Grace Gems for MAY, 2020

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The throne of grace

(Henry Law, "Family Prayers")

Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty, Heaven and earth are full of Your glory! Blessing and honor and glory and power be to You, O Father of mercies, O God of all grace and love.

We thank You, that, as vile and sin-soiled as we are—we may come into Your immediate presence, and hold this converse with You, and commune with You concerning all our concerns, all our sins, and fears, and hopes and desires.

We are astonished that we, poor sinners on earth, may speak directly to You—our great and glorious God, on Your throne in the Heaven of heavens! How wondrous the thought that our poor breathings may fly on the wings of faith, and have instant access to the ears of Your grace!

We thank You that, in the multitude of Your tender mercies and the riches of Your pitiful compassion, You have been pleased to erect this throne of grace before which we now most humbly bow. We bless You that here, free grace reigns. We bless You that, at all times and in all places, we have open access to You through the blood of Your dear Son.

We bless You that the veil is open, and that in His great name we may ever approach and find You . . .
  ready to hear, 
  waiting to be gracious,
  arrayed in smiles of love, 
  bidding us to touch the scepter of Your sovereign mercy, 
  inviting us to pour out every need and desire of our hearts, 
  and promising to give more than we can ask or think.

Grant, oh grant, that we may be wholly consecrated to You. May we, in spirit, soar far above earth. May our hearts be fast barred against admission of worldly thoughts or cares. Send Your peace, passing all understanding, as a flood into our anxious minds.  May our meditations of You be sweet. May we drink deeply of the refreshing streams proceeding out of Your throne. May we feast on the heaven-sent manna of Your precious Word, and thus gather strength for the upward race.

Hear us, answer us, bless us we pray. All we ask is in Jesus' name, and for Jesus' sake. Amen.

"Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16

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Divine Providence

(Various authors)

To suppose that temporal things are too little for our condescending God, is to forget that He observes the flight of sparrows, and counts the hairs of His people's heads. Besides, everything is so little to Him, that, if He does not care for the little, He cares for nothing.

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With God there are no contingencies. The mighty Charioteer of Providence has gathered up all the reins of all the horses, and He guides them all according to His infallible wisdom. There is a predestination which concerns all things, from the motion of a grain of dust on the threshing-floor, to that of the flaming comet which blazes athwart the sky. Nothing can happen but what God ordains; and therefore, why should we fear?

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There is as much divine providence in the creeping of an aphid upon a rose leaf, as in the marching of an army to ravage a continent.

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Believer, if your lot in life is a lowly one, you should be satisfied with your earthly portion; for you may rest assured that it is the fittest for you. Unerring wisdom ordained your lot, and selected for you the safest and best condition!

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Blessed is the man who sees God in all the trifles of his life!

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The calamities of earthquake,
the devastations of storm,
the ravages of war, and
all the terrible catastrophes of plague,
have only been co-workers with God—slaves compelled to tug the ship of the divine purpose across the sea of time.

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The insatiable archer (death) is not permitted to shoot his bolts at random—every arrow that flies bears this inscription, "I have a message from God for you!"

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When you have looked at creation—remember providence, which is a prolongation of the creative act. The power which made all things, upholds them.

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It is most important for us to learn that the smallest trifles are as much arranged by the God of providence, as the most startling events. He who counts the stars, has also numbered the hairs of our heads!

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He who believes in God must believe in His providential control of His creation. There is no standing point between this and atheism. There is no half way between an almighty God who works all things according to the good pleasure of His own will—and no God at all. A God who cannot do as He pleases—a God whose will is frustrated, is not a God, and cannot be a God; I could not believe in such a God as that.

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God's providences are but the manifestations of His decrees.
What God does in time, is only what He purposed in eternity.

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(Arthur Pink, "Comfort for Christians")

"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." Philippians 4:11

Contentment is the being satisfied with the sovereign dispensations of God's providence. It is the opposite of murmuring, which is the spirit of rebellion—the clay saying to the Potter, "Why have You made me thus?" Instead of complaining at his lot—a contented man is thankful that his condition and circumstances are no worse than they are.

Discontent! Was there ever a time when there was so much discontent and restlessness in the world, as there is today? We very much doubt it. Despite our boasted progress, the vast increase of wealth, the time and money expended daily in pleasure—discontent is everywhere! No class is exempt. Everything is in a state of flux, and almost everybody is dissatisfied. Many even among God's own people are affected with the evil spirit of this age.

Contentment! Is such a thing realizable, or is it nothing more than a beautiful ideal, a mere dream of the poet? Is it attainable on earth, or is it restricted to the inhabitants of Heaven? If feasible here and now—may it be retained, or are a few brief moments or hours of contentment the most that we may expect in this life?

The force of Paul's statement will be better appreciated, if his condition and circumstances at the time he made it, are kept in mind. When the apostle wrote the words, he was not luxuriating in a special suite in the Emperor's palace—but was in prison "in chains". The contentment which Paul enjoyed, was not the result of congenial and comfortable surroundings. Most people suppose that contentment is impossible, unless one can have the desires of the carnal heart gratified. A prison is the last place to which they would go, if they were seeking a contented man. This much, then, is clear—contentment comes from within and not without; it must be sought from God, not in creature comforts.

Now, there is a vast difference between precept and practice, between the ideal and the realization. But in the case of Paul, contentment was an actual experience! It was something he had learned in the school of Christian experience.

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said—Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5

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Petulant for toys and trifles!

(James Meikle, "Solitude Sweetened")

O for what trifles, will men cast away their precious souls!

It is proper only to children, not to men—to be petulant for toys and trifles. So let the men of this world lament the loss of worldly vanities. But let the heirs of God, the joint-heirs with Christ, rejoice that the treasures of eternity are theirs!

"But blessed are your eyes, for they see." Happy are those who have the eyes of their mind opened, and clearly see . . .
  the deformity of sin,
  the beauty of holiness,
  the excellency of piety,
  the necessity of the new birth,
  the preciousness of Christ,
  the glory of eternal realities.

I see the mutable and fickle state of temporal things, and therefore hold a loose grip on the creature, however dear, however near—and set my affections on things which are above!

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory!" Colossians 3:1-4

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Where am I bound for? For Heaven—or for Hell?

(Samuel Davies, "A New Year's Gift" January 1, 1760)

"Knowing the TIME, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep!" Romans 13:11

Consider the SHORTNESS of your time! That part of time which is parceled out to you, is not only uncertain—but extremely short! It is uncertain when it will end, but it is absolutely certain that it will end very soon!

In a short time death will convey you from this world—to Heaven or Hell.

Is it not high time then for you to awake out of sleep!
Your work is great—and your time is short!
You have no time to spare—none to trifle away!

Methinks it would shock a man to enter upon a new year, without knowing whether he will be in Heaven or Hell before the end of it!

We are all standing upon the slippery brink of eternity!

This day let us put this question to our hearts: "What really am I? Am I a humble, dutiful servant of God? Or am I a disobedient, impenitent sinner? Am I a disciple of Christ in reality? Or do I only wear His name, and make an empty profession of His religion? Where am I bound for? For Heaven—or for Hell? Which am I most fit for in my disposition? For the region of perfect holiness—or for that region of sin and impurity? Shall I stupidly delay the determination, until it is passed by the irrevocable sentence of the Supreme Judge, before whom I may stand before this year is at a close? Alas, if it should then be against me—then my doom will be remediless!"

There is none of this salvation work in Hell! They no sooner enter into the eternal world—than their state will be unchangeably and eternally fixed!

All are ripe for eternity, before they are removed into it!
The godly are ripe for Heaven—and the wicked are ripe for Hell!

The godly are vessels of mercy, prepared for glory.
The wicked are vessels of wrath, fitted for destruction, and for nothing else!

And therefore they must remain forever in their respective lodgings!

Sinners do indeed repent when in Hell—but their repentance is their punishment, and has no tendency to amend or save them. They mourn and weep—but their tears are but oil to increase the flame! They cry, and perhaps pray in Hell—but the hour of acceptance with God is past—past forever! The means of grace are all gone! The sanctifying influences of the Spirit are all withdrawn forever! And hence, they will corrupt and putrefy into mere masses of pure unmingled wickedness and misery!

Sinners, realize this thought—and surely, it must rouse you out of your lethargy and sleep!

Trifle on a little longer—and it is all over with you!

Spend a few days more as you have spent your time past—and you will be engulfed in as hopeless a misery, as any devil in Hell!

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Oh how ashamed you would be if men could see your thoughts!

(Richard Baxter)

Oh how ashamed you would be if men could see your thoughts!

Is not the eye of God ten thousand times more to be regarded?

"You alone know each human heart!" 2 Chronicles 6:30

"Behold, I know your thoughts!" Job 21:27

"Would not God have discovered it, since He knows the secrets of the heart?" Psalm 44:21

"You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence!" Psalm 90:8

"You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar!" Psalm 139:2

"Death and Destruction lie open before the LORDhow much more the hearts of men!" Proverbs 15:11

"I know what is going through your mind." Ezekiel 11:5

"I know their works and their thoughts." Isaiah 66:18

"Lord, You know everyone's heart." Acts 1:24

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

"God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all." Romans 2:16

"Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts." 1 Corinthians 4:5

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
   Psalm 139:23-24

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Pithy gems from Thomas Goodwin, 1599-1679

They only are wise, who are wise unto salvation.

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In Christ are treasures that will require digging to the end of the world!

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If I were to go to Heaven, and find that Christ was not there, I would leave immediately; for Heaven without Christ would be Hell to me.

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Judas heard all of Christ's sermons.

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Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks.

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As faith is merely a receiving grace, so prayer is a begging grace.

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My brethren, when God first began to love you, He gave you all that He ever meant to give you in the lump—and eternity is the time in which He is doling it out.

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Christian! All that God is, will supply all that you need.

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The person who loves Christ best, is the person who will pray best.

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Christ's riches are unsearchable, and the gospel is the field this Treasure is hidden in.

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God is infinitely beautiful in Himself, and His beauty ought to attract you like a magnet.

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It is not enough to hear a sermon, but you must eat it down, take in what it commands, and then it will purge your heart. Take the Word and digest it, squeeze its juice into your heart, and it will purge you from all contrary corruption.

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Is Christ God's Beloved, with and in whom He is well pleased? And is He not your Beloved?

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Some ministers appear offended if their authority is questioned!

(John Quincy Adams, "Baptists, The Only Thorough Religious Reformers" 1876)

"Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." Acts 17:11

The Bible should be the test of all preaching. That man who desires to make himself the umpire and final standard of appeal to the  congregation, involves himself in a fearful responsibility and virtually claims for himself infallibility. Yet some ministers appear offended if their authority is questioned, or if their preaching is tested by the Word of God.

Paul did not do so. Though inspired, he commended the course of those, who, instead of taking his word for it, examined the Scriptures for themselves, to see whether those things which he taught them were so. To adopt a contrary course, and blindly follow a minister or priest, is downright Romanism! And, if pursued universally, this would . . .
  arrest the progress of the Gospel,
  and clog the wheels of truth,
  and stamp error with immutability.

No, my brethren, your minister is not to be the umpire or standard. There is but one who could say, "Follow Me!" and that was Christ! We point you to Him. We direct you to His Word as the standard of your beliefs, and to His example as the pattern of your lives.

"To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20

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One of the best jewels we have!

(Sir Matthew Hale, 1609-1676)

"Show me, O LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life." Psalm 39:4

Laziness grows on people; it begins in cobwebs, and ends in iron chains!

Be frugal with your time; it is one of the best jewels we have!

This is the very hell of Hell to the damned spirits—that they had once a time wherein they might have procured everlasting bliss and glory; but they foolishly and vainly misspent that time and season, which is now never to be recovered.

"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12

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A flower that only grows in the garden of eternity!

(Matthew Hale 1600-1675)

"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand!" Psalm 16:11

True happiness is not to be found in this life. It is a flower that only grows in the garden of eternity, and to be expected in its full fruition only in that life which is to come.

If we do but seriously believe the truth of the gospel, the best things of this world will seem of small importance; and the worst things this world can inflict will seem but of little consequence. The worst things that this world can inflict will appear too light to provoke us to impatience or discontent. He who has everlasting glory in prospect, will have a mind full of contentment in the darkest condition here.

This poor world is the place of our travel and pilgrimage, and, at the best, our temporary inn.
Our home, our country, is Heaven, where there are no sorrows, nor fears, nor troubles.

In my Father's house there are mansions, many mansions, instead of my inn. My Savior Himself has gone before me to prepare a place for me. I will therefore content myself with the inconveniences of my short journey, for my accommodations will be inconceivable when I come to my true home, that heavenly inheritance which is the place of my eternal happiness.

"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints!" Ephesians 1:18

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One of the most childish pieces of folly!

(Matthew Hale, 1600-1675)

The vanity of loving fine clothes and new fashion, and placing value on ourselves because them, is one of the most childish pieces of folly!

[Editor's note: We can just as easily add our fine houses, cars, hobbies etc.,  etc. to Hale's list of "childish pieces of folly".]

"those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them.
 For this world in its present form is passing away!" 1 Corinthians 7:31

"The world and its desires are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever!" 1 John 2:17

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The worst part of you!

(Daniel de Superville, 1657-1728)

People often say, "I have my faults, but at the bottom I have a good heart."

A good heart! Alas! it is this that deceives you, for your heart is the worst part of you!

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

The politicians, the philosophers, the sages of the world, are all shams!
What have they done toward the cure of the human heart?

Blessed be God! We recover more by the second Adam, than we lost by the first!

"I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean;
 I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.
 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;
 I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
 I will put My Spirit in you and cause you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws."
    Ezekiel 36:25-27

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You ungodly one! You vile, helpless, miserable sinner!

(John Wesley, 1703-1791)
"But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness" Romans 4:5
Who are those that are justified? The ungodly—the ungodly of every kind and degree, and none but the ungodly! It is only sinners that have any occasion for pardon. It is our unrighteousness to which the pardoning Lord is merciful; it is our iniquity that He remembers no more.
Thus look unto Jesus. He is the Lamb of God who takes away your sins. Plead no works, no righteousness, no humility, no contrition of your own. Plead alone the sin-atoning blood—the ransom paid for your proud, stubborn, sinful soul.
You ungodly one! You vile, helpless, miserable sinner!
I charge you before God, the Judge of all—go straight to Him with all your ungodliness! Go as altogether ungodly, guilty, lost, destroyed, deserving and dropping into Hell—and you shall find favor in His sight, and know that He justifies the ungodly, undone, helpless, damned sinner!

George Whitefield: "What if you had committed the sins of a million worlds? Christ's righteousness will cover, and Christ's blood will cleanse you from the guilt of all!"
"When we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
 While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
 When we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son."
     Romans 5:6, 8, 10

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A dreadful release!

(Richard Hill, 1732-1808)

When a poor lost soul dies, who has long lingered under some painful bodily disease, it is often said, "It is good for him that he is released from his pain."

Yet it is a dreadful release—from earth to Hell!

"The rich man also died and was buried.
 In Hell, where he was in torment . . . "
Luke 16:22-23

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They were as vain as the idols of modern times!

(George Horne, 1730-1792)

"The prophets prophesied by Baal, following worthless idols!" Jeremiah 2:8

Vain were the idols of the ancient world, such as Baal and Jupiter.

They were as vain as the idols of modern times: Pleasure, Honor, and Profit.

"While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols!" Acts 17:16

"Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry!" 1 Corinthians 10:14

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It is needful that we pass through the furnace of affliction

(Cornelius Tyree, "The Benefits of Affliction")

"I have refined you in the furnace of affliction." Isaiah 48:10

Afflictions tend to purify us. Before some of the vessels of the temple could be used for sacred purposes, they had to be put into the fire.

Just so, before we are prepared for the Master's use, it is needful that we pass through the furnace of affliction.

The human heart, like the soil of the earth, has to be torn up by the plowshare of tribulation, before it will produce much fruit of holiness.

"When He has tried me, I will emerge as pure gold!" Job 23:10

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Depths, heights, lengths and breadths of loveliness!

(Cornelius Tyree, "The Glorious Sufficiency of Christ!" 1879)

The more we love Him, the more lovely He will become to us.

We soon exhaust the most excellent characters of earth. But in the character of our blessed Redeemer there are depths, heights, lengths and breadths of loveliness that we can never exhaust through time or eternity. After, in Heaven, we shall have seen the King in His beauty as many millions of years as there are grains of dust in our globe—there will still be in Him an infinitude of unrevealed beauties to transport our ever expanding souls.

"He is fairer than the children of men," and infinitely more lovely than all the holy angels, comprising in Himself all the graces of time and all the perfections of eternity.

"He is the chief among ten thousand! Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!" As every ray of light in the natural world may be traced up in converging rays to the sun—so every trait of moral loveliness found in good men and angels is but a feeble ray from Him, the sun of the moral universe.

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On our learning this lesson depends our comforting walk heavenward

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

When the Holy Spirit takes of the things of Christ and preaches them to the heart—oh, what a sweet peace follows! For the believer then finds himself saved from all the miseries of sin, and entitled to all the blessings of eternal glory.

Being thus persuaded of his safety by believing in the sin-atoning blood of our Great High Priest, the Holy Spirit then teaches him how to live upon Christ, and how to make use of Christ's fullness.

On our learning this lesson depends our comforting walk heavenward. For Christ does not give us a stock of grace and expect us to improve it by being faithful to grace given. No, no, that is not His way. Our souls must depend upon Him, just as our bodies do upon the elements of this world. Every moment we must live by faith upon His fullness, and be every moment receiving out of it grace upon grace.

And this is our happiness—to have all in Christ!

A beggar in myself, but rich with unsearchable eternal riches in Him.

Ignorant still in myself, but led and taught by His unerring wisdom.

A sinner still, but saved by His blood and righteousness.

Weak and helpless still, but kept by His Almighty love.

Nothing but sorrow in myself, nothing but joy in Him.

Oh, this is a blessed life!

No tongue can tell what a Heaven it is, thus to live by faith upon the Son of God. Thanks be to Him, that I do know a little of it. Surely I could not have thought, some years ago, that there was such a Heaven upon earth as I now find. May you find it more and more! Sweet Jesus keep you, my dear friend!

William Romaine

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This is mercy!

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

"But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to Heaven, but was beating his chest, saying: God, be merciful to me, the sinner!" Luke 18:13

"He redeems your life from destruction; He crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies!" Psalm 103:4

My dear friend,
What thanks ought we to give to our gracious Lord for all of His mercies to us!

I can look back upon every part of my life, and upon it all I can write, "This is mercy!"

Oh, it is all, from first to last, to those who are chosen and called and believe and live by faith in the Son of God, MERCY—from everlasting to everlasting! Mercy before time, mercy in time, mercy beyond time!

Where is the fountainhead, the spring of this mercy? What gives rise to it?
Nothing but the sovereign grace and free love of the purpose and heart of God Himself.

But on whom do the streams of this fountain flow with their quickening, comforting, sanctifying, glorifying streams?

On the miserable sinner, and none else; for none else are the objects of mercy. On such as you and me! Mercy has made a rich provision . . .
  to supply all our needs,
  to pardon all our sins,
  to save us from all punishment,
  to entitle us to all glory!

"I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever!" Psalm 89:1

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God." Romans 12:1

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Thus He will make the soul enamored with Jesus!

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

"When the Comforter comes . . . He will testify about Me." John 15:26

He shall testify to My person as self-existent Jehovah.

He shall bear witness to My work as the perfect sin-atoner.

He shall testify of My grace, how free it is, how full it is.

He shall enable the sinner, any poor wretch, however vile in his own eyes—to trust his soul into the hands of Jesus. And having enabled the sinner to do this, then He will testify of Jesus, that He has received him, that he is safe in the arms and may be happy in the enjoyment of Jesus' love.

Thus He will make the soul enamored with Jesus! There will appear such consummate beauty, such infinite loveliness in His precious person, as will eclipse the glory of all other lovers. There will appear such true happiness in fellowship with Him, as will quite dethrone all former idols.

And when the foolish heart would depart, the Comforter will not let it. Then will He testify of Jesus, "To whom would you go? Who has eternal life to give, but Him? Turn, turn again to your rest, oh my soul."

If the soul is mourning; He will testify of the joy that is in Jesus.

If the soul is burdened; "Cast the burden," He says, "on your Lord Jesus."

If the soul has lost any creature comfort; "Let it go," He says, "Jesus is still your salvation and your great reward."

If the soul is grieved with indwelling sin; "It is pardoned," He says, "you are free from the curse of sin."

Whatever the needs of the believer are, the Spirit's office is to testify of Jesus: "Jesus is what you need—and you have Him freely."

The Comforter will keep you by His almighty power, until He brings you to the Heaven of heavens—the sight and enjoyment of dear Jesus, eternally dear and lovely Jesus!

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All their concerns are upon His heart!

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

His redeemed people are the object of His special care. They are all . . .
  bought with His blood,
  quickened by His Spirit,
  kept by His power, and
  blessed with His love.

All their concerns are upon His heart
. His eyes are upon them. He sees His people with perfect delight, and they shall lack nothing good that He has to give. He is managing all things temporal and spiritual for their good.

He does not, He cannot, make one mistake in His government; no, not the least.

He does all things well.

He is wisdom, He is love, He is omnipotence itself.

Infinite wisdom directs His love and sets it to work. Being Almighty, He makes all things work together for the best to His dear people.

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The great lesson of the Christian life

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

There is . . .
  no pardon but in Christ's blood,
  no justification but in His obedience,
  no safety but in His keeping me,
  no happiness but in His love,
  no Heaven but in the enjoyment of our precious Immanuel.
The great lesson of the Christian life is coming daily as a poor sinner to live upon a rich Savior.

I have been at this lesson a great while, and though very dull and stupid—yet, through marvelous grace, I have learned something.

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He can extract pleasure out of pain!

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

Dear friend,
He loves you more than you can possibly love yourself; and He will send you nothing but what is for your real and best interest, and He will let you find it so. His love is almighty, and it is unchangeable. What can He not do, what will He not do, when His heart is set upon blessing His people!

He does all things well! Yes, He intends to do better for you, far better than you can even imagine!

It is a common thing with Him to bring spiritual good out of temporal evil. He can extract pleasure out of pain! Yes, He can enrich by impoverishing; and turn losses into gain. To you it is now given, as a matter of His choice favor, not only to believe on Him, but also to be conformed to Him by bearing His cross. This He is aiming at.

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I would carry all to Him as one great lump of sin!

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

Dear friend,
The Spirit is teaching you. He is bringing you to live out of yourself, and upon the fullness of Jesus. Trusting in His faithful Word, you may experience how ready His heart is and how able His hand is, to supply all your need. This is a beggar's life; here is nothing but alms.

When the Spirit would glorify Jesus, He humbles you.

When He would glorify His fullness, He makes you feel your emptiness.

When He would bring you to rely on His strength, He convinces you of your weakness.

When He would magnify the comforts of Jesus, He makes you sensible of your misery.

When He would fix your heart on His Heaven, He makes you feel your deserved Hell.

When He would exalt His righteousness, you find that you are a poor, miserable sinner.

My friend, let nothing keep you from Jesus. Whatever you need, whatever you feel is wrong with you—may it bring you to the Savior's fullness! Oh, that all things may help forward your acquaintance with Him—I except nothing, neither sin nor sorrow! I would carry all to Him as one great lump of sin—and receive all from Him, as the only storehouse of good for wretched sinners.

In this communion I desire to grow; for this I desire to live. Oh, that you and I may learn it more, and every day get nearer fellowship with our sweet Jesus—growing up into Him in all things.

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A refreshing draught to a weary traveler!

(J.R. Miller)

"I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways." Psalm 119:15

The habit of laying up a text of Scripture in the morning, to be meditated upon while engaged in the business of this world through the day, is both profitable and delightful. It is as a refreshing draught to a weary traveler!

Nothing is more helpful and practical in Christian living, than the habit of getting a verse or phrase of Scripture into the mind and heart in the morning. Its influence stays through the day, weaving itself into all the day's thoughts and words and experiences.

Every verse in the Bible is meant to help us to live, and a good devotional book opens up the precious teachings which are folded up in its words.

A devotional book which takes a Scripture text, and so opens it for us in the morning, that all day long it helps us to live, becoming a true lamp to our feet, and a staff to lean upon when the way is rough—is the very best devotional help we can possibly have. What we need in a devotional book which will bless our lives, is the application of the great teachings of Scripture to common, daily, practical life.

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Adoniram Judson's Rules of Life

(Judson was a missionary in Burma for almost forty years. He died in 1850.)

1. Be diligent in prayer, every morning and evening.

2. Never spend a moment in mere idleness.

3. Restrain natural appetites within the bounds of temperance and purity.

4. Suppress every emotion of anger or ill will.

5. Undertake nothing from motives of ambition or love of fame.

6. Never do that which at the moment appears to be displeasing to God.

7. Seek opportunities of making some sacrifice for the good of others.

8. Endeavor to rejoice in every loss and suffering for Christ's sake, remembering that like death, they are of great gain.

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There will be no more night!

("No Night in Heaven!" George Conder, 1821-1874)

"No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve Him. They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever!" Revelation 22:3-5

This vision of Heaven, how wondrous it is! What a contrast to this poor earth of ours. Streets of gold, and seas of glass, and pearly gates, and rivers and trees of life—in exchange for this vile dust and dross, and worthless ugliness, and for these fruits of pain and death! 

A realm of splendid light, without a sun!

A world, without a sea!

Bodies, without pain!

Faces, with no tears and no furrows of grief!

Hearts, without sighs!

Duration, without mutation and reverse!

Life, without age or decay!

No death! Creatures, but no death!

Day, bright, blazing, gorgeous day—but no night!

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An immense ocean of everlasting love!

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

Dear friend,
May Jesus be yours—all that He is, and all that He has. Then you will be as rich as an archangel!

May He captivate you more with His infinite beauty and enable you to live more blessedly upon His infinite fullness, that He may keep His royal court in your soul!

The more you are acquainted with Him, the more you will grow in love to Him; for He is altogether lovely, an immense ocean of everlasting love! The loveliness of the whole world is but a drop compared to His immeasurable love. What must Heaven be, where His love is to be fully manifested and enjoyed forever! There we shall see Him! Oh, for that day!

But even along our pilgrim way, He walks with us and makes our hearts burn within us. These sweet foretastes of His love draw us on and whet our appetite for Heaven. A few more of these foretastes, and we shall get to the fountainhead and drink rivers of pleasure forevermore!

To His precious dear heart's love, I commend you and yours, and am for His sake your friend and servant,
William Romaine

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Who were these 144,000?

(Charles Spurgeon, "Heavenly Music!")

"Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 who had His Father's name written on their foreheads." Revelation 14:1

Who were these 144,000
"who had His Father's name written on their foreheads?"

Not Bs for "Baptists,"
nor Ws for "Wesleyans,"
nor Es for "Established Church."

They had their Father's name and nobody else's. What a deal of fuss is made on earth about our distinctions! We think such a deal about belonging to this denomination or the other.

Why, if you were to go to Heaven's gates, and ask if they had any Baptists there, the angel would only look at you, puzzled.

If you were to ask if they had any Wesleyans or members of the Established Church, he would say, "Nothing of the sort!"

But if you were to ask him whether they had any Christians there, "Ay," he would say, "an abundance of them! They are all one now—all are called by one name. The old brands have been obliterated, and now they have not the name of this man or the other. They have the name of God, even their Father, stamped on their brow!"

Learn then dear friends, whatever the denomination to which you belong, to be charitable to your brethren and kind to them—seeing that, after all, the name you now hold here will be forgotten in Heaven, and only your Father's name will be known there.