Grace Gems for June 2001

Fly to the Word of God!
(from "The Preciousness of God's Word" by Octavius Winslow)

As a system of 'consolation' Christianity has no equal. No other religion in the wide world touches the hidden springs of the soul, or reaches the lowest depths of human sorrow, but the religion of Christ.

When your hearts have been overwhelmed, when adversity has wrapped you within its gloomy pall, when the broken billows of grief have swollen and surged around your soul, how have you fled to the Scriptures of truth for succor and support, for guidance and comfort! Nor have you repaired to them in vain. "The God of all comfort" is He who speaks in this Word, and there is no word of comfort like that which He speaks.

The adaptation of His truth to the varied, the peculiar and personal trials and sorrows of His Church, is one of the strongest proofs of its divinity. Take to the Word of God whatever sorrow you may, go with whatever mental beclouding, with whatever spirit sadness, with whatever heart grief; whatever be its character, its complexion, its depth unsurpassed in the history of human sorrow, there is consolation and support in the Word of God for your

God will not leave you in trouble, but will sustain you in it, will bring you out of, and sanctify you by it, to the endless glory and praise of His great and precious name!

Christian mourner, let me once more direct your eye too dimmed perhaps by tears to behold this divine source of true, unfailing comfort. God's Word is the book of the afflicted. Written to unfold the wondrous history of the "Man of Sorrows," it would seem to have been equally written for you, 0 child of grief! God speaks to your sad and sorrowing heart from every page of this sacred volume, with words of comfort, loving, gentle, and persuasive as a mother's. "As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you."

The Bible is the opening of the heart of God. It is God's heart unveiled, each throb inviting the mourner, the poor in spirit, the widow, the fatherless, the bereaved, the persecuted, the sufferer, yes, every child of affliction and grief to the asylum and sympathy, the protection and soothing of His heart. Oh, thank God for the comfort and consolation of the Scripture! Open it with what sorrow and burden and perplexity you may, be it the guilt of sin, the pressure of trial, or the corrodings of sorrow, it speaks to the heart such words of comfort as God only could speak.

Have you ever borne your grief to God's Word, especially to the experimental Psalms of David, and not felt that it was written for that particular sorrow? You have found your grief more accurately portrayed, your state of mind more truly described, and your case more exactly and fully met, probably in a single history, chapter, or verse, than in all the human treatises that the pen of man ever wrote.

Fly to the Word of God, then, in every sorrow! You will know more of the mind and heart of God than you, perhaps, ever learned in all the schools before. Draw, then, O child of sorrow, your consolation from God's Word. Oh, clasp this precious Word of comfort to your sorrowful heart, and exclaim, "It is mine! The Jesus of whom it speaks is mine, the salvation it reveals is mine, the promises it contains are mine, the heaven it unveils is mine, and all the consolation, comfort, and sympathy which wells up from these hidden springs, is MINE."

Spiritual  Joy!
 (by Octavius Winslow)

Spiritual joy is a holy, sensitive plant.
It shrinks from the rude, ungentle touch;
from every influence uncongenial with its
heaven born nature. Watch it with sleepless
vigilance; shield it with every hallowed defense.

There are many hostile influences to which
it is exposed, any one of which will seriously
injure it. Temptation courted, sin tampered
with, worldliness indulged, the creature
idolized, means of grace slighted, Christ

Any one of these things will dampen your joy,
and cause it to shrink, and compel it to retire.

But nothing will sooner or more effectually
do this than looking away from the Object
and Source of joy, the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is everything in Christ to make you a
joyful Christian. There is all redundance of
grace to subdue your corruptions, an
overflowing sympathy to soothe your sorrows,
a sovereign efficacy in His blood to cleanse
your guilt, infinite resources to meet all your
needs, His ever encircling presence around
your path, His ceaseless intercession on your
behalf in heaven. His loving attention of all
you feel, and fear, and need.

  Oh, is this not enough to make your heart a
constant sunshine, and your life a pleasant psalm?

"Little children, abide in him."
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon, "Preparation
 for the Coming of the Lord." #2105. 1 John 2:28.

Just as little children are in daily dependence
on their parents, Christians depend upon the
Lord's care.

Why, beloved, the Lord has to nurse you! He
feeds you with the unadulterated milk of the
Word; he comforts you as a mother does her
child; he carries you in his bosom, he bears
you all your days.

Your new life is as yet weak and struggling;
do not carry it into the cold atmosphere of
distance from Jesus.

Little children, since you derive all from Jesus,
abide in him. To go elsewhere will be to wander
into a howling wilderness. The world is empty;
only Christ has fullness. Away from Jesus you
will be as a child deserted by its mother, left
to pine, and starve, and die; or as a little lamb
on the hillside without a shepherd, tracked by
the wolf, whose teeth will soon extract its
heart's blood.

Abide, O child, with your mother!

Abide, O lamb, with your shepherd!

Cling to the Lord Jesus in your feebleness,
in your fickleness, in your nothingness; and
abidingly take him to be everything to you.

The substance, the essence,
 the fullness of all holy joy!

("Experiencing the Joy of Christ" Winslow)

Christian, what a ground of joy is your
possession of Christ! There is everything
in Christ, and in the knowledge and
possession of Christ, to make the
believing heart joyful. You may have
strong corruptions, powerful inbred sins,
severe temptations, deep trials, heavy
afflictions. Yet if you know Christ, and
have Christ in the midst of all, you have
ground for the deepest, holiest joy.

All joy apart from Christ is but the inspiration
of the wind. It is a false, a spurious, a fatal
joy, a joy which will prove but as the crackling
of thorns under a pot.

You have found Christ, or rather, Christ has
found you, and you have in Him the substance,
the essence, the fulness of all holy joy!

You possess in Christ a divine Redeemer,
a loving Friend, a sympathizing Brother, an
ever interceding Intercessor, a powerful Advocate;
One whose presence is with you always, encircling
you as an atmosphere in all places and under all
circumstances.  Truly this is a ground of the
deepest, holiest joy.

Oh, what a portion is Jesus in a portionless world!

What a rest is Jesus in a restless world!

What a joy is Jesus in a joyless world!

What a hope is Jesus in a hopeless world!

Beloved, we too little and too imperfectly
realize what we possess in possessing Christ.

Throw into one scale all the good of the world,
its rank, its honors, its wealth, its pleasures;
all the love, the kindness, the sympathy, the
power of the creature and of all creatures.

Place in the other scale, CHRIST; Christ as
your Savior, Christ as your Friend, Christ as
your Portion, and Christ as your all.

Which sinks, and which rises the scale?

No, more! Cast into one scale poverty, and
sickness, and affliction of every kind, and
sorrow of every form: the adversity that swept
from you affluence, or the bereavement that
tore from you the creature.

Place JESUS in the other scale: Jesus in His
deathless love, Jesus in His human sympathy,
Jesus in His boundless fulness, Jesus bearing
you upon His heart in heaven, and receiving you
into His grace on earth. And then decide what
should he the nature, the depth, the music of
your joy.

"This is my Friend, and this is my Beloved."

Oh, be joyful, then, believer in Jesus!

There breathes not a being in the universe;
tried, tempted, sad though you are; who has
greater reason to be of a gladsome spirit than you.

You have the forgiveness of all your sins;
the full justification of your person; your
inalienable adoption into God's family; the
complete payment of all that great debt of
sin you owed, and the assured and certain
prospect of being where Christ is, and
with Christ, beholding His glory forever!

Is this not a well grounded source of joy?

Most truly! Why, then, are you not a more
joyful believer? Why go you mourning all your
days, without one gleam of sunshine, one thrill
of joy, one ray of hope, one note of praise?

Is it not because you are looking to yourself
and within yourself, to the almost entire
exclusion of Christ and of the great and
complete salvation wrought for you in and
by Christ? No material for joy and gladness,
beloved, will you find within yourself. It is
all sin there; all corruption there; all gloom
there. Its chamber of imagery is all dark,
and repulsive, and depressing.

Oh, turn the eye of faith to Christ, look simply,
and fully, and exclusively at Him, and every
chord of your soul will thrill and resound with
the joy of the Lord's salvation.

The religion of JOY

(Octavius Winslow, "The Sympathy of Christ")
The religion of Christ is the religion of JOY. Christ came to take away our sins, to roll off our curse, to unbind our chains, to open our prison house, to cancel our debt; in a word, to give us the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Is  not this joy? Where can we find a joy so real, so deep, so pure, so lasting? There is every element of joy; deep, ecstatic, satisfying, sanctifying joy in the gospel of Christ. The believer in Jesus is essentially a happy man. The child of God is, from necessity, a joyful man. His sins are forgiven, his soul is justified, his person is adopted, his trials are blessings, his conflicts are victories, his death is immortality, his future is a heaven of inconceivable, unthought of, untold, and endless blessedness. With such a God, such a Savior, and such a hope, is he not, ought he not, to be a joyful man?

Life, death, and hell, and worlds unknown!
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"The Mustard Seed" #2110. Luke 13:18-19.

I am sometimes afraid that we teachers may
prepare our sermons and addresses too much,
so as to make ourselves shine.

If so, we are like the man who tried to
grow potatoes; he never grew any, and
he wondered much, "for," said he, "I very
carefully boiled them for hours."

So, it is very possible to extract all the
life out of the Gospel, and put so much of
yourself into it that Christ will not bless it.

Life, death, and hell, and worlds unknown,
hang on the lips of the earnest teacher of the
Gospel of Jesus.

"Slumbering saints and dead sinners
 compose most of the congregations."
     (Mary Winslow)

God will never fail you!
(by Octavius Winslow)

What a source of joy you have in Jehovah
amid the joyless, sorrowful path you tread.

There is everything in Him to make you
happy. Everything to win your confidence,
to inspire your love, to awaken your joy.

Creatures shall fail,
resources shall fail,
hopes shall fail, but
God will never fail you!

His love is as changeless,
His power is as omnipotent,
His faithfulness is as firm,
His resources are as boundless,
  as infinite as His being.

True  comfort!

The following is from Spurgeon's sermon, "Concerning the Consolations of God" Job 15:11.

Christian, are you hoping to find true comfort in the world? Will you be happy if you manage to get that position? if you pass that examination? if you save so much money? I beseech you, do not play the fool; there is no consolation in all this.

There is no satisfaction to be found in the greatest worldly success; millionaires, statesmen, and princes all dissatisfied. The richest men have often been the most miserable, and those who have succeeded best in rising to places of honor have been worn out in the pursuit, and disgusted with the prize.

Wealth brings care, honor earns envy, position entails toil, and rank has its annoyances.

One of our richest men once said, "I suppose you imagine I am happy, because I am rich. Why, a dozen times in a year, and oftener, some fellow threatens to shoot me if I do not give him what he wants. Do you suppose that this makes me a happy man?"

Believe me, the world is as barren of joy as the Sahara.

Vain is the hope of finding a spring of consolation in anything beneath the moon.

Seek the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.

("The Preciousness of Faith" by Octavius Winslow)

Christian, your joy will be in proportion to the
directness and simplicity with which your faith
deals with Christ, looks to Christ, lives upon
the fullness of Christ, rests in His complete
salvation, and draws all its evidences and
hopes from Christ.

Nothing can kindle this holy joy in the heart
but a believing view of what the Lord Jesus
is, and what He has done.

It is only a sense of full pardon, of free
justification, of gracious adoption, of the
hope of glory, that can awaken joy in the
soul of a believing sinner.

What joy can there be in the heart of a convicted
felon, or of a condemned criminal, or of a convict
paying the sad penalty of his crime in lonely exile,
toil, and degradation?    None whatever!
But convey to him a free pardon, unbar his prison,
break his manacles, and let him go free; restore
him to his country, his family, his home; and
bruised and broken though his heart is with a
sense of guilt and shame, yet you have awoken
in its sad chambers the sweetest chimes, and
joy, entrancing joy, thrills and swells in his bosom.

Such is a picture of a soul cleansed from the
guilt of sin, and freed from condemnation of
the law by a believing acceptance of the Lord
Jesus Christ.  The moment that Christ is received
into the lowly, penitent, and believing heart;
the instant that Christ is seen paying the great
debt, suffering the penalty, enduring the
condemnation; a joy springs up in the soul
such as never thrilled an angel's heart!

You are freed from servitude, delivered
from hell and on your way to heaven to
spend your eternity forever with the Lord!

Christ's joy can only remain in you,
and your joy be full, when in childlike
faith you look directly, and only and
constantly to Christ.

'Practical' Predestination!
(by Octavius Winslow)

There are no guesses, conjectures, or contingencies with God as to the future. Not only does He know all, but He has fixed, appointed, and ordered "all things after the counsel of his own will."

It would seem impossible to form any correct idea of God, disassociated from the idea of predestination. The sole basis of predestination is the 'practical' belief that God is eternal and infinite in and over all.

Predestination is God's pre determined appointment and fore arrangement of all things beforehand, according to His divine and supreme will.

God prearranges, predetermines, and supremely rules in all the concerns of our world. He fixes a constellation in the heavens, guides the gyrations of a bird in the air, directs the falling of an autumn leaf in the pathless desert, and conveys the seed, borne upon the wind, to the spot where it should fall.

In predestination we see the everlasting love of God to, and His most free choice of, His people, to be His special and peculiar treasure. What doctrine is more emptying, humbling, and therefore sanctifying, than predestination? It lays the axe at the root of all human boasting. In the light of this truth, the most holy believer sees that there is no difference between him and the vilest sinner that crawls the earth, but what the mere grace of God has made.

One blessing accruing from the doctrine of predestination is the sweet and holy submission into which it brings the mind under all afflictive dispensations. Each step of his pilgrimage, and each incident of his history, the believer sees appointed in the everlasting covenant of grace. He recognizes the 'discipline' of the covenant to be as much a part of the original plan as any positive mercy that it contains. That all the hairs of his head are
numbered; that affliction springs not out of the earth, and therefore is not the result of accident or chance, but is in harmony with God's purposes of love; and, thus ordained and permitted, must work together for good.

The radiance which predestination reflects upon the entire history of the child of God, and the calm repose which it diffuses over the mind in all the perplexing, painful, and mysterious events of that history, can only be understood by those whose hearts have fully

received this doctrine. Whatever betides him; inexplicable in its character, enshrouded in the deepest gloom, as may be the circumstance; the believer in this truth can 'stand still', and, calmly surveying the scene, exclaim: "This also comes forth from the Lord of Hosts, who is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working. He who works all things after the counsel of His own will has done it, and I am satisfied that it is well done!"

Filled with the Holy Spirit
"And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit."  Acts 2:4
(by Spurgeon)
Rich were the blessings of this day if all of us were filled with the Holy Spirit. The consequences of this sacred filling of the soul it would be impossible to overestimate. Life, comfort, light, purity, power, peace; and many other precious blessings are inseparable from the Spirit's blessed presence.

As sacred oil, He anoints the head of the believer, sets him apart to the priesthood of saints, and gives him grace to execute his office aright.

As the only truly purifying water He cleanses us from the power of sin and sanctifies us unto holiness, working in us to will and to do of the Lord's good pleasure.

As the light, He manifested to us at first our lost estate, and now He reveals the Lord Jesus to us and in us, and guides us in the way of righteousness. Enlightened by His pure celestial ray, we walk no more in darkness but in the light of the Lord.

As fire, He both purges us from dross, and sets our consecrated nature on a blaze. He is the sacrificial flame by which we are enabled to offer our whole souls as a living sacrifice unto God.

As heavenly dew, He removes our barrenness and fertilizes our lives. O that He would drop from above upon us at this early hour! Such morning dew would be a sweet commencement for the day.

As the dove, with wings of peaceful love He broods over His Church and over the souls of believers.

As a Comforter He dispels the cares and doubts which mar the peace of His beloved. He descends upon the chosen and bears witness to their sonship by working in them a filial spirit by which they cry Abba, Father.

As the wind, He brings the breath of life to men; blowing where He wills He performs the quickening operations by which the spiritual creation is animated and sustained. Would to God, that we might feel His presence this day and every day.

The solitary object of His love!
("The Preciousness of Trial" by Octavius Winslow)

It is a great mercy when we can retire from the
crowd and deal with God individually; when we
can take the precious promises to ourselves
individually; when we can repair to Jesus with
individual sins, infirmities, and sorrows; feeling
that His eye bends its glance upon us; His ear
bows down to us; His hand is outstretched to us;
His whole heart absorbed in us as though not
another petitioner or sufferer offered a request,
or unveiled a sorrow.  As if, in a word, we were
the solitary object of His love!

His invitation to you is, "Come unto Me."

He would have you come.

You cannot honor Him more than recognizing His
personal relation to yourself, and disclosing your
personal circumstances, making personal confession
of personal sin, presenting personal needs, and
unveiling personal infirmities, backslidings, and sorrows.

The ocean of Divine love!

(by Octavius Winslow)

The love of God to His people was as eternal
as the eternity of His being, as everlasting as
His uncreated nature. "I have loved you with
an everlasting love." It panted, it yearned for
an outlet.  It sought and found it in Christ.

Nowhere in the heavens above, or in the
earth beneath, or in the waters under the
earth; no star, no flower, no creature, so
reveals, expresses, and embodies the love
of God as the gift of His dear Son to die
for our sins!

Oh, what love is this!

"God so loved the world!"

So loved, that He gave Jesus!

Jesus is the most precious exponent of God's
love: Jesus descends from the bosom of His
love; Jesus draws aside the veil of His love;
Jesus is God's love expressed, God's love
incarnate, God's love speaking, laboring,
dying, redeeming!  Beyond this it would
seem impossible that love could go.

Jesus is the channel through which the ocean
of Divine love washed the shores of this earth,
its soul healing waves spreading like a sea of
life over our sin tainted, curse blighted, sorrow
stricken humanity.

Oh, let every affection of our heart, every
faculty of our soul, every power of our mind,
every action of our life, embody as its grateful
response the words of the adoring apostle,
"Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable Gift!"

The Preciousness of God's Children
("The Preciousness of God's Children" Octavius Winslow)

Oh, how precious to Jesus is
  your tear of godly sorrow;
  your touch of trembling faith;
  your look of lowly love;
  your offering of sincere gratitude;
  your yearning and longing of holy desire!

So precious to Jesus are you, that
  His ear is attentive to your faintest cry;
  His thoughts are never withdrawn from you for a moment;
  His hand is ever extended to support you.

You are so precious to Jesus that
  He sits at the fountain of grace to supply all your need;
  He bows His shoulder to your heaviest burden;
  He unveils His heart to your deepest sorrow.

O believer, do not live without a deep, constant
realization of your preciousness to Jesus; and
the depth, tenderness, and constancy of the
love He bears towards you.  Let your faith grasp
it, amid the varied phases and changes of your
Christian course, and it will be as a sweet flowing
stream gliding and sparkling by your side all
through the sandy desert, imparting swiftness
to your feet in travel, strength to your hand in
labor, nerve to your arm in battle; soothing,
reviving, and refreshing your spirit when sad,
faint, and drooping by the way.

Be assured of your personal place in His
affections, and your home and sanctuary in
His heart, and no act of obedience, of love,
or of service on your part, will be too costly.

Your love to Him will be the reflection of His
love to you, proportioned in its degree and
intensity to the vividness with which His love
is seen and realized.

Reader, let your eye see His beauty!

Bow your heart before His cross!

Fall at His feet!

Crown Him Lord and Sovereign of your soul!

True  spiritual  life!
(from "The Precious Things of God" by Octavius Winslow)

We really know as much of the gospel of Christ,
and of the Christ of the gospel, as we have
experience of it in our souls, by the power of
the Holy Spirit.

All other acquaintance with divine truth must
be regarded as merely intellectual, theoretical,
speculative, and of little worth.

True spiritual life is to apprehend, in some
measure, the value, the glory, and the
preciousness of the Lord Jesus. And, as a
consequence, to esteem Him above all good,
to reflect His image, to labor in His service,
and to be found preparing and waiting for the
happy moment when Christ comes and we will
be like Him, for we will see Him as He really is.

(by Octavius Winslow)

Cultivate a profound reverence for God's Word. Nothing is more grievous to the Holy Spirit than a trifling with revelation. The words of Scripture are divinely inspired. "Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."

Beware of referring to it with levity. To adopt the words of Scripture irreverently, or to employ its phraseology flippantly, is to cast discredit upon inspiration, to press it into the service of the flesh, and to make the Word of God the jest book of the profane. This is awful trifling with the thoughts and words of the Holy Spirit!

Stand in awe of this Holy Book!

God says, "I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at My Word." Isaiah 66:2

"Then all who trembled at the Words of the God of Israel..." Ezra 9:4

"We will follow the advice given by you and by the others who respect the commands of our God..." Ezra 10:3

"My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of Your laws."   Psalm 119:120

"My heart stands in awe of Your Word." Psalm 119:161

(Editor's note: How very sad is it that many professing Christians use the holy Word of God to amuse others with 'bible jokes' and in other trifling and irreverent ways. Much of today's pseudo Christian music, movies and children's literature use the Word of God in a flippant manner, if not in a downright profane and sacrilegious way.)

The Jewelry of the Bible!
(from "The Preciousness of the Divine Promises" by Octavius Winslow)

The promises of God are the jewelry of the Bible!

Every page of the sacred volume is rich and sparkling with these divine assurances of Jehovah's love, faithfulness, and power towards His people.

Upon no spot in this wilderness can the Christian plant his foot, strange and untrodden though that path may be, but a gem from this casket meets his eye, the sight of which inspires his heart with confidence, his spirit with comfort, his soul with hope!

Imagine what would have been the condition of God's children apart from the divine promises of which the blessed volume is so full. What must have been the desolateness, the sadness, and the sinking, had we not the divine assurances of God's Word to rely on; by which we are guided in our march heavenward, are upheld in weakness, cheered in depression, and conducted step by step to final blessedness.

The promises are comprehensive in their character, and adapted to all the varied circumstances of our individual history.  Child of God, you cannot conceive of any condition in which you may be placed, any circumstance by which you may be surrounded, any sorrow by which you may be depressed, any perils that may confront you, any darkness that may overshadow you, or any needs that you may have; in which you may not find some precious promises of His blessed Word that meets your case!

The promises of Scripture are exceedingly precious because they are all signed and sealed with the heart's blood of Jesus! They are the throbbings of the infinite love of Jesus! The promises are but echoes of His heart sounding from each page of the sacred volume!

If you are sin burdened or sorrow stricken, just stretch forth your hand and receive these precious jewels as they flow out from the open casket of God's Word!

The promises have stanched may a bleeding wound.

The promises have dried many a falling tear.

The promises have calmed many a disturbed mind.

The promises have guided your feet through many a labyrinth.

The promises have shed light on many a lonely path.

The promises, like voices of music, have broken sweetly on many a dreary night of weeping and woe.

We have these rich clusters of precious promises bending down from the Tree of Life!

We may pluck them at all times, in all seasons, and under all circumstances!

The 'play room' of the soul
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"The Eye and the Light" #2109 Luke 11:33-36.

Did you ever have the light of God brought to
bear upon your imagination?  Imagination is
the 'play room' of the soul. Here many a man
considers that he is without law. "Surely," says
he, "thought is free." The man gloats over sins
which he would fear to commit.  He finds a
pleasure in thinking over lusts which his
circumstances compel him to avoid. In the
dark chambers of imagination the heart
commits adulteries, murders, thefts, and
all manner of infamies.

When the light of God falls upon the imagination,
the man shudders as he learns that "as he thinks in
his heart so is he". He trembles as he perceives that
the fond imagination of sin, is sin. Then is the floor
of imagination purged, and the foul dust and chaff
are driven into the fire. Imagination then gleams
in the light of God, and, having washed in the brazen
laver, sings songs on her stringed instruments unto
the God of her salvation, who has brought her out of
darkness into his marvelous light.

God's heart!
(from "The Preciousness of God's
 Thoughts" by Octavius Winslow)
O God, I read Your heart
  in the cross,
  in the wounds,
  in the tears,
  in the anguish,
  in the blood of Your Son Jesus.

How it writhes in wrath, how it grinds its teeth!
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon, #2114.
"The Burden of the Word of the Lord"  Malachi 1:1.

The Word of the Lord gives a rebuff to human pride.
The doctrines of the gospel seem shaped on purpose
to bring into contempt all human glory.

Here is a man who is morally of a fine and noble
nature, but we tell him that he is born in sin and
shaped in iniquity.

Here is a man of a grand righteous character
in his own opinion, and we tell him that his
righteousness is filthy rags.

Here is a man that can go to heaven by his
own efforts, so he thinks, and we tell him that
he can do nothing of the sort; that he is dead
in trespasses and sins

Here is a man who hopes that, by strong
resolves, he may change his own nature and
make himself all that God would have him.
But we tell him that his resolutions are so
much empty wind, and will end in nothing.

Man stands a convicted criminal, and if saved
must owe his salvation entirely to the gratuitous
mercy of God. Condemned and ruined, if he ever
escapes from his ruin it must be through the work
of the Spirit of God in him, and not by his own works.

Thus, you see, human nature does not like our
message. How it writhes in wrath, how it grinds
its teeth against the doctrine which humbles man,
crucifies his pride, and nails his glory to the gibbet!

Two  seeds
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon, "In the Garden with Him." #2106. John 18:26.

So the Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, you will be punished... And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed..."  Genesis 3:14-15

There are two seeds in the world- the seed of the woman, and the seed of the serpent. And if the seed of the serpent never hisses at you, you may be afraid that you do not belong to the seed of the woman. God has put an enmity between the serpent and the woman; between the serpent's seed and the woman's seed. And so it must be till the end of time. Take any opposition that you get from worldlings as a token for good, a sign that you are of a different race from those who despise you, a testimonial to your character from those whose homage to goodness embodies itself in persecution. That is the way in which they compliment us.


(Octavius Winslow)
Encompassed as we are by earth, blinded by
objects of sense, weighed down by human
cares and anxieties, we need to be watchful
against their secular influence upon our minds.

Oh, it is appalling to think what self idolatry
and self seeking and self complacence may reign
in our hearts, and prompt and govern our actions!

Self righteousness
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"The Interest of Christ and His People in Each Other"

Self righteousness will destroy you, my friend.

I tell you, honestly and plainly, that you might
as well hope to get to heaven by flying up in a
balloon, as to get there by your 'good works'.

You may as soon sail to India in a sieve,
 as get to glory by your own goodness.

Away with your rags, your filthy, rotten rags.
They are only a harbor for the parasites of
unbelief and pride.

Away with your rotten self righteousness,
your counterfeit gold, your forged wealth.
It is of no worth whatever in the sight of God.

Come to him, empty, poor, and naked!

It grates on your proud ear, does it?

Better to lose your pride, than to lose your soul!

Why be damned for pride's sake?

Why carry your head so high that it must be cut off?

Why feed your pride on your soul's blood?
Surely there is cheaper stuff than that for pride to drink!
Why let it suck the very marrow out of your bones?

Be wise!  Bow, stoop, stoop to be saved.

A proud Christian?
(Spurgeon, "Grace for Grace" #2087)
Christian, be humble. If you know anything,
you have been taught it by the Holy Spirit.
If you possess anything, it has been given
you by God. You are a charity child. The clothes
on your back are furnished by the Lord's favor.
The bread in your mouth is the provision of
his love. A proud Christian is a contradiction
in terms. "What makes you better than anyone
else? What do you have that God hasn't given
you? And if all you have is from God, why boast
as though you have accomplished something
on your own?" 1 Cor. 4:7

(Winslow, "The Preciousness of Christ's Blood")

Among the precious things of God, there
is not one so precious, so inestimable, so
influential, as "the precious blood of Christ."

The atoning blood of Immanuel
 is the divine bath of the soul.

All salvation,
all purity,
all peace,
all holiness,
all hope,
all heaven, are bound up in the
  atoning blood of Immanuel.

There is . . .
    no acceptance for the sinner,
    no cleansing for the guilty,
    no pardon for the penitent,
    no sanctification for the believer,
but in the vicarious sacrifice of the Son of God.

A holy Savior offered up a sinless atonement for
unholy, sinful man!  Look at it, beloved, in this
light, and let your hearts glow with love, adoration,
and praise, as you kneel before the cross, and feel
the distilling upon your conscience of that blood
that pardons, covers, and cancels all your guilt.

Admire and adore God's Free Grace!
(Thomas Watson)
in saving you! That God should pass over so
many, that He should pass by the wise and
noble, and that the lot of Free Grace should
fall upon you!  That He should take you out
of a state of vassalage, from grinding the devil's
mill, and should set you above the princes of the
earth, and call you to inherit the throne of glory!

Fall upon your knees, break froth into a thankful
triumph of praise; let your hearts be ten stringed
instruments, to sound forth the memorial of God's

None so deep in debt to Free Grace as you,
and none should be so high mounted upon the
pinnacle of thanksgiving.  Say as the sweet singer,
"I will extol you, my God, O King; every day I will
bless you, and I will praise your name forever."
 (Psalm 145:1,2)

Those who are patterns of mercy should be
trumpets of praise.  O long to be in heaven,
where your thanksgivings shall be purer and
shall be raised a note higher.

Our little trials, little cares, little needs, little sorrows
(from "The Preciousness of Prayer" by Octavius Winslow)

"Give all your worries and cares to God,
for He cares about what happens to you."

God is as deeply interested in your small cares,
as in your larger ones. Those comparatively trivial
events, those lesser circumstances of your history,
are often those which you feel the most keenly,
which chafe the most sorely, and upon which so
much that is important and momentous in your
life depends.

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about
everything."  Learn the blessedness and privilege of
hallowing the smallest details of daily life with prayer.

Infinite as Jehovah is, He stoops to our little trials,
little cares, little needs, little sorrows.  Nothing is
too small for God that concerns you, His beloved child.

God made the mote that dances in the sunbeam, and
the insect that swims in the ocean drop. Do you think
that He can be indifferent to, or regard as beneath His
notice, the smallest care, the most delicate sorrow,
the smallest need, the lowest interest, that relates
to you, His child?  Impossible!

Learn, then, to entwine with your petitions, the small
cares, the trifling sorrows, the little needs of daily life.

God's lancet!
(from "The Preciousness of Trial" by Octavius Winslow)

Trials are a precious discipline, a precious correction,
a precious school, that lead you more fully into the
heartfelt experience of the preciousness of the Savior.

Trials make you more intimately acquainted with
your best Friend, your dearest Brother, the tender,
sympathizing Beloved of your soul.

You will know more of Jesus in one sanctified
trial, than in wading through a library of volumes,
or listening to a lifetime of sermons.

Sanctified trial opens an outlet for the escape
of much 'soul distemper'.  Deep rooted, hidden
and long pent up evil, the existence of which
has been as a fretting sore, inflaming, irritating,
and impairing the whole spiritual constitution
of the soul, has by this process been thrown
off, and thus a more wholesome state and
healthful action has come.

Oh, what selfishness,
    what carnality,
    what rebellion,
    what worldliness,
    what secret declension,
has God's lancet brought to light, revealing
it but to inspire self abhorrence, sin loathing,
and sin forsaking.

All of this is the costly fruit of a deeply sanctified trial.

Oh, precious trial!  Oh, heaven sent affliction! that
breaks down the barriers, removes the restraints,
thaws the congealings that intercept and interrupt
my fellowship with God.

Our heavenly Father loves to hear the voice of
His children; and when that voice is still, when
there is a suspension of heart communion, and
the tones are silent which were wont to fall as
music upon His ear, He sends a trial, and then
we rise and give ourselves to prayer.

Perhaps it is a perplexity, and we go to Him for counsel.

Perhaps it is a need, and we go to Him for supply.

Perhaps it is a grief, and we go to Him for soothing.

Perhaps it is a burden, and we go to Him for upholding.

Perhaps it is an infirmity, and we go to Him for grace.

Perhaps it is a temptation, and we go to Him for help.

Perhaps it is a sin, and we repair to Him for pardon.

But whatever form the trial takes, it has a voice,
"Rise, and call upon your God!" and to God it brings us.

This poor, perishing world!
("The Weaned Child" by Octavius Winslow)

"Surely I have behaved and quieted myself,
as a child that is weaned of his mother: my
soul is even as a weaned child." Psalm 131:2

Our heavenly Father would also wean us
from this poor, perishing world.

Oh, what an evil does the Christian find this
world to be! In consequence of the earthward
tendency of his affections, and the deep
carnality with which his mind is imbued,
many of the things which God designed as
blessings to soothe and soften and cheer;
become, by their absorbing and idolatrous
influence, powerful snares.

Rank may be a snare.
It may foster pride and ambition.

Wealth may be a snare.
It may increase the thirst for worldly show.

Talent may be a snare.
It may inspire a love of human applause.

Friendship may be a snare.
It may draw the heart from Christ.