Grace Gems for January 2001

The study of the Bible cannot save you

(Spurgeon, "Help for Seekers of the Light")

True salvation is not to be found through
the mere reception of any creed, however
true or scriptural.

Mere 'head notion' is not
  the road to heaven.

"You must be born again," means a
great deal more than that you must
believe certain dogmas.

The study of the Bible cannot save you!
You must press beyond this; you must come
to the living, personal Christ, or else your
acceptance of the soundest creed cannot
avail for the salvation of your soul.

Salvation lies in Jesus only!

"You search the Scriptures because you believe
 they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures
 point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me so
 that I can give you this eternal life." John 5:39-40

The Man with the bruised
 heel & crown of thorns!

The following is from Bonar's book,
    "The Night of Weeping"

Jesus' crucifixion was but the closing
 scene of a whole life of crucifixion!

He was a cross bearer from the hour that He
was laid in the manger. All His days He bore
the cross.  His life was but a pilgrimage to
Calvary with the cross upon His shoulders.
His whole course on earth was a mournful
way. It was all reproach and sorrow from His
cradle to His grave. His was a sorrowing life;
His death was but the summing up of His many
sorrows, the gathering of them all together and
pressing them into His cup at once, until the
vessel burst, because it could hold no more.

Throughout life He was the "man of sorrows."

He was "acquainted with grief."

His bruised heel is only another way of
expressing His character as the suffering,
the crucified Son of Man.

It is the Man with the bruised
heel who has won our hearts!

It is He whom we follow; and His bruised
heel we engrave upon our banner as our
most honorable badge.

We are followers of the Man with the
pierced hands and feet, the Man who is
covered all over with the marks of the
buffet and the scourge and the spitting,
the Man with the crown of thorns!

Dwarf or Giant?
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"The Former and the Latter Rain" #880  Jer.5:24.

The plan Satan seems to have adopted is that
of preventing, as far as he can, our raising in
our midst a race of eminent and advanced

We have in this age but few giants in grace
who rise head and shoulders above the common
height, men to lead us on in deeds of heroism
and efforts of unstaggering faith.

We have come to be a race of dwarfs, and
are content, to a great extent, to have it so.

There was once in London a club of dwarfs,
whose qualification for membership lay in
their not exceeding five feet in height.

Such a club of dwarfish Christians might
be established in London, and without any
difficulty might attain to an enormously
numerous membership; for the notion is
common that our dwarfish Christianity
is after all the standard, and many even
imagine that nobler Christians are enthusiasts,
fanatical, and hot blooded; while we are cool
because we are wise and intelligent.

We must get rid of all this nonsense.

The fact is, the most of us are vastly inferior
to the early Christians, who, as I take it, were
persecuted because they were thoroughly
Christians. We are not persecuted because
we hardly are Christians at all.

They were so earnest in the propagation of the
Redeemer's kingdom, that they became the
nuisance of the age in which they lived.

They would not let errors alone.

They had not conceived the opinion that they
were to hold the truth, and leave other people
to hold error without trying to intrude their
opinions upon them. But they preached Jesus
right and left, and delivered their testimony
against every sin.

They denounced the idols, and cried out against
superstition, until the world, fearful of being
turned upside down, demanded of them, "Is that
what you really mean? Then we will burn you,
lock you up in prison, and exterminate you."

To which the church replied, "We will accept
the challenge, and will not depart from our
resolve to conquer the world for Christ."

But we are so gentle and quiet, we
do not use strong language about other
people's opinions; but let men go to
hell out of charity to them.

We are not at all fanatical. We would not
wish to save any sinner who does not
particularly wish to be saved. We do not
speak with tears streaming down our cheeks,
groaning and agonizing with God for them.
Neither would we thrust our opinions upon
them, though we know they are being lost
for lack of the knowledge of Christ crucified.

Do not drivel away your existence upon baser
ends, but count the glory of Christ to be the
only object worthy of your manhood's strength,
the spread of the truth the only pursuit worthy
of your mental powers.

Spend and be spent in your Master's service.

Dwarf or Giant?

Microscopic holiness
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"A Well Ordered Life" #878. Psalm 119:133.

"Order my steps," We see here that David
is anxious as to details. He does not say,
"Order the whole of my pilgrimage;" he
means that, but his expression is more
expressive and painstaking.   He would
have each single step ordered in holiness.
He would enjoy heavenly guidance in each
minute portion of his journey towards heaven.

Much of the beauty of holiness lies in little things.

Microscopic holiness is the perfection of excellence.

If a life will bear examination in each hour of it,
it is pure indeed.  Those who are not careful
about their words, and even their thoughts, will
soon grow careless concerning their more notable

Those who tolerate sin in what they think to be
little things, will soon indulge in it in greater matters.

To live by the day and to watch each
step, is the true pilgrimage method.

More lies in the careful noting of every single
act than careless minds can well imagine.

Be this then your prayer: "Lord, direct my
morning thoughts, that the step out of my
chamber into the world may be taken in your
fear. At my table keep me in your presence;
behind my counter, or in my field, or wherever
else I may be, allow me not to grieve your
Spirit by any evil.  And when I come to lie
down at night, let the action (which seems
so indifferent) of casting myself upon my
pillow, be performed with a heart that loves
you; so that I shall be prepared to be with
you, if wakeful during the night.”

This brief prayer, "Order my steps,"
teaches us attention to the minutiae of life.
May we have grace to learn the lesson.

Our Pilot!
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"Multitudinous Thoughts and Sacred Comforts" #883.

Remember that your way is ordered by a
 higher power than your will and choice.

The eternal destiny of God has fixed your
every footstep. Believe that wisdom, not
blind fate, but God's wisdom, has ordained
the bounds of your life, and fixed your
position and your condition so definitely
that no  fretfulness of yours can change
it for the better.

In the decree of God, all your history is fixed,
so as to secure his glory and your soul's profit.

Your present sorrow is the bitter bud of
greater joy.  Your transient loss secures
your ultimate and never ceasing gain.

How I rejoice to believe that the Lord
 shall choose my inheritance for me!

All things are fixed by my Father's hand,
by no arbitrary and stern decree, but by
his wise counsel and tender wisdom. He
who loved us from before the foundations
of the world, has immutably determined
all the steps of our pilgrimage!

Why then, should you worry yourself?

There is a hand upon the helm which shall
steer your vessel safely enough between
the rocks, and by the quicksands, and away
from the shoals and the headlands, through
the mist, and through the darkness, safely
to the desired haven.

Our Pilot never sleeps, and his
 hand never relaxes its grasp.

It is a blessed thing, after you have been
muddling and meddling as you ought not to do
with the affairs of providence, to leave them
alone and cast your burden upon the Lord.

I charge you, therefore, children of God, in
times of dilemma, to roll your burdens upon
God, and he will sustain you, and make you to
rejoice in beholding his wisdom and his love.

Inexpressible sweetness!
"A soul that is altogether given up to
 the love of Christ lives above care and
 sorrow.  It has care and sorrow,  but
 the love of Christ kills all the bitterness
 by its inexpressible sweetness!"  Spurgeon

"Better go to heaven alone
 than to hell with a herd."

"I have many people in this city."
        Acts 18:10
(by Spurgeon)
This should be a great encouragement to try to
do good, since God has among the vilest of the
vile, the most reprobate, the most debauched
and drunken, an elect people who must be saved.

When you take the Word to them, you do so
because God has ordained you to be the
messenger of life to their souls, and they must
receive it, for so the decree of predestination
runs. They are as much redeemed by blood
as the saints before the eternal throne.

They are Christ's property, and yet perhaps they
are lovers of the ale house, and haters of holiness.
But if Jesus Christ purchased them he will have
them. God is not unfaithful to  forget the price
which his Son has paid.  He will not allow his
substitution to be in any case an ineffectual,
dead thing.

Tens of thousands of redeemed ones are not
regenerated yet, but regenerated they must be;
and this is our comfort when we go forth to
them with the quickening Word of God.

The following is from Bonar's book,
    "The Night of Weeping"

Afflictions are preparing for us a "more
abundant entrance," a weightier crown,
a whiter robe, a sweeter rest, a home
made doubly precious by a long exile
and many sufferings here below.

However desperate our earthly warfare may
be, it is not forever. No, it is brief, very brief.
Its end is near, very near. And with the end
come triumph, and honor, and songs of victory.
Then, too, there follows peace, and the return
of the war worn soldier to his quiet dwelling.

This is the joy of the saint. He has fought a
good fight, he has finished the course, he has
kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for
him the crown of righteousness. His battle is
over, and then for him there are rest and home.


Yes, home! And what a home for us
  to return to and abide in forever!
A home prepared before the foundation of the world.
A home in the many mansions.
A home nearest the throne and heart of God.
A home whose peace shall never be
  broken by the sound of war or tempest.
A home whose brightness shall never be
  overcast by the remotest shadow of a cloud.

How solacing to the weary spirit to think of
a resting place so near to God, and that resting
place our Father's house where we shall hunger
no more, neither thirst any more, where the sun
shall not scorch us, nor any heat, where the
Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall
feed us and lead us to living fountains of
waters, and God Himself shall wipe away
all tears from our eyes!

The time is at hand.

The conflicts are almost over.

Our struggles and sorrows are nearly done.

A few more years, and we shall either be laid
quietly to rest, or caught up into the clouds to
meet our coming Lord.

A few more deaths, and then we shall be
knit together in eternal brotherhood with
all the scattered members of God's family.

A few more suns shall rise and set, and then we
shall ascend in the strength of the one unsetting sun.

A few more days shall dawn and darken, and
then shall shine forth the one unending day.

A few more clouds shall gather over us, and
then the world shall be cleared forever.

But a few brief years, and we shall
enter in through the gates into the city,
sitting down beneath the shadow of the
tree of life, feeding upon the hidden
manna, and drinking of the pure river
clear as crystal, which proceeds out of
the throne of God and of the Lamb!

But a few brief years and we shall
see His face, and His name shall be
upon our foreheads!

We have only the foretaste now. The full
brightness is in reserve, and we know that
all that is possible or conceivable of what
is good and fair and blessed, shall one day
be real and visible.

Out of all evil there comes the good;
out of sin comes holiness;
out of darkness, light;
out of death, life eternal;
out of weakness, strength;
out of the fading, the blooming;
out of rottenness and ruin,
   loveliness and majesty;
out of the curse come the blessing,
   the incorruptible, the immortal,
   the glorious, the undefiled!

Our present portion, however, is but the
pledge, not the inheritance. The inheritance
is reserved for the appearing of the Lord.
Here we see but through a glass darkly.
It does not yet appear what we shall be.

We are now but as wayfaring men, wandering
in the lonely night, who see dimly upon the
distant mountain peak the reflection of a sun
that never rises here, but which shall never
set in the "new heavens" hereafter.

And this is enough. It comforts and
cheers us on our dark and rugged way.
It would not be enough hereafter, but
it is enough just now.

This wilderness will do for us until we
cross into Canaan. The tent will do until
the eternal city comes.

The joy of believing is enough,
until we enter on the joy of seeing.

We are content with the "mountain of myrrh,
and the hill of frankincense," until "the day
breaks and the shadows flee away."


Imagine yourself to be cast into a fiery oven!
(The following is from Jonathan Edwards)

"Can your heart endure, or can your hands be
 strong in the days that I shall deal with you?
 I the Lord save spoken it, and will do it." Ezekiel 22:14

Imagine yourself to be cast into a fiery oven,
or into a great furnace, where your pain would
be as much greater than that occasioned by
accidentally touching a coal of fire, as the
heat is greater.  Imagine also that your body
were to lie there for a quarter of an hour, all
the while full of quick sense. What horror would
you feel at the entrance of such a furnace!

And how long would that quarter of an hour seem
to you! And after you had endured it for one minute,
how overbearing would it be to you to think that
you had it to endure the other fourteen minutes!

But what would be the effect on your soul,
if you knew you must lie there enduring that
torment to the full for twenty four hours!

And how much greater would be the effect, if
you knew you must endure it for a whole year!

And how vastly greater still, if you knew
you must endure it for a thousand years!

O then, how would your heart sink, if you
thought, if you knew, that you must bear
it forever and ever! That there would be
no end!

That after millions of millions of ages, your
torment would be no nearer to an end, than
ever it was; and that you never, never
would be delivered!

If you are not a true Christian, your torment
in hell will be immensely greater than this
illustration represents!

How then will the heart of a poor creature
sink under it! How utterly inexpressible and
inconceivable must the sinking of the soul
be in such a case!

Whoever you are, whether young or old,
little or great, if you are in a Christless,
unconverted state, this is the wrath to
which you are condemned. This is the
wrath that abides on you. This is the hell
over which you hang, and into which you
are ready to drop every day and every night.

You may effectually escape these dreadful
and awful torments. Be entreated to flee and
embrace him who came into the world for the
very end of saving sinners from these torments,
and who has paid the whole debt due.

You are exposed to eternal punishment, but
there is a Savior provided, who is able and who
freely offers to save you from that punishment.

Justice is fully satisfied in Christ. All who
believe are accepted and justified in him.
Therefore believe in him, come to him, commit
your souls to him to be saved by him. In him
you shall be safe from the eternal torments of hell.

Nor is that all: but through him you shall inherit
inconceivable blessedness and glory, which will
be of eternal duration with the torments of hell.
For, as at the last day the wicked shall go away
into everlasting punishment, so shall the righteous,
or those who trust in Christ, go into eternal life.

"Can your heart endure, or can your hands be
 strong in the days that I shall deal with you?
 I the Lord save spoken it, and will do it." Ezekiel 22:14

Dull, heavy, lumpy, all but dead!
"Turn away my eyes from beholding vanity;
 and quicken me in Your way." Psalm 119:37

"Turn away my eyes from beholding vanity"
There are diverse kinds of vanity. The cap and
bells of the  fool, the mirth of the world, the
dance, the lyre, and the cup of the dissolute;
all these men know to be vanities; they wear
upon their forefront their proper name and title.

Far more treacherous are those equally vain things:
the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of
riches. A man may follow vanity as truly in the
shop as in the theater. If he is spending his life in
amassing wealth, he passes his days in vanity.

Unless we follow Christ, and make our God
the great object of life, we only differ in
appearance, from the most frivolous of people.

"Quicken me in Your way."
The Psalmist confesses that he is
dull, heavy, lumpy, all but dead!

Perhaps, dear reader, you feel the same.
We are so sluggish that the best motives
cannot quicken us, apart from the Lord Himself.
What! will not hell quicken me? Shall I think of
sinners perishing, and yet not be awakened?
Will not heaven quicken me? Can I think of
the reward that awaits the righteous, and
yet be cold?   Will not death quicken me?
Can I think of dying, and standing before my
God, and yet be slothful in my Master's service?
Will not Christ's love constrain me? Can I think
of His dear wounds, can I sit at the foot of His
cross, and not be stirred with fervency and zeal?

It seems so! No 'mere consideration' can
quicken us to zeal, but God Himself must
do it, hence the cry, "Quicken me."

The Psalmist breathes out his whole soul in
vehement pleadings; his body and his soul
unite in prayer.
"Turn away mine eyes," says the body.
"Quicken me," cries the soul.

This is a fit prayer for every day.
O Lord, hear it in my case this day.

A  special, personal, distinguishing love!
The following is from Bonar's book,
    "The Night of Weeping"

It is sweet to realize the common love flowing
out of the Father's bosom to the whole happy
household of His saved ones; but it is no less
sweet, especially in the day of trial, to dwell
upon the personal love He bears so distinctively
to each of His children.

Jesus has a special, personal, distinguishing
love for each of His children; just as if He
loved no other, but had His whole heart to
give to us alone. His is a detailed and watchful
care, bending over each of His children, day
and night, as if He had no other to care for.

How sweet to think that each of us is the
special object of such personal affection, the
particular object of such unwearied vigilance!

What manner of love is this!

We are sure that we shall be fully cared for,
and not one need or sorrow will be overlooked.

We know that "all things shall work together
for our good," and that the end of everything
which befalls us here shall be light and glory

For  you!
(from Octavius Winslow's "Self Communion")
Is Jesus precious to your heart?
Is He the object of your supreme
admiration and delight? Does He
have your warmest affection?
Do you love Jesus?

You must light your torch of affection for
Christ, at the altar of Calvary. You must go
there, and learn and believe what the love
of Jesus is to you: the vastness of that
love; the self sacrifice of that love; how
that love of Christ labored and wept,
bled, suffered, and died for you!

Can you stand before this love; this love
so precious, so great, so enduring, so self
consuming, so changeless, and know that
for you was this offering, for you this cross,
for you this agony, for you this scorn and
insult, for you this death, and feel no
sensibility, no emotion, no love to Jesus?

Impossible! Sit not down, then, in vain
regrets that your love to Christ is so frigid,
so fickle, so dubious. Go and muse upon
the reality and the greatness of the Savior's
love to you, and if love can inspire love,
while you muse, the fire will burn, and your
soul shall be all in flame with love to God.

This age of shams!
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"Every day Usefulness" #855.  John 1:42.

People who become active in church work
before they have first believed in Christ,
are very apt to remain without faith,
resting content with the general
reputation which they have gained.

O dear friends, beware of this.

In this day hypocrisy is so common, self
deceit is so easy, that I would not have
you place yourselves where those vices
become almost inevitable.  If a man
voluntarily puts himself where it is taken
for granted that he is godly, his next
step will be to mimic godliness, and
by and by he will flatter himself into
the belief that he really possesses that
which he so successfully imitates.

Beware of a religion which is
not true; it is worse than none.

Beware of a form of godliness which is not
supported by the fervor of your heart and soul.

This age of shams presents but few assistances
to self-examination, hence am I the more earnest
that every one of us should deliberately ask himself,
"Am I a follower of Christ myself? Am I washed in
his blood? Am I renewed by his Spirit?"  If not, my
first business is on my knees in prayer; my first
occupation should be in my closet, confessing my
sin and seeking pardon through the atoning sacrifice.

Selfish Religion
The following is from Bonar's book,
    "The Night of Weeping"

Selfishness, in reference to the things
of Christ, obviously springs from coldness
towards Christ Himself.  A preference of
self to Christ is its root and source.

Anything, therefore, that tends to obscure
or keep out of view the person of Christ
must lead to selfishness. It may be the
love of the world; it may be the love of
the creature, it may be the love of man's
applause. These are the dark bodies that
eclipse the glory of a living Savior and
nourish self.

But these are not all.   Satan has deeper
devices still. He brings in religion between
us and the Savior! Religious acts, ordinances,
duties, are all turned by him into so many
instruments for exalting self and lowering
the Savior.

But even this is not all. He has a subtler
device still for these last days. He is trying
to make the work of Christ a substitute
for His person, to fix attention so much
upon the one as to exclude the other.
The result of this is a thoroughly selfish
and sectarian religion. I know this is delicate
ground, but the evil is an augmenting one
and ought to be made known.

There are not a few who are so occupied
with truth that they forget "the true one,"
so occupied with faith that they lose sight
of its personal object, so given to dwelling
upon the work of Christ that they overlook
His person.

What and Who He is seems a question of
small importance, provided they know that
He has accomplished a work by which they
may secure eternal life. "We are forgiven,"
they say, "we have peace; all is well."
They take but little interest in the person
of Him who has purchased these blessings.

The redemption is all, and the Redeemer
is nothing, or, at least, very little to them.
The sufficiency of His work is all, the glory
and excellence of His person, nothing.

What is this but selfishness? We get all the
benefit we can out of the work of Christ,
and then have no desire for Him!  And this
selfishness introduces itself everywhere into
the actions and thinking of this class of people.

We can trace it in their doctrines:
Their views of the atonement are selfish, being
framed not upon the principle of how God is to
get His purpose fulfilled and His glory displayed,
but simply of how a sinner is to be saved.

Their views of Jehovah's sovereignty and
electing grace are selfish, being just so many
devices for taking the sinner out of God's
hands; and leaving him in his own control.

Their views of the Spirit's work are selfish,
being just an attempt to make His aid appear
less absolutely indispensable; and man's own
skill and strength of very considerable avail in
the matter of salvation.

But even where those selfish views of
doctrine have not been adopted, there is a
latent tendency toward selfishness among
many, which can only be ascribed to their
neglect of the person of Christ!

His truth is precious; His work is precious;
but it is with Him that we have chiefly to do.

It is Jesus! Jesus alone! Jesus Himself!
whom we feel to be absolutely necessary!

We must go beyond truth to "Him who is true."
Truth is precious, but in itself it is cold. But the
glory of the Gospel is this that it carries us up
beyond truth to its living fountainhead!  No, it
brings us into the very bosom of Him who came
out of the Father's bosom and has now returned
to it, carrying with Him all those whom the Father
has given Him; there, with Him to abide in happy
fellowship, world without end!

Richard Baxter's Guide To The Value Of A Book
Make careful choice of the books which you read:
let the holy Scriptures ever have the preeminence.
Let Scripture be first and most in your hearts and
hands and other books be used as subservient to it.

While reading ask yourself:

1. Could I spend this time no better?

2. Are there better books that would edify me more?

3. Are the lovers of such a book as this the greatest
    lovers of the Book of God and of a holy life?

4. Does this book increase my love to the Word of God,
    kill my sin, and prepare me for the life to come?

A piece of breathing clay!
The following is from Richard Baxter's book,

Unsaved man, you are but a piece
of breathing clay, kept a few days
from being eaten with worms, by
the mere support and favor of Him
whom you are thus resisting!

A most dreadful condition!
The following is from Edwards' sermon,
"Natural Men In A Dreadful Condition"

Natural men are in a dreadful condition
because of the misery to which they are
exposed in the future world.

The torment and misery, of which natural
men are in danger, are exceedingly great
beyond any of our words or thoughts.
When we speak of them, our words are
swallowed up. We say they are great, and
exceedingly great, and very dreadful. But
when we have used all the words we can
to express them, how faint is the idea that
is raised in our minds in comparison with
the reality!

God will exercise no pity towards them, no
regard for their welfare. Cut off from all the
comforts of this life, they will be shut out of
heaven, turned away from God and from all
good, into the blackness of darkness, into the
pit of hell, into that great receptacle, which God
has provided on purpose to cast into it the filthy,
and polluted, and abominable of the universe.

They will be in a most dreadful condition!

They will have no friends. God will be their
enemy, angels and the spirits of the just will
be their enemies, devils and damned spirits
will be their enemies. They will be hated with
perfect hatred, will have none to pity them,
none to bemoan their case, or to be any
comfort to them.

It appears that the state of the damned will
be exceedingly dreadful in that they will suffer
the wrath of God, executed to the full upon them,
poured out without mixture.

They shall bear the wrath of the Almighty!

They shall then know how dreadful
the wrath of an Almighty God is.
Now none knows, none can conceive.
"Who knows the power of your anger?"
Then they shall feel the weight of God's wrath.

In this world they have the wrath of God abiding
on them, but then it will be executed upon them.
Now it hangs over them, but then it shall fall
upon them in its full weight without alleviation,
or any moderation or restraint.

Their souls and their bodies shall then be filled full
with the wrath of God. Wicked men shall be as full
of wrath as anything that glows in the midst of a
furnace is of fire. The wrath of God is infinitely
more dreadful than fire. Fire, yes the fiercest fire,
is but an image and shadow of it.

The vessels of wrath shall be filled up with wrath
to the brim. Yes, they shall be plunged into a sea
of wrath. And therefore hell is compared to a lake
of fire and brimstone, because there wicked men
are overwhelmed and swelled up in wrath, as men
who are cast into a lake or sea, are swallowed up
in water.

O who can conceive of the dreadfulness
  of the wrath of an Almighty God!

How dreadful will it be, when all God's mighty
waves and billows of wrath pass over them!
Every faculty of the soul shall be filled with wrath,
and every part of the body shall be filled with fire.

In this furnace shall the bodies of the wicked lie
to all eternity, and yet live, and have their sense
of pain and torment not all diminished.

O, how full will the heart, the vitals, the brain,
the eyes, the tongue, the hands, and the feet
be of fire; of this fire of such an inconceivable
fierceness! How full will every member, and
every bone, and every vein, and every sinew,
be of this fire!

Surely it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands
of the living God. Who can bear such wrath?
A little of it is enough to destroy us.  But how
will men be overwhelmed, how will they sink,
when God's wrath is executed in so dreadful
a degree!

How dreadful is the punishment to which they
are exposed, in which all their sins shall be
punished according to their desert, and the
uttermost farthing shall be exacted of them!

Hell may well be called the bottomless pit,
 if the misery is so unfathomably great.

Well may the kings of the earth, and the great
men, and rich men, and chief captains, and
every bond man, and every free man, hide
themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of
the mountains, at Christ’s second coming;
and cry and say to the mountains and rocks,
"Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him
who sits on the throne, and from the wrath
of the Lamb; for the great day of his wrath is
come, and who shall be able to stand?"

Well may there be weeping and gnashing
of teeth in hell, where there is such misery.

This misery is not only amazingly great, and
dreadful, but of long continuance; yes, of
infinitely long continuance. It never will have
any end. There will be no deliverance, no rest,
no hope. But they will last throughout all eternity.

The wicked, after they have suffered millions of
ages, will be, as it were, but in the first point,
only setting out in their sufferings. It will be no
comfort to them that so much has past, for
they will have none the less to bear.

The damned in hell in their misery will be in
absolute despair. They shall know that their
misery will have no end, and therefore they
will have no hopes of it.

O, who can conceive the dreadfulness of such
despair as this in the midst of such torment!

Who can express, or think anything how
dreadful the thought of eternity is to them,
who are under so great torment!

To what unfathomable depths of woe will it
sink them! With what a gloom and blackness
of darkness will it fill them! What a boundless
gulf of sorrow and woe is the thought of eternity
to the damned, who shall be in absolute and
utter despair of any deliverance!

Slippery places!
The following is from Edwards' sermon,
"Natural Men In A Dreadful Condition"

"Surely you did set them in slippery places;
 you cast them down into destruction. How are
 they brought into desolation as in a moment."

Natural men are in Scripture compared to those
that walk in slippery places. They know not when
their feet will slip. They are continually in danger.

Natural men are in danger of going to hell every day.

They are in danger of dropping into hell before
tomorrow morning. They have nothing to depend
on, to keep them out of hell one day, or one night.

They know not what a day may bring forth. God has
not promised to spare them one day; and he is
angry with them every day. The black clouds, that
are full of the thunder of God's wrath, hang over
their heads every day, and they know not how
soon the thunder will break forth upon their heads.

Natural men hang over the pit of hell, as it were, by
a thread, that has a moth continually gnawing it.
They know not when it will snap in twain, and let
them drop.  They are in the utmost uncertainty.
They are not secure one moment.  A natural man
never goes to sleep, but that he is in danger of
waking in hell.  Experience abundantly teaches the
matter to be so. It shows, by millions of instances,
that man is not certain of life one day.  And how
common a thing is it for death to come suddenly
and unexpectedly!   And thousands, beyond all
reasonable question, are going to hell every day,
and death comes upon them unexpectedly.

It is a dreadful condition that natural people are in
upon this account.   No wise person would be in
their condition for a quarter of an hour for the whole
world, because such is the danger that they will drop
into hell before that quarter of an hour is expired.

"Surely you did set them in slippery places;
 you cast them down into destruction. How are
 they brought into desolation as in a moment."

The devil for his father!
The following is from Edwards' sermon,
"Natural Men In A Dreadful Condition"

Those who are in a natural state are the
children of the devil.

As the saints are the children of God, so
the ungodly are the children of the devil.

They acknowledge this relation, and own
themselves children of the devil, by
consenting that he should be their father.
They subject themselves to him, hearken
to this counsels, as children hearken to
the counsels of a father.

They learn of him to imitate him, and do as he
does, as children learn to imitate their parents.

How awful a state is this!

How dreadful is it to be a child of the devil,
the spirit of darkness, the prince of hell,
that wicked, malignant, and cruel spirit!

To have anything to do with him is very dreadful.
It would be accounted a dreadful, frightful thing
only to meet the devil, to have him appear to a
person in a visible shape.   How dreadful then
must it be to be his child!

How dreadful for any person
to have the devil for his father!

Natural men are the devil's captives and servants.
They are in Satan's possession and they are
under his dominion. They are brought by him
into subjection to his will, to go at his bidding,
and do what he commands.

The devil rules over ungodly men. They
are all his slaves, and do his drudging.

How awful to be taken captive by the devil,
the prince of hell, and made a slave to him!
The devil is, of all masters, the most cruel,
and treats his servants the worst.

The devil is a cruel master; for the service upon
which he puts his slaves is to undo themselves.
He keeps them hard at work day and night,
to work their own ruin.   He never intends to
give them any reward for their pains, but their
pains are to work out their own everlasting
destruction.  It is to gather fuel and kindle the
fire for themselves to be tormented in, to all eternity.

The soul of a natural man is the habitation of the
devil.  Satan not only lives, but reigns, in the
heart of a wicked man.  He has not only taken
up his abode there, but he has set up his throne
there.  The heart of a wicked man, is the place
of the devil's rendezvous.

The soul of a wicked man is the habitation of
devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a
cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

How to produce a devil
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"The Perseverance of the Saints" #872. Phil.1:6.

I have heard lately to my deep sorrow,
certain preachers speaking of conversions
as being developments of hidden graces
within the human soul. It is not so; that
theory is a lie from top to bottom.

There lies within the heart of man no
  grain or vestige of spiritual good.

Man is alien to all spiritual good.  He is
insensible and dead in sin. Spiritual life
must come to him from the Giver of life,
or he must remain dead for evermore.

If you could develop what is in the heart
of man, you would produce a devil,
for that is the spirit which works in the
children of disobedience.  Develop that
carnal mind which is enmity against God,
and cannot by any possibility be reconciled
to God, and the result is hell.

A hard, proud, hollow religion
(from Horatius Bonar's, "FOLLOW THE LAMB")

Intimacy with God is the
very essence of religion.

The understanding of doctrine is one thing,
and intimacy with God is another.  They
ought always to go together; but they
are often  seen asunder; and, when there
is the former without the latter, there is
a hard, proud, hollow religion.

Beware of mere opinions and speculations.
They become idols.
They nourish pride of intellect.
They furnish no food to the soul.
They make you sapless and heartless.

Intimacy with God is the
very essence of religion.

The great benefits of prayer!
The following is from Jonathan Edwards sermon,
"Hypocrites Deficient in the Duty of Prayer"

Consider the great benefits of a constant,
diligent, and persevering attendance in prayer.

Prayer is one of the greatest and most
excellent means of nourishing the new nature,
and of causing the soul to flourish and prosper.

Prayer is an excellent means of keeping up
an acquaintance with God, and of growing
in the knowledge of God.

Prayer is the way to a life of communion with God.

Prayer is an excellent means of taking off the
heart from the vanities of the world, and of
causing the mind to be conversant in heaven.

Prayer is an excellent preservative from sin
and the wiles of the devil, and a powerful
antidote against the poison of the old serpent.

Prayer is a duty whereby strength is derived
from God against the lusts and corruptions of
the heart, and the snares of the world.

If prayer is constantly and diligently attended to,
it is one of the best means of leading not only an
amiable and pleasant life; but also a life of much
sweet fellowship with Christ, and of abundant
enjoyment of the light of his countenance.

Saving grace or Common grace?
The following is from Jonathan Edwards sermon,
"True Grace Distinguished from the Experience of Devils"

There are many in this world who are wholly
destitute of saving grace,  who yet have
common grace. They have no true holiness,
but nevertheless have something of that which
is called moral virtue. And they are the subjects
of some degree of the common influences of
the Spirit of God.

But when any are damned, or cast into hell,
as the devils are, God wholly withdraws his
restraining grace and all merciful influences
of his Spirit. They then have neither saving
grace nor common grace; neither the grace
of the Spirit, nor any of the common gifts of
the Spirit; neither true holiness, nor moral
virtue of any kind.

Hence arises the vast increase of the exercise
of wickedness in the hearts of men when they
are damned. And herein is the chief difference
between the damned in hell and unregenerate
and graceless men in this world.

Not that wicked men in this world have any more
holiness or true virtue than the damned; or have
wicked men, when they leave this world, any
new principles of wickedness infused into them.

But when men are cast into hell, God wholly
takes away his Spirit from them, as to all his
merciful common influences, and entirely
withdraws from them all restraints of his
Spirit and good providence.

Damned men are like the devils, conformed
to them in both nature and state. They have
nothing better in them than the devils, have
no higher principles in their hearts, experience
nothing and do nothing of a more excellent
kind, as they are the children and servants of
the devil; and as such, shall dwell with him,
and be partakers with him of the same misery.
Ungodly men in their future state shall be as
the fallen wicked angels in hell.

The Sovereign Grace of God!
(by Horatius Bonar)
Man's entire apostasy and death in sin,
so that he cannot save himself;  and
God's entire supremacy, so that He
saves whom He will;  are doctrines
exceedingly distasteful to human pride.

But they are Scriptural?

Why was one thief saved and the other lost?
"Even so Father for so it seemed good in Your sight."
(Mt. 11:25-27). God was not bound to save the one
thief, and He had power enough to have saved the
other thief, and neither thief could save himself.

What made the difference?

The Sovereign Grace of God!

The great fish college!
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"The Perseverance of the Saints" #872. Phil.1:6.

Along the road from sin to heaven, from the
first leaving of the swine trough of sin, right
up to the joyful entrance into the eternal
banquet, and the music and dancing of
glorified spirits, every step we take must
be enabled to take by divine grace!

Every good thing that is in a Christian,
not merely begins, but progresses and is
consummated by the fostering grace of
God, through Jesus Christ.

If my finger were on the golden latch of
paradise, and my foot were on its jasper
threshold, I should not take the last step
so as to enter heaven, unless the grace
which brought me thus far should enable me
fully and fairly to complete my pilgrimage.

Salvation is God's work, not man's!

This is the theology which Jonah learned in
the great fish college, in the university
of the great deep, to which college it
would be a good thing if many of our pastors
in these days could be sent; for human learning
often puffs up with the idea of human sufficiency.

But he that is schooled and disciplined in the
college of a deep experience, and made to know
the vileness of his own heart, as he peers into
its chambers, will confess that from first to
last salvation is not of him who wills,
nor of him who runs, but of God that
shows mercy!

The smallest viper in the nest of your heart!
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"The Old Man Crucified" #882. Rom. 6:6.

Depend upon it, if ever your sins are to
die, it must be with the power of Christ.
You will find that you cannot kill the
smallest viper in the nest of your
heart if you get away from the cross.

There is no death for sin except in the death
of Christ. Stand and look up to his dear wounds,
trust in the merit of his blood; love him, love
him with a perfect heart, and sin killing will
not be difficult.

The killing of your sin is not in your power,
but if Jesus goes with you, it will be done.

I have known some people struggle against a
horrible temper, and they never quite overcame
it until they grew into closer communion with Christ.

The mightiest gun to blow down the strongholds
of sin within me, is to flee to the cross of Christ.

I am persuaded that nothing but
 the blood of Jesus will kill sin.

You must get to Christ, nearer to
Christ, and you will overcome sin.

        Fight with your sins!
Hack them in pieces, as Samuel did Agag,
let not one of them escape. Take them as
Elijah took the prophets of Baal, hew them
in pieces before the Lord.

Think more of Jesus' cross, spend more time
in contemplation of his blessed person, drink
in more of his life, and live more upon him.

If I had but one sentence that I might utter
to you believers, I think I should make it this:
live nearer to Christ.  If you get away from
your Master, you will be undone.

All virtues flourish in the
atmosphere of the cross;
all vices die beneath the
shade of the cross!

That block of marble!
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"Working out What Is Worked In" #820. Phil.2:12,13.

I have heard it said that the good sculptor,
whenever he sees a suitable block of marble,
firmly believes that there is a statue concealed
within it, and that his business is but to take
away the superfluous material, and so unveil the
"thing of beauty" which shall be "a joy forever."

Believer, you are that block of marble; you have
been quarried by divine grace, and set apart for
the Master's service, but we cannot see the
image of Christ in you yet as we could wish.
True, there are some traces of it, some dim
outlines of what is to be. But it is for you, with
the chisel and the mallet, with constant endeavor
and holy dependence upon God, to work out
that image of Christ in yourself, until you shall
be discovered to be by all men like unto your
Lord and Master!

God has sketched the image of his Son in you;
in the as yet but slightly carved marble he has
fairly outlined it, and you have but to go on
chipping away these sins, infirmities, and
corruption's, until the fair likeness of the
Incarnate God shall be seen by all.

The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"Things Present" #870. 1 Corinthians 3:22.

Tribulations are treasures; and if
we were wise, we would reckon our
afflictions among our rarest jewels.

The caverns of sorrow are mines of diamonds!

Our earthly possessions may be silver, but
trials are, to the saints, invariably gold.

We may grow in grace through what we enjoy,
but we probably make the greatest progress
through what we suffer.

'Soft gales' may be pleasant for heaven bound
vessels, but 'rough winds' are better. The 'calm'
is our way, but God has his way in the whirlwind,
and he rides on the wings of the wind.

Saints gain more by their losses than by their profits.

Spiritual health comes out of their sicknesses;
and spiritual wealth flows out of their poverties.

Heir of heaven, your present trials are your
medicine. You need that your soul, like your
body, should be dealt with by the beloved
Physician.  He can heal without the lancet if
he desires, but he does not choose to do so,
but will use the means of affliction.  In all
his potion there is not one 'chance' atom;
the medicine has been compounded by no
ordinary skill;  the infinite wisdom which
balanced the clouds, and fixed the corner
stone of the world, has been employed to
compound the ingredients of your present trial.

Your affliction shall not be too much for you,
 it shall be just such a trial as you require.

Weep not because your sun has gone done,
for it descends that the dews may be brought
forth and the earth may be watered, and the
flowers may drip with perfume. Wait  awhile,
and the sun shall come back to you again,
and the morn shall be the brighter because
of the gloom of the night.

O sorrow not, heir of heaven, because the
skies are clouded; the clouds are big with
mercy; and each cloud is the mother of ten
thousand blossoms, and harvests are
concealed in yonder darkness!

O be confident that among all your jewels,
all your precious ornaments and tokens of
love that God has given you, you have nothing
brighter than the black jewels of affliction,
no diamonds of a finer water than those of

May we understand by faith, then, the great
truth that our present trials are our treasures,
to be looked upon with thankfulness.

Be thankful, therefore, for your trials,
and count them among your treasures!

A black messenger loaded with treasure!
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"Multitudinous Thoughts and Sacred Comforts" #883.

"Blessed is the man whom you
 chasten, O Lord."  Psalm 94:12

It is not prosperity which is set forth as a mark
of blessedness. Adversity is the covenant spot,
and the choice mark of a favored child of God.

Therefore I should be thankful for being made
to smart beneath my gracious Father's hand.

Everything, as to our state of mind, depends
upon the way in which we regard the dealings
of God in his providence to us.

If our trouble comes to us as a curse, if indeed
our afflictions be the first drops of that tremendous
sheet of fire which will fall upon us forever from
an angry God, then trial is indeed an awful thing.

But if it true that out of God's love to us, we
are made to undergo the needful processes of
tribulation, to prepare us like winnowed wheat
for the peaceful garner, then will we accept our
sufferings with joy.

Welcome, O grief, if you are a black
 messenger loaded with treasure!

Welcome, thrice welcome to my patient
spirit, O rod of the covenant, soul enriching
and sanctifying!

Here, beloved, is a consolation which revives
the fainting soul when ready to swoon amid
the heat and burden of oppressive thoughts.

Christian, all your adversities will have a happy
end.  There is an end appointed when glory
shall be given to afflicted and poor saints.

A sight of the end makes us to judge
    rightly of the whole matter.

All's well that ends well.

If the cup be not poison, but medicine, then
 its bitterness shall be sweetness to me.

If the ploughing be not for a sowing of salt
beneath the curse of desolation, but for a
seedtime of grace with a harvest of bliss,
then plough on, O Lord, and though the
furrows tear my soul, yet be it so; the end
makes amends, and therefore may your
will be done.

Rejoice then, O you who are vexed with
multitudes of troublous thoughts, and let
the infallible faithfulness of your God
delight your souls.

"God's people, whenever they are scorched by
 afflictions as by hot sun-beams, may resort to
 him, who is as a shadow of a great rock, and be
 effectually sheltered, and sweetly refreshed."
    -Jonathan Edwards