The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures

By Thomas Brooks, 1675



It was the golden link of love!

"May you have power to grasp how wide and long and
 high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this
 love that surpasses knowledge." Ephesians 3:18-19

Oh, such was Christ's transcendent love—that man's extreme
misery could not abate it. The deploredness of man's condition
did but heighten the holy flame of Christ's love. It is as high
as heaven, who can reach it? It is as low as hell, who can
understand it?

Heaven, with all its glory, could not contain Him. Neither
could all hell's torments make Him refrain! Such was His
perfect matchless love to fallen and miserable man. That
Christ's love should extend to the ungodly, to sinners, to
enemies who were in rebellion against Him; yes, not only
so—but that He should hug them in His arms, lodge them
in His bosom—is the highest degree of love!

It is astonishing . . .
  that Christ should come from the eternal bosom
     of His Father—to a region of sorrow and death;
  that God—should be manifested in the flesh;
  that the Creator—should be made a creature;
  that He who was clothed with glory—should be
     wrapped with rags of flesh;
  that He who filled heaven—should be cradled
     in a feeding trough;
  that the God of strength—should be weary;
  that the Judge of all men—should be condemned;
  that the God of life—should be put to death.

That He would do all this for man, for fallen man,
for miserable man, for worthless man—is beyond
all conception!

The sharp sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ, from
the cradle to the cross, does above all other things,
speak out the transcendent love of Jesus Christ to
poor sinners.

That wrath, that great wrath, that fierce wrath, that
wrath, that infinite wrath, that matchless wrath
of an angry God—which was so terribly impressed
upon the soul of Christ—all this wrath He patiently
underwent, that sinners might be saved, and that
"He might bring many sons unto glory."

Oh wonder at the greatness of His love—which made
our dear Lord Jesus lay down His life—to save us from
hell, and to bring us to heaven! Oh unspeakable love!

It was the golden link of love, which alone fastened
Christ to the cross, and made Him die freely for us!

Christ's love is beyond all measure, for . . .
  time did not begin it, and time shall never end it;
  place does not bound it;
  sin does not exceed it;
  tongues cannot express it;
  minds cannot conceive it.

Well may we spend all our days in admiring and adoring
of Christ's wonderful love—and be always ravished with
the thoughts of it.

"May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so
 great you will never fully understand it." Ephes. 3:19

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The prosperity of the wicked

"For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of
 the wicked
. From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the
 evil conceits of their minds know no limits. They say, 'How
 can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?' This
 is what the wicked are like—always carefree, they increase in
 wealth. When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive
 to me—until I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood
 their final destiny.
Surely You place them on slippery ground;
 You cast them down to ruin. How suddenly are they destroyed,
 completely swept away by terrors!" Psalm 73 

Oh, how little is that man's condition to be envied, who for
these short pleasures of sin
—must endure an eternity of

O sirs! Do wicked men purchase their present pleasures at
so dear a rate—as eternal torments? And do we envy their
enjoyment of them so short a time? Would we envy a man
going to execution, because we saw him go up the ladder
with a gold chain around his neck and a scarlet gown on
his back? Surely not! Oh, no more should we envy the
grandeur of worldly men, for every step they take, is
but a step to an eternal execution!

Oh, how much more worthy of our pity, than envy—is that
man's condition, who has all his happiness confined to the
narrow compass of this present life—but his misery extended
to the uttermost bounds of an everlasting duration!

"The rich man also died and was buried. In hell, where he
 was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away,
 with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him—Father
 Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the
 tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because
 I am in agony in this fire!" Luke 16:22-24

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

All to save you from wrath to come!

Christians, spend your days in admiring the transcendent love
of Christ—in undergoing hellish punishments in your stead! Oh
pray, pray hard that you "may be able to comprehend what is
the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of that love of
Christ, which passes knowledge!" Ephesians 3:18-19

The love of Christ put Him upon these bodily and spiritual
sufferings—which were so exceeding great, acute, extreme,
and universal—and all to save you from wrath to come!
His miseries, sorrows, and sufferings are unparalleled, and
therefore Christians have the more cause to lose themselves
in the contemplation of His matchless love. Oh, bless Christ!
Oh, kiss Christ! Oh, embrace Christ! Oh, cleave to Christ!
Oh, follow Christ! Oh, walk with Christ! Oh, long for Christ
—who for your sakes has undergone insupportable wrath
and most hellish torments!

Oh, look up to dear Jesus, and say, "O blessed Jesus,
You were accursed—that I might be blessed! You were
condemned—that I might be justified! You underwent
the very torments of hell—that I might forever enjoy
the pleasures of heaven! Therefore I cannot but dearly
love You, and highly esteem You, and greatly honor
You, and earnestly long after You!"

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

They will not believe it until they feel it!

"Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?" Luke 3:7

"Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath." 1 Th. 1:10

1. The coming wrath is the greatest wrath. It is the greatest
evil which can befall a soul. "Who knows the power of Your wrath?"
Psalm 19:11. The coming wrath is such wrath as no unsaved man
can either avoid or abide. And yet such is most men's stupidity,
that they will not believe it until they feel it!

As God is a great God—so His wrath is a great wrath. If the
wrath of an earthly king is so terrible—oh how dreadful must
the wrath of the King of kings then be!

The greater the evil is, the more cause we have to flee from
it. Now the coming wrath is the greatest evil, and therefore
the more it concerns us to flee from it!

2. The coming wrath is treasured-up wrath. Sinners are still
"a-treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath," Romans 2:5.
While wicked men are following their own lusts, they think that
they are still adding to their own happiness. But alas, they do
but add wrath to wrath! They do but heap up judgment upon
judgment, and punishment upon punishment! Look! as men
are daily adding to their treasure more and more, so impenitent
sinners are daily increasing the treasury of wrath against their
own souls.

3. The coming wrath is pure wrath. It is "judgment without
mercy." The cup of wrath which God will put into sinners' hands
at last, will be a cup of pure wrath—all wrath—nothing but wrath.
"They must drink the wine of God's wrath. It is poured out
into God's cup of wrath. And they will be tormented
with fire and burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels
and the Lamb." Revelation 14:10.

Look! as there is nothing but the pure glory of God—which can
make a man perfectly and fully happy; just so, there is nothing
but the pure wrath of God—which can make a man fully and
perfectly miserable. Reprobates shall not only sip of the top of
God's cup—but they shall drink the dregs of His cup! They shall
not have one drop of mercy, nor one crumb of comfort! They
have filled up their lifetime with sin—and God will fill up their
eternity with torments!

4. The coming wrath is everlasting wrath. "And the smoke
of their torment ascends up forever and ever!" Rev. 14:11.
"They shall have . . .
  punishment without pity,
  misery without mercy,
  sorrow without support,
  crying without comfort,
  mischief without measure,
  torment without ease—
where the worm dies not, and the fire is never quenched."

The torments of the damned shall continue as many eternities
—as there are stars in the skies, as there are grains of sand on
the sea-shore, and as there are drops of water found in the sea!
When the present worlds are ended, the pains and torments of
hell shall not cease—but begin afresh, and thus this wheel shall
turn round and round, without end.

Oh the folly and vanity, the madness and baseness of poor
wretched sinners—who expose themselves to everlasting
torments—for a few fleshly momentary pleasures!

O sirs! "Who can stand before His fierce anger? Who can survive
His burning fury? His rage blazes forth like fire, and the mountains
crumble to dust in His presence!" Nahum 1:6.

How should these things work poor sinners to flee to Christ,
who alone is able to save them from the coming wrath.
1 Thessalonians 1:10

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The hell of hell

And as there are a diversity of torments in hell,
so the torments of hell are everlasting.

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

The sentence which shall be passed upon them, is eternal.

God Himself, who damns them, is eternal.

The prison and chains which hold them, are eternal.

The worm which gnaws them, is eternal.

The fire which torments them, is eternal.

Grievous is the torment of the damned—for the bitterness
of the punishments. It is more grievous—for the diversity
of the punishments. But it is most grievous—for the eternity
of the punishments!

If, after so many millions of years as there are drops in
the ocean
, there might be a deliverance out of hell—this
would yield a little ease, a little comfort to the damned.
Oh, but this word Eternity! Eternity! Eternity! this word
Everlasting! Everlasting! Everlasting! this word Forever!
Forever! Forever!
will even break the hearts of the
damned in ten thousand pieces!

Suppose that the whole world were turned into a mountain of
sand, and that a little bird should come once every thousand
years and carry away from that heap, one grain of sand. What
an infinite number of years would be spent before this great
mountain of sand would be fetched away! Just so—if a man
should lie in everlasting burnings so long a time as this, and
then have an end of his woe—it would give some ease, some
hope, and some comfort to him. But when that immortal bird
shall have carried away this great mountain of sand—a thousand
times over and over—alas, alas, sinful man shall be as far from
the end of his anguish and torment as ever he was! He shall be
no nearer coming out of hell, than he was the very first moment
that he entered into hell!

Suppose, say others, that a man were to endure the
torments of hell as many years—as there are . . .
  sands on the sea-shore,
  drops of water in the sea,
  stars in the heavens,
  leaves on the trees,
  blades of grass on the ground
—yet he would comfort himself with this poor thought,
"Well, there will come a day when my misery and torment
shall certainly have an end."
But woe and alas! this word, "Forever! Forever! Forever!"
will fill the hearts of the damned with the greatest . . .
  horror and terror,
  anger and rage,
  bewilderment and astonishment!

If the fire of hell were terminable, it might be tolerable. But
being endless, it must needs be easeless, and remediless.

The eternity of hell—is the hell of hell.

The damned shall live as long in hell—as
long as God Himself shall live in heaven!

"The reprobate shall have . . .
  punishment without pity;
  misery without mercy,
  sorrow without support,
  crying without compassion,
  mischief without measure, and
  torment without end!"

“And they will go away into eternal punishment,
 but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:46

All the pains, torments, curse, and wrath which were
due to the elect—fell on Christ, until divine justice was
fully satisfied. "For God did not appoint us to suffer
wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus
Christ." 1 Thes. 5:9. Oh, exalt that Christ! Oh, extol
that Savior, who has saved you from that eternal wrath!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

From burning to burning!

The Spirit of God, in Scripture, by metaphors of all sorts
of things which are dreadful unto sense—sets forth the
condition of the damned, and the torments which He has
reserved for them in the life to come. Hell's punishments
do infinitely exceed all other punishments, that there is
no pain so extreme—as that of the damned.

Look! As there are no joys which can compare to the joys
of heaven—so there are no pains which can compare to the
pains of hell. All the cruelties in the world cannot possibly
make up any horror comparable to the horrors of hell. The
brick-kilns of Egypt, the fiery furnace of Babylon—are but
as a fleeting spark—compared to this tormenting Tophet
which has been prepared of old to punish the bodies and
souls of sinners with. Hanging, racking, burning, scourging,
stoning, sawing asunder, flaying of the skin, etc., are not
to be compared with the tortures of hell.

If all the pains, sorrows, miseries, and calamities which have
been inflicted upon all men, since Adam fell in Paradise, should
meet together and center in one man—they would not so much
as amount to one of the least of the pains of hell.

Who can sum up the diversity of torments which are in hell!

1. In hell there is darkness; hell is a dark region!

2. In hell there are sorrows!

3. In hell there are bonds and chains!

4. In hell there are pains and pangs!

5. In hell there is the worm which never dies!

6. In hell there is the lake of fire!

7. In hell there is the furnace of fire!

8. In hell there are the devil and his demons!
   And oh, how dreadful must it be to be shut
   up forever with those roaring lions!

9. In hell there is weeping and gnashing of teeth!

10. In hell there is unquenchable fire—everlasting burnings!

"The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the
 godless—Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire?
 Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?" Is. 33:14

O sirs, the torments of hell will be exceeding great
and dreadful—such as will make the stoutest sinners
to quake and tremble!

Wicked men, who are now such jolly fellows, shall one
day go from burning to burning! They shall go . . .
from burning in sin—to burning in hell;
from burning in flames of lusts—to burning in flames of torment!

O sirs! in this devouring fire, in these everlasting burnings,
there will be no music or merry company to pass time away,
nor any dice or cards to pass care away; nor any bottles of
wine wherein to drown the sinner's grief! As in heaven there
shall be all bodily perfection, so there shall be also in hell
all bodily miseries. Whatever may make a man perfectly
shall be in hell. Out of this fiery bed there is
no deliverance!

Oh, how terrible will the torments of hell be to the damned!
The torments of hell will be universal torments. All torments
meet together in that place of torment. Hell is the center . . .
  of all punishments,
  of all sorrows,
  of all pains,
  of all wrath,
  of all vengeance, etc.

All the pains, torments, curse, and wrath which were
due to the elect—fell on Christ, until divine justice was
fully satisfied. "For God did not appoint us to suffer
wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus
Christ." 1 Thes. 5:9. Oh, exalt that Christ! Oh, extol
that Savior, who has saved you from that eternal wrath!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The devil's best customers!

"God will surely judge people who are immoral." Heb. 13:4

If men will not judge them, God Himself will, and give
them a portion of misery answerable to their transgression.
Sometimes He judges them in this life—by pouring forth of
His wrath upon their bodies, souls, consciences, names and
estates. But if He does not thus judge them in this life, He
will be sure to judge them in the life to come! Yes, He has
already adjudged them "to the fiery lake of burning sulfur,"
Revelation 21:8

The unchaste are the devil's best customers! Oh, the
thousands of men and women who are sent to hell for
immorality! Other sins are toilsome and troublesome,
but sexual immorality is pleasant, and sends men and
women merrily to hell!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He drank it up—every drop!

"Who can comprehend the power of Your wrath?"
    Psalm 90:11

Jesus Christ comprehends it, for He underwent it!
His whole life was made up of suffering.
From His birth to His death,
from His cradle to the cross,
from the womb to the tomb,
—He was a man of sorrows!

Behold His bodily sufferings—
  the crown of thorns on His head,
  the smiting of His cheeks,
  the spitting on His face,
  the scourging of His body,
  the cross on His back,
  the vinegar in His mouth,
  the nails in His hands and feet,
  the spear in His side,
His crucifixion and death on the cross
—might well astonish us!

Behold that head, before which angels cast down
themselves and worshiped—crowned with thorns!

Behold those eyes, which were purer than the
sun—put out by the darkness of death!

Behold those ears which heard nothing but halleluiahs
—hearing the blasphemies of the multitude!

Behold that lovely face—spit on by such beastly

Behold that mouth and tongue, which "spoke as
never any man spoke"—accused of blasphemy!

Behold those hands, which freely swayed the
scepter of heaven—nailed to the cross!

Behold those feet, "like unto fine brass"
—nailed to the cross for man's sins!

Who can behold Christ thus suffering—
and not be struck with astonishment?

1 Peter 3:18, "Christ has suffered for sins once for
all, the righteous for the unrighteous." This is . . .
  the wonderment of angels,
  the happiness of fallen man, and
  the torment of devils—that Christ has suffered.
The doleful tragedy of His sufferings is unutterable!

The sufferings of Jesus Christ were very great and
heinous. What agony, what torment was our Savior
racked with! "He was despised and rejected—a man
of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief!" Is. 53:3
He was a man of sorrows—as if He were a man made
up of sorrows! He knew more sorrows than any man,
yes, than all men ever did! We never read that Jesus
laughed at all, when He was in the world. His whole
life was filled up with sufferings.

How deep were His wounds!

How weighty His burden!

How full of trembling His cup, when He lay under
the mountains of the guilt of all the elect!

How bitter were His tears!

How painful His bloody sweat!

How dreadful His death!

Lamentations 1:12 is very applicable to Christ—
"Look and see! Is there any pain like Mine, which
was dealt out to Me, which the Lord made Me suffer
on the day of His burning anger?" What sufferings
can you think of, which Christ did not suffer? Christ
suffered in His birth, and He suffered in His life,
and He suffered in His death. He suffered in His
body, for He was diversely tormented. He suffered
in His soul, for His soul was exceedingly sorrowful.
He suffered in His estate, they parted His clothing,
and He had nowhere to rest His head. He suffered
in His reputation, for He was called a Samaritan,
a devilish sorcerer, a drunkard, an enemy to Caesar,
etc. He suffered from heaven, when He cried out,
"My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?" He
suffered from the earth, being hungry. He suffered
from hell, Satan assaulting and encountering Him
with his most black and horrid temptations. He
began His life lowly and basely, and was sharply
persecuted. He continued His life poorly and
distressedly, and was cruelly hated. He ended His
life woefully and miserably, and was most grievously
tormented with whips, thorns, nails; and, above all,
with the terrors of His Father's wrath and horrors of
hellish agonies! Who can compute how many vials of
God's inexpressible, insupportable wrath, which Christ
drank? Yet, He drank it up—every drop, leaving
nothing behind for His redeemed people—but large
draughts of love and salvation!

The death of Christ on the cross was . . .
  a bitter death,
  a sorrowful death,
  a bloody death.
The bitter thoughts of His sufferings put Him into a
most dreadful agony: "Being in an agony, He prayed
more earnestly, and His sweat was as great drops of
blood falling to the ground." Luke 22:44

Nothing could fasten Christ to the cross—but the
golden link of His free love! Oh, what a wonder of
love is this—that Jesus Christ, who is the author of
life, the fountain of life, the Lord of life—that He
should so freely, so readily, so cheerfully lay down
His life for us!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

One puddle, if we wallow in it

One sin stripped the fallen angels of all their glory.

One sin stripped our first parents of all their dignity
and excellency.

One fly in the box of precious ointment spoils the
whole box.

One thief may rob a man of all his treasure.

One disease may deprive a man of all his health.

One millstone will sink a man to the bottom of
the sea, as well as a hundred.

One puddle, if we wallow in it—will defile us.
Just so, one sin allowed and lived in—will make
a man miserable forever.

Some will leave all their sins but one. Satan can hold
a man fast enough by one sin which he allows and lives
in—as the fowler can hold the bird fast enough by one
wing or by one claw.

Satan is content that men should yield to God in many
things—provided that they will be but true to Satan in
some one thing. The devil knows very well, that as one
grain of poison may poison a man, and one stab at the
heart may kill a man—just so, one sin unrepented of,
one sin allowed, retained, cherished, and practiced
—will certainly damn a man.

Though all the parts of a man's body are healthy,
except only one part—that one diseased and ulcerous
part may be deadly to you. Just so, one sin allowed,
indulged, and lived in—will prove killing and damning
to you.

It is horrid hypocrisy, damnable folly, and astonishing
impudency—for a man to beg the pardon of those very
sins which he is resolved never to forsake.

These things should be frequently and seriously thought
of, by such poor fools as are entangled by any lust.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Joseph saw God in the room!

"The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding
 the evil and the good." Proverbs 15:9

The harboring of any known sin, either in heart or life,
is a high contempt of the all-seeing eye of God—of
the omnipresence of God.

It is well known what Ahasuerus, that great monarch,
said concerning Haman, when he found him cast upon
the queen's couch on which she sat: "What!" says he,
"Will he even assault the queen right here in the palace,
before my very eyes!
" What! will he dare to commit
such a villainy—as I stand and look on?

O sirs! to do wickedly in the sight of God, is a thing which
He looks upon as the greatest affront and indignity that
can possibly be done unto Him. "What!" says He, "Will
you be drunk before Me, and swear and blaspheme before
Me, and be wanton and immoral before Me, and break My
laws before My eyes!"

This, then, is the killing aggravation of all sin—that
is done before the face of God—in the presence of God!
The consideration of God's omnipresence—that He stands
and looks on, should be as a bar, to stop the proceedings
of all wicked intentions; and a great dissuasive from sin.

It was an excellent saying of Ambrose, "If you cannot
hide yourself from the sun, which is God's minister of
light—how impossible will it be to hide yourself from Him
whose eyes are ten thousand times brighter than the sun!"

There is no drawing of a curtain between God and you.

When you are in secret—consider that God is present.

God is all eye. He sees . . .
  all things,
  in all places,
  at all times.

The godly are dissuaded from wickedness, upon the
consideration of God's eye and omniscience. Joseph
saw God in the room
—and therefore dared not yield
to lust. But Potiphar's wife saw none but Joseph—and
so was impudently alluring and tempting him to sin.

I have read of two godly men, who took contrary
courses with two harlots—whom they desired to
reclaim from their wicked course of life.

One of the men told one of the women, that he was
desirous to enjoy her company in secret. After she
had brought him into a private room, and locked the
door, he told her, "All your bars and bolts cannot
keep God out!"

The other godly man asked the other harlot to be
unchaste with him openly in the streets—which she
rejected as an insane request. He then told her, "It
was better to do it before the eyes of a crowd—than
before the eyes of the all-seeing God!"

Oh, why shall not the presence of that God who hates
sin, and who is resolved to punish it with hell-flames,
make us ashamed or afraid to sin, and dare Him to
His face! Let your eye be ever on Him—whose
eye is always on you!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

First place in your thoughts

Friends, these things must have first place in your thoughts:

1. Your sins—to humble you and abase you before God.

2. God's free and rich and sovereign grace—to soften and
    melt you down into submission to His holy will.

3. The Lord Jesus Christ—to assist, help, strengthen, and
    influence you in all your duties and services.

4. The blessed Scriptures—to guide you and lead you, "and
    to be a lamp unto your feet, and a light unto your paths."

5. The afflictions of the godly—to draw out your charity,
    mercy, pity, sympathy and compassion to men in misery.

6. The glory and happiness of the eternal world—to arm you
    and steel you against all your sins, snares and temptations.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The best of saints are sinners

A child of God may slip into a sin—as a sheep may slip
into the mire. But he does not, and cannot wallow in
sin—as the swine wallows in the mire.

The best of saints are sinners, though the worst
and weakest of saints do not indulge sin or cherish it;
or make daily provision for it; or take daily pleasure
and delight in sin; or habitually yield a willing and
total subjection to the authority and commands of sin.

There is as much difference between sin in a regenerate
person—and sin in an unregenerate person, as there is
between poison in a man—and poison in a serpent.
Poison in a man is most offensive and burdensome, and
he readily uses all remedies and antidotes to expel it
and get rid of it. But poison in a serpent, is in its
natural place, and is most pleasing and delightful.

Just so, sin in a regenerate man is most offensive and
burdensome, and he readily uses all holy means and
antidotes to expel it and to get rid of it. But sin in an
man is most pleasing and delightful, it
being in its natural place.

A godly man may have many sins—yet he has not
one beloved sin, one bosom sin, one darling sin.
His sins are his greatest grief and torment.

Every godly man . . .
  hates all known sin,
  would sincerely have his sins not only pardoned, but destroyed,
  groans under the burden of sin,
  combats and conflicts with all known sin,
  has fixed purposes and designs not to sin,
  has a sincere willingness to be rid of all sin.

No sincere Christian indulges himself in any
trade, course, or way of sin. "Oh," says the
gracious soul, "that I could be rid of . . .
  this proud heart,
  this hard heart,
  this unbelieving heart,
  this unclean heart,
  this earthly heart,
  this froward heart of mine!"

O sirs, this is most certain—whoever gives up himself
freely, willingly, cheerfully, habitually—to the service
of any one particular lust or sin—he is in the state of
nature, under wrath, and in the way to eternal ruin!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The most powerful charm of Satan

Honors, riches, and pleasures are the three deities,
which all people adore, and to whom they continually
sacrifice their best thoughts and energies. These, for
their unparalleled vanity, may well be called "the
vanity of vanities!"

Honors, riches, and pleasures are but . . .
  a mere shadow,
  a vapor,
  a feather in the cap,
  a breath,
  a froth,
  a dream,
  a nothing.
They are without true substance. Like in a dream,
you imagine they have substance—you grasp at
them and awake—and they are nothing!

And yet, they are the most powerful charm
of Satan
, whereby he lulls men to sleep in the
paradise of fools; to cast them, after they die,
into the bottomless pit of eternal woe!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

I was that soldier who murdered You!

"He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed
 for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace
 was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed."
    Isaiah 53:5

Our sins were the cause of Christ's sufferings!

It was our transgressions which gave Christ His deadly
wounds! It was our sins which smote Him, and bruised
Him! Every Christian may look upon Christ and say, "I
was that Judas who betrayed You! I was that soldier
who murdered You!
It was my sins which brought all
those sorrows, and sufferings, and evils upon You!
  I have sinned—and You have suffered!
  I have sinned—and You have died!
  I have wounded You—and You have healed me!"

Oh, that we might look upon . . .
  a humble Christ—with a humble heart,
  a broken Christ—with a broken heart,
  a bleeding Christ—with a bleeding heart,
  a wounded Christ—with a wounded heart!

"He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree;
 by His wounds you have been healed." 1 Pet. 2:24

Here you see that the physician's blood became the
sick man's salve! Here is the gospel mystery—that
the wounding of one, should be the cure of another!

Oh, what an odious thing is sin to God—that He will
pardon none without blood, yes, without the precious
blood of His dearest Son! Oh, what a hell of wickedness
must there be in sin—that nothing can expiate it but the
best, the purest, the noblest blood of Christ! Oh, what a
transcendent evil must sin be—that nothing can purge it
away but death—the accursed death of the cross! Oh,
what a leprosy is sin—that it must have blood, yes, the
blood of God, to take it away!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Keep a fixed eye upon a bleeding Christ

Has Jesus Christ suffered such great and grievous things
for you? Oh then, in all your fears, doubts, and conflicts
with enemies, within or without—fly to the sufferings of
Christ as your city of refuge!

In every temptation let us look up to a crucified Christ,
who is fitted and qualified to support tempted souls. Oh
my soul, whenever you are assaulted, let the wounds of
Christ be your city of refuge where you may fly and live!
Let us learn, in every trouble which presses us—whether
it be sin, temptation, or any other evil—to translate it
from ourselves to Christ! And all the good in Christ—let
us learn to translate it from Christ to ourselves!

Do your sins terrify you? Oh then, look up to a crucified
Savior, who bore your sins in His own body on the tree!
When sin stares you in the face, oh then turn your face
to a dying Jesus, and behold Him . . .
  with a spear in His side,
  with thorns in His head,
  with nails in His feet, and
  a pardon in His hands!
Oh, remember that there is nothing in heaven or earth
more efficacious to cure the wounds of conscience, than a
frequent and serious meditation on the wounds of Christ!

Ah, Christians, under all your temptations, afflictions,
fears, doubts, conflicts, and trials—be persuaded to
keep a fixed eye upon a crucified Jesus! And remember
that all He did—He did for you; and that all He suffered
—He suffered for you! This will be a strong cordial to
keep you from fainting under all your distresses. Oh,
that Christians would labor, under all their soul-troubles,
to keep a fixed eye upon a bleeding Christ; for there
is nothing which will ease them, quiet them, settle them,
and satisfy them like this!

Many, may I not say most, Christians are more apt to
eye their sins, their sorrows, their prayers, their tears,
their resolves, their complaints—than they are to eye
a suffering Christ. And from hence springs their greatest
woes, wounds, miseries, and dejection of spirit. Oh, that
a crucified Christ might be forever in your eye—and
always upon your hearts!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He left heaven for us

"If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself
 and take up his cross and follow Me." Matthew 16:24

Let the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ, work us into
a gracious willingness to embrace sufferings for His sake,
and cheerfully and resolutely to take up His cross and
follow Him. Did Christ suffer—who knew no sin; and shall
we think it strange to suffer—who know nothing but sin?
Shall He lie sweltering under His Father's wrath—and shall
we cry out under men's anger? Was He crowned with thorns
—and must we be crowned with rose-buds? Was His whole
life, from the cradle to the cross, made up of nothing but
sorrows and sufferings—and must our lives, from the cradle
to the grave, be filled up with nothing but pleasures and

Was He despised—and must we be admired?

Was He debased—and must we be exalted?

Was He poor—and must we be rich?

Was He low—and must we be high?

Did He drink of a bitter cup, a bloody cup—
and must we have only cups of consolation?

Let us not think anything too much to do for Christ,
nor anything too great to suffer for Christ, nor anything
too dear to part with for such a Christ, such a Savior—
who thought nothing too much to do, or too grievous
to suffer—so that He might accomplish the work of our
redemption. He left heaven for us—and shall not we
let go this world for Him? He left his Father's bosom for
us—and shall not we leave the bosoms of our dearest
relations for him? He underwent all sorts of sufferings
for us—let us as readily encounter with all sorts of
sufferings for Him.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

What more can any Christian desire?

There is enough in a suffering Christ to fill us and satisfy
us to the full. He has the greatest worth and wealth in Him.
Look, as the worth and value of many pieces of silver is to be
found in one piece of gold; just so, all the petty excellencies
which are scattered abroad in the creatures—are to be found
in a bleeding, dying Christ! Yes, all the whole volume of
perfections which is spread through heaven and earth—is
epitomized in Him who suffered on the cross! A man cannot
hyperbolize in speaking of the glories of Christ. Certainly it
is as easy to contain the sea in a sea-shell—as to fully relate
the excellencies of a suffering Christ!

O sirs! there is in a crucified Jesus, something
proportionable to all the straits, needs, necessities,
and desires of His poor people. He is . . .
  bread to nourish them,
  a garment to cover and adorn them,
  a physician to heal them,
  a Counselor to advise them,
  a captain to defend them,
  a prince to rule them,
  a prophet to teach them,
  a priest to make atonement for them;
  a husband to protect them,
  a father to provide for them,
  a brother to relieve them,
  a foundation to support them,
  a head to guide them,
  a treasure to enrich them,
  a sun to enlighten them, and
  a fountain to cleanse them.

What more can any Christian desire
satisfy him and save him; and to make him
holy and happy, in time and eternity?

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He leaps into a sea of wrath!

Christ went through heaven and hell, life and death,
sorrow and suffering, misery and cruelty—and all to
bring us to glory! And shall we not prize Him?

When in a storm, the nobles of Xerxes had to lighten
the ship to preserve their king's life—they leaped into
the sea! But our Lord Jesus Christ, to preserve our lives,
our souls—He leaps into a sea of wrath! Oh, let us
prize a suffering Christ!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The sword of His pure, infinite, and incensed wrath

To see God thrust the sword of His pure, infinite, and
incensed wrath
through the very heart of His dearest Son,
notwithstanding all His supplications, prayers, tears, and
strong cries—is the highest manifestation of the Lord's hatred
and indignation of sin—which ever was, or ever will be!

It is true God revealed his great hatred against sin . . .
  by turning Adam out of paradise, and
  by casting the angels down to hell, and
  by drowning the old world, and
  by raining hell out of heaven upon Sodom and Gomorrah,
and by the various and dreadful judgments which He has
been a-pouring forth upon the world in all ages. But all this
hatred is but an emblem of hatred, compared to that hatred
which God manifested against sin in causing the whole curse
to meet upon our crucified Lord. It is true God reveals His
hatred of sin by those endless, easeless, and remediless
torments, which He inflicts upon devils and damned spirits.
But this is no hatred—compared to that hatred against sin,
which God revealed when He opened all the floodgates of
His envenomed wrath upon His Son—His own Son, His only
Son, His Son who always pleased Him, His Son who never
offended Him.

Suppose you saw a father who had but one son—such a son
in whom he always delighted, and by whom he had never
been provoked. Now suppose you should you see this father
inflicting the most intensified pains and punishments, tortures
and torments, calamities and miseries upon this, his dearest son.
Would you not wonder at the cause of the father's exercising
such amazing, such matchless severity, fury and cruelty upon
his only beloved son?

Now cast your eye upon the actings of God the Father towards
Jesus Christ, and you will find that He has inflicted more and
greater torments upon the Son of His dearest love, than all
mortals ever have or could inflict upon others. God made all
the penalties and sufferings that were due to us—to fall upon
Jesus Christ. God Himself inflicted upon dear Jesus whatever
was requisite to the satisfying of His justice, to the obtaining
of pardon, and to the saving of all His elect!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

This is the very knife that cut the throat of your child!

Suppose a man should come to his dinner table, and there
should be a knife laid down, and it should be told him, "This
is the very knife that cut the throat of your child!
" If
the man would use this knife as a common knife, would not
everyone say, "Surely this man had but very little love to his
child, who can use this bloody knife as a common knife!"

Just so, when you meet with any temptation to sin, oh, then
say, "This is the very knife which cut the throat of Jesus,
and pierced His sides! This very knife was the cause of His
sufferings, and made Christ to be a curse!" Ah, how should
Christians look upon sin as that accursed thing, which made
Christ a curse—and accordingly to abhor it! Oh, with what
detestation should every Christian fling away his sins! "Sin,
you have slain my Lord—and poured out His heart's blood!
You have been the only cause of the death of my Savior!"

Look upon the cross on which Christ was crucified, and the
pains He suffered thereon—and the seeming sweetness which
is in sin, will quickly vanish. When you are solicited to sin,
cast your eye upon Christ's cross; remember His astonishing
sufferings for your sin, and sin will soon grow distasteful to
your soul. How can sin not be hateful to us—if we seriously
consider how hurtful it was to Jesus Christ?

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Would he not stab it with a thousand wounds?

Sin never appears so odious, as when we behold it in the
red glass of Christ's sufferings. Can we look upon sin as
the occasion of all Christ's sufferings; can we look upon
sin as that which made Christ a curse, and which made
Him forsaken of His Father, and which made Him live
such a miserable life, and which brought Him to die such
a shameful, painful, and cruel death—and our hearts not
rise against it?

Shall our sins be grievous unto Christ—and shall they
not be odious unto us? Shall He die for our sins—and
shall not we die to our sins? Did not He suffer for sin
—that we might cease from sin?

If one would kill our father—would we hug and embrace
him? Surely not! We would be revenged on him. Sin has
killed our Savior—and shall we not be revenged on it?

Can a man look upon that snake which has stung his
dearly-loved wife to death—and preserve it alive, warm
it at the fire, and hug it in his bosom? Would he not
stab it with a thousand wounds?
It is sin which has
stung our dear Jesus to death, which has crucified our
Lord, clouded His glory, and shed His precious blood!
Oh, how should this stir up our indignation against sin!

Ah, how can a Christian make much of those sins, which
have killed his dearest Lord! how can he cherish those sins
which betrayed Christ, and bound Christ, and condemned
Christ, and scourged Christ, and which violently nailed Him
to the cross, and there murdered Him!

It was neither Judas, nor Pilate, nor the Jews, nor the
soldiers—which could have done our Lord Jesus the
least hurt—had not our sins, like so many butchers
and hangmen, come in to their assistance!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The more Christ has suffered for us

The more Christ has suffered for us—the dearer Christ
should be unto us. The greater and the bitterer Christ's
sufferings have been for us—the greater and the sweeter
should our love be to Him. O my friends! there is no love
but a superlative love, which is any way suitable to the
transcendent sufferings of dear Jesus. Oh,
  love Him above your lusts,
  love Him above your relations,
  love Him above the world,
  love Him above all your contentments and enjoyments;
  yes, love Him above your very lives!

Certainly the more Christ has suffered for us,
the more dear Christ should be unto us. The more
bitter His sufferings have been for us, the more
eminent should be our love to him. Oh, let a
suffering Christ
lie nearest your hearts!

Christ is that golden pipe through which the golden
oil of salvation runs! Oh, how should this inflame our
love to Christ! Oh, that our hearts were more affected
with the sufferings of Christ! Who can tread upon these
hot coals, and his heart not burn in love to Christ?

Oh, the infinite love of Christ—that He should leave His
Father's bosom, and come down from heaven—that He
might carry you up to heaven; that he who was a Son
should take upon Him the form of a servant; that you
slaves should be made sons; that you enemies should
be made friends, that you heirs of wrath should be made
heirs of God; that to save us from everlasting ruin, Christ
should be willing to be made flesh, to lie in a manger, to
be tempted, deserted, persecuted, and to die upon a
cross! Oh what flames of love to Christ, should these
things kindle in all our hearts.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The envy of devils

"For surely it is not angels He helps, but Abraham's
descendants." Hebrews 2:16

Stand still, and admire and wonder at the love of Jesus
Christ to poor sinners—that He should rather die for us,
than the fallen angels! They were creatures of a more
noble extract, and in all probability might have brought
greater revenues of glory to God. Yet that Christ should
pass by those golden vessels, and make us vessels of
glory—Oh, what amazing and astonishing love is this!

Why didn't Christ suffer for their sins—as well as for
ours? Why, if He suffered for any sins—why not for
theirs, rather than ours? This is the envy of devils,
and the astonishment of saints.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Sell their souls to Satan

"What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole
 world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give
 in exchange for his soul?" Matthew 16:26

We laugh at little children to see them part with rich
jewels for silly trifles; and yet daily experience tells us
that multitudes are so childish as to part with such rich
and precious jewels as their immortal souls for a lust,
or for base and unworthy trifles. Ah, for what a trifle
do many thousands sell their souls to Satan every
day! Oh, they trample under feet, that matchless
jewel—their precious and immortal souls!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Contentedly ignorant

Curiosity is one of the most dangerous engines, which the devil
uses to undo souls with. When Satan observes that men do in good
earnest set themselves to the obtaining of knowledge, then he strives
to turn them to vain inquiries and curious speculations; so that
he may keep them busied about unprofitable curiosities.

The way to make us mere fools, is to attempt to know more than
God would have us to know. Adam's tree of knowledge made him
and his posterity fools, Gen. 3:5-6. Curiosity was the bait whereby
the devil caught our first parents—and undid us all! Adam had a
mind to know as much of God as God Himself; and by this means
he came to know nothing. Curiosity is that sickness of the soul,
whereby it longs for novelties, and loathes sound and wholesome
truths; it is the epidemic distemper of this age. (Basil says that
multitudes of questions may be made about 'a fly'—which no
philosopher is ever able to answer; how much more about
heaven, hell, or the work of grace!)

Ah! how many are there who spend their precious time
in inscrutable and curious questions! Ah, what did
Christ dispute of, among the doctors?
Where did Paradise stand?
In what part of the world is local hell?
What fruit was it that Adam ate, and ruined us all?
What became of Moses' body?
How many orders and degrees of elect angels are there? etc.

Oh, that we could learn to be contentedly ignorant, where
God would not have us knowing! Let us not account it any
disparagement to acknowledge some depths in God's counsels,
purposes, decrees, and judgments—which our shallow reason
cannot fathom, Romans 11:33.

It is sad when men will be wise above what is written, and
love to pry into God's secrets, and scan the mysteries of religion
by carnal reason. God often plagues such pride and curiosity by
leaving that sort of men to strange and fearful falls.

When a curious inquisitor asked Austin what God did before
He created the world, Austin told him that "God was making
hell for such busy questionists, for such curious inquirers into
God's secrets!" Such sharp replies are the best answers to
men of curious minds.

Though I ought piously to reverence the wonderful wisdom
of God, and to wonder at his unsearchable judgments—yet
I ought not curiously and profanely to search beyond the
compass of that which God has revealed to us in His word.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

To think of hell

"To think of hell," says one, "preserves a man from falling
into it!" Says another, "He who does but hear of hell is,
without any further labor or study, taken off from sinful

Surely men's hearts are grown stupid, for how do most
men run headlong to hell, and take a pleasure to dance
hoodwinked into everlasting burnings!

Oh, had but the sinners of this day who swear and curse,
drink and party, and drown themselves in fleshly pleasures,
but one sight of this hell—how would it shut their mouths,
appall their spirits, and strike fear and astonishment into
their hearts!

"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill
 the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both
 soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:28

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The common inn of all mankind

None of us has the power to prevent the day of
 our death." Ecclesiastes 8:8

Death is the common inn of all mankind.

Death knows no difference between robes and rags,
between prince and peasant. "All flesh is grass." The
flesh of princes, nobles, counselors, generals, etc., is
grass, as well as the flesh of the lowest beggar who
walks the streets. Never was there orator so eloquent,
nor monarch so potent, who could either persuade or
withstand the stroke of death when it came! Death
comes into royal palaces, and into the poorest cottages,
and there is not a man to be found, who can make
resistance against this king of terrors, and terror of

"It is appointed unto men once to die, and after
 that to face judgment." Hebrews 9:27

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The very place in which the wicked shall lodge

"The wicked shall be turned into hell." Psalm 9:17

That is, "The wicked shall certainly be turned into the
nethermost hell!" Yes, they shall forcibly be turned into
the lowest and darkest place in hell. God will, as it were,
with both hands thrust them into hell—into that prison of
torment where divine justice eternally detains them.

Certainly, the very place in which the wicked shall
and be tormented to all eternity, namely—hell,
the bottomless pit, the dungeon of darkness, the lake
of fire and brimstone, the fiery furnace—will extremely
aggravate the dolefulness of their condition.

O sirs, were all the water in the sea ink, and every
blade of grass a pen—all would be too short to
delineate the nature of this dungeon, where all
lost souls must lodge forever!

Where is the man who, to gain a world, would lodge
one night in a room that is haunted with devils? Is
it nothing to dwell in hell with them forever?

"Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath!"
    1 Thessalonians 1:10

Oh, what infinite cause have we to exalt our dear Lord
Jesus, who by the hellish sorrows which He suffered for
us, has freed us from the dreadful bondage of sin, Satan,
and wrath that we lay under! Oh, prize that Jesus! Oh,
exalt that Christ! Oh, extol that Savior, who has saved
you from that eternal wrath!

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

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He has become the worst of creatures

Man before his fall was the best of creatures—but since his
fall he has become the worst of creatures. He who was
once the image of God, the glory of Paradise, the world's
master, and the Lord's darling—has now become . . .
  an abomination to God,
  a burden to heaven,
  a plague to the world,
  and a slave to Satan.

When man first came out of God's mint, he did shine most
gloriously, as being bespangled with holiness and clad with
the royal robe of righteousness. His understanding was filled
with knowledge; his will with uprightness; his affections with
holiness, etc. But yet, being a mutable creature, and subject
to temptations, Satan quickly stripped him of his happiness,
and cheated and cozened him out of his imperial crown—with
an apple!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Merrily on in the way to hell

"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but
 the righteous to eternal life." Matthew 25:46

Certainly there is a hell, a place of torment provided
and prepared for all wicked and ungodly people.

Ah, how many are there that rejoice to do evil, and
delight in their abominations, and take pleasure in
unrighteousness! But could men do thus, dared men
do thus—did they really believe that hell was prepared
and fitted for them, and that the fiery lake was but a
little before them?

Heaven is a place where all is joyful—and hell is a
place where all is doleful. In heaven there is nothing
but happiness—and in hell there is nothing but
heaviness, nothing but endless, easeless, and
remediless torments. Did men really believe this, how
could they go so merrily on in the way to hell?

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~


Continual imprisonment in hell, arises from man's not
being able to pay the price. The wicked go to hell as
their prison, because they can never pay their debts.
The damned must bear the wrath of God to all eternity,
because they can never satisfy the justice of God for sin.
Therefore they must lie in hell, world without end.

Despair is an unavoidable companion, attending the pains
of the second death—as all reprobates do experience.
Desperation is an utter hopelessness of any good, and
a certain expectation and waiting on the worst that can
befall; and this is the lot and portion of the damned in
hell. The wretched sinner in hell, seeing the sentence
passed against him; God's purpose fulfilled, never to be
reversed; the gates of hell made fast upon him; and a
great gulf fixed between hell and heaven, which renders
his escape impossible—he now gives up all, and reckons
on nothing but uttermost misery in his remediless,
woeful condition.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Christ, by His death

"He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree." 1 Peter 2:24

Certainly the whole punishment of body and soul which was
due unto us—Christ our Redeemer suffered. Our blessed Savior
bore all the sins of the elect. He suffered the whole punishment
which was due unto us—which we would have endured, if He had
not atoned for our sins. He felt the anguish of soul, and horror
of God's wrath, and in soul experienced the torments of hell
for us—and sustained them and vanquished them.

All the pains, torments, curse, and wrath which were due to
the elect—fell on Christ, until divine justice was fully satisfied.
Though Christ did not suffer eternal death for sinners—yet He
suffered that which was equivalent, and therefore the justice
of God is by His death wholly appeased. Christ's infinite
excellency and glory, made His short sufferings to be of
infinite worth, and equivalent to our everlasting sufferings.

Jesus suffered that which was necessary for our redemption,
namely, that torment of hell which we had deserved, and
which the justice of God required that He should endure for
our redemption. He endured that bitter pain which we
deserved to suffer eternally.

Christ, by His death . . .
  satisfied divine justice,
  pacified divine wrath,
  brought in an everlasting righteousness,
  accomplished the eternal salvation of His people.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Two great things which Jesus Christ undertook

Our Lord Jesus Christ, by once suffering, suffered for all
the sins of the elect—past, present, and to come. The
infinite wrath of God the Father fell on Him, for all the
sins of the chosen ones. The wrath of God was infinite
wrath, and the sufferings of Christ were infinite sufferings.

All the sins of God's people, in their absolute number,
from first to last, were laid upon Christ; who meritoriously
purchased perfect remission of all their sins.

There are two great things which Jesus Christ undertook
for His redeemed ones. The one was to make full satisfaction
to divine justice for all their sins—this He did by His suffering
and death. The other was to yield most absolute conformity
to the law of God, both in nature and life. By His suffering
and death, He has freed all His redeemed ones from hell.
By the imputation of His absolute conformity to the law of
God, He has qualified all the redeemed ones for heaven.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Sweetened with three ingredients

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

Never did bridegroom go with more cheerfulness to be
married to his bride—than our Lord Jesus went to His
cross! Though the cup which the Father put into Christ's
hand was bitter, very bitter—yes, the bitterest which ever
was put into any hand—yet He found it sweetened with
three ingredients
1. It was but a cup; it was not a sea.
2. It was His Father, and not Satan, who mingled
it, and who put in all the bitter ingredients in it.
3. It was a gift, not a curse, as to Himself.
"The cup which my Father gives me."

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God has an iron memory

"This is the covenant that I will make with them after
 those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws on their
 hearts, and I will write them on their minds, I will
 never again remember their sins and their
 lawless acts
." Hebrews 10:16-17

The meaning is, their iniquities shall be quite forgotten:
I will never more mention them, I will never more take
notice of them, they shall never hear more of them from
Me. Though God has an iron memory to remember the
sins of the wicked—yet He has no memory to remember
the sins of the righteous.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Who can show us any good?

"Many are asking—Who can show us any good?"
    Psalm 4:6

The Lord Jesus Christ is . . .
  the greatest good,
  a universal good,
  a matchless good,
  an incomparable good,
  an infinite good,
  an eternal good,
  the most suitable good for my poor soul.
There is everything in Christ which suits the state,
necessities, and needs of my poor soul. There is . . .
  mercy in Him to pardon me, and
  power in Him to save me, and
  wisdom in Him to counsel me, and
  grace in Him to enrich me, and
  righteousness in Him to clothe me, etc.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God's preacher in the heart

"I strive always to keep my conscience clear before
 God and man." Acts 24:16

Conscience is God's preacher in the heart. Conscience
is a thousand witnesses for or against a man. Those who
dally and tamper with this sin or that sin, develop a guilty
conscience—which clouds, clogs, and distracts the soul
with many fears, doubts, and scruples. God will have no
communion with those who, against light and checks of
conscience—dally and tamper with this sin or that sin.

The harboring of some unmortified lust, some secret,
special, peculiar sin—is the greatest and most common
cause of the lack of assurance, comfort, and peace.

How should it be otherwise, seeing God, who is infinitely
wise, holy, and righteous—will not reveal the secrets of
His love to those who harbor His known enemies in their

The great God will not regard the prayers of those who
play and dally with that very sin, or that very lust—for
which He hides His face from them.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Lord, You know

The true child of God is able to say, "Lord, You know,
that though I have had many and great failings—yet
there are no beloved sins, no bosom sins, no darling
sins, which are chargeable upon me! Lord, You know . . .

1. That there is no known sin which I don't hate and abhor.

2. That there is no known sin which I don't combat and conflict with.

3. That there is no known sin which I don't grieve and mourn over.

4. That there is no known sin which I would not heartily be rid of.

5. That there is no known sin which I don't in some measure,
endeavor in the use of holy means—to be delivered from.

6. That there is no known sin, the effectual subduing and
mortifying of which would not administer matter of the
greatest joy and comfort to me!"

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~


One of the first works of the Spirit is to make a man to
look upon all his sins as enemies; yes, as his greatest
enemies, and to deal with his sins as enemies, and to
hate and loathe them as enemies, and to fear them
as enemies, and to arm against them as enemies. He
has earnest and sincere desires, and makes careful
endeavors—to abandon all sin, to forsake all sin, and
to be rid of all sin.

Says the sincere Christian,
"Sin is the greatest evil in all the world!
 Sin is the only thing which God abhors!
 Sin brought Jesus Christ to the cross!
 Sin damns souls!
 Sin shuts heaven!
 Sin has laid the foundations of hell!
Oh, sin is . . .
  the pricking thorn in my eye,
  the deadly arrow in my side,
  the sharp sword which has . . .
    wounded my conscience,
    slain my comforts,
    hindered my prayers,
    embittered my mercies,
    put a sting into all my crosses!
Therefore I condemn it to death,
yes, to hell, from whence it came!"

Certainly, a sick man is not more desirous to
be rid of all his diseases, nor a prisoner to be
freed from all his bolts and chains—than the
true penitent is desirous to be rid of all his sins!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The worth and preciousness of time

There is nothing which puts a more serious frame
into a man's heart, than to know the worth and
preciousness of time

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

One called his friends, "Thieves!" because they
stole time from him.

Certainly time is infinitely precious, in regard of what
depends upon it. What can there be of more worth,
and weight, and importance—than eternity?

Eternity is the heaven of heaven—and the hell of hell.
Without eternity, heaven would not be so desirable—
nor hell be so formidable.

Eternity depends upon time. Time is the prologue to
eternity. The great weight of eternity—hangs upon
the small wire of time. Upon the spending of our time,
depends either the bliss or the bane of body and soul
to all eternity! Now is our seed-time, eternity is the
harvest. Whatever seed we now sow, whether of sin
or grace—it comes up in eternity!

Now is our market-time, in which, if we are wise merchants,
we may make a happy exchange of earth—for heaven; of a
valley of tears—for a paradise of delights.

Though time itself does not last—yet whatever is
everlasting, depends upon time.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The eyes of the Lord

"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight.
 Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the
 eyes of Him to whom we must give account."
    Hebrews 4:13

God is . . .
  all ear to hear,
  all hand to punish,
  all power to protect,
  all wisdom to direct,
  all goodness to relieve,
  all grace to pardon,
  all eye to observe the . . .
     ways, and
     walkings of men.

As the eyes of a well-drawn picture are fastened on us,
whichever way we turn—so are the eyes of the Lord.

"For a man's ways are in full view of the Lord,
 and He examines all his paths." Proverbs 5:21