Grace Gems for JULY 2006

He hides the hook!

(Brooks "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices")

"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we
 are not ignorant of his devices." 2 Corinthians 2:11

Satan has his several devices to deceive, entangle,
and undo the souls of men. Satan has . . .
  snares for the wise, and snares for the simple;
  snares for hypocrites, and snares for the upright;
  snares for brave, and snares for the timorous;
  snares for the rich, and snares for the poor;
  snares for the aged, and snares for youth.
Happy are those souls which are not captured
and held in the snares that he has laid!

Satan's first device to draw the soul into sin is,
  to present the bait—and hide the hook;
  to present the golden cup—and hide the poison;
  to present the sweet, the pleasure, and the profit
that may flow in upon the soul by yielding to sin—
and to hide from the soul the wrath and misery
that will certainly follow the committing of sin!

By this device he deceived our first parents, "And the
serpent said unto the woman, You shall not surely die
—for God knows, that in the day you eat thereof, then
your eyes shall be opened; and you shall be as gods."
Your eyes shall he opened, and you shall be as gods!
Here is the bait, the sweet, the pleasure, the profit.
Oh—but he hides the hook—the shame, the wrath,
and the loss that would certainly follow! So Satan
cheats them—giving them an apple in exchange for
a paradise!

Satan with ease pawns falsehoods upon us, by his
golden baits
, and then he leads us and leaves us
in a fool's paradise. He promises the soul honor,
pleasure, profit—but pays the soul with the greatest
contempt, shame, and loss that can be!

Alas! Many have fallen forever by this vile strumpet,
the world, who, by showing forth her two fair breasts
of PROFIT and PLEASURE, has wounded their souls,
and cast them down into utter perdition! She has,
by the glistening of her pomp and preferment,
slain millions!

There goes John Bradford!

(William Plumer, "Sinners Saved by Unmerited Kindness")

When others sin, godly men see what they themselves
were before conversion; or what they would have been—
but for the restraints of God's grace.

Bradford, an eminent servant of Christ, seeing a criminal
led to execution said, "There goes John Bradford—but
for the grace of God!"

The pouring forth of all His wrath

(Brooks "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices")

"I will sing of Your love and justice." Psalm 101:1

Mercy is God's Alpha—justice is His Omega.

When God's mercy is despised—then His justice takes
the throne!

God is like a prince, who first hangs out the white flag
of mercy; if this wins men—they are happy forever! But
if they remain rebellious, then God will put forth His red
of justice and judgment.

If His mercy is despised—His justice shall be felt!

God is as just—as He is merciful. As the Scriptures
portray Him to be a very merciful God—so they
portray Him to be a very just God.

Witness His casting the angels out of heaven and
His binding them in chains of darkness until the
judgment of the great day.

Witness His turning Adam out of Paradise.

Witness His drowning of the old world.

Witness His raining hell out of heaven upon Sodom.

Witness all the troubles, losses, sicknesses,
and diseases, which are in the world.

Witness His treasuring up of wrath against
the day of wrath.

But above all, witness the pouring forth of all His
upon His bosom Son, when Jesus bore the
sins of His people, and cried out, "My God, My God,
why have You forsaken Me?"

As I know not the man who can reckon up his mercies;
so I know not the man who can sum up the miseries
which are coming upon him for his sins.

God is slow to anger—but He recompenses His slowness
with grievousness of punishment. If we abuse His mercy
to serve our lust—then He will rain hell out of heaven,
rather than not visit for such sins.

Men shall be deeper in hell, because heaven was offered
unto them—and they abused God's mercy. Sins against
God's mercy, will bring upon the soul the greatest misery!

A soul given up to sin

(Brooks "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices")

It is the greatest judgment in the world to be left to sin.
O unhappy man—when God leaves you to yourself, and
does not resist you in your sins! Woe, woe to him at
whose sins God winks at. When God lets the way to hell
be a smooth and pleasant way—that is hell on this side
hell, and a dreadful sign of God's indignation against
a man; a token of his rejection, and that God does not
intend good unto him.

That is a sad word, "Ephraim is joined to idols—let him
" (Hosea 4:17) Ephraim will be unteachable and
incorrigible; he has made a match with sin—and he shall
have his bellyful of it!

And that is a terrible saying, "So I gave them up unto
their own hearts' lusts, and they walked in their own
counsels." (Psalm 81:12). A soul given up to sin is
a soul ripe for hell—a soul hastening to destruction!

Ah Lord! this mercy I humbly beg—that whatever You
give me up to, You will not give me up to the ways of
my own heart! If You will give me up to be afflicted,
or tempted, or reproached—I will patiently sit down,
and say, It is the Lord, let Him do with me what seems
good in His own eyes. Do anything with me, lay what
burden You will upon me—but do not give me up to
the ways of my own heart!

Augustine says, "Deliver me, O Lord, from that evil

It is but a little sin!

(Brooks "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices")

"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we
 are not ignorant of his devices." 2 Corinthians 2:11

"Ah!" says Satan, "It is but a little sin—a little pride,
a little worldliness, a little lust, etc. You may commit it
without any danger to your soul. It is but a little one;
you may commit it, and yet your soul shall live."

Consider, that there is great danger, yes, many times
most danger—in the smallest sins. "A little leaven leavens
the whole lump" (1 Cor. 5:6). If the serpent sneaks in his
head—he will draw in his whole body after him. Greater
sins do sooner startle the soul, and awaken and rouse
up the soul to repentance, than lesser sins do. Little sins
often slide into the soul, and breed, and work secretly and
indiscernibly in the soul, until they come to be so strong, as
to trample upon the soul, and to cut the throat of the soul.

Many are eternally killed and betrayed by the 'little sins',
as they call them, that are nourished in their own bosoms.

A little hole in the ship, sinks it.

A small breach in a dyke, carries away all before it.

A little stab at the heart, kills a man.

A little sin, without a great deal of mercy, will damn a man!

Sweet poisons!

(Brooks "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices")

"I will give You all these things—if You will fall down and
 worship me." Matthew 4:9

Satan presents the world in such a dress, and in such a garb,
as to ensnare the soul, and to win the affection of the soul.
He represents the world to them in its beauty and finery, which
proves a bewitching sight to carnal men. Satan can no sooner
cast out his golden bait—but we are ready to play with it,
and to nibble at it!
He can no sooner throw out his golden
ball—but men are apt to run after it—though they lose God
and their souls in the pursuit!

Ah! the time, the thoughts, the hearts, the souls—which the
inordinate love of this wicked world eats up and destroys!
Where one thousand are destroyed by the world's frowns
—ten thousand are destroyed by the world's smiles!

The world, siren-like, sings to us—then sinks us!

It kisses us—then betrays us, like Judas!

It kisses us—then stabs us under the rib, like Joab.

The honors, splendor, and all the glory of this world, are but
sweet poisons, which will much endanger us, if they do not
eternally destroy us. Ah! the multitude of souls that have
glutted on these sweet baits, and died forever! Such men
will sell Christ, heaven, and their souls for a trifle! "How long
will you love what is worthless and pursue a lie?" Psalm 4:2

Ah, how many thousands are there now on earth, who have
found this true by experience; who have spun a lovely rope
to strangle themselves, both temporally and eternally, by
being bewitched by the beauty and finery of this world!

The main reason why men dote upon the world, and damn
their souls to get the world, is, because they are not acquainted
with a greater glory! Men ate acorns, until they were acquainted
with the use of wheat. Ah, did men but taste more of heaven,
and live more in heaven, and had more glorious hopes of going
to heaven, ah, how easily would they trample the world under
their feet!

"You joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because
 you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions."
     Hebrews 10:34

Let heaven be a man's object, and earth will soon be his abject.
Assurance of more great and glorious things, breed in the soul a
holy scorn and contempt
of all these poor, base worldly things
—which the soul before valued above God, Christ and heaven.

A sea of blood, wrath, sin, sorrow, misery

(Brooks "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices")

Ah, what a sea of blood, of wrath, of sin, of sorrow
and misery—did the Lord Jesus wade through for your
eternal good! Christ did not plead, "This cross is too
heavy for Me to bear; this wrath is too great for Me to
lie under; this cup of suffering, which has in it all the
ingredients of divine wrath, is too bitter for Me to sip
of—how much more to drink the very dregs of it!" No!
Christ does not plead the difficulty of the service—but
resolutely and bravely wades through all! "I gave My
back to those who beat Me, and My cheeks to those
who tore out My beard. I did not hide My face from
scorn and spitting." Isaiah 50:6. Christ bears . . .
  His Father's wrath,
  the punishment of your sins,
  the malice of Satan,
  the rage of the world,
and sweetly and triumphantly passes through all.

Christ has freed you from . . .
  all your enemies,
  the curse of the law,
  the damnatory power of sin,
  the wrath of God,
  the sting of death,
  the torments of hell.

"Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us
 purify ourselves from everything that contaminates
 body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence
 for God."
2 Corinthians 7:1

Sheep or swine?

(Brooks "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices")

It is possible for Christians to fall into the same sins of
which they have formerly repented—by the secret, subtle,
and strong workings of sin in their hearts. And no wonder,
for though their repentance is ever so sincere and sound
—yet their graces are but weak, and their mortification
of sin is imperfect in this life. Though by grace they are
freed from the dominion of sin, and from the damnatory
power of every sin, and from the love of all sin; yet grace
does not free them from the indwelling of any one sin.
Therefore it is possible for a Christian to fall again and
again into the same sin.

God will graciously pardon those sins to His people,
which He will not in this life totally subdue in His people.

I have never seen a promise in Scripture, which says that
when our sorrow and grief has been so great, or so much,
for this or that sin—that God will then preserve us from
ever falling into the same sin. The sight of such a promise
would be as life from the dead to many a precious soul,
who desires nothing more than to keep close to Christ,
and fears nothing more than backsliding from Christ.

Yet, there is a great difference between a sheep which by
weakness falls into the mire—and a swine which delights
to wallow in the mire! There is a great difference between
a woman who is raped, though she fights and cries out—
and an alluring adulteress!

Hell's greatest enrichers!

(Brooks "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices")

"The prophets who lead my people astray." Micah 3:5

Satan labors by false teachers, who are his emissaries
to deceive, delude, and forever undo the precious souls
of men! They seduce them, and carry them out of the
right way into by-paths and blind thickets of error and
wickedness—where they are lost forever!

As strumpets paint their faces, and deck and perfume
their beds, the better to allure and deceive simple souls;
so false teachers will put a great deal of paint and garnish
upon their most dangerous principles and blasphemies, that
they may the better deceive and delude poor ignorant souls.
They know sugared-poison goes down sweetly. They wrap
up their pernicious, soul-killing pills in gold! "Peace, peace!
they say, when there is no peace." Jeremiah 6:14

"Beware of false prophets, for they come to you in sheep's
clothing—but inwardly they are ravening wolves!" These
lick and suck the blood of souls! These kiss and kill! They
cry, 'Peace, peace!' until souls fall into everlasting flames!

False teachers handle holy things with wit and trifling, rather
than with fear and reverence. They are soul-murderers! They
are like evil surgeons, who skin over the wound—but never
heal it. False teachers are hell's greatest enrichers! Such
smooth teachers are sweet soul-poisoners! This age is full of
such teachers—such monsters!

They eye your goods more than your good; and mind
more the serving of themselves—than the saving of your
souls. So they may have your substance—they care not
though Satan has your souls! That they may the better
pick your purse—they will hold forth such principles as
are very indulgent to the flesh.

These are Satan's great benefactors, and such as divine
justice will hang up in hell as the greatest malefactors!

Names which the Holy Spirit has given them

(Brooks "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices")

Always look upon wicked men, under those names and
notions which the Scripture describes them, such as:
  lions for their fierceness,
  bears for their cruelty,
  dragons for their hideousness,
  dogs for their filthiness,
  wolves for their subtleness,

You may know well enough what is within them, by the
apt names which the Holy Spirit has given them.
By looking upon them under those names and notions
that the Scripture sets them out by, may preserve the
soul from frequenting their company and delighting in
their society. Such monsters are wicked men—which
should render their company to all who have tasted of
the sweetness of divine love, a burden and not a delight.

"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel
 of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in
 the seat of mockers." Psalm 1:1 

All must fall

(Letters of J. C. Philpot)

I feel so many evils daily, and sometimes hourly,
working in my heart, and see so many traps and
snares laid for my feet in every direction, that my
wonder is
, not that any fall—but that any stand!

No, I am confident that all must fall were it not
for everlasting love and almighty power, "kept by
the power of God through faith unto salvation!"

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

To wean you from a poor, unsatisfying world

(Octavius Winslow, "The Divine Attributes Entwining
 Around the Tempted and Trembling Believer")

Reader, are you a child of sorrow?

Jesus is with His people at all times, in all places,
and under all circumstances. Consoling thought!

He is "God with us." He is with us . . .
  to comfort us in the hour of sorrow,
  to enlighten us in the hour of darkness,
  to guide us in the hour of doubt and perplexity,
  to deliver us in the time of conflict,
  to support us in the hour of death.

O for faith to realize this!

He was with His three faithful servants in the fiery furnace.
He was with Daniel in the lions' den.
He was with Jacob in his wrestlings at Bethel.
He was with John in his exile at Patmos.

Jesus is, at all times, in all places, and under
all circumstances—with His dear people.

Perhaps you are a son or a daughter of affliction.
You may now be passing through the furnace;
you may now be draining adversity's bitter cup;
the rod of the covenant may be heavy upon you:
  friends unkind,
  the world empty,
  every thing earthly failing,
  faith weak,
  corruptions strong.

Is it so?

Still is your omnipresent Jesus with you!

Do not be cast down! This furnace is but to consume
the tin and burnish the gold; this cup of suffering is but
to work your inward good; these painful dispensations,
by which you are learning the changeableness of every
thing earthly, are but to wean you from a poor,
unsatisfying world—and to draw you near and yet
nearer to Jesus.

Then be of good cheer, for He has promised never
to leave or forsake you. So that you may boldly say,
"The Lord is my helper!"

Your beauty, strength, and fine attire

(Ebenezer Erskine, "The groans of believers under their burdens")

Their great concern of the worldling is about this clay tabernacle—
how to gratify it, how to beautify and adorn it. Their language is,
"Who will show us any good? What shall we eat? What shall we
drink? How shall we be clothed?" But they have no thought or
concern about the immortal soul which inhabits the body, which
must be happy or miserable forever. O, sirs! Remember, that
whatever care you take about this clay tabernacle, it will drop
down to dust before long, and the abhorrent grave will be its
habitation, where worms and corruption will prey upon the
fairest face and purest complexion. Where will be your beauty,
strength, and fine attire
, when the curtains of the grave are
drawn about you?

The devil's logic

(Brooks "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices")

"Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?"
    Romans 6:1

To argue from God's mercy to sinful liberty—is the devil's
—and such logicians do ever walk as upon a mine of
gunpowder ready to be blown up! No such soul can ever
avert or avoid the wrath of God. This is wickedness at the
height—for a man to be very bad, because God is very good!
There is not a worse spirit than this in hell. Ah, Lord, does
not wrath, yes, the greatest wrath—lie at this man's door?
Are not the strongest chains of darkness prepared for such
a soul? To sin against mercy is bestial; no, it is worse!

To render good for evil is divine.

To render good for good is human.

To render evil for evil is brutish.

But to render evil for good is devilish!

There is nothing in the world that renders a man more
unlike a Christian, and more like Satan—than to argue
from God's mercy to sinful liberty; from divine goodness
to licentiousness. This is devilish logic, and in whomever
you find it, you may write, 'This soul is lost!'

A man may as truly say, 'the sea burns', or 'the fire cools'
—as that God's free grace and mercy should make a truly
gracious soul to live wickedly.

"Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
 God forbid! How shall we who are dead to sin, live
 any longer therein?" Romans 6:1, 2

All hang dependent on His powerful providence!

(William S. Plumer, "The Rock of Our Salvation" 1867)

"He holds all creation together." Col. 1:17

"He sustains the universe by the mighty power of His
 command!" Hebrews 1:3

Jesus Christ upholds, preserves, and governs the worlds
which He has made!

Thus all creatures, from the smallest insect which is seen
by the microscope; up to the archangel which worships
before the eternal throne; all events, from the falling of
a hair of the head to the destruction of nations by famine,
pestilence, and war; all rule and authority, from that of a
petty official, to that of thrones and principalities in heaven;
the material universe, from the least particle which floats
in the sunbeam to the grandest system of worlds which roll
in immensity—all hang dependent on His powerful
And if one link in the chain of that dependence
were broken, they would all rush headlong to destruction!

Jesus always has governed this world; and He shall ever hold
the scepter over it, until His last foe shall is vanquished, and
His last hidden one made victorious!

Kissing each other!

(William S. Plumer, "The Rock of Our Salvation" 1867)

"You see, at just the right time, when we were still
 powerless, Christ died for the ungodly." Romans 5:6

We are justly condemned. The single sin of not loving
God with all our heart, and mind, and soul, and strength
—is enough to blot out every hope of heaven. Our sins
have risen up like the mountains between us and God.
They are more than the hairs of our heads. We have
sinned against God. We are all wrong; we are wholly
wrong; we are terribly wrong. Our iniquities have
separated us and God. He is righteous—we are unjust.
He is holy—we are vile. He can do without us—without
Him we are undone.

Salvation by Jesus, is very humbling to man—the sinner,
the wrong-doer. It says to him, "You are unworthy and
unfit to come into the presence of God. You can neither
justify nor excuse your wicked conduct. You are rejected
by God. He utterly abhors all your works, all your pleas,
all your merits. You are condemned. You are vile!"

Salvation by Jesus, marks sin as very evil—deserving
all the woes and wrath denounced against it.

A God all mercy—is a God unjust.

A God all justice—could not forgive a sinner.

In the cross, we see infinite mercy and
inflexible justice
kissing each other!

Christ crucified has been the salvation of millions,
many of whom were sunk in almost unparalleled
guilt, and shame, and ignorance, and misery!

God has filled the heavens and the earth; the sea and
the dry land with wonders; but above all His other works,
the plan of salvation by Jesus Christ is God's monument,
displaying His infinite skill and wisdom!

Spirit-taught, Spirit-led, Spirit-fed

(Gleanings from the Inner Life of Ruth Bryan)

I want to be Spirit-taught, Spirit-led, Spirit-fed.

"For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children
 of God." Romans 8:14

"When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you
 into all the truth." John 16:13

The Lord reigns!

(William S. Plumer, "The Rock of Our Salvation" 1867)

"The Lord reigns! He is robed in majesty!" Psalm 93:1

"The Lord reigns! Let the nations tremble!" Psalm 99:1

Jesus Christ is—
  Prince and Savior,
  the great Prince,
  the Prince of Life,
  the Prince of Peace,
  the Prince of princes,
  the Prince of the kings of the earth,
  a King,
  the King,
  the King of kings and Lord of lords!

He is God over all, blessed forever!

Christ's kingdom is universal. It includes all worlds,
all creatures, all causes. Nothing in heaven, nothing
in earth—is outside of it. His saints praise Him. The
angels adore Him. The devils are subject to Him. The
king's heart is in His hands, and He turns it wherever
He will. His kingdom rules over all.

His kingdom is supreme. Nothing can shake it. Worms
cannot spit their venom so as to reach the stars in their
course. Nor can puny mortals reach the person or the
power of our glorious Immanuel.

Christ's kingdom is omnipotent. By His own divine
efficiency He carries on His government. He upholds
all things by His powerful word. He does His will in
heaven and in earth. Not an empire rises or sinks,
but by His will. Not a sparrow falls to the ground,
without His notice. Every change on earth is by His
providence. He gives no account of any of His matters.

His work on His people is mighty.
He subdues them to Himself.
He reigns as their Lord and Master.
He chains their great adversary.
He subdues their iniquities.
He strips the world of its fatal fascinations.
He makes them willing in the day of His power.
He leads them into all necessary truth. 

"Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns!"
    Revelation 19:6

Our worst enemies!

(Charles Spurgeon)

Beware of no man more than yourself!

We carry our worst enemies within us!

"The human heart is most deceitful and
 desperately wicked." Jeremiah 17:9

"Deliver me, O Lord, from that evil man
  —myself!" Augustine

Click to see a biblical portrait of your heart!

A melting consideration


"Christ died for the ungodly." Romans 5:6

O what a melting consideration is this, that . . .
  out of Christ's agony—comes our victory;
  out of His condemnation—comes our justification;
  out of His pain—comes our ease;
  out of His stripes—comes our healing;
  out of His gall and vinegar—comes our honey;
  out of His curse—comes our blessing;
  out of His crown of thorns—comes our crown of glory;
  out of His death—comes our life!

"Hearts must be harder than the rocks—if the love
 and death of Christ do not move them!" (Plumer)

Splendid sins!

(William S. Plumer, "Sinners Saved by Unmerited Kindness")

Two things are required to make an action right. One is that
it be lawful in itself. The other is that it be done with a right
motive. If the thing done is itself wrong, no motives can make
it right. On the other hand, the thing done may be right in
itself, but the motive which governs us may be wrong, and
so the act may be sinful because the motive is sinful. Bad
motives in good actions are like dead flies in sweet ointments.
They corrupt the whole. The motive of the heart is everything!

Most unbelievers do many things which are very proper,
but not out of love to God. The unregenerate man never
does anything with holy motives. His life is better than his
heart. Indeed his heart is the worst part of him! It is all
wrong. It is hard, and proud, and selfish, and unbelieving,
and without any love to God. So far from pleasing God, all
the unregenerate are continually offending him. Their very
best works are but splendid sins!
They do some things
which God requires, and abstain from some things which God
forbids—not because they love God or His law, but because it
promotes their health, or wealth, or honor to do so.

Ploughing is itself a lawful act. If there is no ploughing,
there can be no bread. Yet God says: "The ploughing of
the wicked is sin!" Yes, he puts it down with other sins
which greatly offend him. The whole verse reads thus:
"A high look, and a proud heart, and the ploughing of
the wicked—is sin." Proverbs 21:4. If God had intended
to teach that everything done by wicked men—even the
most common and necessary thing was sinful—could He
have chosen more fit words?

Here is a passage which shows that all the religious services
of the unconverted, are defiled with sin. "The sacrifice of the
wicked is an abomination to the Lord." Proverbs 15:8.

God's abhorrence of sin

(William Plumer, "Sinners Saved by Unmerited Kindness")

God's abhorrence of sin is more clearly expressed in
the cross of Christ, than in the flames of hell.

When God pardons

(William S. Plumer, "Sinners Saved by Unmerited Kindness")

One unpardoned sin would destroy a soul forever.

Many words in Scripture point towards forgiveness, such as:
  peace with God,
  not imputing iniquity,
  taking away sin,
  bearing sin,
  making an end of transgression,
  covering sin,
  forgetting sin,
  not remembering iniquity,
  washing, cleansing and removing sin,
  casting it into the sea, or behind the back,
  scattering it like a cloud,
  burying it,
  blotting it out,
  pardoning it.

The forgiveness of sins is free. It is "without money and
without price." We can do nothing to merit it, or prepare
ourselves for it. When God pardons, He pardons:
  all sins,
  original sin and actual sin,
  sins of omission and of commission,
  secret and open sins,
  sins of thought, word and deed.

To those who believe in Jesus, all is freely forgiven.
Full pardon, or none at all, is what God gives. Nor is
this gift ever revoked by God. When He forgives, He
forgives forever!

"Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven,
 whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin
 the Lord does not count against him." Psalm 32:1-2

Wonderful mystery!

(William Plumer, "Sinners Saved by Unmerited Kindness")

Wonderful mystery! God was manifest in the flesh!

Our Lord Jesus Christ became incarnate, lived, acted,
obeyed, suffered, died and rose again—for His people.

He came down to earth—that they might go up to heaven.

He suffered—that they might reign.

He became a servant—that they might become kings
and priests unto God.

He died—that they might live.

He bore the cross—that their enmity might be slain,
and their sins expiated.

He loved them—that they might love God.

He was rich and became poor—that they, who
were poor, might be made rich.

He descended into the grave—that they might
sit in heavenly places.

He emptied Himself—that they might be filled
with all the fullness of God.

He took upon Him human nature—that they
might be partakers of the divine nature.

He made Himself of no reputation—that they might
wear His new name, and obtain eternal excellency.

He became a worm, and no man—that they, who were
sinful worms, might be made equal to the angels.

He bore the curse of a broken covenant—that they
might partake of all the blessings of the everlasting
covenant, ordered in all things and sure.

Though heir of all things, He was willingly despised
of the people—that they, who were justly condemned,
might obtain an inheritance which is incorruptible,
undefiled, and which fades not away.

His death was a satisfaction to divine justice, a ransom
for many, a propitiation for sin, a sweet smelling savor
to God—that we, who were an offence to God, might
become His sons and daughters.

He was made sin for His people—that they might be
made the righteousness of God in Him.

Though Lord of all, He took the form of a servant—that
they, who were the servants of sin, might prevail like
princes with God.

He had no where to lay His head—that they who otherwise
must have lain down in eternal sorrow, might reach the
mansions in His Father's house.

He drank the cup of God's indignation—that they
might forever drink of the river of his pleasures.

He hungered—that they might eat the bread of life.

He thirsted—that they might drink the water of life.

He was numbered with the transgressors—that they might
stand among the justified, and be counted among His jewels.

Though He existed from everlasting, from the beginning,
before ever the earth was, yet He became a helpless infant
—that creatures of yesterday, sentenced to death, might
live forever.

He wore a crown of thorns—that all who love His
appearing, might wear a crown of life.

He wept tears of anguish—that His elect might
weep tears of godly repentance.

He bore the yoke of obedience unto death—that
they might find His yoke easy and His burden light.

He poured out his soul unto death, lay three days in
the heart of the earth, then burst the bars of death,
and arose to God—that they, who through fear of
death were all their lifetime subject to bondage,
might obtain the victory over the grave and become
partakers of His resurrection.

He exhausted the penalty of the law—that His redeemed
might have access to His inexhaustible treasures of mercy,
wisdom, faithfulness, truth and grace.

He was matchless in grace—that they might be matchless
in gratitude.

Though a Son, He became a voluntary exile—that they, who had
wickedly wandered afar off, might be brought near by His blood.

His visage was so marred more than any man—that His
ransomed ones might be presented before God without
spot, or blemish, or wrinkle, or any such thing.

For a time He was forsaken of his Father—that they, whom
He bought with His blood, might behold the light of God's
countenance forever.

He came and dwelt with them—that they might be forever
with the Lord.

He was hung up naked before His insulting foes—that all
who believe on His name, might wear a glorious wedding
garment—a spotless righteousness.

Wonderful mystery! God was manifest in the flesh!
Blessed is he who loves the incarnate mystery, and
rests upon it. It is a mystery . . .
  of love,
  of truth,
  of grace,
  of wisdom,
  of condescension,
  of power,
  of salvation!
It is the great study of the inhabitants of heaven,
and shall be while immortality endures!

He died for His patients!

(William S. Plumer, "The Rock of Our Salvation" 1867)

"The whole head is hurt, and the whole heart is sick. You are sick from head to foot—covered with bruises, welts, and infected wounds!" Isaiah 1:5-6

Often in Scripture, sin is spoken of as a disease, a sickness, a hurt.

Christ, as the great Physician, has the only sovereign balm.

Sin is a dreadful disease! Yes, it is the very worst disease! It was the first, and so is the oldest malady. It infected man very soon after his creation. For six thousand years sin has committed its ravages and been gaining inveteracy. No other disease is so old.

Sin is also a universal disease! Other maladies have slain their thousands; but sin has slain its millions! The whole world is a graveyard, full of death and corruption. No person ever lived without sin. As soon as we begin to live, we begin to transgress.

Not only is every man sick, but our whole nature is diseased!
Our understanding is darkened.
Our memory is polluted.
The thoughts of our heart are only evil continually.
Our throats are open graves.
Our tongues practice deceit.
The poison of vipers is on our lips.
Our mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.
Our feet are swift to shed blood.
Ruin and misery mark our ways, and the way of peace we do not know.
Our eyes behold vanity.
Our hands are full of bribes and of blood.
Our heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.
We love darkness rather than light.

We are utterly diseased with sin!

Sin makes men spiritually blind, and deaf, and dumb, and lame, and lethargic. Sin is a terrible compilation of diseases. It is a rottenness in the bones. It is a maddening fever, a wasting consumption, a paralysis of all the powers. Human nature is wholly corrupt!

Sin is a perpetual disease. It rages day and night; on the sea and on the land; in the house of mirth and in the house of God.

Sin is a hereditary disease. We are conceived in sin and brought forth in iniquity.

Sin is also contagious. Sinners are enticers, seducers, corrupters.

Sin is also the most deceitful and flattering disease. One of its strong delusions is, "You shall not die!" See the throng of ungodly people marching to perdition—the slaves of Satan, the servants of corruption, the enemies of God! Their mirth would make one think them to be the happiest of people—and not, as they really are—condemned criminals, on their way to the eternal prison-house of inflexible justice! Sin has its delusive dreams. The worse a man is, the better he thinks himself to be.

Sin is the worst disease, because it is the parent of all other diseases. But for sin, we would never have seen a human being in pain, or sicken, or die. Suffering and agony have one parent—sin!

Other diseases are calamities—but sin is a wickedness! Sin is not a misfortune—sin is a crime! It is a wicked thing to be a sinner. Transgression brings guilt. God is angry with the wicked every day. The more sinful anyone is—the more is God displeased with him.

Sin is the most loathsome of all diseases. Pride is the worst kind of malady. No heart is so vile as a hard heart. No vileness compares with an evil heart of unbelief. No sight is so appalling as a sight of vile affections. Sin is horrible and abominable to God!

Sin is also the most dolorous disease. They multiply their sorrows—who hasten after transgression. The most bitter cries that ever were heard—were extorted by sin. 

Other diseases do but kill the body—but sin kills soul and body in hell forever! Sin will rage more violently beyond the tomb than on earth. It will be followed by eternal regrets and reproaches, eternal weeping and wailing, eternal wrath and anguish!

Sin cannot be cured by any means of human devising. All reformations can never cure the heart. "I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess," said the Pharisee—while spiritual wickedness reigned within. We may weep and lament over our sins—but that will neither dethrone sin nor atone for it! Our tears are nothing; our works are nothing; all our righteous deeds are as filthy rags; they are of no avail.
The only remedy for sin is found only in Jesus! He is the Physician of souls. None but He can cure a sin-sick soul. He makes no charge for all His cures! He died for His patients! His blood cleanses from all sin. With His stripes we are healed. Christ's death atones. By His sufferings we have remission of sin. In all cases where it is applied, the gospel remedy is sovereign and effectual. It availed for the dying thief, for the bloody Saul of Tarsus, for the cruel jailor, and for millions and millions who once esteemed themselves as vile, and as worthy of everlasting death!

And now, poor, sin-sick, dying soul—flee to this Physician, submit your case to Him, and seek for the healing remedy! If you stay away, you must die! "The wages of sin is death."

"The blood of Jesus cleanses us from every sin!" 1 John 1:7

Your sins, and errors, and follies

(William S. Plumer, "The Rock of Our Salvation" 1867)

Jesus knows your sins, and errors, and follies—but
He still loves you tenderly! Your weakness affords Him
a welcome opportunity to show pity. There are heights,
and depths, and lengths, and breadths of mercy in Christ
beyond all human necessities, miseries, and sins!
He has helped myriads to glory—who were as weak, as
unworthy, as desponding as any of us! His mercies are . . .

Some humble child of God may say, "I have made but
poor progress
. I have sore troubles, "fears within, and
fightings without." Let such remember, that whatever
makes us humble is good for us. Humility is the most
lovely of graces.
Without it, there is no real progress
heavenward. It is a precious token of God's regard to
us, that He so deals with us, as to . . .
  destroy our carnal security,
  mortify our pride,
  make us loathe and abhor ourselves,
and yet gives us a relish for spiritual enjoyments,
and leads us to seek them above all other things.

He is a growing Christian, to whom Christ is more and
more precious. As our estimate of Christ rises—our
estimate of ourselves necessarily becomes lower. To
believers, Christ is everything. He is all their salvation.

If we are guilty, He has atoned.

If we are vile, He is worthy.

If we are nothing, He is all in all.

To be in Christ is heaven begun! To be with
Christ and like Christ is heaven completed!

He . . .
  to whom Christ is precious,
  to whom the word of God is sweeter than honey,
  to whom sin is odious,
  to whom secret devotion is a delight,
  who strives to honor his Master in his life,
  who regards the world as a broken idol
—has passed from death unto life.

These saving lessons

(A Puritan Prayer)

In Jesus . . .
  my debt is paid,
  my sins are forgiven,
  my soul is saved,
  hell is vanquished,
  heaven is opened,
  eternity is made mine!

O Holy Spirit, deepen in me these
saving lessons
. Write them upon
my heart, that my walk be . . .

Your gracious keeping

(John MacDuff, "The Gates of Prayer")

Anew I commend myself to Your gracious keeping this day.
Guide me by Your counsel—guard me from temptation—lead
me in the everlasting way. May every unloving thought—every
unworthy aim and aspiration—give place to what is pure and
unselfish and kind. May every idol that would usurp Your place
be overthrown. May no corrupt thought pollute my heart—no
unworthy utterance defile my tongue—no unholy action stain
my life. Preserve me from the world's insinuating, seductive
power—and from the treachery and deceitfulness of my own
evil heart.

Whatever is my dominant sin—
  ease or pleasure;
  pride or passion;
  covetousness or ambition;
enable me by the promised help of Your Spirit,
to subdue it—nailing it to the Redeemer's cross.

Defend me from every snare and danger
which may beset my path. Be . . .
  my Shield in prosperity;
  my Refuge in adversity;
  my Comforter in sorrow;
  my Light in darkness;
  my Hope in death;
  my Defender and Vindicator in judgment;
  my Joy and Portion through all eternity!

Fresh supplies of Your grace

(John MacDuff, "The Gates of Prayer")

I know not what difficulties, or trials, or temptations,
may be before me this day. Prepare me whether for
duty or for conflict. Knowing the treachery of the
heart, I desire this morning, and each morning, to
receive fresh supplies of Your grace.

Live among the swine?

(Leighton, "Practical Commentary on 1 Peter")

Shall those who are purged by Christ's blood,
return to live among the swine, and tumble
with them in the mire?


(William S. Plumer, "The Rock of Our Salvation" 1867)

"For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil." Ecclesiastes 12:14

God has appointed a day in the which He will judge the world. Respecting this day several things are noticeable.

All shall be judged.
Saints and sinners,
great and small,
living and dead,
the servant and his master,
the prisoner at the bar and the judge who sat on his trial,
the assassin and the assassinated,
the seducer and his victim,
the invader and the invaded,
the hireling and his oppressor,
the king and his subjects,
the fool and the wise man,
the persecutor and the persecuted,
the apostate,
the hypocrite,
the child of God and the child of the devil,
shall all be there! No one shall be so mighty, and no one shall be so lowly—as to elude the eye or the sentence of Him who shall sit upon the throne of judgment! What a massive multitude will this be—when prophets, apostles, martyrs, confessors, saints of all ages; when sinners, liars, infidels, blasphemers, moralists, and murderers—shall all be there; when the sea and the dry land shall give up their dead; when death and hell shall deliver up the dead who are in them; when all who lived before the flood, all who have lived since the flood, and all who shall have lived to the end of time shall stand before God! This will be the first and the last assembly—in which are found every person whom God ever made.

To God, it is a certain and fixed day. He has appointed it. Acts 17:31. Nothing can hasten it; nothing can retard it. The purpose of God concerning it is fixed, unalterable.

To all creatures, it is an unknown day. "Of that day and hour knows no man; no, not the angels of heaven."

The day of judgment will be THE great day. It will be the greatest day in the annals of the universe! It is the day for which all other days were made. This day is so well known to inspired men, that they call it the day, that day—as preeminent over all others.

It will be the LAST day. After it, time will be no more—time will cease to exist. Duration will no more be measured by seconds, minutes, days, months, years, centuries, cycles; but all will be boundless, shoreless, fathomless, unmeasured eternity!

It will be a day of astounding exposures. Villainy will be covered up no more. Every disguise will be taken away. There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; neither hidden, that shall not be known.

It will be a day of intense excitement. There will be no listless spectators of those scenes. Every faculty of the intellect and of emotion will be aroused to the highest possible exercise. Men may sleep under sermons concerning the judgment, but they will not be dull when they go to judgment!

It will also be a day of final separation. The precious and the vile; the wheat and the tares; the sheep and the goats; saints and sinners—shall no longer mingle together. The separations of this day will be final. The righteous and the wicked shall part that day to meet no more.

It shall be a day of despair to all the unregenerate. Everywhere sinners will be crying to the rocks and the mountains: "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb!" Was ever despair more dreadful than this?

This will be a day full of surprise. Not only will it come unexpectedly, but its awards will fill both saints and sinners with astonishment. So Christ teaches at length in Matthew 25. The wicked will be amazed that they are lost. They will be especially surprised that God sets no value on their self-righteousness. The sons of God will receive more honor than they ever asked or thought of. The sons of Belial will receive more wrath than they ever feared. Christians will marvel why they are saved. Sinners will wonder why they are not saved. Many will be lost—contrary to the opinions formed of them by their neighbors. Many will be lost—contrary to the opinions they had formed of themselves!

"For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil." Ecclesiastes 12:14.The judgment is coming!

The Judge stands at the door!

The time is short!

His names and titles

(William S. Plumer, "The Rock of Our Salvation" 1867)

Jesus Christ is a wonderful, a glorious person. His names and titles are as important as they are significant. Every one of them is as ointment poured forth. His people sit under His shadow with great delight, and His fruit is sweet to their taste. To them He is altogether lovely.

He is their Advocate, the angel of the covenant, the author and finisher of faith. He is as the apple-tree among the trees of the forest; the alpha and the omega.

He is their the Beloved, the Shepherd and Bishop of souls, the bread of life, the righteous Branch, the bridegroom, the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of His person. He is a bundle of myrrh.

To His saints He is and is owned to be Creator, captain, counselor, covenant, cornerstone, a covert from the tempest, and the chief among ten thousand.

He is to them as the Dew, the door into the fold, a days-man, a day-star, a deliverer, a diadem, and the desire of all nations, ranks, and generations of pious men.

In their eyes He is the Elect, Emmanuel, the everlasting Father and eternal life.

He is a Fountain of living waters to thirsty souls, of joy to troubled souls, of life to dying souls. He is the foundation on which His people of all ages safely build their hopes of heaven. He is the father of eternity, the fir-tree under whose shadow the saints rejoice, the first and the last, the first fruits of the greatest harvest ever gathered, the first-born among many brethren and the first-begotten from the dead.

To His chosen He is as the most fine Gold, a guide, a governor, a glorious Lord, God, the true God, God over all blessed for ever.

He is the Head of the church, the health, the hope, the husband, the heritage, the habitation of His people. He is the horn of their salvation.

He rides upon the heavens by His name JAH. He is the Jehovah, the inheritance, Judge and King of His saints. He is their Light, their life, their Lord, their leader, their lawgiver, their atoning lamb, the lily of the valley, the lion of the tribe of Judah.

He is the Man Christ Jesus, the master, the mediator, the messenger of the covenant, the minister of the true sanctuary. He is the mighty God of Isaiah, the Michael of Daniel, the Melchisedek of David and of Paul, the bright and morning star of John, and the Messiah of all the prophets.

He is the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. He is at once the root and the offspring of David.

He is the Peace, the prince, the priest, the prophet, the potentate, the purifier, the propitiation for our sins, the physician of souls, the plant of renown, the power of God unto salvation, the Passover of all saints. He is a polished shaft in the quiver of God.

He is the Rock, the refuge, the ruler, the ransom, the refiner, the Redeemer, the righteousness and the resurrection of all who walk in white. He is the rose of Sharon.

He is the Seed of the woman, the seed of Abraham, the seed of David, the stem of Jesse, the Son of God, the son of man, the shield, the strength, the surety, the Shiloh, the sacrifice, the sanctuary, the salvation, the sanctification, and the sun of righteousness to all believers.

He is the Truth, the treasure, the teacher, the temple, the tree of life, the great testator of His church.

He is the Way, the well of salvation, the Word of God, the wisdom of God, the faithful witness. He is THE WONDERFUL.

His person is one; His natures are two. He is both human and divine, finite and infinite, created and uncreated. He was before Abraham, though not born for ages after that patriarch slept with His fathers. He was dead, and behold He is alive for evermore!

On earth He had no where to lay His head; yet He disposes of all diadems. By Him kings rule and princes decree justice. He has the arm of a God, and the heart of a brother. To Him all tongues shall confess and all knees bow; yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. None loves like Him, none pities like Him, none saves like Him!

It is not surprising that such a person lives and reigns in the hearts of His people. No marvel that the virgins love Him, and the saints praise Him, and the martyrs die for Him, and the confessors are not ashamed of Him, and the sorrowing sigh for Him, and the penitent lie at His cross and pour out their tears before Him, and the humble trust in Him, and the believing lay fast hold of Him and will not let Him go. His frown shakes the frame of universal nature, His smile gives life, His presence converts dungeons into palaces, His blood cleanses from all sin, His righteousness is the white robe of the redeemed.

If men would be safe, or wise, or holy, or happy, or useful, or strong, or victorious—let them look to JESUS! Let them look to none else, let them walk in Him, abide in Him, glory in Him, and count as loss all things besides. You may look at the law until the spirit of bondage overwhelms you with terrors and torments. You may go about to establish your own righteousness until you can boast, and sin, and perish like a Pharisee. You may weep until the fountain of your tears has gone dry, you may have all gifts, understand all mysteries, bestow all your goods to feed the poor, and yield your body to be burned; but all these things will not atone for sin, will do nothing toward regaining the lost favor of God, will not make you fit for the inheritance of the saints in light.

"None but Christ! None but Christ! None but Christ!" has been the cry of the faithful witnesses of all ages when truth has triumphed, when sinners were converted, when saints shouted for joy, when the word of God mightily grew and prevailed.