Grace Gems for MAY 2007

 God's bag and bottle
 (Thomas Brooks, "Paradise Opened" 1675)
 "My transgression is sealed up in a bag,
  and You sew up my iniquity." Job 14:17
 "You keep track of all my sorrows. You have
  collected all my tears in your bottle. You have
  recorded each one in Your book." Psalm 56:8
 God counted all those weary steps which David took
 in passing through those great forests, when he fled
 from Saul. While David was hunted up and down like
 a partridge, and chased out of every bush, and was
 driven from one country to another—God was all
 this while, a-noting down and a-numbering of all
 his sorrows, and a-bottling up all his tears, and
 a-booking down all his sighs!
 Not a single tear of mine is ever lost, but kept safe
 in God's bottle—as so much sweet water.
 God is said in Scripture to have a bag and a bottle:
 a bag for our sins, and a bottle for our tears. And oh
 that we would all labor to fill His bottle with our tears
 of repentance, as we have filled His bag with our sins!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The Land of Cabul

(Brooks, "A Word in Season to Suffering Saints")

"An incorruptible inheritance." 1 Peter 1:4

All earthly inheritances are liable to corruption; they
are true gardens of Adonis—where we can gather
nothing but trivial flowers, surrounded with many
briars, thorns and thistles.

Oh, the hands, the hearts, the thoughts, the lives—
which have been corrupted by earthly inheritances!
Oh, the impure love, the carnal confidence, the vain
boastings, the sensual joys—which have been the
products of earthly inheritances!

If a man's estate lies in money—that may rust, or
thieves may break in and steal it. If a man's estate
lies in cattle—they may die, or fall into the hands of
the Sabeans and Chaldeans. If a man's estate lies
in houses—they may be burnt. Witness the recent
dreadful fire that turned London into a ruinous heap!
If a man's estate lies in lands—a foreign enemy may
invade them and conquer them.

All earthly inheritances are no better than the cities
which Solomon gave to Hiram, which he called Cabul,
that is, 'worthless, good-for-nothing, displeasing, dirty.'

"But when Hiram went from Tyre to see the towns that
 Solomon had given him, he was not pleased with them.
 'What kind of towns are these you have given me, my
 brother?' he asked. And he called them the Land of
, a name they have to this day." 1 Kings 9:12-13

Earthly inheritances do but dirt, daub, and dust people.
It is only the heavenly inheritance which is incorruptible.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

They chained and nailed their god Apollo to a post

(Thomas Brooks, "A Word in Season to Suffering Saints")

"Moses said unto God—If Your presence does not go
 with us, do not send us up from here!" Exodus 33:15

Nothing would satisfy Moses, below the presence of God,
because he knew that it would be better that they should
never move a foot farther—as to go on without God's
favorable presence

God promised that His angel would drive all their
enemies out of the land. "Oh, but if Your presence
does not go with us—do not send us up from here!"

"Yes, but I will bring the necks of all your proud, stout,
strong, and subtle enemies under your feet!" "Oh, but if
Your presence does not go with us—do not send us up
from here!"

"Yes, but I will bring you to a land flowing with milk and
honey. I will make you to suck honey out of the rock, and
oil out of the flinty rock; and you shall drink the finest
wine!" "Oh, but if Your presence does not go with us—do
not send us up from here!"

"Yes, but I will bring you to the paradise of the world—to a
place of pleasure and delight, to Canaan, a type of heaven!"
"Oh, but if Your presence does not go with us—do not send
us up from here! O Lord, if I might have my wish, my desire,
my choice—I had infinitely rather to live in a barren, howling
wilderness with Your presence—than in Canaan without it!
It is a mercy to have an angel to guard us, it is a mercy to
have our enemies sprawling under our feet, it is a mercy to
be brought into a pleasant land. Oh, but if Your presence
does not go with us, do not send us up from here! Lord,
nothing will please us, nothing will profit us, nothing will
secure us, nothing will satisfy us—without Your presence!"

I have read of the Tyrians, that they bound their gods with
chains—that they might secure them, and not be conquered
by their enemies. And among the rest, they chained and
nailed their god Apollo to a post
—that they might be sure
to keep their idol, because they thought their safety was in it.

I am sure of this—that our safety, our comfort, our all—lies
in the special presence of God with us! Therefore let us, by
faith and prayerchain God to our self! If we let Him go,
a thousand worlds cannot make up His absence!

The heathens in Troy imagined that so long as their idol
was kept safe, they were unconquerable; all the strength
and power of Greece would never be able to prevail against
them. Therefore the Grecians sought by all the means they
could—to get this idol from them.

O my friends, so long as you keep the presence of God with
you—I am sure you are unconquerable! But if God withdraws
His special presence—the weakest enemy will be too hard for
you; yes, wounded men will prevail over you!

The burning bush, which was a type of the church, was not
consumed—because God was in the midst of it. Oh, do but
keep God's special presence with you—and nothing shall hurt
you, nothing shall burn you! But if God's special presence
departs—nothing can secure you!

"Moses said unto God—If Your presence does not go
 with us, do not send us up from here!" Exodus 33:15

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

I bequeath my pastor's soul to the devil

(Brooks, "A Word in Season to Suffering Saints")

"Covetousness, which is idolatry." Colossians 3:5

Covetousness is explicit idolatry.

Covetousness is the darling sin of our nation.

This leprosy has infected all sorts and ranks of men.

Covetousness being idolatry, and the root of all evil,
is highly provoking to God.

Whatever a man loves most and best—that is his god.
The covetous man looks upon the riches of the world
as his heaven—his happiness—his great all.
  His heart is most upon the world,
  his thoughts are most upon the world,
  his affections are most upon the world,
  his discourse is most about the world.

He who has his mind taken up with the world, and
chiefly delighted with the world's music—he has also
his tongue tuned to the same key, and takes his joy
and comfort in speaking of nothing else but the world
and worldly things. If the world is in the heart—it will
break out at the lips. A worldly-minded man speaks
of nothing but worldly things. "They are of the world,
therefore they speak of the world," John 4:5. The love
of this world oils the tongue for worldly discourses,
and makes men . . .
  forget God,
  neglect Christ,
  despise holiness,
  forfeit heaven.

Ah! the time, the thoughts, the strength, the efforts,
which are spent upon the world, and the things of the
world; while sinners' souls lie a-bleeding, and eternity
is hastening upon them!

I have read of a greedy banker, who was always best
when he was most in talking of money and the world.
Being near his death, he was much pressed to make
his will. Finally he dictates:

First, I bequeath my own soul to the devil
—for being so greedy for the muck of this world!

Secondly, I bequeath my wife's soul to the devil
—for persuading me to this worldly course of life.

Thirdly, I bequeath my pastor's soul to the devil
—because he did not show me the danger I lived in,
nor reprove me for it.

"People who want to get rich fall into temptation and
 a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that
 plunge men into ruin and destruction." 1 Timothy 6:9

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The presence of a loving God!

(Brooks, "A Word in Season to Suffering Saints")

"You were precious in My sight, and
 I have loved you." Isaiah 43:4

God loves His people with a first love! 1 John 4:19
"We love Him because He first loved us." By nature
we were without God, and afar off from God; we were
strangers to God, and enemies to God, yes, haters
of God! Therefore if God had not loved us first—
we would have been everlastingly undone!

God loves His people with a free love! Hosea 14:4,
"I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely."
I know they are backslidden—but I will heal their
backslidings. I know there is nothing at all in them,
which is excellent or eminent, which is honorable or
acceptable, which is laudable or lovely—yet "I will
love them freely"—of My own, free, rich, absolute,
and sovereign grace!

God loves His people with an everlasting love!
Jer. 31:3, "I have loved you with an everlasting
love; therefore, with loving-kindness have I drawn
you." That is, "I love you with the love of perpetuity,
or with the love of eternity. My love and My affections
to you shall continue forever!"

God loves His people with an unchangeable love!
Mal. 3:6, "I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore
you sons of Jacob are not consumed." Men change,
and counsels change, and occurrences change, and
friends change, and relations change, and kingdoms
change; but God never changes! "He who is the Glory
of Israel does not lie or change His mind; for He is not
a man, that He should change His mind," 1 Sam. 15:29.
God is immutable in His nature, in His essence, in His
counsels, in His attributes, in His decrees, in His
promises, etc. He is Omnina immutabilis, "Altogether

God loves His people . . .
  with a special love,
  with a peculiar love,
  with a distinguishing love,
  with a superlative love!

God loves His people with the greatest love, with
a matchless love! John 3:16, "God so loved."
This signifies . . .
  the greatness of God's love,
  the vehemence of His love, and
  the admirableness of His love.

What an unspeakable comfort must this be to God's
people—to have the presence of a loving God, to have
the presence of such a loving God with them in all their
troubles and deep distresses! If the presence of a loving
friend, a loving relation in our troubles and distresses,
is such a mercy—oh, what then is the presence of a
loving God!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He leaps into a sea of wrath!

(Brooks, "The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures")

Christ went through heaven and hell, life and death,
sorrow and suffering, misery and cruelty—and all to
bring us to glory! And shall we not prize Him?

When in a storm, the nobles of Xerxes had to lighten
the ship to preserve their king's life—they leaped
into the sea! But our Lord Jesus Christ, to preserve
our lives, our souls—He leaps into a sea of wrath!
Oh, whenever we cast an eye upon Christ's sufferings,
let us stand and wonder; yes, let us be swallowed up
in a deep admiration of Christ's love, and of His
Father's impartial justice!

A daily eyeing of the cross of Christ, would . . .
  scatter a Christian's fears,
  arm him against temptations,
  support him under afflictions,
  weaken his sins,
  strengthen his graces,
  cheer his soul, and
  mend his life!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Would he not stab it with a thousand wounds?

(Brooks, "The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures")

Sin never appears so odious, as when we behold it in the
red glass of Christ's sufferings. Can we look upon sin as
the occasion of all Christ's sufferings; can we look upon
sin as that which made Christ a curse, and which made
Him forsaken of His Father, and which made Him live
such a miserable life, and which brought Him to die such
a shameful, painful, and cruel death—and our hearts not
rise against it?

Shall our sins be grievous unto Christ—and shall they
not be odious unto us? Shall He die for our sins—and
shall not we die to our sins? Did not He suffer for sin
—that we might cease from sin?

If one would kill our father—would we hug and embrace
him? Surely not! We would be revenged on him. Sin has
killed our Savior—and shall we not be revenged on it?

Can a man look upon that snake which has stung his
dearly-loved wife to death—and preserve it alive, warm
it at the fire, and hug it in his bosom? Would he not
stab it with a thousand wounds?
It is sin which has
stung our dear Jesus to death, which has crucified our
Lord, clouded His glory, and shed His precious blood!
Oh, how should this stir up our indignation against sin!

Ah, how can a Christian make much of those sins, which
have killed his dearest Lord! how can he cherish those sins
which betrayed Christ, and bound Christ, and condemned
Christ, and scourged Christ, and which violently nailed
Him to the cross, and there murdered Him!

It was neither Judas, nor Pilate, nor the Jews, nor the
soldiers—which could have done our Lord Jesus the
least hurt—had not our sins, like so many butchers
and hangmen, come in to their assistance!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Keep a fixed eye upon a bleeding Christ

(Brooks, "The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures")

Has Jesus Christ suffered such great and grievous things
for you? Oh then, in all your fears, doubts, and conflicts
with enemies—within or without—fly to the sufferings of
Christ as your city of refuge!

In every temptation let us look up to a crucified Christ,
who is fitted and qualified to support tempted souls. Oh
my soul, whenever you are assaulted, let the wounds of
Christ be your city of refuge where you may fly and live!
Let us learn, in every trouble which presses us—whether
it be sin, temptation, or any other evil—to translate it
from ourselves to Christ! And all the good in Christ—let
us learn to translate it from Christ to ourselves!

Do your sins terrify you? Oh then, look up to a crucified
Savior, who bore your sins in His own body on the tree!
When sin stares you in the face, oh then turn your face
to a dying Jesus, and behold Him . . .
  with a spear in His side,
  with thorns in His head,
  with nails in His feet,
  and a pardon in His hands!
Oh, remember that there is nothing in heaven or earth
more efficacious to cure the wounds of conscience, than a
frequent and serious meditation on the wounds of Christ!

Ah, Christians, under all your temptations, afflictions,
fears, doubts, conflicts, and trials—be persuaded to
keep a fixed eye upon a crucified Jesus! And remember
that all He did—He did for you; and that all He suffered
—He suffered for you! This will be a strong cordial to
keep you from fainting under all your distresses. Oh,
that Christians would labor, under all their soul-troubles,
to keep a fixed eye upon a bleeding Christ; for there
is nothing which will ease them, quiet them, settle them,
and satisfy them, like this!

Many, may I not say most, Christians are more apt to
eye their sins, their sorrows, their prayers, their tears,
their resolves, their complaints—than they are to eye
a suffering Christ. And from hence springs their great
woes, wounds, miseries, and dejection of spirit. Oh,
that a crucified Christ might be forever in your eye
—and always upon your hearts!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

How so?

(Thomas Brooks, "Paradise Opened" 1675)

All mankind would have been eternally lost, had
God not, of His own free grace and mercy, made
a covenant of grace with poor sinners.

"They will be My people, and I will be their God."
     Jeremiah 32:38

This is a comprehensive promise, for God to be
our God—it includes all.

The covenant of grace is an agreement, which God has
made with sinful man, out of His mere mercy and grace,
wherein He undertakes for fallen man, to make him
everlastingly happy. God engages that He will be our
God; that is, as if He said, "You shall have an interest
in all My attributes for your good:
  My grace shall be yours to pardon you,
  My power shall be yours to protect you,
  My wisdom shall be yours to direct you,
  My goodness shall be yours to relieve you,
  My mercy shall be yours to supply you,
  My glory shall be yours to crown you."

"I will make an everlasting covenant with them;
 that I will not turn away from them, to do them
 good; and I will put My fear into their hearts—
 that they shall not depart from Me." Jer. 32:40

The covenant of grace is everlasting on God's part,
and also on our part. On God's part, "I will never
turn away from them to do them good." And on our
part, "they shall never depart from Me." How so?
"I will put My fear into their hearts—that they shall
not depart from Me." That they shall persevere, and
hold out to the end—I will so deeply rivet a reverent
dread of Myself in their souls—as shall cause them
to believe, love, repent, obey, cling and cleave, and
keep close to Me forever.

O sirs! this is the glory of the covenant of grace—
that whatever God requires on man's part, that He
undertakes to perform for man!

"I will also sprinkle clean water on you, and you will
 be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities
 and all your idols. I will give you a new heart and
 put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart
 of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will place My
 Spirit within you and cause you to follow My statutes
 and carefully observe My ordinances." Ezek. 36:25-27

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

When Adam fell

(Thomas Brooks, "Paradise Opened" 1675)

Adam's first estate was a state of perfect knowledge,
wisdom and understanding. It was a perfect state of
holiness, righteousness and happiness. There was
nothing within him, but what was desirable and delectable;
there was nothing without him, but what was amiable and
commendable; nor was there anything around him, but
what was serviceable and comfortable. Adam, in his
innocent estate, was . . .
  the epitome of wisdom and knowledge,
  the image of God,
  the delight of heaven,
  the glory of the creation,
  the world's great master,
  the Lord's great darling.

But when Adam fell—we fell.
When he lost all—we lost all.
There are five things we lost in our fall:
1. Our holy image—and so became vile;
2. Our divine sonship—and so became children of Satan;
3. Our friendship with God—and so became His enemies;
4. Our communion with God—and so became strangers;
5. Our happiness—and so became miserable.

Sin and death came into the world by Adam's fall.

"For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned
 through that one man, how much more will those who
 receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the
 gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man,
 Jesus Christ." Romans 5:17

O sirs! what a wonder is this—that the great God,
who was so transcendently dishonored, despised,
provoked, incensed, and injured by poor base sinners;
should so freely, so readily, so graciously, condescend
to vile forlorn sinners—as to own them, as to love them,
and as to enter into a covenant of grace and mercy
with them! This may well be the wonder of angels,
and the astonishment of men!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The covenant of grace

(Thomas Brooks, "Paradise Opened" 1675)

"He has made with me an everlasting covenant,
 ordered in all things, and sure. Will He not bring to
 fruition my salvation and grant me my every desire?"
     2 Samuel 23:5

All mankind would have been eternally lost—had God
not, of His own free grace and mercy, made a new 
with sinful man. The fountain from whence
His new covenant flows, is the sovereign grace and
mercy of God. There was nothing outside of God, nor
anything in God, but His mere mercy and grace—which
moved Him to enter into covenant with poor sinners,
who were miserable and loathsome and polluted; and
and were actually in arms against Him!

As there was nothing in fallen man to draw God's favor
or affection towards him; just so—there was everything
in fallen man which might justly provoke God's wrath and
indignation against him! Therefore it must be a very high
act of favor and grace—for the great, the glorious, the holy,
the wise, and the all-sufficient God—to enter into covenant
with such a forlorn creature as fallen man was!

Oh, the admirable counsel, wisdom, love, care and
tenderness of the blessed God—which sparkles and
shines in the well-ordering of the covenant of grace!
Oh, how lovely and beautiful, with what symmetry
and proportion, are all things in this covenant ordered
and prepared! Oh, what head can conceive, or what
tongue can express—that infinite wisdom which God
has manifested in ordering the covenant of grace—so
as it may most and best suit to all the needs, and
straits, and necessities, and miseries, and desires,
and longings of poor sinners' souls! Here are fit and
full supplies for all our spiritual needs! In the covenant
of grace, every poor sinner may find . . .
  a suitable help,
  a suitable remedy,
  a suitable support,
  a suitable supply!

The covenant of grace, is so well ordered by the
unsearchable wisdom of God, that you may find in it . . .
  remedies to cure all your spiritual diseases,
  cordials to comfort you under all your soul-faintings,
  and a spiritual armory to arm you against . . .
     all sorts of sins, and
     all sorts of snares, and
     all sorts of temptations, and
     all sorts of oppositions, and
     all sorts of enemies—whether inward
or outward, open or secret, subtle or silly.

Do you, O distressed sinner—need . . .
  a loving God,
  a compassionate God,
  a reconciled God,
  a sin-pardoning God,
  a tender-hearted God?
Here you may find Him in the covenant of grace!

Do you, O sinner—need a Christ . . .
  to counsel you by His wisdom,
  to clothe you with His righteousness,
  to enrich you with His grace,
  to enlighten you with His eye salve,
  to justify you from your sins,
  to reconcile you to God,
  to secure you from wrath to come,
  to bring you to heaven?
Here you may find Him in a covenant of grace!

Do you, O sinner! need the Holy Spirit . . .
  to awaken you,
  to convince you of sin, righteousness and judgment,
  to enlighten and teach you,
  to lead and guide you in the everlasting way,
  to cleanse you,
  to comfort you?
Here you may find Him in the covenant of grace!

O sinner! Do you need grace, all grace, great grace,
abundance of grace, multiplied grace? Here you may
find it in the covenant of grace!

O sinner! Do you need peace, or ease, or rest, or
quiet in your conscience? Here you may find it in
the covenant of grace!

O sinner! Do you need contentment, or comfort,
or joy, or satisfaction? Here you may have it in
the covenant of grace!

O sinner, sinner! whatever your soul needs are—they
may all be supplied out of the covenant of grace!
God, in His infinite wisdom and love, has laid into
the covenant of grace, as into a common storehouse,
all those good things, and all those great things, and
all those suitable things—that either sinners or saints
can either desire or need!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A man of new principles

(Thomas Brooks, "Paradise Opened" 1675)

"If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature;
 old things are passed away, behold all things
 are become new!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

A new creature has . . .
  a new judgment,
  a new will,
  new affections,
  new thoughts,
  new company,
  new choices,
  new laws,
  new ways,
  new works, etc.
A new creature is a changed creature throughout.

The new creature includes a new light, a new sight,
a new understanding. The new creature sees sin to
be the greatest evil, and Christ and holiness to be the
chief good. When a man is a new creature, he has a
new judgment and opinion—he looks upon God as his
only happiness, and Christ as his all in all, and upon
the ways of God as ways of pleasantness. The new
man has new cares, new requests, new desires, "Oh
that my heart may be adorned with grace!"

The new man is a man of new principles.
If you make a serious inspection into his soul,
you shall find a principle . . .
  of faith,
  of repentance,
  of holiness,
  of love,
  of contentment,
  of patience, etc.

The new man experiences a new combat and conflict
in his soul. "The flesh lusts against the spirit, and the
spirit lusts against the flesh." He combats with all sorts
of known sins—whether they are great or small, inward
or outward, whether they are the sins of the heart or the
sins of the life. This conflict in the new man is a daily
conflict, a constant conflict. The new creature can never,
the new creature will never, be at peace with sin; sin and
the new creature will fight it out to the death. The new
creature will never be brought into a league of friendship
with sin.

The new man is a man of a new life. A new life
always attends a new heart. You see it in Paul,
Mary Magdalene, Zaccheus, the jailor, and all
the others that are upon Scripture record.

The new man has new society, new company.
Holy society is the only society for people with
holy hearts, and in that society can no man
delight, until God renews his heart by grace.

The new man walks by a new rule, which is the
written Word of God. This rule he sets up for all
matters of faith, and for all matters of practice.

Well, friends, whatever you do forget, be sure that
forever you remember this—that none can or shall
be glorious creatures, but such as by grace are
made new creatures.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Fully, completely and perfectly

(Thomas Brooks, "Paradise Opened" 1675)

"I will be their God, and they will be My people.
 For I will forgive their wickedness and will
 remember their sins no more." Heb. 8:10, 12

God will pardon the sins of His people fully,
completely and perfectly
. Neither the . . .
  many kinds of sins,
  nor many degrees of sin,
  nor many aggravations of sin,
  nor even the multitude of sins,
can ever harm those souls who are in covenant
with God. God has mercy enough, and pardons
enough, for all His covenant-people's sins—
  whether original or actual,
  whether against the law or against the gospel,
  whether against the light of nature or the rule of grace,
  whether against mercies or judgments.

The covenant remedy against all kinds and degrees
of sin—infinitely transcends and surpasses . . .
  all our infirmities and enormities,
  all our weaknesses and wickednesses,
  all our follies and unworthinesses, etc.

What is . . .
  our unrighteousness—compared to Christ's righteousness;
  our debts—compared to Christ's pardons;
  our unholiness—compared to Christ's holiness;
  our emptiness—compared to Christ's fullness;
  our weakness—compared to Christ's strength;
  our poverty—compared to Christ's riches;
  our wounds—compared to Christ's healing balm?

"The Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to
 anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining
 love to thousands; and forgiving wickedness, rebellion
 and sin." Exodus 34:6-7.

A merciful God, a gracious God—will pardon all kinds
of sinners, and all kinds and degrees of sin.

Oh, what astounding mercy, what rich grace is here!
that God will not only pardon our light, our small
offences; but our great and mighty sins! God will
never upbraid His people for . . .
  their follies,
  their miscarriages,
  their unkindness,
  their unfruitfulness,
  their unthankfulness,
  their vileness,
  their stubbornness,
  their wickedness.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

His dreadful threatenings!
(Thomas Brooks, "Paradise Opened" 1675)
 Sin and sorrow, iniquity and misery—always
 go hand in hand.
 "The wages of sin is death," Romans 6:23. Every
 sinner is worthy of death. "Those who do such things
 deserve death," Romans 1:32. If God is a just and
 righteous God, then sin cannot absolutely escape
 unpunished; for it is but "a just and righteous thing
 with God"—to punish the sinner who is worthy of
 punishment. As God must be just—so He must be
And if He must be faithful—then He must
 carry out His threatenings against sin and sinners!

 Look! As there is not a promise of God but shall surely
 take place; just so, there is not a threatening of God
 but shall surely take place. The faithfulness of God, and
 the honor of God, are as much concerned in making good
 of His dreadful threatenings—as they are concerned
 in making good of His precious promises. God has given
 it from His own mouth, that:
   "He will by no means clear the guilty;"
   "the soul that sins, shall surely die;"
   "the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him;"
   "He will render to every man according to his deeds."
 Will God abrogate His own laws—or will He dare men to
 sport and play with His threatenings? Will not every wise
 and prudent king look to the execution of their own laws?
 And shall not that God, who is wonderful in wisdom, and
 whose understanding is infinite—see all that all His laws
 are put in execution against offenders? Surely yes!
 "He will repay them for their sins and destroy them
  for their wickedness; the LORD our God will destroy
  them!" Psalm 94:23
 "I will not look on you with pity or spare you; I will
  repay you in accordance with your conduct and the
  detestable practices among you. Then you will know
  that it is I the LORD who strikes the blow!" Ezek. 7:9
 "When I sharpen My flashing sword and My hand grasps
  it in judgment, I will take vengeance on My adversaries
  and repay those who hate Me." Deuteronomy 32:41

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~


(Thomas Brooks, "Paradise Opened" 1675)

"For you know that it was not with perishable
 things such as silver or gold that you were
 redeemed from the empty way of life handed
 down to you from your forefathers." 1 Pet. 1:18

Christ redeems us from all sin—and from all the
consequences of sin. He endured the wrath of God
to the uttermost—for everyone who believes on Him.

By this redemption . . .
  justice is satisfied,
  wrath is pacified,
  grace is procured,
  all spiritual enemies are vanquished.

Each child of God is redeemed from . . .
  the love of sin,
  the guilt of sin,
  the dominion of sin,
  the damnatory power of sin,
  the power of Satan,
  the curse of the law,
  hell and wrath to come!

The work of redemption was a great work. The
greatness of the person employed in this work,
speaks out the work to be a great work.

The great and invaluable price which was paid
down for our redemption, speaks it out to be a
great redemption. The price that we are bought
with, is a price beyond all computation.

This redemption that we have in Christ, is a free
and gracious redemption. All the rounds in this
ladder of redemption, are made up of free, rich,
and sovereign grace! Though our redemption
cost Christ dearly—yet as to us it is most free!

Jesus Christ has completely done the work of our
redemption. He does not redeem us from some of
our sins, and leave us to grapple with the rest.
Oh, no! Christ makes a most complete work of it.
He redeems us from all our iniquities. He delivers
us out of the hands of all our enemies.
He pays all debts,
He delivers from all wrath,
He takes off the whole curse,
He saves to the uttermost,
and will settle us in a state of full and perfect
bliss—when grace shall be turned into glory.

The redemption which we have in Jesus Christ, is an
eternal, a permanent, a lasting, yes, an everlasting
redemption! "Having obtained eternal redemption
for us." Hebrews 9:12

There are many choice and rare spiritual
benefits which flow from redemption:
  reconciliation with God,
  remission of our sins,
  justification of our persons,
  adoption into God's family,
  full glorification.
Redemption sweetens all the bitterest trials
and sharpest afflictions, which we meet with
in this world.

Redemption is a rich mine, containing a mass
of treasure which cannot be valued. Could we
dig into it, could we pry into it—we would find
that it contains unsearchable riches . . .
  riches of grace, of all grace,
  riches of justification,
  riches of sanctification,
  riches of consolation,
  riches of glorification,
  the best of riches,
  the most durable riches,
  soul riches,
  heavenly riches!

"They are Your servants and Your people, whom
 You redeemed by Your great strength and Your
 mighty hand!" Nehemiah 1:10

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God so loved the world

(Thomas Brooks, "Paradise Opened" 1675)

"God so loved the world, that He gave
 His only-begotten Son." John 3:16.

Oh! what kind of love is this, for God to give . . .
  His Son—not His servant;
  His begotten Son—not His adopted Son;
  His only Son—and not one son of many.

We see here . . .
  the firstness of the Father's love, and
  the freeness of the Father's love, and
  the vehemency of the Father's love, and
  the admirableness of the Father's love, and
  the matchlessness of the Father's love!

Says God the Father to His Son, "Here is man—fallen
from his primitive purity, glory, and excellency—into a
most woeful gulf of sin and misery! He who was once
a son—has now become a slave; he who was once Our
friend—has now become Our enemy; he who was once
near Us—is now afar off; he who was once in Our favor
—is now cast off; he who was once made in Our image
—has now the image of Satan stamped upon him; he
who had once sweet communion with Us—has now
fellowship with the devil and his demons! Out of this
forlorn estate, he can never deliver himself! Neither
can all the angels in heaven deliver him! Now this
being man's woeful case and state, I make this offer
to You, O my Son: If, in the fullness of time, You will
assume the nature of man, tread the winepress of My
wrath alone, bear the curse, shed your blood, die, suffer,
satisfy My justice, fulfill My royal law—then I can, upon
the most honorable terms imaginable, save fallen man,
and put him into a safer and happier condition than he
ever was—and give You a noble reward for all Your

Upon this Jesus Christ replies: "O my Father! I am very
ready and willing to do, to suffer, to die—to satisfy Your
justice, to comply with You in all Your noble and gracious
inclinations—that poor sinners may be sanctified and
saved, made gracious and glorious, holy and happy;
that poor sinners may never perish, that poor sinners
may be secured from wrath to come, and be brought
into a state of light, life and love! I am willing to make
Myself an offering for their sin. Lo, I am come to do
Your will, O God."

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

This is the very knife which cut the throat of your child!

(Brooks, "The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures")

Suppose a man should come to his dinner table, and there
should be a knife laid down, and it should be told him, "This
is the very knife which cut the throat of your child!
" If
the man would use this knife as a common knife, would not
everyone say, "Surely this man had but very little love to his
child, who can use this bloody knife as a common knife!"

Just so, when you meet with any temptation to sin, oh, then
say, "This is the very knife which cut the throat of Jesus,
and pierced His sides! This very knife was the cause of His
sufferings, and made Christ to be a curse!" Ah, how should
Christians  look upon sin as that accursed thing, which made
Christ a curse—and accordingly to abhor it! Oh, with what
detestation should every Christian fling away his sins! "Sin,
you have slain my Lord—and poured out His heart's blood!
You have been the only cause of the death of my Savior!"

Look upon the cross on which Christ was crucified, and the
pains He suffered thereon—and the seeming sweetness which
is in sin will quickly vanish. When you are solicited to sin,
cast your eye upon Christ's cross; remember His astonishing
sufferings for your sin, and sin will soon grow distasteful to
your soul. How can sin not be hateful to us—if we seriously
consider how hurtful it was to Jesus Christ?

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The book of life

(Thomas Brooks, "Paradise Opened" 1675)

"And another book was opened, which is
 the book of life." Revelation 20:12

The names of the elect are written in the book of life.
They do not obtain salvation by chance, but were
elected by God to eternal life and happiness before
the foundation of the world. Now their names being
once written in the book of life, they shall never,
never be blotted out of that book! In the book of
predestination there is not one blot to be found;
the salvation of the elect is most sure and certain!

"I will never blot out his name from the
 book of life
." Revelation 3:5

The book of life is the book of all those who were
elected and redeemed to life, through Jesus Christ.
This book of life contains a register of such particular
persons in whose salvation, God from all eternity
determined to have His mercy glorified; and for whom
merited faith, repentance, and perseverance—
that they should repent, believe, and be finally saved.

"The book of life shall be opened;" that is to say, the
decrees of God will be then published and made known,
which now are sealed up in His bosom and locked up
in His archives. Then it will be seen whom are appointed
to eternal life—for the glorifying of God's free, rich, and
sovereign grace; and whom He purposed to leave in
their sins, and to perish forever—for the exaltation of
His justice.

"Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who
 does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those
 whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life."
     Revelation 21:27

The book of life shall be opened in the great day,
because then it shall be shown . . .
  who were elect—and who were reprobates;
  who truly believed in Christ—and who did not;
  who worshiped God in spirit and in truth—and who did not;
  who walked with God as Noah did—and who did not;
  who truly reverenced God—and who did not;
  who followed the Lamb wherever He went—and who did not;
  who were sincere—and who were not;
  who are sheep—and who are goats;
  who are sons of God—and who are slaves of Satan;
  who have mourned for their sins—and who have made a sport of sin;
  who preferred Christ above ten thousand worlds—and who did not;
  who preferred their farms, and their oxen, and their swine,
    yes, their very lusts—before a Savior, a Redeemer!

"If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life,
 he was thrown into the lake of fire!" Revelation 20:15

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Look upon death

(Brooks, "Words of counsel to a dear dying friend")

Look upon death as that which is best.

"Better is the day of death, than the day of one's
 birth." Ecclesiastes 7:1

"I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is
 better by far." Philippians 1:23

The Greek is very significant—"far, far the better!"
A saint's dying day is the daybreak of eternal glory!
In respect of pleasure, peace, safety, company and
glory—a believer's dying day is his best day.

Look upon death as a remedy, as a cure. Death
will perfectly cure you of all bodily and spiritual diseases
at once: the infirm body and the defiled soul, the aching
head and the unbelieving heart. Death will cure you of
all your ailments, aches, diseases, and distempers.

In Queen Mary's days, there was a lame Christian,
and a blind Christian—both burned at one stake.
The lame man, after he was chained, casting away
his crutch, bade the blind man to be of good cheer;
"For death," says he, "will cure us both; you of
your blindness, and me of my lameness!"

As death will cure all your bodily diseases, so it will
cure all your soul distempers also. Death is not the
death of the man—but the death of his sin! Death
will at once free you fully, perfectly, and perpetually
from all sin; yes, from all possibility of ever sinning!
Sin was the midwife which brought death into the
world—and death shall be the grave to bury sin.

Why, then, should a Christian be afraid to die,
unwilling to die—seeing death gives him an
eternal separation . . .
  from infirmities and weaknesses,
  from all aches and pains,
  from griefs and gripings,
  from distempers and diseases,
both of body and soul?

When Samson died, the Philistines died together with
him. Just so, when a saint dies, his sins die with him.

Death came in by sin, and sin goes out by death!
Death kills sin which bred it.

Look upon death as a rest, a full rest.
A believer's dying day is his resting day . . .
  from sin,
  from sorrow,
  from afflictions,
  from temptations,
  from desertions,
  from dissensions,
  from vexations,
  from oppositions,
  from persecutions.

This world was never made to be the saints' rest.
Arise and depart, for this is not your resting place,
because it is polluted! (Micah 2:10)

Death brings the saints . . .
  to a full rest,
  to a pleasant rest,
  to a matchless rest,
  to an eternal rest!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The dirty lane

(Brooks, "Words of counsel to a dear dying friend")

"For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Phil. 1:21
Look upon your dying day as a gainful day. There is
no gain compared to that which comes in by death. 
A Christian gets more by death, than he does by life.
To be in Christ is very good—but to be with Christ
is best of all, "I desire to depart and be with Christ,
which is better by far!" Phil. 1:23. It was a mighty
blessing for Christ to be with Paul on earth—but it
was the top of blessings for Paul to be with Christ
in heaven! Seriously consider these things—

By death you shall gain incomparable crowns!
   A crown of life, Rev. 2:10; James 1:12;
   A crown of righteousness, 2 Tim. 4:8;
   An incorruptible crown, 1 Cor. 9:24-25;
   A crown of glory, 1 Pet. 5:4.
There are no crowns compared to these crowns!

By death you  shall gain a glorious kingdom!
"It is your Father's pleasure to give you a kingdom!"
We must put off their rags of mortality—that we may
put on our robes of glory. There is no entering into
paradise—but under the flaming sword of this angel,
death—who stands at the gate. Death is the dirty
through which the saint passes . . .
  to a kingdom,
  to a great kingdom,
  to a glorious kingdom,
  to a peaceful kingdom,
  to an unshaken kingdom,
  to a durable kingdom,
  to a lasting kingdom, yes,
  to an everlasting kingdom!

Death is the dark, short way, through which the
saints pass to the marriage-supper of the Lamb!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The funeral of all your sorrows!

(Brooks, "Words of counsel to a dear dying friend")

At death, you shall gain full freedom and liberty
from all your enemies within and without—namely,
sin, Satan, and the world!

Death will free you from the indwelling power of
sin. In this present world, sin plays the tyrant; but
in heaven there is no tyranny—but perfect felicity.
As in hell there is nothing but wickedness, so in
heaven there is nothing but holiness.

Death will free you from all provocations, temptations,
and suggestions to sin. You shall be above all Satan's
assaults. The old serpent is cast out, and shall be
forever kept out of the new Jerusalem above!

Death will free you from all the effects and consequences
of sin—namely, losses, crosses, sicknesses, diseases,
disgraces, sufferings, etc. When the cause is taken away,
the effect ceases. When the fountain of sin is dried up,
the streams of afflictions, of sufferings, must be dried up.
Sin and sorrow were born together, live together, and
shall die together. Death will free you from all bodily
infirmities and diseases.

Death will free you from all your sorrows, whether inward
or outward, whether for your own sins or the sins of others,
whether for your own sufferings or the sufferings of others.
Now, it may be, you are seldom without tears in your eyes,
or sorrow in your heart. Oh, but death will be the funeral
of all your sorrows!
Death will wipe all tears from your
eyes, "and sorrow and mourning shall flee away!"

Dear friend, death shall do that for you, which all your
physicians could never do for you. It shall both instantly
and perfectly cure you of all sorts of weaknesses and
maladies, both inward and outward, of both your body
and your soul! O my dear friend, is it not better to die,
    and be rid of all sin;
    and be rid of all temptations;
    and be rid of all sorts of miseries;
than to live, and still carry about with us our sins,
our sorrows, our burdens, and our constant ailments?

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

You have afflicted me

(Brooks, "A Word in Season to Suffering Saints")

"I know, O Lord, that Your laws are righteous,
 and in faithfulness You have afflicted me."
     Psalm 119:75

"Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now
 I obey Your word." Psalm 119:67

God's corrections are our instructions,
His lashes are our lessons,
His scourges are our schoolmasters,
His chastisements are our admonishments.

By afflictions, troubles, distresses and dangers—the
Lord teaches His people to look upon sin as the most
loathsome thing in the world; and to look upon holiness
as the most lovely thing in the world. Sin is never so
bitter, and holiness is never so sweet—as when our
troubles are greatest and our dangers highest.

By affliction, the Lord teaches His people to sit loose
from this world, and to be prepared for eternity.

By affliction, God shows His people the vanity, vexation,
emptiness, weakness, and nothingness of all created
things; and the choiceness, preciousness and sweetness
of communion with Himself.

It has been the lot and portion of God's dearest
children, to be exercised with very great and
grievous afflictions; in order . . .
  to the discovery of sin,
  to the embittering of sin,
  to the preventing of sin,
  to the purging away of sin; and
  to the discovery of grace,
  to the trial of grace,
  to the exercise of grace,
  to the increase of grace; and
  to the weaning of them from this world; and
  to the ripening of them for heaven; and
  to the completing of their conformity to Christ,
the captain of their salvation, "who was made
perfect through sufferings," Hebrews 2:10; and
to work in them more pity and compassion to
those who are in misery, and who sigh and
groan under their Egyptian taskmasters.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

They poured out a prayer

(Brooks, "A Word in Season to Suffering Saints")

The greatest antidote against all the troubles of
this life, is fervent prayer.

"Lord, in trouble have they visited you; they
 poured out a prayer
when Your chastening
 was upon them." Isaiah 26:16

"They poured out a prayer." Before, they would
a prayer—but now, they poured out a prayer.

Saints never visit God more with their prayers
—than when He visits them most with His rod.
Saints never pray with . . .
  that seriousness,
  that spiritualness,
  that heavenliness,
  that humbleness,
  that brokenness,
  that fervency,
  that frequency—as they do, when they are
under the mighty chastening hand of God!

A sincere Christian never prays so sweetly—as
when under God's rod. When a Christian is in
trouble—then prayer is his food and drink.

Oh, what a spirit of prayer was . . .
  upon Jonah—when he was in the whale's belly; and
  upon Daniel—when he was among the lions; and
  upon David—when fleeing in the wilderness; and
  upon the dying thief—when he was on the cross; and
  upon Jacob—when his brother Esau came to meet him
with four hundred bloody cut-throats at his heels!

When a Christian is under great troubles, deep distresses,
and most extreme dangers; he should pray . . .
 more for the sanctification of affliction—than its removal;
 more to get off his sins—than to get off his chains;
 more to get good by the rod—than to get free from the rod;
 that his afflictions may be a purifying and refining fire,
 that his heart may be low and his graces high,
 that he may be more weaned from this world,
 that he be more ripe for eternal glory.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Neither Christ nor heaven can be hyperbolized!

(Brooks, "A Word in Season to Suffering Saints")

What are all . . .
  the silks of Persia,
  the spices of Egypt,
  the gold of Ophir, and
  the treasures of both Indies—
compared to the glory of heaven?

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind
has conceived what God has prepared for
 those who love Him!" 1 Corinthians 2:9

One of the ancients says, "Our conception
of heaven, is as a little drop from the sea.
For those glorious things of heaven are . . .
  so many that they exceed number,
  so great that they exceed measure,
  so precious that they are above all estimation!"

Says another, "Do you ask me what heaven is?
When I meet you there, I will tell you!"

Says Jerome, "Are you able to put the whole earth,
and all the waters of the sea—into a little pot? Can
you hold the oceans in your hand? Can you measure
the heavens with your fingers—or weight the hills
and mountains with a scale? Just so, it is impossible
that you can comprehend the least of the joys of
heaven! Certainly, the least of the joys of heaven
are inconceivable and inexpressible!"

Neither Christ nor heaven can be hyperbolized!

"You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with
 eternal pleasures at Your right hand!" Psalm 16:11

"They feast on the abundance of Your house; You give
 them drink from Your river of delights!" Psalm 36:8

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

I cried

(Brooks, "A Word in Season to Suffering Saints")

The child has got many a kiss, and many a hug
—by crying.

"In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my
 God for help. From His temple He heard my voice;
 my cry came before Him, into His ears." Psalm 18:6

Prayer is the only means to supply all defects;
prayer gets all, and makes up for the loss of all.

It is not the length—but the strength of prayer;
it is not the labor of the lip—but the travail of the
heart—which prevails with God. It is not . . .
the arithmetic of our prayers
how many they are; nor
the rhetoric of our prayers
how eloquent they are; nor
the geometry of our prayers
how long they are; nor
the music of our prayers
how sweet they are; nor
the logic of our prayers
how methodical they are
—which will prevail with God. It is only fervency in
prayer, which will make a man prevalent with God.
Fervent prayer hits the mark, and pierces the walls
of heaven!

"In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and He
 answered by setting me free." Psalm 118:5

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The great master-scar of the soul

(Brooks, "A Word in Season to Suffering Saints")

"I hate pride and arrogance!" Proverbs 8:13

Take heed of pride and haughtiness of spirit. Pride
is the great master-scar of the soul; it will bud
and blossom—it cannot be hidden. Pride is the
leprosy of the soul
, which breaks forth in the
very forehead! Pride is . . .
  the sum of all vileness,
  a sea of sin,
  a mother sin, a breeding sin—
  a sin which has all sorts of sin in its womb!
In pride, all vices are wrapped up together in a bundle!

"The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of
 this: They will not go unpunished!" Proverbs 16:5

God will have nothing to do with proud people.

He won't come near such loathsome lepers!

Therefore as ever you would enjoy God's presence,
  arm yourself against pride,
  watch against pride, and
  pray hard against pride!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Fetch out the dirt and spots

(Thomas Brooks, "London's Lamentations" 1670)

"I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly
 purge away your dross and remove all your
 impurities." Isaiah 1:25

By severe providences and by fiery trials, God designs
the growth of His people in grace. Usually the graces of
the saints thrive best—when they are under a smarting
rod. Grace usually is in the greatest flourish—when the
saints are under the greatest trials. The trimming of the
candle—makes it burn the brighter. God bruises His
spices—to make them send forth the sweeter fragrance.
Fiery trials are like the brush, which, though it is sharp
and scratching—it makes the cloth more pure and clean.
God would not rub so hard, were it not to fetch out
the dirt and spots
which are in His people.

Stars shine brightest in the darkest nights; and so do
the graces of the saints shine brightest in the darkest
nights of affliction and tribulation. God will sometimes
more carry on the growth of grace by a cross than by
a mercy. Yes, the Lord will, sooner or later, more or
less—turn all fiery trials into blessings for the helping
on the growth of grace in His people's souls. Though
fiery trials are
grievous—yet they shall make us more
gracious. Though for the present they appear to harm
and damage us; yet in the outcome we shall find that
God will turn them into the spiritual and eternal
advantage of our precious souls.

Thrice happy will afflicted Christians be, if under all
their crosses and losses they grow into a more deep
acquaintance with God and His holiness; with the
vanity, mutability, impotency, and uncertainty of
the world; and with the deceitfulness, vileness,
baseness, and wretchedness of their own hearts!

If under fiery dispensations, we grow . . .
  more holy than ever,
  more humble than ever,
  more heavenly than ever,
  more meek and lowly than ever,
  more tender and compassionate than ever,
  more faithful and fruitful than ever,
  more patient and contented than ever,
then we may be confident that the grand design
of God in bringing all those fiery trials upon us, was
for His glory, and our own spiritual and eternal good.

"God disciplines us for our good, that we may
 share in His holiness." Hebrews 12:10

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Who sees us? Who will know?

(Thomas Brooks, "London's Lamentations" 1670)

Atheism reigns in the hearts and lives of sinners.

The covetous make their gold their god.

The drunkard and glutton make their bellies their god.

The ambitious make honors their god.

The voluptuous make pleasures their god.

The religionists make pious duties their god.

The moral make virtue their god.

"The fool says in his heart—There is no God!"
    Psalm 14:1

Atheism denies God either:
  in opinion—saying there is no God; or
  in affection—wishing there were no God; or
  in practice—living as if there were no God.

What abundance of atheists there are in the land!

"He says to himself—God has forgotten; He covers
 His face and never sees." Psalm 10:11

"They say—How can God know? Does the Most
 High have knowledge?" Psalm 73:11

"They say—The Lord does not see; the God
 of Jacob pays no heed." Psalm 94:7

What horrid blasphemy, what gross atheism is here!
How do these atheists ungod the great God! How do
they deny His omnipotence and omniscience! What
an idol-god do they make the great God to be!

There are many who sin freely in secret, who can
be drunk and filthy in the dark, when the eye of man
is not upon them. Certainly those men's hearts are
very atheistic,
who dare do that in the sight of God
—which they tremble to do before the eyes of men!

How many are there who flatter themselves in their
sins, and conclude that surely the bitterness of hell
and wrath is past, and that they are in a fair way for
heaven—when every step they take is towards the
bottomless pit, and divine vengeance hangs over
their heads, ready every moment to fall upon them!

"On earth are atheists many,
 In hell there are not any."

"Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their
 plans from the Lord, who do their work in darkness
 and think—Who sees us? Who will know?"
    Isaiah 29:15

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Unfreeze the frozen graces

(Thomas Brooks, "London's Lamentations" 1670)

God loves to see the graces of His children in continual
exercise. All the glory which God has from us in this life,
is from the actings of our graces. Sleepy graces bring
God no glory—nor do us any good. There is little difference
—as to the comfort and sweet of grace—between sleepy
grace, and no grace at all.

The strongest creature, the lion; and the subtlest creature,
the serpent—if they are asleep, are as easily surprised and
destroyed as the weakest worm!

Just so, the strongest saints, if grace is not in exercise,
are as easily surprised and captivated by sin, Satan,
and the world—as the weakest saints are! O sirs! God,
by some severe providence or other, by some fiery
dispensation or other—will stir up your sleepy graces!

There are several cases wherein the graces in a Christian's
heart may seem to be hidden, cold, dead and covered over;
as sparks of fire are hidden in the ashes; or as bits of gold
are hidden in a dust heap, or as pearls may be hidden in
the mire. The sparks of divine grace, by the prevalency of
some strong corruption, or by the violence of some dreadful
temptation—may burn low, as to their lively operations. But
God by one severe providence or another, by one fiery trial
or another—will blow that heavenly grace, that divine fire,
into a flame—and cause their hidden graces to revive!

By severe providences and fiery trials, God designs
the reviving, quickening, and recovering of our
decayed graces. By fiery trials, He will . . .
  inflame that love which was ice-cold,
  raise that faith which had fallen asleep,
  quicken up those hopes which were languishing,
  put life and spirit into those spiritual joys and
comforts which were withering and dying!

God by fiery trials, will unfreeze the frozen graces
of His people, and put new life and spirit into them!

God may have burnt up your outward comforts,
so that He might lead you forth to live in a daily
exercise of grace . . .
  upon Himself,
  upon His power,
  upon His all-sufficiency,
  upon His goodness,
  upon His faithfulness,
  upon His fullness,
  upon His graciousness,
  upon His unchangeableness,
  upon His promises.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The bent of the needle

(Thomas Brooks, "London's Lamentations" 1670)

"No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one
 who continues to sin has either seen Him or known
 Him." 1 John 3:6

A trade, a course of sin—is inconsistent with a state
of grace. The best saints have sadly miscarried as to
particular actions; but he who shall judge of a man's
spiritual state by particular acts, though notorious bad,
will certainly condemn, where God acquits. We must
always distinguish between some single evil actions,
and a serious course of evil actions. It is not this or
that particular evil action—but a continued course of
evil actions—which denominates a man wicked. Just
so, it is not this or that particular holy act—but a
continued course of holy actions—which denominates
a man holy.

Every man is—as his course is. If his course is holy—the
man is holy. If his course is wicked—the man is wicked.

No man ought to conclude, because of some particular
good actions—that his spiritual state is good.

No man ought to conclude, because of some particular
sinful actions—that his spiritual state is bad.

A course of sinning is not consistent with a course of
godliness. Though the needle of the seaman's compass
may jog this way and that way—yet the bent of the
will still be northward. Just so, though a Christian
may have his particular sinful joggings this way or that
way—yet the bent of his heart will still be . . .

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Worshipers of the golden calf!

(Thomas Brooks, "London's Lamentations" 1670)

There is a great deal of worldliness, and earthly-mindedness,
and covetousness among the professing Christians of our day.
They are worshipers of the golden calf! O sirs! the world is
all shadow and vanity. The world is like Jonah's gourd—a man
may sit under its shadow for a time, but it soon decays and dies.

The main reason why many professors dote upon the world,
is because they are not acquainted with a greater glory. If
the heart of man is not filled with God—it will be filled with
the world, the flesh and the devil.

The world may well be resembled to the fruit which undid us
all—which was fair to the sight, smooth in handling, sweet in
taste—but deadly in effect and operation!

O sirs! if you can gather grapes off thorns, and figs off
thistles, then go on, and dote upon the world still. All the
things of this world are vain things—they are vanity of
vanities, Eccles. 1:2. All in heaven count them vain, and
all in hell count them vain; pearls are but as pebbles
in their eyes
. Lazarus in heaven is now rich enough,
and happy enough; and Dives in hell is now poor enough,
and miserable enough. He who makes the world his god
while he is in the world—what will he do for a god when
he goes out of this world?

Well, sirs, remember this—an inordinate love of the world
will eat out all a man's communion with God. A man cannot
look up to heaven and look down upon the earth—at the
same time.