Grace Gems for July 2001

The one, precious, all absorbing theme!
("The Precious Things of God" Octavius Winslow)

The Word of God must ever be transcendently
precious to the believer. The Bible is, from its
commencement to its close, a record of the
Lord Jesus. Around Him the divine and glorious
Word centers; all its wondrous types, prophecies,
and facts gather. His Promise and Foreshadowing,
His holy Incarnation, Nativity, and Baptism, His
Obedience and Passion, His Death, Burial, and
Resurrection, His Ascension to heaven, His Second
Coming to judge the world, are the grand and
touching, the sublime and tender, the priceless
and precious truths interwoven with the whole
texture of the Bible, to which the Two Witnesses
of Revelation, the Old and the New Testaments
bear their harmonious and solemn testimony.

Beloved, let this be the one and chief
object in your study of the Bible-
the knowledge of Jesus.

The Bible is not a history, a book of science,
or a poem; it is a record of Christ. Study it to
know more of Him, His nature, His love, His
work. With the magnanimous Paul, "count
all things but loss for the excellency of the
knowledge of Christ Jesus your Lord."

Then will God's Word become increasingly
precious to your soul, and its truths unfold.

In every page you will,
  trace the history of Jesus,
  see the glory of Jesus,
  admire the work of Jesus,
  learn the love of Jesus, and
  hear the voice of Jesus.

The whole volume will be redolent of His
 name, and luminous with His beauty.

Oh, what is the Bible to us apart from its
revelation of a Savior! Is there not great
danger of studying it merely intellectually
and scientifically, of reveling among its
literary beauties and its grandeur, blind
to its true value, and without any desire
to know that precious Savior who died for
sinners, that Divine Redeemer who
purchased the ransom of His Church
with His own blood; that Friend who
loves us; that Brother who sympathizes
with us, that enthroned High Priest who
intercedes for us within the veil?

Do we study the "Word of Christ" spiritually
and honestly, as those whose souls hunger
and thirst for this the bread and water of life?

Do we search it diligently and earnestly as
for hidden treasure; treasure beyond all price?
Can we say with David, "O how love I your
law! it is my meditation all the day."

Do we read it with a child like mind, receive
it with a believing heart, bow to its teaching
with reverence of soul, and receive its
decisions in all questions of faith and
practice as decisive and ultimate?

In a word, do we search the Scriptures
humbly, prayerfully, depending upon the
guidance of the Spirit, to find Jesus in them?

Of these Scriptures He is the Alpha and the
Omega, the substance, the  sweetness, the
glory, the one, precious, all absorbing theme.

Yes, Lord! Your word is precious to our souls,
because it reveals to us Your glory, and tells
us of Your love!

He has done all things well
(by Octavius Winslow)

In providence and grace,
in every truth of His Word,
in every lesson of His love,
in every stroke of His rod,
in every beam that has shone, and
in every cloud that has shaded,
in every element that has sweetened, and
in every ingredient that has embittered,
in all that has been mysterious,
  inscrutable, painful, and humiliating,
in all that He gave, and in all that He took away;
this testimony is His just due, and this our
grateful acknowledgment through time and
through eternity, He has done all things well.

The best evidence of Christianity
Jesus is "the chief among ten thousand, the altogether lovely one."

Christ the Chiefest, or better than the rest.
His love is unknowable. (Eph 3:19).
His riches are unsearchable. (Eph 3:18).
His joy is unspeakable. (1 Pet 1:8).
His ways are untrackable. (Rom 11:33).
His grace is inexhaustible. (2 Cor 9:8).
His peace is unfathomable. (Phil 4:7).
And He Himself is unsurpassable. (Ex. 15:11).

His character was beautiful with holiness in every detail. (Heb 7:26).
His love was pure and faithful in all its affection. (Jn 13:1).
His service was true and beneficent in all its workings. (Acts 10:38).
His words were tender and true in all their utterances. (Jn 7:45).
His life was consistent in every department. (Mt. 27:24; Acts 2:22).
His aim was single and concentrated in glorifying God. (Jn 17:4).
His mission was to benefit all who would have Him in dying a death
   which they deserved. (2 Cor. 8:9)

Christ is Christianity, and the best evidence of Christianity is Christ.

Jesus is "the chief among ten thousand, the altogether lovely one."

A life of daily dependence on God!
(from Octavius Winslow's "My Times in God's Hand")

Covet to live a life of daily dependence on God.

Oh! it is a sweet and holy life!

It will save you....
 from many a desponding feeling;
 from many a corroding care;
 from many an anxious thought;
 from many a sleepless night;
 from many a tearful eye; and
 from many an imprudent and sinful scheme.

Learn to be content with your present lot, with
God's dealings with you, and His disposal of you.

You are just where His 'providence' has, in its
inscrutable but all wise and righteous decision,
has placed you.

True pilgrims!
(from "Solitude Sweetened" by Octavius Winslow)

Fellow pilgrims, the heavenly way we travel
is more or less a lonely way.  We have, at
most, but few companions. It is a "little flock,"
and only here and there we meet a traveler, who,
like ourselves, is journeying towards heaven.

Because the way is narrow, difficult, and
humiliating to the flesh, there are only a few,
under the drawings of the Spirit, who find it.

If true religion consisted in a 'mere profession'
then there are many on the way to heaven.

If the marks of discipleship were merely an
orthodox creed, excited feelings, or denominational
zeal, then there are many who 'find the way.'

But true pilgrims are
  those with broken hearts;
  those who are poor in spirit;
  those who mourn for sin;
  those who know the music of the Shepherd's voice;
  those who follow the Lamb;
  those who delight in the throne of grace; and
  those who love the place of the cross.

The more secret and delusive lusts
(by Spurgeon)

Surely, believer, from open lusts and
sins you are delivered.  But have you
also escaped from the more secret and
delusive lusts of the Satanic fowler?

Have you come forth from the lust of pride?

Have you escaped from slothfulness?

Have you clean escaped from carnal security?

Are you seeking day by day to live above
worldliness, the pride of life, and the
ensnaring vice of avarice?

Remember that you have been enriched with
the treasures of God. If you are indeed the
chosen of God, and beloved by Him, do not
allow all the lavish treasure of grace to be
wasted upon you.

Follow after holiness; it is the Christian's
crown and glory. O Christian, you are God's
king: reign over your lusts. You are God's
chosen: do not associate with Belial.

Heaven is your portion: live like a heavenly
spirit, so shall you prove that you have true
faith in Jesus, for there cannot be faith in
the heart unless there be holiness in the life.

An unholy church! It is useless to the
world, and of no esteem among men. It is
an abomination, hell's laughter, heaven's
abhorrence. The worst evils which have ever
come upon the world have been brought
upon her by an unholy church.

A Father's hand!
(Octavius Winslow's "My Times in God's Hand")

"My times are in Your hand."  Psalm 31:5

Our times of adversity are also in God's hand.

As every 'sunbeam' that brightens, so every
'cloud' that darkens, comes from God. We are
subject to great and sudden reverses in our
earthly condition. Joy is often succeeded by
grief, prosperity by adversity. We are on the
pinnacle today, tomorrow at its bottom.

Oh! What a change may one event
  and in one moment create!

But, beloved, ALL is from the Lord.
"Afflictions do not spring from the soil, nor
 does trouble sprout from the ground." Job 5:6

Sorrow cannot come until God bids it.

Until God in His sovereignty permits....
  health cannot fade,
  wealth cannot vanish,
  comfort cannot decay,
  friendship cannot chill, and
  loved ones cannot die.

Your time of sorrow is His appointment.

The 'bitter cup' which it may please the
Lord that you shall drink this year will not
be mixed by human hands.  In the hand
of the Lord is that cup!

Some treasure you are now pressing to
  your heart, He may ask you to resign.
Some blessing you now possess
  He may bid you to relinquish.
Some fond expectation you now cherish,
  He may will that you should forego.
Some lonely path He may design
  that you should tread.
Yes, He may even bereave you of all,
  and yet all, ALL is in His hand!

His hand!  A Father's hand, moving in
thick darkness, is shaping every event,
and arranging every detail in your life!

Has 'sickness' laid you on a bed of suffering?
Has 'bereavement' darkened your home?
Has 'adversity' impoverished your resources?
Has 'change' lessened your comforts?
Has 'sorrow' in one of its many forms
  crushed your spirit to the earth?

The Lord has done it!

In all that has been sent,
in all that has be recalled, and
in all that has been withheld;
His hand, noiseless and unseen has moved!

Ah! yes, that hand of changeless love....
 blends a sweet with every bitter;
 pencils a bright bow in each dark cloud;
 upholds each faltering step;
 shelters within its hollow; and
 guides with unerring skill,
His chosen people safe to eternal glory!

Dear child of God,
  your afflictions,
  your trials,
  your crosses,
  your losses,
  your sorrows,
all, ALL are in your heavenly Father's hand,
and they cannot come until sent by Him!

Bow that stricken heart, yield that tempest
tossed soul to His sovereign disposal, to His
calm, righteous sway, in the submissive spirit
and language of your suffering Savior,
"Your will, O my Father! not mine, be done. My
times of sadness and of grief are in Your hand."

Beloved, all is in your Father's hand!
Be those times what they may....
  times of trial,
  times of temptation,
  times of suffering,
  times of peril,
  times of sunshine or of gloom, or
  times of life or death,
they are in your Father's hand!

Has the Lord seen fit....
  to recall some fond blessing,
  to deny some earnest request,
  or painfully to discipline your heart?

All this springs from a Father's love as fully
as though He had unlocked His treasury and
poured its costliest gifts at your feet!

All of our times are in our Redeemer's hands!
That same Redeemer who carried our sorrows in
His heart, our curse and sins on His soul, our
cross on His shoulder; who died, who rose again,
and who lives and intercedes for us, and who will
gather all His ransomed around Him in glory, is
your guardian and your guide!

Your times are in the hands of Him
who still bears the print of the nails!

Lay it upon the heart pierced  by the soldier's lance!
(Octavius Winslow's "Human Care Transferred to God")

If God has regard to the raven, and feeds it when
it cries, will He, do you think, be indifferent to the
plaintive note of His "dove, His undefiled one?"

It is an especial care with which God cares for you.
He cares for all of your temporal interests. Not one
worldly anxiety, not one need of the present life,
is too insignificant for His regard.

He cares for your spiritual interests; for your soul's
prosperity, for your mental peace, for your joy of
heart, for your growth in grace, for your character,
your reputation, your usefulness.

It is personal care.

He cares for you!

He cares for your individual cares, for your personal
interests, never for an instant merging and forgetting
your individual claims upon His interest, protection,
and love in the great body of His Church. What
encouragement this to betake yourself to the Lord,
transferring all care from your heart to His!

"Casting all your cares upon
  Him, for He cares for you."

Oh yes! the Lord cares for you!

Little, obscure, despised, unworthy though you
may be, or deem yourself to be, the Lord has an
interest in you, the closest, the tenderest that
ever dwelt in a heart of love.

Bought with the Savior's blood, a temple of the
Holy Spirit, sealed with the earnest of the Spirit
as a child of God and an heir of glory, oh, there
is not a bright angel in heaven for whom God so
cares as He cares for you!

Others may have ceased to care for you. 'Change'
has congealed the warm current of love, distance
intercepts its flow, or death has stilled its pulse,
and you feel as if there existed in this wide world
no heart, no spirit, no mind that responded to, or
that chimed and blended with your own.

Yet, there is One who cares! Jesus cares for you!

The HEART OF GOD, from which all other hearts
kindle their affection, entwines you with its thoughts,
its sympathies, its love; and the Eye that searches
the universe with a glance, bends upon you its
ceaseless look of love.

Then, confide in and lean upon this divine, this
human, this precious, this ever present Savior.

He asks your boundless confidence and your
warmest love.  Most worthy of it is He.  Will
you withhold it? Take that anxious care which
lies like lead upon your breast, which chases
peace from your mind, joy from your heart,
slumber from your pillow, shading all the
landscape of life with wintry frost and storm;
and lay it upon the heart pierced by the
soldier's lance; the heart that distilled its
last drop of lifeblood on the tree; and peace
shall enfold you beneath its balmy wing.

"Casting all your cares upon
  Him, for He cares for you."

Our earthly homes
(from Octavius Winslow's "Our Father's House")

Let us aim to model and to mold our earthly
homes after our heavenly home. There
righteousness dwells, holiness sanctifies,
love reigns, perfect confidence and sympathy
and concord exist. Why should not the earthly
homes of the righteous be types of this?

The home is a most marvelous and benevolent
appointment of God, and is designed, among
other ends, to unite, strengthen, and sanctify
the different relations of life, and thus secure
and promote the mutual happiness and well
being of each and all.

But, alas! how has sin perverted this! What
places of misery are some homes on earth,
even where religion is supposed to have found a
place! Discord, where there should be harmony;
suspicion, where there should be confidence;
jealousy, where there should be delight;
coldness, distance, and alienation, where
there should be the warmest, closest and
most endearing communion; harsh, abrupt
expressions, where there should be nothing
but pleasant words; indifference and neglect,
where there should be the profoundest interest
and sympathy; in a word, hatred, where there
should be love.

But, beloved in the Lord, this should not be so with you!

And with you it is an individual matter; for our
homes are just what the individual members of
the family make them. One unhappy temper,
one unbending will, one unloving, unsympathizing
heart may becloud and embitter the sunniest
sweetest home on earth.

Oh, cultivate the affections, the sympathies, and
the communion you hope to perpetuate in heaven!

By mutual forbearance, gentleness, confidence and
love; by deeds of kindness, delicate attention, and
graceful demeanor seek to transfer as much of the
purity, love, and sunshine of your Father's House
above as you can, to your Father's house below.

(Octavius Winslow, "Solitude Sweetened")

'Companionship of God' is the highest,
purest, sweetest mercy a saint of God
can have on earth!

Yes, it is the highest, purest, sweetest bliss
the saints of God can have in Heaven! What is
the enjoyment of Heaven? Not merely exemption
from trial, and freedom from sorrow, and rest
from toil, and release from conflict. O no! it is
the presence; the full, unclouded presence of
our Father there!

To be with Christ;
to behold his glory;
to gaze upon his face;
to hear his voice;
to feel the throbbings of his bosom;
to bask in the effulgence of God's presence;
O this is Heaven, the Heaven of Heaven!

Peace, and rest, and perfect bliss!
(Octavius Winslow "Our Father's House")

World, farewell! my soul is weary;
I would here no longer stay,
In your desert wild and dreary;
Heavenward will I wend my way.

World! in you is war and strife,
Pride and vanity are rife,
But in Heaven there ever is
Peace, and rest, and perfect bliss!

On that blessed shore arriving,
Pain and sadness at an end,
Done all anxious care and striving,
Resting with my dearest Friend!

In the world is need and woe,
And at last death's bitter throe;
But in Heaven above shall be
Peace, and joy, and purity.

What are earthly joy and pleasure?
Cloud and mist and empty wind.
What are worldly wealth and treasure?
Burdens for the weary mind.

Oh, what glorious songs are pealing
From that chosen, spotless throng;
Over the plains of heaven stealing,
'Holy, holy,' still their song!

World! in you are scoffs and jeers,
Hatred, woe, and bitter tears;
While in Heaven there ever is
Peace, and rest, and perfect bliss!

Here is weeping and repining,
Earthly joy not long endures;
If a while the sun is shining,
Soon dark night his beams obscures.

World! deep anguish is in you,
And the final agony;
But in Heaven above there is
Peace, and rest, and perfect bliss!

There my Lord unveils His glory,
I shall see Him face to face.
And repeat the wondrous story
Of a sinner saved by grace.

When the woes of earth are past,
And death's bitter pang at last,
Then in heaven above will be
Peace, and joy, and purity.

Oh to join the thrilling voices
Of that happy, sainted choir!
Each in Jesus Christ rejoices,
All their thoughts to Him aspire.

Cheer, my soul, the time is nearing
You your Savior's face shall see!
Do you love your Lord's appearing?
Joyful shall that moment be.

World! you have but storm and strife,
Fear and sadness, death in life;
While in Heaven there ever is
Peace, and rest, and perfect bliss!

Now, in love without dissembling,
Savior, school my willing heart,
That when worlds are round me trembling,
'Come,' I hear, and not, 'Depart.'

World! in you is fear and care,
Sin and sadness everywhere;
But at HOME there ever is
Peace, and rest, and perfect bliss!

What a boundless, fathomless ocean!
(by Octavius Winslow)

Eternal love moved the heart of Jesus to
relinquish heaven for earth; a diadem for
a cross; the robe of divine majesty for
the garment of our nature; taking upon
Himself the leprosy of our sin.

Oh the infinite love of Christ!

What a boundless, fathomless ocean!

Ask the 'ransomed of the Lord', whose
chains He has dissolved, whose dungeon
He has opened, whose liberty He has
conferred, if there ever was love like His!

What shall we say of the ransom price?
It was the riches, the costliest, that Heaven
could give.  "He gave Himself for us!"
What more could He do?
He gave Himself; body, soul and spirit.
He gave His time, His labor, His blood,
His life, His ALL, as the price for our
ransom, the cost of our redemption.

He carried the wood and reared the altar.
Then, bearing His bosom to the stroke of
the uplifted and descending arm of the
Father, paid the price of our salvation in
the warm lifeblood of His heart!

What a boundless, fathomless ocean!

How is it that we feel the force and exemplify
the practical influence of this amazing, all
commanding truth so faintly?

Oh, the desperate depravity of our nature!
Oh, the deep iniquity of our iniquitous hearts!

Will not the blood drops of Jesus move us?

Will not the agonies of the cross influence us?

Will not His dying love constrain
   us to a more heavenly life?

Eternally repose your weary soul in the bosom of Jesus!
(from "Go and Tell Jesus" by Octavius Winslow)

Forward, believer in Christ, to the toils, duties,
and trials of another stage of life's journey!
Jesus is enough for them all.
Jesus will be with you in them all.
Jesus will triumphantly conduct you through them all.

Beloved one, live in the constant expectation
of soon seeing Jesus face to face; conversing
with He whom here below, cheered, comforted,
and sweetened many a weary step of your
Christian pilgrimage.

That moment is speeding on.

In a little while and all that now wounds and
ruffles, tempts and pollutes, will have disappeared
like the foam upon the billow, and you shall eternally
repose your weary soul in the bosom of Jesus!

Ah, my much abused, much neglected heart!
How have I allowed you to wander, to be enamored,
enchained, won, and possessed by others!

How has your spiritual verdure withered, how
have your fresh springs dried, your beauty faded,
and your strength decayed!

How cold, how inconstant, how unfaithful,
how unkind have you been to your best,
your dearest, your heavenly Friend!

But for the restraints of His grace and the
constraints of His love, and the checks of His
gentle corrections, where, oh, where would
you have gone?

I thank you, Lord for Your loving discipline;
for the dark path, the severed tie, the
lonely sorrow; the loving, lenient correction
that recalls my heart to You!
    (Octavius Winslow)

A serious defect!

(from "Go and tell Jesus" by Octavius Winslow)

We solemnly believe that there may exist
a serious defect in the experience of many
Christians in their relationship with Jesus.

There is in the walk of many so wide a chasm
between Jesus and their personal and confidential
fellowship, as to leave upon the mind the conviction
that they have no dealings with Jesus at all!

Hence the distressing doubts, the timid fears,
the obscure evidences, the beclouded hopes,
that shade the luster, impair the vigor, and
render dubious the religion of so many.

The secret is, they have so little to do with Jesus!

And, as a natural result, Jesus, in the bestowment
of His favors, in the manifestations of Himself, in the
breathings of His love, has so little to do with them!

Oh! How sad, that such distance and coldness should
ever exist between Christ and a soul redeemed with
His most precious blood! What an evidence of the
fallen condition of our humanity, and of its but partial
sanctification, even in its renewed state.

The personal attractions of Jesus!
("Go and Tell Jesus" by Octavius Winslow)

The personal attractions of Jesus
 are all inviting and irresistible!

His love wins us.
His glory charms us.
His beauty attracts us.
His sympathy soothes us.
His gentleness subdues us.
His faithfulness inspires us.

He is the "altogether lovely One!"

Jesus is all that is tender in love.
Jesus is all that is wise in counsel.
Jesus is all that is patient and kind.
Jesus is all that is faithful in friendship.
Jesus is all that is balmy, soothing, and healing.

The heart of Jesus is ever loving towards His children.
The disposition of Jesus is ever kind towards His children.
The nature of Jesus is ever sympathizing towards His children.

Jesus is your Brother, your Friend, your Redeemer.
As your Brother, He knows the need of His brethren in adversity.
As your Friend, He shows Himself friendly.
As your Redeemer, He has redeemed your soul from sin and hell.

Jesus has ascended up on high to take possession of
heaven on your behalf, and to prepare a place for you!

Upon His heart He wears your name as a
precious pearl in the priestly breastplate.

There is...
  not a moment of your time,
  nor an event of your life,
  nor a circumstance of your daily history,
  nor a mental or spiritual emotion of yours,
in which you are not borne upon the love, and
remembered in the ceaseless intercession of Christ.

The personal attractions of Jesus
 are all inviting and irresistible!

Study the Lord Jesus Christ!
(from "Go and tell Jesus" by Octavius Winslow)

We know so much of divine truth, my reader, as
we have in a measure a personal experience of it
in our souls. The mere speculatist and notionalist
in religion is as unsatisfactory and unprofitable
as the mere theorist and declaimer in science.
For all practical purposes both are but ciphers.

The character and the degree of our spiritual
knowledge begins and terminates in our knowledge
of Christ. Christ is the test of its reality, the
measure of its depth, and the source of its growth.

If you are advancing in an experimental, sanctifying
acquaintance with the Lord Jesus, you are advancing
in that knowledge which Paul thus estimates,
"I count all things but loss for the excellency of
the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord."

Dear reader, let the chief object of your study be
to know the Lord Jesus.  It may be in the region of
your sinfulness, emptiness, weakness, and foolishness
that you learn Him; nevertheless, however humiliating
the school, slow the progress, and limited the
attainment, count every fresh step you make in a
personal acquaintance with the Lord Jesus as a nobler
triumph, and as bringing you into the possession of
more real wealth than were the whole chests of
human knowledge and science mastered, and its
untold treasures poured at your feet.

When adversity comes; when death approaches;
when eternity unveils; oh! how indescribably valuable,
how inconceivably precious will then be one faith's
touch, one faith's glimpse of a crucified and risen Savior!

All other attainments then vanish, and the only
knowledge that abides, soothes, and comforts, is
a heartfelt acquaintance with the most sublime
fact of the Gospel, that "Christ Jesus came into
the world to save sinners."

Oh! Whatever other studies may engage your
thoughts, forget not, as you value your eternal
destiny, to study the Lord Jesus Christ!

The chief among ten thousand, the altogether lovely One!
(by Octavius Winslow)

With what pen, dipped though it were in heaven's
brightest hues, can we portray the image of Jesus?
The perfection of our Lord was the perfection of
holiness. His Deity, essential holiness; His humanity
without sin, the impersonation of holiness. All that
He was, said, and did, was as flashes of holiness
emanating from the fountain of essential purity,
and kindling their dazzling and undying radiance
around each step He trod.   How lowly, too, His
character! How holy the thoughts He breathed,
how pure the words He spoke, how humble the
spirit He exemplified, how tender and sympathizing
the outgoings of His compassion and love to man.
He is "the chief among ten thousand, the
altogether lovely one."

Degraded serfs of the world's fierce despot!

(from Octavius Winslow's "Bonds Loosed")

Every unconverted man and woman is a servant,
a slave, a captive. "He that commits sin is the
slave of sin."

And those who are the servants of sin are, by
virtue of that relation, equally the vassals of
Satan, "are led captive by him at his will."

They are the most degraded of all vassals;
they wear the most galling of all fetters; they
are the willing servants, the obedient slaves, the
degraded serfs of the world's fierce despot, Satan!

Reader! you are spiritually a slave or a freeman; which?

Are you....
a slave to an unregenerate nature,
a slave of the world,
a slave of Satan,
a slave of self,
a servant of sin?

Or are you one whose fetters Christ has
wrenched, whose soul Christ has set free?

Can you say, "Christ has loosed my bonds! I once
wore the chain of my sins, and the galling yoke of
the law, and the heavy manacles of a poor captive
of Satan; but Jesus saw me, and had compassion,
and said, 'Loose him, and let him go!' and my
grave clothes fell off, my bonds were broken,
and I sprang into the holy liberty of a sinner
pardoned, justified, and forever saved; and
my soul overflowed with joy unspeakable, and
full of glory. The bliss of that moment, the
sweetness of that first taste of liberty, I can
never forget!"

Self dependence!  Self love!  Self will!  Self seeking!
(from John Flavel's "Keeping the Heart")

Man, by his apostasy into sin, has become
 a most disordered and rebellious creature.
In his self dependence, he opposes God as the sustainer.
In his self love, he opposes God as the chief good.
In his self will, he opposes God as the highest Lord.
In his self seeking, he opposes God as the highest end.
Thus he is quite disordered, and all his actions sinful.

But by regeneration, the disordered soul is set right.
Self dependence is replaced by faith.
Self love is replaced by love to God.
Self will is replaced by subjection and obedience to the will of God.
Self seeking is replaced by self denial.

The darkened understanding is illuminated.
The refractory will is sweetly subdued.
The rebellious desires are gradually conquered.

A mortal man reposing at the feet of the Incarnate God!

(from "Go and Tell Jesus" by Octavius Winslow)

How many a believer in Jesus pursues his
Christian course with a sad countenance,
the reflection of a yet sadder heart, from
the consciousness of the indwelling evil of
his nature perpetually exhibiting itself in
flaws, and failure, and dereliction, to which
the eye of human affection is blind, but
which to his own inspection are real, palpable
and aggravated; not the less humiliating and
abhorrent because unknown and unsuspected
by all but himself.

The remedy, what is it? Going and telling Jesus!
Oh! If there be one view of this privilege more
precious, endearing, and sacred than another,
it is the liberty of admitting Jesus to the deepest
confidence of the heart, of unveiling to Him
thoughts, imaginations, and emotions, which
no inducement could persuade us to reveal to
our most dear and intimate friend.

Perhaps you have wandered far from God,
and that you have fallen by your iniquity;
that you have pierced afresh the bosom of
that Savior that has so often pillowed your
head in weakness and grief; yet, go and
tell Jesus! There is not in the universe a
being who can so understand and sympathize
with your case as He. Tell Him how your
affections have strayed; how your love has
chilled; how the spirit of prayer has waned in
your soul, and what ascendancy the world, the
creature, and self have obtained in your mind.

Bending beneath the cross, the eye reposing
in faith upon the Crucified, there is no heart
wandering, no mental emotion, no secret so
profound, no sorrow so delicate, no perplexity
so great, no guilt so aggravated which the lowly,
penitent heart may not fully and freely tell Jesus.

It is the oversight of this truth that produces
so much solitary grief in the minds of many of
the Lord's people. They forget what a Friend,
what a Brother, what a Confidant, what a
Savior they have in Jesus.

They refuse to go and tell Him all; and thus,
brooding over their failures and sins, nursing
in loneliness their trials and sorrows, their
"sore runs in the night, and their soul refuses
to be comforted."

There is not a thought, a feeling, or a
circumstance, with which you may not go
and tell Jesus.  There is nothing that you
may not in the confidence of love, and in
the simplicity of faith, tell Jesus.

Go, and lose yourself in the love of Jesus!
Go, and hide in the wounds of Jesus!
Go, and wash in the blood of Jesus!
Go, and replenish from the fullness of Jesus!
Go, and recline upon the bosom of Jesus!

All the splendor of human philosophy, science,
and prowess, pales before the moral grandeur
which gathers, like a halo, around a mortal man
reposing at the feet of the Incarnate God;
unveiling his whole soul in all the childlike
confidence of a faith that grasps Jehovah!

The more frequently we go to Jesus, the more
intimately we shall know Him; and the more
intimately we know Him, the more ardently
shall we love, self denyingly serve, and closely
resemble Him. Language cannot describe how
growingly precious He will become to your soul;
how more intensely your heart's affections will
clasp and firmly entwine around Him, your whole
soul striving day by day to please and glorify
Him here, longing to be with Him that you might
see and enjoy Him hereafter forever.

Breathe this prayer!
(by Octavius Winslow)

The meekness, the holiness, the patience, the
self denial, the zeal, the love, traceable in us,
though faint and imperfect, are transfers of
Christ's beauteous and faultless lineaments
to our renewed soul. Thus the mind that was
in Him is in some measure in us.

We should grow more like Christ
  in the purity of His human nature,
  in the humility He exemplified,
  in the self denial He practiced, and
  in the heavenly life He lived.

What spiritual heart will not breathe this prayer,
"O Lord! I cannot be satisfied merely to profess
and call myself Yours. I want more of the power
of vital religion in my soul. I pant for Your image.
My deepest grief springs from the discovery of the
little real resemblance which I bear to a Model so
peerless, so divine; that I exemplify so little of
  Your patience in suffering;
  Your meekness in opposition;
  Your forgiving spirit in injury;
  Your gentleness in reproving;
  Your firmness in temptation;
  Your singleness of eye in all that I do.
Oh, transfer Yourself wholly to me. What is this
world, yes, what is heaven itself, without You?
A universe of creatures, the fondest, the holiest,
could not be Your substitute to my yearning,
longing soul, O Lord! Come, and occupy Your
own place in my heart. Awaken it to Your love.
Sweep its chords with Your gentle hand, and it
shall breathe sweet music to Your dear name."

God's children may backslide
(from Octavius Winslow's "Backsliders Returning")

If the spirit of prayer is restrained, if the means
of grace are neglected; and, as a consequence of
all this inward declension, the world should have
an ascendancy, Satan prevail, and the sin that
does most easily beset them attain a momentary
triumph, it is no strange thing that....
  their love to Him should wax cold,
  their faith decline,
  their strength decay,
  their zeal slacken, and
  their godly frames grow sleepy and inert.

But still they are God's children!

O wondrous grace!

O changeless love!

Chastened, corrected, rebuked, and humbled,
their heavenly Father will restore them to His
pardoning love and gracious favor, and they
shall again walk with Him filially, humbly,
softly, as His dear children!

Behold, we come just as we are. We come from
the swine's trough; we come from feeding upon
husks, upon ashes, and upon the wind. We come
with the bruise, the wound, the dislocated limb.
We come deploring our fall, confessing our
departure, mourning over our sin.

Lord receive us graciously, love us freely, and turn
your anger away from us. "I will arise and go unto my
Father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned."

What! after all that I have done! In the face
of my willful transgression, of my base ingratitude,
of my abused mercies, of my past restorings,
of my aggravated departures, of all the past
of Your mercy, Your goodness, Your faithfulness,
Your love, do You still bid me return?

Does the overture, the outstretched hand, the
first step, come from You? Then, behold, I come
unto You, for You are the Lord my God!

Your power draws!
Your goodness dissolves!
Your faithfulness binds my heart!
Your grace restores!
Your love pardons!
Your blood heals my soul and, behold! I come.

Your voice, so kind, invites me!
Your feet, so unwearied, seek me!
Your hand, so gentle, leads me!
Your look, so loving, so melting,
   so forgiving, wins me!

Lord, I must not, I dare not, I cannot
stay away. Behold! I come unto You!

John 10:27-29
(from Spurgeon's sermon, "The Security of Believers;
 Or, Sheep Who Shall Never Perish" #2120. John 10)

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them,
 and they follow me. I give them eternal life,
 and they shall never perish; no one can
 snatch them out of my hand.  My Father,
 who has given them to me, is greater than
 all; no one can snatch them out of my
 Father's hand." John 10:27-29

"They shall never perish; neither shall any pluck
them out of my hand."  If it could be that one
sheep were plucked out of his hand, then would the
devils in hell rejoice, and say, "He could not keep
them. He said that he would, but he could not.
We have managed to pluck this one, or that one,
out of the pierced hand of their Redeemer."
But such a horrible exultation shall never be heard
throughout the ages of eternity.

No sheep of Christ shall ever be lost!

None that he has purchased with his blood, and
made to be his own, shall ever wander away so
as to perish at last.

Who is to loosen the clasp of that hand
that was pierced with the nail for me?

My Lord Jesus bought me too dearly ever to let me
go. He loves me so well that his whole omnipotence
will work with that hand; and unless there is something
greater than Godhead, I cannot be plucked away from
that dear, fast holding grip.

"My Father gave them to me." I picture my blessed
Lord looking at each one of his believing people, and
saying, "My Father gave you to me." That poor woman,
that struggling young man, that decrepit old lady, that
man who is half starved, but who loves his Lord; Jesus
says of each one, "My Father gave this soul to me."
He cannot lose what his Father gave him. He would die
again sooner than he would lose them. His death has
made their salvation safe beyond all jeopardy.

He laid down his life for the sheep.

The lion came, and leaped into the fold; but the
Shepherd met the lion; yes, he received him on his
naked breast, and held him there. It was a terrible tug.
The Shepherd sweat great drops of blood as he held
the monster; but he rent him, and he hurled him to
the earth, and said, "It is finished" and it was finished.

He has so saved all his flock until now that we are
sure that he will never lose one of those whom his
Father committed to his trust.

"My Father, who has given them to me, is greater
than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's
hand."  There lie the children of God in the hand of Christ.
Do you see that fast closed hand? They are safe enough
there. Jesus says, "No man shall be able to pluck them
out of my hand." But see the Father, he puts his hand
over the hand of Jesus! There, now; you are inside two
hands, "And no man is able to pluck them out of my
Father's hand." Oh, the serene security of those who
hear the voice of Christ, and whom he calls his sheep!
A double handed force keeps them safe against all evil.

Pluck away, Satan! You will never pluck them away from
the hand of Jesus, and the hand of his Father!


("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

The first object from which our heavenly
Father weans His child is from SELF.  Of
all idols, this he finds hardest to abandon.

Idolatry of SELF has been the great
  and universal crime of our race!

In the soul of the regenerate, divine grace
has done much to dethrone this idol, and
reinstate God. The work, however, is but
partially accomplished. The dishonored and
rejected rival is loath to relinquish his throne,
and yield to the supreme control and sway of
another.  There is still much yet to be achieved
before this still indwelling and unconquered foe
lays down his weapons in entire subjection to
the will and authority of that Savior whose
throne and right He has usurped.

Much self love, self esteem, self confidence and
self seeking remain in the saved person's heart.

From all of this SELF, our Father seeks to wean us.

He would wean us.....
  from our own wisdom, which is but folly;
  from our own strength, which is but weakness;
  from our own wills, which are often as an uncurbed steed;
  from our own ways, which are crooked;
  from our own hearts, which are deceitful;
  from our own judgments, which are dark; and
  from our own ends, which are narrow and selfish.

Pride cannot live beneath the cross!
(by Spurgeon)

Stand at the foot of the cross, and count
the purple drops by which you have been
cleansed; see the thorn-crown; mark His
scourged shoulders, still gushing with
encrimsoned rills; see hands and feet
given up to the rough iron, and His whole
self to mockery and scorn; see the bitterness,
and the pangs, and the throes of inward grief,
showing themselves in His outward frame;
hear the chilling shriek, "My God, my God,
why have You forsaken Me?"

If you do not lie prostrate on the ground
before that cross, you have never seen it.

If you are not humbled in the presence
  of Jesus, you do not know Him.

You were so lost that nothing could save you
but the sacrifice of God's only begotten. Think
of that, and as Jesus stooped for you, bow
yourself in lowliness at His feet.

A sense of Christ's amazing love to us has a
greater tendency to humble us than even a
consciousness of our own guilt.

May the Lord bring us in contemplation to
Calvary, then our position will no longer be
that of the pompous man of pride, but we
shall take the humble place of one who loves
much because much has been forgiven him.

Pride cannot live beneath the cross!

Let us sit there and learn our lesson,
and then rise and carry it into practice.

Three steps in the Christian's life
(by Octavius Winslow)

"Remember how the Lord your God led you
all the way in the desert these forty years,
to humble you and to test you in order to
know what was in your heart..." Deut. 8:2.

There are three steps in the Christian's life.
The first is humility.
The second is humility.
The third is humility.

Jesus, the lowly one, seeks to keep us from
the loftiness of our intellect, and from the
pride of our heart, by prostrating us low in
the dust at His feet.

Holy posture! Blessed place! There, Lord,
would I lie; my trickling tears of penitence
and love, falling upon those dear feet that
have never misled, but have always gone
before, leading me by the right way, the
best way, to the city of rest.

All dropping from the outstretched,
munificent hand of a loving, gracious,
and bountiful Father!

(Octavius Winslow, "My Times in God's Hand")

Beloved, remember that all our past and all
our coming prosperity, if indeed He shall so
appoint it, is in the hand of God.  It is His
wisdom that suggests our plans, it is His
power that guides, and it is His goodness
that makes them successful.

Every flower that blooms in our path,
every smile that gladdens it, every mercy
that bedews it, yes, "Whatever is good
and perfect comes to us from God above..."

Oh! for grace to recognize God in all our mercies!

How much sweeter will be our sweets,
how much more blessed our blessings,
and endeared our endearments, to see
them all dropping from the outstretched,
munificent hand of a loving, gracious,
and bountiful Father!

Oh! for a heart lifted up in holy returns
     of love, gratitude and praise!

If the secret must be told!
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon, #2117
"The Father's Love to His Dying Son"  John 10:17.

Jesus' laying down his life for us is the central
display of his love, and the chief cause of our
affection to him.

We love him for the holiness of his character,
for the tenderness of his heart, for the excellence
of his teaching; and, indeed, we love him for
everything about his blessed person and work.

But, if the secret must be told, our hearts were
chiefly won when our Beloved put on the crimson
vesture, and stood before us decked with wounds,
and pale in death. Then did we sing of him,
  "White and ruddy is my Beloved."

Oh, the beauties of our King when he stands
  beneath the purple canopy of sacrifice!

Our heart is won and held in joyful captivity when
we can say, "You were slain, and have redeemed
us to God by your blood." That text often thrills
our heart wherein we read, "Who his own self
bore our sins in his own body on the tree."

Calvary reveals the great fountain of our love!

The cross is the pole whereon is uplifted the
banner of love, both his and ours. We love him
because he first loved us, and Golgotha is the
window through which his love looks.

The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Will a man die for sheep?
Yes, that could  possibly happen. But could the
Son of God die for such base creatures as we are?
We were, of ourselves, by no means so great a
treasure to Christ as a sheep is to a man; and
yet he thought far more of us than shepherds
do of their flocks. We were by nature only as so
many foxes, or serpents, or creeping things; but
yet the Lord Christ, having set his love upon us,
would not rest until he had laid down his life for us!

Alas! we were as ungrateful as we were unworthy.

We even opposed the efforts of our Savior. We
acted more like goats than sheep, for we butted
with our horns against our Shepherd.

We were stray sheep, and did not return at his call; we
did not follow him, but we went farther and farther away.

We were lame as to returning; but "when we were yet
without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."

We are sheep, too, that still go astray very grievously.
After having been brought back on his shoulders, after
having been pastured by his care, yet still we go astray!

We are sheep that were lost; we are sheep that would
lose themselves again, if they could; sheep that make
a very poor return to him that shepherds us.

"Is this your kindness to your Friend?" is a question
which might often awake sad memories in our hearts.

Beloved, let us love our Lord more! Surely, we cannot
help it, as we perceive our own undeservings, and the
greatness of his love whereby he laid down his life for us!

Indulge yourself with a sight of his love
  as it hangs bleeding on the tree.

Child of God, see how Jesus loves you!

Look to his cross!

Look wholly to the slain Jesus!

Blessed, forever blessed, be your dear name, O Jesus!
There is none like it in heaven, nor in the heaven of
heavens. How shall we praise you? Our tears of gratitude
come to our rescue; if we cannot speak your praises,
we will weep them.

Sin seen, hated, conquered, and forsaken!

(by Octavius Winslow)

Believer, every sin and infirmity and deficiency
you discover in your heart, Christ has died for, He
has shed His blood for, and has forever put away.

By repairing anew to His atonement and His grace,
you shall have your iniquities subdued, and your
conscience purified, and your soul reinstated in
a sense of pardon and Divine acceptance.

It is beneath the cross alone that sin shall
be seen, hated, conquered, and forsaken!

Sin, guilt, unbelief, impenitence, cannot live a
moment under the sacred shadow of the cross
of Christ.

Drag your foe there, and it is slain!

Go there, my soul, and weep, mourn, and love.

In communing with the sin of your own heart,
oh, forget not the yet deeper, closer communion
with the heart of Jesus!

Christ's schools!

(from Octavius Winslow's  "The Preciousness
 of Christ's Sympathy With Our Infirmities")

In the world there are various schools for different
branches of knowledge and science, where the principles
and systems peculiar to each one are alone taught.

Christ has His various schools for His disciples.

There is,
  the school of correction,
  the school of trial,
  the school of sorrow,
  the school of temptation,
  the school of active service,
  the school of patient endurance.

In one, or all of these schools, Jesus is instructing
His disciples on earth, teaching them the particular
lessons, and bringing them into the experience of
the particular truths found in to other way.

The school of suffering is also Christ school, in which He
  is teaching, disciplining, and training you for heaven.