This is one of the most foolish of all lies!

(Spurgeon, "Life's Ever Springing Well" #864)

Some of you think, perhaps, because you
have been to a place of worship from your
youth up, and have been doing your best
to lead reputable and respectable lives,
that perhaps you shall obtain salvation
as a matter of course; but it is not so.

You must learn that saving grace can
only come to you as the gift of mercy.

I have heard it said, and I have been
horrified when I have heard so gross a
falsehood, that there is in man something
good, noble, spiritual
; and that the object
of the Christian minister in delivering the
gospel is to take away the ignorance and
folly that may overlay this innate nobility,
and so to bring out and train up the
precious vital spiritual life which lays
latent within the human heart.

This is one of the most foolish of all lies!

There is nothing spiritually good in man
whatever by nature. The carnal mind is
at enmity against God. We might rake
the ash heap of human nature a long
time before we found the priceless jewel
of spiritual life concealed within it.

Man is dead in sin.

How long will you search the sepulcher
before you shall discover life within the
ribs of death?

Long enough may you ransack yonder
mouldering bones in the cemetery, before
you shall discover the germs of immortality
within the ashes of the departed.

If man were but faint, we might, perhaps,
by a sort of 'spiritual friction' or electricity,
arouse him to life.

If he were lying in a state of coma, we
might, by some 'gracious surgery', at
length rekindle the embers, and make
the life burn forth in its strength.

But when we are informed, over and
over again, by the Holy Spirit himself,
that man is not only dead, but that he
is corrupt, where is the hope of finding
spiritual life within him?

The living and incorruptible seed of
grace is not produced in men, by efforts
of their own, through the imitation of
good example, or through early instruction,
or through gradual reform.

Though for centuries the dead should be
located in the neighborhood of the living,
they will not thereby come to life.  For
many a day might you read a homily upon
life in the ears of the corpse before you
shall thereby cause the skeleton to make
any effort towards vitality.

Spiritual life is a gift, wholly a gift.
It is given according to the good will
and purpose of God. If the Lord gives
this spiritual life to some and not to
others, he is perfectly free to do as
he wills with his own.

God will be debtor to no man.

He owes nothing to sinful man but wrath!

Justice awards me nothing but death.

Sovereign grace alone can bring me life.

If God chooses according to his good pleasure
to give a new and spiritual life to his chosen,
none shall dare to question him.