Spurgeon GEMS volume 4
Eyes on Christ
Remember to turn your eyes heavenward, and your heart heavenward, too. Remember that you need to put a round yourself a golden chain, and to securely fasten one end of it in heaven. Look to Christ; do not fear. There is no stumbling when a man walks with his eyes looking up to Jesus. He who looked at the stars fell into the ditch; but he who looks at Christ walks safely.
Support of God
Behold the unpillared arch of heaven; see how it stretches its gigantic span; and yet it does not fall, though it is unpropped and unsupported, "He hangs the world on nothing." What chain is it that holds up the stars, and keeps them from falling? Lo, they float in space, held up by his omnipotent arm, who has laid the foundations of the universe. A Christian should be a second exhibition of God’s universe; his faith should be an unpillared confidence, resting on the past, and on the eternity to come, as the sure groundwork of its arch. His faith should be like the world, it should hang on nothing but the promise of God, and have no other support but that; and he himself like the stars, should float in the space of confidence, needing nothing to uphold him but the right hand of the Majesty on high.
What is Your Life?
Children sometimes blow bubbles, and therefore amuse themselves. Life is like that bubble. You see it rising into the air; the child delights itself by seeing it fly about, but it is all gone in one moment. "It is a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." But if you ask the poet to explain this, he would tell you that in the morning, sometimes at early dawn, the rivers send up a steamy offering to the sun. There is a vapor, a mist, an exhalation rising from the river and brooks, but in a very little while after the sun has risen, all that mist has gone. Hence we read of the morning cloud and the early dew that passes away. A more common observer, speaking of a vapor, would think of those thin clouds you sometimes see floating in the air, which are so light that they are soon carried away. Indeed, a poet uses them as a picture of feebleness— "Their hosts are scattered, like thin clouds before a gale." The wind moves them, and they are gone. "What is your life?"
Faith to the Rescue
So mighty is the ever-rushing torrent of sin, that no arm but that which is as strong as Deity can ever stop the sinner from being hurried down to the gulf of black despair, and, when nearing that gulf, so impetuous is the torrent of divine wrath, that nothing can snatch the soul from eternal hell but an atonement which is as divine as God himself. Yet faith is the instrument of accomplishing the whole work. It delivers the sinner from the stream of sin, and so, laying hold upon the omnipotence of the Spirit, it rescues him from that great whirlpool of destruction into which his soul was being hurried.
Melted and Purified
Man is like a great icicle, which the sun of time is continually thawing, and which is soon to be water spilled on the ground that cannot be gathered up. Who can recall the departed spirit, or inflate the lungs with a new breath of life? Who can put vitality into the heart, and restore the soul from hell? No one. It cannot be gathered up. The place will never see it again. But here is a sweet thought to cheer us. This water cannot be lost, but it will descend into the soil to filter through the Rock of Ages, at finally will spring up a pure fountain in heaven, cleansed, purified, and made clear as crystal. How terrible if, on the other hand, it should percolate the black earth of sin, and hang in horrid drops in the dark caverns of destruction!
Rushing to Destruction
And all these—all this vast gathering of human souls, are joining in one cry—all moving in one direction. Oh, thought, at which the faithful well may weep; their cry is self, their course is sin. Here and there are the chosen few struggling against the mighty tide; but the masses, the multitude, still, as in the days of David, are hurrying their mad career in search of a imaginary good, and reaping the fruit of the futile search in disappointment, death and hell.
Missing the Joy
Perhaps the most miserable people in the world are the very careful ones. You that are so anxious about what shall happen to morrow that you cannot enjoy the pleasures of today, you who have such a peculiar cast of mind that you suspect every star to be a comet, and imagine that there must be a volcano in every grassy mead, you that are more attracted by the spots in the sun than by the sun itself, and more amazed by one dry leaf on the tree than by all the verdure of the woods—you that make more of your troubles than you could do of your jobs—I say, I think you belong to the most miserable of men.
Look to Christ!
From the cross of Calvary, where the bleeding hands of Jesus drop mercy; from the garden of Gethsemane, where the bleeding pores of the Savior sweat pardons, the cry comes, ‘Look to me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth." From Calvary’s summit, where Jesus cries, "It is finished," I hear a shout, "Look, and be saved." But there comes a vile cry from our soul, "No, look to yourself! Look to yourself!" Ah, look to yourself, and you will be damned. That certainly will come of it. As long as you look to yourself there is no hope for you. It is not a consideration of what you are, but a consideration of what God is, and what Christ is, that can save you. It is looking from yourself to Jesus. Oh! there are men that quite misunderstand the gospel; they think that righteousness qualifies them to come to Christ; whereas sin is the only qualification for man to come to Jesus. Good old Crisp says, "Righteousness keeps me from Christ—those who are healthy have no need of a physician, but only those who are sick. Sin makes me come to Jesus, when sin is felt; and in coming to Christ, the more sin I have the more cause I have to hope for mercy."
The Growth of Sin
You cannot, though you may think you can, preserve a moderation in sin. If you commit one sin, it is like the melting of the lower glacier upon the Alps; the others must follow in time. As certainly as you heap one stone on the memorial of stones today, the next day you will add another, until the heap, built stone by stone, shall become a very pyramid. Set the coral insect at work, you cannot decree where it shall do its work. It will not build its rock as you command, it will not stop until it shall be covered with weeds, until the weeds shall decay and there shall be soil on it, and an island shall be created by tiny creatures. Sin cannot be held in with bit and bridle.
Building towards Heaven
Soon, soon, the saints of the earth shall be saints in light; their hairs of snowy age shall be crowned with perpetual joy and everlasting youth; their eyes bathed with tears shall be made bright as stars, never to be clouded again by sorrow; their hearts that tremble now are to be made joyous and strong, and set forever like pillars in the temple of God. Their follies, their burdens, their griefs, their woes, are soon to be over; sin is to be slain, corruption is to be removed, and a heaven of spotless purity and of unmingled peace is to be theirs forever. But it must still be by grace. As was the foundation so must the capstone be; that which was laid as the first stone on earth, will receive its capstone in heaven.
To know one's self to be foolish is to stand on the doorstep of the temple of wisdom; to understand the unfairness of any position is half way towards amending it; to be quite sure that our self confidence is a heinous sin and folly, and an offense towards Gods, and to have that thought burned into us by God's Holy Spirit is going a great length towards the absolute casting our self-confidence away, and the bringing of our souls in practice, as well as in theory, to rely wholly on the power of God's Holy Spirit.
The Death Struggle
Oh! How solemn will be that hour when we must struggle with that enemy, Death! The death-rattle is in our throat—we can scarce articulate—we try to speak; the death-glaze is on the eye—Death has put his fingers on those windows of the body, and shut out the light forever; the hands nearly refuse to lift themselves, and there we are, close on the borders of the grave! Ah! that moment, when the spirit sees its destiny; that moment of all moments the most solemn, when the soul looks through the bars of its cage, on the world to come! No, I cannot tell you how the spirit feels, if it is an ungodly spirit, when it sees a fiery throne of judgment, and hears the thunders of Almighty wrath, while there is but a moment between it and hell. I cannot picture to you what must be the terror which men will feel, when they realize what they often heard of!
True friendship can only be made between true men. Hearts are the soul of honor. There can be no lasting friendship between bad men. Bad men may pretend to love each other, but their friendship is a rope of sand, which shall be broken at any convenient season; but if a man has a sincere heart within in him, and is true and noble, then we may confide in him.
Who can find a stain in the character of Jesus, or who can tarnish his honor? Has there ever been a spot on his shield? Has his flag ever been trampled in dust? Does he not stand as the true witness in heaven, the faithful and just? Is it not declared of him that he is God who cannot lie? Have we not found him so up to this moment; and may we not, knowing that he is "Holy, holy, holy Lord," confide in him, that he will stick closer to us than a brother? His goodness is the guarantee of his fidelity; he cannot fail us.
The Bible Weapon
This Bible is the stone that will break philosophy into powder; this is the mighty battering-ram that will dash all systems of philosophy into pieces; this is the stone that a woman may yet hurl upon the head of every Abimelech, and he will be utterly destroyed. O Church of God! Do not fear; you will do wonders; wise men will be confounded, and you will know, and they too, that he is God, and that beside him there is no one else.
Our Father, Our Friend
He who would be happy must have friends; and he who would be happy hereafter, must, above all things, find a friend in the world to come, in the person of God, the Father of his people.
A mere profession, is but painted pageantry to go to hell in—it is like the plumes on the hearse and the trappings on the black horses which drag men to their graves, the funeral array of dead souls. Take heed above everything of a waxen profession that will not stand the sun; take care of a life that needs to have two faces to carry it out; be one thing, or else the other. If you make up your mind to serve Satan, do not pretend to serve God; and if you serve God, serve him with all your heart.
Think of Christ
You may think of a doctrine forever, and get no good from it, if you are not already saved; but think of the person of Christ, and that will give you faith. Take him everywhere, wherever you go, and try to meditate on him in your leisure moments, and then he will reveal himself to you, and give you peace.
What! Is Christ your Brother, and does he live in your house, and yet you have not spoken to him for a month? I fear there is little love between you and your Brother, for you have no conversation with him for so long. What! Is Christ the Husband of his church, and has she had no fellowship with him for all this time?
Truth All Wrapped Up
You have seen mummies, wrapped around and around with folds of linen. Well, God's Bible is like that; it is a vast roll of white linen, woven in the loom of truth; so you will have to continue unwinding it, roll after roll, before you get the real meaning of it from the very depth; and when you have found, as you think, a part of the meaning, you will still need to keep on unwinding, unwinding, and all eternity you will be unwinding the words of this wondrous volume.
It is easy to find hundreds that have departed from the truth, but you must count by ones who know how to groan over their departure. The true believer, however, when he discovers that he needs revival, will not be happy; he will begin at once that incessant and continuous strain of cries and groans which will at last prevail with God, and bring the blessing of revival down.
When a man has fifty different desires, his heart resembles a pool of water, which is spread over a marsh, breeding mist and pestilence; but when all his desires are brought into one channel, his heart becomes like a river of pure water, running along and fertilizing the fields.
The Everlasting Praise of Christ
Even if it were possible that the innumerable company of the redeemed could perish, and their immortality were swallowed up in death, yet even then, daily Christ would be praised! If all of mankind would suddenly disappear, then look at the heavens! See the starry host; see the mighty throng of cherubs and seraphs? Let men be gone and they shall praise him; let the troops of the glorified cease their notes, and let no sweet melodies ever come from the lips of sainted men and women; yet the cherubs and seraphs of God would number at least twenty thousand, even many thousands of angels, who always chant his praise. There is an orchestra on high, the music of which shall never cease, even if mortals were extinct and all the human race swept from existence. Again, if all the angels were gone, still daily would he be praised; for, are there not worlds on worlds, and suns on suns, and systems on systems, that could forever sing his praise? Yes! The ocean-that house of storms-would howl out his glories; the winds would swell the notes of his praise with their ceaseless gales; the thunders would roll like drums in the march of the God of armies; the endless void of space would become vocal with song; and would burst forth into one universal chorus-Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Still the Lord God omnipotent reigns! And if these ceased to exist; if creatures ceased to exist, he who always lives and reigns, in whom all the fullness of the Godhead bodily dwells, would still be praised; praised; praised in himself, and glorious in himself; for the Father would praise the Son, and the Spirit would praise him, and mutually blessing one another and rendering each other beatified, still "daily would he be praised,"
Secure Near Christ
This city of refuge had very large suburbs around it, extending out to one-half mile from the city walls, and was used for grazing the cattle of the priests, and approximately one-half of this area was used for fields and vineyards. Now, no sooner did the man reach the outside of the city, the suburbs, than he was safe; it was not necessary for him to get within the walls, but the suburbs themselves were sufficient protection. Learn, therefore, that if you just touch the hem of Christ's garment, you shall be made whole; if you only lay hold of him with "faith as small as a mustard seed," with faith which is scarcely believing, but is truly believing, then you are safe. "A little genuine grace ensures the death of all our sins." Get within the borders; grab hold of the hem of Christ's garment, and you are secure.
It is sad for you, that your pulse should beat a march to hell. Sad! That the clock, like the muffled drum, should be the music of the funeral march of your soul. Sad! Sad! That you should fold your arms in pleasure, when the knife is at your heart. Sad! Sad! For you, that you should sing, and make jokes, when the rope is around your neck, and trap door is loose beneath your feet! Sad! For you, that you should go your way, and live merrily and happily and yet be lost! You remind me of the silly moth that dances around the flame, singeing itself for a while, and then at last plunging to its death.
Such are you! Young woman, with your butterfly clothing, you are leaping around the flame that shall destroy you! Young man, light and trivial in your conversation, gay in your life, you are dancing to hell; you are singing your way to damnation, and promenading the road to destruction. Sad! sad! that you should be making your own death clothes; that you should every day by your sins be building your own gallows; that by your transgressions you should be digging your own graves, and working hard to pile the wood for your own eternal burning. Oh! That you were wise, that you understood this, that you would consider your coming end. Oh! That you would flee from the wrath to come!
Envy the Dead
The saints in Jesus, when their bodies sleep in peace, have perpetual fellowship with him—yes, better fellowship than we can enjoy. We have but the transitory glimpse of his face; they gaze upon it every moment. We see him "in a glass, darkly;" they behold him "face to face." We sip of the brook by the way; they plunge into the very ocean of unbounded love. We look up sometimes, and see our Father smile; look whenever they may, his face is always full of smiles for them. We get some drops of comfort; but they get the honeycomb itself. They have their cup filled with new wine, running over with perennial, unmixed delights. They are full of peace, full of joy forever. They "sleep in Jesus." Such a description of death makes us wish to sleep too. O Lord, let us go to sleep with the departed! O happy hour! When a clod of the valley shall be our pillow! Though it is hard, we shall not be affected by it. Happy hour, when earth shall be our bed! Cold shall be the clay, but we shall not know it; we shall slumber and we shall rest. The worm shall hold a carnival within our bones, and corruption shall run all over our bodies; but we shall not feel it. Corruption can only feed on the corruptible; mortality can only prey upon the mortal. "We know 'tis common—all that live must die, passing through nature to eternity."
Sing of Incarnation
Salvation is God's highest glory. He is glorified in every dewdrop that twinkles in the morning sun, He is magnified in every flower that blossoms in the forest, although it is unseen, and wastes its sweetness in the forest air. God is glorified in every bird that sings out; in every lamb that skips through the meadow. Don't all the fish in the sea praise him. From the tiny minnow to the huge Leviathan, don't all the creatures that swim in the water bless and praise his name? Don't all created things extol him? Is there anything beneath the sky, except man, that does not glorify God? Don't the stars exalt him, when they write his name on the midnight blue of the heavens in their golden letters? Don't the lightnings adore him when they flash his brightness in arrows of light, piecing the midnight darkness? Don't thunders extol him when they roll like drums in the march of the God of armies? Don't all things exalt him, from the least even to the greatest? But sing, sing, O Universe, until you have exhausted yourself, you can't sing a song so sweet as the song of Incarnation. Though creation may be a majestic organ of praise, it cannot reach the compass of the golden song—Incarnation! There is more in that than in creation, more melody in Jesus in the manager, than there is in worlds on worlds rolling their grandeur a round the throne of the Most High.
God builds for himself a palace in heaven made of living stones—Where did he get them? Did he go to the quarries of Paris? Has he brought forth the richest and the purest marble from the quarries of perfection? No, you saints, look to "the hole of the pit where you were dug out of, and to the rock where you were cut from!" You were full of sin; far from being stones that were white with purity, you were black with defilement, seemingly utterly unfit to be stones in the spiritual temple, which should be the dwelling-place of the Most High. And yet he chose you to be trophies of his grace, and of his power to save. When Solomon built himself a palace, he built it of cedar; but when God built for himself a dwelling forever, he did not cut down the grand cedars, but he dwelt in a bush, and has preserved it as his memorial forever, "The God that dwells in the bush." Goldsmiths make exquisite forms from precious material; they fashion the bracelet and the ring from gold——God makes his precious things out of base material; and from the black pebbles of the defiling brooks he has taken up stones, which he has set in the golden ring of his immutable love, to make them gems to sparkle on his finger forever. He has not selected the best, but apparently the worst of men, to be the monuments of his grace; and when he wanted to have a choir in heaven that would with tongues harmonious sing his praises—a chorus that would forever chant hallelujahs louder than the noise of many waters, and like great thunders, he did not send Mercy down to seek earth's songsters, and select us from those who have the sweetest voices—He said, "Go, Mercy, and find the dumb, and touch their lips, and make them sing. The virgin tongues that never sang my praise before, that have been silent until now, shall break forth in rhapsodies sublime, and they shall lead the song; even angels shall but attend from behind, and catch the notes from the lips of those who once were dumb." "The tongue of the dumb shall sing" God's praises hereafter in heaven.
What a thousand thoughts rise around these two words! The million-peopled city, the populous town, the widespread country, this isle, kingdoms, empires, continents, the world, all seem to issue forth like armies from the hundred-gated Thebes, at the mention of that word, "The many." Here we see the toiling peasant and his lordly squire, the artisan and the princely merchant, the courtier and the king, the young, the old, the learned and the unlearned, all gathered within the compass of a word.
O hypocrite, you think that you shall excel, because the minister has been duped, and gives you credit for a deep experience; because the deacons have been entrapped and think you to be eminently godly; because the church members receive you to their houses, and think you a dear child of God too! Poor soul! Perhaps you may go to your grave with the delusion in your brain that all is right with you; but remember, though like a sheep you are laid in your grave, Death will find you out. He will say to you, off with your mask, man! Away with all your robes! Up with that whitewashed sepulcher! Take off that green turf; let the worms be seen. Out with the body; let us see the reeking corruption! And what will you say when your abominably corrupt and filthy heart shall be opened before the sun, and men and angels hear your lies and hypocrisies laid bare before them? Will you play the hypocrite then? Soul, come and sing God's praises in the Day of Judgment with false lips! Tell him now, while a widow's house is in your throat, tell him that you love him! Come, now, you that devour the fatherless, you that rob, you that do uncleanness! Tell him now that you make your boast in the Lord! Tell him that you preach his word; tell him that you walk in his streets; tell him you make it known that you were one of the excellent of the earth! What! Man, is your babbling tongue silent for once? What is the matter with you? You were never slow to talk of your godliness. Speak out, and say "I took the sacramental cup; I was a professor." Oh how changed! The whitewashed sepulcher has become white in another sense; he is white with horror. See now; the talkative one has become dumb; the boaster is silent; the formalist's garb is torn to rags, the moth has devoured their beauty; their gold and their silver has become tarnished. Ah! it must be with every man who has thus lied to God and to his own conscience.
There never shall come a day when the church shall be without mighty champions for the truth, who fail to declare the whole counsel of God; but continually, to the latest period of time, men shall be raised up to preach free grace in all its sovereignty, in all its omnipotence, in all its perseverance, in all its immutability. Until the sun grows dim with age, and the comets cease their mighty revolutions—until all nature quakes and totters with old age, and, palsied with disease, dies away—the voice of the ministry must and shall be heard, "and daily shall He be praised." Men cannot put out the light of Christianity—the pulpit is still the critical narrow pass of Christendom, and if there were but two godly ministers they would stand in the pass and repulse a thousand—yes, ten thousand. All the hosts of mankind shall never vanquish the feeble band of Christ's follower's, while He sends forth his ministers. On this we rely as a sure word of prophecy—"You teachers shall no more be removed into a corner;" and we believe that by this ministry daily shall Christ be praised.
Heaven is a place of complete victory and glorious triumph. This is the battlefield; there is the triumphal procession. This is the land of the sword and the spear; that is the land of the wreath and the crown. This is the land of the garment rolled in blood and the dust of the fight; that is the land of the trumpet's joyful sound—that is the place of the white robe and of the shout of conquest. Oh, what a thrill of joy shall shoot through the hearts of all the blessed when their conquests shall be complete in heaven, when death itself, the last of foes, shall be slain—when Satan shall be dragged captive at the chariot wheels of Christ—when He shall have overthrown sin and trampled corruption as the mire of the streets—when the great shout of universal victory shall rise from the hearts of all the redeemed!
The eagle is a bird noted for its swiftness—I remember reading an account of an eagle attacking a fish-hawk, which had obtained some booty from the deep, and was bearing it aloft. The hawk dropped the fish, which fell towards the water; but before the fish had reached the ocean, the eagle had flown more swiftly than the fish could fall, and catching it in its beak, it flew away with it. The swiftness of the eagle is almost incalculable; you see it, and it is gone; you see a dark speck in the sky yonder; it is in an eagle soaring; let the fowler imagine that in time he shall overtake it on some mountain's craggy peak, it shall be gone long before he reaches it. Such is our life. It is like an eagle hurrying to its prey; not merely an eagle flying in its ordinary course, but an eagle hurrying to its prey. Life appears to be hurrying to its prey—the prey is the body; life is ever fleeing from insatiate death; but death is too swift to be outrun, and as an eagle overtakes his prey, so shall death.
There is not a place beneath which a believer walks that is free from snares. Behind every tree there is the Indian with his barbed arrow; behind every bush there is the lion seeking to devour; under every piece of grass there lies the adder. They are everywhere.
You saw only yesterday a strong man in your neighborhood brought to the grave by sudden death; it is only a month ago that you heard the bell toll for one whom once you knew and loved, who procrastinated and procrastinated until he perished in procrastination. You have had strange things happen in your very street, and the voice of God has been spoken loudly through the lip of Death to you. Yes, and you have had warnings too in your own body, you have been sick with fever, you have been brought to the jaws of the grave, and have looked down into the bottomless vault of destruction. It is not long ago since you were given up—all said they might prepare a coffin for you, for your breath could not long be in your body. Then you turned your face to the wall and prayed; you vowed that if God would spare you, you would live a godly life, that you would repent of your sins; but to your own confusion you are just what you were. Ah! let me tell you, your guilt is more grievous than that of any other man, for you have sinned presumptuously, in the very highest sense in which you could have done so. You have sinned against reproofs, but what is worse still, you have sinned against your own solemn oaths and covenants, and against the promises that you made to God. He who plays with fire must be condemned as careless; but he who has been burned out once, and afterwards plays with the destroying element, is worse than careless; and he who has himself been scorched in the flame, and has had his locks all hot and crisp with the burning, if he again should rush headlong into fire, I say he is worse than careless, he is worse than presumptuous, he is mad. But I have some such here. They have had warnings so terrible that they might have known better; they have gone into lusts which have brought their bodies into sickness, and perhaps this day they have crept up to this house, and they dare not tell to their neighbor who stands by their side what is the loathsomeness that even now breeds upon their body. And yet they will go back to the same lusts; the fool will go again to the stocks, the sheep will lick the knife that is to slay him. You will go in your lust and in your sins, despite warnings, despite advice, until you perish in your guilt. How worse than children are grownup men! The child who goes for a merry slide upon a pond, if he be told that the ice will not bear him, turns back in fear, or if he daringly creeps upon it, how soon he leaves it, if he hears but a crack upon the slender covering of the water! But you men have conscience, which tells you that your sins are vile, and that they will be your ruin, you hear the crack of sin, as its thin sheet of pleasure gives way beneath your feet; yes, and some of you have seen your comrades sink in the flood, and lost; and yet you go sliding on, worse than childish, worse than mad are you, thus presumptuously to play with your own everlasting state. O my God, how terrible is the presumption of some! How fearful is presumption of any! Oh ! that we might be enabled to cry, "Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins."
Oh! you kind and affectionate hearts, who are not rich in wealth, but who are rich in love—and that is the world's best wealth—put this golden coin among your silver ones, and it will sanctify them. Get Christ's love shed abroad in your hearts, and your mother's love, your daughter's love, your husband's love, your wife's love, will become more sweet than ever. The love of Christ does not cast out the love of relatives, but it sanctifies our loves, and makes them sweeter by far. Remember the love of men and women is very sweet; but all must pass away; and what will you do, if you have no wealth but the wealth that fades, and no love but the love which dies, when death shall come? Oh! To have the love of Christ! You can take that across the river of death with you; you can wear it as your bracelet in heaven, and set it up as a seal upon your hand; for his love is "strong as death and mightier than the grave."
Behold, him whom you cannot behold! Lift up your eyes to the seventh heaven; see where, in dreadful majesty, the brightness of his gown makes the angels veil their faces, lest the light, too strong for even them, should strike them with eternal blindness. See him, who stretched the heavens like a tent to dwell in, and then weaves into their tapestry, with golden needle, stars that glitter in the darkness. Mark him who spread the earth, and created man upon it. And hear you what he is. He is all-sufficient, eternal, self existent, unchangeable, omnipotent, omniscient! Will you not reverence him? He is good, he is loving, he is kind, he is gracious! See the bounties of his providence; behold the plenitude of his grace! Will you not love Jehovah, because he is Jehovah?
It seems too costly for him who is the Prince of Life and Glory to let his fair limbs be tortured in agony; that the hands which carried mercies should be pierced with accursed nails; that the temples that were always clothed with love should have cruel thorns driven through them. It appears too much. Oh! Weep, Christian, and let our sorrow rise. Is not the price all but too great, that your beloved should for you resign himself?
It is marvelous that the men who most of all speak against faith are remarkable for gullibility. One of the greatest unbelievers in the world, who has called himself a free-thinker from his birth, is to be found now tottering into his tomb, believing the wildest absurdity that a child might make up. Not caring to have God in their hearts, forsaking the living fountain, they have hewn out to themselves cisterns which are broken, and hold no water. Oh! That we may each of us be more wise, that we may not forsake the good old path, nor leave the way that God has prepared for us. What wonder we should travel among thorns and briars, and tear our own flesh, or worse than that, fall among dark mountains, and be lost among the chasms, if we despise the guidance of an unerring Father.
Our Cunning Enemy
A cunning enemy we have to deal with; he knows our weak points; he has been dealing with men for these last six thousand years; he knows all about them. He is possessed of a gigantic intellect—though he be a fallen spirit; and he is easily able to discover where our sore places are, and there it is he immediately attacks us. If we are like Achilles, and cannot be wounded anywhere but in our heel, then at the heel he will send his dart, and nowhere else.