How can he travel through this waste howling
(J. C. Philpot, "Reconciliation
and Salvation" 1858. This one is
longer, but it is an outstanding summary of the Christian life.)
If you are alive to what you are as a poor, fallen
sinner—you will see yourself surrounded by . . .
You will feel yourself utterly defenseless, as weak
as water, without any strength to stand against them.
You will see a mountain of difficulties before your eyes.
If you know anything inwardly and experimentally
of yourself of . . .
the evils of your heart,
the power of sin,
the strength of temptation,
the subtlety of your unwearied foe,
and the daily conflict between nature and grace,
the flesh and the Spirit, which are the peculiar marks
of the true child of God—you will find and feel your
need of salvation as a daily reality.
How shall you escape the snares and temptations
spread in your path? How shall you get the better
of all your enemies . . .
and reach heaven's gates safe at last?
There is present salvation, an . . .
salvation communicated out of the
fullness of Christ as a risen Mediator.
Don't you need to be daily and almost hourly
saved? But from what? Why, from everything in
you that fights against the will and word of God.
Sin is not dead in you.
If you have a saving interest in the precious blood
of Christ—if your name is written in the Lamb's book
of life, and heaven is your eternal home—that does
not deliver you from the indwelling of sin, nor from
the power of sin—except as grace gives you present
deliverance from it.
Sin still works in your carnal mind, and will
work in it until your dying hour. What then
you need to be saved from is the . . .
of that sin which ever dwells and ever works
in you, and often brings your soul into hard
and cruel bondage.
Now Christ lives at the right hand of God for His dear
people, that He may be ever saving them by His life.
There He reigns and rules as their glorious covenant
Head, ever watching over, feeling for and sympathizing
with them, and communicating supplies of grace for the
deliverance and consolation for all His suffering saints
spread over the face of the earth. The glorious Head is
in heaven, but the suffering members upon earth; and
as He lives on their behalf, He maintains by His Spirit
and grace, His life in their soul.
Each Christian has to walk through a great and terrible
wilderness, wherein are fiery serpents, and scorpions,
and drought (Deut. 8:15); where he is surrounded with
temptations and snares—his own evil heart being his
How can he travel through this waste howling
wilderness unless he has a Friend at the right hand
of God to send him continual supplies of grace—who
can hear his prayers, answer his petitions, listen to
his sighs, and put his tears into his bottle—who can
help him to see the snares, and give him grace to
avoid them—who observes from his heavenly watch
tower the rising of evil in his heart, and can put a
timely and seasonable check upon it before it bursts
into word or action?
He needs an all-wise and ever-living Friend who can . . .
save him from pride by giving him true humility;
save him from hardness of heart by bestowing repentance;
save him from carelessness by making his conscience tender;
save him from all his fears by whispering into his soul, "Fear
not, I have redeemed you."
The Christian has to be continually looking
to the Lord Jesus Christ . . .
to revive his soul when drooping,
to manifest His love to his heart when cold and unfeeling,
to sprinkle his conscience with His blood when guilty and sinking,
to lead him into truth,
to keep him from error and evil,
to preserve him through and amid every storm,
to guide every step that he takes in his onward journey,
and eventually bring him safe to heaven.
We need continual supplies of His grace, mercy, and
love received into our hearts, so as to save us . . .
from the love and spirit of the world,
from the power and strength of our own lusts,
and the base inclinations of our fallen nature.
These will often work at a fearful rate; but this will
only make you feel more your need of the power and
presence of the Lord Jesus to save you from them all.
You are a poor, defenseless sheep, surrounded
by wolves, and, as such, need all the care and
defense of the good Shepherd.
You are a ship in a stormy sea, where winds and
waves are all contrary, and therefore need an all
wise and able pilot to take you safe into harbor.
There a single thing on earth or in hell which can
harm you—if you are only looking to the Lord Jesus
Christ, and deriving supplies of grace and strength