(Choice selections from the writings
 of William Tiptaft, 1803 1864)

I am a very dull scholar in Christ's school

What trials, afflictions, and sorrows are
required to separate us from the world!

How hard, carnal, and selfish does a man
become, who has nothing to soften him!

We need daily crosses and daily trials to
keep us in any way alive to eternal things,
and to maintain a spirit of prayer and

I trust I can say that my sickness has proved
profitable to me; but I am a very dull scholar
in Christ's school
, and need line upon line and
precept upon precept.

I have to lament a heart full of wickedness,
vanity, and folly.

I feel a strong inclination to avoid every cross.
But I am sure, nevertheless, that crosses are
daily needful

How we cleave to the world!

What pride, vanity, flesh-pleasing, and
worldly conformity are manifest in us!

"Before I was afflicted I went astray, but
 now I obey Your word." Psalm 119:67

   ~  ~  ~  ~

His children began to hiss!

Since I last wrote, I have preached in Abingdon Great
Church, on Christmas evening. I preached the truth, I
trust, to a very crowded congregation, supposed to be
(sitting and standing, who were able to get in) about
5,000 people. I pleased the believers; but very much
displeased the carnally-minded
, who were never before
so puzzled and confounded in all their lives! I spoke the
truth faithfully, and so as all could hear; but I had no
idea that the gospel would have given so much offence!
It is the truth that offends and disturbs Satan's
The neighboring clergymen, who are in
darkness, say of me, "Away with such a fellow from
the earth; it is not fit that he should live!"

My mind is not moved by the persecution. I believe
if God has a work for me to do, I shall do it, in spite
of the devil and all his children!

Nature is not changed, the gospel is not changed,
and Christ is not changed. What reason is there why
they should not hate the truth now, as much as in the
time of the apostles? I never saw any fruits of my
labors until I roused and disturbed the 'roaring lion'.
When, through the grace of God, I began to disturb
his kingdom, I soon found that his children began
to hiss!

The world and Satan hate believers. The Pharisees
hate me the most.
I cut off all their rotten props,
and all their fleshly devotion!

It is not coming near to the truth, it is not the 'mere letter'
of the gospel, that will convert men; but the Holy Spirit.

Make the Word of God your study. Pin your faith to
no man's views!
I scarcely read any other book.

Beware of those who want to exalt man in any manner.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The world is a great enemy!

"And this world is fading away, along
 with everything it craves." 1 John 2:17

What is this world, and all things in it, if
a man does not have God for his friend?

All things around us remind us that we are
nothing better than grass, and are like a
fleeting shadow
. And if we are void of saving
grace, awful is our state, whether we feel it
so or not. But we find that the Lord must make
us view things in their true colors. And if He
favors us with a few breathings after the
'heavenly manna', it will stop us from so
earnestly seeking that 'bread which perishes'.

The world is a great enemy! It contains so many
snares and baits so suitable to our carnal appetite!
We are surrounded with everything that is trying to
fasten our hearts to earthly things. And if we were
to have no crosses, and no enjoyment and comfort
in spiritual things, we would be endeavoring, still
more than we are, to find our happiness in earthly

A tender conscience and godly fear in the heart, are
great mercies. And if the Lord does bless our souls
with a sense of His pardoning love, it is a wonderful
favor. For we know our vileness sufficiently to be sure
that there is no hope for us but through His rich,
unmerited love and mercy. It is a very narrow path,
and the Lord must guide and direct us in it.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

They are ready to knock him on the head!

If the Bible is true, the only good investment
is giving money to the poor. That is safe; it is
money put out on the best security, as being
lent to the Lord. And what a good thing it is to
make a good use of money, while so many spend
nearly all they have on their selfish desires,
fancies, and lusts!

We all love the world more than we think!

"Spare yourself!" is written very deeply in our hearts.

We love the poor children of God less than we think;
for deeds, not words, come closest to the heart.

It is easier to preach than to practice.

What a dreadful thing it is to have the curse of a
covetous heart!
"The love of money is the root of all
evil," and sticks to one's heart like the flesh to the skin!

If any one at all despises money, the devil and the
world are in such a fight with him, that they are ready
to knock him on the head
, and will abuse him for being
a fool, or a madman!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Beset with many difficulties

The way to heaven is narrow, and beset with many
, and we, at times, are almost sorry that
we ever ventured out, especially when we keep
continually meeting with the lions in the way!

But nothing so much checks and stops us as vile self!
It cleaves to everything on the way, and wants so
often to turn us out of the way.

Also, the ear is not deaf to the alluring and enticing
invitation of Demas to look into the silver mine! Blessed
are they who are only allowed to look in. For, alas! how
many glaring professors and speedy travelers to Zion,
who have been brave companions on the way for a time,
have stopped short at that mine, and never could be
seen beyond it!

Our hearts are very closely knit with everything that the
world loves and admires. David said, "My soul cleaves to
the dust;" and so do all God's children say it now, at
times, if they know the plague of their own hearts.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

A rod that I needed

I find this sickness profitable to my soul.

It has, I trust, meekened and humbled my spirit,
and I have been brought down to lie passive in
the Lord's hands. I deserve many such, and much
more severe, chastisements for my daily sins and
iniquities; and it is through God's mercy that I am
spared to write to you.

I feel this sickness to be a rod that I needed.

If we escaped such trials, we would wander farther
from God after idols and the vain delights of our
wicked hearts.

This sickness has made me feel and think more of
poor people who cannot get comforts and even
necessaries in their daily ailments, while I have
abundance. But gratitude must come from God.

My opinions seem to differ from other people's,
and they cannot make out what kind of man I am.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

What debtors we are to grace!

It is a very narrow way to heaven, and none
can be rightly in the path except by God's
grace. Nor can they keep there, except by
grace. What debtors we are to grace!

God has been a kind and good God to me,
in various ways, for more than sixty-one years.
How little gratitude for such great blessings in
upholding, keeping and preserving us to the
present moment!

If we know that it is a mercy to be out of hell,
we have no room for boasting. What a precious
Savior Christ is to those who really need Him!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The more we taste of the pleasures of sin

How we find that there are two principles within
us continually at war, and how they ever wrestle
for mastery! But whatever suits and pleases the
flesh will surely make the soul lean, and bring on
deadness and barrenness.

The more we taste of the pleasures of sin, the
more we get blinded and intoxicated by them, and
the more anxious to enjoy them in this time-state,
whether we go to heaven or not.

Right hands and right eyes are dear to us,
and self-denial is a continual cross.

When we are tried, tempted, and harassed, we want
ease and comfort. Yet we daily learn that without
ballast we should not sail in any way safely on the
seas of temptation. We need chastisements, rods,
and crosses, to bring us to a throne of grace; and
we need a daily sense of our vileness and our sins
to constrain us to fly to the only true refuge for
poor helpless sinners, who is a Friend in need
and a Brother born for adversity.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

God will cleanse His people from their idols

He will give them those things that they hate,
and take from them those things that they love,
and hedge up their ways, and confound their
worldly schemes and wisdom, until they wonder
what He intends to do next.

"I will cleanse you from all your impurities
 and from all your idols." Ezekiel 36:25

   ~  ~  ~  ~

To separate us from worldly things

There is nothing worth living for in this vain world.

Vanity is stamped upon all created good.

All dealings with the world are of a deadening
nature; therefore, whatever unnecessarily brings
us into contact with the world should be avoided.

"No man can serve two masters." That great
truth is a continual cross to many.

"O wretched man that I am!" says the great apostle.
And so says every child of God who knows the plague
of his own heart. We need stripes, scourges, rods,
and afflictions, besides various other crosses to
separate us from worldly things
. Our souls so
very much cleave to the dust.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The soul is in its best state when most humbled.
Lowliness of mind and contrition of spirit are the
best evidences of the effects of grace wrought in
the soul. The promises are nearly all for . . .
  the humble,
  the lowly,
  the broken-hearted,
  the tempted,
  the tempest-tossed,
  the devil-harassed,
  the afflicted children of God.
For the Lord will revive the humble and the contrite.
He will give grace to the lowly, and feed the hungry
with good things.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

He will slay his idols

Real religion will find its way to the heart,
and its effect will be manifest in the life.

The Spirit's work is so little understood in the
present day. It is the work of the Holy Spirit
to convince of sin, to break the heart, and to
plough up the fallow ground.

When the Lord has taken a poor sinner in hand
He will never leave him, but will surely purge
away his dross and tin. He will slay his idols,
and tear him from those things he so much loves.
He will not be aware how many idols he has, until
God shows him in a measure the deceitfulness of
his heart.

The more God's children are taught spiritually, the
greater fools do they become in their own eyes; and
the more they know of their own wicked and vile state
by nature, the more are they astonished that God
should show mercy to such poor worms of the earth.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The dross which gathers so very fast

God's children need much humbling and stripping;
and frequently a 'furnace', to take away the dross
which gathers so very fast

"I have refined you but not in the way silver
 is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the
 furnace of suffering
." Isaiah 48:10

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Making children Pharisees and hypocrites

"I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom
 of God unless he is born again." John 3:3

It seems very cutting to parents when I warn them
against making children Pharisees and hypocrites.
But the truth is cutting to flesh and blood, for it is
sharper than any two-edged sword. We strongly
oppose what the professing world calls true religion.
Much of the religion of the present day, is nothing
but the work of Satan.
It is very near and dear to
the flesh, and the lost feel very loath to give it up;
as unwilling as the Jews were to leave their religion
for Christ.

The whole work of salvation is Christ's, and Christ's alone.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

If we are Christ's ministers

Before a man can preach the spirit of the gospel,

his life and conduct must be according to it; and most
gospel preachers fall short in this respect. It is the
cross we are inclined to shun.
But we shall bear it,
if we are Christ's ministers, and then our walk will
be quite contrary to the world.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Take my advice

We can spend everything upon that vile monster,
self! But when we are called on to give anything
for Christ, we hold our money back.  A day of
reckoning will come for all this. Christ will say,
"Give an account of your stewardship!"

Pray for me that the Lord may open my covetous
and selfish heart, and cause me to give freely for
His sake; for "there is one who scatters, and yet

If we spent as much every year for Christ as we
do to feed our pride, our light would shine more
than it does.

Take my advice
and have as little to do with
the world as you can help.

How very little we really need in this life!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

When the Lord opens your eyes wider, you will see
how much worldly-mindedness there is, in one shape
or other, among the professors around you. "If any man
loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

A day will soon arrive when it will be made known how
much we have spent in the gratification of our own lusts;
and how little for Christ. When He lived in this world
'self', was out of the question.

True knowledge of Christ alone will avail; they must be
taught of God what riches they have in Christ, to make
them despise the world and all its wealth and honors.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

People who want to get rich

The way to heaven is strait and narrow, and Satan
is an unwearied adversary, in disputing every inch
of the way. You will be much despised and cast out
for Christ's sake, and nothing will offend more than
separating yourself as much as possible from carnal
people. It is 'the life' which condemns the professing

When the world sees you unmoved by the riches
and the pleasures which it so much adores; when
you are led by the Spirit "to count all things but
rubbish for the excellency of the knowledge of
Christ"; you must expect then to bear reproaches
from the Hagar race!

There is but very little true religion anywhere.
It is a very narrow way to heaven, and if we enter
in, it will be entirely by the grace of God.

It is very plain that the world is too much in the
hearts of Christians, and Satan covers over
covetousness under the name of prudence. How
Christians compare themselves one with another,
instead of with the word of God. But God has a
people, whom He will separate from the world.

I am not heaping up treasures upon earth for
moth and rust to corrupt. I feel thankful to the
Lord I am so provided with every comfort in this
world. I hope that He will teach me self-denial,
that I may more liberally assist the poor and
afflicted brethren who lack even the necessities
of life. It is more blessed to give than to receive.

As a Christian, your mind will be much more easy
the less you have to do with the world. Having
food and clothing, be content therewith. Riches
and cares choke the seed, and keep you from
communion with God. "People who want to get
fall into temptation and a trap and into many
foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into
ruin and destruction." 1 Timothy 6:9

Your kingdom is not of this world.

If I love my money more than Christ, woe is me!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

A little plain food and plain clothing are
quite good enough for our vile bodies.

"After all, we didn't bring anything with us when we
 came into the world, and we certainly cannot carry
 anything with us when we die. So if we have enough
 food and clothing, let us be content. But people who
 long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped
 by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge
 them into ruin and destruction." 1 Timothy 6:7-9

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Satan's most subtle device

Satan is a very subtle enemy, and never spreads
his snare in your sight. I hope you will not be
induced to value any knowledge which does not
cause you to love Christ more, and to live more
decidedly as a member of His kingdom.

Satan does not care how much knowledge you have
in your head, so long as he can keep possession of
the citadel of your heart. Consequently, he will
change his position a thousand times, before he
will surrender his hold. But God's grace must and
will dethrone him, and set up the kingdom of Christ
in your heart, so that you will serve a new Master,
and for very different wages.

All that Satan can tempt us with, are perishable
things of time, that will soon vanish away.
though we profess to despise the riches and honors
of this life, none but those who are taught of God
will view them in their proper light.

Satan is the god of this world, and he blinds the
minds of those who do not believe. If one device
will not succeed
, he will try another; and every
unregenerate man will be led captive by him, in
some way or other.

Many may think they have outwitted him by a
knowledge of gospel truths in the head, while
their heart is devoid of grace. I feel this is
Satan's most subtle device

It matters little what a man knows, if Christ
is not the pearl of great price to him.

Is Jesus Christ precious to you?

Do you love Him so that you would die for Him?

Do you count all you lose for His sake gain?

   ~  ~  ~  ~

It was good for me to be afflicted

"Before I was afflicted I went astray, but
 now I obey your word." Psalm 119:67

"It was good for me to be afflicted, so that
 I might learn your decrees." Psalm 119:71

The children of God almost always flourish
more in trials and difficulties, than in the
sunshine of health and prosperity.

"I know, O Lord, that your laws are righteous, and
in faithfulness You have afflicted me." Psalm 119:75

   ~  ~  ~  ~

He is a fool!

"No servant is greater than his master. If they
 persecuted Me, they will persecute you also."
     John 15:20

You will not be persecuted for holding gospel
truths in the head; but for having grace in your
; for the former will not cause you to differ
from the world.

When the fruits of the Spirit manifest themselves
in your life; when you are blind to your own interest
in this world; when you are deaf to the advice of the
worldly-wise, then it will be said of you, "He is a
changed man; he is a fool!"

Now, my dear brother, be assured of this, as God
works in your dark soul, such changes as these will
be caused; so that instead of panting after the
riches of this world
, you will pant after the
unsearchable riches of Christ!

'Human nature' cannot and will not make great sacrifices;
but as you have a knowledge given to you by the Spirit of
the exceeding great and precious promises laid up in Christ
for God's chosen few, you will be led to see the nothingness
and vanity of all things here below, and you will with joy cry
out, "We have a kingdom which cannot be moved!"

God, by His Spirit, quickens, and He alone can enable you
to separate from your old companions and the world, and
so make great sacrifices for Christ's sake, who has died
that you might live; who became poor that you through
His poverty might be made rich!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

It is only by the Spirit's teaching

As a child of God, you are not of the world, but
are chosen out of it. You are only a stranger and
a pilgrim here.

You will meet with many professing to love the
true doctrines of the gospel; but, alas! they at
the same time love their sins, and too evidently
show themselves to be . . .
  lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.

The gospel conforms God's people to the
image of His dear Son.

It is only by the Spirit's teaching that we learn to
be humble, meek, and lowly of heart; we see our
helpless and lost state by nature, and are surprised
to find our hearts so unclean and sinful.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

"Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world
 hates you." 1 John 3:13

You will be much despised and cast out for Christ's
sake, and nothing will offend more than separating
yourselves as much as possible from carnal people.

It is 'the life' which condemns the professing world.

When the world sees you unmoved by the riches
and the pleasures which it so much adores; when
you are led by the Spirit "to count all things but
rubbish for the excellency of the knowledge of
Christ"; when you have a single eye to God's glory,
you must expect then to bear reproaches from
the Hagar race.