Grace Gems for September 2000

He is sovereign Lord of all!
The following is from Jonathan Edwards sermon,
    "The Excellency of Jesus Christ"

Christ, as he is God, is infinitely great and high above all.

He is higher than the kings of the earth,
for he is King of kings, and Lord of lords.

He is higher than the heavens, and higher
   than the highest angels of heaven.

So great is he, that all men, all kings and
princes, are as worms of the dust before him.

All nations are as the drop of the bucket, and the
light dust of the balance, yes, and angels themselves
are as nothing before him. He is so high, that he is
infinitely above any need of us, so above our reach
that we cannot be profitable to him, and so above our
conceptions that we cannot comprehend him.

Christ is the Creator and great Possessor of heaven and earth.

He is sovereign Lord of all!

He rules over the whole universe,
and does whatsoever pleases him.

His knowledge is without bound.
His wisdom is perfect, and what none can circumvent.
His power is infinite, and none can resist him.
His riches are immense and inexhaustible.
His majesty is infinitely full of awe.

Yet,  his condescension is sufficient to take a
gracious notice of the most unworthy, sinful
creatures, those that have no good deservings,
and those that have infinite ill-deservings.

The Divine Healer!
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"The Gospel's Healing Power" No. 720. Luke 5:17.

"The chastisement of our peace was upon
 him, and with his stripes we are healed."

Jesus used no other remedy in healing
our sin-sickness, but that of taking our
sicknesses and infirmities upon himself!

This is the one great cure-all!

Blessed be Jesus, that the medicine, bitter
as it is, is not for us to drink, but was all
drained by himself!

He took the terrible cup in Gethsemane, and
drank it dry on our account! The sharp but
healing cuts of the lancet are not made in
our bodies, but he bore them in his own flesh!

When the ploughers made deep furrows,
those furrows were not upon the sinner's
shoulders, but upon the shoulders of the
sinner's Substitute!

    Did you ever hear, O Earth,
    of such a Physician as this?

Jesus heals us by suffering himself!

His pains, and sorrows, and griefs, and pangs, and
torments, and anguish, and death are the only
medicine by which he removes the woes of men!

My friend, whatever your disease may be, this
great Physician can heal you. Since he is God,
there can be no limit to his infinite power; there
can be no boundary to the majesty of his might.

Come then with the blind eye of your understanding,
come with the limping foot of your energy, come
with the maimed hand of your faith, come just as
you are, for he who is God can certainly heal you!
The utmost length of your soul-sickness can be
reached by this great Physician.

Have confidence, O poor doubting heart!
Have unstaggering confidence in the Divine Healer!

Blessed Son of God, how I will love you!
With what gratitude will I look up to your cross
and view you, while those blessed founts of
health are streaming crimson floods, and
while your heart is pouring forth a heavenly
torrent, efficacious to wash the sinner from
all his sicknesses!

Come hither, all you sin-sick ones, and
behold the glorious Son of God, breathing
out his life upon the cross!

Come hither, you that mourn for sin, you who
are palsied and diseased with iniquity! There is
power, power still present in the dying Savior
to heal you, whatsoever your diseases may be.

    The costly balm of his atonement
        has lost none of its power!

Jesus, the great physician, works cures very
suddenly- he touches, and the deed is done
at once. He works cures of all kinds- all soul
diseases been readily overcome by him.
He never fails- he has not in his diary, one
single case that has overmatched his mighty
power. He heals effectually- the disease never
again reigns when he has once dethroned it.

He has no hospital for incurable souls, for
there are no incurables for him. The Friend of
sinners is "able to save unto the uttermost
those that come unto God by him."
Cases of sin so putrid that men say, "Put them
out of sight;" vice so detestable that the very
mention of it makes the cheek of modesty to
blush- such as these the master-hand of
Immanuel can heal!

With Jesus nothing is difficult. He can save
the chief of sinners, and the vilest of the vile.

Come, poor sinner, and behold him who is
able to heal you of your deadly wounds;
come look upon him now and live.

I saw One hanging on a tree!
-by John Newton

In evil long I took delight,
       Unawed by shame or fear,
   Till a new object struck my sight,
      And stopped my wild career.

    I saw One hanging on a tree,
         In agonies and blood;
   He fixed His languid eyes on me,
       As near His cross I stood.

    Sure never till my last breath,
        Shall I forget that look!
It seemed to charge me with His death,
     Though not a word He spoke.

 A second look He gave, which said,
          "I freely all forgive;
  This blood is for your ransom paid;
       I die that you may live."

 Thus while His death my sin displays
         In all its blackest hue,
    Such is the mystery of grace,
        It seals my pardon too!

The murderers of Christ!
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"Ephraim Bemoaning Himself" No. 743.

A sight of Christ on the cross
will cause us to hate our sins.

If you ever, by the eye of faith, see
Jesus Christ dying for you, sin will
never be sweet to you again.

What was it slew our blessed Lord?
It was our sin!
"It was you, my sins, my cruel sins,
 His chief tormentors were;
 Each of my crimes became a nail,
 And unbelief the spear."

When we discover that our iniquities
put our dearest and best friend to
death, we vow revenge against our
iniquities, and henceforth hate them
with a perfect hatred.

Let me illustrate this very simply-
Here is a knife, with a richly carved ivory
handle, a knife of excellent workmanship.
Yonder woman, we will suppose, has had
a dear child murdered by a cruel enemy.
This knife is hers, she is pleased with it,
and prizes it much. How can I make her
throw that knife away? I can do it easily,
for that is the knife with which her child
was killed. Look at it; there is blood still
upon the handle. She drops it as though
it were a scorpion; she cannot bear it.
"Put it away," says she, "it killed my child!
   Oh, hateful thing!"

Now, sin is such a thing- we play with it
until we are told it was sin that killed the
Lord Jesus, who died out of love to us- pure,
self sacrificing love. Then we say, "Hateful
thing, get you gone! How can I endure you?"

See there the wounds of the Son of God;
behold the crimson stains which mark his
blessed body; mark the thorn-crown; gaze
upon the pierced hands; weep over the
nailed feet; see the deep gash which the
lance made in his side!

Sin did this cruel work, this bloody deed!

Down with our sins!
Drag them to the cross!
Slay them at Calvary!
Let not one of them escape, for they are
   the murderers of Christ!

The Christian & the cross!
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"The Sin Offering" No. 739. Leviticus 4:3.

Christian, the cross was the place of your
spiritual birth, and it must ever be the spot
for renewing your spiritual health.

The cross is the hospital for every sinsick soul.

The blood of Christ is the true balm of Gilead-
it is the universal remedy which heals every
spiritual disease.

Come, sin-sick soul, and breathe the air which
was purified when the blood of the heart of
Jesus fell from His wounds to the ground, for
no spiritual disease can abide the presence
of the healing blood.

Hasten, you weak ones, to Calvary, and
partake in God-given strength and vigor.

It is from Calvary that you shall see
the Sun of Righteousness arising with
healing beneath His wings.

The beloved Physician meets His
patients at the foot of the cross,
and relieves them from all their ills.

Humbly resting upon Jesus is the best position for us.

Jesus deserves our best!

The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"Grieve Not the Holy Spirit" No. 738. Eph. 4:30.

Some Christians live and act and talk as if
there were no judgment to come; toiling
for wealth as if this world were all. They
are as careless of souls, as though hell
were a dream.

Unmoved by eternal realities, unstirred
by the terrors of the Lord, indifferent to
the ruin of mankind, many professors live
like worldlings, and are as unchristian as
infidels. This is an indisputable fact, but
one to be lamented with tears of blood.

We are the purchase of Jesus' death upon
the tree- he has bought us dearly, and he
should have us altogether for himself.

It should be the one end and object of our
desire, to crown that head with gems, which
once was crowned with thorns.

Jesus deserves our best!

Every wound of his claims us, and every
pain he bore, and every groan that escaped
his lips, is a fresh reason for our holiness
and complete devotion to his cause.

How must he grieve over us because
we have not that tenderness of heart,
that melting of love, that vehemence
of zeal, that earnestness of soul which
we ought to exhibit!

Take our sins to God!

The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"A Troubled Prayer" No. 741. -Psalm 25:18.

We must take our sins to God!

The Christian, when he sins, thinks that
he must fight this battle for himself,
wrestle with his own evil temper himself,
and he himself must enter into conflict
with his lusts and his besetting sins.

But when he comes into the fight, he
soon meets with a defeat, and then
he is ready to give it all up.

Take your sins to God, my brethren!

Take them to the cross that the blood
may fall upon them, to purge away their
guilt, and to take away their power.

Your sins must all be slain.  There is only
one place where they can be slaughtered-
  the altar where your Savior died.

If you would flog your sins, flog them with
the whip that tore your Savior's shoulder.
If you would nail your sins fast, drive the
same nails through them which fastened
your Lord to the cross.   I mean, let your
faith in the great Surety, and your love to
him who suffered so much for you, be the
power with which you do conflict with evil.

It is said of the saints in heaven, "They
overcame through the blood of the Lamb."

That is how you must overcome.

Go to Jesus with your sins!
No one else can help you!
You are powerless without him!

The most sinful are welcome to Christ.
If your sin has become so outrageous
that it were wrong for me to mention it;
if it has become so tremendous in its power,
that, like the chain and ball at the convict's
foot, you cannot escape from it, yet still
come with all your sins to Jesus!

Suck the sweetness out of it!
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"Good Cheer for the New Year" No. 728. Dt.11:12.

"The Lord knows the righteous" with a knowledge
 which is over and above that of omniscience.

The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous,
not merely to see them, but to view them with
pleasure and delight; not barely to observe
them, but to observe them with affectionate
care and interest.

God's love is always upon his people.

Oh, Christians, think of this- that God loves us!

The big heart of Deity is set upon us poor,
insignificant, undeserving, worthless beings.

God loves us, loves us ever, never thinks of us
without loving thoughts, never regards us, nor
speaks of us, nor acts towards us, except in love.

God has an unfathomable depth of love towards his
elect ones who are the objects of distinguishing grace,
redeemed by blood, and preserved by faithfulness.

Beloved, the loving eyes of God are always upon
you, the poorest and most obscure of his people.

The Lord takes a personal interest in his children.
Some mothers give out their children to be nursed,
but God never does- all his babes hang upon his
own breast, and are carried in his own arms!

God himself is personally our keeper and our shield.
"I the Lord do keep it, I will water it every moment;
 lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day."

God has never once taken his eyes off you.
He has observed you as narrowly, as carefully, as
tenderly, as if there were not another child in his
divine family, nor another one whose prayers were
to be heard, or whose cares were to be relieved.

What would you think of yourself if you knew
that you were the only saved soul in the world,
the only elect one of God, the only one purchased
on the bloody tree?

Why you would feel, "How God must care for me!
How he must watch over me! Surely he will never
take his eyes off such a special favorite."
But it is the same with you, beloved- though his
family is so large, as if you were the only one.

The eyes of the Lord never grow weary. He neither
slumbers nor sleeps. Both by day and night he
observes each one of his people.

Not a moment shall we be without the tender
care of heaven; not even for a second will the
Lord remove his eyes from any one of his people.
There is not a single day, or hour of the day,
or minute of the hour, that we are removed
from the eyes or the heart of God.

Away with carking care- God cares for us!
The sparrows are fed, and shall not the children be?
The lilies bloom, and shall not the saints be clothed?
Let us roll all our burdens upon the Burden bearer!

Christian, you have sinned, but your sin has never
made him love you less, because he saw you and
loved you in Christ in the eternal purpose, even
when you were dead in trespasses and sins.

He has seen you in Christ ever since,
and has never ceased to love you.

It is true you have been very faulty, but as he
never loved you for your good works, he has
never cast you away for your bad works.

He has beheld you as washed in the atoning
blood of Jesus, until you are whiter than snow,
and he has seen you clothed in the perfect
righteousness of Christ, and therefore looked
upon you and regarded you as though you were
without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing!

He has gazed upon you, beloved, but never with
anger, looked upon you when your infirmities, no,
your willful wickednesses had made you hate
yourself. And yet, though he has seen you in this
doleful state, grace has always set you before the
Lord's eyes as being in his dear Son all beauteous
and lovely- a pleasing prospect for him to look upon.

The eyes of God are always upon his chosen
people, as eyes of affection, delight, unwearied
power, immutable wisdom, and unchanging love!

Take this thought, like a wafer made with
honey and put it under your tongue, and
suck the sweetness out of it!

Surely this is enough to make you lose
yourself in wonder, love, and praise!

Surely gratitude can find us fuel enough in
the forests of our memory to keep the fire
of love to our God always flaming.

The Christian and Death!

The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"The Last Enemy Destroyed" No. 72. 1 Cor. 15:26.

"Death gives us infinitely more than he takes away!
To stand before that throne upon the sea of glass
mingled with fire, to bow within the presence chamber
of the King of kings, gazing into the glory that excels,
and to see the King in his beauty, the man that once
was slain, wearing many crowns and arrayed in the vesture
of his glory, his wounds like sparkling jewels still
visible above! Oh! to cast our crowns at his feet, to
lie there and shrink into nothing before the Eternal All,
to fly into Jesus' bosom, to behold the beauty of his love,
and to taste the kisses of his mouth, to be in Paradise,
swallowed up in unutterable joy because taken into the
closest, fullest, nearest communion with himself! Would
not your soul burst from the body even now to obtain this

"The greatest conquerors have only been death's slaughtermen, journeymen
butchers working in his shambles. War is nothing better than death holding
carnival, and devouring his prey a little more in haste than is his common
practice. Death has done the work of an enemy to those of us who have as
yet escaped his arrows. Those who have lately stood around a new-made
grave and buried half their hearts can tell you what an enemy death is. It
takes the friend from our side, and the child from our bosom- neither does
it care for our crying. He has fallen who was the pillar of the household;
she has been snatched away who was the brightness of the hearth. The little
one is torn out of its mother's bosom though its loss almost breaks her
heartstrings; and the blooming youth is taken from his father's side though
the parent's fondest hopes are thereby crushed. Death has no pity for the
young and no mercy for the old; he pays no regard to the good or to the
beautiful; his scythe cuts down sweet flowers and noxious weeds with
equal readiness. He comes into our garden, tramples down our lilies and
scatters our roses on the ground; yes, and even the most modest flowers
planted in the corner- and hiding their beauty beneath the leaves that they
may blush unseen, death spies out even these, and cares nothing for their
fragrance, but withers them with his burning breath. He is your enemy
indeed, you fatherless child, left for the pitiless storm of a cruel world
to beat upon, with none to shelter you. He is your enemy, O widow, for the
light of your life is gone, and the desire of your eyes has been removed
with a stroke. He is your enemy, husband, for your house is desolate and your
little children cry for their mother of whom death has robbed you."  -CHS

"Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God."
  – 1 Thessalonians 1:4

(the following is by Don Fortner)

This blessed, glorious, doctrine of election is one
 of the most delightful doctrines of the gospel.

What does the Word of God teach about election?
Election is "in Christ."
Election is "unto salvation."
Election is an act of God's pure, absolute, sovereignty.
Election took place in eternity.
Election's source and cause is God's eternal love
   for his people.
Election is an act of free, unconditional grace.
Election is God's personal choice of specific sinners
   to eternal life in Christ.
Election is irreversible.
Election is effectual.
Election is distinguishing (Isa. 43:1-4).
Election is the cause of all blessedness.

Who are the elect?
The elect are people who hear and receive the Gospel.
The elect are those who are called by the effectual,
  irresistible power and grace of the Holy Spirit.
The elect are those who follow Christ.
  Chosen sinners, when saved by the grace of
  God, are made disciples, followers of Christ,
  voluntary servants of King Jesus.
The elect are a people who are committed to
  Christ and the Gospel of his grace.
The elect experience repentance and conversion
  by the power of his grace. They turn from their
  idols to serve the living God.

"I believe that every particle of dust that dances
in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or
less than God wishes; that every particle of spray
that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit
as well as the sun in the heavens; that the chaff
from the hand of the winnower is steered as
surely as the stars in their courses; that the
creeping of an insect over a rosebud is as much
fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence;
and the fall of leaves from the poplar is as fully
ordained as the tumbling avalanche.
He who believes in God must believe this truth.
There is no standing point between this and Atheism.
There is no halfway between an Almighty God, who
works all things according to the good pleasure of
his will, and no God at all!"  -Spurgeon

The broad way!
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"A Message from God to His Church and People"
No. 725 Habakkuk 3:2.

"Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to
 destruction, and many are they that go in thereat."

In my meditations I thought I saw a precipice, whose
frowning steep overhung a sea of fire. Leading up to
its brink I saw a road exceeding broad, a road which
was crowded from side to side with a thronging multitude,
who pressed and trod one upon another in their raging
zeal to reach the summit of the crag.

They went gaily on, merrily laughing, singing to sprightly
music; many of them dancing, some of them pushing
aside their fellows that they might sooner reach the
end of what they knew so little.

As I looked at that end which none of them could
see, I saw a cataract of souls, falling in a ceaseless,
headlong stream into depths unutterably profound.

As the crowd came on rank by rank to the edge of this
precipice, they fell, they leaped over, or were dashed
from the treacherous crag, and descended amid cries
and shrieks surpassing all imagination into a lake of fire,
wherein they were submerged with an everlasting baptism,
overwhelmed with destruction from the presence of the Lord.

I thought I heard their groans and moans their shrieks and
sighs as they first caught sight of the terrible abyss and
would have shrunk back from it, but were quite unable to.

Even now I see before my eyes that terrific Niagara
of souls descending by thousands every hour into
the gulf unknown.

This is the broad way of which we had heard so often,
wherein multitudes delight to walk. Sure and terrible is
the doom of every one who treads therein.

Among them perhaps your own children, perhaps your
wives, your husbands, your sons, your daughters, your
parents, going in that motley crew, onward, swiftly
onward, towards their dreadful end.

Christian men and women, hear the voice of God.

My God will cast them away; their end will be destruction;
they will be driven from the presence of the Lord. Let these
thoughts, my brethren, burn in your souls until all coldness
and indifference are consumed. Men die, and their souls
are lost. Men die and their bodies are laid in the grave,
but their souls descend into hell.

The Holy Spirit!
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon, “Make this
 Valley Full of Ditches”  No. 747. 2 Kings 3:16-18.

We must have the Holy Spirit's power and
presence, otherwise our religion will become
a mockery before God, and a misery to ourselves.

We must have the aid of the Holy Spirit, for
ours is not a mechanical religion. It is spiritual,
and must be sustained by spiritual means.

So dependent is the Christian church upon the
Holy Spirit, that there never was an acceptable
sigh heaved by a penitent apart from him; never
did holy song mount to heaven except he gave
it wings; never was there true prayer or faithful
ministry except through the power and might of
the Holy Spirit.

Sinners are never saved apart from the Spirit
of God! No moral persuasion, no force of example,
no power of logic, no might of rhetoric, can ever
change the heart.

The living Spirit alone can put life into dead souls!

And after those souls are quickened, we are still
as dependent as ever upon the Spirit of God.

To educate a soul for heaven is as much a
divine task, as to emancipate a soul from sin.
To comfort a downcast brother, to strengthen
his weak hands and confirm his feeble knees, to
brighten the eyes of his hope and to give him
nerve to hold the shield of his faith- all these
are the work of the Spirit of the living God.

O Christian, with all the power you have received,
you have not strength enough to live for another
second, except as the Spirit of God quicken you.

All your past experience, all that you have learned
and acquired, must go for nothing, except, daily
and perpetually, moment by moment, the Spirit
of God shall dwell in you, and work in you mightily,
to keep you still a pilgrim to the gate of heaven.

Thus, each individual is dependent, and the whole
church is dependent on the influence of the Spirit.

Without the Spirit of God, we are like a ship
stranded on the beach when the tide has receded-
there is no moving her until the flood shall once
again lift her from the sands. Until the Spirit of
God shall thaw the chilly coldness of our natural
estate, and bid the life-floods of our heart flow
forth, there we must be- cold, cheerless, lifeless,
and powerless.

The Christian, like the mariner, depends upon the
breath of heaven, or his barque is without motion.

There is no truth that needs to be insisted
upon more thoroughly than this, "Without
me, you can do nothing."

Until we are utterly empty of self, we are not
ready to be filled by God. Until we are conscious
of our own weakness, we are not fit platforms for
the display of divine omnipotence. Until the arm
of  flesh is paralyzed, and death is written upon
the whole natural man, we are not ready to be
endowed with divine life and energy.

The back door to hell!
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,

Better not to have known the way of righteousness
than, having known it, to be turned back again.
The worst of men are those traitors who leave
the army of truth to side with the foe.

I believe in the doctrine of the final perseverance of
every true child of God; but there are in all our churches
certain spurious pretenders who will not hold on their
way, who will blaze and sparkle for a season, and then
they will go out in darkness. They are "wandering stars,
for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever."

Better far make no pretension of having come to Christ,
and of having been born again, unless through divine
grace you shall hold fast to the end.

Remember the back door to hell!  Remember the back door to hell!

There is a public entrance for the open sinner; but there
is a back door for the merely professed saint. There is
a back door for the hoary-headed professor, who has lived
many years in apparent sincerity, but who has been a liar
before God. There is a back door for the preacher who can
talk fast and loudly, but who does not in his own heart
know the truth he is preaching. There is a back door to hell
for church members, who are amiable and excellent in many
respects, but who have not really looked unto the Lord
Jesus Christ and found true salvation in him.

God grant that this may wake some, who otherwise
would sleep themselves into perdition!

"O my God! my God!  Am I, after all, mistaken? Have I
played the hypocrite, and must I take the mask off now?
Have I covered over the cancer? Have I worn a golden
cloth over my leprous forehead, and must it be torn away?
and must I stand, the mock of devils and the laughter of
all worlds? What! have I drunk of your cup, have I eaten
with you in the streets, and must I hear you say,
I never knew you, depart from me you worker of
iniquity?    Oh! must it be?"

Eternal love, infinite wisdom, boundless power
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
"The Ravens' Cry" No. 672. Psalm 147:9.

Eternal love appointed a way of mercy
from before the foundation of the world,
and infinite wisdom is engaged with
boundless power to carry out the divine
design. Surely the Lord must take much
pleasure in saving the sons of men.
If God is pleased to supply the beast of
the field, do you not think that he delights
much more to supply his own child?

The monarch of our affections!
(the following is by Don Fortner)

Nothing  is so precious to Christ as His people.

There is nothing so precious to
the true believer as Christ himself.

Knowledge of Christ creates an ardent love for Christ.

To truly know him is to love him.

It is not possible for a person to have a saving
knowledge of Christ without a true heart of love
for Christ.

If you do not love Christ, truly, sincerely, and
above all others, you simply to not know Christ.

Jesus is the Lord of every believer's heart.

He is the monarch of our affections!

His rich, free, eternal, redeeming love has bound
 me hand and foot, so that I cannot leave him.

I am his totally and unreservedly. I belong to him.
  He may do with me what he will.

"Every heart that has been renewed by
 sovereign grace takes Jesus Christ to be
 the chief object of its love."  -Spurgeon

"The unsearchable riches of Christ!"
     -Ephesians 3:8
(by Spurgeon)
My Master has riches--
 beyond the count of arithmetic,
 beyond the measurement of reason,
 beyond the dream of imagination,
 and beyond the eloquence of words.

They are unsearchable!

You may look, and study, and weigh,
but Jesus is a greater Saviour than
you think him to be when your
thoughts are at the greatest.

Never tolerate low thoughts of my Lord Jesus.

When you put the crown on his head, you will
only crown him with silver when he deserves gold.

There is no love like his- neither earth nor
heaven can match it. To know Christ and to
be found in him- oh! this is life, this is joy,
this is marrow and fatness, wine on the lees
well refined!

My Master does not treat his servants churlishly.
He gives to them as a king gives to a king.
He gives them two heavens- a heaven below
in serving him here, and a heaven above in
delighting in him forever.

His unsearchable riches will be best known in eternity.
He will give you on the way to heaven all you need;
your place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks,
your bread shall be given you, and your waters shall
be sure.

But it is there, THERE, where you shall hear the
song of those who triumph, the shout of those
that feast, and shall have a face-to-face view
of the glorious and beloved One.

The unsearchable riches of Christ!
This is the tune for the minstrels of earth!
This is the song for the harpers of heaven!

O consider Jesus' loveliness and beauty!
(the following is by Samuel Rutherford)

There is nothing which commend and make
heaven fair, or earth, or the creature, that is
not in Jesus in infinite perfection.

For fair sun and fair moon are black, and
think it shameful to shine before His fairness.

Base heavens, and excellent Jesus!

Weak angels, and strong and mighty Jesus!

Foolish angel-wisdom, and only wise Jesus!

Short-living creature, and long-living and
  ever-living Ancient of days!

Miserable, and sickly, and wretched are those
things that are within time's circle, and only,
only blessed is Jesus!

If you can come into His love (and He gives
you consent to love Him, and allurements
also), what a second heaven's paradise, a
young heaven's glory, is it to be hot and
burned with fevers of love-sickness for Him!

The more you drink of His love, there is
the more room, and the greater delight
and desire for this love.

Hunger for a feast of His love, for that is the border
of heaven. Nothing has a nearer resemblance to the
color, and hue, and luster of heaven, than Christ
loved, and to breathe out love-words and
love-sighs for Him.

Remember what He is!

When twenty thousand million of heaven's lovers
have worn their hearts threadbare of love, all is
nothing, yes, less than nothing, to His matchless
worth and excellency. Oh so broad and so deep
is the sea of His desirable loveliness!

Glorified spirits, triumphing angels, the crowned
and exalted lovers of heaven stand outside His
loveliness, and cannot put a circle on it.

Oh if sin and time were from between us and that
royal King's love, that high majesty (eternity's
Bloom and Flower of high lustered beauty) might
shine upon pieces of created spirits, and might
bedew and overflow us, who are portions of endless
misery and lumps of redeemed sin.

Alas! what do I? I but spill and lose words in
speaking highly of Him who will be above the
music and songs of heaven, and never be
enough praised by us all; to whose boundless
and bottomless love I recommend you...."

God has in Himself . . .
 all power to defend you;
 all wisdom to direct you;
 all mercy to pardon you;
 all grace to enrich you;
 all righteousness to clothe you;
 all goodness to supply you; and
 all happiness to crown you.
     -Thomas Brooks

What is man?

(The following is by Don Fortner)
What is man?
Don't ask philosophers what they imagine,
  nor educators what they read in books,
  nor scientists what they see in microscopes,
  nor psychologists what they see in asylums,
  nor sociologists what they learn from tests.

What is man?
Ask God who made us.
He declares in his Word that man is
fallen, depraved, sinning, sinful, cursed,
condemned, helpless, dying flesh.

What is man?
Men are grasshoppers before him.
Men are the dust of the earth, nothing more.
Man is a lump of clay.
Man is a puff of smoke,
  a mist of vapor,
  the small dust of the balance,
  a drop in a bucket.

What is man?
Man is insignificant!
All the nations of all men in all the
world are less than nothing before
the great and infinite God.

What is man?
Man is nothing.
Man has nothing.
Man can do nothing.
You are nothing; and I am nothing.
No matter how many of us nothings
you put together, nothing added to
nothing is still just nothing.

What is man?
God, teach us to know our nothingness,
that we may look to Christ for everything!

The eloquence which God delights in
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"Ephraim Bemoaning Himself" No. 743. Jer. 31:18.

Do not suppose that you need fine words and
elegant phrases in order to affect the Lord.

Your tearful eye shall be more mighty than
oratory, and your heavy sigh shall be more
eloquent than the polished discourse and
lofty utterance of the orator.

Only prostrate your soul before God
with humble heart and downcast eye
and your Father will listen to you.

What man among you can hold our against
his children's tears? If you, being evil, are
overcome by your children's tears, how much
more shall your Father who is in heaven find
in your bemoanings and confessions an
argument for the display of his pardoning
love through Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is the eloquence which God delights in-
 the broken heart, and the contrite spirit.

Broken prayers are the best prayers!

The crash of thunder is to the Lord no more
than the sound of the falling of a sere leaf
on a still summer's eve. But the cry of one
of his children peals through heaven, and
moves the infinite heart, so that swift on
wings of love the God of mercy flies.

Our God is full of compassion.

He rides in a chariot of mercy and
holds out a silver scepter of grace.

May I read the meltings of your heart to me...
  in the manger of your birth,
  in the garden of your agony,
  in the cross of your suffering.

Deepen in me a sense of my holy
relationship to you as my spiritual
Bridegroom and my best Friend.

I think of...
  your glory and my vileness,
  your majesty and my smallness,
  your beauty and my deformity,
  your purity and my filth,
  your righteousness and my iniquity.

You have loved me eternally and unchangeably.
  May I love you as I am loved by you.

You have given yourself for me,
  may I give myself for you.

You have died for me, may I live for you.

May I never dally with the world's allurements but...
  walk by your side,
  listen to your voice,
  be clothed with your graces,
  and be adorned with your righteousness.
(A Puritan Prayer)

(The following is by Arthur Pink)

"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

No stronger passage in all the Word of God can
be found guaranteeing the absolute security of
every child of God. Note the seven strands in
THE ROPE which binds them to God.

First, they are Christ's sheep, and it is the duty
of the shepherd to care for each of his flock! To
suggest that any of Christ's sheep may be lost
is to blaspheme the Shepherd Himself!

Second, it is said "They follow" Christ, and no
exceptions are made. The Lord does not say
they ought to, but declares they do. If then
the sheep "follow" Christ they must reach
Heaven, for that is where the Shepherd is gone!

Third, to the sheep is imparted "eternal life".
To speak of eternal life ending is a contradiction
in terms.

Fourth, this eternal life is "given" to them.
They did nothing to merit it, consequently
they can do nothing to demerit it.

Fifth, the Lord Himself declares that His sheep
"shall never perish," consequently the man who
declares that it is possible for a child of God
to go to Hell makes God a liar.

Sixth, from the Shepherd's "hand" none is able
to pluck them, hence the Devil is unable to
encompass the destruction of a single one of them.

Seventh, above them is the Father's "hand,"
hence it is impossible for them to jump out
of the hand of Christ even if they tried to.

It is impossible for a sheep to perish even if it
desired to - as though one ever did! The "hand
of Christ" is beneath us, and the "hand" of the
Father is above us. Thus are we secured
between the clasped hands of Omnipotence!

It has been well said that if one soul who trusted
in Christ should be missing in Heaven, there would
be one vacant seat there, one crown unused, one
harp unstrung; and this would grieve all Heaven
and proclaim a disappointed God.
But such a thing is utterly impossible!

Man-centered, man-exalting, man-pleasing,
  God-debasing, God-hating religion

(the following is by Don Fortner)

We are living in perilous times.
We are living in the midst of the greatest
religious apostasy ever known. It appears
that the time has come when God has sent
men a strong delusion, that they should
believe a lie, because they received not
the love of the truth.

This modern-day, man-centered, man-exalting,
man-pleasing, God-debasing, God-hating religion,
which seems to engulf the entire world and all
religious sects, is the greatest religious deception
this world has ever known.

Any religion that is man-centered; any religion
that has for its foundation man's will, man's works,
or man's rights; any religion that promotes the
honor and pride of man; any religion that pampers
and cultivates self-righteousness, self-esteem,
and self-worth is of antichrist.

The garnishings of morality
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"The Heart- A Den of Evil" No. 732. Mt. 15:19.

You may go to hell as well dressed in
the 'garnishings of morality' as in the
'rags of immorality'.  It is still the old
nature- wash it, and cleanse it, and
bind it, and curb it, and bridle it- it is
still the old fallen nature, and cannot
understand spiritual things.

A beautiful fiction, a sentimental belief, a formal theory
The following is from Spurgeon's sermon,
"Heavenly Geometry" No. 707  Ephesians 3:16-19.

The love of Christ must be real in our hearts.

Alas, to a great many religious people the love
of Jesus is not a solid substantial thing at all-
it is merely a beautiful fiction, a sentimental
belief, a formal theory.

No one knows the love of Christ at all, if he does
not know it to be real, and no one has felt it in
his soul at all unless it becomes so real as to
constrain him and move him into actual activity.

Hail, Sovereign Grace, Eternal, Free!
(by Don Fortner)
1. Hail, sovereign grace, eternal free,
    So bountifully bestowed on me!
    Grace chose me in eternity,
    And sent my Lord to die for me!

2. T'was grace, God's free and sovereign grace,
    That stopped me as to hell I raced,
    And sweetly forced me to confess
    My sin so vile, my wretchedness!

3. Grace gave me eyes and made me see
    What Christ, my Lord, has done for me.
    He ransomed me with His own blood
    And reconciled me to my God.

4. Let heaven and earth my song now hear,
    Come, ransomed sinners, sing with cheer -
     Hail, sovereign grace, eternal, free,
    So bountifully bestowed on me!

"Grace is a divine provision for those who
are so depraved they cannot change their
own nature, so averse from God they will not
turn to Him, so blind they can neither see their
malady nor the remedy, so spiritually dead...
Grace is the sinner's last and only hope;
if he is not saved by grace, he will never be
saved at all. Grace levels all distinctions,
and regards the most zealous religionist
on the same plane as the most profligate,
the chaste virgin as the foul prostitute.
Therefore God is perfectly free to save the
chief of sinners and bestow His mercy on
the vilest of the vile."  -Arthur Pink

Heigh! Presto!
(The following is from Spurgeon)

I am sorry to say that there is much
craftiness and trickery to be met
with in the religious world.

Why, there are those who pretend to save
souls by curious tricks, intricate maneuvers,
and dexterous posture making. A basin of
water, half-a-dozen drops, certain syllables
and - Heigh! Presto!  -the infant is a child of
grace, and becomes a member of Christ,
and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven!

This aqueous regeneration surpasses my belief.

It is a trick which I do not understand-
only the initiated can perform the beautiful
piece of magic, which excels anything ever
attempted by the wizards.