Rattles and baubles Rattles and baubles

Choice excerpts Thomas Brooks'
"The Unsearchable Riches of Christ"

Satan's apes

Pride sets itself against the honor, being, and
sovereignty of God. Other sins strike at the word
of God, the people of God, and the creatures of
God—but pride strikes directly at the very being
of God. He bears a special hatred against pride.

It was pride which turned angels into devils.
They would be above others in heaven—and
therefore God cast them down to hell.

Pride is a sin which of all sins, makes a person
most like Satan. Pride is Satan's disease. Pride
is so base a disease, that God had rather see His
dearest children to be buffeted by Satan, than
that in pride they should be like Satan.

Humility makes a man like to angels—and pride
makes an angel a devil. Pride is worse than the
devil, for the devil cannot hurt you until pride
has possessed you.

If you would see the devil portrayed to the life
—look upon a proud soul; for as face answers
to face, so does a proud soul answer to Satan.

Proud souls are Satan's apes, and none imitate
him to the life like these. And oh that they were
sensible of it, before it is too late, before the
door of darkness be shut upon them!

"The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure
 of this: They will not go unpunished." Prov. 16:5

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If this does not humble you

Dwell much upon the greatness of God's mercy and
goodness to you. Nothing humbles and breaks the
heart, like God's mercy and love. In Luke 7, the Lord
Jesus shows mercy to that notorious sinner, and then
she falls down at His feet, and loves much and weeps
much, etc.

Oh, if ever you would have your souls kept humble,
dwell upon the free grace and love of God to you in
Christ! Dwell upon . . .
  the firstness of His love,
  the freeness of His love,
  the greatness of His love,
  the fullness of His love,
  the unchangeableness of His love,
  the everlastingness of His love, and
  the ardency of His love.
If this does not humble you
, there is nothing
on earth which will do it. Dwell upon what God has
undertaken for you. Dwell upon the choice and
worthy gifts which He has bestowed on you. Dwell
upon that eternal glory and happiness which He has
prepared for you—and then be proud if you can.

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If you are not as wicked as others

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

Whatever evil you behold in other men's practices, realize
that you have the same evil in your own nature.

There is the seed of all sins, of the vilest and worst of
sins—in the best of men. When you see a drunkard—you
may see the seed of that sin in your own nature. When
you see an immoral man—you may see the seeds of
immorality in your own nature. If you are not as
wicked as others
—it is not because of the goodness
of your nature—but from the riches of God's grace!

Remember this—there is not a worse nature in hell
than that which is in you, and it would manifest itself
accordingly—if the Lord did not restrain it!

There was one who was a long time tempted to three
horrid sins: to be drunk, to lie with his mother, and to
murder his father. Being a long time followed with
these horrid temptations, at last he thought to get
rid of them, by yielding to what he judged the least,
and that was to be drunk; but when he was drunk, he
did both lie with his mother and murdered his father.

Why, such a hellish nature is in every soul that breathes!
And did God leave men to act according to their natures,
all men would be incarnate devils, and this world a total
hell. In your nature you have that that would lead you . . .
  with the Pharisees—to oppose Christ;
  and with Judas—to betray Christ;
  and with Pilate—to condemn Christ;
  and with the soldiers—to crucify Christ.

Oh, what a monster, what a devil you would be—should
God but leave you to act suitable to that sinful and woeful
nature of yours!

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

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Meditate, practice, pray

You must meditate and dwell upon what you read;
otherwise your pains and mine will be lost. The more any
man is in the contemplation of truth, the more deep and
firm impression is made upon his heart by truth. Heavenly
meditation brings out the sweetness that is in divine truths.
Not those who get most—but those who keep most, are
richest. So not those who hear most, or read most—but
those who meditate most, are most edified and enriched.

You must also practice and live out what you read. To
read much and practice nothing—is to hunt much and catch
nothing. Ah! what cause have most to sigh, that they have
heard so much, and read so much—and yet done so little!

You must also pray over what you read. Many read much,
and pray little, and therefore get little by all they read. Galen
writes of a fish called Uranoscopos, that has but one eye,
which looks continually up to heaven. When a Christian has
one eye upon his book—the other should be looking up to
heaven for a blessing upon what he reads!

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Optimum maximum

Christians serve a wonderful Master.
They serve Him who is . . .
  all ear to hear them,
  all hand to uphold them,
  all power to protect them,
  all wisdom to direct them,
  all goodness to relieve them,
  all mercy to pardon them.

They serve that God who is optimum maximum
—the best and greatest. God has within Himself
all the good of angels, men, and universal nature.
God has . . .
  all dignity,
  all glory,
  all riches,
  all treasure,
  all pleasure,
  all delight,
  all joy,
  all beatitudes.

God is . . .
  mercy, and
  love itself!

God is one infinite perfection in Himself!

"He has all—who has the Haver of all." Αugustine

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The Midas touch

Faith is the most useful grace. It is a Christian's right eye,
without which he cannot see for Christ; it is his right hand,
without which he cannot do for Christ; it is his tongue,
without which he cannot speak for Christ; it is his very
vital spirits, without which he cannot act for Christ.

It is fabled of King Midas, that whatever he touched would
be turned into gold. I am sure that whatever faith touches,
it turns into gold, that is, into our good. If our faith touches
the promises, it turns them into our good; whatever faith
lays its hand upon, it appropriates to itself, and turns it
into the soul's good. If faith looks upon God, it says, "This
God is my God forever and ever, and He shall be my guide
unto death!" When it looks upon Christ, it says, "My Lord
and my God!" When it looks upon the crown of righteousness,
it says, "This crown is laid up for me!"

Faith is . . .
  bread to nourish us,
  wine to cheer us,
  a cordial to strengthen us,
  a sword to defend us,
  a guide to direct us,
  a staff to support us,
  a plaster to heal us,
  a friend to comfort us, and
  a golden key to open heaven unto us.

Faith, of all graces, is the most useful grace to the soul
of man. "Without faith it is impossible to please God."
All those services are lost, wherein faith has not a hand.
You may write 'loss' . . .
  upon all the prayers you make, and
  upon all the sermons you hear, and
  upon all the tears you shed, and
  upon all the alms you give,
if all are not managed by a hand of faith.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

We have actually outsinned thousands

Sit down and wonder at the matchless love of God.

Oh! what is in us—that should cause the Lord to give such
gifts to us as He has given? We were all equal in sin and
misery; nay, doubtless, we have actually outsinned
, to whom these precious gifts are denied. Let
us therefore sit down and wonder at this condescending
love of God. Oh! we were once poor wretches sitting upon
the ash-heap, yes, wallowing in our blood—and yet behold!
The King of kings, the Lord of lords, has so far condescended
in His love, as to bestow Himself, His Spirit, His grace, and
all the jewels of His royal crown upon us! Oh! what heart can
conceive, what tongue can express, this matchless love!

"I will be yours forever," says Christ, "and My Spirit shall
be yours forever, and My grace yours forever, and My glory
yours forever, and My righteousness yours forever. All I am
and all I have—shall be yours forever!" O what matchless
love is this! Oh! what a Christ is this!

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Do not judge a minister . . .

"Consider carefully what you hear." Mark 4:24

It is sad to see how many preachers in our days, make
it their business to enrich men's heads with high, empty,
airy notions; instead of enriching their souls with saving

Fix yourself under that man's ministry, who makes it his
business, his work to enrich the soul, to win the soul, and
to build up the soul; not to tickle the ear, or please the
fancy. This age is full of such light, delirious souls—who
dislike everything—but what is empty and airy.

Do not judge a minister . . .
  by his voice, nor
  by the multitude who follow him, nor
  by his affected tone, nor
  by his rhetoric and flashes of wit;
but by the holiness, heavenliness, and spiritualness
of his teaching. Many ministers are like empty orators,
who have a flood of words—but a drop of matter.

Some preachers affect rhetorical strains; they seek abstrusities,
and love to hover and soar aloft in dark and cloudy expressions,
and so shoot their arrows over their hearers' heads—instead of
bettering their hearers' hearts. Mirthful things in a sermon
are only for men to gaze upon and admire. He is the best
, not who tickles the ear—but who breaks the heart.

"My message and my preaching were not with wise and
 persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's
 power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom,
 but on God's power." 1 Corinthians 2:4-5

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How to conquer the world!

Perhaps the world—the smiling world or the frowning world,
the tempting world or the persecuting world—lies as a heavy
stone or burden upon your heart, as it does upon the hearts
of thousands in these days; (witness their attempting anything
to get the favors, honors and riches of this world! Ah! how
many have turned their backs upon God, and Christ, and
truth, etc., to gain the world!) How will you get this
burden off?
Only by exercise of faith.

Many men hear sermons much—and yet remain worldly. They
may pray like angels—and yet live as if there were no heaven
nor hell. They will talk much of heaven—and yet those who are
spiritual and wise, smell their breath to stink strong of earth.
All their endeavors can never cure them of this soul-killing
disease—until faith breaks forth in its glorious actings. A man
may hear sermons and pray many years—and yet remain as
carnal, base, and worldly as ever!
There is no way under
heaven to remove this burden—but the exercise of faith!

"For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is
 the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who
 believes that Jesus is the Son of God." 1 John 5:4-5

Faith presents the world to the soul under all those notions
which the Scripture holds forth the world unto us by. The
Scripture holds forth the world as an impotent thing, as a
thing, as a mutable thing, as a momentary thing.
Now faith comes and sets this home with power upon the
soul—and this takes the soul off from the world.

Faith causes the soul to converse with those more glorious,
soul-satisfying, soul-delighting, and soul-contenting objects.
Now when faith is busied and exercised about soul-ennobling,
soul-greatening, soul-raising, and soul-cheering objects—a
Christian tramples the world under his feet! In Hebrews 11,
it was the exercise of faith and hope upon noble and glorious
objects—which carried them above the world—above the
smiling world, and above the frowning world, above the
tempting world, and above the persecuting world!

Faith conquers the world, by assuring the soul of enjoying of
better things. Men may talk much of heaven, and of Christ,
and religion, etc.; but give me a man who does really and
clearly live under the power of divine faith—and I cannot see
how such a one can be carried out in an inordinate love to
these poor transitory things.

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Such a wretch you would have been!

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have
 drawn you with loving-kindness." Jeremiah 31:3

There are but few upon whom God bestows His saving love.

Tell me, are not the gifts which Christ has given you—rare
gifts? What would you have been—if Christ had not made
a difference between you and others—by those glorious gifts
which He has conferred upon you? You look upon some, and
see they are very ignorant of spiritual truth. O! What would
you have been
—if God had not bestowed saving knowledge
upon you? You look upon others who are unclean, profane,
and filthy. Why! such a wretch you would have been—if
the Lord had not made a difference between you and them,
by bestowing Himself, His grace, and Spirit upon you.

"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom
 of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor
 idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual
 offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers
 nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what
 some of you were!
But you were washed, you were sanctified,
 you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by
 the Spirit of our God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

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Your spots and blots

"The Lord our righteousness." Jeremiah 23:6

"They are without fault before the throne of God." Rev. 14:5

Weak hearts are apt to sit down troubled and discouraged,
when they look upon that body of sin which is in them, and
those imperfections which attend their best services. They
are ready to say, "We shall one day perish by the strength
of our lusts, or by the defects of our services!" Oh but, to
strengthen them against all discouragements, they  should
remember this—that they stand before God, clothed with
the righteousness of their Savior. "They are without fault
before the throne of God." Revelation 14:5

So in Cant. 4:7, "All beautiful you are, my darling; there is
no flaw in you." There is no flaw in God's account. God looks
upon weak saints in the Son of His love—and sees them all
lovely. Ah, poor souls! you are apt to look upon your spots
and blots
, and to cry out with the leper not only "Unclean!
unclean!" but "Undone! undone!" Well, forever remember
this—that you stand before God in the righteousness of
Christ; upon which account you always appear before the
throne of God without fault; where you are all lovely, and
where there is no flaw in you.

"They are without fault before the throne of God." Rev. 14:5


    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Dolls and rattles

The thoughts and hearts of weak Christians are more
taken up with the good things they have from Christ—
than with Christ Himself. Oh, their graces, their comforts,
their enlargements, their meltings, and their warmings,
are the things which most absorb them. Their thoughts
and hearts are so exercised about these things—that
Christ Himself is much neglected by them.

The child is so absorbed with dolls and rattles,
that the mother is not thought of. And such is
the behavior of weak Christians towards Christ.

Those who are strong in grace are more taken up with
Christ Himself, than they are with His love-tokens. They
bless Christ indeed for every grain of grace—but Christ
Himself is more to them than all these. Christ is the
most sparkling diamond in the ring of glory!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Rattles and baubles

Weak Christians are usually much concerned and taken
up with the poor base things of this world. They are
much in carking and caring for them, and in pursuing
and hunting greedily after them. All which does clearly
evidence—that their graces are very weak, and their
corruptions very strong.

Certainly there is but little of Christ and grace within,
where the heart is so strongly concerned about earthly
things. Where there is such strong love and workings
of heart after these poor things—it shows the soul's
enjoyment of God to be but poor and low. Those who
are rich and strong in grace, look upon the world with
a holy scorn and disdain.

The greatest bargain which a soul rich in grace will
make with God for himself is this, "Give me but bread
to eat and clothes to wear—and you shall be my God."
So it was with that brave soul in Genesis 28:21. Jacob
desires but bread and clothing. Mark, he asks bread
—not dainties; clothing—not ornaments.

Grown men prefer one piece of gold, above a thousand
new pennies. A soul who is strong in grace, who is high
in its spiritual enjoyments, prefers one good word from
God, above all the dainties of this world. Souls who know
by experience what the bosom of Christ is, what spiritual
communion is, what the glory of heaven is—will not be
put off with things which are mixed, mutable, and
momentary. "Lord," he prays, "Warm my heart with
the beams of Your love—and then a little of these
things will suffice."

It is childish to be concerned more with the rattles
and baubles
of this world, than with heavenly riches.

A little of this world will satisfy one who is strong in grace,
much will not satisfy one who is weak in grace,
nothing will satisfy one who is void of grace.

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A faithful minister

"Let the elders who rule well be accounted worthy of
 double honor, especially those who labor in the word
 and doctrine." 1 Timothy 5:17

The which is here rendered labor, signifies not simply to
labor—but to labor with much travail and toil, to labor
even to exhaustion, as he does who chops wood, or who
toils in harvest, or who goes to battle.

Oh what an honor is it to a faithful minister, when he . . .
  found the people dark and blind—but left them enlightened;
  found them dead—but left them alive;
  found them a proud people—but has left them humble;
  found the people profane—but has left them holy;
  found them a carnal people—but has left them spiritual;
  found them a worldly people—but has left them heavenly;
  found them a wavering people—but has left them settled and rooted.

Oh, it is an honor to faithful ministers,
when their people are like them in . . .

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Unholy ministers

"Watch your life and doctrine closely." 1 Timothy 4:16

Heavenly doctrines should always be adorned with a
heavenly life.

Ministers must preach Christ as well in their life—as in
their doctrine. They must not be hot in the pulpit, and
cold and careless in their lives. The lives of ministers
oftentimes convince more strongly than their words;
their tongues may persuade—but their lives command.

What is it, which renders the things of God so contemptuous
and odious in the eyes of many people—but the ignorance,
looseness, profaneness, and baseness of those who are the
dispensers of them. Unholy ministers pull down instead
of building up. Oh the souls who their lives destroy! These,
by their loose lives, lead their flocks to hell—where they
themselves must lie lowermost!

Wicked ministers do more hurt by their lives—than
they do good by their doctrine. Every minister's
life should be a commentary upon Christ's life!

"Be an example to all believers in what you
 teach, in the way you live, in your love, your
 faith, and your purity." 1 Timothy 4:12

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The sweet nature of grace

Dwell much upon the sweet nature of grace.

Grace begets the greatest joy and sweetness in the
hearts of men, that possibly can be. Grace is a panoply
against all troubles—and a paradise of all pleasures.

Grace is compared to the sweetest things; to sweet spices,
to wine and milk. Grace is a sweet flower of paradise, a
spark of glory, etc. Grace is nourished and maintained by
that sweet word, which is sweeter than the honey or the
honey-comb, and by sweet union and communion with
the Father and the Son.

Grace is exercised about the sweetest objects, namely—
God, Christ, promises, and future glory.

Grace sweetens all your services and duties. Your best
religious performances are but stinking sacrifices—if they
are not attended with the exercise of grace. Grace is that
heavenly salt which makes all our services savory and
sweet in the nostrils of God.

Grace is of the greatest and sweetest use to the soul.
It is an anchor at sea, and a shield at land. Grace is a
staff to uphold the soul, and a sword to defend the soul.
Grace is bread to strengthen the soul, and wine to cheer
the soul. Grace is medicine to cure all diseases, and a
plaster to heal all wounds, and a cordial to strengthen
the soul under all faintings, etc. Grace is . . .
  your eye to see for Christ,
  your ear to hear for Christ,
  your head to design for Christ,
  your tongue to speak for Christ,
  your hand to do for Christ, and
  your feet to walk with Christ.

Grace makes men of the harshest, sourest, crabbedest
natures—to be of a sweet, lovely, amiable, pleasing temper.
Grace turns lions into lambs, wolves into sheep, monsters
into men, and men into angels—as you may see in Manasseh,
Paul, Mary Magdalene, Zaccheus, and others.

Yet sometimes grace, in a rugged unhewn nature, is like . . .
  a gold ring on a leprous hand, or
  a diamond set in iron, or
  a jewel in a swine's snout, etc.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

They heard, and were never the better

"The word did not profit those who heard it, because
 it was not mixed with faith." Hebrews 4:2

He does not speak here of unbelievers—but of those
who had faith in the soul—but not in the exercise; and
therefore the word did not profit them. They heard,
and were never the better.
And what was the ground
of it? Why, it was because they did not exercise faith
upon the word. The words which fell from the preacher's
lips into their ears, were a sweet potion—but they did not
work effectually, because they lacked the ingredient of
faith. Faith is one of those glorious ingredients, which
makes every sermon, every truth, work for their souls'
advantage. Nothing will work for a believer's good, for
his gain—if it is not mixed with faith. Nothing makes a
man rich in spirituals, like the frequent and constant
actings of faith.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The right way of mortifying of sin

Those spots which a Christian finds in his own heart
can only, by a hand of faith, be washed out in the
blood of the Lamb.

Suppose that the power and prevalency of sin hinders
the soul's sweet communion with God—so that the soul
cannot sport itself, and joy and delight itself in God, as
in the days of old; it cannot see God smiling, stroking,
and speaking kindly, as in former days. Now, there is
nothing in all the world which can ease the soul of this
burden of sin, but the exercise of grace.

"Oh," says such a poor soul, "I pray—and yet I sin;
I resolve against sin—and yet I sin; I combat against
sin—and yet I am carried captive by sin; I have left
no outward means unattempted—and yet after all,
my sins are too hard for me; after all my sweating,
striving, and weeping—I am carried down the stream."

It is not our strong resolutions or purposes which
will be able to overmaster these enemies.

There is nothing now but the actings of faith upon a
crucified Christ, which will take off this burden from
the soul of man. You must make use of your graces
to draw virtue from Christ; now faith must touch the
hem of Christ's garment—or you will never be healed.

It is sad to consider how few professors in these days
have attained the right way of mortifying of sin.
They usually go out against their sins in the strength
of their own purposes, prayers, and resolutions, etc.,
and scarcely look so high as a crucified Christ; they
mind not the exercise of their faith upon Christ; and
therefore it is a righteous thing with Christ that after
all, that they should be carried captive by their sins.

Nothing eats out sin like the actings of grace; nothing
weakens and wastes the strength of sin like the exercise
of grace. Oh! did men believe more in Christ—sin would
die more!

Then He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed
 you. Go in peace." Luke 8:48

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

His hand is always in his purse

There is a difference between Christ's giving and the world's
giving. The world gives—but they give more rarely. But Christ
gives, and He gives frequently. He is every day, every hour,
yes, every moment, a-giving of royal favors to His people.
"Here is peace for you who are in trouble," says Christ; "and
here is pardon for you who groan under guilt," says Christ;
"and here is comfort for you who are mourners in Zion," says
Christ, etc. His hand is always in his purse, He is still
a-scattering pearls of glory, ay, the very jewels of His crown,
among the beloved of His soul.

Augustus, in his solemn feasts, gave gold to some—and
trifles to others. The Lord gives the gold, the best things, to
His own; but the trifles of this world to the men of the world.

The gifts which Christ gives are pure gifts. He gives . . .
  wine without water,
  light without darkness,
  gold without dross, and
  sweet without bitter.
There is much dross and poison in the gifts which the world
gives—but there is none in the gifts which Christ gives. The
streams are as the fountain is; the fountain is pure, and so
are the streams.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

We may puff and blow our hearts out

"I can do all things, through Christ who strengthens me."
I can be high or low, poor or rich, honorable or base,
something or nothing, etc., only through Christ who
strengthens me.

Canticles 4:16, "Blow upon my garden, that the spices
thereof may send forth a fragrant smell." We may puff
and blow our hearts out
, and yet no fragrance will
flow forth—if Christ does not blow. Our graces thrive
and are upheld in life and power, in beauty and glory
—only by the internal operation of Christ in our souls.

Psalm 138:3, "In the day when I cried, You answered me,
and strengthened me with strength in my soul." Your graces,
Christians, are heavenly plants of God's own planting and
watering; and certainly the heavenly Farmer will never allow
such plants of renown to wither, for lack of heavenly sap.
He will strengthen, support, and nourish the work of His
own hand. He will cause the desires of His people to bud,
and their graces to blossom, and their souls to be like a
watered garden—green and flourishing. God is eminently
and fully engaged to carry on the work of grace in His
children's souls.

Therefore do not sit down and say—My light is but dim,
and my love but weak, and my joy but a spark which will
quickly go out, etc. But always remember, that those weak
measures of grace which you have, are a sure evidence of
greater measures which God will confer upon you in His
own time and in His own ways.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The true convert

The true convert prizes Christ above all.

Ordinances are sweet—but Christ is more sweet.
Saints are precious—but Christ is far more precious.
Heaven is glorious—but Christ is infinitely more glorious.

The first thing that I would ask, if I might have it, says
the believer—is Christ. And the next thing that I would
ask, if I might have it—is more of Christ. And the last
thing that I would ask, if I might have it—is that I might
be satiated and filled with the fullness of Christ.

Let the ambitious man take the honors of the world—my
desire is to have Christ. Let the voluptuous man swim in
all the pleasures of the world—my desire is to have Christ.
And let the covetous man tumble up and down in all the
gold and silver of the world—my desire is to have Christ—
and it shall be enough to my soul.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A tumor and swelling in the mind

"The Lord Almighty has done it to destroy your pride
 and show his contempt for all human greatness." Isaiah 23:9

Pride is the original and root of most of those notorious
vices that are to be found among men.

Of all sins, pride is most dangerous to the souls of men.

Pride is . . .
  a gilded misery,
  a secret poison,
  a hidden plague.

Pride is . . .
  the engineer of deceit,
  the mother of hypocrisy,
  the parent of envy,
  the moth of holiness,
  the blinder of hearts,
  the turner of medicines into maladies.

Of all sins, spiritual pride is most dangerous, and must
be most resisted. Spiritual pride is the lifting up of the
mind against God; it is a tumor and swelling in the
, and lies in despising and slighting of God—and in
the lifting up of a man's self, by reason of birth, breeding,
wealth, honor, place, relation, gifts or graces—and in
despising of others.

Spiritual pride is a white devil, a gilded poison—by which
God is robbed of His honor, a man's own soul of his comfort
and peace.

Pride is a sure forerunner of a fall. "Pride goes before
destruction, and a haughty mind before a fall."
Herod fell from a throne of gold—to a bed of dust.
Nebuchadnezzar fell from a mighty king—to be a beast.
Adam fell from innocency to mortality.
The angels fell from heaven to hell—from felicity to misery.

"The day is coming when your pride will be brought low
 and the Lord alone will be exalted. In that day the Lord
 Almighty will punish the proud, bringing them down to
 the dust!" Isaiah 2:11-12

"The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this:
 They will not go unpunished."  Proverbs 16:5

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Humble souls

None on earth are so near to God, and so high in their
communion with God—as humble souls. And as they
have the clearest visions of God, so God gives them
the fullest sight and knowledge of their own sinfulness
and nothingness.

"I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear—but
 now my eye has seen you, I abhor myself in dust
 and ashes." says Job.

In a vision the Lord reveals His glory to the prophet
Isaiah, "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am
a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of
unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the
Lord Almighty." Oh, the vision that I have had of the
glory of God has given me such a clear and full sight
of my own vileness and baseness, that I cannot but
loathe and abhor myself.

When Abraham draws near to God, then he accounts
himself but dust and ashes, Gen. 18:26-27.

"Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!" That is
a man, a sinnera compound of dirt and sin! When
Peter saw that glorious miracle wrought by the Lord Jesus,
he cries out as one very sensible of his own weakness and
sinfulness. "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man." Ah! I
am not worthy to be near such majesty and glory—who
am a mere bundle of vice and vanity, of folly and iniquity!

The angels that are near God, that stand before Him,
in humility they cover their faces with two wings, as
with a double scarf, in Isaiah 6:2

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

I am undone

Isaiah sees the glory of the Lord in a vision, and this makes
him cry out, "Woe is me, for I am undone . . . for my eyes
have seen the King, the Lord Almighty!" Isaiah 6:5

"I am undone." The Hebrew is, "I am cut off," I am a
forlorn man! Why? "For I have seen the King, the Lord
Almighty!" The clearest sight and vision of God does
always give a man the fullest sight of his own emptiness,
sinfulness, and nothingness!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Look to your walking

"The Lord will give grace and glory, and no good thing will
 He withhold from those who walk uprightly." Psalm 84:11

If ever you would be spiritually rich, look to your walking.
It is not the knowing soul, nor the talking soul—but the
soul, the obediential soul—who is in spirituals
the richest soul. Others may be rich in notions—but none so
rich in spiritual experiences, and in all holy and heavenly
grace—as close-walking Christians.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A thread-bare soul

Take hold of all opportunities to enrich your souls with
spiritual riches. Men will easily, readily, greedily, and
unweariedly grasp all opportunities wherein they may
get earthly riches; and why should not you be as diligent
in taking hold of all opportunities to enrich your precious
souls? Is not the soul worth more than raiment, more
than friends, more than relations, more than life—yes,
more than all? And why, then, do you not labor to enrich
your souls?

It is better have a rich soul under a thread-bare coat;
than a thread-bare soul under a silk or golden coat.

If he is a monster among men, who makes liberal provision
for his dog—and starves his wife; what a monster is he who
makes much provision for his baser part—but none for his
noble part!  

The neglect of golden, soul-enriching opportunities,
has made many a man's life a hell.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Vexing, defiling, dividing, ruining

"For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil.
 And some people, craving money, have wandered from
 the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows."
     1 Timothy 6:10

Earthly riches have cast down many, they have slain
many. If poverty has slain her thousands; riches has
slain her ten thousands.

Earthly riches are called thorns, and well they may;
for as thorns, they pierce both head and heart;
  the head with cares in getting them, and
  the heart with grief in parting with them.

Oh the souls that riches have pierced
through and through with many sorrows!

Oh the minds that riches have blinded!

Oh the hearts that riches have hardened!

Oh the consciences that riches have benumbed!

Oh the wills that riches have perverted!

Oh the affections that riches have
disordered and destroyed!

Earthly riches are very vexing, very defiling, very
dividing—and to multitudes prove very ruining.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~


The riches of Christ are soul-satisfying riches. Oh
those riches of grace and goodness that are in Christ
—how do they satisfy the souls of sinners!

A pardon does not more satisfy a condemned man,
    nor bread the hungry man,
    nor drink the thirsty man,
    nor clothes the naked man,
    nor health the sick man,
than the riches of Christ do satisfy the gracious man.

In Eccles. 5:10, "He who loves silver shall not be
satisfied with silver; nor he who loves abundance
with increase. This is also vanity."
If a man is hungry, silver cannot feed him;
if naked, it cannot clothe him;
if cold, it cannot warm him;
if sick, it cannot cure him—
much less then is it able to satisfy him.

Oh! but the riches of Christ are soul-satisfying riches!
A soul rich in spirituals, rich in eternals, says, I have
enough, though I have not this and that temporal good.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

His purse is always full

The riches of Christ are inexhaustible. Christ can never
be drawn dry. Earthly riches are true gardens of Adonis,
where we can gather nothing but trivial flowers surrounded
with many briars, etc. Men rake together worldly riches as
children do snow—which the next shower washes away,
and leaves nothing in the place but dirt; and can dirt
satisfy? Surely not! No more can worldly riches.

The Spanish ambassador coming to see the treasury of Venice,
which is famous throughout the world, fell a-groping whether
it had any bottom, and being asked why, answered, "In this
my great master's treasure differs from yours, in that his has
no bottom, as I find yours to have," alluding to the mines of
Mexico and Potosi, etc.

Certainly Christ's treasures have no bottom—all His bags are
bottomless! Scripture, history, and experience, do abundantly
testify that men's bags, purses, coffers, and mines—may be
exhausted or drawn dry—but Christ's can never. Millions of
thousands live upon Christ, and He feels it not. His purse
is always full
, though He is always giving.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Far greater worth

One grain of grace is of far greater worth, than all the
gold of Ophir and all the silver of the Indies—which are
but the guts and garbage of the earth. The gleanings,
the smallest gatherings of the riches of Christ, are far
better, more excellent, more satisfying, more contenting,
more ravishing—than all the riches of this world. Riches
are called thick clay, Hab. 2:6, which will sooner break
the back, than lighten the heart.  The wise merchant,
Matthew 13:44-45, parts with all to gain this Pearl of
great price. The truth is, other riches are but a burden.

Genesis 13:2, "Abraham was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold."
The Hebrew is, "He was very heavy in cattle, in silver, and in gold"—
to signify, that riches are but heavy burdens.

Pheraulus, a poor man, on whom Cyrus bestowed so much,
that he knew not what to do with his riches—being wearied
out with care in keeping of them—he desired rather to live
quietly, though poor, as he had done before, than to possess
all those riches with discontent. Therefore he gave away all
his wealth, desiring only to enjoy so much as might supply
his necessities.

Let worldly professors think seriously of this story and blush.

A little will satisfy nature,
less will satisfy grace,
nothing will satisfy men's lusts.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Will you not trust Him for a crumb?

Believers should trust and lean upon God for lesser gifts.

Has God given you a crown—and will you not trust Him for
a crumb?
Has He given you a house which has "foundations,
whose builder and maker is God?" Has He given you "a kingdom
which cannot be shaken?" And will you not trust Him for a cottage,
for a little room in this world? Has He given you Himself, His Son,
His Spirit, His grace—and will you not trust Him to give you bread,
and friends, and clothes, and other necessary mercies which He
knows you need? Has He given you the greater—and will deny
you for the lesser? Surely not!

Will you trust that man for much—who has given you but a little?
And will you not trust that God for a little—who has given you much?
Will you not trust Him for pence—who has given you pounds?
O sirs! has the Lord given you Himself, the best of favors—and
will not you trust Him for the least favors?

Has He given you pearls—and will not you trust Him for pins?

Does not the apostle argue sweetly in Romans 8:32, "He who did
not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not
also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?" What! says the
apostle, has God given us His Son, His only Son, His bosom Son,
His beloved Son, the Son of His joy, the Son of His delights? Oh
how can He then but cast in all other things into the bargain—such
as wrapping paper and packing thread?

Oh! that Christians would learn to reason themselves out of their
fears, and out of their distrusts—as the apostle does. Oh! that
Christians would no longer rend and rack their precious souls
with fears and cares, but rest satisfied in this—that He who has
been so kind to them in spirituals, will not be lacking to them
in temporals.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

I, even I

"I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions,
 for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more."
Isaiah 43:25

"I, even I," is a passionate and emphatic expression.

"I, even I," whom you have offended,

"I, even I," whom you have provoked,

"I, even I," whose glorious name you have profaned,

 "I, even I," whose righteous law you have violated,

"I, even I," whose holy covenant you have transgressed,

"I, even I," whose mercies you have despised,

"I, even I," whose chastisements you have slighted,

"I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions,
 for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more."
  Isaiah 43:25

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Big-bellied mercies

"He has given unto us exceeding great and precious
 promises." 2 Peter 1:4

The promises are a precious book; every leaf drops myrrh
and mercy. The promises are golden vessels, which are
laden with the choicest jewels which heaven can afford,
or the soul can desire. All our spiritual, temporal, and
eternal good is to be found in the belly of the promises.

The promises are precious beds of spices; they are bottles
filled with those heavenly dews that will never fail—but will
uphold and nourish the soul to life eternal.

Promises are big-bellied mercies. There is nothing you
can truly call a mercy—but you will find it in the belly of
a promise.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Pardoning mercy

"Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose
 sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord
 does not count against him." Psalm 32:1-2

A pardoned soul must be a very blessed soul.

Ah, souls! of all mercies, pardoning mercy is the most
necessary mercy. I may go to heaven without honors, and
without riches, and without the smiles of creatures; but I
can never go to heaven without pardoning mercy. A man may
be great and graceless, he may be rich and miserable, he
may be honorable and damnable.

Pardon entitles souls to all blessedness, it puts the royal
crown upon their heads. Of all mercies, pardoning mercy
is the most sweetening mercy; it is a choice jewel, and
swims to the soul in the blood of Jesus.

Pardon of sin is a voluminous mercy, a mercy which has
many, many precious mercies in its womb! It ushers in
troops of mercy. When you can number the sands of the
sea, and count the stars of heaven, then, and not until
then, shall you be able to recount the mercies which
attend pardoning mercy.

He who has this mercy cannot be miserable—and he who
lacks it cannot be happy! Get this and get all—miss this
and miss all.

Pardoning mercy is a gift conferred only upon Christ's
favorites: "Son, be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven
you!" Mat. 9:2.

No mercy will make a man everlastingly blissful—but
pardoning mercy. He has no reason to be sad—who has
his pardon in his bosom. Nor has he has any reason to be
glad—who is upon the last step of the ladder, ready to be
turned off without his pardon.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Heaven's key!

"For you know that it was not with perishable things such
 as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty
 way of life handed down to you from your forefathers,
 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without
 blemish or defect." 1 Peter 1:18-19

It was His life-blood, His heart-blood which He gave.
It was not the blood of His finger—but the blood
of His heart; it was precious blood. All your precious
mercies swim to you in this precious blood.
Your pardon swims to you in blood;
your peace swims to you in blood;
your reconciliation is made by blood;
your acceptance is wrought by blood,

Christ's blood is heaven's key! Christ's blood is a
preservative against the greatest evils.

It was an excellent saying of Luther, speaking of
this blood of Christ, One little drop of this blood,
is more worth than heaven and earth!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Man is not born with heavenly light in his heart

"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made
 His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the
 knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."
    2 Corinthians 4:6

God gives spiritual light, which is a mercy of mercies.
He gives that light whereby His people are enabled to
see sin to be the greatest evil, and Himself to be the
chief good. He gives that light . . .
  which melts the soul,
  which humbles the soul,
  which warms the soul,
  which quickens the soul,
  which quiets the soul, and
  which gladdens the soul.

Man is not born with heavenly light in his heart, as
he is born with a tongue in his mouth. Until Christ comes
and sets up a light in the soul, the soul lives in darkness,
and lies in darkness, yes, is darkness in the very abstract.
"You were once darkness—but now you are light in the
 Lord." Ephesians 5:8

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Dress modestly

"I also want women to dress modestly, with decency
 and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls
 or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate
 for women who profess to worship God." 1 Tim. 2:9-10

One says, "If women adorn themselves so as to provoke
men to lust after them, though no ill follow upon it—yet
those women shall suffer eternal damnation, because they
offered poison to others, though none would drink of it."

Clothe yourselves with the silk of piety, with the satin of
sanctity, and with the purple of modesty—and God Himself
will be a suitor to you. Let not the garments upon your
backs, speak out the vanity of your hearts.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Away with it!

A humble person overlooks his own righteousness, and
lives upon the righteousness of the Lord Jesus.

The apostle Paul overlooks his own righteousness, and lives
wholly upon the righteousness of Christ: "I desire to be found
in him," says he, "not having a righteousness of my own."

Away with it! It is dross, it is dung, it is dog's meat! It is . .
  a rotten righteousness,
  an imperfect righteousness,
  a weak righteousness, which is of the law.

But that which is through the faith of Christ, the
righteousness which is from God by faith—that is . . .
  a spotless righteousness,
  a pure righteousness,
  a complete righteousness,
  an incomparable righteousness!

And, therefore, a humble soul overlooks his own
righteousness, and lives upon Christ's righteousness.

Remember this—all the sighing, mourning, sobbing, and
complaining in the world, does not so undeniably evidence
a man to be humble, as his overlooking his own righteousness,
and living really and purely upon the righteousness of Christ.

Men may do much, hear much, pray much, fast much, and
much, etc., and yet be as proud as Lucifer—as you may
see in the Scribes and Pharisees.

Oh! but for a man now to trample upon his own righteousness,
and to live wholly upon the righteousness of Christ, this speaks
out a man to be humble indeed. There is nothing that the heart
of man stands more averse to than this—of discarding his own
righteousness. Man is a creature apt to warm himself with the
sparks of his own fire, though he does lie down for it in eternal
sorrow! Man is naturally prone to go about to establish his own
righteousness, and to make a savior of it.

But a humble soul disclaims his own righteousness: "All our
righteousness is as filthy rags." In Revelation 4, the twenty-four
elders throw down their crowns at the feet of Christ. By their
crowns you may understand their gifts, their excellencies, their
righteousness; they throw down these before Christ's throne,
to note to us, that they did not put confidence in them, and
that Christ was the crown of crowns and the top of all their
royalty and glory. A humble soul looks upon Christ's
righteousness as his only crown.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Dust and ashes

Gen. 18:27, "And Abraham answered and said, Behold,
I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, who am
but dust and ashes." Here you have the father of the
faithful, the greatest believer in the world, accounting
himself dust and ashes. Solemnly think that you are
dust and ashes—and be proud if you can!

notes the baseness of his original; and ashes notes
his deserving to be burnt to ashes, if God should deal with
him in justice rather than in mercy.

The nearer any soul draws to God, the more humble will
that soul lie before God. None so near God as the angels,
nor any so humble before God as the angels.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Less than the least

"Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints."
    Ephesians 3:8

"Less than the least of all saints," is a double diminutive,
and signifies lesser than the least, if lesser might be. Here
you have the greatest apostle descending down to the
lowest step of humility. Great Paul is least of saints, last
of the apostles, and greatest of sinners.

He who is little in his own account is great in God's esteem.
Humility is both the beautifier and preserver of all other graces.
If ever there were an age since Christ was on earth, wherein it
was needful to preach, press, and print this great doctrine of
humility, of self-abasement, of soul-abasement—it is the age
wherein we live. Oh the pride, the loftiness of the professors
of this age!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The voice of mercy

God's mercies make a humble soul glad—but not proud.
A humble soul is lowest when his mercies are highest;
he is least when he is greatest; he is lowest when he
is highest; he is most poor when he is most rich.

Nothing melts like mercy,
nothing draws like mercy,
nothing humbles like mercy.

The voice of mercy is, "Remember what you once
were, and what now you are—and be humble."

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Shouldn't shepherds feed their sheep?

"Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds, the leaders
of Israel. Give them this message from the Sovereign Lord:
Destruction is certain for you shepherds who feed yourselves
instead of your flocks. Shouldn't shepherds feed their
You drink the milk, wear the wool, and butcher the
best animals, but you let your flocks starve. Ezekiel 34:2-3

Christ wept for souls, and bled for souls, and prayed for
souls; and shall not ministers sweat much for souls, and
work much for the good of souls?

Idleness is hateful in any—but most abominable and
intolerable in ministers.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The cowardice of the minister

"Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent
 of the blood of all men. For I have not hesitated to
 proclaim to you the whole will of God." Acts 20:26-27

The cowardice of the minister is cruelty; if he fears
the faces of men, he is a murderer of the souls of men.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Conformity to Christ in heart and life

A more full conformity to Christ in heart and life,
will make your lives a very heaven. As all good orators
endeavor to be like Demosthenes—so all good Christians
should endeavor to be like Jesus Christ; for therein lies
their glory and perfection.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

I would trample upon my mother

"If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father
 and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and
 sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be My
 disciple." Luke 14:26

Surely they do not truly love Christ—who love
anything more than Christ.

It was a notable saying of Jerome, "If my father should
hang upon me, my brethren should press round about
me, and my mother should stand before me—I would
throw down my father, I would break through my
brethren, and I would trample upon my mother
—to come to Christ."

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He fills all, and yet remains full

"It pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell."
    Col. 1:19

The sun has not the less light for filling the world with light.
A fountain has not the less for filling the lesser vessels.

There is in Christ the fullness of a fountain. The overflowing
fountain pours out water abundantly, and yet remains full.
Why, the Lord Jesus is such an overflowing fountain; He fills
all, and yet remains full
. Christ has the greatest worth and
wealth in Him. As the worth and value of many pieces of silver
is concentrated in one piece of gold, so all the petty excellencies
scattered abroad in the creature are united to Christ; yes, all
the whole volume of perfections which is spread through
heaven and earth, is epitomized in Him!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A never-fading glory

"And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive
 the unfading crown of glory." 1 Peter 5:4

The glory which Christ gives, is a never-fading glory.

When a man has been in heaven as many millions of
years as there are stars in heaven—his glory shall be
as fresh and as green as it was at his first entrance
into heaven! All worldly glory is like the flowers of the
field; but the glory which Christ gives, is lasting and
durable like Himself.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Our safety and security

"Though he stumbles, he will not fall, for the Lord
 upholds him with His hand." Psalm 37:24

The Hebrew particle notes a continued act of God. God
has still His everlasting arms under His people, so that
they shall never totally nor finally fall. The word signifies
to sustain or uphold—as the tender mother does the little
babe. The safety and security of the child lies not so much
in the child's hanging about the mother's neck—as in the
mother's holding it fast in her arms. So our safety and
lies not so much in our weak holding upon Christ
—but in Christ's holding of us fast in His everlasting arms!

"I will never leave you nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5

"I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish;
 no one can snatch them out of My hand." John 10:28

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Led by the Spirit

"Those who are led by the Spirit of God
are sons of God." Romans 8:14

The Holy Spirit leads . . .
  from sin,
  from wrath,
  from the curse,
  to God,
  to Christ,
  to the promises,
  to glory!