Choice selections from Thomas Brooks,
"Apples of Gold" 1660

A bubble, a shadow, a dream!

"My life passes more swiftly than a runner. It flees away."
    Job 9:25

TIME is a precious talent which we are accountable for.

Cato and other heathen held that account must be given,
not only of our labor—but also of our leisure. At the great
day, it will appear that those who have spent their time in
mourning over sin—have done better than those who have
spent their time in dancing; and those who have spent
many days in pious humiliation—better than those who
have spent many days in idle recreations.

I have read of a devout man who, when he heard a clock
strike, he would say, "Here is one more hour past, which
I have to answer for!" Ah! as time is very precious—so
it is very short. Time is very swift; it is suddenly gone.

The ancients emblemed time with wings, as it were, not
running—but flying!
Time is like the sun, which never
stands still—but is continually a-running his race. The
sun did once stand still—but time never did. Time is still
running and flying! It is a bubble, a shadow, a dream!

Sirs! if the whole earth whereupon we tread were turned
into a lump of gold—it would not be able to purchase one
minute of time! Oh! the regrettings of the damned for
misspending precious time! Oh! what would they not give
to be free, and to enjoy the means of grace one hour!
Ah! with what attention, with what intention, with what
trembling and melting of heart, with what hungering and
thirsting—would they hear the Word!

Time, says Bernard, would be a precious commodity in hell,
and the selling of it most gainful, where for one day a man
would give ten thousand worlds, if he had them.

Ah! as you love your precious immortal souls, as you would
escape hell—and come to heaven; as you would be happy in
life—and blessed in death, and glorious after death; don't
spend any more of your precious time in drinking and gabbing,
in carding, dicing, and dancing! Don't trifle away your time,
because time is a talent that God will reckon with you for.

Ah! you may reckon upon years, many years yet to come;
when possibly you have not so many hours to live! It may
be this night you will have your final summons—and then,
in what a sad case will you be! Will you not wish that you
had never been born?

Sirs! Time let slip—cannot be recalled!

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

All the whole volume of perfections

"Whom do I have in heaven but You? And I desire
 nothing on earth but You. My flesh and my heart
 may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my
 portion forever." Psalm 73:25-26

The true Christian seeks God as his choicest and chief
good. God is a perfect good, a solid good. That is a
good—to which nothing can be added; that is
a solid good—from which nothing can be spared. Such
a good, God is, and therefore He is chiefly to be sought.

God is a pure and simple good; He is a light in whom
there is no darkness, a good in whom there is no evil.
The goodness of the creature is mixed, yes, that little
goodness which is in the creature is mixed with much
evil; but God is an unmixed good. He is good, He is
pure good. He is all over good. He is nothing but good.

God is an all-sufficient good. Augustine said,
"He has all—who has the Haver of all."

God has in Himself . . .
  all power to defend you,
  all wisdom to direct you,
  all mercy to pardon you,
  all grace to enrich you,
  all righteousness to clothe you,
  all goodness to supply you,
  all happiness to crown you.

God is a satisfying good, a good that fills the heart and
quiets the soul. In Him, I have all. I have all comforts,
all delights, all contentments. As the worth and value of
many pieces of silver is to be found in one piece of gold,
so all the petty excellencies which are scattered abroad
in the creatures—are to be found in God. Yes, all the
whole volume of perfections
, which is spread through
heaven and earth—is epitomized in Him. No good below
Him who is the greatest good, can satisfy the soul. A good
wife, a good child, a good name, a good estate, a good
friend—cannot satisfy the soul. These may please—but
they cannot satisfy.

Ah! that we should seek early, seek earnestly, seek
affectionately, seek diligently, seek primarily, and seek
unweariedly—this God, who is the greatest good, the
best good, the most desirable good, who is—
  a suitable good,
  a pure good,
  a satisfying good,
  a total good, and
  an eternal good.

"Whom do I have in heaven but You? And I desire
 nothing on earth but You. My flesh and my heart
 may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my
 portion forever." Psalm 73:25-26

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Zeuxis died laughing at the picture of an old woman

As the life of man is very short, so it is very uncertain.

Now healthy—now sick! Alive this hour—and dead the next!

Death does not always give warning beforehand; sometimes
he gives the mortal blow suddenly; he comes behind with his
dart, and strikes a man at the heart, before he says, "Have I
found you, O my enemy?"

Eutychus fell down dead suddenly, Acts 20:9.

Death suddenly arrested David's sons and Job's sons.

Zeuxis died laughing at the picture of an old
which he drew with his own hand!

Sophocles choked to death on the seed of a grape!

Diodorus the logician died for shame that he
could not answer a witty question.

Joannes Measius, preaching upon the raising of
the woman of Nain's son from the dead, within
three hours after died himself!

Ah! death is sudden in his approaches.

Nothing more sure than death!

Nothing more uncertain than life!

Though there is but one way to come into this
world—yet there are a thousand thousand ways
to be sent out of this world!

"Prepare to meet your God!" Amos 4:12

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A beautiful harlot sitting in her chariot

"I thought in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with
pleasure to find out what is good." But that also proved
to be meaningless. "Laughter," I said, "is foolish. And
what does pleasure accomplish?" Ecclesiastes 2:1-2.

Solomon's question bids a challenge to all the masters
of mirth
, to produce any one satisfactory fruit which it
affords, if they could.

The hearts of young men usually are much given up
to pleasure. Sensual pleasures are only seeming and
apparent pleasures—but the pains which attend them
are true and real. He who delights in sensual pleasures,
shall find his greatest pleasures become his bitterest
pains. Pleasures pass away as soon as they have
wearied out the body, and leave it as a bunch of
grapes whose juice has been pressed out.

Xerxes, being weary of all pleasures, promised rewards
to the inventors of new pleasures, which being invented,
he nevertheless remained unsatisfied.

As a bee flies from flower to flower and is not satisfied,
and as a sick man moves from one bed to another for
ease, and finds none; so men given up to sensual pleasures
go from one pleasure to another, but can find no contentment,
no satisfaction in their pleasures. "Everything is so weary
and tiresome! No matter how much we see, we are never
satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content!"
Ecclesiastes 1:8.

There is a curse of unsatisfiableness, which lies upon the
creature. Honors cannot satisfy the ambitious man, nor riches
the covetous man, nor pleasures the voluptuous man. Man
cannot take off the weariness of one pleasure, by engaging in
another pleasure.

Pleasures seem solid in their pursuit; but are mere
clouds in the enjoyment.

Pleasure is a beautiful harlot sitting in her chariot
The four wheels are pride, gluttony, lust and foolishness.
The two horses are prosperity and abundance.
The two drivers are idleness and security.
Her attendants and followers are guilt, grief, shame,
    and often death and damnation!

Many great men, and many strong men, and many
men, and many hopeful men, and many young
men—have come to their damnation by her; but never
any enjoyed full satisfaction and contentment in her.

Ah! Avoid this harlot—'pleasure', and come not near
the door of her house!

Augustine, before his conversion, could not live without
those pleasures which he much delighted in. But after
his nature was changed, and his heart graciously turned
to the Lord, he said, "Oh! how sweet it is—to be without
those sweet delights!"

And as for lawful pleasures, let me only say this—it is
your wisdom only to touch them, to taste them, and to
use them as you use medicines—to occasionally fortify
yourselves against maladies.

There are no pleasures so delighting, so satisfying, so
ravishing, so engaging, and so abiding—as those which
spring from union and communion with God—as those
which flow from a humble and holy walking with God.

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~


When Satan has sucked out all the marrow

God usually begins with such early in life—whom He has
had thoughts of love and mercy towards, from everlasting.

If, in the spring and morning of your days, you do not bring
forth fruit to God—it is a hundred to one that you never shall
bring forth fruit to God when the days of old age shall overtake
you. It is rare, very rare—that God sows and reaps in old age.
Usually God sows the seed of grace in youth—which yields
the harvest of joy in old age.

Though true repentance is never too late—yet late
repentance is seldom true.
Millions are now in hell, who
have flattered themselves with the thought of repenting
in old age!
Yes, what can be more just and equal, that such
should seek and not find—who might have found when young,
but would not seek; and that God should shut His ears against
their late prayers—who have stopped their ears against His
early calls?

The ancient warriors would not accept an old man into their
army, as being unfit for service; and do you think that God
will accept of your dry bones—when Satan has sucked
out all the marrow
? What king will take into his service
—those who have served his enemies all their days? And
will God? will God?

The Circassians, a kind of mongrel Christians, are said to
divide their life between sin and devotion—dedicating their
youth to rapine, and their old age to repentance. If this is
your case, I would not be in your case for ten thousand worlds!

"But since you rejected Me when I called, and no one gave
 heed when I stretched out My hand, since you ignored all
 My advice and would not accept My rebuke—I in turn will
 laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes
 you—when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster
 sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble
 overwhelm you. Then they will call to Me but I will not answer;
 they will look for Me but will not find Me. Since they hated
 knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord, since they
 would not accept My advice and spurned My rebuke—they
 will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit
 of their schemes." Proverbs 1:24-31


    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Rich in spiritual experiences

The mature Christian is rich in spiritual experiences.

Oh! the experiences that he has . . .
  of the ways of God,
  of the workings of God,
  of the word of God,
  of the love of God!

Oh! the divine stories that old Christians can tell . . .
  of the power of the word,
  of the sweetness of the word,
  of the usefulness of the word—
as a light to lead the soul,
as a staff to support the soul,
as a spur to quicken the soul,
as an anchor to stay the soul, and
as a cordial to comfort and strengthen the soul!

Oh! the stories that he can tell concerning . . .
  the love of Christ,
  the blood of Christ,
  the offices of Christ,
  the merits of Christ,
  the righteousness of Christ,
  the graces of Christ, and
  the influence of Christ!

Oh! the stories that an old disciple can tell . . .
  of the indwellings of the Spirit,
  of the operations of the Spirit,
  of the teachings of the Spirit,
  of the leadings of the Spirit,
  of the sealings of the Spirit,
  of the witnessings of the Spirit, and
  of the comforts and joys of the Spirit!

Oh the stories that an old Christian can tell . . .
  of the evil of sin,
  of the the bitterness of sin,
  of the the deceitfulness of sin,
  of the prevalence of sin, and
  of the the happiness of conquest over sin!

Oh! the stories that he can tell you . . .
  of the snares of Satan,
  of the devices of Satan,
  of the temptations of Satan,
  of the rage of Satan,
  of the malice of Satan,
  of the watchfulness of Satan, and
  of the ways of triumphing over Satan!

As an old soldier can tell you of many battles,
many scars, many wounds, many losses, and
many victories—even to admiration; so an old
is able to tell you of many spiritual battles,
many scars, many wounds, many losses, and
many victories—even to admiration.

Experimental religion is far beyond mere notions
and impressions. A sanctified heart is better than
a silver tongue. No man so rich, so honorable, so
happy—as the old disciple, who is rich in spiritual

"The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they
 will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the
 house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts
 of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age,
 they will stay fresh and green." Psalm 92:12-14.

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The best way to be preserved
from falling into hell

"Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into
 the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and
 his angels!" Matthew 25:41

The sinner's delight here is momentary;
that which torments hereafter is perpetual.

The best way to be preserved from falling
into hell
, is to think often of hell. Ah!
that you would often consider . . .
  the bitterness of the damned's torments,
  the pitilessness of their torments,
  the diversity of their torments,
  the easelessness of their torments,
  the remedilessness of their torments,
  the eternity of their torments.

Ah! may these thoughts of hell be a means to
preserve you from lying in those everlasting flames!

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He would be double damned

"Then I beg you—send Lazarus to my father's house,
 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that
 they will not also come to this place of torment."
     Luke 16:27-28

Dives knew that if his brethren were damned—that
he would be double damned, because he had
largely contributed to the bringing of them to hell
by his wicked example. Therefore he desires that
they might be kept out of hell—not out of any love
or goodwill to them—but because their coming
there would have made his hell more hot, his
torments more insufferable.

The lowest, the darkest, the hottest place in hell,
will be for those who have drawn others there by
their example. "It would be better for him to be
thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around
his neck—than for him to cause one of these little
ones to sin." Luke 17:2

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The first step towards heaven

"It is not the healthy who need a physician,
 but the sick." Matthew 9:12

If you would be truly godly, then you must see how
you are, how vile, how sinful, how wretched
you are. No man begins to be good until he sees
himself to be bad. Ah! You must see yourselves . . .
  to be children of wrath,
  to be enemies of God,
  to be strangers from God,
  to be afar off from God,
  to be afar from heaven,
  to be sin's servants,
  to be Satan's bond-slaves.

The first step to mercy,
is to see your misery.

The first step towards heaven
is to see yourselves near to hell.

You won't look after the physician of souls,
you won't prize the physician of souls,
you won't desire the physician of souls,
you won't fall in love with the physician of souls,
you won't resign yourselves to the physician of souls
—until you come to see your wounds, until you come
to feel your diseases, until you see the symptoms,
the plague-sores of divine wrath and displeasure
upon you. As the whole do not need the physician,
so they do not desire, they do not care for the
physician. Acquaint yourselves with your natural
and undone condition.

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Christ's love-letter

The whole of Scripture is but one entire love-letter,
dispatched from the Lord Christ to His beloved spouse.

Caecilia, a Roman maiden of noble parentage, always
carried the New Testament with her, that she might
still be a-reading in Christ's love-letter, and behold
the sweet workings of His love and heart towards His
dear and precious ones.

Augustine professes that the sacred Scriptures were
his whole delight.

Jerome tells us of one Nepotianus, who, by long and
assiduous meditation on the holy Scriptures, had
made his heart the library of Jesus Christ.

Oh! the mysteries, the excellencies, the glories which
are in the Word! Ah! no book to this book; none so useful,
none so needful, none so delightful, none so necessary to
make you happy and to keep you happy as this!

Ah! the Word of the Lord is . . .
  a light to guide you,
  a Counselor to counsel you,
  a comforter to comfort you,
  a staff to support you,
  a sword to defend you, and
  a physician to cure you.

The Word is . . .
  a mine to enrich you,
  a robe to clothe you,
  a crown to crown you.
  bread to strengthen you,
  wine to cheer you,
  a honeycomb to feast you,
  music to delight you,
  a paradise to entertain you!

Oh! therefore, before all and above all:
  search the Scripture,
  study the Scripture,
  dwell on the Scripture,
  delight in the Scripture,
  treasure up the Scripture!

There is . . .
  no wisdom like Scripture wisdom,
  no knowledge like Scripture knowledge,
  no experience like Scripture experience,
  no comforts like Scripture comforts,
  no delights like Scripture delights,
  no convictions like Scripture convictions,
  no conversion like Scripture conversion!

I exhort you to a speedy, serious, diligent,
and constant study of the Scripture.
Ah! you do not know how soon . . .
  your blind minds may be enlightened,
  your hard hearts softened,
  your proud spirits humbled,
  your sinful natures changed,
  your defiled consciences purged,
  your distempered affections regulated,
  and your poor souls saved . . .
    by searching into the Scriptures,
    by reading the Scripture, and
    by pondering upon the Scripture.

Ah! if you do not in good earnest give up yourselves
  to the reading,
  to the studying,
  to the pondering,
  to the believing,
  to the practicing,
  to the applying, and
  to the living up to the Scripture—
Satan will be too hard for you,
the world will be too hard for you,
your lusts will be too hard for you,
temptations will be too hard for you,
deceivers will be too hard for you,
and in the end you will be miserable.

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

His people's scars and warts

When Caesar was painted, he put his finger upon
his scar, his wart. God puts His fingers upon all
His people's scars and warts
upon all their
weaknesses and infirmities, that nothing can be
seen but what's fair and lovely.

"You are all fair, my love; there is no spot in you."
Canticles 4:7.

The Lord will not look, He will not see, He will not
take notice of the sins He has pardoned—to call
them any more to a judicial account.

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The more vile Christ made Himself for us

"Let the thoughts of a crucified Christ," says one, "be
never out of your mind, let them be food and drink
unto you, let them be your sweetness and consolation,
your honey and your desire, your reading and your

Ah! remember this,
  His wounds were deep,
  His burden weighty,
  His cup bitter,
  His suffering painful,
  His agony and torment above conception, beyond expression.

That blessed head of His—was crowned with thorns.

Those eyes of His, which were purer than the sun
—were put out by the darkness of death.

Those ears of His which now hear nothing but hallelujahs
—were filled with the blasphemies of the multitude.

That blessed beautiful face of His, which was fairer than
the sons of men—was spit on by beastly filthy wretches.

That gracious mouth and tongue, which spoke as never
any man spoke—was slandered and accused of blasphemy.

Those hands of His, which healed the sick, which gave
out pardons, which swayed a scepter in heaven—were
nailed to the cross.

Those feet, which brought the glad tidings of peace and
salvation into the world—were also nailed to the cross.

All these great and sad things, did Jesus Christ suffer for
His people! Oh! The more vile Christ made Himself
for us
—the more dear He ought to be unto us.

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He gives kingdoms, crowns, thrones!

"Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me, and
 I will give to everyone according to what he has done."
    Revelation 22:12

The more any man does or suffers for Christ here—the
more glory he shall have hereafter. It was the saying of
an old disciple upon his dying bed, "He is come, He is
come—with a great reward for a little work!"

Agrippa having suffered imprisonment for wishing Caius
emperor, the first thing Caius did when he came to the
throne, was to advance Agrippa to a kingdom; he gave
him also a chain of gold, as heavy as the chain of iron
which was upon him in prison.

And will not Christ richly reward all His suffering saints?
Surely He will! Christ will at last pay a Christian  . . .
  for every prayer he has made,
  for every sermon he has heard,
  for every tear he has shed,
  for every morsel he has given,
  for every burden he has borne,
  for every battle he has fought,
  for every enemy he has slain, and
  for every temptation that he has overcome!

As there is no king compared to Christ—so there are
no rewards compared to Christ's rewards. His rewards
are the greatest rewards. He gives kingdoms,
crowns, thrones!
He gives grace—and glory!

It is said of Araunab, renowned for his bounty, that
he had only a subject's purse—but a king's heart.
But Jesus Christ has a king's purse as well as a
king's heart—and accordingly He gives!

And as Christ's rewards are the greatest rewards, so
His rewards are the surest rewards: "He is faithful,
who has promised," 1 Thes. 5:24.

Antiochus promised often—but seldom gave. But Jesus
Christ never made any promise—but He has or will
perform it. Nay, He is often better than His word. He
gives many times more than we ask. The man sick of
the palsy asked but health—and Christ gave him health
and a pardon to boot! Solomon desired but wisdom,
and the Lord gave him wisdom, and honor, and riches,
and the favor of creatures, into the bargain. Jacob asked
Him but clothes to wear, and bread to eat—and the Lord
gave him these things, and riches, and other mercies
into the bargain.

Christ does not measure His gifts by our petitions—but
by His own riches and mercies. Gracious souls many times
receive many gifts and favors from God that they never
dreamt of, nor dared presume to beg!

The rewards which men give are like themselves—fickle
and inconstant, they are withering and fading. Xerxes
crowned his statesman in the morning—and beheaded
him in the evening of the same day! And Andronicus,
the Greek emperor, crowned his admiral in the morning,
and then took off his head in the afternoon!

As Christ's rewards are greater and surer than other
rewards—so they are more durable and lasting than
other rewards. The kingdom which He gives is a kingdom
that can never be shaken; the treasures which He gives
are incorruptible treasures; and the glory which He gives
is glory which never fades away!

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The hoary head

"The hoary head is a crown of glory—if it is found
 in the way of righteousness." Proverbs 16:31

A white head, accompanied with a holy heart,
makes a man truly honorable.

There are two glorious sights in the world: the one
is, a young man walking in his uprightness; and the
other is, an old man walking in ways of righteousness.

A hoary head, when coupled with an unsanctified heart,
is rather a curse than a blessing. When the head is as
white as snow, and the soul as black as hell, God usually
gives up such to the greatest scorn and contempt.

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Such a friend

"There is a friend who sticks closer than
 a brother." Proverbs 18:24

Such a friend is Christ. He is so a friend
to every one of His peopleas if He were
a friend to none besides. Christ is . . .
 an omnipotent friend;
 an omniscient friend;
 an omnipresent friend;
 an indeficient friend;
 a sovereign friend;
 an immutable friend;
 a watchful friend;
 a loving friend;
 a faithful friend;
 a compassionate friend;
 a close friend,
 a universal friend—a friend in
     all cases and in all places,
 our first friend,
 a constant friend—"Whom He loves,
    He loves to the end." John 13:1

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

It pierces and winds itself into
every corner and chink

SIN is of a penetrating nature. It pierces and winds
itself into every corner and chink
—into our thoughts,
words, and works. It will wind itself . . .
  into our understandings to darken them, and
  into our judgments to pervert them, and
  into our wills to poison them, and
  into our affections to disorder them, and
  into our consciences to corrupt them, and
  into our lives to debase them.

Sin will wind itself into every duty and every
mercy; it will wind itself into every one of our
enjoyments and concernments.

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He has no memory

"I will not remember your sins." Isaiah 43:25

"I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember
 their sin no more." Jeremiah 31:34.

"I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and
 their sins and their iniquities will I remember no
 more." Hebrews 8:12.

"Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."
  Hebrews 10:17.

Though God has an iron memory to remember
the sins of the wicked; yet He has no memory
to remember the sins of the righteous.

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

For toys and trifles

If they deserve a hanging, who feast their slaves,
and starve their wives; who make provision for their
enemies—but none for their friend; how will you
escape hanging in hell, who make provision for
everything, yes, for all your lusts—but make no
provision for your immortal souls? What shall we
think of those who sell their precious souls—for
toys and trifles
which cannot profit?

Ah! do not pawn your souls, do not sell your souls,
do not exchange away your souls, do not trifle and
fool away your precious souls! They are jewels, more
worth than a thousand worlds! If they are safe—all is
safe; but if they are lost—all is lost: God lost, and
Christ lost, and heaven lost—and that forever!

Now if you are resolved to spend your strength in the
service of sin and the world; then know that no tongue
can express, no heart can conceive that trouble of mind,
that terror of soul, that horror of conscience, that fear
and amazement, that weeping and wailing, that crying
and roaring, that sighing and groaning, that cursing and
howling, that stamping and tearing, that wringing of hands
and gnashing of teeth—which shall certainly attend you,
when God shall bring you into judgment—for all your
looseness and lightness, for all your wickedness and
wantonness, for all your profaneness and baseness, for
all your neglect of God, your grieving the Comforter, your
trampling under foot the blood of a Savior, for your prizing
earth above heaven, and the pleasures of this world above
the pleasures which are at God's right hand.

Oh! how will you wish in that day when your sins shall
be charged on you—when justice shall be armed against
you—when conscience shall be gnawing within you—when
the world shall be a flaming fire about you—when the gates
of heaven shall be shut against you—and the flame of hell
ready to take hold of you—when angels and saints shall sit
in judgment upon you, and forever turn their faces from
you—when evil spirits shall be terrifying you—and Jesus
Christ forever disowning you; how will you, I say, wish
in that day—that you had never been born, or that you
might now be unborn, or that your mothers' wombs had
been your tombs! Oh, how will you then wish to be turned
into a bird, a beast, a stock, a stone, a toad, a tree! How
you will say, Oh that our immortal souls were mortal! Oh
that we were nothing! Oh that we were anything but what
we are!

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Splendida peccata

It must not be forgotten that the best actions, the
best works of all unbelievers—are but splendida
—splendid sins, beautiful abominations!

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~


As for worldly riches, the godly have always despised them,
and preferred a contemplative life above them! The prophet
calls them "thick clay," which will sooner break the back, than
lighten the heart. Worldly riches cannot better the soul, they
cannot enrich the soul. Ah! how many threadbare souls are to
be found under silken cloaks and gowns!

How often are worldly riches like hangmen, they hide men's
faces with a covering, that they may not see their own end,
and then they hang them! And if they do not hang you—they
will shortly leave you! They will "make themselves wings and
fly away!" Proverbs 23:5

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Remember—you are but mortal!

"You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
 the span of my years is as nothing before You.
 Each man's life is but a breath!" Psalm 39:5.

Ah! Can you seriously consider of the brevity of man's
life—and trifle away your time, the offers of grace, your
precious souls, and eternity? Surely you cannot; surely
you dare not—if you do but in good earnest ponder
upon the shortness of man's life.

Philip, king of Macedon, gave a pension to one, to
come to him every day at dinner, and to cry to him,
"Remember—you are but mortal!"

Ah! We have need be often put in mind of our mortality!
I have read of three that could not endure to hear that
bitter word 'death'
mentioned in their ears. Surely this
age is full of such monsters.

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

It was a good question

It was a good question, which the young man proposed,
"What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Luke 10:25. I know
I shall be eternally happy—or eternally miserable; eternally
blessed—or eternally cursed; eternally saved—or eternally

"Oh! what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" My cares, my
fears, my troubles—are all about eternity! No time can reach
eternity, no age can extend to eternity, no tongue can express
eternity. Eternity is that one perpetual day which shall
never have end
; what shall I do, what shall I not do—that I
may be happy to all eternity? Eternity depends upon those few
hours I am to breathe in this world.

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The most glittering services

The most glittering services of unregenerate
people are but dead works, because they proceed
not from a principle of spiritual life, and they lead
to death, Romans 6:23, and leave a sentence of
death upon the soul, until it is washed off by the
blood of the Lamb.

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A very sad and dangerous thing

It is a very sad and dangerous
to trifle and dally with . . .
  His word,
  our own souls,
  and eternity!

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

So foul a hag

There are very many who lie in wait to deceive, corrupt, and
poison your minds with God-dishonoring, Christ-denying,
conscience-wasting, and soul-damning opinions, principles,
and blasphemies.

I have read of one who boasted and gloried in this, that he
had spent thirty years in corrupting and poisoning of youth.
Doubtless, many wretches, many monsters there are among
us, who make it their business, their glory, their all—to delude
and draw people to those dangerous errors and blasphemies
which lead to destruction. Error and folly, says one very well,
are the knots of Satan wherewith he ties children to the stake
to be burned in hell.

There is a truth in what the tragedian said long since, "poison
is commonly drunk out of a cup of gold." So is an error soonest
taken into the judgment and conscience, from people of the
fairest carriage and smoothest conversations.

Error is so foul a hag, that if it should come in its own
shape, a man would loathe it, and fly from it as from hell.

If Jezebel had not painted her face, she would not have
gotten so many young doating adulterers to have followed
her to their own ruin.

Ah! young men, young men—the blessing of the Lord
upon your serious and diligent perusal of this treatise
may be a happy means to preserve you from being
ensnared and deluded by those monsters "who
compass sea and land to make proselytes for hell!"

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Beyond remedy

There is nothing beyond remedy—but
the tears of the damned.

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The worst and greatest tyrant in the world

"At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived
 and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.
 We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one
 another." Titus 3:3.

Sin is the worst and greatest tyrant in the world.
Other tyrants can but tyrannize over our bodies—but sin
is a tyrant which tyrannizes over both body and soul.

None have been able to tame the tyrants, the sins,
the lusts—which have been in their own bosoms.

Sin is a tyrant which has a kind of jurisdiction
in most men's hearts; it sets up . . .
  the law of pride,
  the law of lust,
  the law of oppression,
  the law of formality,
  the law of hypocrisy,
  the law of carnality,
  the law of self-love,
  the law of carnal reason,
  the law of unbelief
—and strictly commands subjection to them,
and proclaims fire and sword to all who will
not bow down.

Sin is a tyrant of many thousand years' standing,
and though it has had many a wound, and received
much opposition—yet still it plays the tyrant all the
world over! Oh, the hearts that this tyrant makes
to ache! the souls that this tyrant makes to bleed!

Other tyrants have been brought down and brought
under control by a human power—but this tyrant, sin,
cannot be controlled, but by a divine power. Only the
power of Christ can bring down this tyrant, and cast
down his strongholds. Therefore, engage Christ in the
conflict, draw Him into the battle, and in the end
the conquest will be yours.

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The heaviest burden in all the world!

"My sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
 They are more than the hairs of my head, and
 my heart fails within me." Psalm 40:12

"For my sins have flooded over my head; they are
 a burden too heavy for me to bear." Psalm 38:4.

Of all burdens—sin is the heaviest burden in all
the world!

Poor souls; sin is a burden that so troubles them and
puzzles them, that so presses and oppresses them, as
that it wrings many bitter tears from their eyes, and
many sad and grievous sighs and groans from their
hearts. "Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will
free me from this life that is dominated by sin?"
Romans 7:24

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The greatest thief

Sin is the greatest thief, the greatest robber in the world.
It robbed the angels of all their glory. It robbed Adam of
his paradise and felicity. Sin has robbed all mankind of
five precious jewels
, the least of which was more worth
than heaven and earth.

1. Sin has robbed them of the holy and glorious image
  of God, which would have been engraved upon them,
  had Adam not fallen into sin.

2. Sin has robbed them of divine sonship—and has made
  them slaves of Satan.

3. Sin has robbed them of divine friendship—and made
  them enemies to God.

4. Sin has robbed them of communion and fellowship with
  God—and made them strangers and aliens to Him.

5. Sin has robbed them of their glory—and made them vile
  and miserable.

Oh! the health, the wealth, the honor, the friends,
the relations—which sin has robbed thousands of!

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A wolf that eats up all

Sin is a devouring, a consuming element. Sin is a
fire which devours and consumes all; it turned Sodom
and Gomorrah into ashes; it has destroyed the Chaldean,
Persian, and Grecian kingdoms, and will at last destroy
the Roman kingdom also.

Sin is a wolf that eats up all.
This wolf ate up . . .
  Samson's strength,
  Absalom's beauty,
  Ahithophel's policy, and
  Herod's glory, etc.

Sin has drowned one world already, and will at last
burn our present world up. Oh the hopes, the hearts,
the happiness, the joys, the comforts, the souls—that
this fire, sin, has consumed and destroyed!

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Cut off one head

We may say of sin as some say of cats, that they
have many lives. Just so—kill sin once and it will
live again, kill it again and it will live again, etc.
Sin oftentimes is like that monster Hydra—cut
off one head
and many will rise up in its place.

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The occasions and allurements of sin

He who ventures upon the occasion of sin and
then prays, "Lord, lead me not into temptation,"
is like him who thrusts his finger into the fire,
and then prays that it may not be burnt.

He who will not fly from the occasions and
allurements of sin
, though they may seem
ever so pleasant to the eye, or sweet to the
taste—shall find them in the end more sharp
than vinegar, more bitter than wormwood,
more deadly than poison.

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The bond of iniquity

"I perceive that you are in the gall of bitterness,
 and in the bond of iniquity." Acts 8:23

If you would arm and fence yourselves against
sin, then look upon sin as the soul's bonds.

Iniquity is a chain, a bond. Now, bonds and
chains gall the body, and so does sin the soul.
As poor captives are held fast in their chains,
so are sinners in their sins.

For as bonds tie things together, so does
sin tie the sinner and the curse together.
Sin binds the sinner and wrath together.
Sin links the sinner and hell together.

Ah! There is no bondage like soul bondage,
no slavery like soul slavery. 

Ah, friends! you should never look upon your
sinsbut you should look upon them as your
bonds; yes, as the worst bonds that ever were!
All other chains are golden chains, chains of pearl,
compared to those chains of iron and brass, those
chains of lust, with which you are bound. Ah! who
can thus look upon his chains—his sins—and not
loathe them, and not labor for freedom from them?

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Fool away their souls

Christ made a very fair offer to the young man in the
Gospel, "Go and sell all that you have, and give to the poor,
and you shall have treasure in heaven," Matthew 19:21.
Here Christ offers . . .
  heavenly treasures for earthly treasures,
  unmixed treasures for mixed treasures,
  perfect treasures for imperfect treasures,
  satisfying treasures for unsatisfying treasures,
  lasting treasures for fading treasures;
but the young man slips his opportunity, his season, and
goes away sorrowful, and we never read more of him.
Just so, there are many who trifle away their time, and
fool away their souls
and their eternal salvation.

    ~  ~  ~ ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A greater honor

It is a greater honor for a man to outwrestle
sin, Satan, temptation, the world, and lust—than
ever Alexander the Great could attain unto.

The Romans built Virtue's and Honor's temple close
together—to show that the way to honor was by
virtue; and, indeed, there is no crown compared to
that which godliness sets upon a man's head: all
other honor is fading and withering.