Grace Gems for OCTOBER 2004

A cup of love!

(John MacDuff, "Gleams from the Sick Chamber" 1882)

"But what could I say? For He Himself had sent this
Now I will walk humbly throughout my years
 because of this anguish I have felt." Isaiah 38:15

God Himself has mixed your bitter cup, and led
you to your 'Gethsemane of suffering'.

All your sufferings . . .
  the existence of them,
  the duration of them,
  the intensity of them,
are appointed by your heavenly Father.

"Though now for a little while, if need be, you may
 have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials." 1 Peter 1:6

Your heavenly Father can inflict no unnecessary pang.

You may presently be pain-stricken, and woe-worn.

There is a divine necessity for your present "fiery trial."
No drop in the cup can be spared! "I will correct you
in measure." Your heavenly Father, tenderer and more
loving than the tenderest earthly parent, tempers the
fury of the flames, saying, "Thus far shall you go, and
no farther."

Happy for you, that you can write "if need be" . . .
  over that severest hour of distress,
  over every night of throbbing temples,
  over sleepless eyes,
  over every fresh thorn sent to buffet,
  over every heavy cross sent to carry.

When we are assured that nothing which is
appointed by our Father can come to us wrongly,
our cup of suffering becomes a cup of love!

"Shall I not drink the cup my Father has
 given me?
" John 18:11

"For our light and momentary troubles are
 achieving for us an eternal glory that far
 outweighs them all." 2 Corinthians 4:17

What verse is more soothing sight for a suffering
couch, or for a dying pillow? What verse is more
consolatory for a weary, burdened body? and above
all, for a weary, burdened, sin-stricken heart?

"God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
   Revelation 7:17

A tearless Heaven will make amends for all!

No wonder the maidens love You!

(James Durham, "The Song of Solomon")

"Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth;
 for Your love is more delightful than wine!
 Pleasing is the fragrance of Your perfumes;
 Your name is like perfume poured out.
 No wonder the maidens love You!"
    Song of Solomon 1:2-3

Believers are not soon satisfied in expressing Christ's
worth. Christ, and all that is in Him, is as refreshing as
a box that is full of the most precious perfume. Christ
is well stored with grace; it is poured into His lips.

This fragrance of Christ's graces is not felt by everyone.
The box of His perfumes is not open to all, but only to
those who believe; for to them He is precious, and
everything that is in Him is most cordial and fragrant
to the believer. "Yes, He is very precious to you who
believe!" 1 Peter 2:7

The more Christ and His worth is known, it will fragrance
the better, and be the more refreshing; for it is His name
which is this perfume. Christ, in His excellent worth, is
unknown to the world. They do not inquire into this
fragrant name. But if He were once known, they would
find in Him, that which would make them give over their
other unprofitable pursuits, and pant after Him!

"My Lover is radiant and dazzling, better than ten
 thousand others!" Song of Solomon 5:10

"His mouth is sweetness itself! He is altogether lovely!
 This is my Lover, this my Friend!" Song of Solomon 5:16

We know but little

(From the letters of William Tiptaft, 1803-1864)

We know but little of the deceit and wickedness
of our own hearts; and that detestable pride
which is interwoven with every fiber of them.

"The human heart is most deceitful and desperately
 wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" Jer. 17:9

Click here to see a picture of the human heart!

Paul's highest attainment

(Letters of J. C. Philpot)

"I am nothing." 2 Corinthians 12:11

This was Paul's highest attainment
in the knowledge of self.

To be a daily pauper living on alms is humbling
to proud nature, which is always seeking to be
something, and to do something.

If this self-nothingness was wrought in us, we
would be spared much pain, in wounded pride.

People are building up religion all over the
country, but there is not one of a thousand who
has yet learned the first lesson—to be nothing.
Of all this noisy crowd, how few lie at Jesus' feet,
helpless and hopeless, and find help and hope
in Him!

If you can venture to be nothing, it will save you
a world of anxiety and trouble! But proud, vain,
conceited flesh wants to be something . . .
  to preach well,
  to make a name for one's self,
  and be admired as a preacher.

"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners;
 of whom I am the worst." 1 Timothy 1:15

"I am less than the least of all God's people." Eph. 3:8

"I am nothing." 2 Corinthians 12:11

Let God but take the cover off

(Letters of J. C. Philpot)

"The human heart is most deceitful and desperately
 wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" Jer. 17:9

It is our mercy, if we only feel and groan under
corruption inwardly, without it breaking forth
outwardly—to wound our own souls, grieve the
people of God, and gladden our enemies.

Let God but take the cover off the boiling
cauldron of our corrupt nature
, and the filthy
scum would surface in the sight of all men!

"Hold me up, and I shall be safe!" Psalm 119:117

When the cold winds are whistling over your grave

(Letters of J. C. Philpot)

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on
 what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary,
 but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corin. 4:18

How really empty and worthless are all human
cares and anxieties, as well as all human hopes
and pleasures—when viewed in the light of a
vast and endless eternity!

In twenty years, today's price of oil will probably
mean little to you. But it will matter much whether
your soul is in heaven or hell.

When the cold winds are whistling over your grave,
or the warm sun resting on it—what will it matter
whether sheep sold badly or well at the market?

Could we realize eternal things more, we would
be less anxious about temporal things. It is only
our unbelief and carnality which fetter us down to
the poor things of time and sense.

"This world is fading away, along with everything
 it craves. But if you do the will of God, you will
 live forever." 1 John 2:17

Shall I not drink it?

(Newman Hall, "Leaves of Healing
 from the Garden of Grief" 1891)

"The cup which My Father has given Me,
 shall I not drink it?" John 18:11

It was the Savior's own desire to suffer.
To escape would be . . .
  to falsify Scripture,
  to renounce His own purpose,
  to abandon His work of salvation,
  to contravene the Father's loving will.

My Father has ordained this cup, mingled it,
knows every drop in it, presents it—shall I
not drink it?
My Father is . . .
  infinite in wisdom, and cannot err;
  infinite in love, and cannot be unkind;
  infinite in resources, and would not give it to
Me to drink, if His and My own great purpose to
save the world could be better realized. It is
a cup which, drained by Me, shall procure to
countless multitudes . . .
  a cup of redemption,
  a cup of consolation,
  a cup of glory in the everlasting banquet of heaven!

"The cup which My Father has given Me,
  shall I not drink it?" John 18:11

And He drank it to the dregs!

Let His followers, whenever they have to drink
a cup of sorrow, be comforted in remembering
this last word of Christ at Gethsemane.

He, the sinless One—suffered for us, the sinful ones.
By reason of our transgressions, His cup was so bitter.
By drinking it, He provided an antidote for the poison
which sin infuses into every sorrowful cup of ours.

His love prompted Him to drink it all.

He has thus removed from us the danger, fear, and
sorrow. Our garden of grief, by His bitter cup, has
been delivered from its darkest gloom, has been
illumined by Divine love and rejoicing hope. He who
has thus saved us from sin and death, and ever lives
as our sympathizing Brother, will be with us in every
trial, and enable us also to say, "The cup which my
Father has given me, shall I not drink it?"

The perfection of God

(Newman Hall, "Leaves of Healing
 from the Garden of Grief" 1891)

"As for God, His way is perfect."
    2 Samuel 22:31

God's wisdom cannot err.

God's holiness cannot sin.

God's love cannot be cruel.

God's immutability cannot change.

God's eternity cannot end.

The perfection of God is a source
of sweetest consolation to us, in
our feebleness and foolishness.

If He were not Omniscient,
we might suffer and He not know.

If He were not Omnipresent,
we might cry and He not hear.

If He were not Omnipotent,
we might perish and He be unable to help.

If He were not good,
He would not care for us, or might crush us.

"He is the Rock, His works are perfect,
 and all His ways are just." Deut. 32:4

Though the Lord is exalted, yet He has regard
unto the humble. He has not despised the
affliction of His afflicted children, nor hid His
face from them.

I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinks
upon me. Put my tears into Your bottle.

Pity your foolish child!

(Newman Hall, "Leaves of Healing
 from the Garden of Grief" 1891)

He went on a little farther and fell face down on the
ground, praying, "My Father! If it is possible, let this
cup of suffering be taken away from Me
. Yet I want
Your will, not Mine." Matthew 26:39

Throughout His life Jesus was the Man of Sorrows;
and many of His disciples go mourning all their days
by reason of continued . . .
  successive sorrows,
  stripes repeated before the former wounds are healed;
  one woe treading on the heels of another, as with Job.

Some thorn is always rankling.

When one rocky crag has been surmounted,
another has to be scaled.

When one troublous torrent has been waded,
another and yet another roars across our path.

You may plead that your heavenly Father would . . .
  relieve the pain,
  heal the sickness,
  spare the life,
  remove the danger,
  calm the anxiety,
  restore the love,
  restrain the sin,
  abate the anger,
  disperse the cloud,
  calm the storm,
  send the sunshine.

"My Father, pity your foolish child, but bear with me while
I confess that this bitter cup depresses my spirit, raises
doubts, disturbs my faith, irritates my temper, drives me
to frivolity, hinders prayer, and tempts me to seek relief
wrongfully. I am taught that affliction should make me
humble and patient, gentle to others, weaned from earth,
submissive to You—but this cup seems to produce opposite
results. Oh, let this cup pass from me! My soul is bowed
down to the dust! My tears have been my food day and
night! O my God, my soul is cast down within me; all Your
waves and Your billows are gone over me. Abba, Father,
let this cup pass from me!

Behold me, even me; listen to my complaint; behold this
cup—how bitter it is, how full, how long I have had to drink
it! In my ignorance it seems unsuited to my temperament.
How wearied and faint I am! How earnestly I desire to be
spared the further drinking of it. O my Father! witness
these tears, hear these cries, consider my soul's agony!
Abba, Father, let this cup pass from me!"

This divine and marvelous Fountain!

(Octavius Winslow, "From Grace to Glory" 1864)

"By the grace of God I am what I am!" 1 Cor. 15:10

GRACE is one of the most precious and significant
terms of the Bible.

Grace tells of God's free and unconditional choice
of a people, whom He everlastingly loved.

It speaks . . .
  of His mercy to the miserable,
  of His pardon to the guilty,
  of His favor to the lost,
  of His free and boundless love to poor sinners.

None are saved but those who are saved by . . .
  electing grace,
  sovereign grace,
  free grace.

Also, all the precious streams of present . . .
  and hope
flow from this divine and marvelous Fountain!

What a heart is His! The Lord of all grace . . .
  all pardoning grace,
  all accepting grace,
  all sanctifying grace,
  all comforting grace . . .
to the ungracious,
to the unworthy,
to the poor,
to the bankrupt,
to the vile,
to the sinful.

"By the grace of God I am what I am!"

Marvelous declaration!

The art of preaching

(Letters of J. C. Philpot)

We are overrun with a shallow, superficial ministry,
which is destitute of all life, savor, and power. A dry,
dead-letter scheme of doctrine, as mathematically
correct as the squares of a chess-board, prevails,
where what is called "truth" is preached. And to
move Bible texts on the squares as pawns, is called
"the art of preaching".

How simple is truth!

Man's misery—God's mercy.

The aboundings of sin—the super-aboundings of grace.

The depths of the fall—the heights of the recovery.

The old man—the new man.

The diseases of the soul—the balm of a Savior's blood.

These lessons learned are in the furnace of inward
experience. How different from . . .
  the monkish austerity of the Ritualist,
  the lip service of the Pharisee, and
  the dry Calvinistic formulary!

What a dreadful lack is there of true preaching now!
I look round and see so few men qualified to feed the
church of God. We are overrun with parsons, but, oh
dear! what are they? I cannot but attribute much
of the low state of the churches to the ministers!

Ezekiel 34 is a true picture of the false shepherds.

My desire is . . .

1. To exalt the grace of God.

2. To proclaim salvation alone through the blood
   and righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

3. To declare the sinfulness, helplessness, and
   hopelessness of man in a state of nature.

4. To describe, as far as I am able, the living
   experience of the saints of God in their trials,
   temptations, and sorrows—and in their
   consolations and blessings.
(Letters of J. C. Philpot)

His unwearied care and concern

(Thomas Bradbury, "Comfort My People" 1897)

All along their journey through a world of sin,
suffering, and sorrow
, the people of God are
the subjects of trial, temptation and tribulation.

The corruptions of our vile nature,
the fierce assaults of the devil,
the ways of the wicked around us,
the perplexities of God's mysterious providence,
and felt spiritual weakness,
all conspire to make our hearts disconsolate,
and cause us to sigh and cry.

But God is never at a loss to help and comfort His
weak and weary, tried and tempted, oppressed and
suffering people. His comforts abound with . . .
  assistance in necessity,
  help in extremity,
  defense in danger,
  deliverance from distress,
  and infinitely more.
With all these He opens up His heart of love,
and reveals to them His unwearied care and
over them.

God's unchanging concern and care are beautifully
illustrated in His love to Ephraim, after Ephraim's
base wanderings from, and rebelliousness against
the God and Father who loved him so well.

"Is not Ephraim My dear son, the child in whom I
 delight? Though I often speak against him, I still
 remember him. Therefore My heart yearns for him;
 I have great compassion for him." Jeremiah 31:20

All God's children are . . .
  dear to Him,
  pleasant in His eyes,
  the delight of His heart.

God . . .
  draws them to Himself with the cords of love,
  blesses them with the sweets of divine communion,
  kisses them with the kisses of His mouth,
  dandles them on His knees of eternal affection,
  presses them to His bosom of everlasting love,
  and holds every covenant blessing ready for
whatever state or condition they may be in.

Going up through this wilderness world

(David Harsha, "The Glory of Christ")

"Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive
 power and wealth and wisdom and strength and
 honor and glory and praise!" Revelation 5:12

If there is an object in the universe that should . . .
  attract our attention,
  excite our admiration,
  warm our affections,
  and demand our love; surely it is the
glorious Savior, the blessed Son of God.

"O blessed Jesus, show us your glory. Wean our
  affections from a world that is so soon to be
  wrapped in flames. Elevate our views above the
  transient scenes of earth—its fading, deceitful
  joys—to the permanent and enrapturing bliss
  of heaven. May we be going up through this
  wilderness world
leaning on you, our Beloved.
  While on earth may we live to your glory; and
  when done with mortal life, when the messenger
  of death is sent to convey our immortal spirits
  home, may we be safely conducted through
  death's dark valley and Jordan's swelling
  stream, to the city of the great King, the
  heavenly Jerusalem, the celestial Canaan,
  where you, blessed Savior, reign in
  everlasting glory."

A great and inestimable mercy

(Letters of J. C. Philpot)

It is a great and inestimable mercy when our
various trials and troubles are made a means of
driving us to the Lord, as our only hope and help.

Those circumstances, outward or inward,
temporal or spiritual, which . . .
  stir up an earnest spirit of prayer,
  make us cease from the creature,
  beat us out of all false refuges,
  wean us from the world,
  show us the vileness and deceitfulness of our hearts,
  lead us up to Jesus, and make Him near, dear, and
precious—must be considered blessings.

It is true, troubles rarely come to us as such, or at
the time appear as such—no, they usually appear as
if they would utterly swallow us up! But we must
judge of them by their fruits and effects.

Job could not see the hand of God in his troubles and
afflictions. But it was made plain after he was brought
to abhor himself and repent in dust and ashes.

I am very sure, if we are in the right way, we shall find
it a rough way, and have many trials and troubles.

"God disciplines us for our good, that we may share
 in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the
 time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a
 harvest of righteousness and peace for those who
 have been trained by it."  Hebrews 12:10-11

Such freaks are more fit for a traveling circus

(Letters of J. C. Philpot)

I have been much puzzled by those in the professing
church. Most have a great assurance and unwavering
confidence—unaccompanied by godly fear, and the
other fruits and graces of the Spirit. I see this as
presumption or delusion.

Where the Holy Spirit works faith, He also works . . .
  sorrow for sin,
  deadness to the world,
  tenderness of conscience,
  brokenness of spirit,
  spiritual affections,
  holy and heavenly desires,
  true hope, and
  love toward the Lord and His people.

Where we see these fruits and graces of the Spirit
lacking, or sadly deficient, there we must conclude
that true faith, the root from which they all grow, is
lacking or deficient likewise.

There are no 'freaks' in the kingdom of heaven.
I mean such as have . . .
  'little hearts' and 'large heads',
  active legs and withered hands,
  nimble tongues and crippled arms.
Such freaks are more fit for a traveling circus
than the Church of the living God.

To fear God,
to tremble at His word,
to be little and lowly in our own eyes,
to hate sin and ourselves as sinners,
to pour out our hearts before the Lord,
to seek His face continually,
to lead a life of faith and prayer,
to be dead to the world,
to feel Jesus to be precious,
to behold His dying love by the eyes of living faith;
these realities are almost despised and overlooked
by many 'great professors' in our day!

An apostolic face and a Judas heart

(Letters of J. C. Philpot)

Many think that a minister is exempt from such
coldness, deadness, and barrenness, as private
Christians feel. And the hypocritical looks and
words of many of Satan's ministers favor this
delusion. Holiness is so much on their tongues,
and on their faces, that their deluded hearers
necessarily conclude that it is in their hearts.

But, alas! nothing is easier or more common,
than an apostolic face and a Judas heart.

Most pictures that I have seen of the "Last Supper"
represent Judas with a ferocious countenance. Had
painters drawn a holy, meek-looking face, I believe
they would have given a truer resemblance.

Many pass for angels in the pulpit, who if the truth
were known, would be seen to be devils and beasts
in heart, lip, and life at home.

"How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious
 law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! You are so careful
 to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside
 you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! You try
 to look like upright people outwardly, but inside your
 hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness."
       Matthew 23:25, 28

The boy who had died!

(J. C. Ryle, "The Gospel of Luke" 1858)

"A funeral procession was coming out as Jesus
 approached the village gate. The boy who had
was the only son of a widow."  Luke 7:12

See what sorrow sin has brought into the world!

All funerals are mournful things, but it is difficult
to imagine a funeral more mournful than the one
here described. It was the funeral of a young man,
and that young man the only son of his mother,
and that mother a widow. There is not an item in
the whole story, which is not full of misery. And
all this misery, be it remembered, was brought
into the world by sin.

Sin is the cause of it all.

"When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human
 race. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread
 to everyone, for everyone sinned." Romans 5:12

Let us never forget this solemn truth.

The world around us is full of sorrow.

and pain,
and infirmity,
and poverty,
and labor,
and trouble,
abound on every side.

From one end of the world to the other,
the history of families is full of . . .
  and weeping,
  and mourning,
  and woe.

And where does it all come from?

Sin is the fountain and root to which all must
be traced. There would neither have been . . .
  nor troubles,
  nor illness,
  nor deaths,
  nor funerals in the earth,
if there had been no sin.

We must bear this state of things patiently.

We cannot alter it.

We may thank God that there is a remedy in
the Gospel, and that this present life is not all.

But in the meantime, let us lay the blame at
the right door. Let us lay the blame on sin.

How much we ought to hate sin! Instead of . . .
  loving it,
  cleaving to it,
  dallying with it,
  excusing it,
  playing with it,
we ought to hate it with a deadly hatred!

Sin is the great . . .
  and thief,
  and pestilence,
  and nuisance of this world.

Let us make no peace with it!

Let us wage a ceaseless warfare against it.

It is "the abominable thing which God hates."
Happy is he who is of one mind with God, and
can say, I "abhor that which is evil." Rom. 12:9

A languishing body

(Letters of J. C. Philpot)

(February 1, 1840, to a dying youth)

My dear friend,
A languishing body is a heavy cross.
often . . .
  depresses our spirits,
  shatters our nerves, and
  casts a gloom over our minds.

But it is good thus to be weaned and detached,
and gradually loosened from the strong ties that
bind us to earth. I was ill once for many months,
and many thought I would never recover. I found
it a heavy trial, but I believe it was profitable to
my soul
. May the Lord make all your bed in your
sickness, give you many testimonies of His special
favor—and when He sees fit to take down your
earthly tabernacle, remove you to that happy
where the inhabitant shall never say,
"I am sick," where tears are wiped away from
all faces, and sorrow and sighing flee away.

May the Lord speedily grant your desires, and
visit your soul with looks of love, rays of mercy,
and beams of tender kindness, so as to smile
you into . . .
  love, and
  godly sorrow.

Yours affectionately in the bonds of the gospel,
J. C. Philpot

A painted bauble

(Letters of J. C. Philpot)

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new
creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"
     2 Corinthians 5:17

What a wonderful revolution is effected by
divine teaching and heavenly visitations!

The soul is brought to live in a new world
and breathe a new element. Old things pass
away, and behold, all things become new.

New desires, feelings, hopes, fears, and
exercises arise, and the soul becomes a new
creature. The world appears in its true colors,
as a painted bauble, and as its pleasures are
valued at their due worth, so its good opinion
is little cared for or desired.

What is this poor vain world with all its gilded clay,
deceptive honors and respectability, and soap-bubble
charms—compared to one smile from our loving Savior?

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

Everything that was written in the past

(Anne Dutton's Letters on Spiritual Subjects)

I humbly think that the bondage of the children of
Israel in Egypt, under Pharaoh and his task-masters,
was typical of the cruel bondage of the people of
God in a state of nature, under the tyranny of sin
and Satan and a broken law of works.

Their deliverance from Egypt and passage through
the Red Sea were typical of our deliverance from the
power of darkness, and translation into the kingdom
of God's dear Son at our first conversion.

Their journeys through the desolate wilderness were
typical of our travels through this world of trouble.

Their Land of Promise was typical of our promised rest.

Their passage over Jordan into Canaan was typical
of our of our passing from this world of sin and sorrow
into the world of joy and glory as our everlasting rest.

"All these events happened to them as examples for
They were written down to warn us, on whom
 the fulfillment of the ages has come." 1 Cor. 10:11

"For everything that was written in the past
was written to teach us." Romans 15:4

Beset with many difficulties

(Letters of William Tiptaft)

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.

The religion which I want

(Letters of J. C. Philpot)

I am quite sick of modern religion—it is such
a mixture, such a medley, such a compromise.
I find much, indeed, of this religion in my own
heart, for it suits the flesh well—but I would
not have it so, and grieve it should be so.

The religion which I want
is that of the Holy Spirit.

I know nothing but what He teaches me.

I feel nothing but what He works in me.

I believe nothing but what He shows me.

I only mourn when He smites my rocky heart.

I only rejoice when He reveals the Savior.

This religion I am seeking after, though miles and
miles from it—but no other will satisfy or content me.

When the blessed Spirit is not at work in me,
and with me, I fall back into all the . . .
  infidelity, and
of my Adam nature.

True religion is a supernatural and mysterious thing.

Are you under great and sore troubles?

(Anne Dutton's Letters on Spiritual Subjects)

My dear friend,
Are you under great and sore troubles?

Remember that these are the lot of God's
dearest children.

Consider that it is the Lord who brings your
greatest troubles upon you. Not a trouble could
touch you
, but by His operation or permission.
Say, then, "It is the Lord, let Him do what seems
good to Him!" and, "Shall I receive good at the
hand of the Lord, and shall I not receive evil?"

And if the rod is in your all-wise, your all-gracious
Father's most kind hand, it will profit your soul in
the end.

"For the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He
 punishes those he accepts as his children. God
 disciplines us for our good, that we may share
 in His holiness."  Hebrews 12:6, 10

It will matter little when I lie in my coffin!

(Letters of J. C. Philpot)

What does it really matter where we spend
the few years of our pilgrimage here below?

Life is short, vain, and transitory; and if I live
in comfort and wealth, or in comparative poverty,
it will matter little when I lie in my coffin!

This life is soon passing away, and an eternal state
fast coming on! It will greatly matter whether . . .
  our religion was natural or spiritual,
  our faith human or divine,
  our hope a heavenly gift or a spider's web!

But our blind, foolish hearts are so concerned about
things which are but the dust of the balance, and so
little anxious about our all in all.

There is no greater inheritance than to be a son or
daughter of the Lord Almighty. To have a saving
interest in . . .
  the electing love of the Father,
  the redeeming blood of the Son,
  and the sanctifying operations of the Holy Spirit,
is worth a million of worlds! Without such, we must
be eternally miserable; and with it eternally happy.

"For God has reserved a priceless inheritance for His
 children. It is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled,
 beyond the reach of change and decay!" 1 Peter 1:4

I am a very dull scholar in Christ's school

(Excerpts from the letters of William Tiptaft)

"It was good for me to be afflicted." Psalm 119:71

My dear brother,
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

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.

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

Yours affectionately and sincerely,
William Tiptaft

They are ready to knock him on the head!

(Excerpts from a letter of William Tiptaft)

My dear Brother,
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!

Yours very sincerely and affectionately,
William Tiptaft, April 18th, 1838

We might blush!

(William Tiptaft, from his letters)

If we are brought to consider what Christ
sacrificed for us, and how little we sacrifice
for Him, we might blush!

A bad sign

(William Tiptaft)

It is a bad sign when a minister has
the smiles of worldly professors.

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it
hated Me first. If you belonged to the world,
it would love you as its own.
As it is, you do
not belong to the world, but I have chosen
you out of the world. That is why the world
hates you. No servant is greater than his Master.
If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you
also." John 15:18-20

The world is a great enemy!

(Excerpts from a letter of William Tiptaft)

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

My dear Brother,
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.

Yours very affectionately and sincerely,
William Tiptaft, March 2nd, 1838

His children began to hiss!

(Excerpts from the letters of William Tiptaft)

Dear brother,
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.

Yours very affectionately,
William Tiptaft, Jan. 30th, 1830

Popular virtues?

(Thomas Reade, "Christian Meditations")

Contradictory as it may seem, many virtues
approved by men, may be exhibited by those
who are lost.

sympathy for the afflicted,
elegance of manners,
patriotic displays of courage,
and such like popular virtues, may form
a wreath around the brow, or emblazon 
the tomb, of the unbeliever.

But, what is highly esteemed among men
is abomination in the sight of God!

The trumpet of fame has sounded the praises of
many, even to the ends of the earth, who, at the
last trumpet, shall hear these words sounded out
before an assembled world: "Depart from Me, you
cursed ones, into everlasting fire, prepared for the
devil and his angels!"

How empty is the breath of human praise!

Toil in Satan's slave-house!

(Henry Law, "Awakening and Inviting Calls")

Every mother's child is an enslaved drudge
in Satan's service. Will you renounce the devil
and his works, and all earth's sinful vanities?

I plainly warn you, that Jesus requires your
entire heart. You must be wholly His, or
wholly toil in Satan's slave-house!

All whom Jesus receives He wondrously
transforms. The heart of stone will soften.
A heart of flesh will take its place.

New affections,
new desires,
new hopes,
new tastes,
new prospects,
new delights
will sprout as blossoms on a summer tree. Old
things will pass away; all things will become new.

The present desert of your mind will bloom as
Eden's lovely garden. The blank in your soul
will become replete with precious, elevated,
enchanting thoughts.

Conversion is a heaven-wrought change . . .
  from wretched slavery to noble freedom,
  from doubts to peace,
  from blindness to clear sight,
  from low estate to heavenly heirdom!

Will you not come and drink this happy cup?