
up the self-pity, the murmuring, the peevishness, and
the rebelliousness of our nature. So that we think we
are being very harshly dealt with, in being compelled
to walk in this trying path.

But only by these cutting dispensations we are eventually
brought to delight ourselves in Him, who will give us the
desires of our heart.

How long you shall be walking in this painful path—
how heavy your trials—what their duration shall be—how
deep you may have to sink—how cutting your afflictions
may be in body or soul, God has not defined, and we cannot.
But they must work until they have produced this result—
weaned, divorced, and separated us from all that we
naturally love and idolatrously cleave unto—and all
that we adulterously roam after. If our trials have not
done this, they must go on until they produce that effect.

The burden must be laid upon the back,
affliction must try the mind,
perplexities must encumber the feet,
until we are brought to this point—that none but the
Lord Himself
, with a taste of His dying love, can comfort
our hearts, or give us that inward peace and joy which
our soul is taught to crave after.


A real friend

(Thomas Reade, "Christian Meditations")

"There is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother."
     Proverbs 18:24

Few people are insensible to the happiness of
friendship, though few, comparatively, possess
a real friend. Worldly friendships are often little
better than "confederacies in vice, and leagues
in pleasure."

In the midst of this ever changing, faithless world,
there is a Friend that loves at all times—a Brother
that is born for adversity.

Jesus is His precious name.

Love is His endeared character.

His faithfulness never fails.

He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

In the midst of disquietude—He can give rest.

In the midst of sorrow—He can give comfort.

In the midst of weakness—He can impart strength.

In the midst of confusion—He can give counsel.

Oh! what a friend is this!

Wherever we are, He is a friend at hand to cheer
and support. When we read His word, He speaks to
us—when we pray, we speak to Him. He is near to
those who fear Him, and He sheds His choicest gifts
on those who love Him.

Such a friend is Jesus to His redeemed people.

There is no happiness but in Christ.

He is the fountain of living water—the source
from where our every blessing flows!

O! my soul, never look for peace from the creature
—nor expect it from yourself.


A hundred doctrines floating in the head

(J. C. Philpot)

By five minutes real communion with the Lord . . .
  we learn more,
  we know more,
  we receive more,
  we feel more, and
  we experience more
than by a thousand years of merely studying
the Scriptures, or using external forms, rites,
and ceremonies.

One truth written by the Spirit in the heart,
will bring forth more fruit in the life, than
a hundred doctrines floating in the head


However low we may sink

(J. C. Philpot, "Letters & Memoir")

What a mercy it is to have a faithful, gracious, and
compassionate High Priest who can sympathize with
His poor, tried, tempted family—so that however
low we may sink
. . .
  His piteous eye can see us in our low estate,
  His gracious ear hear our cries,
  His loving heart melt over us, and
  His strong arm pluck us from our destructions!

Oh, what would we do without such a gracious
and most suitable Savior as our blessed Jesus!
How He seems to rise more and more . . .

  in our estimation,
  in our thoughts,
  in our desires,
  in our affections,
as we see and feel . . .

  what a wreck and ruin we are,
  what dreadful havoc sin has made with us,
  what miserable outcasts we are by nature.

But oh, how needful it is, dear friend, to be
brought down in our soul to be the . . .
  chief of sinners,
  viler than the vilest,
  worse than the worst,
that we may really and truly believe in, and cleave
unto, this most precious and suitable Savior!

Yours affectionately in the Lord,
J. C. Philpot, October 1, 1868


Nothing but a slave!

(J. C. Philpot, "Obedience from the Heart" 1844)

"Once you were slaves of sin!" Romans 6:17

What a picture does this draw of our sad state, while
walking in the darkness and death of unregeneracy!

The Holy Spirit here sets forth Sin as a harsh master,
exercising tyrannical dominion over his slaves! How
this portrays our state and condition in a state of
unregeneracy—slaves to sin!

Just as a master commands his slave to go here and
there—imposes on him certain tasks—and has entire
and despotic authority over him—so sin . . .
  had a complete mastery over us,
  used us at its arbitrary will and pleasure,
  drove us here and there on its commands.

But in this point we differed from physical slaves—
that we did not murmur under our yoke—but gladly
and cheerfully obeyed all sin's commands—and
never tired of doing the most servile drudgery!

Thus some have had sin as a very vulgar and
tyrannical master
, who drove them into open acts
of drunkenness, uncleanness, and profligacy—yes,
everything base, vile, and evil.

Others have been preserved through education,
through the watchfulness and example of parents,
or other moral restraints, from going into such open
lengths of iniquity—and outward breakings forth of
evil. But still sin secretly reigned in their hearts . . .
  love of the things of time and sense,
  hatred to God and aversion to His holy will,
  selfishness and stubbornness,
in all their various forms, had a complete mastery
over them! And though sin ruled over them more
as a gentleman—he kept them in a more refined,
though not less real or absolute slavery! Whatever
sin bade them do, that they did, as implicitly as the
most abject slave ever obeyed a tyrannical master's

What a picture does the Holy Spirit here draw of
what a man is! Nothing but a slave!—and sin, as
his master, first driving him upon upon God's sword,
and then giving him eternal death as his wages!

"He has rescued us from the dominion
 of darkness—and He has brought us into
 the Kingdom of His dear Son!
" Col. 1:13


A glory, a beauty, and a sweetness

(J. C. Philpot, "The Secret of the Lord" 1844)

How sweet it is to trace the Lord's hand in providence . . .
to look back on the chequered path that He has led us by;
to see how His hand has been with us for good;
what difficulties He has brought us through;
in what straits He has appeared;
how in things most trying He has wrought deliverance;
and how He has sustained us to the present hour.

How sweet are providential favors when they come
stamped with this inscription, "This is from the Lord!"
How precious every temporal mercy becomes—our
very food, lodging, and clothing!

How sweet is the least thing when it comes down
to us as from God's hands! A man cannot know the
sweetness of his daily bread until he sees that God
gives it to him—nor the blessedness of any providential
dealing until he can say, "God has done this for me—and
given that to me." When a man sees the providence of
God stamped on every action of life, it casts
a glory, a
beauty, and a sweetness
over every day of his life!


Having nothing—and yet possessing all things.

(J. C. Philpot, "Spiritual Poverty and Heavenly Riches")

"Having nothing—and yet possessing all things." 2 Cor. 6:10

How can this apparent contradiction be reconciled?

It is resolved thus—
"having nothing" in self,
"possessing all things" in Christ.

And just in proportion as I have nothing in self
experimentally—so I possess all things in Christ.

My own beggary leads me out of self
into His riches.

My own unrighteousness leads me out of self
into Christ's righteousness.

My own defilement leads me out of self
into Christ's sanctification.

My own weakness leads me out of self
into Christ's strength.

My own misery leads me out of self
into Christ's mercy.

"Having nothing—and yet possessing all things." 2 Cor. 6:10

These two branches of divine truth, so far from clashing with
each other—sweetly, gloriously, and blessedly harmonize.
And just in proportion as we know spiritually, experimentally,
and vitally of "having nothing," in self—just so much shall we
know spiritually, experimentally, and vitally of "possessing all
things" in Christ.


When disappointed in the creature

(Mary Winslow, "Life in Jesus")

When disappointed in the creature, I take
refuge at once in Jesus! I run to Him, and
find Him all my heart could wish!

Lord, how could I live without You?

You are . . .
   my all in all,
   my comfort,
   my joy,
   my peace,
   my strengthener,
   my home for time and eternity!


Truly, there is no love like Christ's!

(Octavius Winslow, "None Like Christ")

There is no love . . .
  so gentle,
  so patient,
  so enduring,
as Christ's love.

Again and again you have . . .
  questioned it,
  wounded it,
  forsaken it.

Again and again you have returned to it . . .
  with tears,
  with confession,
  with humiliation,
and have found it as unchilled
and unchanged as His nature.

It has . . .
  borne with your doubts,
  been silent beneath your murmurings,
  veiled your infirmities,
  never veered with your fickleness,
  nor frozen with your coldness,
  nor upbraided you for your backslidings,
but all the day long, tracking your wandering winding
way, it has hovered around you with a presence that
has encircled you within its divine, all enshrouding and
invincible shield.

Truly, there is no love like Christ's!

The Lord Jesus Christ is worthy of your . . .
  undivided affection,
  supreme confidence,
  unreserved service.
He infinitely distances and eclipses all other
beings, and all other objects. He is the chief
among ten thousand, and deserves the
supreme enthronement in your . . .

"Lord, there is none like You! I learn Your transcendent
worth—I experience Your matchless love—I behold Your
unrivaled beauty—I feel Your inimitable tenderness,
gentleness, and sympathy in this hour when my spirit
is overwhelmed within me, and my earthly treasures
float a scattered wreck upon the surging waters through
which I come to You."

Truly, there is no love like Christ's!

Muddy streams and broken, leaky cisterns

(By John MacDuff)

"Come! Whoever is thirsty, let him come—and
 whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of
 the water of life!" Revelation 22:17

Thirsty? who is not thirsty? It is the cry of
universal humanity! Who does not feel that this
world is presenting us with muddy streams and
broken, leaky cisterns.
Who does not feel, in
their moments of deep and calm reflection, when
we are brought face to face with the great enigma
of existence—that the world is serving up faded
instead of those redolent with imperishable
fragrance, and glowing with unfading bloom.

Prodigal! Wanderer from God, exile from peace,
roaming the forest haunts of sin, plunging deeper
and deeper into their midnight of ruin and despair;
has an arrow wounded your heart? Are you, in your
agony, seeking rest and finding none—having the
gnawing feeling of dissatisfaction with all created
things, and an undefined longing for a solace they
cannot give? Yes! for your gaping, bleeding wound
there is "balm in Gilead, and a Physician there!"

"Yes, Lord! I come! Thirsty, faint, forlorn, wounded,
 weary! I come, just as I am, without one plea. You
 are all I need, all I require—in sickness and health,
 in joy and in sorrow, in life and in death, in time
 and through eternity!"

One of God's medicines!

(J. C. Ryle, "The Gospel of John")

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time,
 but painful. Later on, however, it produces a
 harvest of righteousness and peace for those
 who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11

Affliction is one of God's medicines!

By it He often teaches lessons which
would be learned in no other way.

By it He often draws souls away from sin
and the world, which would otherwise have
perished everlastingly.

Health is a great blessing—but
sanctified disease is a greater.

Prosperity and worldly comfort, are what
all naturally desire—but losses and crosses
are far better for us—if they lead us to Christ.

Let us beware of murmuring in the time of trouble.

Let us settle it firmly in our minds, that there
is a meaning, a 'needs be', and a message from
God—in every sorrow that falls upon us.

There are no lessons so useful as those
learned in the school of affliction.

There is no commentary that opens up the
Bible so much as sickness and sorrow.

The resurrection morning will prove, that
many of the losses of God's people were
in reality, eternal gains.

Thousands at the last day, will testify with
David—"It is good for me that I have been
afflicted!" Psalm. 119:71

O great I AM,
Fill my mind with elevation and grandeur at the thought
of a Being with whom one day is as a thousand years,
and a thousand years as one day—a mighty God, who,
amid the lapse of worlds, and the revolutions of empires,
feels no variableness—but is glorious in immortality.

May I rejoice that, while all creatures are . . .
  broken reeds,
  empty cisterns,
  fading flowers,
  withering grass,
You are the Rock of Ages—the Fountain of living waters.

Turn my heart . . .
  from vanity,
  from dissatisfactions,
  from uncertainties of the present state,
to the eternal blessings I have in Christ.

Let me live a life of . . .
  dependence on Yourself,

(a puritan prayer)

Riches, honors, and comforts

(J. C. Philpot, "Heavenly Treasure in Earthen Vessels")

"But we have this precious treasure in earthen vessels."
    2 Cor. 4:7

How different is the estimate that the Christian makes
of riches, honors, and comforts—from that made by
the world and the flesh!

The world's idea of riches are only such as consist in gold
and silver, in houses, lands, or other tangible property.

The world's estimate of honors, are only such as man
has to bestow.

The world's notion of comfort, is "fulfilling the
desires of the flesh and of the mind."

But the true Christian takes a different estimate
of these matters, and feels that . . .
  the only true riches are those of God's grace in the heart,
  the only real honor is that which comes from God,
  the only solid comfort is that which is imparted by the
Holy Spirit to a broken and contrite spirit.

Now, just in proportion as we are filled by the Spirit
of God—shall we take faith's estimate of riches,
honors, and comforts
. And just so much as we are
imbued with the spirit of the world—shall we take
the flesh's estimate of these things.

When the eye of the world looked on the Apostles, it
viewed them as a company of poor ignorant men—a set
of wild enthusiasts, who traveled about the country
preaching Jesus, who they said, had been crucified,
and was risen from the dead. The natural eye saw no
beauty, no power, no glory in the truths they brought
forth. Nor did it see that the poor perishing bodies of
these outcast men contained in them a heavenly
—and that they would one day shine as the
stars forever and ever—while those who despised
their word would sink into endless woe.

The spirit of the world can never understand or love the
things of eternity—it can only look to, and can only rest
upon, the poor perishing things of time and sense.

The continued teachings of the Spirit

(J. C. Philpot, "The Woman at the Well of Samaria")

When once, by the operation of the Spirit on
our conscience, we have been stripped of . . .
and the other delusions of the flesh that hide
themselves under the mask of religion
—we have
felt the difference between having a name to live
while dead, and the power of vital godliness—and
as a measure of divine life has flowed into the
heart out of the fullness of the Son of God—we
desire no other religion
but that which stands
in the power of God
—by that alone can we live,
and by that alone we feel that we can die.

And, at last, we are brought to this conviction and
solemn conclusion—that there is no other true
religion but that which consists in
the continued
teachings of the Spirit
, and the communications
of the life of God to the soul.

And with the Spirit's teachings are connected . . .
  all the actings of faith in the soul,
  all the anchorings of hope in the heart,
  all the flowings forth of love,
  every tear of genuine contrition that flows down the cheeks,
  every sigh of godly sorrow that heaves from the bosom,
  every cry and groan because of the body of sin,
  every breath of spiritual prayer that comes from the heart,
  every casting of our souls upon Christ,
  all submission to Him,
  all communion with Him,
  all enjoyment of Him, and
  all the inward embracements of Him
     in His suitability and preciousness.

We journey onward through
a waste howling wilderness

(Henry Law, "Family Devotion" 1884)

As God's children, we receive in this present time all
that our Heavenly Father knows to be good for us.

His eye of love always watches over us.

His hand of power always guides and protects us.

We journey onward through a waste howling
—amid snares and temptations on the
right hand and on the left—but we are never left
—we are never forsaken.

"Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have
 called you by name—you are Mine. When you go
 through deep waters and great trouble, I will be
 with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty,
 you will not drown! When you walk through the fire
 of oppression, you will not be burned up—the flames
 will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God,
 the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." Isaiah 43:1-3

The best recipe for cheerfulness

(J. C. Ryle)

Some without doubt, have a larger cup of
sorrow to drink than others. But few are
to be found who live long without sorrows
or cares of one sort or another.
Our bodies,
our property,
our families,
our children,
our relations,
our servants,
our friends,
our neighbors,
our worldly callings,
each and all of these are foundations of care.

all these are common things.

We cannot get through life without them.

Some day or other they find us out.

The greater are our affections,
the deeper are our afflictions.

The more we love, the more we have to weep.

What is the best recipe for cheerfulness
in such a world as this? How shall we get
through this valley of tears with least pain?
I know no better recipe than the habit of
taking everything to God in prayer.

It will come in at every chink and crevice!

("The Spiritual Conflict" Preached at Zoar Chapel,
 London, on July 30, 1843, by J. C. Philpot)

"I know that nothing good lives in me."
    Romans 7:18

The world within us is ten thousand times
worse than the world outside of us!

We may shut and bar our doors, and exclude the
outside world—but the world within cannot be so
shut out! More—we might go and hide ourselves
in a hermit's cave, and never see the face of man
again—but even there we would be as carnal and
worldly as if we lived in Vanity Fair!

We cannot shut out the world—it will come in
at every chink and crevice!
This wretched world
will intrude itself into our every thought and

I don't know how it may be with you, but I have no
more power to keep out the workings of sin in my
heart—than I have power by holding up my hand to
stop the rain from coming down to the earth! Sin will
come in at every crack and crevice
, and manifest
itself in the wretched workings of an evil heart!

The seeds of every crime are in our nature—and
therefore, could your flesh have its full swing—there
would not be a viler wretch in London than you!

At last to cheat the devil!

(J. C. Philpot, "Not Our Own—Bought with a Price")

If God is not your master—the devil will be.

If grace does not rule—sin will reign.

If Christ is not your all in all—the world will be.

It is not as though we could roam abroad in total
liberty. We must have a master of one kind, or another.

And which is best?

A bounteous, benevolent Benefactor,
a merciful, loving, and tender Parent,
a kind, forgiving Father and Friend,
a tender-hearted, compassionate Redeemer?


A cruel devil,
a miserable world,
a wicked, vile, abominable heart?

Which is better?

To live under the sweet constraints of the
dying love of a dear Redeemer—under . . .
  gospel influences,
  gospel principles,
  gospel promises, and
  gospel encouragements?


To walk in imagined liberty, with sin in our heart,
exercising dominion and mastery there—and binding
us in iron chains to the judgment of the great day?

Even taking the present life—there is more real pleasure,
satisfaction, and solid happiness in half an hour with God,
in sweet union and communion with the Lord of life and
glory, in reading His word with a believing heart, in finding
access to His sacred presence, in knowing something of the
droppings in of His favor and mercy—than in . . .
  all the delights of sin,
  all the lusts of the flesh,
  all the pride of life, and
  all the amusements that the world has ever devised
to kill time and cheat self—thinking, by a death-bed
repentance—at last to cheat the devil!

This is what the Lord says

(Philpot, "The Blessedness of Trusting in the Lord" 1869)

This is what the Lord says—"Cursed is the one who
trusts in man
, who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the Lord." Jer. 17:5

The Lord here does not lay down a man's moral
or immoral character as a test of salvation.
He does not say, "Cursed is . . .
  the thief,
  the adulterer,
  the extortioner,
  the murderer,
  the man that lives in open profanity."

He puts all that aside, and fixes His eye and lays
His hand upon one mark—which may exist with the
greatest morality and with the highest profession
of religion.

"I will tell you," the Lord says, "who are under My
curse—the person who trusts in man—who depends
on flesh for his strength—and in so doing, his heart
turns away from Me."

This is what the Lord says—"Cursed is the one who
trusts in man
, who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the Lord." Jer. 17:5