Grace Gems for JUNE, 2020

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These predominant sins!

(J.A. James, 1785-1859)

"Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" Hebrews 12:1

Almost all of us have 'favorite pet sins'—which there is not ordinarily that concern and labor for putting them away, which there should be. They are indulged, instead of being resisted. Thus they gain strength by such indulgence, and most sadly disfigure our character and disturb our spiritual peace!

Prosperity, like sunshine upon weeds, often causes them to grow rapidly! And then God in great faithfulness, love and mercy sends adversity, like frost, to kill them. Upon a bed of sickness, and in other severe trials—they are often remembered, understood, and seen in all their sinfulness. They are then lamented, confessed, and mortified.

Nothing can be a darker sign than for a professor's conscience to be so dull and drowsy during a time of trial, as to leave him unadmonished respecting these predominant sins.

It is sometimes a blessed fruit of tribulation, that
these predominant sins have been weakened, if not eradicated. It is worth any amount of suffering to secure this result. Happy is the Christian who comes out of the furnace, with his dross removed by the fire! No matter what he has lost—he has gained freedom from these inward enemies of his peace and purity.

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Who shall have the glory—the worm or Jesus?

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

I received your letter, and think you overlook our ever adorable Jesus, in setting any value upon a poor, dirty worm such as myself.

If His grace raised this poor, dirty worm from a dunghill and set it upon a throne with His princes, who shall have the glory—the worm or Jesus? Shall any of His due praise be given to the worm? God forbid!

As vile and base as I am—yet He lets me approach Him and converse with Him freely.

He condescends to admit me into fellowship with Him; and He opens His treasures and says, "All these are yours. I bought them for you with the price of My blood, but I give them to you as a free gift!"

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Heaven has become a trifle to you, Hell is almost a jest, eternity an empty notion, and death but a bugbear!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"Many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able!" Luke 13:24

I do not wonder that so many are deceived, when I see the careless way in which they deal with their souls. When men have to do with their estates, they are very careful; they pay a lawyer to go back over the title-deeds perhaps for two or three hundred years. In trade they will hurry hither and thither to attend to their commercial engagements; they would not launch into speculations, nor would they run great risks.

But the soul, the poor soul—how men play with it as a toy, and despise it as if it were worthless! Two or three minutes in the morning when they first roll out of bed; two or three odd minutes in the evening, when they are nearly asleep—the fag-ends of the day given to their souls, and all the best part given to the body!

And then, with what indifference do you lend your ears too often to the preaching of the Word! It is an old song—you have heard it so many times. Heaven has become a trifle to you, Hell is almost a jest, eternity an empty notion, and death but a bugbear!

Alas! it is a marvel that there are not more deceived. The wonder is that any find the gate, that any discover eternal life, when we are so, so mad, so foolish, so insane—as to trifle where we ought to be solemnly in earnest; and to play and toy—where the whole heart should be given to a work of such everlasting importance. God help us, since it is so easy to be deceived—to search, and watch, and look, and test, and try, that we be not found castaways at the last!

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it!" Matthew 7:13-14

"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?" 2 Corinthians 13:5

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O blessed rod!

(John Flavel, "A Token for Mourners")

"Heed the ROD and the One who appointed it!" Micah 6:9

What if by God's chastening rod . . .
  your wandering, gadding heart shall be whipped home to God,
  your neglected duties are revived,
  your decayed communion with God is restored,
  a spiritual, heavenly frame of heart is recovered?

Surely you will bless that merciful hand which removed these obstructions, and adore the Divine wisdom and goodness, that by such an affliction as this, He has recovered you to Himself. Now you can pray more constantly, more spiritually, more affectionately than before. O blessed rod, which buds and blossoms with such fruits as these! Let this be written among your best mercies, for you shall have cause to adore and bless God eternally for this beneficial affliction.

Death is our Father's pale horse which He sends to fetch home His tender children, and carry them out of harm's way!

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The way to life eternal!

(William Jay)

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain!" Philippians 1:21

A dislike of death is no proof of the lack of genuine religion. The instincts of nature shrink from it, for no creature can like its own dissolution. But though death is not desired, the result of it may be, for to the Christian dying is the way to life eternal!

"Only a few years will pass, before I go on the journey of no return." Job 16:22

"Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!" Revelation 14:13

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Forty Scripture Directions

(John Willison, "Forty Scripture Directions" 1680-1750)

Never let the world come into God's place. (1 John 2:15)

Keep up the same opinion now of things of the world, that you will have when you come to die. (Matthew 16:26)

Put a high value upon precious time, and lose none of it by sloth. (Ephesians 5:16)

Allow a little time every day to think upon eternity. (Matthew 25:46)

Employ Christ as your refuge in all cases, and in every strait go to Him for relief. (Hebrews 12:2)

As you expect to live with Christ in Heaven, study to live for Christ on earth. (2 Corinthians 5:15)

Cleave fast to Christ and the way of holiness, whatever it may cost you. (Acts 11:23; 2 Timothy 3:12)

Delight much in thinking upon Christ—particularly of His death and sufferings for us. (1 Corinthians 2:2; Galatians 6:14)

Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17)

Spend as much time as possible in secret prayer and converse with God. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

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When she kisses you!

(Francis Quarles, 1592-1644)

Do you think, my soul, to be made happy by the smiles of the world—or unhappy by her frowns?

When she fawns upon you, she deludes you.

When she kisses you, she betrays you.

Like Jael, she brings the milk in a lordly dish, and bears a hammer in her deadly hand.

Trust not her flattery, O my soul—nor let her malice move you.

Her music is your enchantment, and her sweetness is your snare!

She is the highway to eternal death!

"Worldliness is the most thronged road to everlasting ruin!" J.A. James

"The spirit of the world is eating out the very heart and life of true godliness!" George Everard

"Refined worldliness is the present snare of the Church of God!" Horatius Bonar

"The world is a sea, where we are tossed upon the surging waves of sorrow, and often in danger of shipwreck! The world is a wilderness, full of fiery serpents!" Thomas Watson

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I will not be so covetous as to hope for two Heavens!

(Joseph Hall, 1574-1656)

Every man has a Heaven and a Hell.

Earth is the wicked man's Heaven; his Hell is to come.

On the contrary, the godly have their Hell upon earth, where they are vexed with temptations and afflictions; their Heaven is above, in endless glory.

If it is hard with me on earth, it is well that my afflictions are so short and so easy. I will not be so covetous as to hope for two Heavens!

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Painted bubbles!

(Thomas Reade)

"May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it." Ephesians 3:19

What are all the vanities of this world but painted bubbles, when compared with this eternal treasure?

Is there not then cause for apprehension, lest, while we profess much love for Christ, our hearts should cleave unto the dust of this poor world?

Are we not in danger of making a home of this fleeting world, and of setting up our rest here, as if this wilderness were our glorious eternal inheritance?

"Arise and depart! For this is not your resting place, because it is defiled, it is ruined, beyond all remedy!" Micah 2:10

"Our citizenship is in Heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ!" Philippians 3:20

"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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Amazing love!

(Robert Murray McCheyne, 1813-1843)

The seed of every sin known to man is in your heart!

Amazing love, that calls you to the Lamb's wedding feast—and not to Hell!

"Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb!" Revelation 19:9

Soon we shall see Him as He is!

We shall be married to Him, reign with Him, and be entirely like Him!

"May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully!"
Ephesians 3:19

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There is not one thing that thwarts your will, that is not in God's will

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

My dear friend,
Your frequent afflictions are His sweet lessons. It is the proper work of the grace of Jesus to humble the proud sinner, to make him and to keep him sensible of his needs, convinced always that he has not any good of his own and cannot possibly of himself obtain any—but what he must be receiving every moment out of the fullness of Jesus.

All providences, sicknesses, losses, successes—are only so far blessings, as they lead us more out of ourselves, into the fullness of Jesus.

The Lord having appointed you for His heavenly kingdom, has also appointed all the steps which are to lead you there. Your every affliction is in the covenant. Your sicknesses, your failings, your disappointments—there is not one thing that thwarts your will, that is not in God's will. Nothing can befall you but what is . . .
  divinely ordered,
  contrived for you by infinite wisdom,
  brought upon you by infinite love!

Oh, for eyes to see, for a heart to receive all God's dealings with you in this covenant view. How sweet would be your many trials, if you found them all appointed and managed for you by the best of friends! Learn to receive them thus.

To the care of His dear loving heart I commend you and yours,
William Romaine

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A jewel of more worth than a world!

(Thomas Brooks, "The Hypocrite Detected")

"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:16

Time is a jewel of more worth than a world!

Time is not yours to dispose of as you please.
It is a glorious talent, which men must be accountable for, as well as any other talent.

Of all talents, time is the hardest to improve well.

Ah, beloved, have not you need to improve your time—who have so much work to do in so short a time:
  your souls to save,
  a God to honor,
  a Christ to exalt,
  a Hell to escape,
  a race to run,
  a crown to win,
  temptations to withstand,
  corruptions to conquer,
  afflictions to bear,
  mercies to improve, and
  your generation to serve!

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

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There is something infinitely vast and glorious in Christ's righteousness!

(Robert Murray McCheyne)

"Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound!" Romans 5:20

There is something infinitely vast and glorious in Christ's righteousness!

For your unholy life, here is His divinely holy life to cover you.

Here are His holy thoughts, to cover your unholy thoughts.

Here are His holy words, to cover your unholy words.

Here are His holy actions, to cover your unholy actions.

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To join in one person

(John Mestrezat, 1592-1657)

To join in one person . . .
  the Creator, with the creature;
  the Infinite, with the finite;
  the Eternal, with a being brought forth in time
—far surpasses all the wonders of creation!

It behooved our Lord Jesus Christ to be made to us everlasting life, by His death.
Though He is the source of life, yet He could not have given life to us without having first died.

What is there, O believers, that should disturb your joy and peace—since the blood of God is your ransom?

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Tomorrow comes, and they are in Hell!

(Samuel Davies, "The Objects, Grounds, and Evidences of the HOPE of the Righteous")

"The wicked is driven away in his wickedness;
 but the righteous has hope in his death." Proverbs 14:32

"The wicked is driven away in his wickedness."
That is, the wicked man dies—just as he lived.
He lived in wickedness, and in wickedness he dies.

His wickedness sticks fast upon him—when his earthly enjoyments, his friends, and all created comforts leave him forever.

The guilt of his wickedness lies heavy upon him—like a mountain of lead, ready to sink him into the depths of eternal misery!

And the principles of wickedness, which he indulged all his life, still live within him, even after the agonies of death; nay, they now arrive at a dreadful immortality, and produce an eternal Hell in his heart!

He leaves behind him not only all his earthly comforts—but all the little remains of goodness which he seemed to have, while under the restraints of divine grace; and he carries nothing but his wickedness along with him into eternity! With this dreadful attendant—his wickedness—he must stand before the tribunal of his holy Judge! To leave his earthly all behind him, and die in the agonies of dissolving nature—this is terrible. But to die in his wickedness—this is infinitely the most terrible of all!

He once flattered himself that though he lived in wickedness—that he would not die in it. He adopted many resolutions to amend, and forsake his wickedness toward the close of life, or upon a death-bed. But Oh! how sorely is he disappointed! After all his promising purposes and hopes, he died as he lived—in wickedness!

This is generally the fate of veterans in sin. They are resolving and re-resolving to reform all their lives; but after all, they die the same as they lived. They intend to prepare for death and eternity, but just not today. They have always something else to do today; and therefore they put off this work until tomorrow. Tomorrow comes, and instead of reforming, they die in their wickedness. Tomorrow comes, and they are in Hell!

"The wicked is driven away in his wickedness."
He is driven away, in spite of all his reluctance.
Let him cling to life ever so strongly, yet he must go!
All his struggles are vain, and cannot add one moment to his life.

Indeed, the wicked have so little taste for Heaven, and are so much in love with this world—that if they leave it at all, they must be driven out of it—driven out of it, whether they want or not!

When they hope for Heaven, they do in reality consider it but a shift, or a refuge, when they can no longer live in this, their favorite world. They do not at all desire Heaven—in comparison with this world. They would live forever in this present world, if they could have their choice. But let them grasp ever so hard, they must let go their hold. They must be driven away, like chaff before a whirlwind—driven away into the regions of misery. Into the regions of misery, I say; for certainly the happiness of Heaven was never intended for such as are so averse to it; and who prefer this wretched world, with all its cares and sorrows—before Heaven itself!

"But the wicked will lose hope. They have no escape. Their hope becomes despair." Job 11:20

"When the wicked die, their hopes all perish!" Proverbs 11:7

"The desire of the righteous ends only in good, but the hope of the wicked only in wrath!" Proverbs 11:23

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You are devilized already!

(Samuel Davies, "Evidences of the Lack of Love to God" April 14, 1756)

"If anyone does not love the Lord—that person is cursed!" 1 Corinthians 16:22

What a monstrous soul you have within you . . .
 which cannot love God;
 which cannot love supreme excellence and all perfect beauty;
 which cannot love your divine Parent, the Author of your mortal frame;
 which cannot love your prime Benefactor and gracious Redeemer;
 which cannot love Him, "in whom you live, and move and have your being;"
 which cannot love Him, who alone is the proper happiness for your immortal spirit;
 who can love a parent, a child, a friend, with all their infirmities—but cannot love God;
 who can love the world; who can love even sinful pleasures—and yet cannot love God;
 who can love everything that is lovely—but God, who is infinitely lovely;
 who can love wisdom, justice, veracity, goodness, clemency, in creatures, where they are attended with many imperfections—and yet cannot love God, where all center and shine in the highest perfection!

What a monster of a soul is this!

Must it not be a devil
—to be capable of such unnatural horrendous wickedness?
Can you be easy, while you have such a soul within you?
What a load of guilt must lie upon you!

If love to God is the fulfilling of the whole law—then the lack of love must be the breach of the whole law. You break it all at one blow! Your life is but one continued, uniform, uninterrupted series of sinning! The lack of love to God diffuses a malignity through all you do!

Now, I appeal to you yourselves—is not this a very dangerous situation? While you are destitute of sincere love of God—can you flatter yourselves that you are fit for Heaven?

What! fit for the region of divine love?

What! fit to converse with a holy God, and live forever in His presence?

What! fit to spend an eternity in His holy service?

Can you be fit for these things—while you have no love to Him?

Certainly not!

You must perceive yourselves to be fit for destruction—and fit for nothing else!

You are devilized already!
Lack of love to God is the grand constituent of a devil, the worst ingredient in that infernal character. And must you not then be doomed to that everlasting fire—which is prepared and fit for the devil and his angels?

"If anyone does not love the Lord—that person is cursed!" 1 Corinthians 16:22

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The only effectual reformer of the world!

(Samuel Davies, "Serious Reflections on WAR" 1757)

"When He comes—He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment!" John 16:8

The Holy Spirit is the only effectual reformer of the world! If He is absent—
  legislators may make laws against crime;
  philosophers may reason against vice;
  ministers may preach against sin;
  conscience may remonstrate against evil;
  the divine law may prescribe, and threaten Hell;
  the gospel may invite, and allure to Heaven;
but all will be in vain!

The strongest arguments, the most melting entreaties, the most alarming denunciations from God and man, enforced with the highest authority, or the most compassionate tears—all will have no effect—all will not effectually reclaim one sinner, nor gain one sincere convert to righteousness!

Paul, Apollos, and Peter, with all their apostolic abilities, can do nothing, without the Holy Spirit. Paul may plant the seed—and Apollos may water it; but God alone can make it grow! "So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything—but only God, who makes things grow!" 1 Corinthians 3:6, 7

Never will peace and harmony be established in this jangling world—until this Divine Agent takes the work in hand.

It is He alone, who can melt down the obstinate hearts of men into love and peace!

It is He alone, who can soften their rugged and savage tempers, and transform them into mutual benevolence!

It is He alone—who can quench those lusts that set the world on fire, and implant the opposite virtues and graces. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, are mentioned by Paul, as the fruit of the Spirit, because the Spirit alone is the author of them. And if these dispositions were predominant in the world—what a serene, calm, peaceful region would it be, undisturbed with the hurricanes of human passions!

Oh, how much do we need the influence of the blessed Spirit . . .
  to break the heart of stone,
  to enlighten the dark mind, and
  to comfort the desponding soul!

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George is dead!

(Samuel Davies, "On the Death of King George II." Delivered on January 14, 1761, at Princeton College. It is interesting, that Samuel Davies himself died shortly after delivering this sermon, on February 4, 1761.)

"How the mighty have fallen!" 2 Samuel 1:19

George is dead! George, the mighty, the just, the gentle, and the wise! King George, the father of Britain and her Colonies, the guardian of laws and liberty, the protector of the oppressed, the arbiter of Europe, the terror of tyrants! George, the friend of man, the benefactor of millions—is no more!

"How the mighty have fallen!" Fallen under the superior power of death!
Fallen under death—the king of terrors, the conqueror of conquerors . . .
  whom riches cannot bribe;
  whom power cannot resist;
  whom goodness cannot soften;
  whom dignity and nobility cannot deter, or awe to a reverential distance.

Death intrudes into royal palaces, as well as into humble cottages!

Death arrests the monarch, as well as the slave!

The royal robes of majesty, and the filthy rags of beggary—are equal preludes to the shroud!

A throne is only a higher precipice from whence to fall with greater noise and more extensive ruin, into the grave!

Since death has climbed the British throne, and from thence snatched "George the Mighty"—who then, can hope to escape?

If temperance, that best preservative of health and life;
if extensive benefit to half of the world;
if the united prayers of nations;
if the collected virtues of the king,
could secure an earthly immortality—never, O lamented George, never should your fall have added fresh honors to the trophies of death!

But since this king of Britain is no more, then let all the nobles of earthly courts be prepared for their "long homes" in the dust! Let those earthly idols prepare to die like men, and to sink down to a level with beggars and worms—in the clay!

The alarm of mortality has sounded from the throne! And he who lived for their benefit, dies for their benefit too; dies to remind them that they also must die!

But how astonishing and lamentable is the stupidity of mankind! Can the natural or the moral world exhibit another phenomenon so shocking and unaccountable? DEATH sweeps off thousands of our fellow-mortals every year! Our neighbors, like leaves in autumn—drop into the grave in a thick succession! And our attendance upon funerals is almost as frequent as our visits of friendship. Nay, sometimes death enters in at OUR windows, and ravages our families before our eyes!

The air, the waters, the earth, and all the elements—are armed with the powers of death; and have their pestilential vapors and inclemencies, their tempests and inundations, their eruptions and volcanoes—to destroy the life of man!

A thousand dangers lie in ambush for us!

Nay, the principles of mortality lurk in our own bodies!

And sickness, the herald of the last enemy, often warns us to prepare!

Yet how few realize the thought that they must die! How few familiarize to their minds that all-important hour, pregnant with consequences of great, of incomparable, of infinite importance! How many forget that they must die—until they feel it; and stand fearless and insolent upon the slippery brink of eternity, until they unexpectedly fall, and are engulfed forever in that boundless ocean!

The sons of 'Adam the sinner', those fleeting phantoms of a day—put on the air of immortality upon earth; and make no provision for their existence in the proper regions of immortals beyond the grave. Pilgrims and strangers imagine themselves everlasting residents on earth; and make this transitory life their all—as if earth was to be their eternal home, as if eternity was but a fairy land—and Heaven and Hell but majestic fantasies!

"How the mighty have fallen!" Shall not this loud alarm awaken us out of our vain dream of an earthly immortality? When the mighty has fallen—shall not the feeble tremble?

Since the mighty has fallen, since George is no more—how vain are all things beneath the sun! Vanity of vanities; all is vanity! Can the riches of Britain, or the honors of a crown; can the extent of dominion, or the laurels of victory—now afford the least pleasure to the royal corpse which lies senseless in the dust; or to the royal soul which has winged its flight to its own region, to the eternal world! No! all these are now as insignificant as mere nothings to him!

"How the mighty have fallen!" 2 Samuel 1:19

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Where is there a more sinful spot to be found upon our guilty globe?

(Samuel Davies, "The Justice of God—and the Sins of Our Country" 1755)

"When disaster comes to a city—has not the LORD caused it?" Amos 3:6

It concerns us all to seriously reflect upon our own sins and the sins of our land, which have brought these calamities upon us.

We and our countrymen are sinners, aggravated sinners! God proclaims that we are such:
  by His judgments now upon us,
  by withering fields and scanty harvests,
  by the sound of the trumpet and the alarm of war!

O my country, is not your wickedness great, and your iniquities infinite? Where is there a more sinful spot to be found upon our guilty globe? Pass over the land, take a survey of the inhabitants, inspect into their conduct—and what do you see? What do you hear?

You see the gigantic forms of vice bidding defiance to the God of Heaven—while true religion and virtue are forced to retire to avoid public contempt and insult!

You see herds of drunkards swilling down their cups, and drowning all morality within them!

You hear the swearer venting his fury against God—trifling with that Name which prostrate angels adore, and imprecating that damnation, under which the hardiest devil in Hell trembles and groans!

You see avarice hoarding up her useless treasures,
dishonest craft
planning her schemes of unlawful gain,
and oppression unmercifully grinding the face of the poor!

You see prodigality squandering her stores!

You see luxury spreading her table!

You see vanity laughing aloud and dissolving in empty, unthinking mirth—regardless of God, of time and eternity!

You see sensuality wallowing in carnal pleasures, and aspiring, with perverted ambition—to sink as low as her four-footed brethren in the stalls!

You see cards more in use than the Bible;
the backgammon table more frequented than the table of the Lord;
and romances more read—than the history of the blessed Jesus!

You see trifling, and even evil diversions and amusements, become a gigantic business!
The outcome of a horse-race is more anxiously attended to—than the concerns of eternity!

And where these grosser forms of vice do not shock your senses—you often meet with the appearances of a more refined impiety, which is equally dangerous!

You hear the conversation of reasonable creatures, of candidates for eternity—engrossed by trifles, or vainly wasted on the affairs of time! These are their important subjects of conversation, even at the threshold of the house of God!

You see swarms of prayerless families all over our land! You see ignorant, wicked children, unrestrained and untaught by those to whom God and nature have entrusted their souls!

You see the holy religion of Jesus—abused, neglected, disobeyed, and dishonored by its professors!

You see crowds of professed believers, who are in reality, practical atheists!
These nominal Christians are really unholy heathens!
They are abandoned slaves of sin—who yet pretend to be the servants of the holy Jesus!

You see multitudes lying in a deep sleep in sin all around us! You see them eager in the pursuits of the vanities of time—but stupidly unconcerned about the important realities of the eternal world just before them! So few are concerned what shall become of them—when all their connections with earth and flesh must be broken, and they must take their flight into strange, unknown regions! So few lamenting their sins! So few crying for mercy and a new heart! So few flying to Jesus!

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The thread of life is held by the divine hand alone!

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(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

TIME, like an ever-running stream, is perpetually gliding on—and hurrying each of us into the boundless ocean of eternity!

Consider the UNCERTAINTY of your time! You may die . . .
  the next year,
  the next month,
  the next week,
  the next hour, or
  the next moment!

I once knew a minister who, while he was speaking on this same point—was made a striking illustration of it, and instantly dropped down dead in the pulpit!

You cannot call one day of this next year your own! Before that day comes, you may be done with time—and have entered upon eternity!

People presume upon time, as if it were guaranteed to them for so many years; and this is the delusion which ruins multitudes! How many are now in eternity, who began the last year with as little expectation of death, and hopes of long life—as you have at the beginning of the present year! And this may be your doom!

Should a prophet be sent to open the book of the divine decrees to you—as Jeremiah did to Hananiah; some of you would no doubt see it written there by your name, "This very year you are going to die!" Jeremiah 28:16. Some unexpected moment in this year—will put an end to all the labors and enjoyments of the present state, and all the duties and opportunities peculiar to it!

Therefore, if sinners would repent and believe—NOW is the time, because this is the ONLY time they are certain of! Sinners, you may be in Hell before this year finishes its round—if you delay the great business of salvation any longer!

For remember, time is uncertain! Youth, health, strength, business, riches, power, wisdom, and whatever this world contains—cannot insure it. No, the thread of life is held by the divine hand alone; and God can snap it asunder, without warning, in whatever moment He pleases!

"It is appointed unto men once to die, and after that to face judgment!" Hebrews 9:27

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Would it not be better for you to be a cat or dog?

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(Samuel Davies, "The Wonderful Compassion of Christ to the Greatest Sinners")

"You will not come to Me that you might have life!" John 5:40

Yet you think that your not coming to Jesus is no crime. Is this consistent reasoning? Is it not the same as if a rebel should think to excuse himself by pleading, "I have such an inveterate hatred to my king, that I cannot love him!" Or as if a robber should plead in his defense, "I have such an aversion to honesty, that I cannot possibly help stealing!" Would not this be an aggravation of the crime, rather than an excuse! Is the invincible strength of your hatred to Christ, a vindication of it? Are you the more excusable, by how much the more you hate Him?

Sinners, give up this foolish reasoning, for the matter is too important to be trifled with! In short, whatever pleas and excuses you make—you will find at last that your destruction is entirely the effect of your own perverse desires and choice! You simply WILL not come unto Christ, that you might have life—and therefore you must perish without it. This reflection will forever torment you—that you willfully destroyed yourselves, and were guilty of the most unnatural self-murder! To you, therefore, I may properly address that expostulation:

"Why will you die? Why will you?
Why do you most willfully destroy yourselves?
Why will you die?
Why will you causelessly eternally perish by your own act?
What can be greater stupidity than this!"

In this light, the conduct of sinners is frequently exposed in the sacred writings: "The ox knows his owner," says Isaiah, "and the donkey his master's crib—but Israel does not know, My people does not consider!" Isaiah 1:3. "Every one turns to his course," says Jeremiah, "as the horse rushes into the battle! Yes, the stork in the heavens knows her appointed times; and the turtle-dove and the crane, and the swallow, observe the time of their coming; but My people," (who are more stupid than these brutes!) "know not the judgment of the Lord." Jeremiah 8:6-7

To refuse the offer of eternal salvation, when proposed upon the most reasonable terms, is to rush into Hell—rather than be saved by the friendly hands of Jesus Christ! It is to suffer the most dreadful execution, rather than accept Christ's free pardon! It is to reject all the bliss of Heaven, when freely proposed by Christ! It is to choose the pleasures of sin for a season, rather than an eternity of the most exalted happiness!

Is this the conduct of a reasonable creature? No! Show me the brute, if you can—that would act so stupid a part in things which come within the sphere of its capacity. Would it not be better for you to be a cat or dog—than that brute man, who is capable of so much

An immortal soul lost! Lost forever!
Lost by its own obstinacy!
Lost amidst the means of salvation! How tragic a case is this!
God dishonored! Jesus rejected! His love spurned!
His blood trampled upon! His Spirit grieved!

How lamentable is this!

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An infallible test!

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(Samuel Davies, "The Nature of Love to God and Christ, Opened and Enforced")

"If anyone does not love the Lord—a curse be on him!" 1 Corinthians 16:22

If you truly love the Lord Jesus Christ—then you earnestly study and endeavor to please Him by a life of universal obedience. Love is always desirous to please the person beloved; and it will naturally lead to a conduct that is pleasing. This, then, you may be sure of, that if you truly love Jesus—then it is the labor of your life to please Him.

The only way to please Jesus, and the best test of your love to Him—is obedience to His commandments. This is made the decisive mark by Christ Himself: "If anyone loves Me—he will obey My teaching. He who does not love Me—will not obey My teaching." John 14:23, 24

Jesus repeats this theme over and over in different forms: "Whoever has My commands and obeys them—he is the one who loves Me," verse 21. "If you love Me—you will obey what I command," verse 15. "You are My friends—if you do what I command." John 15:14. "This is love for God," says John; that is, it is the surest evidence, and the natural, inseparable effect of our love to God, "that we obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome." 1 John 5:3; that is, they will not seem grievous to one who obeys them from the principle of sincere love.

Here, then, you who profess to love the Lord Jesus—here is an infallible test for your love! Do you make it the great aim of your life to keep His commandments? Do you honestly endeavor to perform every duty which He has required—and that because He has commanded it? And do you vigorously resist and struggle against every sin, however constitutional, however fashionable, however gainful—because He forbids it? And is the way of obedience pleasant to you? Would you choose this holy way to Heaven, rather than any other—if it were left to your choice?

Your not loving God—if it continues, will certainly lead you to Hell. You are fit for no other place! Where should the enemies of God be—but in an infernal prison? There is the same propriety in throwing you into Hell—as in shutting up madmen in bedlam, or rebels in a dungeon! Why, you are devilized already! You have the very temperament of devils! Enmity to God is the grand constituent of a devil—it is the worst ingredient in that infernal disposition; and this you have in your hearts, and, as it were, incorporated with your habitual temperament! And what do you think will become of you? Judge for yourselves—must you not be doomed to that everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels—whom you resemble?

"If anyone does not love the Lord—a curse be on him!" 1 Corinthians 16:22

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Wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption

(Robert Traill)

"But from Him you are in Christ Jesus, who for us became:
 wisdom from God,
 as well as righteousness,
 and redemption." 1 Corinthians 1:30

Wisdom outside of Christ—is damning folly!

Righteousness outside of Christ—is guilt and condemnation!

Sanctification outside of Christ—is filth and sin!

Redemption outside of Christ—is bondage and slavery!

If a man trusts to his own righteousness, he rejects Christ's righteousness.
If he trusts to Christ's righteousness, he rejects his own righteousness.

I know no true religion but Christianity.

I know no true Christianity but the doctrine of Christ:
  of His divine person,
  of His divine offices,
  of His divine righteousness,
  and of His divine Spirit.

I know no true ministers of Christ, but such as make it their business to commend Jesus Christ in His saving fullness of grace and glory, to the faith and love of men.

I know no true Christian, but one united to Christ by faith, and abiding in him by faith and love, unto the glorifying of the name of Jesus Christ, in the beauties of gospel-holiness.   

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The only effectual means for reforming mankind

(Letters of John Newton)

The Gospel of Christ, the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, is the only effectual means for reforming mankind.

To the man who possesses and knows the use of this grand, this wonderful machine, if I may be allowed the comparison—what is otherwise impossible becomes easy.

The Gospel removes difficulties insurmountable to human power.
It causes the blind to see,
it causes the deaf to hear;
it softens the heart of stone, and
raises the dead in trespasses and sins, to a life of righteousness.

No force but that of the Gospel is sufficient . . .
  to remove the mountainous load of guilt from an awakened conscience,
  to calm the violence of tumultuous passions,
  to raise an earthly soul from groveling in the mire of sensuality or avarice—to a spiritual and divine life, a life of communion with God.

No system but the Gospel can communicate motives, encouragements, and prospects—sufficient to withstand and counteract all the snares and temptations with which the spirit of this world, by its frowns or its smiles, will endeavor either to intimidate or to bribe us from the path of duty.

But the Gospel, rightly understood and cordially embraced, will inspire the slothful with energy and the fearful with courage. It will . . .
  make the miser generous,
  melt the grouch into kindness,
  tame the raging tiger in the bosom, and,
  in a word, expand the narrow selfish heart and fill it with a spirit of love to God, cheerful unreserved obedience to His will, and benevolence to mankind.

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He preached his own funeral sermon!

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(Samuel Davies, "This Very Year You are Going to Die!" This message was preached at Princeton College on January 1, 1761. The author died shortly after, on February 4—at the age of 37! Thus in a way, he preached his own funeral sermon!)

"Thus says the Lord—I am about to remove you from the face of the earth! This very year you are going to die!" Jeremiah 28:16

YOU may die this year!

And should you die this year, you will be forever cut off from all the pleasures of life! Then farewell, an everlasting farewell to all the mirth and gaiety, to all the tempting amusements and vain delights of earth!

If you should die in your sins this year—then you will not only be cut off from all the flattering prospects of this life, but from all hope entirely, and forever! You will be fixed in an unchangeable state of misery; a state that will admit of no expectation but that of uniform, or rather ever-growing misery; a state that excludes all hopes of making any accomplishment, except as the monuments of the vindictive justice of God, and the deadly effects of sin!

How affecting is the idea of a promising youth cut off from the land of the living—useless and hopeless in both worlds! Fallen from the summit of hope—into the gulf of everlasting despair! Yet this may be your doom, my dear youth, your doom this very year—if you should die in your sins!

Therefore, if you should die this year—then all your hopes of heaven will vanish forever!

No more happiness for you! You have received your portion in this life—a few years of fleeting, sordid, unsatisfactory happiness! And an entire eternity of misery; permanent, exquisite, consummate misery follows!

No more honor for you—but shame and everlasting contempt!

No more amusements for you—but only the blackness of darkness forever! Only intense poring upon your hopeless wretchedness! Only tormenting recollections of your past folly and madness of voluntarily rushing into the infernal pit!

No agreeable companions!

No sympathizing friends!

No relaxation!

No pleasing hobbies!

No encouraging prospects!

No comforting hopes!

No token of love!

No gift of grace from the Father of mercy!

No hope in the future!

No relief from the past!

No refuge, no escape—into the gulf of annihilation!

ABOVE you—an angry omnipotent God, and a lost Heaven!

BEHIND you—a misspent life, and opportunities of salvation irrecoverably lost!

WITHIN you—a guilty, remorseful conscience; an implacable self-tormentor!

AROUND you—malignant, enraged fiends, mutual tormentors!

BEFORE you—an eternity of hopeless misery, extending infinitely!

Oh tremendous doom!

Who can bear the thought?

And is it possible that this doom should be so near to any of US? Where is the unhappy creature, that we may all drop our tears over him! Where is that wretched creature who stands every moment upon the slippery brink of this horrible precipice! This year, nay, this hour, for anything we know—he may be thrown down, engulfed and lost forever!

And is this a safe situation for you, thoughtless, foolhardy mortals!
Does it befit you in such a situation—to be cheerful, merry, and mirthful?
Does it befit you in such a situation—to be busy, restless, and laborious in the pursuits of this transitory life?
Does it befit you in such a situation—to spin out your eternal schemes of grandeur, riches, or pleasures—in hopes to accomplish them within the narrow, uncertain limits of time allotted you?

Alas! before another year has run its hasty round, the world and all that it contains, all its pursuits and enjoyments, all its cares and sorrows—may be as insignificant to you, as the grandeur of Caesar, or the riches of the world before the flood.

If you die this year, then . . .
  earthly riches or poverty,
  liberty or slavery,
  honor or disgrace,
  joy or sorrow,
  sickness or health—
will be as little your concern—as the dust that shall cover your coffin!

Does it not rather befit you to turn your thoughts to another inquiry: "Is it possible for me to escape this impending danger? Where, how, whence may I obtain deliverance?"

"Thus says the Lord—I am about to remove you from the face of the earth! This very year you are going to die!" Jeremiah 28:16

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The world's politics, pleasures, and pursuits!

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(James Smith, "The Wondrous Love of Christ, as Displayed in His Intercessory Prayer!" 1861)

The world and the Church are essentially and eternally distinct—and they ought to be distinguishable. The Church ought not to mix with the world—but to bear a practical testimony against it, that its works and ways are evil. All through our Lord's prayer, He keeps up the distinction, and twice over He asserts of His disciples, "They are not of the world—even as I am not of the world!"

Believers are not of the world. They are born from above, and possess a nature far superior to that of the world—which unfits them for its pleasures and pursuits; and qualifies them for the enjoyments and employments of the Heavenly world.

They are delivered from the thraldom of the world—and are raised above its pursuits and its joys.

They will not be conquered by the world—but overcome it by faith.

They will not be judged with it—but with Christ will sit in judgment upon it.

They will not be punished like it—neither in the present nor in the future state.

True believers are not of the world!

Look at the world's state—condemned; and theirs, justified!

Look at its condition—wretched; and theirs, happy!

Look at its character—enemies to God; and theirs, the friends of God!

Look at its course—sin; and theirs, holiness!

Look at its god—Satan, the most degraded, depraved, and despicable being in existence; and theirs, Jehovah, the high and lofty one, the holy and happy one, the great and glorious one!

Look at its end—destruction; and theirs, salvation!

The world is darkness—they are light.
The world is corrupt—they are purified.
The world is in chains—they are free.

We are not of the world, even as Christ is not of the world!

If we are poor—let us not, then, envy the world.
A saint in rags, is preferable to a sinner in robes!
A believer in a hovel, is happier than a worldling in a palace!
A Christian at the worst, is far better off than a worldling at the best!

Whatever we have—we have with God's blessing!
Whatever the world has—it has with God's curse!

We are training for greatness and grandeur!
The world is preparing for shame and everlasting contempt!

The world is no model for a Christian! We should . . .
  not dress so expensively,
  nor furnish our homes so extravagantly,
  nor live so luxuriously—as the world does!
But as strangers and pilgrims in the world—we should abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.

Let us not be dejected, if we are stripped of what we now have. We are not of the world, we do not have our portion here. We need but little of this world's goods, and our Heavenly Father will see to it that we have enough. He will not allow us to lose anything that is essential to our holiness or happiness. As our lives are insured by our Heavenly Father—so all our needs are anticipated, and provided for. Lose what we may—we shall never lose . . .
  our God,
  our title deed to our glorious inheritance, or
  our place at the marriage supper of the Lamb!

Let us not be much troubled about the world. As we are . . .
  chosen out of it,
  redeemed from it, and
  shall soon leave it—
we should not allow ourselves to be very much affected by any of its affairs. The world's politics, pleasures, and pursuits should be looked upon by us with the eye of a foreigner—for we are strangers and pilgrims on the earth, as all our fathers were. We arrived in the world but yesterday—and we leave tomorrow!

Let us not, therefore, mix up with the world, or be much taken up with its schemes and cares, its speculations or its prospects.

Let us always keep up our distinction from the world. Not in a spirit of pride or self-righteousness, as if conscious of some supposed superiority in ourselves. But in a meek, lowly, and loving spirit—let us avoid all that is really evil, and abstain from what has the appearance of evil.

Heavenly Father, as You have chosen us out of the world, give us grace to live above the world; and enable us to glorify You in the world! Make us like your beloved Son, who was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. Oh, to live in this world as strangers and pilgrims—as those whose treasure is above, and whose hearts are there also!

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Your salvation makes amends for all His sufferings!

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(Samuel Davies, "The Sufferings of Christ, and Their Consequent Joys and Blessings")

"He shall see His seed! He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied!" Isaiah 53:10-11

Jesus is now exalted to His throne in the highest heavens; and from thence He takes a wide survey of the universe. He looks down upon our world—and beholds kings in their grandeur, victorious generals with all their power, nobles and great men in all their pomp. But these are not the objects that best please His eyes. "He shall see His seed!" He sees one here, and another there, bought with His blood, and born of His Spirit; and this is the most delightful sight our world can afford Him. Some of them may be oppressed with poverty, covered with rags, or ghastly with famine; they may make no great figure in mortal eyes; but He loves to look at them! He esteems them as His children, and the fruits of His dying pangs!

The happiness of His exalted state consists in a great degree, in the pleasure of seeing the designs of His death accomplished in the conversion and salvation of sinners!

His eyes are graciously fixed upon this assembly today! And if there is one of His spiritual seed among us, He can distinguish them in the crowd.
He sees you
drinking in His Words with eager ears!
He sees you at His table commemorating His love!
He sees your hearts breaking with penitential sorrows, and melting at His cross!

But these are not the only children whom He delights to view; they are not all in such an abject, imperfect state. No! He sees a glorious company of them around His throne in Heaven, arrived to maturity, enjoying their inheritance, and resembling their divine Parent!

How does His benevolent heart rejoice to look over the immense plains of Heaven—and see them all peopled with His seed! When He takes a view of this numerous offspring, sprung from His blood, and when He looks down to our world—and sees so many infants in grace, gradually advancing to their adult age; when He sees some, perhaps every hour since He died upon Calvary, entering the gates of Heaven, having finished their course of education upon earth; I say, when this prospect appears to Him on every hand—how does He rejoice!

Now the prophecy in my text is fulfilled! "He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied!" If you put the sentiments of His benevolent heart into language, methinks He would say, "Since My death has been so fruitful of such a glorious posterity, I am well satisfied. I desire no other reward for all My agonies for them. If this end is but answered, I am fully satisfied by My hanging on the tree for them!"

Suppose that He should this day appear to you in that suffering form—sweating great drops of blood, accused, insulted, bruised, scourged, nailed upon the cross! And suppose He should turn to you with a countenance full of love and pity, and drenched with blood and tears, and address you in such moving language as this:
"See! sinners—see what I suffer for you! See at what a dear rate I purchase your salvation! See how I love you! And now I have only this to ask of you in return: that you would forsake those murderous sins which thus torment Me; that you would love and serve Me; and receive that salvation which I am now purchasing with the blood of My heart! This I ask, with all the importunity—of My last breath, of My bleeding wounds, and My expiring groans. Grant Me but this, and I am well satisfied! I shall think of all My sufferings, as well bestowed."

O sirs, must not your heart melt away within you, to hear such language as this? See the strength of the love of Jesus! If you are but saved, He does not begrudge His blood and life for you!
Your salvation makes amends for all His sufferings! This He accounts His greatest joy—a joy more than equivalent to all the pains He endured for you! He has full satisfaction for all the sorrows you have caused Him!

But alas! If you are not saved—then you will perish forever under the weight of His righteous vengeance; and He will rejoice over your damnation! He will glorify Himself in your destruction! The flames of Hell will burn dreadfully bright—when He will please Himself in the execution of His justice upon you!

Alas! Is the happiness of Heaven, the only kind of happiness that you are careless about? Is the salvation of your immortal soul, the only deliverance for which you have no desire? Alas! Have you become so stupidly wicked!!

"He shall see His seed! He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied!" Isaiah 53:10-11

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Justice and mercy!

(Samuel Davies, "The Preaching of Christ Crucified, the Means of Salvation")

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"Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other!" Psalm 85:10

The salvation of sinners by the substitutionary death of Christ, gives the brightest display of the perfections of God; and particularly of those which belong to Him as the Supreme Ruler of the moral world.

Justice and mercy, duly tempered, and exercised with wisdom—is a summary of those virtues which belong to a good ruler. Now these are most illustriously displayed in a happy union, in Christ crucified.

shines brighter in the cross—than if every sin had been punished upon offenders, without any mercy!
Mercy shines brighter in the cross—than if every sin had been pardoned, and every sinner made happy, without any execution of justice.

Mercy appears in turning the divine heart with such a strong propensity upon the salvation of sinners!
Justice appears in that when the heart of God was so much set upon it, yet He would not save them without a complete satisfaction to His justice.

Mercy appears in providing such a Savior!
Justice appears in inflicting the punishment due to sin upon Him, without abatement; though He loved Him more than the whole universe of creatures!

Mercy appears in transferring the guilt from the sinner upon the Surety, and accepting a vicarious satisfaction!
Justice appears in exacting the satisfaction, and not passing by sin, when it was imputed to the darling Son of God.

appears in pardoning and saving guilty sinners!
Justice appears in punishing their sin!

Mercy appears in justifying them—though destitute of all personal merit and righteousness!
appears in justifying them—only and entirely on account of the merit and righteousness of Christ!

Mercy appears in providing a Savior of such infinite dignity!
Justice appears in refusing satisfaction from an inferior person!

Mercy appears in forgiving sin!
Justice appears in not forgiving so much as one sin—without a sufficient atonement!

Mercy, rich, free mercy—towards the sinner!
Justice, strict, inexorable justice—towards the Surety!

In short—mercy and justice, as it were, walk hand in hand through every step of this amazing scheme of salvation by the substitutionary atonement of Christ!

God pardons and saves the sinner—and yet condemns and punishes his sin!

Though innumerable multitudes of rebels are pardoned—yet not one of them is pardoned until their rebellion is punished according to its demerit in the person of the Surety!

The precept of the divine law, which they had broken—was perfectly obeyed.
The penalty which they had incurred—was fully endured and paid, indeed not by themselves—but by their divine substitute.

Hence the divine law is magnified, and made honorable, and the rights of government are preserved sacred and inviolable—and yet the sinful rebels are set free, and advanced to the highest honors and blessedness!

God brings the greatest good—out of the greatest evil!

God pardons and saves the sinner—and yet condemns and punishes his sin!

God gives the brightest display of His justice—in the freest exercise of His mercy!

God gives the richest discovery of His mercy—in the most rigorous execution of His justice!

God magnifies His Law—in justifying those who had broken it!

God reveals the utmost hatred against sin—in showing the highest love to the sinner!

What an astonishing God-like scheme is this!
What a stupendous display of the infinite wisdom of God!

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The wrath of God let loose upon His Son!

(Stephen Charnock, 1628-1680)

"Yet it was the Lord's will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer." Isaiah 53:10

Not all the vials of judgment that have or shall be poured out upon the wicked world,
nor the flaming furnace of a sinner's conscience,
nor the irreversible sentence pronounced against the rebellious demons,
nor the groans of the damned creatures—
give such a demonstration of God's hatred of sin, as the wrath of God let loose upon His Son!

Never did divine holiness appear more beautiful and lovely, than at the time our Savior's countenance was most marred in the midst of His dying groans—when God had turned His smiling face from Him, and thrust His sharp knife into His heart, which forced that terrible cry from Him, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me!"

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5 Myths about Hell
(Mark Jones)

Myth #4: Hell is merely separation from God.

Hell is a place of punishment by God; sinners who have committed treason against an infinite God will remain in the place of torment where they shall only be able to continually hate the God they hated in their previous life. The idea that Hell is mere "separation from God" is misleading and wrongheaded, though it certainly includes the idea of separation from Christ (Matthew 25:41). Rather, it is the opposite: a God-hating sinner, who does not have a mediator, remains in the presence of a holy, righteous, and powerful God.

Hell is a place, not a metaphor to describe some inner thought processes. The rich man in Hell calls it a "place of torment" (Luke 16:28). Judas went to "his own place" (Acts 1:25). Just as there is a "place" for the righteous after death, so there is a "place" for the wicked after death. Gehenna refers to the Valley of Hinnom, outside Jerusalem. This place has a horrible history, with Israelites and kings of Israel, at one time, burning their children as sacrifices to false gods (that is, Molech; see 2 Chronicles 33:6; Ahaz did much of the same—see 2 Chronicles 28:3). Gehenna may not be a reference to a burning trash dump, but it is actually far worse: a place where the most horrible things take place, such as the willful sacrifice of children. Evil at its worst is associated with Gehenna. Hell is a place of pure evil, a place as scary as it is destitute of all hope.

Rather than being mere "separation from God," Hell is, as the Puritan Thomas Goodwin said, a place where "God himself, by his own hands, that is, the power of his wrath, is the immediate inflictor of that punishment of men's souls in Hell." God's power will be "exercised" as his wrath towards those who cast away from the presence of God's blessedness. In other words, those in Hell will receive the opposite of those in glory, but they will still be in God's presence. For those in Heaven, they have a Mediator; for those in Hell, they have nothing between them and an avenging God.

Myth #5: Hell is simply giving people what they want.

This is only partly true and open to possible misunderstanding. In one sense, Hell is an endless (suffering) existence whereby the wicked do not commune with God. In this sense, their life in Hell mirrors their life on earth. They did not want Christ on earth and they will, therefore, be without him in Hell. However, nobody desires to suffer at the hands of God, especially forever. Nobody wants their despair to increase as well. As the creature in Hell realizes more and more that they are suffering forever, the despair of eternal judgment can only increase. Those in Hell have no promises, and thus no hope, but only increasing despair.

According to Goodwin, the "wretched soul in Hell . . . finds that it shall not outlive that misery, nor yet can it find one space or moment of time of freedom and intermission, having forever to do with him who is the living God." The wicked will despair because there is no end to the wrath of the living God. Therefore, the concept of ever-increasing despair for all eternity, whereby the creature damned to Hell can do nothing else but blaspheme a living, eternal God, gives us all the reason in the world to persuade sinners to put their faith in the one who experienced hellish despair on the cross.

True, many do not want to worship the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we need to convince people that Hell is not people ultimately getting "what they wanted" as if there were some victory for the wicked, or possibly in an attempt to "sanitize" the doctrine to somehow make it palatable to unbelievers. In one sense, the wicked are going to get the opposite of what they wished for (and often experienced) on earth. We all want happiness, and as such we should all come to the fountain of blessedness, the Lord Jesus Christ, so that he can give to us all that we really desire: joy unspeakable.

Those who want to read the complete article can find it here: 5 Myths about Hell.

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The religion of the Bible!

(Samuel Davies, "The Divine Authority and Sufficiency of the Christian Religion")

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

The Scriptures give us sufficient instructions what we should believe.
They are a sufficient rule of faith.

The Holy Scriptures give us complete directions in matters of practice.
They are a sufficient rule of life.
In short, in the sacred writings manifests the only worthy principles and vigorous springs of a suitable conduct . . .
  towards God,
  towards one another,
  and towards ourselves.

The religion of the Bible has the direct tendency to promote true piety and solid virtue in the world.

It is such a religion as befits a God to reveal. It is such a religion as we might expect from Him if ever He instituted any.

It is a religion intended and adapted to regulate self-love, and to diffuse the love of God and man through the world.

It is a religion productive of every humane, social, and divine virtue, and directly calculated to banish sin out of the world.

It is a religion which transforms . . .
  impiety, into devotion;
  injustice and oppression, into equity and universal benevolence;
  and sensuality, into sobriety!

It is a religion infinitely preferable to any that has been contrived by the wisest and best of mortals.

And whence do you think could this godlike religion proceed? Does not its nature prove its origin to be divine? Does it not evidently bear the lineaments of its heavenly Author? Can you ever imagine that such a pure, such a holy, such a perfect system—could be the contrivance of wicked, infernal spirits, of selfish, artful priests, or politicians, or of a group of daring impostors, or wild enthusiasts?

"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
 The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.
 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.
 By them is your servant warned;
 in keeping them there is great reward!"
Psalm 19:7-11