The Believer's Pocket Companion

The One Thing Needful to Make Poor Sinners
Rich—and Miserable Sinners Happy

By William Mason, 1773


A rod of love to whip you

"The one who will not use the rod hates his son, but the
one who loves him disciplines him diligently." Prov. 13:24

Pliny mentions certain trees which grow in the Red Sea,
which, though they are covered with water, and beat
upon by the waves—they stand like an immovable rock.
They are bettered by the roughness of the sea.

Just so, a Christian planted in the Red Sea of Christ's
—is armored against all waves of trouble. He is
improved by afflictions; yes, the more he is beat
upon, and though overwhelmed with the billows of
distress and trouble—the better he thrives, and the
more his soul flourishes in spiritual grace! For this is
the loving design of our Lord in all our troubles and
afflictions—to wean us from the world, and to endear
Himself to us! Every affliction has its commission from
Him. It comes with the impress of His love upon it.

I have often found by experience, and confessed with
joy—that a sick bed has proved like a hotbed to my
soul. It has drawn up warm desires, and longing
affections to Christ. And I have sweetly found the Sun
of Righteousness arising upon me—reviving, cheering
and comforting my soul.

When afflictions are most heavy, Christ's presence . . .
  makes the world and its troubles most light,
  supports under trials,
  yields patience and comfort in afflictions, and
  sanctifies all of them to the soul's profit!

It is your wisdom to see the rod of chastisement in
the hand of your loving heavenly Father. All your
afflictions are chastenings from the Lord—they are
all sent in love! He deals with you as with a son in
whom He delights, and whom He designs to profit.
He does not punish you with vindictive wrath—He
is not taking vengeance of you for your sins. Your
Father is not so much punishing you for your sins,
as from your sins. That is, in all His chastisements,
He intends your spiritual good . . .
  that you should be more a partaker of His holiness;
  that sin may be more exceedingly sinful;
  that you should more humble and vile in your own eyes,
  that Jesus should be more inestimably precious to you.

So that all affliction, is a rod of love to whip you from
the world, self, and sin—into Christ, that you should more
love and enjoy Him, who is your righteousness, life and

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

We have been admiring our vile selves!

"I hate pride and arrogance!" Proverbs 8:13

What a monster of pride is man! How full of that
cursed venom, is human nature! We cannot receive any
grace or blessing from the Lord—but corrupt nature is
prone to be proud of it—and to boast in it! No one is
exempt from this. I appeal to your hearts. I refer to
your experience. When your heart has been enlarged
in prayer; when your soul has been carried out in
humblings, meltings, longings, aspirings, etc.; when
you have heard the Word with warm affections and
heavenly joy; when your tongue has with sweetness
and liberty talked of Christ to others; when your hand
has been stretched forth to do any good work; now in
all these—have you not found pride very busy? Have
not you been ready to stroke yourself with pleasure,
and to reflect with delight: "Well, now the Lord loves
me indeed! Surely He loves me better—now that I
find myself so holy, and feel myself so heavenly."

But where is our precious Christ all this while? We have
looked at ourselves—until we have lost sight of Him!

We have been admiring our vile selves for our
—instead of being in raptures with Christ, who
is altogether lovely, in whom all fullness of grace
dwells, and out of whose fullness we receive grace
upon grace!

"The Lord detests all the proud of heart!" Prov. 16:5

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Death cannot hurt you!

Christian! Death cannot hurt you! Death is your
best friend—who is commissioned by Christ to summon
you from the world of vanity and woe, and from a body
of sin and death—to the blissful regions of glory and
immortality, to meet your Lord, and to be forever
with Him!

In the Marian persecution, a godly woman was
brought before "Bloody Bonner", bishop of London,
on account of her faith in Christ.

The bishop threatened he would take her husband.
Said she, "Christ is my husband!"

Said he, "I will take away your child."
Said she, "Christ is better to me than ten sons!"

Said he, "I will strip you of all your comforts."
Said she, "Christ is mine, and you cannot strip me
of Him! Take away whatever you will—you cannot
take away my Christ from me!"

Just so, death may threaten to take all from you.
But you may boldly put death at defiance, as she
did Satan's bishop. Having Christ in your heart,
you will take a smiling leave of the world, and (as
good old Simeon, with Christ in his arms) say,
"Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, You now
dismiss Your servant in peace, for my eyes have
seen Your salvation!" Luke 2:29, 30.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Christ sin self

Where Christ is most precious—
  there sin is exceedingly sinful;
  and self is humbled and loathed!

But—do we not grow stronger in ourselves, and
find more help and power from ourselves—
  to withstand our enemies,
  to fight our good fight,
  to run our race, and
  to perfect holiness?

No! If we think so—it is plain that we are not
growing up into Christ—but growing down into
self! If the Lord has given me to know anything
of this matter, after being upwards of twenty
years in precious Christ, I sincerely declare, that
I find myself to be just that weak, helpless sinner
I was when I first came to Jesus with, "Lord help
me! Lord save me—or I perish!" Yes, I find myself
more helpless now
—than I thought myself then.
I see more constant need to put on Christ, and
to say, "truly in the Lord (not in myself) I have

I never more firmly believed than now, this truth
of my Lord, "Without Me, you can do nothing." John
15:5. Never, never did I see less cause to trust in
my own strength!

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

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

How is all this to be done?

Before the believer arrives to the full enjoyment
of Christ in eternal glory, he has . . .
  many enemies to encounter;
  many trials and troubles to conflict with;
  a body of sin and death to be delivered from;
  many lusts to be mortified;
  many corruptions to be subdued;
  a legion of sins to strive against;
  graces to be exercised;
  duties to be performed;
in one word—he has to glorify Christ
in the world, by his life and walk.

How is all this to be done?

Only by Christ strengthening him. Therefore
he is constantly to put on Christ—to attain a
greater knowledge of Christ—more rich and
sweet experience of His grace and love—to be
more strongly rooted in His love. He must have
his heart, his hopes, his affections more with
Christ, and his soul more swallowed up in the
ocean of God's everlasting love in Christ—that
he may be more conformed to Christ's image;
and that thus, as a good soldier of Christ, he
may manfully fight under His banner against
the world, the flesh, and the devil, unto his
life's end.

"I can do all things through Christ, who
 strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A continual supply of grace, comfort, and strength

"I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me
 and gave Himself for me!" Galatians 2:20

That the believer may live cheerfully and comfortably,
he is exhorted to the free and constant use of Christ.

O consider—Christ is given to us—to be enjoyed by us!

He is the bread of life. We are to feed upon Him daily.

He is the water of life, which our souls are to drink of

He is our righteousness. We are to put Him on continually.

So then, we not only have a precious Christ—but we are
also to use Him—and enjoy His preciousness! He is not
only a well of salvation—but we must draw water out of
it with joy—and drink of it to the refreshing of our souls!

Deeply consider, that without this inward enjoyment
of Christ—you cannot be . . .
  happy in your soul,
  comfortable in your walk,
  nor holy in your life.

We must live by faith upon Christ—so as to derive a
continual supply of grace, comfort, and strength

from Him! "I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved
me and gave Himself for me!" Galatians 2:20

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

O the love of His royal heart!

"Christ is all!" Colossians 3:2

O for the pen of a ready writer, to set forth the matchless
glory and unparalleled excellence of the King—the King of
kings—the King of saints, even King Jesus!

We were once stout-hearted rebels against His crown and
government! But, O the love of His royal heart! Instead
of executing fierce vengeance upon us, for our sins—lo, He
came from heaven to earth, with a flame of love in His
heart, and matchless grace on His lips—on purpose . . .
  to die for us,
  to wash us from our sins in His own blood,
  to conquer the rebellion of our hearts against Him,
  and to win our affections to Him!

Has He saved us by His precious blood? Has He made us
His willing, loving disciples, by His powerful grace? Surely
then, we should live in the sweet enjoyment of all the rich
blessings of his kingdom, and be holy and happy every
day, yes, every hour—IN HIM. This is His loving will
concerning us.

O for a single eye to look unto Jesus, a humble heart to
sit at His feet, and a simple soul to hear and believe every
word from His gracious lips, that we may know the love of
Christ—constantly know it by a heartfelt sense of it. This,
this is the one thing needful—to make poor sinners rich,
and miserable sinners happy in time, and joyful to all

Remember your chief employment. It is not merely to
make a profession, and to keep up a form of godliness;
but to maintain and keep up a warm, lively, comfortable
sense of the love of Christ in your hearts, from day to
day, yes, from hour to hour!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Put on the Lord Jesus Christ

"Put on the Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 13:4.

Put Him on as your Lord to reign in and rule over you!
Put Him on as your Jesus to save you from all your enemies!
Put Him on as your Christ, the anointed one—to bless you
with grace, and to crown you with glory!

Putting on Christ implies the renewed acts, and fresh
applications of the believing soul to Christ, in the exercise
of faith in Him, hope towards Him, delight in Him, and
calling upon Him—as the joy of our souls.

We must put on Christ—and enjoy Him now,
in continued acts of . . .
  believing in Him,
  coming to Him,
  leaning on Him,
  cleaving to Him,
  abiding in Him,
  living upon Him!

These are the actings of believers' souls. We should
daily, yes, constantly clothe our mind with Christ . . .
  what He has done for us;
  what He is to us;
  what He is now doing for us!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Foolish, powerless, despised

Infinite, everlasting immutable love—is the cause
from which our effectual calling proceeds!

"Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of
 you were wise in the world's eyes, or powerful,
 or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God
 deliberately chose things the world considers
 foolish in order to shame those who think they
 are wise. And he chose those who are powerless
to shame those who are powerful. God chose things
 despised by the world, things counted as nothing
 at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the
 world considers important, so that no one can ever
 boast in the presence of God." 1 Corinthians 1:26-29

O, we do not enough dwell upon the infinite love,
discriminating grace, and almighty power of the Lord—
in effectually calling us, poor sinners—from sin, death,
and hell—to righteousness, life, and heaven, in Jesus!

What! has the Lord singled you out, and separated you
from a world of dead sinners, to hear His mighty voice,
and to obey His loving call? Have you heard the sweet,
loving, and persuasive voice of the dear Shepherd,
saying, "Come unto me!" O remember, this is because
you are loved by God. The effectual calling of Christ is
the fruit of the everlasting love of God. Those sinners
being loved by God, and given to Christ in eternity—
they must be effectually called—they must come to
Christ in time.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

O marvelous mystery of astonishing grace!

The poor souls who are dead in trespasses and sins,
have all got self-righteous hearts, because their
understandings are blind, and their consciences are
stupid. To exhort such to put on Christ, would be as
foolish and as vain, as to bid a dead corpse arise,
and put on clothing.

O marvelous mystery of astonishing grace!
Sinners! you who see, know and feel yourselves to
be nothing but sin—yes, the very chief of sinners—
have a right, by free gift, of free grace—to take,
possess, and put on Christ! But it is you, quickened,
enlightened, sensible sinners, whose consciences
smart for sin, whose hearts ache for the curses of
the law denounced against sin, and whose spirits
tremble to be found in your own righteousness; it
is you—tempest-tossed, afflicted, and not comforted
by anything that you can find and feel in yourselves;
who see your own nakedness, and constantly view
your own righteousness as filthy rags—who are
exhorted to put on Christ.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

O how few really feel

Perhaps there never was a greater profession of Christ,
than in this day. Yet many, very many professors content
themselves with . . .
  the form of godliness—instead of the power;
  the mere notion of truth—instead of the experience of it;
  the name of faith—instead of the grace of faith;
  the mere profession of Christ—instead of the actual
possession of Him. O how few really feel . . .
  their hearts happy in Him,
  their hopes centered on Him, and
  their affections going out after Him!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

An infinite debtor

I think I feel myself such an infinite debtor to my Lord,
for His matchless love, rich grace, and glorious salvation,
that I would never stop testifying of Him to my fellow
sinners, while my heart can beat, my tongue can speak,
or my hand can write.

The design of this book is to stir up and quicken the Lord's
children in the way of believing in Christ, looking to Christ,
coming unto Him, and abiding in Him—so that they may
enjoy more sweet fellowship with Him, find more of the
inestimable preciousness of Him, and experience more
of His wonderful love, which passes knowledge. By thus
cleaving, in heart and affection, to our heavenly
Bridegroom, we shall be . . .
  more spiritual in our frame of mind,
  more humble in our hearts,
  more circumspect in our walk,
  more heavenly in our conversation,
  and more holy in our lives.
Hence we shall become more dead to the world
and its vanities, to sin and its miseries, and to
self-righteousness and its deceits.

All is not right between Christ and the soul—if it is not
earnestly desiring to maintain constant, uninterrupted,
holy fellowship with Him—studiously pursuing those
means which tend to promote the life and power of
practical, experimental godliness, and avoiding all
things which are contrary to our most holy faith.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Imitate the miser!

"Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
    Matthew 6:21

Is not Christ our richest treasure? Should He not be
ever in our minds, and our minds ever on Him? O
Christian, the riches of your Christ are boundless and
bottomless! You have in Christ, UNSEARCHABLE
RICHES—an inexhaustible treasure which never fails!

O then, imitate the miser! Let your mind dwell on your
treasure. Let your treasure be ever uppermost in your
mind. Is the miser's mind ever upon, and ever going out
after his treasure? Just so, let your minds dwell on Christ!
Does he value himself by his treasure? Just so, must you
value yourself—upon Christ! Is he always poring over his
precious wealth? Just so, should you pour over your
precious Christ! Does the miser love to inspect, and
count over his beloved gold? O let your mind be ever
inspecting your beloved Christ—in His wonderful person;
His amazing love, in laying down His life for you, His
enemy; and His glorious salvation of you, an ungodly
sinner! Be constantly counting over all the great and
precious promises which you have in Him—and the
graces, blessings, and comforts which you have from
Him—and the certain glory which you soon shall enjoy
with Him!

Is the miser careful to keep, and fearful of losing, any
part of his possession? So let it be between Christ and
your mind. Hold Him fast. Cleave to Him. Be careful to
enjoy Him always. Be ever fearful of losing any blessing
or comfort He has promised to bestow.

Thus esteem Christ—as your treasure! Let all your hopes
center in Him, and all your affections fix upon Him! Until
time is swallowed up in eternity—be receiving out of His
inexhaustible fullness, grace upon grace, blessing upon
blessing, comfort upon comfort! Christ is your treasure!
All other things are but dross and dung compared to
Him! Look down with a holy contempt, upon all objects
beneath your Beloved!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

You should remember your sins

It is fitting that you should remember your sins
to humble you, and to cause you to remember the love
of Jesus—who bore them, suffered for them, and has
taken them all away!

The eternal Son of the eternal Father became an infant,
and died as an accursed malefactor bearing our sins—
  the guilt of our sins,
  the curse of our sins,
  all the wrath due to our sins, and
  all the penalties which our sins deserved,
in His own blessed and innocent body on the tree!

Jesus, the true scapegoat, carried all our sins away into
the land of forgetfulness! Hence thus says your God and
Father, "Your sins, and your iniquities, I will remember no
more!" Jer. 31:34. "Though your sins and your iniquities
be sought for—they shall not be found!" Jeremiah 1:20.

We have such a glorious Savior, such a finished salvation,
and are complete in Christ! We must attend to, believe,
and live upon this ever glorious, ever sin-subduing and
soul-sanctifying truth, "The blood of Jesus purifies us
from all sin!" 1 John 1:7

At all times, when you see your sins, and are considering
what a miserable sinner you are—remember the life and
death of the Son of God in your place.
This is the greatest,
most precious, and most comfortable truth in the world!

What are you and I but sinners? Though we are in
—sin-accused, law-condemned, hopeless,
helpless, ruined, lost and desperate sinners; yet in
we are . . .
  justified from all sin,
  freed from all condemnation,
  restored to the love, favor and image of God,
  at peace with God,
  saved with an everlasting salvation, and
  have a true hope of a blissful immortality!
Well may we cry out in wonder and amazement,
"What has the amazing grace of God wrought!
 What has the precious love of Christ effected!"

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Though sin dwells in us

"Sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are
 not under the law, but under grace." Romans 6:14

A Christian realizes, that in himself, he is an indigent,
hopeless, helpless, unholy sinner. He knows that he
has no righteousness of his own, which he has wrought
out, which can screen him from divine justice, answer
all the demands of God's law, and entitle him to God's
favor. He realizes that his own righteousness is . . .
  no better than filthy rags;
  too ragged to hide his shame;
  too filthy to endure the piercing eye of God's purity;
  but must be burnt up by the fire of His justice!

Yet, though sin dwells in us, it does not have
dominion over us. It cannot; for we are not under
the law—which only pronounces the curse of sin;
but under the grace of Christ—which actually
subdues the power of sin.

O then, under the sense of deepest indigence—put
on Christ, in whom you have unsearchable riches!
This is the humble teaching of faith—to know that
in ourselves, we have nothing. This is the joyful
experience of faith—to know that in Christ we
possess all things! O rest not without the comfort
of this. O love, and bless, and glory in your divine
Surety. And in the felt sense of your own weakness,
be daily leaning upon your Beloved. So will you be
safely, sweetly, and comfortably, coming up out of
the wilderness of this world!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Never was the gospel more 'adorned'

"Adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things."
     Titus 2:10.

Never was the gospel more 'adorned', than it
is in our day—if fine clothing and mirthful dress may
be said to adorn it! Scarcely ever had Christ more
followers than now—if professors may be said to
follow him, who can gratify themselves in the vain
pleasures and fashionable diversions of a sinful age!
Alas! Such things tend to deprave the mind, manifest
its vanity, drive Christ from the heart, and are quite
opposite to all self-denial and holy obedience!

One can just as soon think that a devil can be happy
in the flames of hell—as that a child of God can find
happiness at the play-house, the card-table, or any
carnal diversions. Those who can give up themselves
to such vain things have never known the power and
comfort of Christ's love enjoyed within.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~


"By one offering He has perfected forever, those who
 are sanctified." Hebrews 10.14

"Christ made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice for
our sins." Nothing needs, nor nothing can be added to
it. The work by which we are forever perfected—is
completely finished, and forever done. He has perfectly
fulfilled the law for us; perfectly atoned justice in our
stead; perfectly expiated our sins; obtained full pardon
for them, and complete redemption from the curse of
them; and has perfectly justified us from all
condemnation for them.

Who—us? Why, all who are sanctified—that is:
1. Those who are separated and set apart by the choice
of God the Father, from eternity—to partake of the perfect
salvation of His beloved Son.

2. Those who are sanctified, or separated by the Holy
Spirit in time—from our corrupt notions, self-righteous
dependences, unholy ways, and sinful practices—to partake
of and enjoy the perfect love, and perfect salvation of the
Son of God, by a holy faith.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Loving, calling, justifying, sanctifying, preserving

"On the day He comes to be glorified in His holy
 people and to be marveled at among all those
 who have believed." 2 Thessalonians 1:10

O how will our Savior's glory shine forth, with the most
resplendent luster—in His loving, calling, justifying,
sanctifying, and preserving
all His dear people unto
eternal life! O how will He be marveled at by His saints,
  in His glorious person,
  in His precious offices,
  in His everlasting love to them, and
  in His everlasting salvation of them!

Angels, archangels, and all the heavenly multitude,
will then be struck with the greatest admiration—at
beholding the full display of these things, which now
they desire to look into.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

You are sanctified in Christ Jesus

"Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision
 for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof." Romans 13:14

You are not left to labor to get holiness to sanctify
you—but you are sanctified in Christ Jesus, and
are to put Him on, for the . . .
  subduing of your lusts,
  mortifying of your corruptions,
  softening and sweetening of your tempers;
so will you comfortably go on, perfecting
holiness in the fear of God.

O then put on Christ, and you will deny yourself,
and follow your Lord. You will be armored against
the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the
pride of life. Instead of going after lying vanities
and deceitful pleasures—you will be swallowed
up in God.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

All the pomps and vanities of a sinful world!

"Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision
 for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof." Romans 13:14

It is to our comfort, wherever we go—to put on the
Lord Jesus Christ
—to carry Him with us, in our minds,
memories and consciences, in . . .
  the remembrance of His love to us,
  the record of His mercy to us,
  the miracle of His grace in converting us,
  the miseries He endured,
  the sorrows He sustained for our salvation,
  the perfection of His atonement and righteousness,
  the victory of His cross,
  the triumphs of His resurrection,
  the prevalence of His intercession, and
  the comfort and joy of eternally being with Him!

O if these things dwell constantly in us, we shall be
lively in the work of faith, the labor of love, and the
patience of hope; while we shall be dead to all the
pomps and vanities of a sinful world!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Spiritual breathing

Prayer is the spiritual breathing of a quickened
soul. At a throne of grace he pours out his hopes,
fears, affections and desires.

If our minds are clothed with this comfortable truth,
that we have a great high priest, who has passed into
the heavens, Jesus the Son of God—then we shall
see our heavenly Father seated on a throne of grace,
with smiles of approbation and acceptance; and we
shall come boldly to it, that we may obtain mercy
as miserable sinners, and find grace to supply our
wants as needy creatures.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Accepted in the Beloved

"To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He
 has made us accepted in the Beloved." Eph. 1:6

God did not love you, choose you and call you—for
any good he saw in you; but He loved you, and
viewed you in Christ. Therefore, God . . .
  loves you in Christ;
  views you in Christ;
  has made you accepted in Christ;
  pardoned, justified and sanctified you in Christ!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Leaning on her Beloved

"Who is this coming up from the wilderness,
 leaning on her Beloved?" Song of Songs 8:5

Are you weak, weary, faint, and ready to fall?
Then lean upon your Jesus for support and strength.

"I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens
 me." Philippians 4:13