John Mason's Spiritual Sayings

1646-1694


THE BIBLE, THE WORD OF GOD

**The word of God must be . . .
  nearer
to us than our friends,
  dearer
to us than our lives,
  sweeter
to us than our liberty, and
  pleasanter
to us than all earthly comforts.
 

**Take the candle of God's word and search the corners of your heart.
 

**We speak to God in prayer; God speaks to us in His word.
 

**All arguments against the word of God are fallacies;
  all ideas against the word are delusions;
  all derision against the word is folly; and
  all opposition against the word is madness.
 

**When God threatens, that's a time to repent;
  when He promises, that's a time to believe;
  when He commands, that's a time to obey.
 

**If a man believed the threatenings of the word of God,
  he would tremble and fly to the promises for refuge.
 

**As Christ came out of His Father's bosom,
  so the promises came out of Christ's side.


 

GOD

**We may have right apprehensions of God,
 though not an exact comprehension of Him.
 

**God's goodness makes His majesty amiable, and His majesty makes His goodness wonderful. His love is not abated by His greatness, nor His greatness by His love. His holiness hinders Him not from dwelling with the poor in spirit.
 

**God deals with His servants not as an angry master,
  but as a compassionate father.
 

**A sight of God begins a saint on earth and perfects him in heaven.
 

**God takes notice of every particular man as if there were none else; and yet takes notice of all as if they were but one man.
 

**God repented that He made man but never repented that He redeemed man.
 

**This is a sure rule– God never takes anything from His people,
  but He gives them something better instead of it.
 

**A man may be a worshiper of the true God,
   and yet not a true worshiper of God.
 

**Fear God for His power,
  trust Him for His wisdom,
  love Him for His goodness,
  praise Him for His greatness,
  believe Him for His faithfulness,
  adore Him for His holiness.
 

**All creatures are as nothing compared with God,
  and absolutely nothing without God.


 

THE FEAR OF GOD

**Those who fear God least have the greatest reason to fear Him.
 

**The more we fear God the less we shall fear men.
 

**Those who will not fear God in prosperity
  will be afraid of Him in adversity.


 

THE LOVE OF GOD

**We hated God without a cause,
  and He loved us without a cause.
 

**Love begets love. It is a flame that communicates itself. Those who have much forgiven them, much done for them, much laid out for them, and much laid up for them, will love much.
 

 

THE PRESENCE OF GOD

**If God's earthly presence is so good, what is His heavenly presence? If God's being with us is so sweet, what is it to be with God? There is joy in God's gracious presence, but in His glorious presence there is fullness of joy.
 

**There are pleasures in approaching to God here on earth,
  but at His right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
 

**The presence of God's glory is in heaven;
  the presence of His power on earth;
  the presence of His justice in hell; and
  the presence of His grace with His people.
If He denies us His powerful presence we fall into nothing;
if He denies us His gracious presence we fall into sin;
if He denies us His merciful presence we fall into hell.
 

 

SIN

**God allows us anything, but sin.
 

**If sin be in fashion, we must be out of fashion.


**A man shows himself to be a Christian,
  when he chooses rather to suffer than sin.
 

**Sin digs graves for bodies, and kindles hell for souls.
 

**Should not we groan for that which makes the whole creation groan?
 

**If you are not purified you are not pardoned.
 

**A man can never leave sin thoroughly, until he loathes it heartily.
 

**There is no sin a man can be tempted to, but he will find greater comfort in resisting than in indulging.
 

**How can we say that we love Christ if we love sin, which was an enemy to His life and soul when He was on earth, and is the enemy to His glory now He is in heaven?
 

**Go to Golgotha and see what sin did there!
 

**Christ did not die for sin, that we might live in sin.
 

**Get this principle in your hearts– "There is
  nothing gained by sin, nor lost by holiness."
 

**By suffering we may avoid sinning,
  but by sinning we cannot avoid suffering.
 

**One that truly fears God is afraid of sin; he sees more evil in sin than in all the evil in the world.
 

**One that is sincere hates sin in himself, and laments it in others.
 

**Our hatred of sin must be irreconcilable; and our endeavors against it perpetual.
 

**The sins of the wicked anger Christ, the sins of His people grieve Him.
 

**Lack of sorrow for sin argues more a lack of love to Christ than the sin itself.
 

**Sin is a believer's burden and wound, but Christ is his cure and comfort.
 

**Sin is the sickness of the soul, and Christ
  the only physician that can cure it of . . .
  the leprosy of profanity,
  the fever of lust,
  the cancer of covetousness,
  the parade of pride,
  the lethargy of lukewarmness,
  the madness of passion, and
  the palsy of unbelief.
 

**Hatred is heart-murder;
  lust is heart-adultery;
  covetousness is heart-stealing.
 

**How tender is our flesh! how hard our hearts!
  How much more aware are we of suffering than of sin!
 

**We should fear to think that before God which we are afraid to do before man; for God knows our hearts better than any man knows our faces.
 

**Vain thoughts are sin's advocates and Christ's adversaries.
 

**God is so holy that He would not allow such an evil as sin;
  but He is so wise, that He can bring good out of it.

 


IDLENESS

**Idleness is the mother of many profligate children.
 

**A Christian should never say he has nothing to do.


 

HYPOCRISY

**A hypocrite is one who neither is what he seems; nor seems what he is.
 

**A hypocrite is the picture of a saint; but his paint shall be washed off and he shall appear in his own colors.
 

**A hypocrite is hated by the world for seeming to be a Christian; and hated by God for not being one.


 

PRIDE

**A man is proud of that, which he scorns another for the lack of.
 

**That which a man envies in another,
   he would be proud of if he had it himself.
 

**Pride is founded on error and self-ignorance.
 

**Some are proud of what they are, others of what they are not.
 

**God had rather His people should fare poorly, than live proudly.
 

**As the first step heaven-ward is humility,
  so the first step hell-ward is pride.
 

**Pride is a sin that will rise out of the ashes of other sins.
 

**Folly is the beginning of pride, and shame shall be the end of it;
  either repentance in time, or remorse in eternity.
 

**Shall the sinner be proud who is going to hell?
  Shall the believer be proud who is saved from it?
 

**You who can call nothing your own,
  but sin and shame—are you proud?
  Dust and ashes—and proud?
  A worm—and proud?
  Emptiness—and proud?
  Perishing—and proud?


**It is unreasonable for the creature to be proud, much more the sinner.


 

CHRIST

**Christ made Himself like us, that He might make us like Himself.
 

**Christ must needs have died, how else could . . .
  sin be paid for,
  the law satisfied,
  the devil conquered, and
  man be saved?
 

**Men would rather hear of Christ crucified for them, than be crucified for Christ.
 

**If Christ denied his holy nature out of love to us,
  shall not we deny our corrupt nature out of love to Him?
 

**He who thinks he has no need of Christ, has too high thoughts of himself; he who thinks Christ cannot help him, has too low thoughts of Christ.
 

**Christ satisfied God to the uttermost, and therefore can save sinners to the uttermost. The blood of Christ which satisfied the justice of God, may satisfy the conscience of an awakened sinner.
 

**If sin was better known, Christ would be better thought of. If sin does not taste bitter, Christ cannot taste sweet. When sin is hell, Christ is heaven!
 

**God will give us nothing for our sakes,
  but He will deny us nothing for Christ's sake.
 

**None are so low as Christ was—none so lowly, none so loving.
 

**We may know what Christ has done for us, by what He has done in us.
 

**Our Judge instead of condemning us—stepped from the bench and died for us!
 

**As God glorifies Christ in heaven, so the Spirit glorifies Him on earth, in the hearts of believers.
 

**A believer's comfort in living is to live to Christ;
  and in dying it is that he shall go to Christ.
 

**Christ's Blood is the Soul's Ransom.
  Christ's Spirit is the Soul's Comforter.
  Christ's Word is the Soul's Food.
  Christ's Supper is the Soul's Feast.
 

**A Christian may triumph in the death of Christ!
  O death! where is your sting?
  O grave! where is your victory?
  O hell! where is your terror?
  O world! where is your malice?
  O sin! where is your strength?
  O my soul! where are your accusers?
 

**Christ executes the office of a prophet in our calling; of a priest in our justification; and of a king in our sanctification. Let us then hear Him as our prophet; rely on Him as our priest; and obey Him as our king.
 

**Do not think the worse of Jesus for His manger or His cross. As He ceases not to be man in His highest estate, so He was God in His lowest.
His words were oracles.
His works miracles.
His life was a pattern.
His death a sacrifice.
His resurrection glorious.
His ascension triumphant.
His intercession prevailing.
His coming again will be magnificent.

All the angels in heaven adore Him!
All the devils in hell fear Him!
All people must stand before Him!

Own Christ's person.
Love His name.
Embrace His doctrine.
Obey His commands.
Submit to His cross.

His person is lovely.
His name is sweet.
His doctrines are true.
His commands are rational.
His cross is honorable.

The very angels admire Him, and shall not we?
 

**O! did we but know ourselves, and our Savior!
 
We are poor, but He is rich.
  We are dead, but He is life.
  We are sin, but He is righteousness.
  We are guilty, but He is gracious.
  We are misery, but He is mercy.
  We are lost, but He is salvation.
He ever lives,
ever loves,
ever pities,
ever pleads.
He loves and saves to the uttermost all who come unto Him.
 

 

LOVE OF CHRIST

**Nothing grieves Christ more than to have His love slighted; nothing pleases Him more than to have it accepted.
 

**The love of Christ is stronger than death, sweeter than life, and better than wine.
 

**The love of Christ has a height without a top, a depth without a bottom, a length without an end, and a breadth without a limit.
 

**Christ's sorrows, griefs, and sufferings, can be paralleled with nothing but His love.
 

 

GRACE

*The goodness of God satisfies our emptiness,
  the grace of God satisfies our sinfulness, and
  the mercy of God satisfies our unworthiness.
 

*What sin is there which grace cannot pardon?
  What heart is there which grace cannot soften?
  What soul is there that grace cannot save?
 

*The more God's justice was magnified in His Son  
  the more was His grace magnified in the sinner.
 

*God humbled His holy Son to exalt His saving grace.
 

*God's faithfulness performed what His grace promised.
  Grace drew the covenant faithfulness keeps it.
  Grace called us faithfulness will not cast us off.
 

*Abusers of God's grace are treasurers up of His wrath!
 

*There is grace in the desire for grace
   as there is sin in the desire for sin.
 

*Though God in grace has done great things for you yet consider what in justice He might have done to you.
 

*While we carry a sense of grace in our conscience to comfort us
   let us carry a sense of sin in our memory to humble us.
 

*We can never thank God enough for His patience which has kept us so long out of Hell;
  nor for His grace which so earnestly invites us to Heaven.
 

*All who are elect are vessels of grace;
  all who are regenerate are patterns of grace;
  all who are saved are monuments of grace;
  all the work of Heaven is to sing the loud praises of grace.
 

*It melts the heart to think that God is as full of grace as I am of sin!
  He is as free to forgive as I am to offend.
  He has daily grace for daily sins.
 

*The heart of man is such a barren soil that no good can grow there unless almighty grace plants it.
 Grace is an immortal seed, cast into an immortal soil, which brings forth immortal fruit!


 

 

SINNERS

**Those who will not hear Christ say, "Come to me," in a day of grace, shall hear Him say, "Depart from me," in a day of judgment.
 

**If we are graceless here, we shall be speechless hereafter.
 

**The conversion of a sinner is a greater wonder than the creation of the world.
 

**If a sinner's thoughts be not changed by grace,
  they will be changed hereafter by sad experience.
 

**Hatred is due to sin, compassion to the sinner.
 

**If you would not go to hell, you must know that you have deserved it.
 

**Let not your hearts flatter you, nor the world
  comfort you, when God threatens you.

**The worst of the ways of God are better
  than the best of the ways of sin.
 

 

HEART AND CONSCIENCE

**It matters not what a man loses if he saves his soul.
  But if he loses his soul it matters not what he saves.
 

**The soft mercies of God will break the hard heart of man. A word from God, a look from Christ, a touch from the Spirit, will break the heart.
 

 

TRUE BELIEVERS

**God has no sons that are unlike Himself.
 

**Believers are children of the same Father, members of the same Son, and habitations of the same Spirit, fellow-citizens, fellow-servants, fellow-soldiers, fellow-travelers, and fellow-heirs.
 

**None are so easily acquainted, so closely knit together, and so much endeared to one another, as real Christians.
 

**One true Christian differs from another, as friends love one another, though in different clothes.
 

**Heart work is better than head work; and it is a better temper to be fervent in charity, than in disputes.
 

**Better be a melancholy saint than a silly sinner.
 

**Whom God chooses the world refuses. God's gold is the world's dross. They of whom the world is not worthy, are counted not worthy to live in the world.
 

**A holy man is so far acquainted with the corruption of his own heart that instead of condemning others, he is apt to account them better than himself.
 

**The imperfections of a believer's sanctification, make him continually depend on Christ for his justification.
 

**A child of God is neither afraid of dying nor living; he desires to go to heaven to see Christ, yet is willing to stay upon earth to serve Christ.
 

**If the children of God did but know what was best for them, they would perceive that God did that which was best for them.
 

**A true Christian lives like a saint, and begs like a sinner.
 

**All God's children have received God's Spirit, by whom they are made humble, believing, and holy; humble in regard of their sins, believing in regard of Christ, and holy in regard of their conscience and care to keep all God's commandments.
 

**A good deal of the trouble of God's people arises from a mistake and misapprehension of God; they judge of God by their sense, not by His promise; by their own frame, and not by His constant nature.
 

**As saints have unutterable groanings so they have unutterable joys.
 

**Believe firmly, hope joyfully, love fervently, pray earnestly, walk humbly, work diligently, and wait quietly. Hold up, hold on, hold out, hold fast that which you have received. Still watch, still pray, still believe; still fight and run, that you may obtain. It is but a little while, and He who comes will come, and will not tarry; it is but a little while, and your warfare is accomplished, and your iniquities shall be everlastingly separated from you; your sin and sorrows, tears and fears, fled and gone gone forever; and you meet with an unspeakable reward.
 

 

REPENTANCE

**Repentance begins in the humiliation of the heart, and ends in the reformation of the life. He who repents of sin as sin, implicitly repents of all sin. Let not sinful pleasures prevent godly sorrows. A humble confession of sin brings shame to ourselves but glory to God. Godly sorrow is the sorrow of love; the melting of the heart; love is the pain and pleasure of a mourning heart.
 

**If we study to honor God, we cannot do it better than by confessing our sins and laying ourselves low at the feet of Christ.
 

**The true penitent loves and grieves. "Alas," says he, "that I, who am as high as heaven in privilege should be as deep as hell in iniquity! Instead of repenting I have run up a further score! Instead of honoring God, I have dishonored Him! Instead of pleasing Him, I have provoked Him! Instead of following Him, I have forsaken Him! O what kindness have I grieved! How can I sin against my Jesus! Shall I deny and crucify my Savior? He was crucified for me, and shall He be crucified by me? Shall I wound His heart and pierce His side again and give Him cause to say, These are the wounds I received in the house of my friends?"
 

 

FAITH

**Reliance is the essence of faith, Christ is the object, the Word is the food, and obedience the proof; so that true faith is a depending upon Christ for salvation in a way of obedience, as He is offered in the word.
 

**The true tears of repentance flow from the eye of faith.
 

**God is often pleased to embitter a life of sense,
  that He may endear the life of faith.
 

**Justifying faith is always attended with universal obedience.
 

**There is as much difference between faith and assurance,
  as there is between the root and the fruit.
 

 

PRAYER

**Fill up the empty spaces of your time with meditation and prayer.
 

**They are safest who are most alone with God.
 

**Prayer does not consist in gifted expressions, and a volubility of speech; but in a brokenness of heart. Imperfect broken groans from a broken heart, God will accept. A broken heart is made up of prayer. Prayer does not consist in the elegance of the phrase, but in the strength of the affection.
 

**When God pours out His Spirit upon man, then will man pour out his heart before God. He who lives without prayer or prays without life, has not the Spirit of God.
 

**Waiting upon God continually will abate your unnecessary cares, and sweeten your necessary ones.
 

**Let nothing get between heaven and prayer, but Christ. Prayer if it be done as a task is no prayer. Sin quenches prayer, affliction quickens it.
 

**Those who spend their days in faith and prayer, shall end their days in peace and comfort.
 

 

HUMILITY

**To be low is the safest and loveliest posture for sinful creatures. It is the creature's honor to abase himself before the most high God.
 

**If men did but know themselves more, they would be more humble.
 

**Those who are humble are content and thankful.
  A humble spirit is a charitable and quiet spirit.
 

**When Paul was a Pharisee, he thought he was blameless.
  When he was a Christian, he thought he was the chief of sinners.
 

**Neither all the devils in hell nor all the temptations of the world can hurt that man who keeps himself humble and depending on Christ.
 

**None so high and glorious as Christ; yet none so meek and lowly.
 

 

CONTENTMENT

**The deeper your self-abhorrence the easier is self-resignation. Those who know they deserve nothing, will be content with anything.
 

**We must commit our souls to God's keeping, and submit ourselves to God's disposing. We should obey His revealed will and then be resigned to His providential will.
 

**Neither contentment nor discontentment arises from the outward condition, but from the inward disposition. If a man is not content in the state he is in, he will not be content in any state he would be in.
 

 

TEMPTATIONS

**God will either keep His people . . .
  from temptations by His preventing mercy;
  or in temptations by His supporting mercy;
  or find a way for their escape by His delivering mercy.


 

AFFLICTIONS

**Two things should comfort suffering Christians, namely,
  all that they suffer is not hell;
  yet it is all the hell they shall suffer.
 

**Afflictions are not so much threatened as promised, to the children of God.
 

**By affliction God separates the sin which He hates,
  from the soul which He loves.
 

**Sin is the poison, affliction the medicine.
 

**If the servants of Christ are ever so low and afflicted,
  yet His heart is with them, and His eye upon them.
 

**God takes it unkindly when we grieve too much for any outward thing; because it is a sign we fetch not that comfort from Him which we should.
 

**Though the hand of God may be against you;
  yet the heart of God may be towards you.
 

**What is bearing a temporal cross, to the wearing an eternal crown?
 

**Our enjoyments are greater than our afflictions,
  and our afflictions less than our sins.
 

**Our sufferings should stir up our graces as well as our griefs.
 

 

RELIGION THAT IS REAL

**If a man lives and dies a mere professor of religion it had
  been better for him if he had lived and died a mere heathen!
 

**It is not talking but walking with God,
  that gives a man the true title of a Christian.
 

**A desire for happiness is natural;
  a desire for holiness is supernatural.
 

**When a Christian considers the goodness of God's ways, he wonders that all the world does not walk in them. But when he considers the blindness, and depravity, and prejudice of the heart by nature, he wonders that any should enter upon God's ways.
 

**Four things a Christian should especially labor after,
  namely to be humble and thankful, watchful and cheerful.
 

**It will cost something to be a Christian;
  it will cost more not to be one.
 

**The gate which leads to life is a narrow gate, therefore we should fear; it is an open gate, therefore we should hope.


**Two duties must run through a Christian's life, like the warp through the woof blessing and trusting.
 

**We may judge of our eternal state by our spiritual state; and our spiritual state by the delightful and customary actions of our lives. If we expect to live with Christ in heaven, we must live to Him on earth.
 

**Our opportunities are (like our souls) very precious;
  but if they are lost they are irrecoverably lost.
 

**Men are apt to dislike that preaching which is
  plain, pure, powerful and practical.
 

**True religion begins with a knowledge of man's self,
  and is perfected with the knowledge of God.
 

**Here is a threefold mystery:
  a gospel published in the midst of an ungodly world;
  a believer preserved in the midst of devils; and
  a little grace kept alive in the midst of deep corruptions.
 

 

GOOD WORKS

**We have nothing that we can properly call our own,
  but what we have reason to be ashamed of.
 

**We never truly learn the truth,
  until we are conformed to the truth.

**A pride of knowledge is the greatest enemy to
  knowledge, and the greatest argument of ignorance.
 

**We remember many things we should forget, such as injuries, disappointments, etc. but forget what we should remember, namely God and our souls.
 

**Man may commend you, but God may condemn you.
 

**When God punishes another, He threatens you;
  when He wounds another, He warns you.
 

**It is as great a mercy to be 'preserved in health'
  as to be 'delivered from sickness'.
 

**If you mind nothing but the body, you lose body and soul too.
  If you mind nothing but earth, you lose earth and heaven too.
 

**Honesty is the best policy; and innocence the best wisdom.
 

**Learn of Christ, who was sensible of injuries, yet patient under them.
 

**What can you get by ungodly company? If you are truly holy, they will either taunt you or despise you. Take heed of being infected with the breath of a profane heart.
 

**Speak neither well of yourself, nor evil of others.
  Speak of people's virtues, conceal their infirmities.
  If you can say no good, say no bad about them.
 

**To render good for evil, is God-like.
  To render good for good, is man-like.
  To render evil for evil, is beast-like.
  To render evil for good, is devil-like.
 

**Carry yourself . . .
  submissively
towards your superiors;
  friendly
towards your equals;
  kindly
towards your inferiors;
  generously
towards your enemies;
  and lovingly towards all.

 

THE WORLD

**If the world is our portion here, hell will be our portion hereafter.
 

**We must neither leave the world nor love it.
 

**The world promises comforts, and pays sorrows.
 

**Be not proud of riches but afraid of them,
  lest they be as silver bars to barricade the way to heaven!
 

**Love the men of the world, but not the things of the world.
 

**To have a portion in the world is a mercy;
  to have the world for a portion is a misery.
 

**We should endeavor to pass through this world with a cheerful indifference.
 

**The things of the world, the more they are known, the less they are admired. But the things of God, the more they are known, the more they are admired.
 

**There is no miss of the creature, where there is a full enjoyment of the Creator.
 

**If you are not afraid of the world, I fear are a friend of the world, and an enemy to God.
 

**As you love your souls, beware of the world!
  It has slain its thousands and tens of thousands!
  What ruined Lot's wife? The world!
  What ruined Judas? The world!
  What ruined Simon Magus? The world!
  What ruined Demas? The world!
And "what shall it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and lose his own soul?" Mark 8. 36.
 

**In reality . . .
  riches
are but dust,
  honors are but shadows,
  pleasures
are but bubbles, and
  man
a lump of vanity, composed of sin and misery.
 

 

DEATH

**The longest life is a lingering death. First infancy dies, then childhood, then youth, then manhood, then old age, and then we make an end of dying.
 

**Man does not die because he is made of earth;
  but because he is infected with sin.
 

**Death to a Christian is putting off rags for robes!
 

**As the king of terrors leaves us, so the day of terror will find us.
 

**Let us familiarize death by meditation, and sweeten it by preparation.


 

HEAVEN

**If heaven does not enter into us by way of holiness,
  we shall never enter into heaven by way of happiness.
 

**If you would lay up a treasure of glory in heaven, lay up a treasure of grace in your hearts. If your souls are rich in grace they will be rich in glory.
 

**In heaven all God's people will be abundantly satisfied with His dealings and dispensations with them while on earth; and shall see how all combined like so many winds to bring them to their haven; and how even the roughest blasts helped to bring them homeward.
 

**How can we expect to live with God in heaven if we love not to live with Him on earth? If you love to worship God here below, God will take you up to worship Him above. You shall change your place but not your employment.
 

**Heaven is a day without a cloud to darken it, and without a night to end it.
 

**We would be seated in the heavenly Canaan, but are reluctant to be scratched with the briers and thorns of the wilderness.
 

**In heaven there is the presence of all good and the absence of all evil.
 

**Grace and glory differ but as the bud and the blossom.
  What is grace, but glory begun?
  What is glory, but grace perfected?
 

**If there be any grief in heaven, surely it will
  be that we have done no more for God on earth.
 

 

HELL

**Those who will not fear the punishment in the threatening,
  shall feel the threatening in the punishment.
 

**In heaven, holiness is their everlasting temper, and happiness their everlasting portion; in hell, sin is their eternal temper, and sorrow their eternal portion.
 

**The reason why so many fall into hell is because so few think of it.
  They fall deepest into hell that fall backward into hell.
 

**We must fall into the arms of Christ, or into the flames of hell.
 

**It is a wretched thing by false peace, to secure eternal sorrow.
 

**Who would not deny himself for a time, that he may enjoy himself forever?
 

**What is the world to those who are in the grave, where our bodies must shortly be? Or to those who are in eternity, where our souls must shortly be?
 

**Remember you are at the door of eternity, and have other work to do than to trifle away time. Our life is a passage to eternity; it ought to be a meditation of eternity; and preparation for eternity.
 

 
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