The Godly Man's Picture, Drawn with a
Scripture Pencil, or, Some Characteristic
Marks of a Man who is Going to Heaven

By Thomas Watson


White feathers—but black skin

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you
 hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which
 look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are
 full of dead men's bones and everything unclean.
 In the same way, on the outside you appear to
 people as righteous but on the inside you are full
 of hypocrisy and wickedness." Matthew 23:27-28

Here is a sharp rebuke to such as are "glittering dross"
Christians, who only make a show of godliness. These
our Savior calls whitewashed tombs. Their beauty is all
paint! Many are painted over with a religious profession,
whose seeming luster dazzles the eyes of beholders; but
within there is nothing but putrefaction!

Hypocrites are like the swan, which has white feathers
—but black skin
; or like that flower, which has a lovely
appearance—but a foul scent.

The hypocrite deceives others while he lives—but deceives
himself when he dies! What good will it do a man when he
is in hell—that others think he has gone to heaven? Oh,
beware of this!

Counterfeit piety is double iniquity. What is this but to abuse
God to His face, and to serve the devil in Christ's livery?

To have only a pretense of godliness will yield no comfort
after death. Will painted gold enrich a man? Will painted
refresh him who is thirsty? He who has only a painted
shall have only a painted happiness! Let us take
heed of this pious pageantry and devout stage-play!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

You blind fools!

"Yes, He is very precious to you who believe!"
    1 Peter 2:7

There is nothing in Christ, but what is precious. His
name is precious, His virtues are precious, His blood
is precious—more precious than the world. The Rose
of Sharon
is always sweet!

We cannot prize Christ at too high a rate. We may prize
other things above their value. That is our sin. We commonly
overrate the creature
; we think there is more in it than there
is; therefore God withers our gourd, because we over-prize it.

But we cannot raise our esteem of Christ high enough.
He is beyond all value! There is no ruby or diamond, but
the jeweler can set a fair price on it. But Christ's worth
can never be fully known. No seraphim can set a due
value on Him. His riches are unsearchable! Ephes. 3:8.
Christ is more precious than heaven!

True Christians prize Christ, as most precious. He is
their chief treasure and delight. This reason why
millions perish
, is because they do not prize Christ.

The ungodly choose things of no value, before Christ!
"You blind fools!" Matthew 23:17. If a person chooses
an apple before a priceless diamond—he is judged to
be a fool. How many such idiots are there, who choose
the gaudy, empty things of this life—before the Prince
of Glory!

Give a baby a rattleand it will not want gold.
Give a worldling his lusts—and he will be content
enough without Christ.

We value Christ above honor and riches. This Pearl
of Great Price
lies nearest our heart. He who prizes
Christ esteems the gleanings of Christ—better than
the world's vintage. He counts the worst things of
Christ—better than the best things of the world.
Moses "regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ
as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt."
Hebrews 11:26

If we are the prizers of Christ, we cannot live without
Him. A man may live without music, but not without food.
A child of God can lack health and friends—but he cannot
lack Christ. "Give me children," said Rachel, "or else I die!"
Genesis 30:1. So the soul says, "Give me Christ—or else I
shall die! Give me one drop of the water of life to quench
my thirst."

If we are prizers of Christ, then we shall not complain at
any pains to get Him. He who prizes gold, will dig for it in
the mine. "My soul follows hard after God!" Psalm 63:8.
He in whose eye Christ is precious, never rests until he
has gained Him: "I sought Him whom my soul loves; I
held Him, and would not let Him go!" Canticles 3:1,4

If we are prizers of Christ, then we take great pleasure
in Christ. What joy a man takes, in that which he counts
his treasure! He who prizes Christ makes Him his greatest
joy. He can delight in Christ, when earthly delights are gone.
Though a flower in a man's garden dies, he can still delight
in his money and jewels. He who esteems Christ, can solace
himself in Christ, when there is a dearth of all other comforts.

If we are prizers of Christ, then we will part with our dearest
pleasures for Him. He who esteems Christ, will pull out that
lust which is as precious as his right eye! He who sets a high
value on Christ, will set his feet on the neck of his sins!

How can they be said to prize Christ—who will not leave
a vanity for Him; or who prefer a damning pleasure
before a saving Christ!

"Yes, He is very precious to you who believe!"

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God's palace!

"Your boasting is not good!" 1 Corinthians 5:6

Pride is the greatest sacrilege; it robs God of His
glory. What a horrid sin is pride! Chrysostom calls
it "the mother of hell." Pride encompasses all vice.
Pride is a spiritual drunkenness; it flies up like wine
into the brain and intoxicates it. Pride is idolatry; a
proud man is a self-worshiper. How odious is this
sin to God! "Everyone who is proud in heart, is an
abomination to the Lord!" Proverbs 16:5. "I hate
pride and arrogance!" Proverbs 8:13.

Those who look at themselves in the magnifying
mirror of self-love
, appear better in their own eyes
than they are. There is no idol like self; the proud
man bows down to this idol.

Many are proud of their riches. Their hearts swell
with their estates. Pride is the rich man's cousin.
"Your heart has become proud because of your
wealth." Ezekiel 28:5.

Many are proud of their apparel. They dress in such
fashions, as to make the devil fall in love with them!
Painted faces, gaudy attire, naked breasts—what are
these, but the banners which sinful pride displays?

Many are proud of their beauty. The body is but dust
and blood kneaded together
. Solomon says, "Beauty
is vain." Proverbs 31:30. Yet some are so vain—as
to be proud of vanity! Shall dust exalt itself?

Many are proud of their gifts and abilities. These
trappings and ornaments do not approve them in God's
eyes. An angel is a creature of great abilities; but take
away humility from an angel—
and he is a devil! God
loves a humble soul. It is not our high birth; but our
humble hearts
, which God delights in.

Oh, let us search if there is any of this leaven of pride
in us! Man is naturally a proud piece of flesh. This sin
of pride
runs in the blood. There are the seeds of this
sin of pride
in the best of Christians—but the godly
do not allow themselves in it. They strive to kill this
, by mortification.

But certainly where this sin of pride reigns and prevails,
it cannot stand with grace. You may as well call him who
lacks wisdom, a prudent man; as him who lacks humility,
a godly man. "Clothe yourselves with humility toward one
another, because God opposes the proud, but gives grace
to the humble." 1 Peter 5:5. Put humility on, as an
embroidered robe. It is better to lack anything, rather
than humility.

The more value any man has, the more humble he is.
Feathers fly up—but gold descends! The golden
descends in humility. Look at a humble Savior
—and let the plumes of pride fall off!

A humble heart is God's palace! "For this is what
the high and lofty One says; He who lives forever,
whose name is holy—I live in a high and holy place,
but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit."
Isaiah 57:15 A humble heart glories in this—that it is
the presence chamber of the great and glorious King!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

They have many scars and spots

"He has not beheld iniquity in Jacob." Numbers 23:21

"Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart." Heb. 10:22

If the heart is sincere, God will wink at many failings. 
God's love does not make Him blind; He can see our
infirmities. But how does God look at a believer's sins?
Not with an eye of revenge—but of pity, as a physician
sees a disease in his patient—so as to heal him. God
does not see iniquity in Jacob—so as to destroy him;
but to heal him!

How much pride, vanity, passion, does the Lord pass
by in His sincere ones! He sees the integrity—and
pardons the infirmity. We esteem a picture, though
it is not drawn full length. Just so, the graces of God's
people are not drawn to their full length. They have
many scars and spots
—yet being sincere, they shall
find mercy. God loves the sincere, and it is the nature
of love to cover infirmity.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

"Lord, smite this sin!"

"Your Word is completely pure, and Your
 servant loves it." Psalms 119:140

Do we love the holiness of the Word? The Word is
preached—to beat down sin, and advance holiness.
Do we love it for its spirituality and purity? Many
love the Preached Word only for its eloquence and
notion. They come to a sermon as to a performance,
Ezek. 33:31,32, or as to a garden to pick flowers;
but not to have their lusts subdued or their hearts
purified. These are like a foolish woman who paints
her face—but neglects her health!

Do we love the convictions of the Word? Do we
love the Word when it comes home to our conscience
and shoots its arrows of reproof at our sins? It is the
minister's duty sometimes to reprove. He who can
speak smooth words in the pulpit—but does not know
how to reprove, is like a sword with a fine handle, but
without an edge! "Rebuke them sharply!" Titus 2:15.
Dip the nail in oil—reprove in love—but strike the nail

Now Christian, when the Word touches on your sin
and says, "You are the man!" do you love the reproof?
Can you bless God that "the sword of the Spirit" has
divided between you and your lusts? This is indeed a
sign of grace, and shows that you are a lover of the

A corrupt heart loves the comforts of the Word—but
not the reproofs: "You hate the one who reproves...
and despise him who tells the truth!" Amos 5:10.
"Their eyes flash with fire!" Like venomous creatures
that at the least touch, spit poison! "When they heard
these things, they were enraged in their hearts and
gnashed their teeth at him!" Acts 7:54. When
Stephen touched their sins, they were furious and
could not endure it.

How shall we know that we love the reproofs of the Word?

When we desire to sit under a heart-searching ministry.
Who cares for medicines that will not work? A godly man
does not choose to sit under a ministry that will not work
upon his conscience.

When we pray that the Word may meet with our sins. If
there is any traitorous lust in our heart—we would have
it found out, and executed. We do not want sin covered;
but cured! We can open our heart to the sword of the
Word and say, "Lord, smite this sin!"

When we are thankful for a reproof. "Let a righteous
man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it
is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it." Psalm
141:5. David was glad for a reproof.

Suppose a man were in the mouth of a lion, and another
should shoot the lion and save the man; would he not be
thankful? So, when we are in the mouth of sin, as of a
lion, and the minister by a reproof shoots this sin to
death—shall we not be thankful?

A gracious soul rejoices, when the sharp lance of the Word
has pierced his abscess of sin! He wears a reproof like a jewel
on his ear: "Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold
is a wise man's rebuke to a listening ear." Proverbs 25:12.

To conclude, it is convincing preaching which must do the
soul good. A nipping reproof prepares for comfort—as a
nipping frost prepares for the sweet flowers of spring.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Then you will be thankful

If you wish to be thankful, get a heart deeply
humbled with the sense of your own vileness.
A broken heart is the best pipe to sound forth
God's praise. He who studies his sins, wonders
that he has anything, and that God should shine
on such a dunghill: "I was once a blasphemer
and a persecutor and a violent man—but I was
shown mercy!" 1 Timothy 1:13. How thankful
Paul was! How he trumpeted forth free grace!

A proud man will never be thankful. He looks on
all his mercies as either of his own procuring or
. If he has an estate, this he got by his
wits and industry; not considering that scripture,
"Always remember that it is the Lord your God
who gives you power to become rich" Dt. 8:18.
Pride stops the current of gratitude. O Christian,
think of your unworthiness; see yourself as the
least of saints, and the chief of sinners—and
then you will be thankful

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The golden bait

Gain is the golden bait, with which Satan fishes
for souls! This was the last temptation he used
with Christ: "All these things will I give You!" But
Christ saw the hook under the bait! Many who have
escaped gross sins, are still caught in a golden net!

A godly man dare not travel for riches, along the
devil's highway. Those are sad gains, which make
a man lose heaven at last!

"What good will it be for a man if he gains the
 whole world, yet forfeits his soul?" Mat. 16:26

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The curtain-sinner

A godly man does not indulge himself in any sin.

Though sin lives in him—yet he does not live in sin.
A godly man may step into sin through infirmity—
but he does not keep on that road.

What is it to indulge sin? To indulge sin is to give the
breast to it and feed it. To indulge sin is to commit it
with delight. The ungodly "delight in wickedness,"
2 Thess. 2:12. In this sense, a godly man does not
indulge sin. Though sin is in him—he is troubled at it
and would gladly get rid of it.

There is as much difference between sin in the
wicked, and sin in the godly—as between poison
being in a serpent, and poison being in a man.
Poison in a serpent is in its natural place and is
delightful—but poison in a man's body is harmful
and he uses antidotes to expel it. So sin in a
wicked man is delightful, being in its natural
place—but sin in a child of God is burdensome
and he uses all means to expel it.

A godly man will not allow himself in secret sins.
Some are more modest than to commit open gross
sin. That would be a stain on their reputation. All
will not sin on a balcony—but perhaps they will
sin behind the curtain!

But a godly man dare not sin secretly, for he knows
that God can neither be deceived by our subtlety, nor
excluded by our secrecy. He knows that secret sins are
in some sense worse than others. They reveal more
deceit and atheism. "He knows the secrets of every
heart," Psalm 44:21.

But the curtain-sinner thinks that God does not see:
"Have you seen what the leaders of Israel are doing with
their idols in dark rooms? They are saying—The Lord
doesn't see us!"
Ezek. 8:12. How it provokes God, that
men's atheism should give the lie to His omniscience! "He
who formed the eye—shall He not see?" Psalm 94:9.

A godly man knows that secret sins shall not escape God's
justice. A judge on the bench cannot punish the treason of
the heart. But the sins of the heart are as visible to God,
as if they were written upon the forehead! As God will
reward secret duties; so He will revenge secret sins!

A godly man enters his protest against sin: "Oh,
what a miserable person I am! Who will free me
from this life that is dominated by sin?" Romans
7:24. A child of God, while he commits sin, hates
the sin he commits!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The harlot in your bosom!

"Let us throw off everything that hinders and the
 sin that so easily entangles
, and let us run with
 perseverance the race marked out for us." Heb. 12:1

There is usually one sin that is the favorite—the sin
which the heart is most fond of. A godly man will not
indulge his darling sin: "I kept myself from my iniquity."
Psalm 18:23. "I will not indulge the sin to which the
bias of my heart more naturally inclines."

"Fight neither with small nor great—but only with the
king." 1 Kings 22:31. A godly man fights this king
sin. If we would have peace in our souls, we must
maintain a war against our favorite sin, and never
leave off until it is subdued.

Question: How shall we know what our beloved sin is?

Answer 1: The sin which a man does not love to have
reproved—is the darling sin. Herod could not endure
having his incest spoken against. If the prophet meddles
with that sin—it shall cost him his head! "Do not touch
my Herodias!" Men can be content to have other sins
reproved—but if the minister puts his finger on the
sore, and touches this sin—their hearts begin to burn
in malice against him!

Answer 2: The sin on which the thoughts run most, is
the darling sin. Whichever way the thoughts go, the
heart goes. He who is in love with a person cannot
keep his thoughts off that person. Examine what sin
runs most in your mind, what sin is first in your
thoughts and greets you in the morning—that is
your predominant sin.

Answer 3: The sin which has most power over us, and
most easily leads us captive—is the one beloved by the
soul. There are some sins which a man can better resist.
If they come for entertainment, he can more easily put
them off. But the bosom sin comes as a suitor, and he
cannot deny it—but is overcome by it. The young man in
the Gospel had repulsed many sins—but there was one
sin which soiled him, and that was covetousness.

Mark what sin you are most readily led captive by—that
is the harlot in your bosom! It is a sad thing that a
man should be so bewitched by lust, that if it asks him
to part with the kingdom of heaven—he must part with
it, to gratify that lust!

Answer 4: The sin which men most defend, is the
beloved sin. He who has a jewel in his bosom, will
defend it to his death. The sin we advocate and
dispute for, is the besetting sin. The sin which we
plead for, and perhaps wrest Scripture to justify it
—that is the sin which lies nearest the heart.

Answer 5: The sin which a man finds most difficulty in
giving up, is the endeared sin. Of all his sons, Jacob
found most difficulty in parting with Benjamin. So the
sinner says, "This and that sin I have parted with—but
must Benjamin go! Must I part with this delightful sin?
That pierces my heart!" A man may allow some of his
sins to be demolished—but when it comes to one sin,
that is the taking of the castle; he will never agree to
part with that! That is the master sin for sure.

The besetting sin is, of all others, most dangerous.
As Samson's strength lay in his hair—so the strength
of sin, lies in this beloved sin. This is like a poison
striking the heart, which brings death. A godly man
will lay the axe of repentance to this sin and hew it
down! He will sacrifice this Isaac; he will pluck out
this right eye—so that he may see better to go to

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

One sin lived in

A godly man considers the mischief which
one sin lived in
, will do.

1. One sin lived in, gives Satan as much advantage
against you as more sins. The fowler can hold a bird
by one wing. Satan held Judas fast by one sin.

2. One sin lived in, proves that the heart is not sound.
He who hides one rebel in his house is a traitor to the
crown. The person who indulges one sin is a traitorous

3. One sin lived in, will make way for more—as a little
thief can open the door to more. Sins are linked and
chained together. One sin will draw on more. David's
adultery made way for murder. One sin never goes alone!
If there is only one nest egg—the devil can brood on it!

4. One sin lived in, is as much a breach of God's law as
more sins. "Whoever keeps the entire law, yet fails in one
point, is guilty of breaking it all" James 2:10. The king
may make a law against felony, treason and murder. If a
man is guilty of only one of these—he is a transgressor.

5. One sin lived in, prevents Christ from entering. One
stone in the pipe keeps out the water. One sin indulged
in, obstructs the soul and keeps the streams of Christ's
blood from running into it!

6. One sin lived in, will spoil all your good duties. One
dead fly will spoil the whole box of precious ointment.
A drop of poison will spoil a glass of wine. Abimelech,
a bastard-son, destroyed seventy of his brethren, Judges
9:5. One bastard-sin will destroy seventy prayers.

7. One sin lived in will be a cankerworm to eat out the
peace of conscience. "Alas! What a scorpion lies within!"
(Seneca). One sin is a pirate—to rob a Christian of his
comfort. One jarring string puts all the music out of tune.
One sin lived in—will spoil the music of conscience.

8. One sin lived in, will damn as well as more sins. One
disease is enough to kill. If a fence is made ever so strong,
and only one gap is left open; the wild beast may enter and
tread down the corn. If only one sin is allowed in the soul,
you leave open a gap for the devil to enter! A soldier may
have only one gap in his armor—and the bullet may enter
there. He may as well be shot there—as if he had no armor
on at all. So if you favor only one sin, you leave a part of
your soul unprotected—and the bullet of God's wrath may
enter there—and shoot you! One sin lived in, may shut you
out of heaven! What difference is there, between being shut
out of heaven for one sin—or for many sins? One millstone
will sink a man into the sea—as well as a hundred!

Therefore, beware of cherishing one sin! Give a certificate
of divorce to every sin. Kill the Goliath sin! "Let not sin reign
over you." Romans 6:12. In the original it is "Let not sin king
it over you." Grace and sin may be together—but grace and the
love of sin
cannot. Therefore parley with sin no longer—but with
the spear of mortification, spill the heart-blood of every sin!

"For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through
 the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live."
    Romans 8:13.

"So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you."
    Colossians 3:5

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Gospel bruising

"He will not break a bruised reed." Matthew 12:20

Will Christ not break a bruised reed? See, then, the
gracious disposition of Jesus Christ—He is full of mercy
and sympathy. Though He may bruise the soul for sin,
He will not break it. The surgeon may lance the body
and make it bleed—but he will bind up the wound.

As Christ has beams of majesty, so He has a heart of
Christ has both the lion and the lamb in His
escutcheon: the lionin respect of his fierceness to
the wicked (Psalm 50:22), and the lamb—in respect of
His mildness to His people. His name is Jesus—a Savior;
and His office is a healer (Mal. 4:2). Christ made a
plaster of His own blood—to heal a broken heart!

Christ is the quintessence of love. Someone said, "If
the sweetness of all flowers were in one flower, how
sweet that flower would be!" Christ is that flower! How
full of mercy is Christ, in whom all mercy meets! Christ
has a skillful hand and a tender heart. "He will not
break a bruised reed."

This text is a spiritual honeycomb, dropping consolation
into all bruised hearts. This text is comforting to a poor
soul who sits with Job among the ashes, and is dejected
at the sense of its unworthiness. "Ah!" says the soul, "I
am unworthy of mercy; what am I, that ever God should
look on me? Alas! I am unworthy." Does your unworthiness
trouble you? What more unworthy than a bruised reed?
Though you are despicable in your own eyes—just a poor
shattered reed—yet you may be glorious in the eyes of
the Lord. Do not let your unworthiness discourage you.
If you see yourself as vile and Christ as precious—this
promise is yours! Christ will not break you—but will bind
up your wounds. "He will not break a bruised reed."

But how shall I know that I am savingly bruised?

When your spirit is so troubled that you are willing
to let go those lusts which brought in the greatest
income of pleasure and delight. When not only is sin
but you are disgusted with it—then you
have been bruised enough. The medicine is strong
enough, when it has purged out the disease. The soul
is bruised enough, when the love of sin is purged out.

Did God ever bring you to your knees? Has your proud
heart been humbled? Did you ever see yourself as a
sinner and nothing but a sinner? Did you ever, with
a weeping eye, look on Christ? (Zech. 12:10) And did
those tears drop from the eye of faith? (Mark 9:24)
This is gospel bruising. Can you say, "Lord, though
I do not see You—yet I love You; though I am in the
dark—yet I cast anchor on You!" This is to be a
bruised reed.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Self-love is self-hatred

"If anyone would come after Me, he must
 deny himself
and take up his cross daily
 and follow Me. Luke 9:23

Self-ease, self-ends, self-love, whatever comes
in competition with (or stands in opposition to)
Christ's glory and interest—must be denied!

Self is the great snare! The rich young man in the
Gospel might have followed Christ—but something
of self hindered him. Self-love is self-hatred.
The man who cannot get beyond himself—will
never get to heaven.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

It is of infinite concern!

"Redeeming the time." Ephesians 5:16

How you spend your time, is a matter of great
importance. Many people fool away their time—
some in idle visits, others in recreations and
pleasures which secretly bewitch the heart, and
take it away from better things. What are our
golden hours
for—but to attend to our souls?
Time misspent is not time lived—but time lost!

Time is a precious commodity. As salvation is to
be worked out in it, and a conveyance of heaven
depends on using it well—it is of infinite concern!

Think of your short stay in the world. "We are here
for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land
as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth
are like a shadow—gone so soon without a trace!"
1 Chronicles 29:15

There is only a span between the cradle and the grave!
Solomon says there is "a time to be born and a time to
die"—but mentions no time of living—as if that were so
short, it was not worth naming!

Time, when it has once gone, can never be recalled.

"My life passes more swiftly than a runner. It flees away,
filled with tragedy. It disappears like a swift boat, like an
that swoops down on its prey." Job 9:25-26

This Scripture compares time to a flying eagle. Yet time
differs from the eagle in this: the eagle flies forward and
then back again—but time has wings only to fly forward
—it never returns! "Time flies irrevocably."

The serious thoughts of our short stay here in this world,
would be a great means of promoting godliness. Whoever
considers how flitting and winged his life is—will hasten
his repentance.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Pull off the mask!

"Godliness with contentment is great gain."
    1 Timothy 6:6

It is like digging in a gold mine. Godliness makes
God Himself our portion! "The Lord is the portion
of my inheritance" Psalm 16:5. If God is our
portion—all our estate lies in jewels! Where God
gives Himself—He gives everything else. Whoever
has the castle, has all the royalties belonging to it.
God is a portion that can be neither spent nor lost.
"God is the strength of my heart and my portion
forever!" Psalm 73:26.

Godliness is "profitable for all things." 1 Tim. 4:8.
What else is profitable, besides godliness?
  Food will not give a man wisdom;
  gold will not give him health;
  honor will not give him beauty.
But godliness is profitable for all things:
  it fences off all troubles;
  it supplies all needs;
  it makes soul and body completely happy.

Consider how vain and contemptible other things are,
which people void of godliness, busy themselves about.
Men are taken up with the things of this life, and "what
profit has he who has labored for the wind?" Can the
wind fill? What is gold but dust, which will sooner choke
than satisfy! Pull off the mask of the most beautiful
thing under the sun—and look what is inside. There is
and vexation! Worldly joys are as fleeting as a
bubble floating down the stream.

Godliness is an enduring substance. All worldly
delights have a death's-head set on them. They
are only shadows and they are fleeting. Earthly
comforts bring a man to his grave—and then
take their farewell. But godliness is a possession
which we cannot be robbed of. It runs parallel
with eternity. Force cannot weaken it; age cannot
wither it. It outbraves sufferings; it outlives death.
Death may pluck the stalk of the body—but the
flower of grace
is not hurt.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
He tumbles in!

"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.
 A man reaps what he sows." Galatians 6:7

This way of sin seems pleasant—but the end
is damnable. The ungodly man treads on the
precipice of the bottomless pit; and when
death gives him a jog—he tumbles in!

"You fool! You will die this very night!"
    Luke 12:20

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Satan is their pilot!

"For those who are after the flesh—do mind the
 things of the flesh; but those who are after the
 Spirit—the things of the Spirit." Romans 8:5

The ungodly walk according to the flesh. If a
drunken or unclean lust calls—they gratify it!
Lust is the compass they sail by! Satan is their
, and hell the port they are bound for!

"For if you live after the flesh—you shall die: but
 if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of
 the body—you shall live." Romans 8:13

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Swim in a sea of mercy!

"The God who fed me all my life long unto this day."
    Genesis 48:15

What temporal favors we have received! Every day
we see a new tide of mercy coming in. The wings of
mercy have covered us; the breast of mercy has fed
us! What snares laid for us have been broken! What
fears have blown over! He has taken such care of us,
as if he had no one else to take care of. Never was
the cloud of providence so black—but we might see
a rainbow of love in the cloud. We have been made
to swim in a sea of mercy! Does not all this call
for thankfulness?

That which may put another string into the instrument
of our praise, and make it sound louder—is to consider
what spiritual blessings God has conferred on us. He
has opened the wardrobe of heaven and fetched us out
a better garment than any of the angels wear! He has
given us the best robe, and put on us the ring of faith,
by which we are married to Him. These are mercies of
the first magnitude, which deserve to have an asterisk
put on them! More—God keeps the best wine until last!
Here on earth, He gives us temporal mercies only in
small quantities; but the greatest things are laid up in
heaven! Here on earth, there are some honey drops
and foretastes of God's love; the rivers of pleasure are
reserved for paradise! Well may we take the harp and
violin and triumph in God's praise. Who can tread on
these hot coals of God's love—and his heart not burn
in thankfulness!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

What is godliness?

Godliness is a REAL thing.
It is not a fantasy, but a fact. Godliness is not the
feverish fantasy of a sick brain; a Christian is no
enthusiast, one whose religion is all made up of theory.

Godliness is an INTRINSIC thing.
It lies chiefly in the heart. The dew lies on the leaf,
the sap is hidden in the root. The moralist's religion
is all in the leaf; it consists only in externals—but
godliness is a holy sap which is rooted in the soul.
"Surely You desire truth in the inner parts; You teach
me wisdom in the inmost place" Psalm 51:6.

Godliness is a SUPERNATURAL thing.
By nature we inherit nothing but evil. We sucked in
sin as naturally as our mother's milk. But godliness
is breathed in from heaven. God must light up the
lamp of grace in the heart. Weeds grow by themselves;
are planted. Godliness is a celestial plant. A
man has no more power to make himself godly, than
to create himself.

Godliness is an EXTENSIVE thing.
It is a sacred leaven which spreads itself into the whole
soul. There is light in the understanding, order in the
, pliableness in the will, exemplariness in the
 life. He who is good only in some part is not godly.
Grace is called "the new man," Col. 3:10, not a new
, or tongue—but a new man. He who is godly is
good all over; though he is regenerate only in part;
yet it is in every part.

Godliness is a GLORIOUS thing.
As the jewel to the ring, so is piety to the soul,
bespangling it in God's eyes. Godliness is glory in
the seed, and glory is godliness in the flower.

Godliness is a PERMANENT thing.
There is a great deal of difference between a stake
in the hedge—and a tree in the garden. A stake rots
and molders—but a tree, having life in it, abides and
flourishes. When godliness has taken root in the soul,
it abides to eternity. Godliness being engraved in the
heart by the Holy Spirit, as with the point of a
diamond, can never be erased.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A living principle

As gold is the most precious among the metals, so
is faith among the graces. Faith cuts us off from the
wild olive tree of nature—and grafts us into Christ.
Faith is the vital artery of the soul: "The just shall
live by his faith." Such as are destitute of faith may
breathe—but they lack spiritual life.

Saving faith is a living principle. Faith enlivens all the
; not a grace stirs until faith sets it working.

Faith excites repentance. When I believe God's
love to me—this makes me weep that I should sin
against so good a God.

Faith is the mother of hope; first we believe the
promise, then we hope for it. Faith is the oil which
feeds the lamp of hope.
Faith and hope are two
turtledove graces
; take away one, and the other
languishes. If the sinews are cut, the body is
lame; if this sinew of faith is cut, hope is lame.

Faith is the ground of patience; he who believes
that God is his God, and that all providences work
for his good, patiently yields himself to the will of

Faith is a panacea—a remedy against all troubles.
It is a godly man's anchor which he casts out into
the sea of God's mercy, and is kept from sinking
in despair.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

They distill consolation into the soul

"He has given us His very great and precious
 promises." 2 Peter 1:4

The promises are comforting—for their being suitable
for the Christian's every condition. The promises are
like an herb garden. There is no disease but some
herb may be found there to cure it. The promises of
themselves cannot comfort us—but only as the Spirit
enables us to suck consolation from these honeycombs.
The promises are like a still full of herbs—but this still
will not drop unless the fire is put under it. So when
the Spirit of God (who is compared to fire) is put to the
of the promises—then they distill consolation
into the soul

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
The devil has entered into these swine!

"If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he
 does not belong to Christ" Romans 8:9

And if he does not belong to Christ—then whose is he?
To what regiment does he belong? Do those who are
malicious and unclean have God's Spirit? It would be
blasphemy to say these have the Holy Spirit. Will the
blessed Spirit leave his celestial palace to come and
live in a foul prison? A sinner's heart is a jail, both for
darkness and obnoxiousness, and will God's free Spirit
be confined to a prison? (Psalm 51:12) A sinner's heart
is the emblem of hell. What would God's Spirit do there?
Wicked hearts are not a temple—but a pigsty, where
the unclean spirit makes his abode—"the prince of the
power of the air, the spirit who now works in the
children of disobedience" Eph. 2:2.

We would be loath to live in a house haunted by evil
spirits; a sinner's heart is haunted! "After the sop Satan
" John 13:27. Satan abuses the godly—but
enters into the wicked. When the devils went into the
herd of swine, "the whole herd rushed down the steep
bank into the sea and perished in the water" Matt. 8:32.
Why is it that men rush so greedily to the commission of
sin—but because the devil has entered into these swine!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A whispering in God's ear!

"Let everyone who is godly pray to You."
    Psalm 32:6

A godly man is a praying man. As soon as grace
is poured in—prayer is poured out!

"But I give myself unto prayer" Psalm 109:4.
In the Hebrew it is, "but I prayer." Prayer and
I are all one.

Prayer is the soul's communion with heaven.
God comes down to us by His Spirit—and we
go up to Him by prayer.

Caligula placed his idols—as whispering in Jupiter's

Prayer is a whispering in God's ear!

A godly man cannot live without prayer. A man
cannot live—unless he takes his breath; nor can
the soul live—unless it breathes forth its desires
to God. As soon as the babe of grace is born, it
cries. No sooner was Paul converted than "behold,
he prays!" Acts 9:11. No doubt he prayed before,
being a Pharisee—but it was either superficially or
superstitiously. But when the work of grace had
been done in his soul, behold, now he prays!

A godly man is on the mount of prayer every day.
He begins the day with prayer. Before he opens his
shop—he opens his heart to God! We burn sweet
incense in our houses; a godly man's house is "a
house of incense"; he airs it with the incense of
prayer. He engages in no business without seeking
God. A godly man consults God in everything; he
asks God's permission and his blessing.  A true
saint continually shoots up his heart to heaven,
by sacred prayers.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The devil's tennis ball

"We hear that some among you are idle."
    2 Thessalonians 3:11

Piety never did grant a patent for idleness.

An idle person is the devil's tennis ball, which
he bandies up and down with temptation—until
at last the ball goes out of play!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Evangelical obedience

Is it possible for anyone to walk according to the
full breadth of God's law, and to follow God fully?

There is a twofold obeying of God's law.

The first is perfect, when all is done, which the
law requires. This we cannot arrive at in this life.

Secondly, there is an incomplete obedience which
is accepted in Christ. This consists in four things:

(1) An approving of all God's commands: "the
commandment is holy and just and good . . .
I consent unto the law that it is good"
Romans 7:12, 16.

(2) A sweet delight in God's commands: "I will
delight myself in Your commandments, which I
have loved" Psalm 119:47.

(3) A cordial desire to walk in all God's commands:
"O that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes"
Psalm 119:5.

(4) A real endeavor to tread in every path of the
command: "I turned my feet unto Your testimonies"
Psalm 119:59.

Evangelical obedience is true in its essence,
though not perfect in its degree; and where it
comes short, Christ puts His merits into the
scales, and then there is full weight.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Walking above the earth

"Noah walked with God." Genesis 6:9

The age in which Noah lived was very corrupt:
"the wickedness of man was great in the earth"
(v.5). But the iniquity of the times, could not
put Noah off his walk.

What is it, to walk with God?
Walking with God imports five things:

1. Walking as under God's eye. Noah reverenced God.
A godly man sets himself as in God's presence, knowing
that his Judge is looking on: "I have set the Lord always
before me." Psalm 16:8

2. The familiarity and intimacy which the soul has with
God. Friends walk together and console themselves with
one another. The godly make known their requests to
God—and He makes known His love to them. There is
a sweet fellowship between God and His people: "Our
fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus
Christ" 1 John 1:3.

3. Walking above the earth. A godly man is elevated
above all sublunary objects. The person who walks with
God must ascend very high. A dwarf cannot walk among
the stars—nor can a dwarfish, earthly soul walk with God.

4. Visible piety. Walking is a visible posture. Grace must
be conspicuous to the onlookers. He who reveals something
of God in his behavior, walks with God. He shines forth in
biblical conduct. He is a walking Bible.

5. Continued progress in grace. It is not only a step—but
a walk. There is a going on towards maturity. A godly man
does not sit down in the middle of the way—but continues
on. He may through infirmity step aside (as Peter did)—
but he recovers by repentance, and goes on in progressive
holiness: "The righteous will hold to their ways, and those
with clean hands will grow stronger."  Job 17:9.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The new has come!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is
 a new creation; the old has gone, the
 new has come!
" 2 Corinthians 5:17

When the truth of grace is in the heart—
the beauty of grace is seen in the walk!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Spider or bee?

A godly man strives to be an instrument for making
others godly. He is not content to go to heaven alone,
but wants to take others there. Spiders work only for
themselves—but bees work for others.

A godly man is both a diamond and a magnet—a
diamond for the sparkling luster of grace; and a magnet
for his attractiveness. He is always drawing others to
embrace piety. Living things have a propagating virtue.
Where piety lives in the heart, there will be an endeavor
to propagate the life of grace in those we converse with.
"My son, Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds"
Philemon 10. Though God is the fountain of grace—yet
the saints are the pipes which transmit the living streams
to others!

Grace is like fire—which assimilates and turns everything
into its own nature. Where there is the fire of grace in the
heart—it will endeavor to inflame others.

Grace is a holy leaven, which will be seasoning and
leavening others with divine principles.

Grace makes the heart tender. A godly man pities those
who are in the gall of bitterness. He sees what a deadly cup
is brewing for the wicked! They must, without repentance,
be bound over to God's wrath! The fire which rained on
Sodom was but a painted fire—in comparison with hell fire!
This is a fire with a vengeance: "Suffering the vengeance
of eternal fire" Jude 7.

Now when a godly man sees Satan's captives ready to be
damned—he strives to convert them from the error of their
way: "Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men!"
2 Cor. 5:11. A godly man will be careful that his children
should know God. He would be very sad if any of his
children should burn in hell.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God's garden

A holy heart is the garden where God plants the
flower of His love. God's love to His people is an
ancient love, it dates from eternity. (Eph. 1:4)
He loves them with a choice, distinguishing love;
they are the "dearly beloved of His soul." Jer. 12:7.

The men of the world have bounty dropping from
fingers—but the godly have love dropping
from God's heart. He gives to one—a golden cup;
to the other—a golden kiss.

God loves the godly, just as He loves Christ (John
17:26). It is the same love in kind, though not in
degree. Here the saints merely sip God's love; in
heaven they shall drink of rivers of pleasure (Psalm
36:8). The love of God to His people is permanent.
Death may take their life away from them—but not
God's love: "I have loved you with an everlasting
love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness!"
Jeremiah 31:3.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
Continually weeding his heart

The ungodly do not understand the iniquity
of their own hearts. You will sometimes hear
them swear that their heart is good.

But a child of God sees much heart corruption.
Though some flowers of grace grow there, he
still sees how fast the weeds of sin grow—and
is therefore continually weeding his heart
by repentance and mortification.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test
 me and know my thoughts. Point out anything
 in me that offends You, and lead me along the
 path of everlasting life." Psalms 139:23-24

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Satan's kindness

"We are not ignorant of his devices" 2 Cor. 2:11

The godly foresee a temptation, and will not come
near. They see a snake under the beautiful flowers!
They know that Satan's kindness—is craftiness!

The godly set their feet—where worldly men set
their heart!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Most receive the mark of the beast!

Someone asked him, "Lord, are only a few people
going to be saved?"
He said to them, "Make every
effort to enter through the narrow door, because
many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be
able to." Luke 13:23-24

There are only a few godly people. Most receive
the mark of the beast!
The devil keeps open
house for all comers, and he is never without guests!

If the number of the saints is so small, how we
should strive to be found among these pearls!
It is better to go to heaven with the few—
than to hell in the crowd!
Christ's flock is a
little one. "Don't be afraid, little flock, because
your Father delights to give you the kingdom!"
Luke 12:32

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

If their fall had not knocked their brains out!

Godliness is most rational. If, while he remains in
nature's soil, he is poisoned with sin—no more actually
fit for communion with God, than a toad is fit to be
made an angel—then it is the highest act of reason,
to become a Christian.

It is rational because this change is for the better. Will
not anyone be willing to exchange a dark prison—for a
king's palace? Will he not exchange his brass—for gold? 
You who become godly, change for the better: you change
your pride—for humility; you change your uncleanness—for
holiness. You change a lust which will damn you—for a
Christ who will save you!

If men were not besotted, if their fall had not knocked
their brains out
—they would see that it is the most
rational thing in the world to become godly.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A Christian's joy

Godliness does not destroy a Christian's
—but refines it.

"I have spoken these things to you so that
 My joy may be in you, and your joy may
 be complete." John 15:11

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Kills with her golden darts!

"Love not the world." 1 John 2:15

Take heed of the world. Many would like to be
godly—but the honors and profits of the world
divert them. Where the world fills both head
and heart—there is no room for Christ. The
world eats the heart out of godliness, as the
ivy eats the heart out of the oak. The world
kills with her golden darts!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

It would produce a wonderful alteration

"I thought on my ways, and turned my
 feet unto Your testimonies" Psalm 119:59

By holy thoughts, the head grows clearer and
the heart better. Serious meditation represents
everything in its true color. It shows the evil of
, and the luster of grace. If men would step
aside a little out of the noise and hurry of life,
and spend only half-an-hour every day thinking
about their souls and eternity, it would
produce a wonderful alteration
in them!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The day we eat of this tree

"To him who overcomes, I will give the right
 to eat from the tree of life, which is in the
 paradise of God" Revelation 2:7

This tree of life is the Lord Jesus. This tree
infuses life—and prevents death. The day
we eat of this tree
—our eyes shall indeed
be opened—to see God!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God laid you steeping in Christ's blood

You who are enriched with the treasures of
godliness—bless God for it! This flower does
not grow in nature's garden!

You had enlisted yourselves under the devil and
taken pay on his side, fighting against your own
happiness—and then God came with converting
and put forth a loving and gentle violence,
causing you to espouse His cause against Satan!

You had lain many years soaking in wickedness,
as if you had been parboiled for hell—and then
God laid you steeping in Christ's blood and
breathed holiness into your heart!

Oh, what cause you have to write yourselves down
—as eternal debtors to free grace! Oh, acknowledge
the sovereign love of God! Admire distinguishing
mercy! Set the crown of your praise—on the head
of free grace! It is good that there is an eternity
coming, when the saints shall make His praise

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A heap of stones and a hammer

In hell there is nothing to be seen, but a heap
of stones and a hammer
. A heap of stones—
that is hard hearts; a hammer—that is God's
power and justice, breaking them in pieces.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Inter-weavings of sin and grace

As fire may be hidden in the embers, so grace
may be hidden under many disorders of soul.

Often in the godly, a little grace is mingled
with much corruption
. There are, in the best
saints, inter-weavings of sin and grace:
  a dark side with the light;
  much pride mixed with humility;
  much earthliness with heavenliness.

No, in many of the regenerate there is more
corruption than grace!
So much passion that
you can hardly see any meekness. Jonah, a
peevish prophet, quarrels with God, no—he
justifies his anger: "I do well to be angry, even
unto death!" Jonah 4:9. Here there was so
much anger, that it was hard to see any grace.

A Christian in this life is like a glass which has
more froth than wine, or like a diseased body
that has more illness than vigor. It may humble
the best Christian—to consider how much
corruption is mingled with his grace.

The trembling soul thinks it will be swallowed
up by sin. But God preserves a little quantity of
grace in the heart—no, no, He makes that spark
prevail over corruption! God sees the sincerity—
and overlooks many infirmities. He nourishes the
least sparks of grace, and blows them gently with
the breath of His Spirit until they break forth into
a flame. A little grace is grace—though it is
smothered under much corruption.

I confess it is a matter of astonishment, that
grace should not be wholly annihilated, especially
if we consider two things:

(1) The malice of Satan. He is a malignant spirit
and lays barriers in our way to heaven. The devil,
with the wind of temptation, tries to blow out the
spark of grace in our hearts. If this will not do, he
stirs up wicked men and raises the militia of hell
against us. What a wonder it is that this bright star
of grace
, should not be swept down by the tail of
the dragon!

(2) The world of corruption in our hearts. Sin makes
up the major part in a Christian. There are more dregs
than grace in the holiest heart. The heart swarms with
sin. What a great deal of pride there is in the soul! Now
is it not astonishing, that this lily of grace should be able
to grow among so many thorns? It is as great a wonder
that a little grace should be preserved in the midst of
so much corruption—as to see a candle burning in the
sea and not extinguished!

But though grace lives with so much difficulty, like the
infant that struggles for breath—yet being born of God,
it is immortal. Grace conflicting with corruption is like a
ship tossed and beaten by the waves—yet it weathers
the storm and at last gets to the desired haven.

But how is it that grace, even the least degree of it, is not
quenched? It is from the mighty operation of the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit of God, who is the source, continually excites and
awakens grace in the heart. He is at work in a believer every
day. He pours in oil, and keeps the lamp of grace burning.
Grace is compared to a river of life, John 7:38. The river
of grace can never be dried up, for the Spirit of God is the
spring which feeds it.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~


Preserve a holy watchfulness over your hearts.
The man who has gunpowder in his house, fears
lest it should catch fire and explode. Sin in the
heart is like gunpowder! It may make us fear
lest a spark of temptation should fall on us and
blow us up!

There are two things which may make us always
watchful of our hearts: the deceits of our hearts,
and the lusts of our hearts.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The hypocrite picks and chooses

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you
 hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint,
 dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more
 important matters of the law—justice, mercy and
 faithfulness" Matthew 23:23

This is one great difference between a child of God and
a hypocrite. The hypocrite picks and chooses in
religion. He will perform some duties which are easier,
and gratify his pride or interest—but other duties he
takes no notice of.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Kissing and hugging their dolls

"For, as I have often told you before and now say
 again even with tears—many live as enemies of
 the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction,
 their god is their stomach, and their glory is in
 their shame. Their mind is on earthly things."
    Philippians 3:18-19

To be godly and earthly, is a contradiction. Those
who are eaten up with the world will be rejected,
as ungodly, at the bar of judgment. We read that
the earth swallowed up Korah alive, Numb. 16:32.
This judgment is on many—the earth swallows up
their time, thoughts and discourse. They are buried
twice; their hearts are buried in the earth before their
bodies. How sad it is that the soul, that princely thing,
which is made for communion with God and angels,
should be put to the mill to grind, and made a slave
to the earth! How like the prodigal the soul has
become, choosing rather to converse with swine and
feed upon husks—than to aspire after communion
with the blessed Deity! Thus does Satan befool men,
and keep them from heaven by making them seek
a heaven here on earth.

God himself sounds a retreat to us to call us off the
world. "Love not the world" 1 John 2:15. "Be not
conformed to this world" Romans 12:2. Do not
hunt after its honors and profits.

Consider how much below a Christian it is to be
earthly-minded. We sometimes laugh at children
when we see them busying themselves with toys,
kissing and hugging their dolls, etc.—when
we do the same thing! At death, what will all the
world be, which we so hug and kiss—but like a
rag doll? It will yield us no more comfort then.
How far it is below a heaven-born soul to be
taken up with these things!

Consider what a poor, contemptible thing the
world is. It is not worth setting the affections on;
it cannot fill the heart. The creature will no more
fill the soul than a drop will fill the bucket. That
little sweet which we suck from the creature, is
intermixed with bitterness. And this imperfect
sweet will not last long: "the world passes away."
The world constantly changes. It is never constant
except in its disappointments. How quickly we may
remove our lodgings and make our pillow in the dust!
The world is but a great inn where we are to stay a
night or two, and then be gone. What madness it is
so to set our heart upon our inn—as to forget our
eternal home!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Christ is precious in His benefits

By Christ all dangers are removed.
Through Christ all mercies are conveyed.
In His blood flows—
  justification (Acts 13:39);
  sanctification (Heb. 9:14);
  fructification (John 1:16);
  pacification (Rom. 5:1);
  adoption (Gal. 4:5);
  perseverance (Heb.12:2);
  glorification (Heb. 9:12).

This will be a matter of sublimest joy for all eternity.
We shall sing hallelujahs to the Lamb who has redeemed
us from sin and hell, and has translated us into that
glorious paradise, where we shall see God forever and ever.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A Godlike disposition

"Partakers of the divine nature" 2 Peter 1:4

A godly man is like God. He has the same judgment
as God; he thinks of things as God does. He has a
Godlike disposition
. A godly man bears both God's
name and image. Godliness is Godlikeness. It is one
thing to profess God, another thing to resemble Him.
Where God sees His likeness, there He gives His love.

A godly man is like God in holiness. Holiness is the
most brilliant pearl in the King of Heaven's crown:
"glorious in holiness" Exodus 15:11.
God's power makes Him mighty;
His mercy makes Him lovely; but
His holiness makes Him glorious.

The holiness of God is the intrinsic purity of His
nature and his abhorrence of sin. A godly man
bears some kind of analogy with God in this.

Holiness is the badge and mark of Christ's people:
"The people of Your holiness" Isaiah 63:18. The
godly are a holy, as well as a royal priesthood.
They have written upon their heart, "Holiness to
the Lord". The holiness of the saints consists in
their conformity to God's will, which is the rule
and pattern of all holiness.

The godly set themselves against evil, both in
purpose and in practice. They are fearful of that
which looks like sin (1 Thess. 5:22).

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Eaten up with self-love

"People will be lovers of themselves, lovers
 of money, lovers of pleasure rather than
 lovers of God." 2 Timothy 3:2,4

People are for the most part eaten up with
; they love their ease, their worldly
profit, their lusts—but they do not have a
drop of true love to God.

A soul devoid of divine love is a temper
which best suits damned spirits. 

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God has two hands

The ungodly are vile people. Sin makes men base; it blots their name; it taints their blood. "They are all together become filthy" Psalm 14:3. In the Hebrew it is "they have become stinking." If you call wicked men ever so bad, you cannot call them worse than their name deserves: they are swine (Matt. 7:6); vipers (Matt. 3:7); devils (John 6:70). The wicked are dross and refuse (Psalm 119:119), and heaven is too pure to have any dross mingled with it.

The ungodly, while they live, are exposed to the wrath of God. "He who believes not, the wrath of God abides on him" John 3:36. Over his head hangs the sword of God's justice; and under him hell-fire burns!

God has two hands: one of mercy and one of justice. With the one, He will draw the godly to heaven; with the other, He will thrust the sinner to hell. The ungodly at death, must undergo God's fury and indignation. "The wicked shall be turned into hell" Psalm 9:17.

And oh, how dreadful is that place! It is called a fiery lake (Rev. 20:15). That is, a lake to denote the many torments in hell, a fiery lake to show the fierceness of the punishment. Fire is the most torturing element. Strabo in his "Geography" mentions a lake in Galilee of such a pestiferous nature that it scalds off the skin of whatever is thrown into it. But alas, that lake is cool, compared with this fiery lake into which the damned are thrown.

This fire is inextinguishable: the wicked shall be choked in the flames, though not consumed: "And they shall be tormented day and night forever and ever" Rev. 20:10. See the deplorable condition of all ungodly people! In the eternal world, they shall have a life which always dies, and a death which always lives. May this not frighten men off their sins and make them become godly, unless they are resolved to feel how hot hell-fire is?

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It will vent itself at the lips!

A godly man is heavenly in his speech. His words are sprinkled with salt to season others (Col. 4:6). As soon as Christ had risen from the grave—He was "speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God" Acts 1:3. No sooner has a man risen from the grave of unregeneracy—than he is speaking of heaven. "The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious" Eccles. 4:12. He speaks in such a heavenly manner—as if he were already in heaven. The love he has for God, will not allow him to be silent. The spouse being sick with love, her tongue was like the pen of a ready writer: "My beloved is white and ruddy, his head is as the most fine gold . . . " Song 5:10,11. Where there is a principle of godliness in the heart—it will vent itself at the lips!

How can they be termed godly—who are possessed with a dumb devil? They never have any good discourse. They are fluent and discursive enough in secular things: they can speak of their wares and shops, they can tell what a good crop they have—but in matters of religion they are as if their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth! There are many people in whose company you cannot tell what to make of them—whether they are Turks or atheists, for they never speak a word of Christ!

How can they be termed godly—whose tongues are set on fire by hell? Their lips do not drop honey—but poison, to the defiling of others! Plutarch says that speech ought to be like gold, which is of most value when it has least dross in it. Oh, the unclean, malicious words that some people utter! What an unsavory stench comes from these dunghills! Those lips which gallop so fast in sin, need David's muzzle. "I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth" Psalm 39:1. Can the body be healthy—when the tongue is black? Can the heart be holy—when the devil is in the lips? A godly man speaks "the language of Canaan". "Those who feared the Lord spoke often one to another" Mal. 3:16.

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A dumb minister

Godly ministers must be:

(1) Painstaking. "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction" 2 Tim. 4:2. The minister must not be idle. Sloth is as inexcusable in a minister, as sleeping in a sentry. John the Baptist was a "voice crying" Matt. 3:3. A dumb minister is of no more use, than a dead physician. A man of God must work in the Lord's vineyard. It was Augustine's wish that Christ might find him at his coming either praying or preaching.

(2) Knowledgeable. "For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction—because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty" Mal. 2:7. The prophets of old were called "seers" 1 Sam. 9:9. It is absurd to have blind seers. Christ said to Peter, "Feed my sheep" John 21:16. But how sad it is when the shepherd needs to be fed! Ignorance in a minister is like blindness in an optometrist. Under the law, he who had the plague in his head, was unclean, Lev. 13:44.

(3) A plain preacher, suiting his matter and style to the capacity of his audience (1 Cor. 14:19). Some ministers, like eagles, love to soar aloft in abstruse metaphysical notions, thinking they are most admired when they are least understood. Those who preach in the clouds, instead of hitting their people's conscience, shoot over their heads.

(4) Zealous in reproving sin. "Rebuke them sharply" Titus 1:13. A man of God must suck the fire of zeal out of the breasts of Scripture! Zeal in a minister is as proper as fire on the altar. Some are afraid to reprove, like the swordfish which has a sword in his head, but is without a heart. So they carry the sword of the Spirit with them—but have no heart to draw it out in reproof against sin. How many have sown pillows under their people, Ezek. 13:18, making them sleep so securely, that they never awoke until they were in hell!

(5) Holy in heart. How sad it is for a minister to preach that to others, which he never felt in his own soul; to exhort others to holiness and himself be a stranger to it. Oh, that this were not too often so! How many blow the Lord's trumpet with foul breath!

(6) Holy in life. Under the law, before the priests served at the altar, they washed in the laver. Such as serve in the Lord's house, must first be washed from gross sin in the laver of repentance. The life of a minister should be a walking Bible. A minister must imitate John the Baptist, who was not only "a voice crying"—but "a light shining" John 5:35. Those who live in contradiction to what they preach, disgrace this excellent calling. And though they are angels by office—yet they are devils in their lives! (Jer. 23:15).