HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness

The Necessity, Excellency, Rarity, and Beauty of Holiness

Thomas Brooks, 1662


All the sins of the saints

"We know that all things work together for good,
 to those who love God, to those who are called
 according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

All the afflictions, and
all the temptations, and
all the desertions, and
all the oppressions, and
all the oppositions, and
all the persecutions—
which befall a godly man,
shall work for his good.

Every cross, and
every loss, and
every disease—
which befall the holy man,
shall work for his good.

Every device,
every snare,
every deceit,
every depth,
every stratagem,
and every enterprise of Satan against
the holy man, shall work for his good.

They shall all help to make him . . .
  more humble,
  more holy,
  more heavenly,
  more spiritual,
  more faithful,
  more fruitful,
  more watchful.

Every prosperity and every adversity;
every storm and every calm;
every bitter and every sweet;
every cross and every comfort—
shall work for the holy man's good.

When God gives a mercy—
  that shall work for his good.
When God takes away a mercy—
  that shall work for his good.

Yes, even all the falls and all the sins of
the saints
shall work for their good. Oh . . .
  the care,
  the fear,
  the watchfulness,
  the tenderness,
  the zeal—
which God raises in the souls of His saints by their
very falls! Oh the hatred, the indignation, and the
detestation—which God raises in the hearts of His
children against sin—by their very falling into sin!

Oh what love to Christ,
what thankfulness for Christ,
what admiration of Christ,
what cleaving to Christ,
what exalting of Christ,
what drawings from Christ's grace—
are saints led to, by their very falls!

It is the glory of God's holiness, that . . .
  He can turn spiritual diseases—into holy remedies!
  He can turn soul poisons—into heavenly cordials!
  He can prevent sin by sin, and cure falling by falling!

O Christian! What though friends and relations frown upon you,
what though enemies are plotting and conspiring against you,
what though needs, like armed men, are breaking in upon you,
what though men rage, and devils roar against you,
what though sickness is devastating your family,
what though death stands every day at your elbow—
yet there is no reason for you to fear nor faint, because
all these things shall work for your good! Yes, there is
wonderful cause of joy and rejoicing in all the afflictions
and tribulations which come upon you—considering that
they shall all work for your good.

O Christians! I am afraid, I am afraid—that you do not
run so often as you should—to the breasts of this promise,
nor draw that sweetness and comfort from it, that it would
yield, and that your several cases may require. "We know
that all things work together for good, to those who love
God, to those who are called according to His purpose." I
have been the longer upon this verse, because the condition
of God's people calls for the strongest cordials, and the
choicest and the sweetest comforts.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

I am not the man that I was!

All true holiness is the immediate fruit of genuine
union with Christ. Christ is made not only wisdom,
righteousness, and redemption—but He is also made
sanctification to us, 1 Cor. 1:30. He who is in Christ
is a new creature. He has . . .
  a new head,
  a new heart,
  a new lip,
  a new life,
  a new spirit,
  new principles,
  new ends.
He can truly say, "I am not the man that I was!
  I was a lion—yet holiness has made me a lamb!
  I was a wolf—yet holiness has made me a sheep!
  I was a raven—yet holiness has made me a dove!"

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Pleasure, delight, contentment and satisfaction in God

There are no people under heaven, who take any real
pleasure, delight, contentment and satisfaction
in God
—but those who are genuinely holy.

"How is your Beloved better than others, most beautiful
 of women? How is your Beloved better than others, that
 you charge us so?" Song of Songs 5:9

The covetous man takes pleasure and delight in his money-bags.

The ambitious man takes pleasure and delight in his honors.

The voluptuous man takes pleasure and delight in his lusts.

The malicious man takes pleasure and delight in his revenge.

The envious man takes pleasure in the harms which befall others.

The drunkard takes pleasure and delight in his cups.

The adulterer takes pleasure and delight in his harlots.

The gamester takes pleasure and delight in his shifts and tricks.

The worldling takes pleasure in his fopperies and fooleries.

It is only the holy man who takes pleasure and delight in God.
To delight and take pleasure in God, is a work too high, too
hard, too spiritual, and too noble—for any but holy people!

"My Beloved is dark and dazzling, better than ten thousand
 others! Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, and
 this is my Friend!" Song of Songs 5:10, 16

"I delight greatly in the Lord! My soul rejoices in my God!"
    Isaiah 61:10

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Oh stand and wonder!

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,
 that we should be called children of God!" 1 John 3:1

O sirs! what matter of admiration is this—that the
great and glorious God, who has many millions of
glorious angels attending Him—that He should . . .
  look upon all holy people as His sons, and
  love them as His sons, and
  delight in them as His sons, and
  clothe them as His sons, and
  feed them as His sons, and
  protect them as His sons!

What great love is this—that those who have . . .
  so highly provoked God,
  walked so cross and contrary to God,
  were so exceeding unlike God,
  preferred every lust, and every toy and vanity before God,
  fought many years under Satan's banner against God,
  refused all the kind offers of mercy from God;
that those who have deserved to be . . .
  reprobated by God,
  damned by God, and
  to be thrown to hell by God—
that these should be made the sons of God!

Oh stand and wonder! Oh stand and admire the
freeness of His grace, and the riches of His grace!

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,
 that we should be called children of God!" 1 John 3:1

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

So blind, so deaf, so dumb, so lame, so dead

The holy Christian is the greatest miracle.

He can tell you that he was so blind—but now God
has given him eyes to see sin to be the greatest evil;
and Christ to be the choicest good.

He can tell you that once he was so deaf—that though
God called very often and very loudly to him—by His
word and by His works, by His rods at home and by
His judgments abroad, and by his Spirit and conscience,
which were still a-preaching in his bosom—sometimes life,
sometimes death, sometimes heaven, and sometimes hell
yet he could not hear! But now God has given him a
hearing ear, so that now he can with delight hear the
sweet music of the promises on the one hand; and
with a holy trembling listen to the voice of divine
threatenings on the other hand.

He can tell you that once he was so dumb—that if he
might have had the whole world, he could not have
spoken a good word for God, nor for His ways, nor for
His people, nor for any of His concernments. Oh! but
now his tongue is as the pen of a ready writer—and
he is never better, than when he is a-speaking either
of God, or for God and His concerns. Now he can
contend for the faith, and speak for saints. And though
in some cases he may lack power to act for God—yet he
never lacks a tongue to speak for God. The spouse's lips
drop honeycombs in Canticles 4:11. Yes, his tongue now
becomes a tree of life, whose leaves are medicinal.

He can tell you that once he was so lame—that he was
not able to move one foot heaven-wards, nor Christ-wards,
nor holiness-wards, etc. But now his feet delight, not only
to go—but to run in all the ways of God's commands!

Yes, he can tell you that once he was so dead—as to all
his soul-concerns. But now he is alive, and the life that
he leads in the flesh, is by faith in the Son of God, who
has loved him and given Himself for him, Gal. 2:20.

It was by a miracle that the Red Sea was driven back;
and it is no less a miracle—to see a sinner who was
accustomed to do evil—now habituated to do good.

That the tide of sin, which before did run so strong
—should be so easily turned; that the sinner who, a
little before was sailing hellward, and lacked neither
wind nor tide to carry him there—should now suddenly
alter his course, and tack about for heaven—what a
miracle is this!
To see . . .
  an earthly man become heavenly,
  a carnal man become spiritual,
  a loose man become precise,
  a proud man become humble,
  a covetous man become liberal, and
  a harsh man become meek, etc.,
is to behold the greatest of miracles!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Worse than sodomy!

"If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words,
 shake the dust off your feet when you leave that house
 or town. I assure you: It will be more tolerable on the
 day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah
 than for that town." Matthew 10:14-15 

Sodom and Gomorrah shall have an easier and cooler
than such shall have—who have despised the offers
of His grace, and the offers of His mercy. Contempt of
Christ and His gospel—is worse than sodomy!

"Then the Lord rained down fire and burning sulfur from
 the heavens on Sodom and Gomorrah!" Genesis 19:24

The punishments of Sodom and Gomorrah, are but scratches
on the hand, and flea-bitings—compared to those dreadful and
astonishing judgments which God, in the great day of account,
will inflict upon all Christ-refusers and gospel-despisers!

"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever
 rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on
 him." John 3:36

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Holy, holy, holy

"Who is like You, glorious in holiness?" Exodus 15:11

God is . . .
  infinitely holy,
  transcendently holy,
  superlatively holy,
  constantly holy,
  unchangeably holy,
  exemplary holy,
  gloriously holy. 

All the holiness that is in the best and choicest
Christians is but a mixed holiness, a weak and
imperfect holiness. Their unholiness is always
more than their holiness.
Ah, what a great deal . . .
  of pride is mixed with a little humility,
  of unbelief is mixed with a little faith,
  of peevishness is mixed with a little meekness,
  of earthliness is mixed with a little heavenliness,
  of carnality is mixed with a little spirituality,
  of harshness is mixed with a little tenderness!

Oh, but the holiness of God is a pure holiness, it is
a holiness without mixture; there is not the least
drop or the least dreg of unholiness in God! "God
is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." 1 John 1:5

In God there is . . .
  all wisdom without any folly,
  all truth without any falsehood,
  all light without any darkness, and
  all holiness without any sinfulness.

God is universally holy.
He is holy in all His ways,
and holy in all His works.
His precepts are holy precepts,
His promises are holy promises,
His threatenings are holy threatenings,
His love is a holy love,
His anger is a holy anger,
His hatred is a holy hatred, etc.

His nature is holy,
His attributes are holy,
His actions are all holy.

He is holy in sparing;
  and holy in punishing.
He is holy in justifying of some;
  and holy in condemning of others.
He is holy in bringing some to heaven;
  and holy in throwing others to hell.

God is holy . . .
  in all His sayings,
  in all His doings,
  in whatever He puts His hand to,
  in whatever He sets His heart to.
His frowns are holy,
His smiles are holy.
When He gives, His givings are holy giving;
when He takes away, His takings are holy takings, etc.

"Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord Almighty!" Isaiah 6:3

God is eminently holy.
He is transcendently holy.
He is superlatively holy.
He is glorious in holiness.

There is no fathoming,
there is no measuring,
there is no comprehending,
there is no searching, of that
infinite sea of holiness, which is in God.
O sirs! you shall as soon . . .
  stop the sun in its course, and
  change the day into night, and
  raise the dead,
  and make a world, and
  count the stars of heaven, and
  empty the sea with a cockle-shell,
as you shall be able either to conceive or express
that transcendent holiness which is in God!

God's holiness is infinite.
It can neither be . . .
  limited, nor
  lessened, nor

God is the spring of all holiness and purity. All that
holiness which is in angels and men flows from God,
  as the streams from the fountain,
  as the beams from the sun,
  as the branches from the root,
  as the effect from the cause.
Ministers may pray that their people may be holy,
parents may pray that their children may be holy;
but they cannot give holiness, nor communicate
holiness to their nearest and dearest relations.
God alone is the giver and the author of all holiness.
It is only the Holy One who can cause holiness to flow
into sinners' hearts; it is only He who can form, and
frame, and infuse holiness into the souls of men.
A man shall sooner make make a world—than he shall
make another holy. It is only a holy God, who can . . .
  enlighten the mind, and
  bow the will, and
  melt the heart, and
  raise the affections, and
  purge the conscience, and
  reform the life, and
  put the whole man into a holy gracious temper.

God is exemplary holy. He is the rule, example, and
pattern of holiness. "Be holy, as I am holy." 1 Pet. 1:15.
God's holiness is the copy which we must always have in
our eye, and endeavor most exactly to write after.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The best means to mortify sin

"Therefore, put to death whatever in you is worldly:
 sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and
 greed, which is idolatry." Colossians 3:5

While a darling sin lives and keeps the throne in the heart,
grace and holiness will be kept exceeding weak and low. But
when your darling sin is dethroned and slain by the power
and the sword of the Spirit—grace and holiness will quickly
grow stronger and stronger, and rise higher and higher.

When a man has eaten poison, nothing will make him thrive,
until he has vomited up the poison. Beloved sins—they are
the poison of the soul
, and until these are vomited up, and
cast out by sound repentance, and the exercise of faith in the
blood of Christ, the soul will never thrive in grace and holiness!

If ever you would attain to higher degrees of holiness,
then fall with all your might, upon subduing and crucifying
your most raging corruptions, and your most daring lusts!

Oh do not think that your golden and your silver idols will
lay down their weapons, and yield the battle, and lie at your
feet, and let you trample them to death—without striking a
blow! Oh remember that besetting-sins will do all they can
to keep their ground, and therefore you must arise with all
your strength against them, and crush them to powder,
and burn them to ashes!

Oh deal with your most enraged lusts, as the Philistines
dealt with Samson—pluck out their eyes, and force them
to grind in the mill of mortification, until their strength is
utterly consumed and wasted.

I have read of five men, who being asked what was
the best means to mortify sin
, gave these answers.

Said the first, "The best means to mortify sin,
is to meditate on death."

Said the second, "The best means to mortify sin,
is to meditate on the judgment-day."

Said the third, "The best means to mortify sin,
is to meditate on the joys of heaven."

Said the fourth, "The best means to mortify sin,
is to meditate on the torments of hell."

Said the fifth, "The best means to mortify sin, is to
meditate on the death and sufferings of Christ."

Doubtless the last man hit the nail on the head!

The daily sight of a bleeding, groaning, dying
—is the only thing which will subdue and
mortify darling sins!

O friends! Never leave looking up to a crucified Christ,
until virtue flows from Him to the crucifying of those
special besetting sins which do most obstruct and
hinder the growth and increase of holiness.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Yellow and white guts and garbage

"You cannot serve both God and Money." Luke 16:13

Riches are the great god of the world, and are rather a
hindrance, than a help to heaven and happiness. Gold
and silver, which are but the yellow and white guts
and garbage
of the earth, is fitly called by the prophet,
"thick clay," which will sooner break a man's back than
satisfy his heart! Oh, what folly and madness is it for a
man to be still a-loading of himself with the clay of this

The horse is loaded with rich treasure all the
day long—yet when night comes he is turned into the
dark stinking stable, with an empty belly, and with
his back full of galls, sores, and bruises.

Just so, though vain muckworms are loaded with the
treasures of this world during the day of their life
yet when the night of death comes, then they shall
be turned into a dark stinking hell, with consciences
full of guilt and galls, and with souls full of sores and
bruises; and then what good will all their treasures
do them?

"People who want to get rich fall into temptation and
 a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that
 plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love
 of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people,
 eager for money, have wandered from the faith and
 pierced themselves with many griefs." 1 Tim. 6:9-10

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A sea of grace—or but a drop of grace

"Those He predestined, He also called; and those
 He called, He also justified; and those He justified,
 He also glorified." Romans 8:30

God's love is equal to all His saints, whether they
are rich or poor, high or low, slave or free; whether they
have a sea of grace—or but a drop of grace. God's
love runs as much out to the weakest Christian, as it
does to the strongest; as much to a babe in grace as
to a giant in grace.

All saints are equally ELECTED. God never chose one
man to be more a vessel of glory than another; the
weakest saint is as much elected as the strongest.

All saints are equally REDEEMED by Jesus Christ.
Christ bled as much for one saint as another, and
He sweat as much for one saint as another, and
He sighed and groaned as much for one saint as
another, and He trod the wine-press of His Father's
as much for one saint as another. Christ paid
as great a price for His lambs—as for His sheep.
Christ paid as great a price for Lazarus in his
rags—as for David in his royal robes.

All saints are equally EFFECTUALLY CALLED.
One saint is as much called out of the kingdom
of darkness as another; and one saint is as much
called to Jesus Christ as another. In effectual
calling, God looks with as favorable an eye
upon one, as He does upon another.

All saints are equally JUSTIFIED. Though one saint
may be more sanctified than another—yet no saint
is more justified than another. The weakest believer
is as much justified and pardoned before the throne
of God as the strongest is. That pure, perfect,
matchless, and spotless righteousness of Christ,
is as much imputed to one saint as it is to another.

All saints are equally ADOPTED. The weakest believer
is as much an adopted son of God, as the strongest
believer in the world is. God is no more a father to
one than He is to another. In human families, the
babe in the mother's arms is as much a son—as he
who is of riper years.

Thus you see that God's love is equal to all His saints.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The foolish Indians

The foolish Indians preferred every toy and trifle,
before their mines of gold. Just so, many foolish 
professors prefer the trifling vanities of this world,
before the glorious treasures and endless pleasures
which are at God's right hand. Witness that high
price which they set upon . . .
  the toys,
  the trifles,
  the vanities,
  the empty honors,
  the fading riches, and
  the fleeting pleasures of this world!

How severely are they to be censured—who prefer
the poor, base, empty nothings of this world—before
all the glory and happiness of the eternal world!

Were there but more holiness in your hearts—all
the mirthful and gallant things of this world, would be
more contemptible in your eyes.

"Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with
 the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
 I have discarded everything else, counting it all as
 garbage, so that I may have Christ." Philippians 3:8

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A self-loather

True repentance is a daily turning of the soul further
and further from sin—and a daily turning of the soul
nearer and nearer to God.

True repentance includes . . .
  a true sense of sin,
  a deep sorrow for sin,
  a hearty loathing of sin, and
  a holy shame and blushing for sin.

To repent is to make . . .
  a clean head and a clean heart;
  a clean lip and a clean life.

To repent is for a man to loathe himself, as well as his sin.
Is this easy for man, who is so great a self-lover, and so
great a self-exalter, and so great a self-admirer—to
become a self-loather? To repent is to cross sinful self,
it is to walk contrary to sinful self, yes, it is to revenge
a man's self upon himself.

True repentance lies in a daily dying to sin, and in a
daily living to Him who lives forever.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Hell would be the place of greatest pleasure

"They delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the
 perverseness of evil." Proverbs 2:14

Unsanctified people . . .
  take pleasure in unrighteousness,
  rejoice to do evil,
  make a sport of sin,
  delight to dishonor God,
  damn their own immortal souls.

Holiness only debars men from the sinful
joys, delights, and pleasures of life.

What a mercy it is, to be taken off from that carnal
which ends in mourning—and from those vain
which end in unspeakable torments—and from
that foolish jollity which leads to everlasting misery!

Ah, what folly and madness it is, for men to run the
hazard of losing the kingdom of heaven, and the
eternal pleasures which are at God's right hand—for
those short-lived pleasures which are like the early
dew which soon passes away! Ah, who would
endure an ocean of torture—for a drop of
sensual pleasure?

All sensual pleasures . . .
  defile the soul,
  debase the soul,
  debauch the soul,
  take off the heart from God,
  deaden the heart towards God.

Sensual pleasures and delights cannot satisfy the
soul of man; they are but frothy and flashy. They
only wet the mouth—they never warm the heart.
Sensual pleasures seem substantial in the pursuit
—but are mere clouds in the enjoyment.

There is nothing in carnal delights, but imagination
and expectation. For they can neither fill the heart,
nor satisfy the heart.

O sirs, there is no real pleasure in sin! All the
pleasures of sin are counterfeit pleasures; they are
but the shapes and shadows of pleasure. They are
the seeds of future grief; they are but a pledge laid
down for sorrow or ruin. Certainly if there were the
least real delight in sin—hell could never be hell.
Yes, then it would follow that hell would be the
place of greatest pleasure
—for doubtless hell
is the place of greatest sin.

Oh, don't deceive your own souls! There can be no real
joy in sensual pleasures. What real delight or pleasure
can there be in fooling and staggering in an ale-house
or tavern; in swaggering and swearing; in dicing and
carding; in dancing, partying, and whoring; in pursuing
after lying vanities? Surely none! As for those seeming
pleasures which attend the ways of sin—ah, how soon
do they vanish and leave a sting behind them!

Look! all the pleasures which manhood takes a person
off from—are babyish and toyish pleasures; such as from
delighting in a rattle, a doll, a feather, a hobby-horse, a
wooden sword, etc. Just so, all the pleasures and delights
which holiness takes a man off from—they are babyish
and foolish; yes, they are vile, dangerous, and devilish!

Holiness is only an exchange . . .
  of sinful delights—for those which are holy;
  of carnal delights—for those which are spiritual;
  of earthly delights—for those which are heavenly.

He who delights in sensual pleasures shall find at
last—that his greatest pleasures will become his
bitterest pains!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~


Head, hand, heart, lip, and life

True holiness is diffusive. It extends, diffuses,
and spreads itself all over the whole person . . .
  the head and the heart;
  the lip and the life;
  the inside and the outside.
The understanding is nourished on holiness,
the mind is adorned with holiness,
the will is bowed to holiness, and
all the affections are sprinkled,
yes, clothed with holiness—
  love is holy love,
  grief is holy grief,
  joy is holy joy,
  sorrow is holy sorrow,
  fear is holy fear,
  care is holy care,
  zeal is holy zeal.

Real holiness spreads itself over
head, hand, heart, lip, and life

"May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you
 through and through. May your whole spirit, soul
 and body be kept blameless at the coming of our
 Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 5:23

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~


The plague of unsatisfiedness

"Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of
 covetousness; a man's life does not consist in
 the abundance of his possessions." Luke 12:15

Covetousness is . . . 
  a very great and grievous sin;
  a mother-sin;
  a breeding sin;
  a sin which has all sin in its womb;
  a very vile and heinous sin;
  the root of all evil.

Covetousness makes the soul earthly
—which should be celestial.

Covetousness is an evil which subjects
men to the basest and vilest evils.

Covetousness makes a man a fool! "You fool!
This very night your life will be demanded
from you. Then who will get what you have
prepared for yourself?" Luke 12:20

Covetousness robs a man of all true peace,
comfort, contentment and quiet.

Covetousness brings men into snares which
drown their souls in perdition.

Covetousness renders men unsatisfied under all
their outward enjoyments. Though a covetous
wretch has enough to sink him—yet he can never
have enough to satisfy him. First he wishes for a
bag full, and then a chest full, and then a room
full, and then a house full, etc.

The plague of unsatisfiedness—is the great
plague which covetous men are under. Certainly
you shall as soon fill a triangle with a circle, and
a chest with grace—as you shall be able to fill
and satisfy a covetous mind with money.

A covetous man is like a swine—which is good for
nothing while it lives. The horse is good to carry,
the ox is good to draw, the sheep is good for cloth,
the cow is good to give milk, and the dog is good
to guard the house—but the hog is good for nothing
while he lives! Just so, a covetous man is only
serviceable when he is dead. That scripture often
proves true, "the riches of a sinner are laid up
for the just." Job 27:17

No sin lays men under greater woes!

"People who want to get rich fall into temptation and
 a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that
 plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of
 money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager
 for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced
 themselves with many griefs." 1 Timothy 6:9-10

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~


Tears have a voice

"The Lord has heard the voice of my weeping."
     Psalm 6:8

Tears have a voice. God has an eye as well upon
a man's tears—as upon his prayers. Penitent tears
are divine ambassadors, which never return from
the throne of grace without answers of grace. Peter
said nothing, but went out and wept bitterly—and
obtained mercy. Tears are a kind of silent prayers,
which will at last prevail for mercy.

"I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears."
    Isaiah 38:5

A sinner's face never shines so beautiful, as
when it is bedewed with penitential tears.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~


God's love-letter

The Scripture is God's love-letter to men. Here the
lamb may wade—and here the elephant may swim!

The blessed Scriptures are of infinite worth
and value! Here you may find . . .
  a remedy for every disease,
  balm for every wound,
  a plaster for every sore,
  milk for babes,
  meat for strong men,
  comfort for the afflicted,
  support for the tempted,
  solace for the distressed,
  ease for the wearied,
  a staff to support the feeble,
  a sword to defend the weak.

The holy Scriptures are . . .
  the map of God's mercy—and man's misery,
  the touchstone of truth,
  the shop of remedies against all maladies,
  the hammer of vices,
  the treasury of virtues,
  the exposer of all sensual and worldly vanities,
  the balance of equity,
  the most perfect rule of all justice and honesty.

Ah, friends, no book befits your hands like the Bible!

The Bible is the best preacher. This book,
this preacher will preach to you . . .
  in your shops,
  in your chambers,
  in your closets,
  yes, in your own bosoms!
This book will preach to you at home and abroad;
it will preach to you in all companies; and it will
preach to you in all conditions.

By this book you shall be saved—or
by this book you shall be damned!
By this book you must live.
By this book you must die.
By this book you shall be judged in the great day!

Oh, therefore . . .
  love this book above all other books,
  prize this book above all other books,
  read this book before all other books,
  study this book more than all other books!
For he who reads much—and understands nothing,
is like him who hunts much—and catches nothing.

"Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all
 day long!" Psalm 119:97

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Spit out the sweet morsels of sin

"When He comes, He will convict the world about sin."
    John 16:8

A man never comes . . .
  to see his sins, nor
  to be sick of his sins, nor
  to loathe his sins, nor
  to arraign his sins, nor
  to condemn his sins, nor
  to judge himself for his sins—
until he comes to be possessed by the Holy Spirit.

A man never comes . . .
  to spit out the sweet morsels of sin,
  to make a sacrifice of his only Isaac,
  to hack his trembling Agag in pieces,
  to strangle his Delilah,
and in good earnest to set upon an utter extirpation
of his most cherished sins—until the Spirit of holiness
comes upon him. Until the Holy Spirit falls upon the
hearts of sinners, they will never be turned out of . . .
  their pride,
  their formality,
  their carnality,
  their sensuality,
  their security.

To make a man holy—is greater than to create a world;
it can be done by none but by the Holy Spirit. It is the
great work of the Spirit—to shape and form holiness,
in all the vessels of glory.

The Spirit sweetly and strongly moves His people . . .
  to mind holiness,
  to fall in love with holiness,
  to press after holiness;
  to leave off their sins,
  to turn to God,
  to embrace Christ,
  to tremble at threatenings,
  to embrace promises.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~


Murder all his hearers at once!

"The leaders of the people have led them down the
 path of destruction." Isaiah 9:16

Take heed of settling yourselves under an unholy minister
—of one whose life gives the lie to his doctrine. An unholy
preacher is the greatest destroyer of the souls of men! He
who preaches well—but lives bad—does what he can, to
murder all his hearers at once! There is no greater
bar to holiness, than ministers' unholy lives. An unholy
life mars the soundest and the sweetest doctrine. The
sins of teachers
are the teachers of sins!

An unholy minister is the greatest pest, the worst
, and the greatest mischief—that can be to
a people; for his enormities, his wickednesses, will
have the strongest influences upon the souls and
lives of men—to make them eternally miserable.
His falls will be the fall and ruin of many; for
people are prone to . . .
  live more by examples—than by precepts;
  mind more what the minister does
than what he says;
  eye more how he walks—than how he talks.

Let a minister be ever so learned, solid, quaint, elegant,
zealous, judicious, sententious, etc.—yet if he is carnal,
covetous, worldly, vain, and loose in his life and walk,
his hearers will rather slight and abhor the holy things
of God.

When the preacher departs out of the way of holiness,
the people will quickly wander from all that is good. He
whose life is not a standing reproof to sin, will, by his
life, encourage sinners more and more in a way of sin.
There is nothing which keeps men so off from the love
of holiness, and from the pursuing after holiness—than
the unholy lives of their ministers.

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

"Set an example for the believers in speech, in life,
 in love, in faith and in purity." 1 Timothy 4:12

"In everything set them an example by doing what
 is good." Titus 2:7

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Those who hunt after it are dogs!

Though of all losses, the loss of the soul is the greatest, the
saddest, the sorest, the heaviest, and the most intolerable,
inconceivable, and irrecoverable loss—yet a man bewitched
with the world will run the hazard of losing his eternal soul,
of damning it—to enjoy the world.

Men who are bewitched with this world in these days, oh, how
do they prefer their sensual delights, their brutish contentments,
and their carnal enjoyments—before the beauties of holiness, and
before heavenly glory, where holiness sparkles and shines in all
its refulgence, and where their souls might be abundantly satisfied
and delighted with the most ravishing joys, the most surpassing
delights, and the most transcendent pleasures which are at God's
right hand!

The Arabic proverb says that "the world is a carcass—and
those who hunt after it are dogs!"
If this proverb is true,
what a multitude of professors will be found to be dogs—
  who hunt more after earth—than heaven;
  who hunt more after terrestrial things—than celestial things;
  who hunt more after worldly nothingnesses and emptinesses
—than they do after those fullnesses and sweetnesses which
are in God, Christ, heaven, and holiness!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Painted holiness

"Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for
 you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make
 long prayers; therefore you shall receive the greater
." Matthew 23:14

Who had a greater name for holiness, and who made a
greater show of holiness, and who did more despise and
insult other men for the lack of holiness—than the Scribes
and Pharisees? And who so miserable now—as they?

Pretended holiness will double-damn souls at last!

None have so large a portion in hell as hypocrites have.
No man at last will be found so miserable, as he who has
the name of a saint upon him—but not the divine nature
in him; who has a profession of holiness upon him—but no
principles of holiness in him; who has a form of godliness
—but not the power; who can cry up godliness—but in
practice denies it; who is a professor outwardly—but
an atheist, a pagan, a devil inwardly.

Artificial sanctity is double iniquity. He who professes
piety without being pious, and godliness without being
godly; he who makes counterfeit holiness a cloak to
impiety, and a midwife to iniquity; he who is . . .
  a Jacob without—and an Esau within,
  a David without—and a Saul within,
  a John without—and a Judas within,
  a saint without—and a Satan within,
  an angel without—and a devil within,
is ripened for the worst of torments!

Sirs, do not deceive your own souls!
A painted sword shall as soon defend a man, and
a painted mint shall as soon enrich a man, and
a painted fire shall as soon warm a man, and
a painted friend shall as soon counsel a man, and
a painted horse shall as soon carry a man, and
a painted feast shall as soon nourish a man, and
a painted house shall as soon shelter a man—as
a painted holiness shall save a man! He who
now thinks to put off God with a painted holiness,
shall not fare so well at last—as to be put off with
a painted happiness. The lowest, the hottest, and
the darkest habitation in hell will be his portion,
whose religion lies all in shows and shadows.

Well, spiritual counterfeits, remember this—it will
not be long before Christ will unmask you; before
He will uncloak you; before He will disrobe you;
before He will take off your masks, your cloaks,
and turn your rotten insides outward—to your
eternal shame and reproach before all the world!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

These Gergesites had rather lose
Christ, than lose their porkers

"When they saw Him, they pleaded with Him to leave
 their region." Matthew 8:34

A man bewitched with the world will prefer the most base
and contemptible things, before the Lord Jesus Christ. He will,
with the Gergesenes, prefer his swine before a Savior,
Matthew 8:28-34. When they saw what a sad market their
hogs were brought to, they desired Christ to depart out of
their country. These Gergesites had rather lose Christ,
than lose their porkers
. They had rather that the devil
should possess their souls—than that Jesus should drown
their pigs. They prefer their swine, before their salvation!
They present a wretched petition for their own damnation;
they pleaded with Him to leave their region. Though there is
no misery, no plague, no curse, no wrath, no hell—compared
to Christ's departure from a people; yet men bewitched with
the world will desire this. "When they saw Him, they pleaded
with Him to leave their region." Matthew 8:34

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Turned into beasts, birds, stones, trees, or air

ur God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:29

Chaff and stubble cannot stand before that God, who is
a consuming fire. Oh, how will the ungodly tremble and
quake when the whole frame of heaven and earth shall
break in pieces, and be set in a flame about their ears!
Oh, what trouble of mind,
  what horror and terror of conscience,
  what weeping and wailing,
  what crying and roaring,
  what wringing of hands,
  what tearing of hair, and
  what gnashing of teeth,
will there be among the ungodly in this day—when
they shall see their sins charged upon them on the one
side—and divine justice terrifying them on the other
side! When they shall look upward, and there see an
angry God frowning upon them; and look downward,
and there see hell gaping ready to receive them; and
look inward, and there find conscience accusing and
gnawing of them! When they shall look on their right
, and there behold the holy angels standing with
so many flaming swords to keep them out of heaven;
and look on their left hand, and there behold the devil
and his demons ready to drag them down to the lowest
hell! Oh, now how will they wish for the rocks to fall
upon them, and the mountains to cover them! How
will they wish that they had never been born; or that
they might now be unborn! How will they now wish
that their immortal souls were mortal; or that they
might be turned into beasts, birds, stones, trees,
or air
—or anything rather than what they are!

Alas! what heart is able to conceive, or what tongue
is able to express—the fear and dread, the horror and
terror, the astonishment and amazement, which will
fall upon all ungodly people in that day!

"For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to
 receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ."
     1 Thessalonians 5:9

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The dregs of old age!

"Let me die the death of the righteous, and may my
 end be like theirs!" Numbers 23:10

Many desire to repent when old age comes—when . . .
  their wits are cracked,
  their souls distracted,
  their senses stupefied,
  their hearts astonished,
  their minds darkened, and
  their bodies diseased and distempered.
Oh, then they think that they will be able to leap into
heaven, with a "Lord have mercy upon me" in their
mouths. Even though they have lived like devils
—yet they hope they shall die like saints!

Do you think, O vain man—that after you have spent your
time, and wasted your strength, and exhausted your energies
in the work of Satan, and in the service of your lusts—that
God will receive you to His grace and favor? If you do thus
flatter yourself—it is ten thousand to one—that you will
deceive yourself! Though true repentance is never too
late—yet late repentance is seldom true.
Ah, how many
millions are now in hell—who have thought, and resolved, and
said that they would repent hereafter—but that hereafter
never came!

You say "Tomorrow, tomorrow I will repent," when you know
not what a tomorrow will bring forth. Alas! how many thousand
ways may death surprise you before tomorrow comes! Though
there is but one way to come into the world—yet there are a
thousand thousand ways to be sent out of the world.
Oh, the
diseases, the hazards, the dangers, the accidents, the deaths
—which daily—which hourly attend the life of man!

Ah friends! it is a dangerous thing to make repentance to be
the task of old age. The longer any man defers his repentance,
the more difficult it will be for him to repent:
 his heart will every day grow more and more hard, and
 his will more and more perverse, and
 his judgment more and more corrupted, and
 his affections more and more disordered, and
 his conscience more and more benumbed or enraged, and
 his whole life more and more defiled and debauched.

Friends, do not deceive yourselves! Old age is but a tottering
and sinking foundation for you to build your eternal hopes
and happiness upon—your eternal making or marring upon!
Are the dog-days of old age—are the trembling hands, the
wrinkled face, the failing eyes, the gasping lungs, the fainting
heart, the feeble knees, and the broken down legs—are these
a sacrifice worthy of a majestic God? Is a body full of sores,
aches, and diseases—and a soul full of sin—an offering worthy
of a holy God? Surely not!

Oh, what madness, what wickedness is this—to serve Satan,
your lusts, and this world with full dishes—and to put off God
with scraps! To serve Satan, your lusts, and this world in the
flower, in the prime and primrose of your days—and to put
off God with the dregs of old age! Oh, do not let Satan
deceive you, do not let your own hearts delude you!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The beauty and glory of a Christian

Holiness will render you most beautiful and amiable. As
holiness is the beauty of God, and the beauty of angels
—so it is the beauty and glory of a Christian also.
Holiness casts such a beauty upon man, as makes him
very amiable and desirable.

The redness of the rose, the whiteness of the lily, and all
the beauties of the natural universe—are but deformities,
compared to that beauty which holiness puts upon us. If
all natural beauty were contracted into one beauty—yet
it would be but an obscure and an unlovely beauty,
compared to that beauty which holiness puts upon us!

Holiness is lovely, yes—loveliness itself. Purity is a Christian's
splendor and glory. There is no beauty compared to that of
sanctity; nothing beautifies and bespangles a man like holiness.
Holiness is so attractive and so lovely a thing—that it draws all
eyes and hearts to an admiration of it. Holiness is so great a
beauty—that it puts a beauty upon all other excellencies in a
man. That holiness is a very beautiful thing, and that it makes
all those beautiful who have it—is a truth that no devil can deny!

"Demetrius," says Plutarch, "was so lovely of face, that no
painter was able to draw him." Just so, holiness puts so rare
a beauty upon man—that no painter under heaven is able to
draw him! Scipio Africanus was so lovely a person, that the
Spaniards stood amazed at his loveliness. Holiness puts such
a loveliness, and such an amiableness upon a person—that
many admire it, and stand amazed at it.

O sirs, as ever you would be amiable and desirable—be holy!

As ever you would be attractive and lovely—be holy!

As ever you would outshine the sun in splendor and
glory—labor to be holy!

Many have ventured their names, their estates, their liberties,
their lives, yes, their very souls—to enjoy a lovely Bathsheba,
an attractive Helena, a beautiful Diana, a lovely Cleopatra, etc.,
whose beauties have been but clay, well-colored. Oh, how
much more, then, should you be provoked to labor and venture
your all for holiness—which will imprint upon you that most
excellent and most exquisite beauty—which will go to the grave
and to glory with you; yes, which will render you not only amiable
and excellent in the eyes of men—but also lovely in the eyes of God!

Unholy souls are . . .
  foul souls,
  ugly souls,
  deformed souls,
  withered souls,
  wrinkled souls,
  altogether unlovely souls.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The richest man in the world

"Having nothing—and yet possessing all things." 2 Corinthians 6:10

This is a riddle the world cannot understand. A holy man
cannot be a poor man. A holy man is always the richest
man. The riches of a Christian have no bottom. All a
saint's bags, are bottomless bags.

Experience tells us that unholy men's bags, purses, coffers,
and mints—may be drawn dry. But the treasury, the riches
of a saint—can never be exhausted, for he possesses all
things in Christ and with Christ! The Christian has the
God of all—he has Him who has all.

Though he has nothing in hand—yet he has all things
in hope. A holy man is the richest man in the world,
for he has the great and glorious God engaged by many
thousand promises to own him, to bless him, to stand
by him, to give grace and glory to him, and to withhold
nothing from him that may be good for him.

When wicked men brag of their great possessions and
riches, a holy man may make his boast of God, and say,
"God is mine! God is mine! He is my great all; He is my
all in all; and therefore I am richer and a greater possessor
than any wicked man in the world—yes, than all wicked
men in the world put together!"

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Without holiness

"Without holiness no one will see the Lord." Heb. 12:14

To 'see' implies both vision and fruition. Without holiness, no
man—be he high or low, noble or ignoble, rich or poor, etc.,
shall ever come to a blessed acquaintance with God here, or
to a glorious fruition and enjoyment of God hereafter.

Oh, how great a misery,
how great a punishment,
how great an affliction,
how great a trouble and torment,
how great a tribulation,
how great a hell
—will it be for all unholy people to be forever and ever
banished the court of heaven, and to be shut out from
the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His
power—and to be everlastingly confined to the prison
of hell, and to the society and company of that damned
crew who will be still a-cursing and a-blaspheming God,
and adding to one another's torments!

Ah, friends! without holiness all is lost . . .
  your soul is lost,
  Christ is lost,
  God is lost,
  heaven is lost,
  glory is lost!
What are all other losses, compared to these losses?

Well, sirs, if none of these arguments can prevail
with you to labor after holiness, I must conclude . . .
  that divine justice has hardened you,
  that Satan has blinded you,
  that your lusts have besotted you,
  that this world has bewitched you,
and that it would have been ten thousand thousand
times better for you, to have never been born, than
  to live without holiness, and
  to die without holiness, and
  to be everlastingly damned for lack of holiness.

"Without holiness no one will see the Lord." Heb. 12:14

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

You should follow in His steps

"He who says he abides in Him, ought himself also
 to walk even as He walked." 1 John 2:6

Christians are to set all Christ's moral actions before them
as a pattern for their imitation. In Christ's life, a Christian
may behold the picture or lineaments of all virtues—and
accordingly he ought to order his life in this world.

To walk as Christ walked
is to walk . . .

To walk as Christ walked is to . . .
  slight the world,
  despise the world,
  make a footstool of the world,
  to live above the world, and
  to triumph over the world as Christ did.

To walk as Christ walked is . . .
  to love those who hate us,
  to pray for those who persecute us,
  to bless those who curse us, and
  to do good to those who do evil to us.

To walk as Christ walked is to be patient, and silent,
and submissive, and thankful, under the vilest reproaches,
the heaviest afflictions, and the greatest sufferings.

"Leaving you an example, that you should follow
 in His steps
." 1 Peter 2:21

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

An outlet and an inlet

"Death has been swallowed up in victory!"
    1 Corinthians 15:54

DEATH is an outlet and an inlet to a holy man.

Death is an eternal outlet . . .
  to all sins,
  to all sorrows,
  to all shame,
  to all sufferings,
  to all afflictions,
  to all temptations,
  to all oppressions,
  to all confusions, and
  to all vexations.

Death is an eternal inlet into . . .
  the clear, full, and constant enjoyment of God,
  the sweetest pleasures,
  the purest joys,
  the highest delights,
  the strongest comforts, and
  the most satisfying contentments.

Death is the funeral of all a holy man's sins and miseries—and
the perfection of all his joys, graces, and spiritual excellencies.

Death is not the death of the man—but the death of his sin.

Death is a Christian's discharge from all trouble and misery!

Death came in by sin—and sin goes out by death.

Death cures all diseases—the aching head and the unbelieving
heart; the diseased body and the defiled soul. Death will cure
the holy man of all natural and spiritual distempers.

Death is God's gentle usher to conduct us to heaven.

Death to a holy man, is nothing but the changing of . . .
  his grace—into glory,
  his faith—into vision,
  his hope—into fruition, and
  his love—into eternal rapture!

Oh, who would not go through death . . .
  to heaven!
  to eternal life!
  to immortality and glory!

Death, to a Christian, is . . .
  a welcome guest,
  a happy friend,
  a joyful messenger!

"Death has been swallowed up in victory!" 1 Cor. 15:54

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Such guilty, filthy, and polluted souls!

"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."
     1 Corinthians 6:9-10

What a sad roster of vile people! These monstrous sinners and
prodigious sins were enough to have brought another flood upon
the world; or to have provoked the Lord to rain hell out of heaven
upon them—as once he did upon Sodom and Gomorrah; or to have
caused the ground to open and swallow them up—as once it did
Korah, Dathan, and Abiram! 

And yet behold! some of these are changed and sanctified!
"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." verse 11.

Oh, the infinite goodness!

Oh, the infinite grace!

Oh, the infinite wisdom and power of God—which has
pardoned, washed, sanctified, and cleansed such guilty,
filthy, and polluted souls!
The worst of sinners should
never despair of being made saints—considering what
notorious sinners have been made holy. There is no
heart so wicked—but grace can make it holy.

Well! sinners, remember this—it is possible that those . . .
  proud hearts of yours may be humbled;
  hard hearts of yours may be softened; 
  unclean hearts of yours may be sanctified;
  blind minds of yours may be enlightened;
  stubborn wills of yours may be tamed;
  disordered affections of yours may be regulated;
  defiled consciences of yours may be awakened and purged;
  vile and polluted natures of yours may be changed and purified.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Other men's sins

By other men's sins, a holy man is put in mind of the
badness of his own heart. Bernard makes mention of an
old man, who, when he saw any man sin, lamented and
wept for him; and being asked why he grieved so, for
other men's sins, answered, "He fell today—and I may
fall tomorrow!" The falls of others puts a holy man in
mind of the roots of sinfulness which are in himself.
Other men's actual sins are as so many glasses, through
which a holy man comes to see the manifold seeds of sin
which are in his own heart—and such a sight as this
cannot but melt him and break him.

A holy heart knows that the best way to keep himself
pure from other men's sins, is to mourn for other men's
sins. He who makes conscience of weeping over other
men's sins—will rarely be defiled with other men's sins.

A holy heart looks upon other men's sins as their bonds
and chains—and this makes him mourn. Ah, how can
tears but trickle down a Christian's cheeks, when he sees
multitudes, fast bound with the cords of their iniquity,
trooping to hell? Who can look upon a sinner as a bound
prisoner to the prince of darkness—and not bemoan him?

If holy people thus mourn for the wickedness of others,
then certainly those who take pleasure in the wickedness
of others—who laugh and joy, who can make a sport of
other men's sins—are rather monsters than men! There
are none so nearly allied to Satan as these—nor any so
resemble Satan as much as these! (The devil always joys
most—when sinners sin most!) To applaud them, and take
pleasure in those who take pleasure in sin—is the highest
degree of ungodliness!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The diamond in that ring!

The whole Scripture is but one entire love-letter, all
written in golden letters, dispatched from the Lord
Christ to His beloved spouse on earth. In it, there
is so much to be read of . . .
  the love of Christ,
  the heart of Christ,
  the kindness of Christ,
  the grace of Christ, and
  the glory of Christ,
that a holy heart cannot but love, and embrace,
and endeavor to conform to every line.

The whole word of God is a field—and Christ
is the treasure which is hidden in that field!

The whole word of God is a ring of gold—
and Christ is the diamond in that ring!

"The Scriptures point to Me!" John 5:39

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A silver vein of sanctity

"In that day shall there be upon the bridles of the horses,
 Holiness unto the Lord
. Yes, every pot in Jerusalem
 and in Judah shall be Holiness unto the Lord Almighty."
    Zechariah 14:20-21

Here is holiness written upon the bridles of the horses they
ride on, and upon the cups and pots they drink with. A holy
heart will be holy in the use of common things.
piece of his life shall savor of sanctity; and in all the parts of
his every-day life, you shall be able to discern something of
the power of true religion.

He who is truly holy—will be holy in the use of earthly and
common things, as well as in the use of spiritual and heavenly
things. He will be spiritual in the use of mundane things; and
heavenly in the use of earthly things. There is a silver vein
of sanctity
which runs through all his worldly concernments.
If you look upon him in his eating and drinking—you shall find
him holy. If you look upon him in his buying and selling—you
shall find him holy. He is holy in his commerce, and holy in his
converse. Holiness is written upon his dealings with others, and
upon his behavior towards his family and friends. Whatever he
puts his hand to in his home—has holiness written upon it.

A holy man makes a Jacob's ladder of all his earthly enjoyments.
All the comforts in his home, lead him on in a way of holiness,
and lead him up to a holy God. Look upon a holy man in his
vocation—and you shall find him holy. Look upon him in the
use of earthly things—and you shall find him holy. Look upon
him in his recreations—and you shall find him holy. The habitual
frame and bent of his heart is to be holy in every earthly thing
which he puts his hand unto. A spirit of holiness runs and shines
in all the common actions of his life.

But for the false professor—all his religion, all his holiness, lies in
a few religious duties! Take him out of these, and you shall find
him as carnal, as vain, as foolish, as filthy and as frothy, as light
and as slight—as those who have not so much as a cloak of
upon them!

Look! as an unholy heart is carnal in spiritual things, and earthly
in heavenly things, and unholy in holy things—just so, a man who
is truly holy—he is as well holy in the ordinary affairs and actions
of this life, as he is holy in any of the exercises of piety.

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do—do it
 all for the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Heaven would be a very hell

"Yet they say to God—Leave us alone! We have no
 desire to know Your ways." Job 21:14

Heaven would be a very hell to an unholy heart.
If now—the presence of God in His servants, and the
presence of God in His ordinances—is such a hell to
unholy souls; ah, what a hell would the presence of
God in heaven be—to unholy hearts!

It is true, an unholy heart may desire heaven—as
it is a place of freedom from troubles, afflictions,
oppressions, vexations, etc., and as it is a place of
peace, rest, ease, safety, etc. But this is the least
and lowest part of heaven.

To desire heaven as it is . . .
  a place of purity,
  a place of grace,
  a place of holiness,
  a place of enjoying God, etc.
—is above the reach of an unholy heart.

The company of heaven are all holy,
the employments of heaven are all holy,
the enjoyments of heaven are all holy—
therefore heaven would be a most undesirable
thing to unholy hearts.

An unholy heart is no way desirous nor ambitious
of such a heaven . . .
  as will rid him of his darling sins,
  as will make him conformable to a holy God,
  as will everlastingly divorce him from his precious lusts,
  as will link him forever to those gracious souls whom
he has scorned, despised, and persecuted in this world.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Holy hatred

"I hate every false way." Psalm 119:104

Where there is real holiness, there is a holy
, detestation, and indignation—against
all ungodliness and wickedness.

A holy man knows that all sin strikes . . .
  at the holiness of God,
  at the glory of God,
  at the nature of God,
  at the being of God,
  at the law of God—
and therefore his heart rises against all sin.

He looks upon every sin as a grieving of the Spirit,
as a vexing of the Spirit, and as a quenching of the
Spirit; and so nothing will satisfy him but the ruin
of them all. He looks upon every sin—
  as a dishonor to God,
  as an enemy to Christ,
  as a wound to the Spirit,
  as a reproach to the gospel,
  as a moth to his holiness—and therefore
his heart and his hand are against every sin.

He looks upon every sin . . .
  as that Judas who betrayed Christ;
  as that Pilate who condemned Christ;
  as those soldiers who scourged Christ;
  as those spears which pierced Christ.
He looks upon every sin as having a hand in the
death of his Savior—and therefore he cries out,
"Crucify them all, crucify them all!"

Look! as every lion has his den, every dog his kennel,
every swine his sty, and every crow his nest—just so,
every unholy person has one sin or another, to which
his heart is engaged and married; and that sin will
undo him forever!

As Lysimachus lost his earthly kingdom by drinking
one draught of water—just so, many lose a heavenly
kingdom by indulging some one sin or another.
One flaw spoils the diamond,
one treason makes a traitor,
one wrong turn brings a man quite out of the way,
one leak sinks the ship,
one wound strikes Goliath dead,
one Delilah betrays Samson,
one broken wheel spoils the whole clock,
one dead fly spoils the whole box of ointment.

And as one bastard son destroyed Gideon's seventy sons,
(Judges 8,)—just so, one predominant sin is enough to
destroy the soul forever. As by taking one nap Samson
lost his strength, and by eating one apple Adam lost his
paradise—just so, many men, by favoring one sin—lose
God, heaven, and their souls forever! He who favors any
sin, though he frowns upon many—does but as Benhadad
—recover of one disease and die of another; yes, he takes
pains to go to hell. Sin favored—always ends tragically.

Sometimes you shall have an unholy person
angry with sin, because it has . . .
  cracked his credit, or
  clouded his honor, or
  hindered his profit, or
  embittered his pleasure, or
  enraged his conscience, or
  exposed him to shame here and hell hereafter;
but never because . . .
  a righteous law is transgressed,
  a holy God is dishonored,
  a loving Savior is afresh crucified,
  or the blessed Spirit grieved.

A holy heart rises against sin because of its defiling nature.
An unholy heart rises against sin because of its damning nature.

A holy man is most afflicted with the evil which is in sin.
An unholy heart is most afflicted with the punishment which is due to sin.

A holy person hates sin because it pollutes his soul.
An unholy person hates it because it destroys his soul.

A holy person loathes sin because it makes against God's holiness.
An unholy person loathes it because it provokes God's justice.

A holy person detests sin because of the hell which is in sin.
An unholy person detests sin because of the hell which follows sin.

A holy heart abhors all sin.
An unholy heart is still in league with some sin.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Many divine miracles

"Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new
: old things are passed away; behold,
 all things are become new!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

In every saved person, there are many divine
; there is . . .
  a dead man—restored to life,
  a dumb man—restored to speech,
  a blind man—restored to sight,
  a deaf man—restored to hearing,
  a lame man—restored to walking,
  a man possessed with devils—possessed with grace,
  a heart of stone—turned into a heart of flesh, and
  a life of wickedness—turned into a life of holiness.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Genuine assurance

Genuine holiness will yield you a heaven hereafter; but
genuine assurance will yield you a heaven here. He
who has holiness and knows it, shall have two heavens
—a heaven of joy, comfort, peace, contentment, and
assurance here—and a heaven of happiness and
blessedness hereafter.

Genuine assurance will be a spring of joy and comfort                       
in you. It will make heavy afflictions light, long afflictions
short, and bitter afflictions sweet. It will make you frequent,
fervent, constant, and abundant in the work of the Lord. It
will strengthen your faith, raise your hope, inflame your love,
increase your patience, and brighten your zeal. It will make
every mercy sweet, every duty sweet, every ordinance sweet,
and every providence sweet. It will rid you of all your sinful
fears and cares. It will give you ease under every burden,
and make death more desirable than life. It will make you
more strong to resist temptation, more victorious over
opposition, and more silent in every difficult condition.

Genuine assurance will turn . . .
  every winter night into a summer's day,
  every cross into a crown, and
  every wilderness into a paradise.

Genuine assurance will be . . .
  a sword to defend you,
  a staff to support you,
  a cordial to strengthen you,
  a medicine to heal you, and
  a star to lead you.

Well, remember this—next to a man's being saved, it is the
greatest mercy in this world—to know that he is saved.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A cooler hell

"God, I thank You that I'm not like other people—greedy,
 unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
 I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get."
    Luke 18:11-12

Many please and satisfy themselves with mere civility and
common morality. They bless themselves that they are not
swearers, nor drunkards, nor extortioners, nor adulterers,
etc. Their behavior is civil, sincere, harmless, and blameless.

But civility is not sanctity. Civility rested in—is but a beautiful
abomination—a smooth way to hell and destruction.

Civility is very often . . .
  the nurse of impiety,
  the mother of flattery, and
  an enemy to real sanctity.
There are those who are so blinded with the fair shows of
civility—that they can neither see the necessity nor beauty
of sanctity. There are those who now bless themselves in
their common morality, whom at last God will scorn and
cast off for lack of real holiness and purity.

A moral man may be an utter stranger . . .
  to God,
  to Christ,
  to Scripture,
  to the filthiness of sin,
  to the depths and devices of Satan,
  to their own hearts,
  to the new birth,
  to the great concerns of eternity,
  to communion with Christ,
  to the secret and inward ways and workings of the Spirit.

Well, sirs, remember this—though the moral man is good for
many things—yet he is not good enough to go to heaven! He
who rises to no higher pitch than civility and morality—shall
never have communion with God in glory. The most moral
man in the world, may be both Christless and graceless.

Morality is not sufficient to keep a man out of eternal misery.
All morality can do, is to help a man to one of the best rooms
and easiest beds which hell affords! For, as the moral man's
sins are not so great as others—so his punishments shall not
be so great as others. This is all the comfort that can be given
to a moral man—that he shall have a cooler hell than
others have. But this is but cold comfort.

Morality without piety is as a body without a soul. Will
God ever accept of such a stinking sacrifice? Surely not!

"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even
 look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have
 mercy on me, a sinner.' I tell you that this man, rather than
 the other, went home justified before God." Luke 18:13-14

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A house of fools!

"The heart of fools is in the house of pleasure."
    Ecclesiastes 7:4

A fool prefers toys and trifles—above things of greatest
worth. Just so, wicked and ungodly men prefer their lusts
before the Lord. Upon choice, they prefer the honors, the
riches and glory of the world—above their own souls and
the great concerns of eternity.

I have read of the foolish people of Ceylon, who preferred
a consecrated ape's tooth—above an incredible mass of
treasure. Such fools are all unholy people, who prefer the
toys, the trifles of this world—above the pleasures and
treasures which are at God's right hand. The world is
full of such fools.

Says one—"If you behold the lives of men, you will judge
the whole world to be a house of fools!" Ah, friends!
What folly can be compared to that of men's spending
their time, their strength, their lives, their souls—in getting
the great things of this world, and neglecting that one thing
necessary—the salvation of their souls! Oh, what vanity is
it to prefer . . .
  a smoke of honor,
  a blast of fame,
  a dream of pleasure,
  a wedge of gold,
  a Babylonish garment,
  and such like transitory trifles and trash
—before a blessed eternity!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

No dirty dogs shall ever trample upon that golden pavement

Throughout the Scriptures, unholy people are branded, to their
everlasting contempt—with the worst appellations. They are the
most dangerous, and the most harmful beings in the world, and
therefore are emblemized . . .
  by lions—for they are cruel, Psalm 22:21;
  by bears—for they are savage, Isaiah 11:7;
  by dragons—for they are hideous, Ezek. 29:3;
  by wolves—for they are ravenous, Ezek. 22:27;
  by dogs—for they are snarling, Rev. 22:15;
  by vipers and scorpions—for they are stinging, Mat. 12:34, Ezek. 2:6;
  by spiders and cockatrices—for they are poisoning, Isaiah 59:5;
  by swine—for they are intemperate, Mat. 7:6.

Remember this—that all these stinging expressions and
appellations which disgrace and vilify unholy people, were
inspired by the Holy Spirit, and published in His holy Word.

The glutton is depicted as a swine;
the fraudulent person is depicted as a fox;
the lustful person is depicted as a goat;
the backbiter is depicted as a barking cur;
the slanderer is depicted as an asp;
the oppressor is depicted as a wolf;
the persecutor is depicted as a tiger;
the seducer is depicted as a serpent.

Do you think that God will admit such vermin as unholy people
are—to eternally inhabit His holy heaven? Surely not! God
has long since resolved upon it—that no unclean beasts shall
enter into heaven—that no dirty dogs shall ever trample
upon that golden pavement
. Certainly God will not allow
such beasts and toads and snakes and serpents—to forever
live with Him! Heaven is a too holy place to admit such
vermin to inhabit!

"Nothing impure will ever enter it." Revelation 21:27

"Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the
 sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone
 who loves and practices falsehood." Revelation 22:15

All in heaven are holy: the angels holy, the saints holy—but
the Lord Himself above all, is most glorious in holiness. Now
certainly it would be a hell to these holy ones to have
unholy wretches to be their eternal companions! When the
holy angels fell from their holiness—heaven was so holy that
it spewed them out! Certainly there will be no room in heaven
for such filthy beasts as unholy people are! 'Jerusalem above'
is too glorious a habitation for beasts—or for men of beastly
spirits, or beastly principles, or beastly practices. The city of
the great God was never built for beasts. A wilderness and
not a paradise—is fittest for beasts.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

An ignorant, profane, and soul-flattering clergy

A preacher's life
should be a commentary upon his
doctrine; his practice should be the counterpart of his
sermons. Heavenly doctrines should always be adorned
with a heavenly life.

An ignorant, profane, and soul-flattering clergy, are
the greatest pest, plague, affliction and judgment, which
can befall a people! There is no rank nor order of men on
earth, who have so enriched hell, who have been such
benefactors to hell—as the ignorant and profane clergy!
How many are there in these days, who are more ready
and willing to make a sacrifice of the gospel—
  for profit's sake,
  and preferment's sake,
  and honor's sake,
  and lust's sake!

Where there is no serious, sincere, faithful, and powerful
preaching—there the people grow abominably wicked, and
will certainly perish, and go tumbling to hell.

Pastors! Either preach as the ministers of Jesus
Christ ought to preach—
and live as the ministers of Jesus Christ ought to live—
—or else lay down your names of being the ministers of
Jesus Christ. Do not any longer cheat upon yourselves,
nor upon the people—by making them believe that you
are ministers of Jesus Christ, when you have
  nothing of the spirit of Christ,
  nor of the anointings of Christ,
  nor of the grace of Christ,
  nor of the life of Christ in you.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The fool's bauble, the fool's fiddle

"The wicked freely strut about, when what is vile is
 honored among men." Psalm 12:8

"They love to indulge in evil pleasures." 2 Peter 2:13.

"Their souls delight in their abominations." Isaiah 66:3

Proverbs 10:23, "A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct."
Evil conduct is the fool's bauble, the fool's fiddle.
Fools take great delight and pleasure in doing evil.
Sin and wickedness are a sport or recreation to a fool.
It is a great pleasure and merriment to a fool—to do

Proverbs 14:9, "Fools make a mock of sin." They make a
jeer of sin—which they should fear more than hell itself!
They make a sport of sin—which will prove a matter of
damnation to them. They make a pastime, a game of
sin—which will make them miserable to all eternity. They
make a mock of sin on earth—for which the devil will mock
and flout them forever in hell.

Justice will at last turn over such fools to Satan, who will
be sure to return mock for mock, jeer for jeer, and flout
for flout. Those who love such kind of pastime, shall have
enough of it in hell. All unbelievers are such fools—for
they delight and take pleasure in sin, which is the most
corrupting and dangerous thing in the world. "And so that
all will be condemned who have not believed the truth, but
have delighted in wickedness." 2 Thessalonians 2:12

Well, sirs! Sin is the poison of the soul, the nakedness of
the soul, the disease of the soul, the burden of the soul—
and if God in mercy does not prevent it—sin will prove the
eternal bane of the soul. Oh, then, how great is their folly,
who delight in sin, and who make a sport of it!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Righteousness exalts a nation

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a
 disgrace to any people." Proverbs 14:34

It is not valor in war—but righteousness;
it is not policy in government—but righteousness;
it is not wittiness of invention—but righteousness;
it is not civility in behavior—but righteousness;
it is not antiquity of laws—but righteousness;
it is not largeness of dominion—but righteousness;
it is not greatness of command—but righteousness
—which is the honor and the safety, the renown
and the security of a nation.

It is not rich mines of gold and silver, nor armies,
nor councils, nor fleets, nor forts—but justice and
righteousness which exalts a nation; and which will
make a lowly people to become a great, a glorious,
and a famous people in the world. That nation which
exalts righteousness—that nation shall be certainly
exalted by righteousness.

Ah! England, England! If injustice shall grow rampant,
and you shall brandish the sword of protection to the
desperate swearer, and to the cruel oppressor, and to
the roaring drunkard, and to the cursing monster; and
shall be a devouring sword to the upright and godly
in the land—divine vengeance will dig your grave, and
divine justice will tumble you into it!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Well, Ladies and Gentlemen

"Without holiness no one will see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14

Well, Ladies and Gentlemen—Do you think that it is good to
be going to hell—that it is good to be dwelling with everlasting
burnings—that it is good to be forever separated from the
glorious presence of God? Do you think that it is good to forever
lie a-sweltering under the wrath of an infinitely just God, and to
abide forever and ever under those pains and torments which
are endless, easeless, hopeless, and remediless? Do you think
that it is good to be fettered with devils and damned spirits for
all eternity?

"Oh no! this cannot be good! for the very thoughts of these
things are enough to raise a hell on this side hell—in our hearts!"

Oh then, with all your might press after holiness, and pursue hard
after holiness—as after the one thing necessary; for without holiness
you shall as certainly go to hell—as holy people shall certainly go to
heaven! Oh that you would forever remember this—that without all
question, you shall never be saved, unless you are sanctified; you
shall never be truly and eternally happy, unless you are truly holy!

"Without holiness no one will see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Oh stand and wonder!

"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon
 us—that we should be called the sons of God." 1 John 3:1

It is an infinite condescension in God, to honor us with the
title of sons, and therefore we should never think of it, nor
ever speak of it—but with much admiration. O sirs! what
matter of admiration is this—that the great and glorious
God, who has many millions of glorious angels attending
Him—that He should . . .
  look upon all holy people as His sons, 
  and love them as His sons,
  and delight in them as His sons,
  and clothe them as His sons,
  and feed them as His sons,
  and protect them as His sons,
  and stand by them as His sons,
  and lay up for them as His sons,
  and lay out Himself for them as His sons;
that those who have not deserved . . .
  a smile from God,
  a good word from God,
  a bit of bread from God,
  or a good look from God,
should be made the sons of God!

What manner of love is this—that those who have . . .
  so highly provoked God,
  walked so cross and contrary to God,
  were so exceedingly unlike God,
  preferred every lust, and every toy and vanity before God,
  fought many years under Satan's banner against God,
  refused all the offers of mercy that have been made by God,
—that those who have deserved to be reprobated by God,
damned by God, and to be thrown to hell by God—that
these should be made the sons of God!

Oh stand and wonder! Oh stand and admire the
freeness of His grace, and the riches of His grace!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Splendida peccata

O sirs, all our pious works and services must be wrought . . .
  from God,
  for God,
  in God, and
  according to God—
or else they will be but splendida peccata—splendid sins!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Rejoice that your names are written in heaven!

"And anyone whose name was not found recorded
 in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire!"
     Revelation 20:15

"Rejoice that your names are written in heaven!"
    Luke 10:20

It is matter of the greatest joy in the world, for a man
to have his name enrolled in heaven. Look! as it is the
sinner's hell that his name is engraved in the book of
damnation; just so, it is the believer's heaven that his
name is engraved in the book of election.

There are many who are exceedingly inquisitive to know
whether their names are written in heaven or not. I
would say to such—there is no such way to know this
—as by your holiness. Have you broken off your sins
by sound repentance? Has the gospel changed your
inside and your outside? Has it made you a new creature,
and turned you from darkness to light, and from the power
of Satan to Jesus Christ? etc. Then, without all question,
your name is written in heaven, and you are the person
who has the greatest cause in the world to rejoice!

"Rejoice that your names are written in heaven!"
    Luke 10:20

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

But the truth is

Many there are, who are accounted . . .
  deep scholars,
  great linguists,
  profound philosophers,
  good grammarians,
  excellent mathematicians,
  sharp logicians,
  cunning politicians,
  fine rhetoricians,
  sweet musicians, etc.

But the truth is, he is the best grammarian—who
has learned to speak the truth from his heart; and
he is the best astronomer—who has his thoughts in
heaven; and he is the best musician—who has learned
practically to sing out the praises of God; and he is the
best arithmetician—who knows how to number his days;
and he is the best philosopher—who every day grows
holier and holier; and he is the best skilled in economics
—who trains up his family in the fear of the Lord; and
he is the best politician—who is as good at taking and
giving Scriptural counsel; and he is the best linguist
who speaks the language of Canaan.

The holy Christian is the best man in the world, nay,
he is such a one "of whom this world is not worthy,"
and therefore God cannot but take singular pleasure
and delight in him.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

His window in all our hearts

"Does He not see my ways and number all my steps?"
    Job 31:4

The eye of God had so strong an influence upon Job's
heart and life, that it wrought him up to a very high
pitch of holiness. The scholar writes most exactly while
his teacher's eye is upon him; and the child walks most
exactly while his father's eye is upon him; and the servant
works most exactly while his master's eye is upon him;
and so certainly all the sons and servants of the most
high God do hear most exactly, and pray most exactly,
and walk most exactly—when they see themselves as
in the presence of the great God—who is all sight, who
is all eye!

Ah friends! as ever you would be high in holiness, have
a serious apprehension of God's presence; set yourselves
daily as in His sight, as under His eye. Remember, though
a man may easily baffle his conscience, and deceive the
world—yet he shall never be able to baffle or deceive
God's omniscient eye! God has His window in all our
, and exactly and narrowly observes all that is
done within us, and all that is done by us!

If the serious consideration of His sharp, piercing,
all-seeing eye
will not influence us to labor after the
highest degrees of holiness, I know not what will.

"I have kept Your precepts and decrees, for all
 my ways are before You." Psalm 119:168

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

More comforts, sweetness, and pleasantness

A holy life affords the greatest ground of rejoicing.
There is no pleasure nor felicity compared to that
which flows from the ways of sanctity.

The sweetest roses, the strongest comforts, and the
greatest pleasantness—is to be found in the ways of
holiness. Oh the joy, the peace, the tranquility, the
serenity—which attends the ways of purity! Christians
have more comforts, sweetness, and pleasantness,
in one hour's communion with God, in one hour's walking
with God—than ever they have found in all their former
ways of ungodliness and wickedness.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Mourning for sin and holy joy

"As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing." 2 Corinthians 6:10

Godly sorrow is the parent of holy joy; a godly man's
mourning time is his most joyful time. Tears are the
breeders of spiritual joy. A holy man's heart is usually
fullest of joy—when his eyes are fullest of tears. The
bee gathers the best honey from the bitterest herbs.
Christ made the best wine from water; the best, the
purest, the strongest, and the sweetest joys—are made
from the purified waters of evangelical repentance.

Mourning for sin and holy joy are consistent in
one and the same heart. The same eye of faith which
drops tears of sorrow—also drops tears of joy. A clear
sight of free grace, of pardoning mercy, and of a
bleeding dying Savior—will fill the soul both with
sorrow and joy at the same time. A Christian always
joys most, and mourns most—when he is most under
the sense of divine love and mercy, the influences of
heaven, the hopes of glory, and the precious fillings
of the blessed Spirit.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The best way to be holy

"Turn to the Lord with weeping and with mourning."
    Joel 2:12

The best way to be holy is to accuse, indict, arraign,
and condemn yourself for your unholiness. Greatly
lament and mourn over your own unholiness, over
your own wickedness. The first step to holiness, is
melting and mourning over a man's own unholiness.
Go to your closet, and fall down before the most
high and holy God, and mourn bitterly over . . .
  the unholiness of your nature,
  the unholiness of your heart,
  the unholiness of your affections,
  the unholiness of your intentions,
  the unholiness of your resolutions,
  the unholiness of your expressions,
  the unholiness of your life.

Oh, who can look upon sin . . .
  as an offence against a holy God,
  as the breach of a holy law,
  as the wounding and crucifying of a holy Savior,
  as the grieving and saddening  of a holy Sanctifier,
  as an eternal loss and undoing of his own soul—
and not mourn over it?

Oh, who can cast a serious eye . . .
  upon the nature of sin,
  upon the exceeding sinfulness of sin,
  upon the aggravations of sin—
and not have . . .
  his heart humbled,
  his soul grieved, and
  his spirit melted for sin?

Oh, who can look upon sin as it strikes at . . .
  the honor of God,
  the name of God,
  the being of God,
  the glory of God,
  the design of God—
and not have . . .
  his mouth full of penitential confessions,
  his eyes full of penitential tears, and
  his heart full of penitential sorrow?

The Christian mourns that he has sinned against . . .
  a God so great,
  a God so gracious,
  a God so bountiful,
  a God so merciful.

Oh, how should a sinner fall a-weeping when he
looks upon the greatness of his wickedness and
his lack of holiness! As ever you would be holy,
mourn over your own unholiness.

Those who weep not for sin here—shall weep
out their eyes in hell hereafter. It is better to
weep bitterly for your sins on earth, than to
weep eternally for your folly in hell.

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they
 will be comforted." Matthew 5:4

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The graces which are in Christians

"As He is—so are we in this world." 1 John 4:17

To be a holy person is to know a holy Christ, to
be in love with a holy Christ, and to imitate the
virtues of a holy Christ.

"Indeed, we have all received grace after grace
 from His fullness." John 1:16

There is no grace in Christ—which is not in some
degree formed in a holy heart, and therefore the
work of grace and holiness is called a forming of
Christ in the soul, Gal. 4:19. Holy hearts have the
very prints, stamps, and impressions of the graces
of Jesus Christ upon them!

The graces which are in Christians correspond
to the graces which are in Jesus—in truth and reality,
though not in degree and quantity. It is the height
of a Christian's glory to tread in the virtuous steps
of his dearest Lord.

The Christian labors to resemble Christ in all things,
especially in those holy virtues which were most
shining in the heart and life of Christ.

"Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as
 Jesus did." 1 John 2:6

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

To fill heaven with hells

"Man, who is vile and corrupt, who drinks up evil
 like water!" Job 15:16

A wicked man is a sin-lover; he is a sin-maker,
he lives in sin upon choice.

All profane people . . .
  give up themselves to wickedness,
  wallow in all ungodliness,
  delight themselves in all manner of filthiness,
  commit wickedness with greediness,
  draw iniquity and sin with cords of vanity,
  weary themselves to commit iniquity,
  are so desperately set upon wickedness,
that neither the rod of God, the lashes and checks of
their own consciences, nor the flashes of hell upon their
souls—can stop them. They are resolved that they will
gratify their lusts—though they damn their souls; and
that will live wickedly—though they perish eternally!

By custom in sin, they have destroyed all conscience
of sin, and contracted such desperate hardness upon
their own hearts, as neither . . .
  God's smiles nor frowns,
  God's promises nor threatenings,
  life nor death,
  heaven nor hell,
can possibly hinder them.

The hearts and ways of wicked men are full of
hells; and therefore to fill heaven with such,
would be to fill heaven with hells.

Certainly God will shut the gates of glory upon
such workers of iniquity. These souls are . . .
  sadly abandoned by God, and
  woefully blinded by Satan, and
  fully ripened for ruin.

"All will be damned who have not believed the truth but
 have delighted in wickedness." 2 Thessalonians 2:12

"Unless you are converted . . . you will never enter
 the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

For the toys and trifles of this world

Natural fools make the most stupid and injurious exchanges.
They will exchange a pearl—for a pin; things of greatest worth
and value—for a feather, a ribbon, a toy, a trifle. The foolish
Indians prefer every toy and trifle—above their mines of gold.

All unholy people are spiritual fools. They will exchange
spirituals—for carnals; and eternals—for temporals. They
will exchange God, Christ, the gospel, heaven, and their
souls—for a lust, for a little of the world's smiles, pleasures,
or profits. They will exchange their eternal soul—
for the
toys and trifles of this world.

"What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
    Matthew 16:26

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

His treasured possession

"For you are a people holy to the Lord your God.
 The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the
 peoples on the face of the earth to be His people,
 His treasured possession." Deuteronomy 7:6

God makes . . .
  many rich, and
  many great, and
  many honorable, and
  many mighty, and
  many wise, and
  many noble, and
  many beautiful, and
  many successful—
whom He will never make holy.

But in making you holy—God has made you spiritually
great, rich, honorable, wise, and beautiful, etc. Holiness
is a singular fruit of God's special favor and love.

God has a common favor and love for all men, yes,
for the worst of men; witness that common preservation,
and common protection, and common provision—which
He grants to them. But God has a special love and
—and this runs out only to His holy ones.

is a divine beam, a heavenly drop, a
choice pledge of God's special favor and love.

O sirs! though the world may slight you, and enemies
revile you, and friends disfavor you—yet let this support
you, let this rejoice you—that you are God's treasured

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Halifax nuts

A man may be visibly holy—who is not inwardly holy.
A man may have an outward dress of holiness upon him
—who has not the spirit and vitality of holiness in him.

They say of Halifax nuts, that they are all shells—with
no kernels. Just so, there are many who make a glorious
show before men—who are abominable in the sight of
God, who are gold in man's eyes—but dirt in God's sight.

"In the same way, on the outside you appear to people
 as righteous; but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy
 and wickedness." Matthew 23:28

They were outwardly religious—but inwardly wicked; they
had the semblance of sanctity—but inwardly very full of
impurity; they were fair professors—but foul sinners; they
were gracious without—but impious within. Look! as those
are the worst of vices which are covered over with the show
of virtue; so they are the worst of sinners, who cover over
their inward filthiness with the disguises of outward holiness.

The Egyptian temples were fair on the outside—but foul and
filthy within. Such were the Scribes and Pharisees in Christ's
days—and such are many professors in our days.

God will at last hate that man to hell, yes, cast him into the
hottest place in hell—who has a form of godliness upon him;
but nothing of the reality and power of holiness in him.

"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape
 being condemned to hell?" Matthew 23:33

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~


A holy heart

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
 kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and
 self-control." Galatians 5:22-23

A holy heart is always attended with a holy life.

All holy habits must be brought forth into holy acts. All
gracious habits must be attended with gracious motions,
gracious operations, and a gracious life. Outward works
must be suitable to inward habits. It is with spiritual habits
as it is with natural habits—the more they are acted and
exercised—the more they are increased and strengthened.
Holy habits are golden talents that must be employed and
improved. Where there is holiness of disposition, there
must be, there will be—holiness of living.

Where there are the seeds of holiness, there will be
the flowers of holiness.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

An epitome of all vanity

"Truly, every man at his best state is altogether vanity."
    Psalm 39:5

By Adam's fall, man has become a pile of dust, a puff of
wind; a dream; a shadow; a puff of smoke; a poor silly flea,
a worm, a debased soul, a curious nothing. Yes, man having
fallen from his primitive glory, has become altogether vanity,
says the prophet in Psalm 39:5, "Truly, every man at his best
state is altogether vanity." Truly, every man—not some man,
but every man at his best state, when he is in the height and
perfection of all creature comforts and contentments, is
altogether, not in some measure—but altogether, vanity—all
vanity. Since the fall of Adam every natural man in his best
estate is vanity; nay, every man is every vanity. Imagine
whatever vanity you will—fallen man is that. He is a
comprehensive vanity—he is an epitome of all vanity.

Man in honor, before his fall, was the best of creatures; but
since his fall, he has become the worst of creatures. By his
fall he is fallen below the very beasts which perish. He who
was once the image of God, the glory of paradise, the world's
ruler, and the Lord's darling—has now become a burden to
heaven, a burden to himself.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The ungodly flatter themselves

The ungodly flatter themselves that God is made up all
of mercy, and believe that they shall go to heaven—until they
awake with everlasting flames about their ears—as you may
see in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

God suddenly casts sinners to hell—He suddenly sweeps
them away—He cuts them off suddenly. When they say,
"Surely the bitterness of death is past, and everlasting
wrath is past, and hell is past, and eternal ruin is past,"
then suddenly God cuts them off, and gives them their
portion with devils and damned spirits!

"Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will
 suddenly be destroyed—without remedy." Proverbs 6:15

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Where will all these men be
within a hundred years?

Xerxes, when he viewed his almost innumerable army
of men, fell a-weeping, saying, "Where will all these
men be within a hundred years?
" He wept to think
that all that mighty army would be in their graves
within a hundred years.

Ah, what cause of weeping is there, when we behold
the multitudes in the world, considering that within a
few years—most of them may be in hell!

"As He approached and saw the city, He wept over it."
    Luke 19:41

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Different measures and degrees of holiness

All saints are not alike holy. Some are more holy, and
others are less holy; in some saints the springs of holiness
runs low, in others the springs of holiness rise very high.
Holiness thrives not alike in all saints. God never distributes
holiness alike to all. To some He gives more, to others less,
according to the good pleasure of His grace.

All saints are equally justified, and equally pardoned,
and equally reconciled, and equally accepted—but all
saints are not equally sanctified.

Christ has not
  work alike for all saints to do, nor
  burdens alike for all saints to bear, nor
  mercies alike for all saints to improve, nor
  temptations alike for all saints to resist, nor
  difficulties alike for saints to grapple with, nor
  dangers alike for all saints to encounter with,
therefore He gives not a like measure of holiness
to all—but to some more, to others less, according
as their condition requires. Some saints stand in
need of a great deal more grace and holiness
than others do.

God gives different measures and degrees of
among His people as their needs require.

All that holiness which any man has, whether it is
little, or whether it is much—is all of grace, it is all
of free-grace. Therefore let every Christian . . .
  improve it,
  be thankful for it, and
  walk humbly under it.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Sweeten all your bitters

"We know that God causes everything to work together
 for the good of those who love God and are called
 according to His purpose." Romans 8:28.

When a man's heart is once sanctified, then all things
are sanctified to him
. O sirs! this is so great and so
glorious a privilege, that it is more worth than a world,
yes, than many worlds. It is a great mercy—that all
things may be sanctified to him—that is, that all things
may so work, as to make him more and more holy
that every cross may make him more holy, and
that every comfort may make him more holy;
that every mercy may make him more holy, and
that every misery may make him more holy;
that every ordinance may make him more holy, and
that every providence may make him more holy;
that every affliction at home may make him more holy, and
that every judgment abroad may make him more holy.

Every condition is sweet when it is sanctified to us:
sickness is as sweet as health when it is sanctified to us:
weakness is as sweet as strength when it is sanctified to us;
poverty is as sweet as riches when it is sanctified to us;
disgrace is as sweet as honor when it is sanctified to us;
bonds are as sweet as liberty when they are sanctified to us;
death is as sweet as life when it is sanctified to us.

Look! as no condition can be a happy condition which is
not a sanctified condition—just so, no condition can be a
miserable condition, which is a sanctified condition. Now
this is only the holy man's privilege, the holy man's mercy
—to have every estate and every condition sanctified unto
him; and this indeed is the cream and crown of all our
mercies—to have them sanctified unto us, ay, and every
bitter will be sweet, yes very sweet, when it is sanctified
unto us.

What though your mercies, O Christian, are fewer than
others', and lesser than others', and leaner than others',
and shorter than others'—yet you have no reason to
complain, as long as your mercies are sanctified mercies.

What though . . .
  your trials are greater than others', and
  your burden is heavier than others', and
  your sorrows are deeper than others', and
  your crosses comes thicker than others'
—yet you have no cause to complain,
as long as they are sanctified.

Are you a holy person? Oh then remember for
your comfort, that . . .
every bit of bread you eat is sanctified, and
every draught you drink is sanctified, and
every suit of clothes you wear is sanctified;
the beds you lie on are sanctified, and
the stools you sit on are sanctified;
the very air you breathe in is sanctified, and
the very ground you tread on is sanctified;
every penny in your purse is sanctified, and
every dollar in your shop is sanctified;
whatever you have at home is sanctified, and
whatever you have abroad is sanctified.

Oh! how should the sense of these things . . .
  sweeten all your bitters, and
  turn your hell into heaven, and
  wipe all tears from your eyes, and
  turn your sighing into singing, and
  your mourning into rejoicing, etc.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Inward and spiritual duties of religion

Christians who have but small measures of grace and
holiness; and hypocrites and formalists who have not
the least measure of true grace and holiness—these
are most commonly exercised and busied about the
external duties and services of religion; but very
seldom, very rare, shall you find them in the more
inward and spiritual duties of religion.

The external duties of religion are . . .
  hearing the word preached,
  reading the word,
  singing of psalms,
  Christian fellowship, and
  receiving the Lord's supper.

The internal and spiritual duties of religion are . . .
  self-resignation to God,
  divine meditation,
  praying in the Spirit,
  watchfulness over the heart,
  making application of . . .
    the blood of Christ,
    the death of Christ,
    the grace of Christ,
    the love of Christ,
    the word of Christ—to one's own soul.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Out of pious duties!

Ah, how lively, how warm, how enlarged, how holy, how
humble, how heavenly, how spiritual, how serious, how
zealous, how pious, how gracious are many—in pious
; but ah! how dead, how cold, how straitened, how
unholy, how proud, how worldly, how carnal, how slight,
and how irreligious are they out of pious duties! Now,
certainly, these have either no holiness at all—or else
they have attained to but a very little measure of

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A great degree of holiness

The more a man conflicts with heart sins, with spiritual
sins, with invisible sins—with sins which lie most hidden
and obscure from the eyes of the world—and the more
spiritual victories and conquests a man obtains over
them—the greater measure of holiness that person has
certainly attained to.

A little grace, a little holiness, will work a man to conflict
  with gross sins,
  with outward sins,
  with bodily sins,
  with open sins, which everyone may set their eyes on.

Yes, where there is no grace, no holiness at all,
  the light of nature,
  the common convictions of the Spirit,
  the laws of men,
  the eyes of men,
  the threats of men,
  the examples of men,
  the smarting rod, or
  a good education,
may work men to conflict with such sins.

Oh, but when all the strength and might of the
soul is engaged against those very sins that lie
not within the sight or reach of the most sharp
and piercing men in the world—but in the heart,
and about the heart, and are only obvious to
God's omniscient eye—this argues a great
degree of holiness

When the heart rises with all its
strength and might against . . .
  secret pride,
  secret self-love,
  secret bubblings of lusts,
  secret carnal confidence,
  secret murmuring,
  secret hypocrisy,
  secret envy,
  secret self-applause,
  secret malice,
  secret hatred,
  secret snares,
  secret temptations, etc.,
it is an evidence that holiness has grown
up to some considerable height there!
It is not an easy thing, to overcome those flaming
lusts and corruptions which are in our own hearts.
Only grace, only holiness, can enable us to
overcome our lusts—our heart lusts.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Most of hell in their souls

That those who have . . .
  most of hell in their mouths, and
  most of hell in their hearts, and
  most of hell in their lives—should
have most of hell in their souls
at last, is but justice.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The hottest and the darkest place in hell

"Woe unto you, scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites, for
 you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make
 long prayers; therefore you shall receive the greater
 damnation." Matthew 23:14

Hypocrites shall be double damned! The hottest and
the darkest place in hell
is reserved for them!

For number and weight, there are no torments in hell,
compared to the torments of hypocrites. Counterfeit
sanctity is double iniquity—and therefore it is but
justice that the hypocrite should have double torment.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Pursue after holiness

Pursue . . . holiness—without it no one will see
 the Lord."
Hebrews 12:14

O sirs, shall the ambitious person pursue after his honors,
and the voluptuous person after his pleasures, and the
pursue after his gain, and the wanton pursue
after his harlots, and the drunkard pursue after his full
cups, etc.; and shall not Christians much more pursue
after holiness

O sirs, the way of holiness is . . .
  the safest way,
  the noblest way,
  the sweetest way,
  the cleanest way,
  the pleasantest way,
  the happiest way;
therefore hold on, and hold up in that way.
"Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her
 paths are peace." Proverbs 3:17

We hold on in a way of holiness, notwithstanding
all the rocks and obstacles and difficulties that we
meet with in that way.

O sirs, in the face of all your sins and unworthiness,
God holds on in ways of mercy towards you; and why
then should not you hold on in ways of sanctity towards
Him? Shall Satan persevere in his enmity against holiness?
And shall wicked men persevere in their opposition to
holiness? And shall formalists persevere in their neglect
of holiness? And will not you persevere in your pursuit
of holiness?

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A mixed condition

The condition of God's people in this life is a mixed
. In this life they have . . .
  their rejoicing times and their mourning times,
  their laughing times and their weeping times,
  their singing times and their sorrowing times, etc.

It is true, in heaven there is . . .
  all joy and no sorrow,
  all gladness and no sadness;
and in hell there is . . .
  all sorrow and no joy,
  all grief and no gladness,
  all howling and no singing,
  all madness and no mirth.

But in this present life it is otherwise, for if
there would be nothing but joy, many would
look for no other heaven; and if there should
be nothing but sorrow, most would look for
no other hell. If men should have nothing but
joy—how sadly would they be puffed up! And
if they should have nothing but sorrow—how
easily would they be cast down! But now, by
a divine hand, our sorrows being mixed with
our joys—our hearts come to be the more
effectually weaned from the vanities of this
life, and to long more earnestly after the
pure and unmixed joys in the world of glory.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

They play and fool away their precious time

Think on the brevity, shortness, and preciousness of time.

Time is so precious a thing, that mountains of gold and
rocks of pearl, cannot redeem one lost moment!

Ah, what a precious commodity would time be in hell,
where for one day to repent, yes, for one hour to seek
after holiness—a man would give ten thousand worlds,
were they in his hands to dispose of.

Time is so costly a jewel that few know how to value
it and prize it at a due rate. Most are lavishly and
profusely wasteful of that precious time which is their
greatest interest to redeem! Time is a precious talent,
yet most trifle away, play away, idle away, yes,
grossly sin away their precious time! They play
and fool away their precious time
, until the
candle of life goes out, and then they go to their
graves in sorrow, yes, then go to hell in the dark!

He who makes no conscience of trifling away
his precious time, shall one day experience the
terribleness of eternal darkness.

The poets paint time with wings—to show the rapidity
and swiftness of it. O sirs, if the sense of the brevity,
shortness, and preciousness of time did but lie in its
full weight upon your spirits, it would certainly put
you upon a speedy and earnest pursuit after holiness!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Ah, sirs!

Ah, sirs! It may be that there are but a few weeks,
nay, a few days, nay, perhaps but a few hours—
  between your souls and eternity,
  between your souls and everlasting burnings,
  between your souls and a devouring fire,
  between your souls and damnation!
Will you not then pray and mourn, and mourn and
pray, for that holiness, without which there is no
happiness, yes, without which hell and destruction
will be forever your portion?

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A sinner never looks so sweetly

"She stood behind Him at His feet, weeping, and began
 to wash His feet with her tears. She wiped His feet with
 the hair of her head, kissing them and anointing them
 with the fragrant oil." Luke 7:38

A sinner never looks so sweetly, as when he weeps
most penitentially. Though God is displeased with a sinner's
sins—yet He is very well pleased with a sinner's tears, and
therefore has a bottle for them. It is a great pleasure to
God—to see a sinner drown his sins in a deluge of
penitential tears.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
A wolf turned into a man!

The myth tells of Lycaon being turned into a wolf; but
when a worldling is made holy, there is a wolf turned
into a man!
Yes, a devil is turned into a saint!

Therefore the Holy Spirit, speaking of Zaccheus, who
had long been bewitched by the world, brings him in
with a "Behold!"—as if it were a wonder of wonders
that ever such a worldling should be made holy.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Let Christ be hanged!

Men bewitched with the world will prefer a Barabbas before
a Jesus. They will with Judas betray Christ, and with Pilate
condemn Christ, and with the Scribes and Pharisees they
will cry out, "Crucify him! crucify him! Away with this Jesus!
Away with this Jesus! Let Barabbas live—but let Jesus die!
Let Barabbas be saved—but let Christ be hanged!"

Ah, what incarnate devils will such men prove, who are
bewitched with this world!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Take heed of the witch

"For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now
 I tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the
 cross of Christ; whose end is destruction, whose God is
 their belly, and whose glory is their shame—who mind
 earthly things
." Philippians 3:18-19

Who were those who walked disorderly?
why, those who minded earthly things.

Who were those who fetched tears from the apostle's eyes?
why, those who minded earthly things.

Who were those who were enemies to the cross of Christ?
why, those who minded earthly things.

Who were those whose end is destruction?
why, those who minded earthly things.

Who were those whose God was their belly?
why, those who minded earthly things.

Who were those whose glory was their shame?
why, those who minded earthly things.

The world proves silken halters to some,
and golden fetters to others.

If ever you would be holy—oh, then take heed of the
—take heed of the world! The world often swells
the heart with pride; it makes men forget God, neglect
Christ, slight ordinances, and despise holiness. Ah, the
time, the thoughts, the strength, the energies—which
this enticing world has made many to spend and consume,
while their souls have lain a-bleeding, and eternity has been
hastening upon them! Oh, the deadness, the barrenness,
the listlessness, the heartlessness to anything which is
holy—which attends a worldly temper!

Many are so bewitched with the profits, pleasures, and
honors of the world, that they mind not holiness, they
regard not holiness, they care not for holiness.

The flowers of this world, are surrounded with many briers.
The world is all shadow and vanity; it is like Jonah's gourd
—you may sit under its shadow for a while, but it soon
decays and dies. He who shall but weigh . . .
  man's pains with his pay,
  his miseries with his pleasures,
  his sorrows with his joys,
  his crosses with his comforts,
  his needs with his enjoyments, etc.,
may well cry out, "Vanity of vanity, and all is vanity."

The whole world is circular, the heart of man is triangular,
and we know a circle cannot fill a triangle. If the whole
earth were changed into a globe of gold, it could not fill
your heart.

O sirs, if your hearts are not filled with holiness—they will
be filled with the world, the flesh, and the devil. Either
holiness or Satan must possess you.

Is it not infinitely better to have holiness without the world,
and so be happy forever—than to have much of the world
without holiness, and so be damned forever?

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A devil in an angel's dress

"Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin
 will not be your downfall." Ezekiel 18:30

True repentance is a turning, not from some sin—but
from every sin. Every sin strikes at the law of God, the
honor of God, the being of God, and the glory of God;
and therefore the penitent must strike at all. Every sin
fetches blood from the heart of Christ, and every sin is
a grief and vexation to the Holy Spirit—and therefore
the penitent must set upon crucifying of all.

Herod turned from many sins—but not from his Delilah,
his Herodias, which was his ruin! Judas, you know, was
a devil in an angel's dress
; he seemed to be turned
from every sin—but he was a secret thief, he loved the
money bag; and that golden devil, covetousness, choked
him, and hanged him at last! Saul for a time turned from
several evils—but his sparing one, Agag, cost him his
soul and his kingdom at once!

He who had the spot of leprosy in any one part of his
body was accounted a leper, although all the rest of
his body were sound and whole, Lev. 13. Just so, he
who has but one spot, one sin which he does not
endeavor to wash out in the blood of Christ, and in
the tears of true repentance—he is a leper in the
account of God.

The true penitent is for the mortifying of every lust
which has had a hand in crucifying of his dearest Savior.

The sin-sick soul must break, not some—but all its idols
in pieces, before a cure will follow. It must deface its
golden idols, its most costly idols, its most darling idols!
The returning sinner must make headway against all his
sins, and trample upon all his lusts—or else he will die
and be undone forever!

"Then you will defile your idols overlaid with silver and
 your images covered with gold; you will throw them
 away like a menstrual cloth and say to them—Away
 with you!
" Isaiah 30:22

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A great nothing

"The next day Agrippa and Bernice arrived at the auditorium
with great pomp." Acts 25:23. That is, with great phantasy
or vain show. All the honor, pomp, and accolade of this world
is but a phantasy. Worldly honor is but a great nothing—a
glorious illusion, a shadow, a dream.

Great swelling titles are but as so many rattles, or as
so many feathers in men's caps. Worldly honor is but
a wind, which will blow a man the sooner to hell.

Adonibezek, a mighty prince, is quickly made to eat
scraps from under the table with the dogs. Judges 1:7.

Nebuchadnezzar, a mighty conqueror, turned a-grazing
among the oxen. Daniel 4:28.

Herod is reduced from a conceited god—to be the most
loathsome of men, a living carrion attacked by worms,
the vilest of creatures. Acts 12:23.

Great Haman feasted with the king one day, and
made a feast for crows the next day. Esther 7:10.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Not one unholy one among them all!

"Without holiness no one will see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14

O, do not deceive your own souls! Holiness is of absolute
necessity; without it you shall never see the Lord!

There are many thousand thousands now in heaven—but
not one unholy one among them all! There is . . .
  not one sinner among all those saints;
  not one goat among all those sheep;
  not one weed among all those flowers;
  not one thorn or prickle among all those roses;
  not one pebble among all those glistening diamonds;
  not one Cain among all those Abels;
  not one Judas among all the apostles;
  nor one Demas among all the preachers;
  not one Simon Magus among all the professors.

Heaven is only for the holy man—and the holy man
alone, is for heaven.

Without holiness here—no heaven hereafter! "And there
shall never enter into it, anything that defiles." Rev. 21:27.
God will at last shut the gates of glory against every
person who is without heart-purity.

If a man had . . .
  the wisdom of Solomon,
  the strength of Samson,
  the courage of Joshua,
  the policy of Ahithophel,
  the power of Ahasuerus, and
  the eloquence of Apollos;
yet all these without holiness would never save him.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A golden Christian

A true Christian will be holy among the unholy. He will
retain and keep his holiness, let the times be ever so unholy.

If you take him among unholy friends—you shall find him holy.

If you take him at his table—you shall find him holy.

If you take him in his shop—you shall find him holy.

If you take him in his family—you shall find him holy.

If you take him in his closet—you shall find him holy.

If you take him in his journeyings—you shall find him holy.

If you take him in his recreations—you shall find him holy.

A holy Christian is like gold. Cast gold into the fire, or
into the water; cast it upon the ash-heap, or into the
pleasant garden; cast it among the poor or among the
rich, among the religious or among the licentious—yet
still it is gold, still it retains its purity and excellency.
Just so, cast a holy Christian—a golden Christian
into whatever condition you will, and into what company
you will—and still he will retain his purity, his sanctity!
Yes, the worse the times are, the more a holy man
studies holiness, and prefers holiness, and prizes
holiness, and practices holiness.

The godly man is four square. Cast him where you will,
like a dice, he always falls sure and square. Just so, cast
a holy man where you will, and into what company you
will—yet still he falls sure and square for holiness. True
holiness is a part of the divine nature; it is of such a
heavenly complexion, that it will never alter.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Greek and Hebrew

A holy minister aims at the glory of God in all that he does.
He labors to hide and conceal all his human excellencies,
which may in any way tend to obscure, eclipse, or darken
the glory of God.

"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

Mr. Dod was accustomed to say that "so much Greek and
in a sermon—was so much fleshly ostentation
in a sermon!" When men come to pulpit-work, all plainness
must be used. Starched oratory may tickle the brain—but
it is plain doctrine . . .
  which informs the judgment,
  which convinces the conscience,
  which bows the will, and
  which wins the heart.
That sermon has most learning in it—which has most
plainness in it. And therefore a great scholar was
accustomed to say, "Lord, give me learning enough
that I may preach plain enough."

Silly, ignorant people are very apt to dote upon that most,
and admire that most—which they understand least! But
prudent Christians judge of ministers . . .
  not by their throats—but by their hearts and lives;
  not by their voices and tones—but by the plainness,
spiritualness, suitableness, and usefulness of their matter.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The baits which these men bite at
There are three things in a holy heart, which strongly
incline it to persevere when all outward encouragements fail.

The first is a forcible principle—divine love.

The second is a mighty aid—the Spirit of God.

The third is a high aim—the glory of God.

But it is otherwise with those who have only a show of godliness.
Let but their outward encouragements fail them; let but the eye,
the ear, the applause of the creature fail them; if they cannot
make some gain of their godliness, some profit of their profession,
some advantage of their religion—they are ready, with Demas, to
throw off all! Profit and applause are usually the baits which
these men bite at
; and if they miss these baits—then farewell
profession, farewell religion, farewell all!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The bulls-eye

"For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies
 to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we
 die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we
 belong to the Lord." Romans 14:7-8.

A genuine Christian ordinarily has holy aims and ends in his
actings and undertakings. The glory of God is the mark—the
which holy men have in their eyes.  They live not
to themselves—but they live to Him who lives forever. They
live not to their own wills, lusts, greatness, and glory in this
world—but they live to His glory, whose glory is dearer to
them than their very lives. They make God's glory their
ultimate end. The daily language of their souls is, "Not
unto us, Lord, not unto us, Lord—but to Your name be all
the glory!"

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do—do
 it all for the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

Holy hearts habitually eye the glory of Christ in all things.
When they eat—they eat to His glory;
when they drink—they drink to His glory;
when they sleep—they sleep to His glory;
when they buy—they buy for His glory;
when they sell—they sell for His glory;
when they give—they give for His glory;
when they recreate themselves—they recreate for His glory;
when they hear preaching—they hear for His glory;
when they pray—they pray for His glory;
when they fast—they fast for His glory;
when they read Scripture—they read for His glory;
when they come to the Lord's table—they come to His glory.

In all secular and pious actions—holy hearts have a
habitual eye to divine glory. Selfish and base ends
and aims, will too often creep into the holiest hearts,
but holy hearts sigh and groan under them; and it is
the strong and earnest desires of their souls to be rid
of them. But take a holy Christian in his ordinary, usual,
and habitual course—and he will have holy aims and
in all his actions and undertakings.

"To Him be the glory and the power forever and ever!
 Amen." 1 Peter 4:11

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

I hate vain thoughts

"I hate vain thoughts." Psalm 119:113

The heart of a holy man rises against secret sins,
against such as lie furthest off from the eye of man.
What is more secret than vain thoughts? And yet
against these, the heart of a holy man rises.

Hezekiah humbled himself for "the pride of his heart."
Heart-sins lie most hidden and secret; and yet for
these, a holy man humbles himself.

A holy man knows that secret sins are sins—as well as
those which are open. He knows that secret sins must
be repented of—as well as others. He knows that God
takes notice of secret sins—as well as of open sins. He
knows that secret sins—like secret diseases and secret
wounds—do oftentimes prove most dangerous and
pernicious. He knows that secret sins are the price of
Christ's blood—as well as open sinnings. He knows that
secret sins are a grief to the Spirit—as well as those
which are manifest. Upon all which accounts—a holy
heart rises in a detestation of secret sins.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Divinely covetous

He who is truly holy will be still a-reaching and stretching
himself out after higher degrees of holiness. Yes, a man
who is truly holy can never be holy enough; he sets no
bounds nor limits to his holiness; the perfection of holiness
is the mark that he has in his eye; he hears, and prays, and
mourns, and studies, and strives—that he may come up to
the highest pitch of holiness.

Received measures of holiness will not satisfy a holy soul;
so much holiness as will keep hell and his soul asunder—will
not satisfy him; nor will so much holiness as will bring him
to eternal happiness satisfy him. He will be still reaching and
stretching out after the highest measures of holiness; his
desires are for more holiness. The beauties of holiness do
so affect him and inflame him, that he cannot but desire
to be more and more holy. "Lord," says the soul, "I desire
to be more holy, that I may glorify Your name more. Lord,
I desire to be more holy, that I may sin less against You,
and that I may enjoy more of You! I would be more holy,
that I may be more victorious over all earthly vanities."

A holy man earnestly prays for more holiness. He prays
that his spark of holiness may be turned into a flame, his
drop of holiness into a sea, and his mite of holiness into
a rich treasury.

I dare boldly to say, that that man was never truly holy,
who does not endeavor to get up to the highest pitches
of holiness. True holiness knows no restrictions nor limitation.
True holiness makes a man divinely covetous. Look! as the
victorious man can never make enough conquests, nor can
the ambitious man ever have enough honor, nor can the
man ever have enough pleasure, nor can the
ever have enough mammon—no more can a man
of holiness have ever have enough holiness. As the grave
and the barren womb are never satisfied, they never say
"it is enough," Proverbs 30:15-16—just so, a holy man,
while he is on this side eternity, he is never satisfied,
he can never say that he has holiness enough.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty!" Isaiah 6:3

Certainly there is nothing which renders God so formidable
and dreadful to unholy people—as His holiness does. "Leave
this way, get off this path—and stop confronting us with
the Holy One of Israel!
" Isaiah 30:11.

"Oh that you would not preach so much, nor talk so much
to us—of the Holy One of Israel! Oh that you would cease
from molesting and vexing us with message upon message
from the Holy One! Why can't you talk and preach to us of
the merciful One, the compassionate One, the affectionate
One, the pitiful One, etc., and not be still a-talking to us of
the Holy One, the Holy One!
Oh, we do not like to hear it!
Oh, we cannot bear it!"

Nothing strikes the sinner into such a terror as a discourse
on the holiness of God; it is as the handwriting upon the wall,
Dan. 5:4-6. Nothing makes the head and heart of a sinner to
ache like a sermon upon the Holy One. Nothing galls and gripes,
nothing stings and terrifies unsanctified ones—like a lively setting
forth of the holiness of God, Hab. 1:13.

But to holy souls, there are no discourses which more suit them
and satisfy them, which more delight and content them, which
more please and profit them—than those do, which most fully
and powerfully reveal God to be glorious in holiness. Well, this
is an everlasting truth—he who truly loves the holiness of God,
and loves God for His holiness—is certainly made partaker of
His holiness.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The sparkling diamond in the ring of glory

"And they were calling to one another: Holy, holy,
is the Lord Almighty! The whole earth is full
 of His glory." Isaiah 6:3

The more holy any are, the more deeply are they
affected and captivated with the holiness of God.
The holy seraphim, by trebling the acclamation of
His holiness, "Holy, holy, holy," denote not only
the superlative eminency, glory, and excellency
of God's holiness—but also they reveal how greatly,
how abundantly they are affected and captivated
with the holiness of God. To the holy angels, the
holiness of God is the sparkling diamond
in the ring of glory

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Better than a golden head

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God."
     Matthew 5:8

A pure heart is better than a golden head. A heart
full of holy affections is infinitely beyond a head full of
curious notions. There is no jewel like that of holiness.
He who has holiness has all—and he who lacks that has
nothing at all. Heaven is for that man, and that man is
for heaven, who has clean hands and a pure heart,
whose holy life is attended with heart purification.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A devil in an angel's garb!

"Having a form of godliness but denying its power."
     2 Timothy 3:5

All formalists have only a form, a show, a profession of
holiness—but have nothing of the reality, spirit, life, or
power of holiness in them. They have a face, a cloak, a
mask, a show of godliness—but they have nothing of the
pith, sap, life, or marrow of godliness. Their devotion,
their godliness, lies in good words. If you hearken to
their voice, you would think that they were men of
much godliness; but if you look into their hearts and
lives, you will find them to be great renouncers and
deniers of godliness. They have . . .
  the semblance of godliness—but not the substance;
  the lineaments of godliness—but not the life;
  the face of godliness—but not the heart;
  the form, the shadow of godliness—but not the power.

They are like a well-drawn picture, which has all the
lineaments of a man—but lacks life, lacks a principle
of motion and operation.

The form of godliness is common—but the power of
godliness is rare. The form of godliness is easy—but
the power of godliness is difficult. The form of godliness
exists with secret and with open wickedness—as you see
in Saul, Jehu, Judas, Simon Magus, Demas, and the
Scribes and Pharisees—but the power of godliness will
not. The power of godliness lays the axe to the very
root of all sin, both secret and open.

Rachel was very fair and beautiful to the eye—but she
was barren—and that marred all. Just so, the formalist,
he is a very fair and beautiful professor to the eye—but
he is barren Godwards, and Christwards, and heavenwards;
he is fruitless, sapless, and lifeless—and that mars all.

A formalist is . . .
  more light than life,
  more notion than motion,
  more head than heart,
  more outside than inside,
  more leaves than fruit,
  more shadow than substance.

A formalist is . . .
  a blazing comet,
  a painted tomb,
  a stage-player,
  a white devil, or
  a devil in an angel's garb!
What would such devils do in heaven? God has a
thunderbolt for every formalist, by which He will at
last certainly strike them down to the lowest hell.
A formalist is too loathsome a thing, too heavy a
burden, for heaven to bear.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Guilt or grief is all you shall gain

"Do not be misled—Bad company corrupts good character."
    1 Corinthians 15:33

As he who walks in the sun will be tanned, and he who
touches pitch will be defiled; so he who associates himself
with the wicked will be tainted and polluted.

Guilt or grief is all you shall gain by bad company
—witness Lot, David, Joseph, and Peter.

By bad company Christians come to lose much of the
sweetness, seriousness, goodness, and graciousness
of their spirits. Familiarity with vain people has much
worn off the spiritual luster, beauty, and glory—which
has been upon many Christians. Bad company will prove
a very great hindrance to you in your Christian course.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The devil's tennis-ball

"We urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle!"
    1 Thessalonians 5:14

The hour of idleness is the hour of temptation. An idle
person is the devil's tennis-ball—tossed by him at
his pleasure.

Among the Egyptians idleness was a capital crime. Among
the Lucans, he who lent money to an idle person was to lose
it. Among the Corinthians idle people were delivered to the
prison. By Solon's law idle people were to suffer death. The
ancients call idleness the burial of a living man. Seneca had
rather be sick than idle.

Now shall nature do more than grace? Shall poor blind heathens
be so severe against idle people—and shall Christians embrace
them? Shall they not rather turn their backs upon them, and
have no communion with those who think themselves too
great or too good to hold the plough?

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Golden fools

 And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things
 laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and
 be merry!" But God said to him, "You fool! This very
 night your life will be demanded from you. Then who
 will get what you have prepared for yourself?" This is
 how it will be with anyone who stores up things for
 himself but is not rich toward God. Luke 12:19-21

Every man in the world is a fool—who heaps up treasure
to himself—and is not rich towards God. This age is full
of such golden fools, who pamper their bodies—but
starve their souls: who primp and trim up their bodies
with gold, silver, and silks—while their souls are naked,
and ragged, and destitute of all grace and goodness.

Such fools only mind and care for the things of this life
—as what they shall eat, and what they shall drink, and
what they shall put on. They are all for their bodies, their
bellies, their backs. They take no care, they make no
provision for their immortal souls. So fools look only to
their bodies; and have no concern for their souls. Only
let them have but food for their bodies—and they care
not what becomes of their souls! Surely no fools like
these fools!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Wallowed in sin like swine in the mire

The worst men are commonly best conceited of themselves.

"There is a generation which is pure in their own eyes—and
 yet is not washed from their filthiness." Proverbs 30:12

They were very bad—and yet they had a great opinion of their
own goodness. They were very filthy, and yet they stood very
much upon their own purity. Their hands were black, their hearts
were black, their works were black, and their ways were as black
as hell—and yet they were pure in their own eye. They were
filthy within, and filthy without; filthy in body, and filthy in
soul, and filthy in spirit. Filthiness had quite overspread them,
and yet they thought to cover their filthiness with a mask of
holiness. There has always been such a generation of men, who
have wallowed in sin like swine in the mire—and yet have
kept up in themselves a strong opinion of their own goodness
and holiness.

There are many who are shining Christians, who are pure golden
Christians in their own eyes—who are vile in God's eyes!

Those who pretend their hearts are as good as the best, when
their lives are as bad as the worst—shall experience this truth
at last to their shame and cost—that without visible holiness
here, there can be no fruition of God hereafter.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The great work of the ministry

I have always looked upon the great work of the ministry
to consist in two things: first, in making unholy men holy; and,
secondly, in making those who are already holy to be more and
more holy. First to beget holiness, and then to nurse up holiness.
First to bring souls to Christ, and then to build up souls in Christ,
is without all question the greatest work which should be most
in every minister's eye, and which should always lie nearest
and warmest upon every minister's heart.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A sad story of a woman named Bochna

I have read a sad story of a woman named Bochna,
who had but two sons in all the world. One day, when she
was walking with the one son by the river, she heard the
other cry out, and hastening to him, she found a knife
sticking in his side, which killed him immediately. Then
she made haste back to the other child—but in her
absence, he had fallen into the river and drowned—
and so she lost both her sons at once!

Now, this is your very case. Everyone of you have two
, as I may say—a soul and a body—an eternal
life and a temporal life; and oh, what a dreadful and
unspeakable loss would it be to lose both these at once!
And yet, as certain as there is a God in heaven, you will
lose them both without holiness.

"Without holiness no one will see the Lord." Heb. 12:14

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Ignorance is the mother of destruction

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Hosea 4:6

The Chaldee renders it, they are besotted—and so fitted for
destruction. The Papists teach that ignorance is the mother
of devotion
; but this text tells us that ignorance is the
mother of destruction

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Rather be Satan's bond-slaves

Most shall continue obstinate and impenitent in their ungodly
courses and practices, as men resolved rather to go to hell
than to heaven, and to be forever unhappy rather than they
will be holy, Isaiah 43:10, 12, and 44:8. Woe, woe to them
forever, who had rather be Satan's bond-slaves than
Christ's free-men, that had rather be "vessels of wrath"
than vessels of honor, and that had rather be firebrands
of hell than glorious saints in heaven.


    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Get out of My sight!

Many now-a-days say there is no hell. Multitudes think that all that is spoken of hell in Scripture—is false and mythical. They will not believe that there is a hell—until they come to feel themselves in hell—until they find everlasting flames about their ears—until they are sentenced to the fire—until they are doomed to everlasting fire!

The last words that Christ will ever speak to the ungodly, will be the most tormenting, and horrifying, the most killing and damning, the most stinging and wounding! "Then He will also say to those on the left—Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels!" Matthew 25:41. This terrible sentence breathes out nothing but fire and brimstone, terror and horror, dread and woe!

"Depart from Me!" Here is utter rejection—"Pack! Begone! Get out of My sight! Let Me never see your face again!"

"You who are cursed!"
Here is malediction. You shall be cursed in your bodies and cursed in your souls! You shall be cursed of God, and cursed of angels, and cursed of saints, and cursed of devils, and cursed of your companions! Yes, you shall curse your very selves, your very souls. All your former curses, all your maledictions—shall at last recoil upon your own souls! Now you curse every man and thing which stands in the way of your lusts, and which cross your designs! But at last all the curses of heaven and hell shall meet in their full power and force upon you!

"But, Lord, if we must depart, and depart cursed, oh let us go into some good place!" "No! Depart into the eternal fire!" There is the vengeance and everlasting continuance of it. You shall go into fire, into everlasting fire, which will neither consume itself, nor consume you! Eternity of extreme punishment is the hell of hell. If all the fires which ever were in the world were contracted into one fire, how terrible would it be! Yet such a fire would be but as a 'painted fire'—compared to the fire of hell. The greatest and the hottest fires that ever were on earth—are but ice in comparison to the fire of hell. Ah! how sad, how dreadful would it be to experience what it is to lie in unquenchable fire—not for a day, a month, or a year, or a hundred, or a thousand years—but forever and ever!

"If it were," says one, "but for a thousand years, I could bear it—but seeing it is for eternity—this astonishes and affrights me!" "I am afraid of hell," says another, "because the worm there never dies, and the fire never goes out!"

It is called "unquenchable fire," and "eternal fire." The torments of the damned are very grievous for the bitterness of them—and more grievous for the diversity of them—but most of all grievous for the eternity of them!

Wronged justice can never be satisfied, and therefore the sinner must be forever tormented. The sinner in hell will sin forever, and therefore he must be punished forever. It will not stand with the unspotted justice and righteousness of God to cease punishing—while the sinner ceases not sinning.

"But, Lord, if I must go into fire, into everlasting fire, oh let me have some good company in my misery!" "No! The devil and his demons shall be your companions!" Ah! who can conceive or express the misery of living with devils and damned spirits and hellish fiends and furies forever!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

But as flea-bitings

"Topheth has long been prepared; it has been made ready for the king. Its fire pit has been made deep and wide, with an abundance of fire and wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of burning sulfur, sets it ablaze." Isaiah 30:33

Alas! the brick-kilns of Egypt, and the furnace of Babylon, were but as a blaze of straw, compared to this tormenting Tophet, which has long been prepared for the great and mighty ones of the earth!

Oh, how dreadful must that fire be—which is prepared by God Himself, and which is kindled by the breath of the Lord, and which shall never be quenched! Such is the fire which is prepared for the great and mighty ones of the world! Oh, the easeless, the endless, the remediless, the inevitable torments which are prepared for those who are graceless!

In hell their wanton eyes shall be tormented with ugly and fearful sights of ghastly spirits! In hell their ears, which used to be delighted with all delightful music, shall now be filled with the hideous cries, howlings, and yellings of devils and damned spirits! In hell their tongues of blasphemy shall now be tormented with drought and thirst; and though with the rich glutton, they cry out for a drop to cool their tongues—yet justice will deny them drops, who have denied others crumbs! In hell their hands of bribery, cruelty, and tyranny shall now be bound with everlasting chains, and so shall their feet, which were once swift to shed innocent blood.

In a word, their torments shall be universal—they shall extend to every member of the body, and to every faculty of the soul.

Ah, sirs! Fire, sword, famine, prisons, racks, and all other torments which men can invent—are but as flea-bitings, compared to those scorpions! They are but as drops, compared to those vials of wrath! They are but as sparks, compared to those eternal flames that all unsanctified people shall lie under.

Look! as the least joy in heaven infinitely surpasses the greatest comforts on earth, so the least torments in hell do infinitely exceed the greatest that can be devised here on earth.

Ah, sirs! Remember this—as there are degrees of glory in heaven—just so, there are degrees of torment in hell. As those who are most eminent in grace and holiness shall have the greatest degrees of glory in heaven—just so, those who are most vile and wicked on earth shall have the greatest degrees of torments and punishments in hell.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

You are not sick—but dead!

"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath." Ephesians 2:1-3

Sin is the plague of the heart—and there is no plague so deadly as the plague of the heart. Oh, this is a disease which none can cure, but he who is the physician of souls. As to spiritual realities, an unsanctified person is not half-dead—but he is stark dead!

You are as well able to make a world, to command the winds, and to raise the dead—as you are able to cleanse your own hearts, or change your own natures, or sanctify your own souls. You have no power to perform any supernatural act—such as to believe or love God, or repent, or to change your own heart, or to sanctify or make yourself holy. You are dead in trespasses and sins, and have lost all your spiritual senses of seeing, hearing, tasting, and feeling. It is certain that your nature is so corrupted that you can not think a good thought, nor speak a good word, nor do a good work. You are not sick—but dead! Dead God-wards, and Christ-wards, and heaven-wards, and holiness-wards!

Since the creation of the world, no dead man ever made himself alive. It is God alone, who can quicken the dead.

"But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:4-7

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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 sheep? You drink the milk, wear the wool, and butcher the best animals, but you let your flocks starve!" Ezekiel 34:2-3

Many preachers in these days, have good lungs for speaking—but bad brains—and worse hearts and lives!

Unholy ministers are such as who preach to please the people—rather than to profit their souls; to tickle the ear—rather than to awaken the conscience; who are better at fleecing of their flocks—rather than they are at feeding of their flocks; who seek more men's goods—rather than their good; who mind more the humoring of their hearers' fancies—than the saving of their souls.

Unholy ministers set up men's traditions above God's own institutions; prefer human commands before divine commands; are very zealous and warm for mint, anise, and cummin—but are very cold, careless, and negligent in the great and weighty matters of the law, namely, judgment, mercy, and faith; prefer a fat salary before an interest in a heavenly inheritance; pretend a great deal of reverence to the name of Jesus, and yet in their lives do daily crucify the Lord Jesus; with Judas can kiss Christ and betray Christ in a breath; preach as if they had a mind to go to heaven, and live as if they were resolved to go to hell; feast their own bodies—but starve their people's souls; speak ten words to elevate themselves, and hardly two for Christ.