Words of Loving Counsel and Sympathy
Mary Winslow, 1774-1854
Mrs. Winslow possessed a remarkably fertile, as a deeply sanctified, pen. It was emphatically the "pen of a ready writer," whose teachings seemed ever under the guiding hand of God's Spirit. In this, probably, lay her peculiar gift, and this defined her far-reaching sphere of usefulness. Her yet unpublished remains compose a large amount of material, capable of being molded into varied forms of sacred instruction and beauty. "What shall be their disposal?" was a serious and responsible question. To destroy them appeared a sacrilege; entirely to withhold them from the Christian Church, a robbery. The present volume is, in a limited measure, a reply to this question.
It is composed of sacred and precious thoughts, culled from her extensive correspondence, bearing, as the occasion demanded, upon some of the most important and interesting topics of the believer's experience. In this department of Christian service she was eminently fitted, from her own personal and rich experience, her deep-toned spirituality, not less than by the holy and beautiful consistency of her religious life, to be "a succourer of many." "She has been a helper of many and of myself as well." Romans 16:2
The streams which flow through this unpretending little volume will, it is hoped, refresh and invigorate many of the Lord's people, whose souls, like Israel of old, are much discouraged because of the hardness of way. The readings, though brief — and this will be a peculiar charm to many who cannot command time or strength for more lengthened teaching — will be found to embrace a wide range of topics.
The anxious seeker will be led to Jesus;
the feeble believer will be strengthened;
the wanderer from the Savior will be allured back;
the ignorant mind will be instructed;
the tried spirit will be comforted;
the desponding heart will be cheered;
the tempted soul will be succored;
the advanced believer will be aided;
and even the minister of Christ will be stimulated and encouraged
— it is humbly and prayerfully trusted, with the Divine blessing — from a perusal of these unassuming pages.
They are the breathings of one who dwelt much in the region of the cross, who often, to use her own expressive words, "took her walks alone" — one who lived in close communion with God, and who came daily up out of the wilderness leaning in simple, calm faith, upon her Beloved. As such, it is hoped they will receive a welcome in many a Christian home, and awaken a psalm of praise in many a believing heart. And to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — shall be ascribed all the glory!
Octavius Winslow, February, 1868.
Carrying our little troubles and needs to God!
"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered!" Matthew 10:29-30
What a mercy it is to have an Almighty Friend — powerful and willing to help in every time of need!
I often think it requires more faith to go to Him with small things, than in great trials. We are apt to think He will not take notice of our little difficulties, and feel ashamed to call upon so great and mighty a Being for every trifle. But this thought originates with the pride of our hearts, for in one sense the universe itself and ten thousand such worlds — are trifles to God.
But when we read that every hair of our head is numbered — what encouragement we have to take everything to Him who alone can deliver us out of all our troubles. I think carrying our little troubles and needs to God, honors Him even more than when we go to Him with greater.
O what a mercy to be persuaded that whatever may be our circumstances, God is with us, directing and overruling the whole for our good and for His own glory. To know that He is ours — and that we are His. To draw near in faith, telling Him all that is in our hearts, conscious of having the ear and heart of Jehovah towards us. Is not this true, substantial happiness?
"Cast all your care on Him, because He cares for you!" 1 Peter 5:7
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Poor Miss Smith — where is she now?
She entered the train in full expectation of many years of health, wealth, and happiness in this world — and in a few hours was gone forever! Poor Miss Smith — where is she now?
Oh to live for eternity, a glorious eternity! What madness not to be preparing for it. There is nothing on earth so important as to be ready for eternity. Like Miss Smith, you may leave your home in health and in high spirits, in the anticipation of meeting dear friends — and in a few hours be ushered into the presence of the great Judge of Heaven and earth, to be tried at His bar, and acquitted or condemned. But this is a subject ridiculed and slighted by the ungodly.
Try to live on earth, as you expect to live in Heaven. Walk holy and uprightly — just as if the Lord were with you, and in your midst.
I often long to see Jesus — and also Heaven. Heaven is an ocean of love!
Earth is a weary place to me — and Heaven looks very inviting!
To be freed from a body of sin and death,
to be done with the conflict,
to shed no more tears,
to breathe no more sighs,
to have grappled with, and to have overcome the "last enemy,"
to enter into an eternal rest,
to behold Jesus in all His beauty and glory,
to unite my praises with those who are dear to me by nature and by grace,
Oh is not this worth living for, and is it not worth dying for!
O blessed hope of immortality!
A few more steps, and I too am there — a sinner saved by sovereign grace!
I want to have all my thoughts centered on Jesus — He is all and everything to my soul. As I near my home in Heaven, He grows more and more endeared. I feel that Heaven would be no Heaven to me, were He not there.
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What could we do in this wilderness world?
"From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another!" John 1:16
What could we do in this wilderness world, beset with manifold temptations within and without — had we not a God to go to — Jesus, an ever-present Help in times of trouble? He is our Helper in little matters, as in great ones. No one on earth, however dear, can take His place. We need Him as our Counselor and Guide, our Protector and Deliverer. How needful, then, and how sweet — to be ever sitting at His feet, looking up and meeting His loving eye, as it looks down upon us. Let us allow no distance between us and our dearest and best Friend.
Jesus indeed is very precious. Everything else sinks into its native nothingness when compared with Him. The more we see of the matchless, boundless love of Christ — the more we lie under a sense of our wretched deformity in the dust of self-abasement before Him. But O the love springing from a sense of free pardon and full acceptance in Him, is often overpowering, and produces bitter tears, yet mixed with so much that is sweet.
All is given freely and fully. We come needy and helpless — and receive all from Him. O the riches of His grace, and matchless love to such as we are!
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This old house!
"Dear friends, I urge you, as strangers and pilgrims in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul." 1 Peter 2:11
What a snare is this world to us! Thankfully, we are not here on this poor earth forever — better things await the Christian in a glorious hereafter. We are traveling homeward! This world is not our rest, because it is defiled — Jesus is preparing a better place for us. I feel like a bird standing between time and eternity, and ready to launch away at a moment's notice of the summons from above!
Time is quickly hastening on! This poor world is not worth a thought — all is passing away, but a glorious eternity awaits us! Oh, what must it be to be there!
The heart of Jesus is an ocean of love! O the joy of eternal communion with the Savior! He is the Chief of ten thousand, and the altogether lovely one! Having Him, we have all things we can desire here, and a good hope of eternal life hereafter.
I would not be without this hope for millions of worlds! I feel that this old house is being taken down little and by little. I stand astonished, considering the storms and tempests that have assailed it, that it has continued so long. But I have a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens! And there, first of all, I shall meet with the Savior of poor sinners, even Jesus Christ, who suffered, bled, and died that I should live forever!
Let us then live like one whose home is not here in this wilderness, but who is traveling day by day to a better and more glorious inheritance above, which is to last through the countless ages of a vast and endless eternity!
"Live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear!" 1 Peter 1:17
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Worldly ease and prosperity!
"Give me neither poverty nor riches. Feed me with the food that I need; or I shall be full, and deny you, and say: Who is the LORD?" Proverbs 30:8-9
How plainly I see that worldly ease and prosperity do not help the children of God. Covet them not, I beseech you! How the creature steals the heart's best affections from God! But oh of this one thing I am assured — that when that is the case, our good and wise Father knows how to deal with His beloved children. He breaks their cisterns and destroys their gourds.
What a snare, too, to the believer, is the society of the ungodly. Our nature is so much more inclined to evil than to good, that we insensibly imbibe the poison, and it contaminates our whole spiritual being. Who could be enclosed in a sepulcher with a putrid corpse — and not feel his health and strength and life decline? May the Lord in mercy preserve us!
None but God Himself is a satisfying Portion. Earth, with all its promised comforts, cannot do it. Therefore the Apostle exhorts, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said: Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
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I much dislike preaching in prayer
"Praying in the Holy Spirit." Jude 20
I much dislike preaching in prayer. And yet most ministers fall into this habit. If they would pray in the pulpit as they pray in their study, how much sweeter would it be — more simple and more spiritual.
Prayer is the most holy exercise of the soul, and should be the pure breathing of the renewed heart in humble, earnest, supplication, as in the very presence of a holy God. And when the soul thus enters into the Divine presence and loses sight of the poor worms of the dust who are listening — there is no self-seeking, or wish to please the ear of man — but humbly to get the blessed ear of God Himself.
We should come as a humble suppliant, a poor and needy beggar, nay, as a helpless child pleading in the simplest language at a Father's feet. This is prayer, pure prayer. We should endeavor to pray as if no one heard us but God.
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The sweetest life upon earth!
"The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me!" Galatians 2:20
The sweetest life upon earth is a life of faith — constantly looking to Jesus for all we need. Then it is we grow in grace, and in the knowledge of God our Savior. God permits a trial — perhaps a bitter one — to rouse our faith from its sleep, and to bring it into healthy and vigorous exercise.
In this way the believer can rejoice in tribulation — yes, and does rejoice; not because of the tribulation, but because of the matchless love of Christ manifested at such seasons. The Lord knows when to pay His loving visits. He knows how to time them — even when we need them. There are stolen visits from Heaven to earth. No eye sees Him, nor ear hears Him, nor heart feels Him — but the poor, tried, tempted soul. If ever sin appears most hateful, that is the time.
I thank God for the sharp trial of faith through which I have passed, and would not now, as much as I suffered, have been without it — so much tenderness and wisdom, faithfulness and love, do I see mixed up with it.
Who would not love this good God, so full of love, so full of tenderness, so full of compassion for poor sinners — that the feeblest, the vilest, may draw near to Him in Jesus, and bask in the sunshine of His love.
Who can withstand the love of Christ? How it humbles, and yet exalts. How it casts down, and yet uplifts. How it weans from earth, and draws to Heaven. Tears of joy and tears of sorrow flow together. Then does the believer feel that if he had a thousand hearts, he could give them all to Christ; and that if it were possible, he would never, no never, sin against One so full of love and so beloved again!
Is there not enough in Jesus to engage all our thoughts and all our hearts? Let Him be our chief joy now — keeping very near to Him, and allowing no idol to come between our souls and Him, our best and dearest Friend.
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The Lord knows what is best for us!
"He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation." Psalm 107:7
The believer is not his own; we belong to Christ, and all that concerns us He will arrange in His own most loving way. What concerns us, equally concerns Him. Why then should we be anxious about anything? When the believer is brought to see that God is in every circumstance, small and great, connected with the saints, it contents and quiets the mind, and allays all that discomposed and worried it.
The Lord knows what is best for us, and it is our duty and privilege to bow submissively to His will, and to be thankful that He has undertaken for us all our journey through.
We must trust the Lord in the dark, casting our burden upon Him, who is able to do more and far better than we can ask or think of. His name is Love to His people, and He cannot deny them any good thing. We are short-sighted, but God sees for us from the beginning to the end, so that we may safely put our hands in His, and let Him lead us through all the intricate maze of the wilderness, however dark and dreary it may be for us.
I desire to acknowledge God in all my ways, seeing there is nothing that happens by chance here below — but is under the control of Him who ordains all things, and is directing all things, from the fall of a sparrow to that of a monarch. I wish to yield myself to His wise and loving dispensations, however much they may be contrary to my own wishes, and believe that it is well. Times without number have I found it so.
The Lord will not let me have my own way. That is a great mercy, since He has undertaken to direct my steps. The pillar of cloud has in the present instance moved a different way — not my way, but God's way. We shall see the why and the wherefore sooner or later. Only watch the leadings and dealings of God's loving providence, and be content to follow where He leads, though it crosses our plans and projects. Be assured God knows best what is best for us!
What poor creatures we are to judge for ourselves, who cannot see a step before us, and know not what may happen the next moment. It is a most blessed privilege to have a good and gracious God as our Guardian, Guide, Friend, and Redeemer — and to know it for ourselves. Happy is that people that is in such a case!
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As if He had not another in the whole universe to care for!
What a privilege for such worms of the earth as we are, to have fellowship with the great and mighty God of the universe, and such sweet manner of access to the very heart of a precious Savior.
Jesus is most precious, and eternal things appear of greater importance to me than ever. Sin appears most hateful, and conformity to Christ above all things most desirable. I long and pant after holiness, and mourn that I am so vile. I dread more than ever to be left to myself — I feel that I can trust none but Christ. God's goodness and great tenderness melt me into deep contrition, and humble me in the dust. I say often to myself, "How can I sin against so good, so gracious, and loving a Father?"
Let us hold fast our confidence in God, for He is our Friend, unchanging in all His purposes of the tenderest mercy and love. If He has given His dear Son for us — will He, can He, withhold anything else that is really for our good? His love for us, is as if He had not another in the whole universe to care for. Be of good courage — for Christ is yours, and all things are His.
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What a treacherous foe dwells in our bosom!
"Hold me up, and I shall be safe — and I shall observe Your statutes continually." Psalm 119:117
We live in a dangerous world — a world lying in wickedness! And when we remember what a treacherous foe dwells in our bosom, ever prompting us to evil — we need cry mightily to God to save us from Satan and from our own selves. The older I grow, and the nearer I get to glory, the more, it appears to me, I have to do with this hidden evil within — this treacherous foe.
I have lately had a very sweet humbling view of my own hateful self, and a soul-melting view of the wonderful and over-whelming goodness of God in loving and saving one so vile.
But oh the comfort I find in lying close to the Fountain, and never allowing one enemy to escape. The blood that speaks pardon also sanctifies, heals, and cleanses. God be praised for this Fountain, and God forbid that we should presume upon it! "On that day a fountain will be opened . . . to cleanse them from sin and impurity." Zechariah 13:1
"For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:6, 8
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The more we feel the exceeding sinfulness of sin!
The Lord seems to be giving to a fresh view of sin's sinfulness. The more we feel the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and are led into a just view of our own most wretched helplessness — the more we shall value the great and glorious Atonement made for sin; so also in proportion Jesus will be precious.
The more you know of the desperate wickedness of your own heart — the more you will love Christ.
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To be happy, we must be holy
I am more and more convinced every hour of my life, that to be happy, we must be holy; and that in proportion as we attain to the image of Christ in all things — so we attain to real happiness.
On the contrary, we are miserable and unhappy in proportion as we allow sin, any one sin, to remain unmortified and unconfessed before God. God is a jealous God, jealous over our hearts, for from thence comes all our misery and woe. O how necessary to watch over this deceitful inmate, and to try it continually by the truth, and so discover all its silent, deep-workings, and treachery against our peace and God's glory; detecting the enemy, and carrying it at once to the Physician who alone can heal and cure, and conquer in us and for us.
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Could we look into God's heart
Faith is increased by exercising what we have. Therefore the Lord sends crosses, losses, and trials.
Could we look into God's heart, and see how precious we were to Him, and how truly He is near to us, watching over us, directing all things for our good and His glory — how would our present grievances vanish from our minds, and we sit as beloved children at the feet of Jesus. O that we were kept more under the power of Divine grace.
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The bane of spirituality!
We have need to watch against formality in prayer. It is the bane of spirituality! A cold form of prayer said, not felt, with which the heart has had nothing to do — is an abomination in the sight of a holy, heart-searching God.
The real Christian should never rise from his knees satisfied, unless he feels he has had the ear of God, and a response from his heart. This is holy communion. We shall have it in perfection in Heaven, but we may experience a foretaste of it even here on earth.
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24
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Never does He love us better!
"Every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bring forth more fruit." John 15:2
We need our Divine Physician at all times, for He alone who casts down, can lift up; and He it is who has engaged to heal all our diseases and cure all our infirmities — body, soul, and spirit.
We bring forth so little fruit to His glory, that He sees it needful to prune the tree, that it may bring forth more fruit. He looks into our hearts and sees much coldness, worldliness, and cleaving to the creature — instead of cleaving to Him; much spiritual barrenness, slighting of the Holy Spirit — and but little love to Him. And this causes Him, for our soul's sake and our best interests, to lay His gentle hand upon us. Never does He love us better than when He brings us under the rod of correction, and there deals with us in a way that proves to us what He is.
Our afflictions are sent in love to our souls, to draw us nearer Himself, and to conform us to His likeness — and we shall praise Him for them through eternity.
What an unchanging Friend is Christ to us. Though He chastens, yet it is all in love, that we might know Him better, and give Him our heart's warmest affections.
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If we examine our best works, we shall find enough of sin mixed up with them as might sink us to endless woe!
"For we have all become like one who is unclean [ceremonially, like a leper], and all our righteousness (our best deeds of rightness and justice) is like filthy rags or a polluted garment; we all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away [far from God's favor, hurrying us toward destruction]." Isaiah 64:6 (Amplified Bible)
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Would we have it otherwise?
"The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever." 1 John 2:17
The world is passing away — and we are passing away. Would we have it otherwise?
We are on our way to glory — to the inheritance which our dearest Friend has gone to prepare for us. In a little while, we shall see Him face to face! We are on a pilgrimage to Heaven, with girded loins, and hearts and eyes fixed upon Jesus. Heaven is a place of the most exalted and perfect enjoyment — and the presence of Jesus makes it all that an immortal soul can desire.
The world is but a dreary passage, through which we must pass to our glorious home prepared for us by infinite and everlasting love. The present world is not worth thought — except that it conducts us to the glory that awaits the tried believer. Then will come perfect holiness, and with it perfect happiness. I can truly say, "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!"
How trifling does everything appear in contrast with the solemn realities of eternity! Then let us not cleave to the things of a poor dying world — having as little to do with it as possible, in passing through it as not to be of it; living upon Christ, living for Christ, and living with Christ forever.
Words are inadequate to express the mighty debt of love we owe Him. Vile and worthless though we are, Jesus loves us, and will love us unto the very end.
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Only the empty sinner and the full Christ!
"Indeed, we have all received grace after grace from His fullness!" John 1:16
It is the will of our heavenly Father that we should feel our dependence upon Him — and that He should thus manifest His tender love in supplying all our needs. Even the brute creation, fed daily from our hands, grow more and more attached to us from the very circumstance of their dependence. So it is with Christ's little flock — they look up to the hand that supplies them, and it is opened for their relief.
May the Lord make us diligent and watchful, showing us more and more our utter helplessness — and at the same time unfolding to us the rich treasures we have in Jesus, from whom comes our help. How can we be poor when we have so affluent a Friend as Christ? Poor in ourselves — but rich in Him. It has pleased the Father that in Him all fullness should dwell — that we might receive out of that fullness, grace upon grace! The poorer we are, the more welcome. Only the empty sinner and the full Christ, can walk together in sweet fellowship.
O to live more in child-like simplicity on our Savior who loves us — telling Him all that we fear and all that we need, with an open heart and no concealments!
How long it is before we experientially learn the truth, "Without Me you can do nothing!" Not one real step in the heavenly road can we take — unless we lean upon Jesus. What a mighty arm is this! "God manifest in the flesh." Here is security for us, and help while passing through this wilderness world to the land of glory. Keep this truth uppermost in your mind — that Jesus has to do with you every moment of your existence, and that you have to do with Him! Solemn thought! Yet how true!
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It is an unspeakable mercy!
"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9
Uncertain are the things of this uncertain world. "The lot is cast into the lap — but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord!" May God be praised that it is so.
It is an unspeakable mercy that all our concerns are in His hands, who knows the end from the beginning. We know nothing aright — but where His providence guides, we may confidently follow.
It is an unspeakable mercy to have a loving, wise, and omnipotent Father to lead His blind child through this wilderness world, where we have enemies on the right hand and on the left — and who has engaged to land us safely in glory at last!
"My times are in Your hands!" Psalm 31:15
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God will answer the prayers of His children— but He will do so in His own time and way.
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The death of your little onehas, doubtless, been a severe trial, and your heart has deeply felt it. But as nothing can take place in the experience of a child of God, but what our good and gracious Father designs, in infinite love, for our advancement in the divine life so closely connected with His own glory. We are to submit to His holy will, and believe that there is a needs be for it — and that what we know not now, we shall know hereafter. The Lord loves His children too well to lay the weight of a feather upon them without absolute necessity. His name is Love. I trust you have been enabled to say, "May Your will be done!"
We are but poor judges of what we need. God, who gave His beloved Son to die for us, knows what is best for us in our journey homewards. Nothing can take place but what is in that covenant, ordered in all things, before our existence. From everlasting, His doings have been those of infinite wisdom and love towards His redeemed people.
It is good to feel that we are in the Lord's hands, and that all our trials, small and great, are designed by Him for the furtherance of His work in our souls. We shall have to thank Him for them all, when we see Him face to face. What a blissful time that will be!
"The Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom he receives." Hebrews 12:6. This is the lot of all who are traveling to Heaven.
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There is nothing worth living for!
"What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ!" Philippians 3:8
There is nothing worth living for, but to serve and please Jesus! If we live below this, we are great losers.
How much weaning we need from this disappointing world — a world lying in the Wicked One! And yet we so closely cling to it, that He who loves us is compelled to send many a wrench to tear us from it.
This poor world is not our rest. Let us beware of building a nest here, for as sure as we do, He who loves us will plant a thorn in it!
He takes away the creature — and gives us Himself!
"So we make it our goal to please Him!" 2 Corinthians 5:9
"And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God." Colossians 1:10
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I mourn over my proneness to forget a thousand mercies, in one little cross.
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This present evil world!
The world is a great snare, and the source of many a fatal evil. What is this poor world, when we come to look death in the face, and are about to turn our backs upon all below?
What a world of sin and trial this is — it is an ocean of crime and wretchedness. Earth's creatures suffer for man's sin. Truly, it is emphatically, "This present evil world!"
O to feel that we are not our own, but that all we possess belongs to the Lord.
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It requires a sharp instrument!
Depend upon it Christ is taking His own way with us — to humble us, and to make us look more to Him and less to the creature. He would have us not only confess that we are nothing, for this is easily said — but also to feel it.
It requires, with some of God's children, the sharpest discipline to compel them to give up self. In some form or other, unsuspected by us, self clings to us like our very skin, and then it requires a sharp instrument to accomplish the end our heavenly Father intends for our good and His own glory.
Pride is most hateful to Him, and this distemper cleaves so closely to us, that the Lord is giving us just such bitter medicine as is calculated to effect a cure. O that it may be accomplished! We are called to walk by faith in an unseen Hand, which at this moment is directing all our little concerns, however intricate they may appear.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His word;
Behind a frowning providence
There sits a smiling God.
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This honor He puts upon a worm!
We are poor sinners still, and need as much the grace of God now — as we did the first moment that we turned our faces heaven-ward.
What an honor to lean upon the God of heaven — Him who upholds the world and all created things. This honor He puts upon a worm!
What a mercy to be kept for fifty years in the ways of God, without being left in that time to bring a disgrace upon His dear name, or to turn aside out of His way — upheld by sovereign grace. "Kept by the power of God, through faith, unto salvation"
May God keep us, for we cannot keep ourselves. May He help us, too, to cease from man, and to cling closer to a gracious Jesus.
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If He has given us a kingdom
May we be enabled to put full confidence in God when, to our weak apprehension, things go contrary to our desires.
It is astonishing how soon we forget who it is that undertakes for our present good and eternal happiness. Every fresh disappointment sets us doubting and fearing — doubting whether this or that will actually work for our good. "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you a kingdom!" If He has given us a kingdom — will He deny us anything needful for our comfort while passing on to it?
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Dear Mrs. Brown died this morning
"They are without fault before the throne of God." Revelation 14:5
Dear Mrs. Brown died this morning. She is released from a sinful, suffering body — and has gone to that world of holiness and happiness for which she lived, and where she longed to be. Her whole life, like her Savior's, was devoted to doing good.
How I love to think of Heaven as the atmosphere of love, and the unutterable delight of seeing Him whom we most love, freed from sin, and forever with the Lord.
Time is short!
Live for eternity!
Let us strive not to please ourselves, but Him who loved us and gave Himself for us!
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I never came to Jesus so much as a little child, as I do now that I am an aged pilgrim. I seem to sink into helpless weakness, needing Christ more than ever every moment.
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Like bubbles floating in the air, they often look very pretty!
"It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes." Psalm 118:9
Put no confidence in human plans. Like bubbles floating in the air, they often look very pretty — but they burst and vanish away!
Do not grieve the Spirit by leaning upon an arm of flesh, thus going down into Egypt for help.
All we have to do is to walk in the precept, and the Lord will fulfill the promise. The silver and the gold is His, and He will withhold no good thing from those who walk uprightly.
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God has a controversy with this sinful, proud, and haughty nation!
I believe, indeed, that God has a controversy with this sinful, proud, and haughty nation, and is sending pestilence and famine.
But do the ungodly take knowledge of this? And is the Church of God humbling itself? Not at all!
What multitudes are saying, "Lord, Lord!" who know Him not! And how many in His name are preaching another Gospel, a Gospel of their own invention. O when will such be wise and obey God? When will they consider their latter end?
Precious Jesus! Chief among ten thousand! I could weep to think how little You are thought of by the world at large, and even how little by Your professing Church.
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They are gone! but where?
"You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you!" Luke 12:20
How astonishing it is that anyone can trifle with eternity — that anyone can leave to a dying hour, the greatest concern of life, and be satisfied with a vain hope that they are quite safe, and yet live on from day to day until the summons, perhaps, surprises them in too much distress of body to attend to the great concerns of the soul.
They are gone! but where?
Their doom is fixed. There is no return to rectify a fatal mistake.
A dead-bed is no proper place for repentance. Let us serve the Lord in life, and He will not leave us to die alone.
It should be our aim to live habitually above the world and all its poor nothings — so walking with Jesus. Our home is above, not here, where we are but strangers and pilgrims.
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There is enough in ourselves to cause us to go weeping all the way!
While traveling through a tempting world, and bearing about us a body of sin — we require constant communications from the Fountain-head. It will be our wisdom to keep closely there, living upon Him, and going to Him for fresh supplies — feeling the full force of His own words, "Without Me you can do nothing!"
God does nothing in vain, as it respects His own blood-bought people.
There is enough in ourselves to cause us to go weeping all the way; but . . .
in the fullness of Christ,
in the blood that cleanses,
in the Spirit that sanctifies,
in the grace that upholds,
in the wisdom that directs, and
in the boundless, matchless love that pardons —
there is sufficient to make us go on our way rejoicing.
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The Lord, in compassion to us, will make it a wilderness to us
"I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better!" Philippians 1:23
Oh that believers lived more in the sunshine of their coming glory! How few we meet with, who are traveling with the sweet anticipation of their eternal home. Strangers here, the present world not our rest — and the path is thorny.
Yet we can enjoy some glimpses of the glorious realities which are before us. As the body fails, and memory fails, and all things else fail — hope brightens, and the prospect of seeing that face once so marred with sorrow, but now arrayed in glory and ineffable beauty, becomes more real.
This poor world, which is passing away, is not worth a thought — and the Lord, in compassion to us, will make it a wilderness to us.
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Seventy-one years ago!
"He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation!" Psalm 107:7
Surely my eventful life would make a full volume of God's goodness and unfailing care.
In all my wanderings, He was ever around my path, never leaving nor forsaking me.
When faint and weary in my task, He has strengthened me.
When cast down, He has lifted me up.
When tried (and they were not a few), He has comforted me.
Now I can look back upon all the way He has led me, and see that it was the right way. And though a thorny path, it has led to happiness, comfort, and consolation here — and will bring me to glory hereafter!
Seventy-one years ago I made my appearance in this world of sin and sorrow; and as truly as good old Israel testified so can I — though few and evil have been my days, yet goodness and mercy have followed me throughout, and here I am to praise the Lord, and I trust shall praise Him in eternity for all the trials, sorrows, and troubles I have met with along the way.
"It is good for me that I have been afflicted!" Each one has come with a message from God to my soul! It is a mercy that, as through much tribulation we must enter the kingdom — our heavenly Father chooses what that tribulation shall be.
"You shall remember all the way which the Lord Your God led you." Deuteronomy 8:2
If we knew and loved Jesus better, we could safely leave all in His hands, believing that He would lay no more upon us than He will support us under, and bless to us also.
Oh to come to Him as little children for all we need, for body and for soul, for time and for eternity!
Let us praise God for all — the bitter, the sweet — for all is designed to train and mature us for the holy place Christ has gone to take possession of for us.
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The chastening of love!
"For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom He receives!" Hebrews 12:6
The great end and purpose of God in all His dealings in our eventful lives, is to bring us to a better acquaintance with Himself. We are prone to be so occupied, nay engrossed, with earthly things — as, in a measure, to lose sight of Him. Hence we necessarily subject ourselves to God's fatherly discipline. In this light we can look back and see why we have been so often tried and chastened. Though bitter, it has been the chastening of love. It was designed to restore our wanderings, to recall our truant hearts, for it is with the heart that God has to do.
We should bless God for all the trials and tribulations through which we have passed. They have been all needful; not one too many, and all sent in love to our souls.
The Savior loves you too dearly to lay upon you one stroke more than is needful for your soul's best interests.
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Rise up My love, My beautiful one, and come away with Me!
Even at its longest period, life is but a dream, a vapor that appears for a little while, and then passes away. The continuous voice of Jesus to us is, "Rise up My love, My beautiful one, and come away with Me!"
How unwise, then, so to encircle ourselves with this poor world, as to permit our hearts to be entangled with the trifles of time, thus keeping us from the sweet and holy enjoyment of eternal realities.
While thus seeking to live above the world, we must remember that we have all our individual and relative duties to perform. But the greatest and holiest is, to commend the Gospel by our upright, holy walk, and in entreating all around us to come with us that we may do them good.
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If we ever cherish any idol in our hearts!
Let us never forget, that if we ever cherish any idol in our hearts, allowing the creature, however dear, to come between Christ and us — He will remove the idol out of the way — or make it a source of trouble and sorrow.
If, then, we discover coldness in our affections towards Him, let us at once go and tell Him — and He will warm them afresh with His own love — His precious love that never varies, and never chills.
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O, do not trifle with eternity!
"They will go away to eternal punishment — but the righteous to eternal life!" Matthew 25:46
Do not trifle with your precious souls!
Do not trifle with God!
O, do not trifle with eternity!
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There is no part of God's truth that will be of any practical value to us, but as it is wrought in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, and brought out in our lives by God's providence.
Our God knows what dull scholars we are, and takes such means as will secure our greatest knowledge and promote our greatest usefulness. We shall, in this school of trial and of faith, learn lessons taught us no where else.
May the Lord comfort and strengthen you, and make all things work together for your soul's best interests and His own glory.