Grace Gems for February, 2022

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Where are you going?

(Charles Orr, "How to Live a Holy Life")

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We have only one life to live—only one! Think of this for a moment.

Here we are in this world of time, making the journey of life. Each day we are farther from the cradle, and nearer to the grave! Solemn thought!

See the mighty concourse of human lives; hear their heavy tread in their onward march.
Some are just beginning life's journey,
some are midway up the hill,
some have reached the top, and
some are midway down the western slope.

But where are we all going?

Listen, and you will hear but one answer, "Eternity!" Beyond the fading, dying gleams of the sunset of life—lies a boundless, endless ocean called Eternity! There, you and I are daily traveling.

Time is like a great wheel going its round. On and on it goes. Some are stepping on, and some are stepping off. But where are these latter stepping? Into eternity!

See that old man with bent form, snow-white locks, and tottering steps—his has been a long round, but he has reached his end at last.

See the middle-aged man—his round has not been so long, but he must also step off.

See the youth—he has been on only a little while, but he is brought to the stepping-off place. He thought his round would be much longer. He supposed that he was just getting started—when that icy hand was laid upon him and the usher said, "Come, you have made your round, and you must go!"

The infant that gave its first faint cry this morning, may utter its last feeble wail tonight!

And thus they go. But where? Oh, where? ETERNITY!

If you were to start today and ask each person you met the question, "Where are you going?" and, if possible, you were to travel the world over and ask each one of earth's inhabitants—there could be but one correct answer, "Eternity!"

"Oh, eternity, Long eternity!
 Hear the solemn footsteps of eternity!"

Only one life to live! Only one life—and then we must face vast, endless eternity! We shall pass along the pathway of life but once. Every step we take, is a step that can never be taken again.

This world is not a play-ground—or a place to trifle with time.
Life is not given us to squander nor fritter away.
To trifle away time, is indeed, to be the greatest of spendthrifts.
If you squander a dollar, you may regain it; but a moment wasted, can never be regained. God gives us all the time we need to accomplish all that He purposes us to accomplish—but He does not give us one moment to trifle away.

We have only one life to live—only one!

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

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Why does God afflict us?

(Ashton Oxenden, "The Blessings and Trials of Sickness" 1863)

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"Affliction does not come forth from the dust, neither does trouble spring forth out of the ground!"
Job 5:6

"Just as a parent disciplines a child, the Lord your God disciplines you for your own good." Deuteronomy 8:5

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

"As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline!" Revelation 3:19

"For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives." Hebrews 12:6

"I was silent; I would not open my mouth, for You are the one who has done this!" Psalm 39:9

Dear Reader,
I have come into your sick-room, as it were, and wish to tell you a few things for your comfort and profit.

God has seen fit to stop you in the midst of your busy life, and to lay you aside for a while. It is not by chance that His afflicting hand has fallen upon you. It is not at random that He has chastened you. It may seem to be a mere accident that you are afflicted, and not another. But no; God has done it purposely!

Learn this then—that your present sickness or affliction is from God. It is His doing. He it is, who has brought this present chastisement upon you. Not even a sparrow falls to the ground without our heavenly Father's ordering, and He prizes His redeemed children more than many sparrows.

Sickness usually comes as a messenger of divine love—it is sent to be a blessing, and may be made, by God's grace, a very great blessing to the soul. God afflicts His children, because He desires to do them some great good.

The gardener cuts and prunes his tree, to make it grow better, and bear more precious fruit. In the same way, God often uses His sharp knife for some gracious purpose.

The wise and loving father thwarts his child, and sometimes scourges it, for its good. Just so, God uses His chastening rod for the very same reason.

The skillful physician prescribes nauseous medicines to restore his patient's health. In the same way, God makes us take His bitter medicines, though at the time they are very distasteful to us.

Why does God afflict us?

Because He loves us, and wishes to make us holy as He is holy, and happy as He is happy. For, as it has been well said, "Fiery trials make golden Christians!"

God had one Son without sin—but He never had any son without sorrow.

God chastens purposely and lovingly. Affliction comes from Him; and He afflicts, not as a stern Judge, but as a Father and a Friend!

Before then you go a step further, ask God to convince you of this precious truth: "It is my Father who corrects me—even He who loves me! I will receive this chastisement then from Him, and remember that it is a loving hand that smites. I will kiss the very rod that scourges me. Father, not my will, but may Your will be done!"

A true Christian will receive affliction with submission. It is his Father's doing, and therefore he quietly submits. It comes from Him, and must therefore be well. He feels that there is a needs-be for it. What a sweet pillow is this, on which to rest his weary head!

"We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose!" Romans 8:28

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O what crowds of pitiable objects!

(J.C. Philpot, "Daily Portions")

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"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need!" Hebrews 4:16

What heart can conceive, or tongue recount—the daily, hourly triumphs of the Lord Jesus Christ's all-conquering grace?

We see scarcely a millionth part of what He, as a King on His throne, is daily doing.

What a crowd of needy petitioners every moment surrounds His throne!

What urgent needs and woes to answer!

What cutting griefs and sorrows to assuage!

What broken hearts to bind up!

What wounded consciences to heal!

What countless prayers to hear!

What earnest petitions to grant!

What stubborn foes to subdue!

What guilty fears to quell!

What grace,
what kindness,
what patience,
what compassion,
what mercy,
what love,
what power,
what authority,
does this Almighty Sovereign display!

No circumstance is too trifling;
no petitioner too insignificant;
no case too hard;
no difficulty too great;
no seeker too importunate;
no beggar too ragged;
no bankrupt too penniless;
no debtor too insolvent,
for Him not to notice and not to relieve.

Sitting on His throne of grace . . .
  His all-seeing eye views all,
  His almighty hand grasps all,
  and His loving heart embraces all . . .
whom the Father chose,
whom He Himself redeemed by His blood, and
whom the blessed Spirit has quickened into life by His invincible power!

The hopeless,
the helpless,
the outcasts whom no man cares for,
the tempest-tossed and not comforted,
the ready to perish,
the mourners in Zion,
the bereaved widow,
the wailing orphan,
the sick in body,
the still more sick in heart,
the racked with hourly pain,
the wrestler with death's last struggle!

O what crowds of pitiable objects surround His throne, and all needing . . .
  a look from His eye,
  a word from His lips,
  a smile from His face,
  a touch from His hand!

O could we but see . . .
  what His grace is;
  what His grace has;
  what His grace does;
and could we but feel more what it is doing in and for ourselves—we would have more exalted views of the reign of grace now exercised on high by Zion's enthroned King!

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need!" Hebrews 4:16

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The religionists of the day

(J.C. Philpot, "Faith's Standing-Ground" 1862)

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"And everyone will hate you because of your allegiance to Me." Luke 21:17

Professors of religion have always been the deadliest enemies of the true children of God.

Who were so opposed to the blessed Lord as the Scribes and Pharisees?
It was the religious teachers and leaders who crucified the Lord of glory!

And so in every age the religionists of the day have been the hottest and bitterest persecutors of the Church of Christ.

Nor is the case altered now.
The more the children of God are firm in the truth,
the more they enjoy its power,
the more they live under its influence, and
the more tenderly and conscientiously they walk in godly fear—
the more will the professing generation of the day hate them with a deadly hatred.

Let us not think that we can disarm it by a godly life; for the more that we walk in the sweet enjoyment of heavenly truth and let our light shine before men as having been with Jesus, the more will this draw down their hatred and contempt.

"The world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not." John 17:14

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." John 15:18-19

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That Heavenly Teacher

(J.C. Philpot, "Daily Words for Zion's Wayfarers")

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We do not learn that we are sinners merely by reading it in the Bible. It must be wrought, I might say, burnt into us.

Nor will anyone sincerely and spiritually cry for mercy, until sin is spiritually felt and known . . .
  in its misery,
  in its dominion,
  in its guilt,
  in its entanglements,
  in its wiles and allurements,
  in its filth and pollution, and
  in its condemnation.

Where the Holy Spirit works, He kindles . . .
  wrestlings, and
to know Christ, feel His love, taste the efficacy of His atoning blood, and embrace Him as all our salvation and all our desire.

And though there may, and doubtless will be, much barrenness, hardness, deadness, and apparent carelessness often felt; still that heavenly Teacher will revive His work, though often by painful methods; nor will He let the quickened soul rest short of a personal and experimental enjoyment of Christ and His glorious salvation.

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The scale!

(J.C. Philpot, "A Longing Soul in a Thirsty Land")

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"What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole  world, yet forfeits his soul?
 Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matthew 16:26

Put your soul in one side of the scale—and put all that the world calls good and great in the other side. Think of everything that the heart of man can desire: riches, honor, pleasure, power. Heap it up well! Fill one side of the scale until there is no room for more. Put in . . .
  all the gold of Australia,
  all the diamonds of India,
  all the delights of youthful love,
  all the pleasures . . .
    of wife and home,
    of children and friends,
    of health and strength,
    of name and fame.
Put in all that the natural mind of man deems the height of happiness, and everything that may weigh this side of the scale down.

Now, when you have filled this side of the scale, put your soul into the other side—the state of your soul for all eternity. Represent to yourself your deathbed—hold the scale with dying hands as lying just at the brink of eternity. See how the scale now hangs!

What if you had the whole world that you have put into the scale, and could call it all your own; but at that solemn hour felt that your soul was forever lost—that you were dying under the wrath of God—and there was nothing before you but an eternity of misery! At such a moment as this, what could you put in the scale equal to the weight of your immortal soul?

Take the scale again. Put into one side, every affliction, trial, sorrow, and distress that imagination can conceive, or tongue express. Let them all be yours . . .
  distress of mind,
  pain of body,
  poverty of circumstances,
  contempt from man,
  assaults from Satan,
  Job's afflictions,
  Jacob's bereavements,
  David's persecutions,
  Jeremiah's prison,
  Hezekiah's sickness.
Put into this side of the scale everything that makes life miserable—and then put into the other side, a saved soul.

Surely, as in the case of worldly honors, and riches, and happiness—a lost soul must weigh them all down!

So in the case of afflictions and sorrows and troubles—a saved soul must weigh them all down too!

"But God said to him" You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?" Luke 12:20

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Sweet buy!

(J.C. Philpot, "Heavenly Buying" 1846)

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"You say: 'I am rich, I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing!'
But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
I counsel you to buy from Me white garments, so you can cover your shameful nakedness." Revelation 3:17-18

The only qualification is a deep feeling of our necessity, our nakedness and our shame; and a feeling that there is no other covering for a needy, naked, guilty soul—but the robe of the Redeemer's spotless righteousness!

And when the soul is led to His divine feet—full of guilt, shame, and fear; abhorring, loathing, and mourning over itself. And comes in the actings of a living faith; in the sighs and cries of a broken heart; in hungerings, thirstings, and longings, desiring that the Lord would bestow upon him that rich robe—then the blessed exchange takes place! Then there is a 'buying', then the Lord brings out of His treasure-house, where it has been locked up—the best robe; puts it upon the prodigal, and clothes him from head to foot with it!

Sweet buy!

Blessed exchange!

Our nakedness—for Christ's justifying robe!

Our poverty—for Christ's riches!

Our helplessness and insufficiency—for Christ's power, grace, and love!

"You say: 'I am rich, I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing!'
But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.
I counsel you to buy from Me white garments, so you can cover your shameful nakedness." Revelation 3:17-18

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We are not flogged into loving Him!

(J.C. Philpot, "A Spiritual Death and a Hidden Life")

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"Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth." Colossians 3:2

Where are your affections to be set?

Are they to be set on "things on the earth" . . .
  those perishing toys,
  those polluting vanities,
  those carking cares,
which must ever dampen the life of God in the soul?

The expression, "things on the earth," takes in a wide scope. It embraces not only the vain toys, the ambitious hopes, the perishing pleasures in which a gay unthinking world is sunk and lost—but even the legitimate calls of business, the claims of wife and home, family and friends, with every social tie that binds to earth. Thus . . .
  every object on which the eye can rest;
  every thought or desire that may spring up in the mind;
  every secret idol that lurks in the bosom;
  every care and anxiety that is not of grace;
  every fond anticipation of pleasure or profit that the world may hold out, or the worldly heart embrace—all, with a million pursuits in which man's fallen nature seeks employment or happiness, are "things on the earth" on which the affections are not to be set.

We may love our wives and children. We should pursue our lawful callings with diligence and industry. We must provide for our families according to the good providence of God. But we may not so set our affections on these things, that they pull us down from heaven to earth. He who is worthy of all our affections claims them all for Himself. He who is the Bridegroom of the soul demands, as He has fairly won, the unrivaled love of His bride.

But how are we to do this?

Can we do this great work by ourselves? No! it is only the Lord Himself, manifesting His beauty and blessedness to our soul, and letting down the golden cord of His love into our bosom—that draws up our affections, and fixes them on Himself. In order to do this, He captivates the heart by . . .
some look of love,
  some word of His grace,
  some sweet promise, or
  some divine truth spiritually applied.

When He thus captivates the soul, and draws it up— then the affections flow unto Him as the source and fountain of all blessings.

We are not flogged into loving Him, but are drawn by love into love. Love cannot be bought or sold. It is an inward affection that flows naturally and necessarily towards its object and all connected with it. And thus, as love flows out to Jesus, the affections instinctively and necessarily set themselves "on things above, and not on things on the earth."

Jesus must be revealed to our soul by the power of God, before we can see His beauty and blessedness—and so fall in love with Him as "the chief among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely One." Then everything that . . .
  speaks of Christ,
  savors of Christ,
  breathes of Christ,
becomes inexpressibly sweet and precious!

In no other way can our affections be lifted up from earth to heaven. We cannot control our affections—they will run out, of their own accord. If then our affections are earthly—they will run towards earthly objects. If they are carnal and sensual—they will flow towards carnal and sensual objects.

But when the Lord Jesus Christ, by some manifestation of His glory and blessedness; or the Holy Spirit, by taking of the things of Christ and revealing them to the soul, sets Him before our eyes as the only object worthy of, and claiming every affection of our heart—then the affections flow out, I was going to say naturally, but most certainly spiritually, towards Him. And when this is the case, the affections are set on things above.

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Crush its viper head with the heel of our boot!

(J.C. Philpot, "The Walk in the Fields and among the Vineyards")

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"Whoever will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me" Mark 8:34

To deny and renounce self lies at the very foundation of vital godliness.

It is easy in some measure to leave the world; easy to leave the professing church; but to go forth out of self—there is the difficulty, for this "self" embraces such a variety of forms.

What varied shapes and forms does this monster SELF assume! How hard to trace his windings! How difficult to track this wily foe to his hidden den; drag him out of the cave; and immolate him at the foot of the cross, as Samuel hewed down Agag in Gilgal.

Proud self,
righteous self,
covetous self,
ambitious self,
sensual self,
deceitful self,
religious self,
flesh-pleasing self.

How difficult to detect, unmask, strip out of its changeable suits of apparel—this ugly, misshaped creature; and then stamp upon it, as if one would crush its viper head with the heel of our boot!

Who will do such violence to beloved self, when every nerve quivers and shrinks; and the coward heart cries to the uplifted foot, "Spare, spare!"

But unless there is this self-crucifixion, there is no walking hand in hand with Christ, no heavenly communion with Him; for there can no more be a partnership between Christ and self, than there can be a partnership between Christ and sin.

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The benefits of sickness (part 1)

(J.C. Ryle, Sickness)

I know the suffering and pain which sickness entails. I admit the misery and wretchedness which it often brings along with it. But I cannot regard it as an unmixed evil. I see in it a useful provision to check the ravages of sin in men's souls. If man had never sinned I would have been at a loss to discern the benefit of sickness. But since sin is in the world, I can see that sickness is a good. It is a blessing quite as much as a curse. It is a rough schoolmaster, I grant; but sickness is a real friend to man's soul.

Here are some of the benefits which sickness may bestow:
1. Sickness helps to remind men of death.
The most live as if they were never going to die. They follow business, or pleasure, or politics, or amusements, as if earth was their eternal home. They plan and scheme for the future, like the rich fool in the parable, as if they had a long lease of life, and were always to live in this poor world. A heavy illness sometimes goes far to dispel these delusions. It awakens men from their day-dreams, and reminds them that they have to die as well as to live. Now this I say emphatically, is a mighty good.
2. Sickness helps to make men think seriously of God, and their souls, and the world to come.
The most in their days of health, can find no time for such thoughts. They dislike them. They put them away. They count them troublesome and disagreeable. Now a severe disease has sometimes a wonderful power of mustering and rallying these thoughts, and bringing them up before the eyes of a man's soul. Even a wicked king like Benhadad, when sick, could think of Elisha (2 Kings 8:8.) Even heathen sailors, when death was in sight, were afraid, and "every man cried out to his god." (Jonah 1:5.) Surely anything that helps to make men think, is a good.
3. Sickness helps to soften men's hearts, and teach them wisdom.
The natural heart is as hard as a stone. It can see no good in anything which is not of this life, and no happiness excepting in this poor world. A long illness sometimes goes far to correct these ideas. It exposes the emptiness and hollowness of what the world calls "good" things, and teaches us to hold them with a loose hand. The man of business finds that money alone is not everything the heart requires. The woman of the world finds that costly apparel, and novel reading, and balls and operas—are miserable comforters in a sick room. Surely anything that obliges us to alter our weights and measures of earthly things, is a real good.

Tomorrow we will post these last two benefits of sickness:

4. Sickness helps to level and humble us.

5. Finally, sickness helps to try men's religion, of what sort it is

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The benefits of sickness (part 2)

(J.C. Ryle, Sickness)

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

"It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I might learn Your decrees." Psalm 119:71

"I know, O LORD, that your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness You have afflicted me!" Psalm 119:75

   1. Sickness helps to remind men of death.

   2.  Sickness helps to make men think seriously of God, and their souls, and the world to come.

   3.  Sickness helps to soften men's hearts, and teach them wisdom. 

Yesterday we posted the first three benefits of sickness above. Below are the last two benefits:

  Sickness helps to humble us. We are all naturally proud and high-minded. Few, even of the poorest, are free from pride's infection. Few are to be found who do not look down on somebody else, and secretly flatter themselves that they are "not as bad as other men." A sick bed is a mighty tamer of such proud thoughts as these. It forces on us the mighty truth that we are all poor worms, that we "dwell in houses of clay," and are "crushed more readily than a moth" (Job 4:19), and that kings and subjects, masters and servants, rich and poor—are all dying creatures, and will soon stand side by side at the judgment bar of God! In the sight of the coffin and the grave, it is not easy to be proud. Surely anything that teaches that lesson, is good.
   5. Finally, sickness helps to try men's religion—whether it is saving or not. There are not many on earth who have no religion at all. Yet only a few have a religion that will bear Scripture inspection. Most are content with traditions received from their parents, and can render no valid reason for their hope of Heaven.

Now disease is sometimes most useful to a man in exposing the utter worthlessness of his soul's foundation. It often shows him that he has nothing solid under his feet, and nothing firm under his hand. It makes him find out that, although he may have a form of religion—all his life he has been worshiping "an unknown god." Many a profession looks well on the smooth waters of health, which turns out utterly unsound and useless on the rough waves of the sick bed!

The storms of winter often bring out the defects in a man's dwelling. In the same way, sickness often exposes the gracelessness of a man's soul. Surely anything that makes us find out the real character of our faith, is a good.

I do not say that sickness confers these benefits on all to whom it comes. Alas, I say nothing of the kind! Myriads are yearly laid low by illness, and then are restored to health—who evidently learn no lesson from their sick beds, and return again to the world! Myriads are yearly passing through sickness to the grave—and yet are receiving no more spiritual impressions from it than the beasts that perish! In short, they live like beasts, and they die like beasts.

These are awful things to say. But they are true. The degree of deadness to which man's heart and conscience may attain, is a depth which I cannot pretend to fathom!

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William MacDonald's Seven Principles of Christian Discipleship:

1. A supreme love for Jesus Christ.

2. A denial of self.

3. A deliberate choosing of the cross.

4. A life spent in following Christ.

5. A fervent love for all who belong to Christ.

6. An unswerving commitment to His Word.

7. A forsaking of all to follow Him.

"In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has, cannot be My disciple." Luke 14:33

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The wilderness wanderer

(J.C. Philpot, "The Wilderness Wanderer" 1867)

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"They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in." Psalm 107:4

The true Christian finds this world to be a wilderness.

There is no change in the world itself.

The change is in the man's heart.

The wilderness wanderer thinks it altered; a different world from what he has hitherto known . . .
  his friends,
  his own family,
  the employment in which he is daily engaged,
  the general pursuits of men,
  the cares and anxieties,
  the hopes and prospects,
  the amusements and pleasures,
  and what I may call 'the general din and whirl of life',
all seem to him different to what they were; and for a time perhaps he can scarcely tell whether the change is in them, or in himself.

This however is the prominent and uppermost feeling in his mind: that he finds himself, to his surprise a wanderer in a world which has changed altogether its appearance to him. The fair, beautiful world, in which was all his happiness and all his home—has become to him a dreary wilderness.

Sin has been fastened in its conviction on his conscience. The Holy Spirit has taken the veil of unbelief and ignorance off his heart. He now sees the world in a wholly different light; and instead of a paradise it has become a wilderness—for sin, dreadful sin, has marred all its beauty and happiness.

It is not because the world itself has changed that the Christian feels it to be a wilderness; but because he himself has changed.

There is nothing in this world which can really gratify or satisfy the true Christian. What once was to him a happy and joyous world, has now become a barren wilderness.

The scene of his former . . .
  anticipations of profit or happiness,
is now turned into a barren wasteland.

What once was a blooming and verdant pasture, a glorious scene of hill and dale, trees and flowers, is now turned into sand and gravel, with the burning sun of God's wrath above, and the parched sand of his own desolate heart beneath.

He cannot perhaps tell how or why the change has taken place, but he feels it—deeply feels it. He may try to shake off his trouble and be a little cheerful and happy as he was before; but if he gets a little imaginary relief, all his guilty pangs come back upon him with renewed strength and increased violence.

God means to make the world a wilderness to every child of His, that he may not find his happiness in it, but be a stranger and a pilgrim upon earth.

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." Hebrews 11:13

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A peculiar, indescribable, invincible power

(J.C. Philpot, "The Word of Men and the Word of God")

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"Our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also . . .
  with power,
  with the Holy Spirit and
  with deep conviction."
1 Thessalonians 1:5

The gospel comes to some in word only. They hear the word of the gospel, the sound of truth; but it reaches the outward ear only—or if it touches the inward feelings, it is merely as the word of men.

But where the Holy Spirit begins and carries on His divine and saving work, He attends the word with a peculiar, an indescribable, and yet an invincible power.

It falls as from God upon the heart. He is heard to speak in it—and in it His glorious Majesty appears to . . .
  open the eyes,
  unstop the ears, and
  convey a message from His own mouth to the soul.

Some hear the gospel as the mere word of men, perhaps for years before God speaks in it with a divine power to their conscience. They thought they understood the gospel; they thought they felt it; they thought they loved it. But all this time they did not see any vital distinction between receiving it as the mere word of men, and as the word of God.

The levity, the superficiality, the emptiness stamped upon all who merely receive the gospel as the word of men—is sufficient evidence that it never sank deep into the heart, and never took any powerful grasp upon their soul.

It therefore . . .
 never brought with it any real separation from the world;
 never gave strength to mortify the least sin;
 never communicated power to escape the least snare of Satan;
 was never attended with a spirit of grace and prayer;
 never brought honesty, sincerity, and uprightness into the heart before God;
 never bestowed any spirituality of mind, or any loving affection toward the Lord of life and glory.
It was merely the reception of truth in the same way as we receive scientific principles, or learn a language, a business, or a trade. It was all . . .

But in some unexpected moment, when little looking for it, the word of God was brought into their conscience with a power never experienced before. A light shone in and through it which they never saw before . . .
  a majesty,
  a glory,
  an authority,
  an evidence
accompanied it which they never knew before. And under this light, life, and power—they fell down with the word of God sent home to their heart!

When then Christ speaks the gospel to the heart;
when He reveals Himself to the soul;
when His word, dropping as the rain and distilling as the dew, is received in faith and love
He is embraced as the chief among ten thousand and the altogether lovely one, He takes His seat upon the affections and becomes enthroned in the heart as its Lord and God.

Is there life in your bosom?

Has God's power attended the work?

Is the grace of God really in your heart?

Has God spoken to your soul?

Have you heard His voice, felt its power, and fallen under its influence?

"And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe." 1 Thessalonians 2:13

     ~ ~ ~ ~

My grace is sufficient for you!

(J.C. Philpot, "Strength Made Perfect in Weakness")

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"My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in your weakness."  2 Corinthians 12:9

Not your strength,
not your wisdom,
not your prayers,
not your experience;
but "My grace"—My free, My matchless grace:
  independent of all works and efforts,
  independent of everything in the creature,
  flowing wholly and solely, fully and freely, out of the bosom of Jesus to . . .
    the needy,
    the guilty,
    the destitute,
    the undone.

You who are tried in worldly circumstances, who have to endure the hard lot of poverty—"My grace is sufficient for you."

You who are tempted, day by day, to say or do that which conscience testifies against—"My grace is sufficient for you."

You who are harassed with family troubles and afflictions, and are often drawn aside into peevishness and fretfulness—"My grace is sufficient for you."

Our weakness, helplessness, and inability are the very things which draw forth the power, the strength, and the grace of Jesus!

Believer, your case is never beyond the reach of the words—"My grace is sufficient for you!"

The free, the matchless, sovereign grace of God, is sufficient for all His people—in whatever state, or stage, or trouble, or difficulty they may be in!

"My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in your weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

     ~ ~ ~ ~

A stable, a hovel, a hedge, any unadorned corner

(J.C. Philpot, "A Longing Soul in a Thirsty Land")

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This is what the Sovereign Lord says: "Although I sent them far away among the nations and scattered them among the countries, yet I will be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they have gone." Ezekiel 11:16

Every place in which the Lord manifests Himself, is a sanctuary to a child of God.

Jesus is now our sanctuary, for He is "the true place of worship that was built by the Lord and not by human hands." We see the power and glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ.

Every place is a sanctuary, where God manifests Himself in power and glory to the soul. Moses, doubtless, had often passed by the bush which grew in Horeb; it was but a common thorn bush, in no way distinguished from the other bushes of the thicket. But on one solemn occasion it was all "in a flame of fire," for "the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire" out of the midst; and though it burned with fire, it was not consumed. God being in the bush, the ground round about was holy, and Moses was bidden to take off his shoes from his feet. Was not this a sanctuary to Moses? It was, for a holy God was there! Thus wherever God manifests Himself, that becomes a sanctuary to a believing soul.

We don't need places made holy by the ceremonies of man; but places made holy by the presence of God!

Then a stable, a hovel, a hedge, any unadorned corner may be, and is a sanctuary, when God fills your heart with His sacred presence, and causes every holy feeling and gracious affection to spring up in your soul.

     ~ ~ ~ ~

Our God!

(Charles Spurgeon)

Romans 9:13-16  Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.

God may, if He wills, save the entire human race; or if it pleases Him, He may save none. If He so wills, He may make one man a monument of mercy, and leave his neighbor to reap his due punishment. This is what God has a right to do, and He claims His sovereign prerogative.

No doctrine in the whole Word of God has more excited the hatred of mankind than the truth of the absolute sovereignty of God!

Men have no objection to a god who is really no God. I mean, by this:
 a god who shall be the subject of their caprice,
 a god who shall be a lackey to their will,
 a god who shall be under their control—
they have no objection to such a being as that.

But a God who speaks, and it is done;
a God who commands, and it stands fast;
a God who does as He wills among the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of this lower world—such a God as this they cannot endure!

Psalm 115:3  "But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases!"

Psalm 135:5-6  "For I know that the Lord is great; our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the Lord pleases, He does—in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all their depths!"

     ~ ~ ~ ~


(J.C. Philpot, "The Lord's Merciful Look Upon His People")

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"Look upon me, and be merciful unto me." Psalm 119:132

When shall we ever get beyond the need of God's mercy?

We feel our need of continual mercy . . .
  as our sins abound,
  as our guilt is felt,
  as our corruption works,
  as our conscience is burdened,
  as the iniquities of our heart are laid bare,
  as our hearts are opened up in the Spirit's light.

We need . . .
  mercy for every adulterous look;
  mercy for every covetous thought;
  mercy for every light and trifling word;
  mercy for every wicked movement of our depraved hearts;
  mercy while we live;
  mercy when we die;
  mercy to accompany us every moment;
  mercy to go with us down to the portals of the grave;
  mercy to carry us safely through the swellings of Jordan;
  mercy to land us safe before the Redeemer's throne!

"Look upon me, and be merciful unto me."

Why me?
Because I am so vile a sinner.
Because I am so base a backslider.
Because I am such a daring transgressor.
Because I sin against You with every breath that I draw.
Because the evils of my heart are perpetually manifesting themselves.
Because nothing but Your mercy can blot out such iniquities as I feel working in my carnal mind.

I need . . .
 inexhaustible mercy,
 everlasting mercy,
 super-abounding mercy.

Nothing but such mercy as this can suit such a guilty sinner!

    ~ ~ ~ ~

Wrought with divine power

(J.C. Philpot, "The Veil Taken Away" 1844)

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"Our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also . . .
  with power,
  with the Holy Spirit and
  with deep conviction."
1 Thessalonians 1:5

Most men's religion is nothing else but 'a round of forms' . . .
  some have their 'doings',
  some have their 'doctrines',
  and others have their 'duties'.

And when the one has performed his doings, the other learned his doctrines, and the third discharged his duties—why, he is as good a Christian, he thinks, as anybody. While all the time, the poor deceived creature is thoroughly ignorant of the kingdom of God, which stands not in simply in word, but in power.

But as the veil of ignorance is taken off the heart, we begin to see and feel that there is a power in vital godliness, a reality in the teachings of the Spirit—that religion is not to be put on and put off as a man puts on and off his Sunday clothes.

Where vital godliness is wrought with divine power in a man's heart, and preached by the Holy Spirit into his conscience it . . .
  mingles, daily and often hourly with his thoughts;
  entwines itself with his feelings; and
  becomes the very food and drink of his soul.

Now when a man comes to this spot: to see and feel what a reality there is in the things of God made manifest in the conscience by the power of the Holy Spirit—it effectually takes him out of dead churches, cuts him off from false ministers, winnows the chaff from the wheat, and brings him into close communion with the broken-hearted family of God.

"Our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction." 1 Thessalonians 1:5

  ~ ~ ~ ~

The continued teachings of the Spirit

(J.C. Philpot, "The Woman at the Well of Samaria")

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When once, by the operation of the Spirit on our conscience, we have been stripped of . . .
and the other delusions of the flesh that hide themselves under the mask of religion—we have felt the difference between having a name to live while dead, and the power of vital godliness; and as a measure of divine life has flowed into the heart out of the fullness of the Son of God—we desire no other religion but that which stands in the power of God; by that alone can we live, and by that alone we feel that we can die.

Then, at last, we are brought to this conviction and solemn conclusion: that there is no other true religion but that which consists in the continued teachings of the Spirit, and the communications of the life of God to the soul.

And with the Spirit's teachings are connected . . .
  all the actings of faith in the soul,
  all the anchorings of hope in the heart,
  all the flowings forth of love,
  every tear of genuine contrition that flows down the cheeks,
  every sigh of godly sorrow that heaves from the bosom,
  every cry and groan because of the body of sin,
  every breath of spiritual prayer that comes from the heart,
  every casting of our souls upon Christ,
  all submission to Him,
  all communion with Him,
  all enjoyment of Him, and
  all the inward embracements of Him in His suitability and preciousness.

"But you have received the Holy Spirit, and He lives within you, so you do not need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what He teaches is true." 1 John 2:27

    ~ ~ ~ ~

That which is highly esteemed among men

(J.C. Philpot)

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"That which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God." Luke 16:15

The pride,
the ambition,
the pleasures,
the amusements,
in which we see thousands and tens of thousands engaged, and sailing down the stream into a dreadful gulf of eternity—are all an abomination in the sight of God.

Whereas, such things as . . .
  brokenness of heart,
  tenderness of conscience,
  contrition of spirit,
  sorrow for sin,
  looking to Jesus,
  taking up the cross,
  denying one's self,
  walking in the strait and narrow path that leads to eternal life;
in a word, the power of godliness—these things are despised by all, and by none so much as mere heady professors who have a name to live while dead.

"That which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God." Luke 16:15

    ~ ~ ~ ~

Sovereign, supreme disposal

(J.C. Philpot, "Meditations on Ephesians")

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"And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything!" Ephesians 1:22

How vast, how numerous, how complicated are the various events and circumstances which attend the Christian here below, as he travels onward to his heavenly home!

But if all things are put under Jesus' feet, there cannot be a single circumstance over which He has not supreme control. Everything in providence and everything in grace are alike subject to His disposal. There is not . . .
  a trial,
  a temptation,
  an affliction of body or soul,
  a loss,
  a cross,
  a painful bereavement,
  a vexation,
  a grief,
  a disappointment,
  a case, state or condition,
which is not put under Jesus' feet.

He has sovereign, supreme disposal over all events and circumstances;
  as possessed of infinite knowledge He sees them;
  as possessed of infinite wisdom He can manage them; and
  as possessed of infinite power He can dispose and direct them for our good and His own glory.

How much trouble and anxiety would we save ourselves, could we firmly believe, realize, and act on this!

If we could see by the eye of faith that . . .
  every foe and every fear,
  every difficulty and perplexity,
  every trying or painful circumstance,
  every looked for or unlooked for event,
  every source of care, whether at present or in prospect,
are all at His sovereign disposal—what a load of anxiety and care would be often taken off our shoulders!

"My times are in Your hands!" Psalm 31:15
    ~ ~ ~ ~

The whole apparatus of religion

(J.C. Philpot, "Reviews")

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"I see that you are very religious in every way." Acts 17:22

Religion, in some shape or other, is indispensable to the very existence of civilized society. There is a natural religion—as well as a spiritual religion.

Natural conscience is the seat of the former; a spiritual conscience the seat of the latter.

One is of the flesh—the other of the Spirit.

One for time—the other for eternity.

One for the world—the other for the elect.

One to animate and bind men together as component members of society—the other to animate and bind the children of God together as component members of the mystical body of Christ.

True religion is what the world does not want—nor does true religion want the world.

The two are as separate as Christ and Belial.

But some religion the world must have! And as it will not have, and cannot have the true—it will and must have the false.

True religion is . . .
  spiritual and experimental,
  heavenly and divine,
  the gift and work of God,
  the birthright and privilege of the elect,
  the peculiar possession of the heirs of God.

This the world has not, for it is God's enemy, not His friend; walking in the broad way which leads to perdition—not in the narrow way which leads to eternal life.

Worldly religion cannot exist without an order of men to teach it and practice its ceremonies. Hence come clergy, forming a recognized priestly caste. And as these must, to avoid confusion, be governed, all large corporate bodies requiring a controlling power—thence come bishops and archbishops, ecclesiastical courts, archdeacons; and the whole apparatus of clerical government.

The ceremonies and ordinances cannot be carried on without buildings set apart for the purpose—thence churches and cathedrals.

As prayer is a part of all religious worship, and carnal men cannot, for lack of the Spirit, pray spiritually—they must have forms of devotion made ready to their hand; thence come prayer-books and liturgies.

As there must be mutual points of agreement to hold men together, there must be written formulas of doctrine; thence come articles, creeds, and confessions of faith.

And finally, as there are children to be instructed, and this cannot be safely left to oral teaching, for fear of ignorance in some and error in others, the very form of instruction must be drawn up in so many words—thence come catechisms.

People are puzzled sometimes to know why there is this and that thing in an established religion—why we have churches and clergy, tithes and prayer-books, universities and catechisms, and the whole apparatus of religion. They do not see that all these things have sprung, as it were, out of a moral necessity, and are based upon the very constitution of man—that this great and widespread tree of a human religion has its deep roots in the natural conscience; and that all these branches necessarily and naturally grow out of the broad and lofty stem.

The attachment, then, of worldly people to a worldly religion is no great mystery.
It is no riddle for a Samson to put forth—or requiring a Solomon to solve.

~ ~ ~ ~

The most secret, subtle, and insinuating of all sins!

(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

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"In his pride, the wicked does not seek God; in all his thoughts, there is no room for God!" Psalm 10:4

The pride of the wicked is the principal reason why they will not seek after the knowledge of God. Pride renders God a disagreeable and undesirable object of contemplation to the wicked.

Pride consists in an unduly exalted opinion of one's self. It is, therefore . . .
  impatient of a rival,
  hates a superior, and
  cannot endure a master!

In proportion as pride prevails in the heart, it makes us wish . . .
  to see no God above us,
  to acknowledge no law but our own wills,
  to follow no rule but our own inclinations.
Thus pride led Satan to rebel against his Creator—and our first parents to desire to be as gods.

Since such are the effects of pride, it is evident that nothing can be more painful to a proud heart, than the thoughts of such a being as God . . .
  one who is infinitely powerful, just, and holy;
  one who can neither be resisted, deceived, nor deluded;
  one who disposes, according to His own sovereign pleasure, of all creatures and events;
  one who, in an especial manner, hates pride, and is determined to abase and punish it!
Such a being, the proud man can contemplate only with feelings of dread, aversion, and abhorrence! The proud man must look upon God as his natural enemy, his great enemy, whom he has to fear!

But the knowledge of God directly tends to bring this infinite, irresistible, irreconcilable Enemy—fully to the view of the proud man. It teaches proud man that he has a superior, a master . . .
  from whose authority he cannot escape,
  whose power he cannot resist,
  and whose will he must obey—
or be crushed before Him, and be rendered miserable forever!
It shows proud man what he hates to see . . .
  that, in despite of his opposition—God's counsel shall stand,
  that God will do all His pleasure, and
  that in all things, God is above them.

These truths torture the proud unhumbled hearts of the wicked, and hence they hate that knowledge of God which teaches these truths, and will not seek it. On the contrary, they wish to remain ignorant of such a being, and to banish all thoughts of Him from their minds.

They endeavor to believe that God is altogether such a one as themselves.
How foolish,
how absurd,
how ruinous,
how blindly destructive of itself
—does pride appear!
By attempting to soar, pride only plunges itself in the mire!
And while endeavoring to erect a throne for itself—pride undermines the ground on which it stands and digs its own grave!

Pride . . .
  plunged Satan from Heaven into Hell,
  banished our first parents from paradise, and
  will, in a similar manner, eternally ruin all who indulge in it!

Unrepented pride . . .
  keeps us in ignorance of God,
  shuts us out from His favor,
  prevents us from resembling Him,
  deprives us in this world, of communion with Him, and
  will bar the door of Heaven forever against us, and close upon us the gates of Hell.

O then, my friends, beware, above all things, beware of pride! Beware, lest you indulge it imperceptibly, for it is the most secret, subtle, and insinuating of all sins!

~ ~ ~ ~

Oh, this is a sad sight!

(Ashton Oxenden, "A Happy Old Age" 1870)

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One would think that the longer a person lived, the more willing he would be to leave his present earthly abode. But this is not always the case.

Sometimes, alas! we see very aged people clinging to this world even more tightly than the young. We see them close to the grave's mouth—and yet loving the riches, the pleasures, the trifles of this world with all their affections! Oh, this is a sad sight! It is sad to see a poor dying creature entering upon a solemn eternity—with a heart glued to the world which he is leaving, and full of its concerns!

When this is the case with a Christian, God often in mercy sends us some affliction. He withers our gourds which have grown up around us, that He may lead us to seek a truer and a safer shelter. He sees that we are too fond of these clay cottages of ours; so He makes the walls to crumble, that we may be content to leave them at His call.

Look at your growing infirmities, dear reader—as so many mercies. Let them serve to remind you that you will not be here always, and that this world "is not your rest, because it is polluted!" Let your growing infirmities make you long for that happier land, where there shall be no more old age; where sorrow and sighing shall be unknown; and where "the inhabitant shall never say, I am sick."

Oh, it is well for us that all is not health, and strength, and sunshine here—else we would be even fonder than we are, of our present earthly home.

"But our citizenship is in Heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body!" Philippians 3:20-21

~ ~ ~ ~

A beauteous grace!

(Charles Orr)

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"The fruit of the Spirit is . . . gentleness" Galatians 5:22-23

GENTLENESS is one of the fruits of the Spirit. If we have the Spirit of Christ, we bear this fruit. "Well," says one, "in my very make-up, I am rough, harsh, and severe." If so, you need to be made anew. When God finds a man who is rough, harsh, and severe in his make-up; He will, as the man yields to the operation of the Holy Spirit—make him mild, gentle, and peaceful.

People go to a hospital and by an operation, have abscesses and tumors removed from the internal parts. Just so, God, by a blessed, wonderful, and successful operation of the Holy Spirit—will take that roughness, harshness, and severity out of your nature—and instill mildness, tenderness, softness, and gentleness instead. Harshness and roughness are a corruption that God, in His gracious plan of salvation—is pleased to remove. As the Holy Spirit works in you that which is pleasing in God's sight, He will make you gentle.

What is gentleness? It is humility, softness, mildness and meekness. It is the opposite of harshness, roughness, severeness etc. It is sweetness of disposition, mildness of temper, softness of manner, kindness, tenderness, etc. Those who are of a gentle disposition, act and speak without harshness. They are not morose, sour, crabbed, and wavering—but are smooth, mild, and steadfast. Good manners are intimately connected with gentleness; and good manners are no dishonor to Christianity. The apostle Paul by way of testimony said to the Thessalonian saints, "We were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children." 1 Thessalonians 2:7. Such was his manner. As a kind mother is to a delicate child, so was he to those whom he loved.

Vastly different was he then, from what he was when he was persecuting and destroying the church of God! He had been changed by grace. He exhorts pastors to "be gentle unto all men" (2 Timothy 2:24) and to be "gentle, showing all meekness unto all men" (Titus 3:2). David, in his sublime tribute of praise to God in 2 Samuel 22:36 says, "Your gentleness has made me great."

Would you, my reader, like to be more gentle in your manner? Are you too harsh and rough? Are you, if a parent—as gentle to your children as you should be at all times? Husband, are you as kind and gentle toward your wife as you should be? Do you believe that you come up to the Bible measure in this particular? Or do you have impatient feelings and act in a hasty, abrupt manner towards them? If you meet with something quite provoking from your wife or the children, do you keep as mild and sweet as you know you should?

Now, I hope you will examine closely. I do not mean to condemn you; I want to help you. There are many professing saints today, who are not nearly as gentle as they should be. Why not be in earnest, and seek God for help, and make improvement? Why go along with crossness, and coldness and snappishness in your life? Be gentle toward all.

Gentleness is a beauteous grace. Her excellence is great. By culture, this grace is capable of much improvement. Too few saints experience it to the extent that they should. I beseech you by the gentleness of Jesus (2 Corinthians 10:1)to be in earnest and improve upon your gentleness. Never allow a frown or a scowl to settle for a moment upon your brow! It will leave its mark, if you do so. Learn to be gentle, especially in your home.

"Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart." Matthew 11:29

"Be completely humble and gentle." Ephesians 4:2

"Let your gentleness be evident to all." Philippians 4:5

"But you, man of God . . . pursue . . . gentleness." 1 Timothy 6:11 

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved—clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12

~ ~ ~ ~

Away with such an old-time Christianity!

(Charles Orr)

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Satan has robed a harlot, named her 'Christianity' and succeeded in imposing her upon many. They are fondling with her. She indulges them in sensuality, while encouraging them to hope for a blissful immortality. The kings of the earth have committed fornication with her. They are reveling, feasting and banqueting with her—crazed by her seductive charms. She has neither purity, peace, nor power. Her robes are defiled by sin. She scoffs at pure Christianity, and calls her old-fashioned.

This strange young woman is using every device to allure souls into her wanton chamber. She is most subtle of heart. She "flatters with her words. In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night—she walks in the streets, and lies wait at every corner, that she might catch and kiss him who is void of understanding." With a beguiling, impudent face, she says to him: "I have peace offerings with me; I have decked my bed with tapestry and fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come let us take our fill of love until the morning; let us enjoy each other's caresses."

Such is the mirthful, shallow, frivolous Christianity of the popular present day religions! The generality of professors (we speak in love) desire a Christianity . . .
  which will go with them to the halls of pleasure;
  which will dine with them at their rich banquets;
  which will smile on them as they walk in the ways of sin and worldliness
—calming their fears with her flattering words of 'peace, peace!'

Primitive Christianity, they consider, was good enough for primitive days—but she would be a horrid old maid in these days of progress. In this fast-moving age, the Christianity that crowned the life of Christ and the holy apostles, is altogether too antiquated . . .
  she drew men from the world;
  she crucified their lusts;
  she taught them to practice self-denial;
  she brought them in humility to her feet;
  she led them in the paths of virtue and holiness;
  she upbraided them for sin, and told them of the vengeance and wrath of God against every evil.

The Christian world today, in general, is saying, "Away with such an old-time Christianity! She has no charms for us! She is too common and plain—too grave and sober! We will not walk with her! Give us the mirthful and dashing young harlot—that we may walk with her amid the pleasures of the world, and with her gratify our lusts! She never chides us for sin, nor troubles us about the anger of God nor the torments of Hell. She invites us into her bosom and gives us a sweet opiate drink of 'stolen waters', and bids us take our fill of love.

We desire to tear off the sacrilegious robes of the harlot of false Christianity—and expose her shame to the gaze of every honest soul.

Dear reader, "Do not go after her! Do not let your heart incline to her ways! Do not go astray in her paths. For she has cast down many wounded—yes, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to Hell, going down to the chambers of death!"

~ ~ ~ ~

The sweetest and most sacred spot on earth!

(Charles Orr, "Christianity in Home Life")

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Nowhere is Christianity more beautifully displayed, than in the home. It changes the home of wickedness, strife, and contention—into a peaceful and delightful Eden. It converts the home of the wicked—into a palace. It drives away discontentment, uneasiness, fear, and darkness—and showers contentment, peace, and sunlight into every heart.

Christianity in home life—makes all . . .
love and kindness between brothers and sisters;
love and dutifulness between parents and children;
love, peace, harmony, honesty, and faithfulness between husband and wife.

Christianity makes a home, a Heaven! A Christian home where all is love and tenderness and devotion, is the sweetest and most sacred spot on earth! A home where Christianity is crowned a queen in every heart, is an Eden. The heart of God is filled with delight as He looks down upon such a home! His presence dwells there, and causes this home to be a beautiful oasis in this wilderness world of sin.

Alas, that such homes are so few! Sin destroys the happiness of man and makes many a home—a hotbed of contention, strife, and confusion!

When the husband and wife are kind, loving, and gentle toward each other; when she in her weakness feels her dependence upon him, and lovingly, trustingly looks unto him as her defense; and he in his strength and delight enfolds her in his strong arms of protection with a feeling of responsibility to nourish and cherish her—then they can testify that they have a Heaven in their home!

Unless we have attained unto such a life—we have not attained to Bible Christianity, nor to domestic joy and happiness.