Miscellaneous pithy gems


Affliction is good, but not pleasant.
Sin is pleasant, but not good.

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We are not sinners because we sin—we sin because we are sinners.

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We fear man so much, because we fear God so little.
It is only the fear of God, that can deliver us from the fear of man.

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Grace is God giving us what we do not deserve—Heaven.
Mercy is God not giving us what we do deserve—Hell.

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We are:
 sinners by nature,
 sinners by birth,
 sinners by choice.

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Our sins will not keep us from Heaven, but our righteousness will!

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There never was anything of false doctrine brought into the church, but either it was by neglecting the Scripture, or by introducing something above the Scripture.

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The more purely God's Word is preached—the more deeply it pierces the heart.

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A man may as well fill a bag with wisdom, as the soul with the world.

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Consider how foolish it is for the children of Heaven to go licking up the dust of this earth!
The woman's seed should not desire the food of the serpent!

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Some are proud of what they are—others of what they are not.

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All men may be divided into two classes:
  the righteous, who know themselves to be sinners,
  lost sinners, who believe themselves to be righteous.

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A door that is almost shut, is open.
A man that is almost honest, is a thief.
A man that is almost saved, is altogether damned!



Pithy gems from William Hewitson, 1812-1850

No amusement is innocent which takes away the soul from Jesus.

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The cross now, the crown tomorrow!
Now the bed of languishing, tomorrow the throne of Jesus!

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Nothing but the blessed hope of Christ's glorious appearing, and of our being partakers of the glory when He appears, can draw us away from and lift us upward from among the temptations, and cares, and enjoyments of the present scene.

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Yet a little while, and He will place the crown on your now oftentimes aching brow.



Pithy gems from William Nevins, 1797-1835

Human friends can weep with us when we weep.
But Jesus is a friend, who, when He has wept with us, can wipe away all our tears.

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It displeases God that we should be always dwelling on our needs, as if He had never supplied one of them. How do we know that God is not waiting for us to praise Him for a benefit He has already conferred, before He will confer on us that other which we may be now so earnestly desiring of Him?

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Procrastination has been called a thief—the thief of time. I wish it were no worse than a thief. It is a murderer; and that which it kills is not time merely, but the immortal soul.



Pithy gems from Charles Wolfe, 1791-1823

How should even the innocent pleasures of life sink in your estimation, when you think of those pleasures that are at the right hand of God!

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Where will you find a man that has not some thorn in his side?

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Choose which master you will serve, mammon or God?

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Choose which wages you will receive, damnation or salvation?

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Think before you decide, which master loves you most, which would sacrifice most for you?

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The wicked man thinks there is a chance that God may not be in earnest—and upon that chance he risks his immortal soul.



Pithy gems from James Evans, 1785-1849

You will find Jesus to be an unfading flower in a fading world.

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The dimmest eye that ever looked at the brazen serpent, Jesus, has eternal life.

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The shining of God's face upon His redeemed child is a substitute for every loss.

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There is no rest in this poor world, but in Jesus.

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Our aim is not to preach nicely arranged essays.
We have to do with man's conscience, with Heaven and Hell, with God and salvation.

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The only plank between the believer and destruction, is the blood of the Incarnate God.

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The great secret of all happiness is knowing the way to the cross.

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The life of a natural man is one continuous departure from God.
He is not only not quite right; he is altogether wrong.
Every step he takes is a step of departure farther from God.



Pithy gems from Samuel Coleridge, 1772-1834

The simplest true Christian knows more truth than the most accomplished secular philosopher.

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From what you know of yourself, of your own heart and strength—dare you trust to it?



Pithy gems from John Foster, 1770-1843

How astonishing and how lamentable that the soul can consent to grovel in the dust, when invited above the stars!

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An interval of some 50 years makes all the difference between the morning of life and its evening. What a solemn and mighty difference it is, that whereas we then beheld life before us, we now behold death before us.



Pithy gems from Thomas Jones, 1754-1837

In matters of religion, all the doctrines which men are required to believe, and all the duties which they are commanded to perform—are contained in the Bible.

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If anything is taught or enjoined which is not found in, or fairly deducible from, the doctrines and precepts of the sacred volume—it is an imposition, and ought to be rejected.

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Genuine repentance flows from the cross of Christ.

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The cross of Christ, mildly, regularly, and constantly, influences the understanding by the conviction of its truth.

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It engages the heart by the immensity of the divine goodness and grace.

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It directs and enforces the conduct of all who feel its influence, by the persuasion of duty and propriety.



Pithy gems from Richard Cecil, 1748-1810

The blessed man is he who is under education in God's school, where he endures chastisement, and by chastisement is instructed.

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God is omniscient as well as omnipotent.

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Omniscience may see reason to withhold what omnipotence could bestow.

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Remember always to mix good sense with good things, or they will become disgusting.

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It is always a sign of poverty of mind when men are ever aiming to appear great; for those who are really great never seem to know it.

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Whatever, below God, is the object of our supreme love, will, at some time or other, be the matter of our sorrow.



Pithy gems from John Berridge, 1716-1793

Never am I well, but when at home with Jesus.

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Much reading and thinking may make a popular minister.
But it takes much secret prayer to make a powerful preacher.

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A Christian never falls asleep in the fire or in the water, but grows drowsy in the sunshine.

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Everlasting thanks for my Surety, whose blood is of infinite value, and who saves to the uttermost!

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I am not able to walk a step without my crutch. The wood of it comes from Calvary. My crutch is Christ; and a blessed crutch He is.
Oh let me lean my whole weight on You while I am walking through the wilderness world.

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Holiness, as well as pardon, is to be had from the blood of the cross. All imagined sanctification, which does not arise wholly from the blood of the cross, is nothing better than Pharisaism.

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All spiritual decays begin in the prayer closet; no heart thrives without much secret converse with God—and nothing will make amends for the lack of it. I can read God's Word, or hear a sermon at times, and feel no life; but I never rise from secret prayer without some quickening.



Pithy gem from Joseph Milner,1744-1797

Academic trifling in religion, where all is theory and the conscience is unconcerned—hardens the heart effectually.



Pithy gems from Richard Hill, 1732-1808

When a poor lost soul, who has long lingered under some painful bodily disease, dies—it is often said, "It is good for such a one that he is released from his pain."
A dreadful release!—from earth to Hell!

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We might live a long time with some people who are thought to be very good Christians—and not know whether they had any souls or not!

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Scarcely two people run the same road to eternal destruction.
Yet there is but one way to happiness. "I am the Way!" says Christ.



Pithy gems from John Brown of Haddington 1722-1787

Often we read history as atheists or deists, rather than as Christians. To read of historical events, without observing God in them, is to read as atheists. To read, and not observe how all events conduce to carry on the work of redemption, is to read as deists.

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Many a lovely person I have seen; but none so lovely as Christ. Many a kind friend I have had; but none like Christ, in loving-kindness and in tender mercies.

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What hard, knotty timber must we be—that the Lord has to hack us so much, in order to render us plain and smooth!



Pithy gems from Thomas Adam, 1701-1784

My sins brought Christ to me, and me to Christ!
I have great need of Christ!
I have a great Christ for my need!

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A secret wish to be saved without holiness, is the great bar to genuine salvation.

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We can take reproof patiently from a book, but not from a tongue.
The book hurts not our pride, the living reprover does.
We cannot bear to have our faults seen by others.

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If we were but half Christians, the world would be at peace with us.

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I know so much of Christ, as not to be afraid to look my sins in the face.

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If we have one sin remaining that Jesus did not expiate, we are still under the sentence of death and damnation.




Pithy gems from John Maclaurin, 1693-1754

infinite justice will never inflict the least degree of undeserved punishment

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Sin, in its very nature, is poison to the soul, tending to eternal death, separating it from God, who is its only life.

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All men are convinced that they are sinners, but very few are convinced that they deserve to be punished.

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The mortifying our lusts and corruptions is difficult; the satisfying of them is impossible.

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That which hinders the ungodly from acknowledging the glory of the cross, is that it shows so much of God's hatred of what they love.

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The cross melts cold and frozen hearts; it breaks stony hearts; it pierces adamant hearts!
 



Pithy gems from Ebenezer Erskine, 1680-1754)

'God is love.' Love is the reigning attribute of the divine nature. I do not find any other attribute so expressed in Scripture. We do not find it said, God is mercy, God is justice, God is holiness, God is power, or God is wisdom. No, the expression of this attribute has something peculiar in it: God is love.

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Christ's first coming was to purchase a Bride for Himself by His obedience and death. His second coming will be to solemnize the marriage, and to fetch the Bride home to the royal palace, the house of many mansions that He is preparing for her reception!
 



Pithy gems from Halyburton, 1674-1712

One view of God's forgiveness and pardoning mercy in Christ, alienates the soul more from sin than twenty sights, nay, tastes, of Hell.

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You all have sinned! Oh, if only you understood what a world of evil is in that cursed thing, sin!

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Sin is an ordinary word, a little word, and most men apprehend that there is but little in it. But mistake it not; there is much in it; more than angels or men can ever discover.



Pithy gems from
Anthony Burgess, about 1640

If all the sins of all the world were your sins, they would be but a drop of water compared to His infinite mercy.

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God puts no bounds to His mercy, whereas He does set some to His anger.

 


Pithy gems from James Fraser, 1639-1698

Unbelief is more heinous than the sin of Sodom.

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When God afflicts, it is in earnest, and not in jest.

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There is no greater curse than for a man to get his will and desires in the world.

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God's love is more seen in comforting and strengthening under trouble, than in delivering from it.



Pithy gems from
Pasquier Quesnel, 1634-1719

Jesus clothes Himself with us and our sins, that He may clothe us with Himself and His righteousness.

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God proportions the comfort to the affliction.

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There are few who conceive how instrumental the tongue is to salvation or condemnation. We count words as nothing, and yet eternity depends upon them!

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All the difference between a saved Jew in the Old Testament, and a saved Christian in the New Testament consists in this: the one waited for the first coming of Christ in the weakness of mortal flesh, the other waits for His second coming in the majesty of immortal glory.

 


Pithy gems from Andrew Gray 1634-1656

There is no rod which a Christian can bear worse than the rod which strikes at the root of his predominant idols.

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A proud man can bear any cross better than reproach.

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A worldly-minded man can bear any cross better than poverty.

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This poor world is the house of complaints, Heaven is the house of praise.
This world is the house of sorrow, Heaven is the house of joy.
This world is the house of our pilgrimage, Heaven is the house of our abode.
This world is the house of our misery, Heaven is the house of our eternal solace, when there shall be no end of our joy and rejoicing.
Wait, then, for behold He comes with ten thousand of His saints.

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Here in this poor world there is much repining and fretting at God's providential dealings. But the day is approaching when you shall write upon the posts of the doors of Heaven, "He has done all things well!"

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If a Christian has Christ's heart, he shall also have His hands!

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We must not expect two heavens—it is enough if we possess one.

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We cannot travel to Heaven on flowery beds of ease; it is not much that we go to Heaven in a fiery chariot, having afflictions and calamities our companions all the way. When our feet shall stand upon the threshold of the door of our everlasting rest, then our chains shall fall from our hands, and our fetters from our feet, and we shall lift up our heads with joy!



Pithy gems from John Howe 1630-1705


Though none can claim God's mercy, all may forfeit it.

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What is the whole of our life here but a dream?

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What is the entire scene of this world but a vision of the night, where each man walks in a vain show?

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To converse with the holy, is the way to be holy.
To converse with Heaven, is the way to be heavenly.
To converse with God, is the way to be godlike.



Pithy gems from William Bates, 1625-1699

The love of God is the most powerful persuasive to repentance.

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Those that lived and died in the darkness of heathenism shall have a cooler climate in Hell than those who neglected the great salvation.



Pithy gem from Joseph Caryl, 1602-1672

The only hiding-place from the wrath of God, is in the love of God.



Pithy gem from John Trapp, 1602-1669

Affliction is the way by which the Lord Jesus separates the sin which He hates, from the son whom He loves.

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There is no wearing the crown, but by bearing the cross first.
Christ Himself was not glorified, until first crucified.



Pithy gem from Tobias Crisp, 1600-1642
Men are mistaken, who think that the law makes them see their own vileness. A gracious sight of our vileness is the work of Christ alone.



Pithy gems from Samuel Rutherford 1600-1661

O what owe I to the file, to the hammer, to the furnace of my Lord Jesus!

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O thrice fools are we, who, like new-born princes weeping in the cradle, know not that there is a kingdom before them!

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If you were not strangers here, the dogs of the world would not bark at you!


Pithy gems from Joseph Hall, 1574-1656

Good prayers never came weeping home.
I am sure I shall receive either what I ask—or what I should ask.

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When this Jael (sin) brings you milk in the one hand, know that she has a nail in the other hand!



Pithy gems from Savonarola, 1452-1498


O infinite love! I have grievously sinned; and You, Jesus, were stricken. 
I have been Your enemy; and You, Jesus, for love of me, were nailed to the cross.

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Many have been victorious in great temptations, and ruined by little ones.



Pithy gem from Thomas Cranmer, 1489-1556

Christ is the true and perfect nourishment of the soul.



Pithy gem from William Perkins, 1558-1602
The most lovely garment that ever we can wear is the robe of Christ's righteousness!



Pithy gem from John Knox , 1506-1572
Sin was so odious and detestable in the presence of our heavenly Father, that by no other sacrifice could it be purged, except by the blood and death of the only innocent Son of God.



Pithy gems from John Fox, 1517-1587

Our covetous, voluptuous, selfish and ambitious life—what does it declare, but either infidelity or neglecting of Christ's kingdom!

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We hear of the glory of Christ, but we feel it not.

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We talk of Christ, but have no experience of Him, no acquaintance with Him.

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We honor Him with our lips, but our heart does not hunger after Him.

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We talk of Heaven, but we walk not to Heaven.



Pithy gems from Robert Leighton, 1613-1684

He is wise who has learned to speak little with others, and much with himself and with God.



Pithy gem from Thomas Wilcox, 1622-1687

Judge not of Christ's love by His providences, but by His promises!