The Lord's Prayer

By Thomas Watson



A vexing vanity!

"Deliver us from evil." Matthew 6:13

In this petition, we pray to be delivered from the
evil world. "He died for our sins, just as God our
Father planned—in order to rescue us from this
evil world
in which we live." Galatians 1:4

It is an evil world, as it is a DEFILING world. The
opinions and examples of the world are defiling.
How easily are we hurried to sin, when we have the
tide of natural corruption, and the wind of example
to carry us! "You shall not follow a multitude to do
evil." Exodus 23:2. Bad examples are contagious.
"They mingled among the pagans—and adopted
their evil customs." Psalm 106:35.

Living in the world, is like traveling on a dirty road.
It requires a high degree of grace to keep ourselves
"unspotted by the world." James 1:27.

It is an evil world, as it is an ENSNARING world. The
world is full of snares. Company is a snare; recreation
is a snare; riches are golden snares. The apostle John
speaks of the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes
and the pride of life." 1 John 2:16. The lust of the flesh
is beauty; the lust of the eye is money; the pride of life
is honor. These are the natural man's trinity.

The world is a flattering enemy. Whom it kisses—it betrays;
it is a silken halter. The pleasures of the world, like opium,
cast men into the sleep of carnal security. Lysimachus sold
his crown for a cup of water. Just so, many part with heaven
—for the world. They are enslaved with the world's golden
The world bewitched Demas. 2 Timothy 4:10. One
of Christ's own apostles was caught with a silver bait. It is
hard to drink the wine of prosperity—and not be giddy. The
world, through our innate corruption, is evil, as it is a snare.

It is an evil world, as it is a DEADENING world. It dulls and
deadens the affections to heavenly objects. Earthly things
choke the seed of the Word. A man entangled in the world
is so taken up with secular concerns, that he can no more
mind the things above—than an elephant can fly in the air!
And even such as have grace in them—when their affections
are beslimed with earth, they find themselves much
indisposed to meditation and prayer; it is like swimming
with a heavy stone around the neck!

It is an evil world, as it is a DECEITFUL world. The
world makes us believe it will satisfy our desires—
but it only increases them!

It is an evil world, as it is a VEXING world. It is full of
trouble. "In this world you will have trouble." John 16:33.

Basil was of opinion that before the fall—the rose grew
without prickles; but now every sweet flower of our life
has its thorns!
There are many things which cause trouble.
Some are troubled that they have no children, others that
they have children. The world is a vexing vanity! If a
man is poor—he is despised by the rich; if he is rich—he
is envied by the poor. If we do not find an ensnaring
world, we shall find it an afflicting world; it has more
in it to trouble us than tempt us.

The world is a sea, where we are tossed upon the surging
waves of sorrow
, and often in danger of shipwreck!

The world is a wilderness, full of fiery serpents!

What great need then, have we to pray, "Lord,
deliver us from being hurt by this evil world!"

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The Trojan horse

"Deliver us from evil." Matthew 6:13

In this petition, we pray to be delivered from the
evil of our heart, that it may not entice us to sin.

The heart is the poisoned fountain, from whence
all actual sins flow. "For from within, out of the heart
of man
, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft,
murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit,
sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness."
Mark 7:21-22.

The cause of all evil lies in a man's own bosom—all
sin begins at the heart. Lust is first conceived in the
heart—and then it is midwifed into the world. Whence
comes rash anger? The heart sets the tongue on fire.
The heart is the shop where all sin is contrived and
hammered out.

The heart is the greatest seducer. "Each one is
tempted when he is carried away and enticed by
his own lust." James 1:14. The devil could not hurt
us—if our own hearts did not give consent.
All that
he can do is to lay the bait—but it is our fault to
swallow it! How needful, therefore, is this prayer,
"Deliver us from the evil of our hearts!"

It was Augustine's prayer, "Lord, deliver me from
that evil man—myself!"

Beware of the bosom traitor—the flesh. The heart
of a man is the Trojan horse—out of which comes
a whole army of lusts! O let us pray to be delivered
from the lusts and deceits of our own heart!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Looking for some victim to devour!

"Deliver us from evil." Matthew 6:13

In this petition, we pray to be delivered from the
evil of Satan—"the wicked one." Matthew 13:19.

In what respect is Satan the wicked one?

He was the first inventor of evil. John 8:44.

His inclination is only to evil. Ephesians 6:12.

His constant practice is doing evil. 1 Peter 5:8.
He has some hand in all the evils and mischief
which happen in the world.

He hinders from all good.

He provokes to evil. The devil blows the fire of lust
and strife. When men are proud, the old serpent has
poisoned them, and makes them swell!

He is a restless adversary—he never sleeps.

Satan is a subtle contriver; there is no place that
can secure us from his assaults and inroads.

Satan is a mighty adversary. He is called the
"strong man." Luke 11:21. He takes men captive
at his pleasure. "Who are taken captive by him
at his will." 2 Tim 2:26.

The devil glories in the damnation of souls. His work
is to angle for men's souls; he lays suitable baits.

He allures the ambitious man with honor.

He allures the covetous man with riches;
he baits his hook with silver!

He allures the lustful man with beauty;
he tempts men to Delilah's lap—to keep them
from Abraham's bosom!

How needful then is this prayer, "Lord, deliver
us from the evil one!"

"Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the
 Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around
 like a roaring lion, looking for some victim
 to devour!
" 1 Peter 5:8.

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The burdens of prosperity

People are usually better in adversity, than prosperity.
A prosperous condition is not always so safe. True, it
is more pleasing to the flesh—but it is not always best.
In a prosperous state, there is more burden. Many
look at the shining and glittering of prosperity—but
not at the burdens of prosperity.

[1] There is the burden of CARE. Therefore God calls
riches "cares." Luke 8:14. A rose has its prickles—so
have riches. We think them happy, who flourish in
their silks and gold—but we do not see the troubles
and cares which attend them! A shoe may have silver
lace on it—yet pinch the foot. Many a man who goes
to his hard labor, lives a more contented life than he
who has millions. Disquieting care is the evil spirit
which haunts the rich man. When his chests are full
of gold—his heart is full of care how to increase them,
or how to secure what he has gotten. A large estate,
like a long, trailing garment—is often more
troublesome than useful.

[2] In a prosperous estate there is the burden of
ACCOUNT. Such as are in high places, have a far
greater account to give to God than others. "Unto
whom much is given—of him shall be much required."
The more golden talents any are entrusted with—the
more they have to answer for. The more their revenues
—the more their reckonings. God will say, "I gave you
a great estate—what have you done with it? How have
you employed it for My glory?"

[3] A prosperous condition has more DANGER in it.
Such as are on the top of the pinnacle of honor—are
in more danger of falling. They are subject to many
temptations. Their table is often a snare. Millions are
drowned in the sweet waters of pleasure.

A large sail overturns the vessel. Many, by having a too
large sail of prosperity, have had their souls overturned!
He has need of much wisdom and grace, to know how
to wisely bear a high condition. It is hard to carry a full
cup without spilling—and a full estate without sinning!

Prosperity breeds pride. When the tide rises higher in
the river, the boat rises higher; so, when the tide of an
estate rises higher, many men's hearts rise higher in
pride. Prosperity breeds carnal security. Samson fell
asleep in Delilah's lap—so do men in the lap of ease
and plenty. The world's golden sands, are quicksands.

God knows what is best for us. If we have less estate, we
are in less danger. If we lack the riches and honors of
others—so we lack their temptations. "How hard it is for
rich people to get into the Kingdom of God! It is easier
for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a
rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!" Luke 18:24-25.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The sword which wounds the red dragon!

"In every situation take the shield of faith, and
 with it you will be able to extinguish the flaming
 arrows of the evil one!" Ephesians 6:16

No grace more bruises the serpent's head—than faith.
It is both a shield and a sword, defensive and offensive.
It is a shield to guard the head and defend the vitals.
The shield of faith prevents the fiery darts of temptation
from piercing us through. Faith is also the sword which
wounds the red dragon!

How does faith come to be so strong—that it can resist
Satan and put him to flight?

Because faith brings the strength of Christ into the soul.
Samson's strength lay in his hair—ours lies in Christ. If a
child is assaulted—it runs and calls to its father for help.
Just so, when faith is assaulted, it runs and calls Christ,
and in His strength overcomes!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Buffeted by Satan's temptations

Why does God allow His people to be buffeted
by Satan's temptations
? He does it for many wise
and holy ends.
God allows His children to be tempted, to test their love.
Our love to God is seen, when we can look a temptation
in the face—and turn our back upon it. Though the devil
comes as a subtle serpent, and offers a golden apple—yet
the one who loves God will not touch the forbidden fruit.
When the devil offered Christ all the kingdoms of the
world, and the glory of them—such was Christ's love to
His Father, that He abhorred the temptation. True love
will not be bribed. When the devil's darts are most fiery
—a saint's love to God is most fervent. "If you love Me,
you will keep My commandments." John 14:15

God allows His children to be tempted, to test their courage.
Many have no heart to resist a temptation. No sooner does
Satan come with his solicitations—but they yield. They are
like the coward, who as soon as the thief approaches, delivers
his purse. He is a valorous Christian, who brandishes the sword
against Satan, and will rather die than yield. The heroic spirit
of a saint is never more seen than in a battlefield, when he is
fighting with the red dragon—and by the power of faith puts
the devil to flight!

God allows His children to be tempted, that they may be kept
from pride. Pride keeps grace low, so that it cannot thrive. As
the head swells—the other parts of the body waste away. Just
so, as pride swells—grace wastes away. God resists pride; and,
that He may keep His children humble, He sometimes allows
them to fall into temptation. "To keep me from getting puffed
up, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan
to torment me and keep me from getting proud." The thorn
in the flesh was to burst the bubble of pride!
Better is the
temptation which humbles me—than the duty which makes
me proud. Rather than a Christian should be proud, God lets
him fall into the devil's hands a while—that he may be cured
of swelling pride.

God allows His children to be tempted, that they may be fitter
to comfort others who are in the same distress, and speak a
word in due season to such as are weary. Paul was trained up
in the fencing-school of temptation, and was able to acquaint
others with Satan's wiles and stratagems, 2 Cor 2:11. A man
who has ridden over a place where there are quicksands, is
the fittest to guide others through that dangerous way. Just
so, he who has been buffeted by Satan, and has felt the claws
of the roaring lion—is the fittest man to deal with one who is

God allows His children to be tempted, to make them long
more for heaven, where they shall be out of gunshot, and
freed from the hissing of the old serpent! Satan vexes and
molests the saints. He lays his snares, and throws his fireballs!
But this only makes the children of God long to be gone from
hence, and pray that they had the wings of a dove, to fly
away and be at rest! Heaven is the place of rest—no bullets
of temptation fly there! The eagle that soars aloft in the air,
and sits perching upon the tops of high trees—is not troubled
with the stinging of serpents below. Just so, when believers
have got into heaven above, they shall not be stung by the
old serpent! The devil is cast out of the heavenly paradise.
Heaven is compared to an exceeding high mountain. It is so
high, that Satan's fiery darts cannot reach up to it! Death calls
the saints off the battlefield, where the bullets of temptation
fly thick—so that they may receive a victorious crown!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

To damn them with delights!

"So that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are very
 familiar with his evil schemes." 2 Corinthians 2:11

The serpent beguiled Eve with his subtlety; let
us not be beguiled by his hellish snares and plots.

Satan has a dexterity in subtle contrivances.

He hurts more as a fox than a lion.

His snares are worse than his darts.

His error damns as well as His vice;
poison kills as well as a pistol.

Satan bewitches and ensnares men, by setting
pleasing baits before them; as the riches, pleasures,
and honors of the world. "All these things will I give
you." Matthew 4:9. How many does he tempt with
this golden apple! Pride, idleness, luxury—are the
three worms which are bred by prosperity. "Those
who will be rich fall into temptation and a snare."
1 Timothy 6:9. Satan kills with these silver darts!
How many are ensnared by his luscious delights!

The pleasures of the world are the great engine by
which Satan batters down men's souls. His policy is to
tickle them to death—to damn them with delights!
The flesh would gladly be pleased, and Satan prevails
by this temptation—he drowns them in the sweet
waters of pleasure.

Such as have abundance of the world, walk in the
midst of golden snares! We had need watch our hearts
in prosperity, and pray not to be led into temptation.
We have as much need to be careful that we are not
endangered by prosperity—as a man has to be careful
at a feast where there are some poisoned dishes of food.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

This lion of hell is ever hunting after his prey!

"Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil,
 your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring
 lion, looking for some victim to devour!" 1 Peter 5:8

Consider Satan's diligence in tempting. He neglects
no time. He who would have us idle—is always busy
himself. This lion of hell is ever hunting after his
He compasses sea and land to make a proselyte.
He prowls around—he watches where he may throw in
the fireball of temptation. He is a restless spirit; if we
repulse him, he will not desist—but come again with
a new temptation.

Satan's diligence in tempting, is seen in the variety
of temptations he uses. He does not confine himself
to one kind of temptation—he has more plots than
one. He has many tools to work with. If he finds one
temptation does not prevail—he will utilize another.

If he cannot tempt to lust—he will tempt to pride.
If temptation to covetousness does not prevail—he
will tempt to extravagance.

If he cannot make men profane—he will try to make
them religious formalists.

If he cannot make them wicked—he will tempt them
to be erroneous. Error damns as well as vice. Vice
pistols; error poisons!

Satan has acquired long experience in the art of
He has been a tempter for as long as
he has been a devil. Having such experience, he
knows what the temptations are, which have foiled
others, and are most likely to prevail—as the fowler
lays those snares which have caught other birds.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God is either blind or forgetful

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

All the curses of God stand in full force against
an unpardoned sinner
. It is astonishing, that an
unpardoned man could be merry, who is heir to
all God's curses!

Luther professed there were three things
which he dared not think of, without Christ:
  his sins,
  the day of judgment.

Death to a Christless soul, is the "king of terrors."
Death is sent to the unpardoned soul with dreadful
tidings. Death is God's jailer to arrest him. Death
is a prologue to damnation. It takes away all earthly
comforts; it takes away sugared morsels; no more
mirth or music. "The music of harpists and musicians,
flute players and trumpeters, will never be heard in
you again." Rev 18:22. The sinner shall never more
taste of luscious delights, for all eternity; his honey
shall be turned into the "gall of asps." Job 20:14.

The sinner dying unpardoned, must go into damnation!
This is the second death—an undying death. He must
forever bear the anger of a sin-revenging God. As long
as God is God—so long the vial of His wrath shall be
dropping upon the damned soul.

Oh! how sad, then, is it to live and die unpardoned!
You may lay a grave-stone upon that man, and write
this epitaph upon it, "It would have been good for that
man—if he had never been born!" He will be engulfed
in a dreadful a labyrinth of fire and brimstone for all

Now, if the misery of an unpardoned state is so
inexpressible—what is the reason why so few seek
after pardon? If they lack health—they go to the
physician; but if they lack forgiveness of sin, they
seem to be unconcerned, and do not seek after it.

Why is this?

Men do not seek earnestly after forgiveness of sin,
for lack of conviction. Few are convinced what a
dreadful thing sin is—that it is distillation of all evil,
that it brings all plagues on the body, and curses
on the soul. Unless a man's sins are forgiven, there
is not the vilest creature alive—the rat, serpent or
toad, which is in a worse condition than the sinner!
For when they die they go but into the earth; but
he, dying without pardon, goes into hell torments
forever! Men are not convinced of this—so they
play with the viper of sin!

Men do not seek earnestly after forgiveness of sin,
because they are seeking other things. They seek
the world immoderately. The world is a golden snare.
"The riches of the world, are the snares of the devil."
The wedge of gold hinders many from seeking after
Men do not seek earnestly after forgiveness of sin,
out of hope of impunity. They flatter themselves in
sin, and because they have been spared so long,
therefore think God never intends to reckon with
them. "He has said in his heart—God has forgotten;
He hides His face and will never see it." Psalm 10:11.
They think that God is either blind or forgetful.
But let sinners know—that long forbearance is not
forgiveness. God bore with Sodom a long time, but
at last rained down fire and brimstone upon them.
The adjourning of the court, does not acquit the
prisoner. The longer God is taking the blow—the
heavier it will be at last, if sinners repent not!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

They are never separated

"You were sanctified, you were justified."
    1 Corinthians 6:11

Justification and sanctification are not the same.

Justification is without us—sanctification is within us.
The one is by righteousness imputed—the other is by
righteousness imparted. Justification is once and for
all—sanctification is gradual. One person is sanctified
more than another—but one cannot be more justified
than another. One has more grace than another—but
he is not more justified than another.

The matter of our justification is perfect, namely,
Christ's righteousness; but our sanctification is
imperfect, there are the spots of God's children. Our
graces are mixed with sin, our duties are defiled.

Thus justification and sanctification are not the same.

Yet, for all that,
they are never separated. God never
pardons and justifies a sinner—but He also sanctifies him.
"This is He who came by water and blood, even Jesus
Christ." 1 John 5:6. Christ comes to the soul by blood,
which denotes remission of sin; and by water, which
denotes sanctification. Let no man say he is pardoned,
who is not made holy!
This I urge against those who
talk of their sin being forgiven, and having a part in
Christ—and yet remain unconverted, and live in the
grossest sins!

Where God pardons, He purifies. Whoever God forgives,
He transforms. Let no man say his sins are forgiven—who
does not find an inherent work of holiness in his heart.
"I will place My Spirit within you and cause you to follow
My statutes and carefully observe My ordinances."
Ezekiel 36:27

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Three worms which often breed in prosperity

"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11

To make us content with "daily bread," though God
straitens us in our allowance, think seriously of the
danger there is in a high, prosperous condition.

Some are not content with "daily bread," but desire
to have their barns filled, and heap up silver as dust;
which proves a snare to them. "Those who will be rich
fall into a snare." 1 Tim 6:9. Pride, idleness, and lust
three worms which often breed in prosperity.

Prosperity often deafens the ear against God. "I spoke
unto you in your prosperity, but you said—I will not hear."
Jer 22:21. Soft pleasures harden the heart. In the body,
the more fat—the less vitality. Just so, the more outward
plenty—often the less piety.

Prosperity has its honey—and also its sting! Anxious care
is the evil spirit which haunts the rich man—and will not
let him rest. When his chests are full of money—his heart
is full of care, either how to manage or how to increase,
or how to secure what he has gotten.

Should this not make us content with that allowance which
God gives us—if we have daily bread, though not dainties?
Think of the danger of prosperity! The spreading of a full
table may be the spreading of a snare! Many have been
sunk to hell, with golden weights!

"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!" 1 Timothy 6:9.

The world's golden sands are quicksands, which should
make us take our daily bread, though it be but coarse,
contentedly. If we have less prosperity—we have less
snares. As we lack the rich provisions of the world—so
we lack their temptations. "If we have food and clothing,
we will be content with that." 1 Timothy 6:8.

If God keeps us to a spare diet—if He gives us less of
temporal things—He has made it up in spiritual things.
He has given us the Pearl of great price—the Lord Jesus,
who is the quintessence of all good things. To give us
Christ, is more than if God had given us all the world.
He can make more worlds—but He has no more Christs
to bestow. Christ is such a golden mine, that the angels
cannot dig to the bottom! His riches are unsearchable!
Ephes. 3:8. From Christ we have justification, adoption
and glorification!

Consider that it is not having an abundance, which makes
us content. It is not a fancy cage which will make the bird
sing. Having an abundance may make one less content.
One staff may help the traveler—but a bundle of staffs
will be a burden to him. A great estate may be like a
long trailing garment—more burdensome than useful.

He who can say, "My God," has enough to rock his
heart quiet in the lowest condition. What can he lack
—who has the all-sufficient God for his portion!

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be
 content with what you have, because God has said,
 Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
    Hebrews 13:5

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Here is a strange sight!
"Happy is the man whom God corrects." Job 5:17

Affliction is a means to make us happy. It seems
strange to flesh and blood—that affliction should
make us happy. When Moses saw the bush burning
and not consumed, he said, "I will turn aside and see
this strange sight!" Exod 3:3. Likewise,
here is a
strange sight
—a man afflicted, and yet happy. The
world counts them happy—who can escape affliction;
but truly happy is the man whom God corrects.

How do afflictions contribute to our happiness?

Afflictions make us happy—as they are a means of
bringing us nearer to God. The loadstone of prosperity
does not draw us so near to God, as the cords of affliction.
When the prodigal was pinched with need, he said, "I will
arise—and go to my father!" Luke 15:18. As the deluge
brought the dove to the ark—the floods of sorrow make
us hasten to Christ, our ark!

Afflictions make us happy—as they are safe guides to
glory. The storm drives the ship into the harbor. Blessed
storm—which drives the soul into the heavenly harbor!
Is it not better—to go through momentary affliction to
eternal glory—than to go through momentary pleasure to
eternal misery? The wicked must drink a sea of wrath;
but the godly have only a cup of affliction.

Think, O Christian—what affliction leads to! It leads to
paradise, where rivers of pleasure are always running!

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we
 are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed
 day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are
 achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs
 them all." 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God's file and flail

"God disciplines us for our profit."
Hebrews 12:10
What profit is in affliction?
Afflictions are
disciplinary. Afflictions teach us—they are the
school of the cross.

Affliction shows us more of our own hearts.
Water in a glass looks clear—but set it on the fire,
and the scum boils up. Just so, when God sets us
upon the fire—corruption boils up which we did not
discern before. Sharp afflictions are to the soul, as
a soaking rain to the house; we do not know that
there are holes in the roof until the shower comes
—but then we see it drop down here and there. Just
so, we do not know what unmortified lusts are in
the soul, until the storm of affliction comes—then
the hidden evils of the heart come dropping down
in many places. Affliction is a sacred eye-salve, it
clears our eyesight. Thus the rod gives wisdom.

Affliction quickens the spirit of prayer. Jonah
was asleep in the ship—but at prayer in the whale's
belly. Perhaps in a time of health and prosperity we
prayed in a cold and formal manner, we put no coals
to the incense. Then God sends some affliction or
other—to stir us up to take hold of Him. "They
poured out a prayer—when Your chastening was
upon them." Isaiah 26:16. In times of trouble
we pray feelingly and fervently.

Affliction is a means to purge out our sins.

Affliction cures the pestilence of pride—and the
fever of lust. Affliction is
God's file—to scrub
off our rust. Affliction is
God's flail—to thresh
off our husks. The water of affliction is not to
drown us—but to wash off our spots.

Affliction is a means to wean us the world.
The world often proves, not only a spider's web—but
a cockatrice egg. Corrupting worldly things, are great
enchantments. They hinder us in our passage to heaven.
Affliction sounds a retreat, to call us off the immoderate
pursuit of earthly things. When two things are frozen
together—the best way to separate them is by fire; so,
when the heart and the world are together—God has no
better way to separate them than by the fire of affliction.
Affliction is a means to purify us. It works us up to
further degrees of sanctity. "God disciplines us for our
profit—that we may share in His holiness." Hebrews 12:10.
The vessels of mercy are the brighter for scouring. As you
pour water on your linen when you would whiten it—so
God pours the waters of affliction upon us to whiten our
souls. Afflictions are in themselves bitter—but they bring
forth the sweet fruits of righteousness. Hebrews 12:11.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God shoots many kinds of arrows

"May Your will be done." Matthew 6:10

We pray here, that we may have grace to submit
to God's will patiently—in whatever He inflicts.

Patient submission to God's will, is a gracious frame
of soul, whereby a Christian is content to be at God's
disposal, and acquiesces in His wisdom. "It is the Lord's
will—let Him do what He thinks best." 1 Samuel 3:18

Patient submission to the will of God, lies in seeing His
in the affliction. "Affliction does not spring from
the soil, and trouble does not sprout from the earth."
Job 5:6. Affliction does not come by chance! Job eyed

in all that befell him. "The Lord gave me everything
I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name
of the Lord!" Job 1:21. Job looks beyond second causes
—he sees God in the affliction! "The Lord has taken it
away." There can be no submission to God's will—until
there is an acknowledging of God's hand in the affliction.

Patient submission to God's will, lies in justifying God.
God is holy and just, not only when He punishes the
wicked—but when He afflicts the righteous. "Now we
are being punished because of our wickedness and our
great guilt. But we have actually been punished far
less than we deserve." Ezra 9:13

While we live here in this valley of tears, patient
submission to God's will is much needed. The Lord
sometimes lays heavy afflictions upon us. "Your
have struck deep, and Your blows are
crushing me!" Psalm 38:2. God sometimes lays

afflictions upon us. "He multiplies my
wounds." Job 9:17.
God shoots many kinds
of arrows.

God sometimes afflicts with POVERTY—which is a
great affliction. To have an estate reduced almost to
nothing, is hard to flesh and blood. "The Almighty has
made life very bitter for me. I went away full, but the
Lord has brought me home empty." Ruth 1:20, 21

God sometimes afflicts with REPROACH. Dirt may be
cast upon a pearl; and those names may be blotted,
which are written in the book of life. Piety shields
from hell—but not from slander.

God sometimes afflicts with the DEATH of loved ones.
"Son of man, I am going to take away your dearest
treasure. Suddenly she will die!" Ezekiel 24:16

God sometimes afflicts with INFIRMITY of body.
Sickness takes away the comfort of life. Sometimes
God lets the infirmity continue long. Some diseases
are chronic, and linger and hang about the body
for many years. The Lord is pleased to exercise
many of His precious ones with chronic affliction.

God tries His people with various afflictions—so that
they have need of patient submission to His will.

Murmuring is not consistent with submission to
God's will. Murmuring is the height of impatience,
it is a kind of mutiny in the soul against God. "They
began to murmur against God." Numbers 21:5

When water is hot—then the scum boils up; when
the heart is heated with anger against God—then
murmuring boils up!

Murmuring springs from pride! Men think they
have deserved better at God's hand; and, when
they begin to swell with pride—they spit poison!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Your dying day

"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father
 has been pleased to give you the kingdom!"
    Luke 12:32

What little cause have the saints to fear death!
Are any afraid of going to a glorious kingdom?
What is there in this world that should make us
desirous to stay here? Is not this world "a valley
of tears"—and do we weep to leave it? Are we
not in a wilderness among fiery serpents—and
are we afraid to leave these serpents?

God is ever displaying the banner of His love in
heaven, and is there any love like His? Are there
any sweeter smiles, or softer embraces than His?
What hurt can death do to them—but lead them
to a glorious kingdom! Let this be a gospel
to expel the fear of death.

your dying day will be your wedding
day—and do you fear it? Is a slave afraid to be
set free? Is a virgin afraid to be matched into the
crown? Death may take away a few worldly comforts
—but it gives that which is better; it takes away a
flower—and gives a jewel! If the saints possess a
kingdom when they die, they have no cause to
fear death. A prince would not be afraid to cross
the sea, though tempestuous—if he were sure to
be crowned as soon as he came to shore!

Faith gives a title to heaven—but death gives a

of heaven! Death brings us to the end
of our sorrow, and the beginning of our joy! Death
is the entrance into a blessed eternity!

"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father
 has been pleased to give you the kingdom!"
    Luke 12:32

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 

First she looked—and then she lusted!

"Watch!" Mark 13:37

Many have lost heaven, for lack of watchfulness.
Our hearts are ready to decoy us into sin, and
the devil lies in ambush with his temptations.
We must every day keep sentinel in our souls.
"I will stand upon my watch." Habakkuk 2:1.

Watch your eyes! "I made a covenant with my
eyes." Job 31:1. Much sin comes in by the eye.
First Eve saw that the tree was good for food,
and pleasant to the eyes—then she took and ate
it! First she looked—and then she lusted. The
eye, by beholding an impure object, sets the heart
on fire. The devil often creeps in, at the window
of the eye! Watch your eyes!

Watch your ears! Much poison is conveyed through
the ear. Let your ear be open to God—and shut to sin!

Watch your hearts! "The human heart is most
deceitful and desperately wicked." Jeremiah 17:9.

Watch your heart when you are about holy things—it
will be slipping out to vanity. When Christ had been
praying and fasting, the devil tempted Him. Mt. 4:3.
After combating with Satan in prayer, we are apt to
grow secure and take our spiritual armor off—and
then the devil falls on us and wounds us!

Watch your hearts when you are in bad company.
The breath of the wicked is infectious. Nay, watch
your hearts when you are in good company. The
devil is subtle, and he can as well creep into the
as he did once into the serpent. Satan
tempted Christ by an apostle.

Watch your hearts in prosperity. Now you are in
danger of pride! The higher men's estates rise—the
higher their hearts are lifted up in pride. It is hard
to carry a full cup without spilling. Just so, it is hard
to carry a full, prosperous estate without sinning.
As Samson fell asleep in Delilah's lap—so many
have fallen so fast asleep in the lap of prosperity,
that they never awoke until they awoke in hell!

Oh, if you would get to heaven, be always upon your
watch-tower! Keep close sentinel in your souls. Who
would not watch—when it is for a glorious kingdom!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The Delilah in the bosom!

If you would not come short of the kingdom of heaven,
take heed of indulging any sin. One millstone will drown,
as well as more. One sin lived in will damn, as well as more.
If any one sin reigns—it will keep you from reigning in the
kingdom of heaven.

Especially keep from sins of your natural constitution;
your darling sin. "I kept myself from my iniquity"—that
sin which my heart would soonest decoy and flatter me
into. As in the hive there is one master bee—so in the
heart there is one master-sin. Oh, take heed of this!

How may this darling-sin be known?

1. That sin for which a man cannot endure the arrow of
a reproof, is the bosom-sin. Men can be content to have
other sins declaimed against; but if a minister puts his
finger upon the sore, and touches upon that one special
sin—then their eyes flash with fire, they are enraged,
and spit the venom of malice!

2. That sin which a man's heart runs out most to, and he
is most easily captivated by—is the Delilah in the bosom!
One man is overcome with wantonness, another by worldliness.
It is a sad thing for a man to be so bewitched by a beloved sin
that he will part with the whole kingdom of heaven—to gratify
that lust!

3. That sin which a man is least inclined to part with, is the
endeared sin. Of all his sons, Jacob could most hardly part with
. "Will you take Benjamin away!" Gen 42:35. So says
the sinner, "This and that sin I have left—but must Benjamin go
too? Must I part with this delightful sin? That goes to my heart!"

Take heed especially of this master-sin. The strength of sin
lies in the beloved sin, which, like a cancer striking at the
heart, brings death.

I have read of a monarch, who being pursued by the enemy,
threw away the crown of gold on his head—that he might run
the faster. Just so, the sin which you wore as a crown of gold
must be thrown away—that you may run the faster to the
kingdom of heaven.

Oh, if you would not lose glory, mortify the beloved sin! Set it,
as Uriah—in the forefront of the battle to be slain. By plucking
out this right eye—you will see the better to go to heaven!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The world's golden sands! 

 "Do not love the world or anything in the world.
  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father
  is not in him." 1 John 2:15
 If you would not fall short of the kingdom of heaven,
 take heed of worldly-mindedness. A covetous spirit
 chokes holy affections, as the earth puts out the fire.
 "The riches of the world, are the snares of the devil!"
 Riches are golden snares! If a man were to climb up a
 steep rock, and had weights tied to his legs—it would
 hinder him in his ascent. Just so, many golden weights
 will hinder us from climbing up the steep rock which
 leads to heaven.
 The world is no friend to grace. The more the babe
 sucks—the weaker the mother is. Just so, the more
 the world sucks—the weaker our grace is.
 Had a man a monopoly of all the wealth of the world;
 could he heap up riches to the stars—yet his heart  
 would not be filled. Covetousness is never satisfied.
 Joshua could stop the course of the sun—but could not
 stop Achan in his covetous pursuit of the wedge of gold.
 He whose heart is locked up in his chest, will be locked
 out of heaven!
 Some ships which have escaped the rocks—have
 been wrecked upon the sands. Just so, many who
 have escaped gross sins—have been wrecked upon
 the world's golden sands!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

An eyesore to the damned in hell

"There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth,
 when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the
 prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves
 thrown out!"
Luke 13:28

A great aggravation of the loss of heaven will be to
look upon others who have gained the kingdom. The
happiness of the godly in heaven, will be an eyesore
to the damned in hell
. When the wicked shall see
those whom they hated and scorned—exalted to the
kingdom, and shine with robes of glory, and they
themselves miss the kingdom—it will be a dagger at
the heart, and make them gnash their teeth for envy!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The prosperity of the wicked

"I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity
 of the wicked.
This is what the wicked are like—
 always carefree, they increase in wealth. Surely
 in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have
 I washed my hands in innocence."
    Psalm 73:3, 12-13

The children of God have little cause to envy the
prosperity of the wicked.
They may have all they
can desire; nay, they may have "more than heart
can wish." Psalm 73:7. They steep themselves in
pleasure! "They sing to the music of tambourine
and harp; they make merry to the sound of the
flute." Job 21:12. The wicked are high—when
God's people are low in the world.

The goats scramble up the mountains of prosperity;
when Christ's sheep are below in the valley of tears!
The wicked are clothed in purple; while the godly
are in sackcloth. The prosperity of the wicked is
a great stumbling block. But there is no cause to
envy them, if we consider two things:

First—that this is all they have! "Son, remember
that you in your lifetime received your good things"
—you had all your heaven here.

Secondly—that God has laid up better things for
His children
. He has prepared a kingdom of glory for
them! They shall have the beatific vision; they shall
be crowned with the pleasures of paradise forever!
Oh, then do not envy the fleeting prosperity of the

The wicked go through a pleasant way—to execution!
The godly go through a foul way—to coronation!

See how happy all the saints are at death! They go
to a kingdom! They shall see God's face, which shines
ten thousand times brighter than the sun in its meridian
glory. The godly at death shall be installed into their
honor, and have the royal crown set upon their head.
They have in the kingdom of heaven—the quintessence
of all delights. They shall lie in Christ's bosom, that bed
of spices.

There is such a pleasant variety in the happiness of heaven,
that after millions of years it will be as fresh and desirable
as the first hour's enjoyment! In the kingdom of heaven,
the saints are crowned with all those perfections which they
are capable of. The desires of the glorified saints are infinitely
satisfied; there is nothing absent which they could wish might
be enjoyed; there is nothing present which they could wish
might be removed.
In the kingdom of heaven there is . . .
  knowledge without ignorance,
  holiness without sin,
  beauty without blemish,
  strength without weakness,
  light without darkness,
  riches without poverty,
  ease without pain,
  liberty without restraint,
  rest without labor,
  joy without sorrow,
  love without hatred,
  plenty without surfeit,
  honor without disgrace,
  health without sickness,
  peace without discord,
  contentment without cessation,
  glory in its highest elevation!
Oh, the happiness of those who die in the
Lord! They go into this blessed kingdom!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

True faith

True faith is joined with holiness. As a little
musk sweetens, so a little faith purifies. Though
faith does but touch Christ—it fetches a healing
virtue from Him. Justifying faith does that in a
spiritual sense, which miraculous faith does—it
removes the mountains of sin, and casts them
into the sea of Christ's blood!

True faith is prolific. It brings forth fruit; it has
Rachel's beauty—and Leah's fruitfulness. Faith is
full of good works. It believes as if it did not work
—and it works as if it did not believe. Faith is the
spouse-like grace which marries Christ; and good
works are the children which it bears!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The fire, the worm, the prison are eternal!

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

See what opposite ways, the godly and the wicked go
at death! The godly go to a glorious kingdom; the
wicked go to a loathsome prison! The devil is the jailer,
and they are bound with the chains of darkness. Jude 6.
What are these chains?
Not iron chains—but worse; the
chain of God's decree, decreeing them to righteous
torment; and the chain of God's power, whereby He
binds them fast under eternal wrath!

The deplorable condition of impenitent sinners, is that
when they die—they go to a dreadful dungeon. Oh,
think what horror and despair will possess the wicked,
when they see themselves engulfed in misery, and their
condition hopeless, helpless, endless! They are in a fiery
prison—and there is no possibility of getting out!

A servant under the law, who had a hard master—at
every seventh year might go free. But in hell there is
no year of release when the damned shall go free—
the fire, the worm, the prison are eternal!

If the whole world, from earth to heaven, were filled with
grains of sand, and once in a thousand years an angel
should come and fetch away one grain—how many millions
of ages would pass before that vast heap of sand would be
spent! Yet, if after all this time the sinner might come out
of hell, there would be some hope. But this word "forever!"
breaks the heart with despair!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

My sweet pomegranate wine

"Christ's love compels us." 2 Corinthians 5:14

True love to love God turns the soul into a seraphim;
it makes it burn in a flame of affection. Love is the
truest touchstone of sincerity.

Love is the queen of the graces; it commands the
whole soul. If our love to God is genuine, we let Him
have the supremacy of our love. We will set Him in
the highest place of our soul. We will give Him the
purest of our love. "I would give You spiced wine to
my sweet pomegranate wine." Canticles 8:2.
If the spouse had anything better—a cup more juicy
and spiced—Christ would drink of that!

We give the creature the milk of our love;
God gets the cream!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

No serpent of sin will breed there

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

The kingdom of heaven excels all other kingdoms in
holiness. Earthly kingdoms are for the most part unholy;
there is a common sore of luxury and uncleanness running
in them. Earthly kingdoms are stages for sin to be acted on.
"All the tables are covered with vomit and there is not a spot
without filth." Isaiah 28:8. But the kingdom of heaven is so
holy—that it will not mix with any corruption. It is so pure a
no serpent of sin will breed there. There, beauty
is not stained with lust, and honor is not swelled with pride.
Holiness is the brightest jewel of the crown of heaven.

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

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

What would the damned in hell
give, for one hour's sleep!

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

In the kingdom of heaven—we shall be freed
from the torments of hell.

Consider the multiplicity of those torments.
In this life, the body is usually exercised with
only one pain at one time; but in hell there
is a diversity of torments. There is . . .
  darkness to affright,
  fire to burn,
  a lake of sulphur to choke,
  chains to bind, and
  the worm to gnaw!

The torments of hell will seize upon every part of the
body and soul.
The eye shall be tortured with the sight
of devils; and the tongue that has sworn so many oaths,
shall be tortured. "Send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip
of his finger in water, and cool my tongue." Luke 16:24.
The memory will be tormented to remember the mercies
that have been abused, and seasons of grace neglected.
The conscience will be tormented with self-accusations.

The pains of hell are unmitigated, with no mixture of
mercy. In this life, God in anger remembers mercy. But
in hell there is no alleviation or lessening of the pains.
In hell, there is no oil of mercy to assuage the sufferings
of the damned.

In the pains of hell, there is no intermission.
smoke of their torment rises forever and ever, and they
will have no rest day or night!" Rev 14:11.
What would
the damned in hell give, for one hour's sleep!
are perpetually on the rack. There is no expiration in the
pains of hell; they must always lie scorching in flames of

But in the heavenly kingdom, the elect shall be freed
from all infernal torments. "Jesus, who rescues us from
the coming wrath!" A prison is not made for the King's
Christ drank that bitter cup of God's wrath—
that the saints might never drink it!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Desiring God

We may know the kingdom of grace is set up in
our hearts—by having true desires after God. By
the beating of this pulse—we conclude there is life.

A true desire after God is sincere. We desire God for
Himself, for His intrinsic excellencies. The savor of the
ointment of Christ's graces draws the virgins' desires after
Him. Canticles 1:3. A true saint desires God not only for
what He has—but for what He is; not only for His rewards
—but for His holiness. No hypocrite can thus desire God.
He may desire Him for His jewels—but not for His beauty!

A true desire after God is insatiable. It cannot be satisfied
without God; let the world heap her honors and riches—they
will not satisfy. No flowers or music will content him who is
thirsty. Just so, nothing will quench the soul's thirst—but the
blood of Christ!
He faints away, his heart breaks with longing
for God. Psalm 84:2; Psalm 119:20.

A true desire after God is active. It flourishes into endeavor.
"With my soul have I desired you in the night; yes, with my
spirit within me will I seek you early." Isaiah 26:9. A soul that
desires aright says, "I must have Christ! I must have grace!
I must have heaven, though I take it by storm!"

A true desire after God is supreme. We desire Christ, not
only more than the world—but more than heaven! "Whom
have I in heaven but You?" Psalm 73:25. Heaven itself would
not satisfy—without Christ. Christ is the diamond in the ring
of glory!

A true desire after God is increasing. A little of God will not
satisfy—but the pious soul desires still more. A drop of water
is not enough for the thirsty traveler. Though a Christian is
thankful for the least degree of grace—yet he is not satisfied
with the greatest degree of grace. He still thirsts for more of
Christ, and His Spirit. A saint would have more knowledge,
more sanctity, more of Christ's presence. A glimpse of Christ
through the lattice of an ordinance is sweet; but the soul will
never stop longing—until it sees Him face to face! It desires to
have grace perfected in glory! It desires to be wholly plunged
into the sweetness of God. We would be swallowed up in God,
and be forever bathing ourselves in those perfumed waters of
pleasure, which run at His right hand!

Surely this sincere desire after God is a blessed sign that the
kingdom of grace has come into our hearts. The beating of
this pulse shows life! "Desires for God—are from God." If iron
moves upwards contrary to its nature—it is a sign some magnet
has been drawing it. Just so, if the soul moves towards God in
sincere desires—it is a sign the magnet of the Spirit has been
drawing it!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 

Satan's workshop!

"May Your kingdom come." Matthew 6:10

When we pray, "May Your kingdom come," we pray
that the kingdom of grace may come into our hearts.
"The kingdom of God is within you." Luke 17:21.

Why is grace called a kingdom?
Because, when
grace comes, there is a kingly government set up in
the soul. Grace rules the will and affections, and brings
the whole man in subjection to Christ. Grace . . .
  kings it in the soul,
  sways the scepter,
  subdues mutinous lusts, and
  keeps the soul in a spiritual decorum.

Unless the kingdom of grace is set up in our hearts—

our purest offerings are defiled. They may be good
as to the matter—but not as to the manner; they
lack that which would meliorate and sweeten them.
Until the kingdom of grace is in our hearts, our good
works do not purify us—but we pollute them! Even
the prayer of an ungracious person is sin.
Lord hates the sacrifice of the wicked." Proverbs 15:8.

A sinner's best works are 'opera mortua'dead
And those works which are dead, cannot please
God. A dead flower has no sweetness. Hebrews 11:6.

Unless the kingdom of grace is set up in our hearts—

we are loathsome in God's eyes. "My soul loathed them."
Zech 11:8. A heart void of grace looks blacker than
hell. Sin transforms man into a devil. So deformed is a
graceless person, that when once he sees his own
filth and leprosy,
the first thing he does is to loathe
and abhor himself. "You shall loathe yourself in your
own sight for all your evils!" Ezekiel 20:43.

Unless the kingdom of grace is set up in our hearts—

we are of the bastard brood of the old serpent—and
so cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven! "You
are the children of your father the Devil!" John 8:44.

Unless the kingdom of grace is set up in our hearts—

the kingdom of Satan is set up in them! They are said
to be under "the power of Satan." Acts 26:18. Satan
commands the will—by his subtle temptations he can
draw it. He is said to take men captive "at his will."
2 Tim 2:26.

The sinner's heart is the devil's mansion-house. "I will
return into my house." Matthew 12:44. The sinner's heart
Satan's workshop, where he works. "Satan, the mighty
prince of the power of the air, who now works in the children
of disobedience." Eph 2:2. The members of the body are the
tools with which Satan works. He possesses men. In Christ's
time many had their bodies possessed—but it is far worse to
have the souls possessed. One is possessed with an impure
devil, another with a revengeful devil, another with a
devil, etc.

The ship goes full sail when the wind blows. Just so, men
go full sail in sin when the devil, the prince of the air, blows
them! Thus, until the kingdom of grace comes—men are
under the power of Satan, who writes all his laws in blood.

Unless the kingdom of grace is set up in our hearts—we
are exposed to the wrath of God. What will it be—when
God stirs up all His anger? So inconceivably torturing is
God's wrath, that the wicked call to the rocks and mountains
to fall on them and hide them from it. Rev 6:16. The hellish
torments are compared to a fiery lake. Rev 20:15. Other fire
is but painted fire—in comparison with this! This lake of fire
burns forever. Mark 9:44. God's breath kindles this fire. Isa
30:33. Where shall we find buckets to quench it? Time will
not finish it; tears will not quench it. To this fiery lake men
are doomed—until the kingdom of grace is set up in them.
Hell follows death!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He welcomes them to hell

"The prince of this world." John 16:11

The devil has a kingdom. His throne is set up in
the hearts of men. Satan does not care for their

—but their hearts! Satan's empire is very
large. Most people in the world pay tribute to him.

His kingdom has two characters:

[1] Satan's kingdom is a kingdom of IMPIETY.
Nothing but sin goes on in his kingdom. Murder
and heresy, lust and treachery, oppression and
division—are the constant trade driven in his
dominions. He is called "the unclean spirit."
Nothing else but iniquity is propagated in
his kingdom.

[2] Satan's kingdom is a kingdom of SLAVERY.
He makes all his subjects—slaves. The sinner is
held captive under the grim tyranny of the devil!

Satan is a tyrant—and a worse tyrant than any
other! Other tyrants do but rule over the body:
but Satan rules over the soul! He rides his
captives—as we ride upon horses.

Other tyrants have some pity on their slaves.
Though they make them work in the galleys;
yet they give them food, and let them have
their hours for rest. But Satan is a merciless
tyrant—who gives his slaves poison instead of
food, and hurtful lusts to feed on! 1 Tim 6:9.
Nor will he let his slaves have any rest—he
wearies them out to do his drudgery. "They
weary themselves to commit iniquity." Jer 9:5.
When men have served him to their utmost
he welcomes them to hell with fire
and brimstone! Thus he is the worst of tyrants.

Men are willing slaves to Satan! They will fight
and die for him! Therefore he is not only called
"the prince of this world," but "the god of this
world" (2 Cor 4:4), to show what power he has
over men's souls.

O let us pray that "they may come to their senses
and escape the Devil's trap, having been captured
by him to do his will." 2 Timothy 2:26

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Sharp arrows!

"Our Father in heaven." Matthew 6:9

If God is our Father, then however He treats His
children, is done in love. If He frowns; if He dips
His pen in gall, and writes bitter things; if He
disciplines—it is all done in love! "For the Lord
disciplines the one He loves, and punishes every
son whom He receives." Hebrews 12:6

A father loves his child as well when he chastises and
disciplines him—as when he settles his inheritance on
him! "Those whom I love—I rebuke and discipline."
Rev 3:19. "Afflictions are
sharp arrows—but they
are shot from the hand of a loving Father!"

Correction is God's gymnasium. Correction is God's
school of character
. God afflicts His children—in love!
He does it to humble and purify. Gentle correction is
as necessary as daily bread! There is love in all! God
—that He may save! "God disciplines us for our
good, that we may share in His holiness." Heb. 12:10

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~ 

The epitome of misery!

Hell is
the epitome of misery!

Surely sin must be the greatest evil—which
separates us from the greatest good.

"Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into
 everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and 
his demons." Matthew 25:41

"Depart from Me."

Why, sinners might plead, "Lord, if we must
  depart from You, let us have Your blessing."
"No! Depart—you who are cursed."

"Lord, if we must depart from You, let it be
  into some place of ease and rest."
"No! Depart into fire!"

"Lord, if we must go into fire, let it be for a
  short time—let the fire be quickly put out."
"No! Go into everlasting fire!"

"Lord, if it is so, that we must be there,
  let us be with good company."
"No! Go with the
devil and his demons!"

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

We have no inherent power

"Deliver us from evil." Matthew 6:13

To keep us from falling into sin, let us be much in
We have no inherent power to keep
ourselves from sin. Let us pray the prayers of David,
"Hold me up—and I shall be safe!" Psalm 119:117.
"Hold up my goings in your paths, that my footsteps
slip not." Psalm 17:5. "Keep back Your servant from
presumptuous sins." Psalm 19:13.

The child is safe in the father's arms. Just so, we
are only safe from falling into sin—while we are held
up in the arms of Christ and free grace! "I give them
eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can
snatch them out of My hand!" John 10:28

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

What an odious thing
What an odious thing sin is! Sin is the accursed thing.
Josh 7:13. It is the abominable thing which God hates.
"Oh do not this abominable thing that I hate." Jer 44:4.
Sin is called filthiness. James 1:21. If all the evils in the
world were put together, and their essence strained out,
they could not make a thing so filthy as sin is! So odious
is a sinner, that God loathes the sight of him. "My soul
loathed them!" Zech 11:8.

He who defiles himself with avarice, what
is he but a serpent licking the dust!

He who defiles himself with lust, what
is he but a swine with a man's head!

He who defiles himself with pride, what is he
but a bubble which the devil has blown up!

He who defiles himself with drunkenness,
what is he but a staggering beast!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Remedies and antidotes against sin

"Your Word have I hid in my heart—that I
 might not sin against You." Psalm 119:11

If you would be kept from the evil of sin—be
well versed in Scripture. The Word is a two-
edged sword, to cut asunder men's lusts!

When the fogs and vapors of sin begin to rise,
let but the light of Scripture shine in the soul,
and it dispels them.

The Word shows the damnable evil of sin. It also
furnishes us with precepts, which are so many
remedies and antidotes against sin. When
Christ had a temptation to sin, he beat back the
tempter, and wounded him three times with the
sword of the Spirit! "It is written!"

"Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly."
     Colossians 3:16

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He is always fishing for our souls

"Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the
, your great enemy. He prowls around
 like a roaring lion, looking for some victim
 to devour!" 1 Peter 5:8

Satan continually lies in ambush, and watches
to draw us to sin. The devil stands girded for
He is always fishing for our souls.
He is either laying snares—or shooting darts.
Therefore we have need to watch him—that we
be not decoyed into sin.

Most sin is committed for lack of watchfulness.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Watch your eyes!

If we would be kept from actual sins—let us be
careful to avoid all the inlets and occasions of sin.

Do not run into evil company. He who would not
catch the plague—must not go into an infected house.

Guard your senses, which may be the inlets to sin.
Keep the two portals, the eye and the ear. Especially
guard your eyes. Much sin comes in by the eye; the
eye is often an inlet to sin; sin takes fire at the eye.
The first sin in the world, began at the eye. "When
the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for
food and pleasing to the eye—she took some and ate
it." Genesis 3:6. Looking begat lusting! Intemperance
begins at the eye. Looking on the wine when it is red
and gives its color in the glass, causes excess of
drinking. Proverbs 23:31.

Covetousness begins at the eye. "When I saw among
the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and a wedge
of gold, I coveted them and took them." Josh 7:21.

The fire of lust begins to kindle at the eye. David walking
upon the roof of his house saw a woman washing herself,
and she was, says the text, "beautiful to look upon," and
he sent messengers and took her, and defiled himself with
her. 2 Samuel 11:2.

watch your eyes! Job made a covenant with
his eyes. Job 31:1. If the eye is once inflamed, it will be
hard to stand out long against sin. If the outworks are
taken by the enemy, there is great danger of the whole
castle being taken.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

There is no fear of God before their eyes!

"Through the fear of the Lord, a man avoids evil."
    Proverbs 16:6

If you would be kept from actual sins—get the fear
of God planted in your hearts. The fear of God is a
bridle to sin—and a spur to holiness. The fear of God
puts a holy awe upon the heart and binds it to godly
behavior. When the Empress Eudoxia threatened to
banish Chrysostom, "Tell her," said he, "I fear nothing
but sin!" The fear of God stands as a porter at the door
of the soul, and keeps sin from entering.

All sin is committed for lack of the fear of God. "Their
throat is an open grave; they deceive with their tongues.
Vipers' venom is under their lips. Their mouth is full of
cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and wretchedness are in their paths, and the path of
peace they have not known.
There is no fear of God
before their eyes!
" Romans 3:13-18. Holy fear stands
sentinel, and is ever watching against carnal security, pride,
and wantonness. The fear of God is the Christian's lifeguard
to defend him against the fiery darts of temptation!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God's love tokens
"Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline."
    Revelation 3:19

Afflictions are
God's love tokens. Afflictions
are sharp arrows—but shot from the hand of
a loving Father. If a man should throw a bag
of money at another, and it should bruise him
a little, he would not be offended—but take it
as a fruit of love. Just so, when God bruises
us with affliction, it is to enrich us with the
golden graces of His Spirit, and all is in love!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Draw the deformed face of sin!

"Deliver us from evil." Matthew 6:13

Here we pray to be delivered from the evil of SIN.
Not that we pray to be delivered from the presence
and indwelling of sin, for that cannot be in this life;
we cannot shake off this viper. But we pray that God
would deliver us more and more from the power and
practice, from the scandalous acts of sin. Sin is the
deadly evil which we pray against.

With what pencil shall I be able to
draw the deformed
face of sin!
I shall endeavor to show you what a vile
monster sin is. Sin, as the apostle says, is "exceedingly
sinful." Romans 7:13. Sin is the very distillation of evil;
it is called the "accursed thing." Joshua 7:13.

Sin fetches its pedigree from hell. It is of the devil.
John 8:44. It calls the devil "father". Sin is the poison
which the old serpent has spit into our virgin nature.

Look upon sin in its NATURE, and it is evil. See what
the Scripture compares it to. It has got a bad name.
It is compared to the vomit of dogs (2 Peter 2:22);
to a menstruous cloth (Isaiah 30:22); and to a
gangrene (2 Tim 2:17). People with these diseases,
we would be averse to eat and drink with.
Sin is evil in its nature, because it is transgression
against God. It is a breach of his royal law. It is
high treason against heaven. What greater injury
can be offered to a prince, than to trample upon
his royal edicts? "They cast Your law behind their
backs." Neh 9:26. Sin is an affront to God, as it is
walking contrary to Him. Lev 26:40. The Hebrew
word for sin signifies rebellion. It flies in the face
of God. "He stretches out his hand against God."
Job 15:25. We ought not to lift up a thought against
God, much less to lift up a hand against Him; but the
sinner does both. Sin is the killing of God. Sin would
not only unthrone God—but ungod Him! If sin could
help it, God would no longer be God!

Sin is an act of high INGRATITUDE to God. He feeds
a sinner, screens off many evils from him; and yet he
not only forgets his mercies—but abuses them! "It was
I who gave her everything she has—the grain, the wine,
the olive oil. Even the gold and silver she used in
worshiping the god Baal were gifts from me!" Hos 2:8.
God may say, I gave you wit, health, riches, which you
have employed against me. A sinner makes an arrow
of God's mercies—and shoots at Him! "Is this your
kindness to your friend?" 2 Samuel 16:17. Did God
give you life—to sin? Did He give you wages—to serve
the devil? Oh, what an ungrateful thing is sin!

Sin is a FOOLISH thing. Is it not foolish to prefer a
short lust—before an eternal inheritance? A sinner
prefers the pleasures of sin for a season—before
those pleasures which are at God's right hand for
evermore. Is it not folly to gratify an enemy? Sin
gratifies Satan. Men's sins feast the devil. Is it not
folly for a man to be guilty of his own destruction,
to give himself poison? A sinner has a hand in his
own death. "They lay wait for their own blood."
Proverbs 1:18. No creature did ever willingly kill
itself, but man.

Sin is a POLLUTING thing. It is not only a defection,
but a pollution; it is as rust to gold, as a stain to beauty.
It is called "filthiness of flesh and spirit." 2 Cor 7:1. It
makes the soul red with guilt—and black with filth! This
filth of sin is internal. A spot in the face may easily be
wiped off—but to have the liver and lungs tainted, is
far worse. Sin has gotten into the conscience. Titus 1:15.
It defiles all the faculties—the mind, memory, affections,
as if the whole mass of blood were corrupted.

Sin is a DEBASING thing. It degrades us of our honor.
Sin blots a man's name. Nothing so turns a man's glory
into shame, as sin. It makes a man like a beast. Psalm
49:20. It is worse to be like a beast than to be a beast;
it is no shame to be a beast—but it is a shame for a

to be like a beast. Lust makes a man brutish,
and anger makes him devilish.

Sin is an ENSLAVING thing. A sinner is a slave when he
sins most freely. Sin makes men the devil's servants.
Satan bids them sin—and they do it. When a man
commits sin, he is the devil's lackey, and runs on his
errand. Those who serve Satan have such a bad master,
that they will be afraid to receive their wages.

Sin is an OFFENSIVE thing. "They have all together
become filthy;" in the Hebrew, they have become

. Psalm 14:3. Sin is very offensive to God.
He will not come near the dunghill sinner, who has
such a foul stench coming from him.

Sin is a PAINFUL thing. It costs men much labor and
pains to accomplish their wicked designs. "They weary
themselves to commit iniquity." Jer 9:5. "Sin is its own
punishment." How they tire themselves out in sin's
drudgery!  A wicked man sweats at the devil's plough
—and is at great pains to damn himself!

Thus you see what an evil sin is in the nature of it,
and what need we have to pray, "Deliver us from evil."

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Satan takes off his lion's skin

Satan carries on his evil designs against us, under
the highest pretenses of friendship. He puts silver
upon his bait, and dips his poisoned pills in sugar,
as some courtiers who make the greatest pretenses
of love, where they have the most deadly hatred.

Satan takes off his lion's skin, and comes in
sheep's clothing; he pretends kindness and friendship,
and pleads what might be for our good. Thus he came
to Christ, "I see that you are hungry, and there is no
food for you in the wilderness; I, therefore, pitying
your condition, wish you to get something to eat. Turn
stones to bread, that your hunger may be satisfied."
But Christ spied the temptation, and with the sword
of the Spirit, wounded the old serpent!

Thus Satan came to Eve, and tempted her under the
notion of a friend. "Eat of this tree, and it will make
you omniscient, you shall be as gods." What a kind
deceitful devil was here! But it was a subtle temptation.
She greedily swallowed the bait—and ruined herself and
all her posterity. Let us fear his fallacious flatteries!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Satan's drag-net

Ungodly men presume that God will be merciful to
them. Satan soothes men in their sins; he preaches
to them, "God is merciful" and deludes them with
golden dreams. "How many with vain hope—go
down to hell!" Presumption is
Satan's drag-net,
by which he drags millions to hell.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Ignorant people

Satan tempts some people more than others. Some
are like wet tinder, who will not so soon take the fire
of temptation as others. Satan tempts most where
he thinks his policies will most easily prevail.

Satan most broods upon
ignorant people with his
temptations. The devil can lead these into any snare.
You may lead a blind man anywhere. Satan knows it
is easy to put a temptation in the way of the blind,
at which they shall stumble into hell. The bird that
is blind is soon shot by the fowler. Satan, the god
of this world, blinds men—and then shoots them!
An ignorant man cannot see the devil's snares!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He wraps his poisonous pills in sugar

"Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It
 is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade
 as servants of righteousness." 2 Corinthians 11:14-15

Satan, in tempting, baits his hook with religion.
He can tempt to sin under pretenses of piety.
Sometimes he is the white devil, and transforms
himself into an angel of light. Celsus wrote a book
full of error, and he entitled it, "The Book of Truth."
So Satan can write the title of "religion" upon his
worst temptation. Thus
he wraps his poisonous
pills in sugar
. Who would suspect him when he
comes as a minister, and quotes Scripture?

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

An old serpent!

Satan is a very subtle tempter. The Greek word
to tempt, signifies to deceive. Satan, in tempting,
uses many subtle plots to deceive. We read . . .
  of the "depths of Satan",
  of his "devices and stratagems",
  of his "snares and darts".

He is called a lion for his cruelty—and
an old
for his subtlety. He has several sorts
of subtlety in tempting.

Satan observes the natural temper and constitution
of men. He does not know the hearts of men—but he
may feel their pulse, know their temper—and can apply
himself accordingly. As the farmer knows what seed is
proper to sow in such a soil—so Satan, finding out the
temper of a man, knows what temptations are proper
to sow in his heart. He blows the wind of temptation
in the same way the tide of a man's constitution runs.
Satan tempts . . .
  the ambitious man with a crown,
  the lustful man with beauty,
  the covetous man with a wedge of gold.

He provides savory food—such as the sinner loves!

Satan chooses the fittest season to tempt in. As a
cunning angler casts in his bait when the fish will
bite best—so the devil knows the best time when
temptation is likeliest to prevail.

When we have broken out of his prison in conversion,
he will pursue us with violent temptations. The devil
labors to strangle the new-born soul with temptation!
When the first buddings and blossoms of grace begin
to appear, the devil would nip the tender buds with
the sharp blasts of temptation.

The devil tempts, when he finds us idle. When the
fowler sees a bird sit still and perch upon the tree,
he shoots it. Just so, when Satan observes us sitting
still, he shoots his fiery darts of temptation at us!
"While men slept, his enemy sowed tares;" so, while
men sleep in sloth, Satan sows his tares. When David
was walking idly on the housetop—the devil set a
tempting object before him—and it prevailed!

Satan tempts when he sees us weakest.
He breaks over the hedge—where it is lowest.

Satan tempts us—when we are alone; as he came to
Eve when her husband was away, and she the less
able to resist his temptation. Satan's policy is to give
his poison privately—when no one is by to reveal the
treachery. He is like a cunning suitor who woos the
daughter when the parents are from away home.
When we are alone—the devil comes wooing with
a temptation, and hopes to have the match struck!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

God's will

"May Your will be done" Matthew 6:10

(1) God's will is SOVEREIGN. He has a supreme right
and dominion over His creatures—to dispose of them
as He pleases. A man may do with his own, as he
desires. "Is it not lawful for Me to do what I will with
My own?" Matthew 20:15. A man may cut his own
timber as he will. God may do with us as He sees good.
He is not accountable to any creature for what He does.
"He gives no account of any of His matters." Job 33:13.
Who shall call God to account? Who is higher than the
highest? Eccles. 5:8. What man or angel dare summon
God to his bar? God will take an account of our conduct
towards Him—but He will give no account of His conduct
towards us. He has an absolute jurisdiction over us, as
a sovereign—to do with us whatever He pleases. We
are not to dispute with God—but to submit to God.

God's will is WISE. He knows what is conducive to the good
of His people. "The Lord is a God of judgment," that is, He
is able to judge what is best for us; therefore rest in His
wisdom and acquiesce in his will. Isaiah 30:18. Did we but
study how wisely He steers all occurrences, and how He often
brings us to heaven by a cross wind—it would much quiet our
spirits, and make us say, "May Your will be done." God's will
is guided by wisdom. Should He sometimes let us have our
will—we would undo ourselves! Did He let us carve for ourselves
—we would choose the worst piece! Lot chose Sodom because
it was well watered—but God rained fire upon it!

God's will is JUST. "Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?"
Gen 18:25. God's will is the rule and measure of justice. The wills
of men are corrupt, therefore unfit to give law; but God's will is
a holy and unerring will. Psalm 97:2. God may cross us—but He
cannot wrong us. He may be severe with us—but never unjust.

(4) God's will is GOOD and GRACIOUS. It promotes our interest.
If it is His will to afflict us, He shall make us say at last, "it was
good for us, that we were afflicted." His flail shall only thresh
off our husks. That which is against our will, shall not be
against our profit.
(5) God's will is IRRESISTIBLE. We may oppose it—but we
cannot hinder it. The rising up of our will against God—cannot
stop the execution of His will. "Who has resisted His will?"
Romans 9:19. Who can stop the sun in its movements?
Who can hinder the progress of God's will? Therefore it
is in vain to contest with God. His will shall take place!
There is no way to overcome Him—but by lying at His feet.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A voluminous mercy

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

Forgiveness of sin is a choice blessing, as it lays a
foundation for other mercies. It is a leading mercy.
Forgiveness of sin never comes alone—but has other
spiritual blessings attending it. Those whom God
pardons—He sanctifies, adopts, and crowns!

Forgiveness of sin is
a voluminous mercy, it draws
the silver link of grace, and the golden link of glory
after it. God seals the sinner's pardon with a kiss.

God forgives—not because we are worthy—but
because He is gracious. "The Lord, the Lord God,
merciful and gracious." Exod 34:6. He forgives
out of his mercy. Acts of pardon are acts of grace.

What worthiness was there in Paul before conversion?
He was a blasphemer, and so he sinned against the first
table of the law; he was a persecutor, and so he sinned
against the second table of the law; but free grace
sealed his pardon! "I obtained mercy," that is, "I was
all bestrewed with mercy!" 1 Timothy 1:13.

What worthiness was in the woman of Samaria?
She was ignorant. John 4:22. She was immoral; ver 18.
She was morose and churlish, she would not give Christ
so much as a cup of cold water; ver 9. "You are a Jew a
and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for
a drink?" What worthiness was here?
Yet Christ overlooked all, and pardoned her ingratitude;
and though she denied him water out of the well—yet He
gave her the water of life.

Free grace does not find us worthy—but makes us

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Some have two hells

Suffering Christian—remember that this is all
the hell you shall have.
Some have two hells.
They suffer now in their body and conscience,
which is one hell; and they will suffer eternally
in another hell to come, in unquenchable fire!
Judas had two hells—but a child of God has but
one. Lazarus had all his hell here on earth; he
was full of sores—but had a convoy of angels
to carry him to heaven when he died. Say,
then, "Lo! if this is the worst I shall have, if
this is all my hell—I will patiently acquiesce.
May Your will be done."

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The red lines of Christ's blood

To forgive sin, is for God to blot it out. "I am He
who blots out your transgressions." Isaiah 43:25.
The Hebrew word, to blot out, alludes to a creditor
who, when his debtor has paid him, blots out the
debt, and gives him an acquittance. Just so, when
God forgives sin, He blots out the debt, He draws
the red lines of Christ's blood over it, and so
crosses the debt-book!

To forgive sin, is for God to cast our sins into the
depths of the sea, which implies burying them out
of sight, that they shall not rise up in judgment
against us. "You will cast all their sins into the
depths of the sea." Micah 7:19. God will throw
them in, not as cork which rises again—but as
lead which sinks to the bottom!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Five things which are never satisfied

"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11

Learn to be contented with the allowance which God
gives. If we have the necessities of life—let us rest
satisfied. We pray but for bread, "Give us our daily
bread." We must not pray for superfluities—but for
bread which supports life. Though we have not so
much as others—so full a crop—so rich an estate;
yet if we have daily bread, let us be content. "If
we have food and clothing, we will be content with
that." 1 Timothy 6:8.

Most people are herein faulty. Though they pray
that God would give them bread, as much as He
sees is expedient for them—yet they are not content
with His allowance—but greedily covet more, and with
the daughters of the horse-leech, cry, "Give! Give!"
Prov. 30:15. This is a vice naturally engrafted in us.

Many pray Agur's first prayer, "Give me not poverty,"
but few pray his last prayer, "Give me not riches."
Prov. 30:8. They are not content with "daily bread,"
but have the cancer of covetousness; they are still
craving for more.

There are, says Agur, four things which are never
satisfied: the grave, the barren womb, the thirsty
desert, the blazing fire. And I may add a fifth
thing—the heart of a covetous man. Prov. 30:15.

Covetousness is called, "The root of all evil." 1 Tim 6:10.
The Greek word for covetousness, signifies an inordinate
desire of getting. Covetousness is not only in getting
riches unjustly—but in loving them inordinately!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

To bite the hand that feeds us!

"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11

God gives to His very enemies. Who will send
provisions to his enemies? Men spread nets for
their enemies, God spreads a table. The dew
drops on the thistle, as well as the rose; the
dew of God's bounty drops upon the worst.
God puts bread in the mouths that are opened
against Him. Oh, the royal bounty of God!
"The goodness of God endures continually."
Psalm 52:1. He puts jewels upon swinish
sinners, and feeds them every day.

If all is a gift, see the odious ingratitude of men
who sin against their giver! God feeds them, and
they fight against him; he gives them bread, and
they give him affronts. How vile is this! Thus do
sinners deal ungratefully with God! They not only
forget His mercies—but abuse them. "When I had
fed them to the full, they then committed adultery."
Jer 5:7. Oh, how horrid is it to sin against a bountiful
to bite the hand that feeds us! How many
make a dart of God's mercies—and shoot at Him!
He gives them wit, and they serve the devil with it!
He gives them strength, and they waste it among
harlots! He gives them bread to eat, and they lift
up the heel against Him. "Jeshurun waxed fat and
kicked." Deut 32:15. They are like Absalom, who,
as soon as David his father kissed him, plotted
treason against him. 2 Samuel 15:10. They are
like the mule that kicks the mother after she has
given it milk.

Those who sin against their giver, and abuse God's
royal favors—the mercies of God will come in as
witnesses against them. What is smoother than
oil? But if it is heated, what more scalding? What
is sweeter than mercy? But if it is abused, what
more dreadful? It turns to fury!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A humbling consideration

"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11

See our own poverty and indigence. We all live upon
God's alms and upon free gifts. All we have is from
the hand of God's royal bounty. We have nothing but
what He gives us out of His storehouse. We cannot
have one bit of bread—but from God.

This is
a humbling consideration.

Is all a gift? Then we are to seek every mercy from
God by prayer. "Give us this day." The tree of mercy
will not drop its fruit unless shaken by the hand of

If all is a gift—then take notice of God's goodness.
There is nothing in us that can deserve or requite
God's kindness; yet such is the sweetness of His
nature, that he gives us rich provision, and feeds
us with the finest of the wheat. God has rained
down golden mercies upon us.

God is never weary of giving. The honeycomb
of God's bounty is still dropping. God delights in
giving. "He delights in mercy." Micah 7:18. As the
mother delights to give the child the breast, God
loves that we should have the breast of mercy in
our mouth.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

It might have been the burning lake!

"I will correct you in measure." Jeremiah 30:11

Suffering Christian, there is no condition so bad, but
it might be worse. When it is dusk, it might be darker.
God does not make our cross so heavy as He might—He
does not stir up all His anger. Psalm 78:38. He does not
put so many nails in our yoke—so much wormwood in
our cup—as He might.

Does God chastise your body? He might torture your

. Does he cut you short? He might cut you off.
The Lord might make our chains heavier. Is it a burning
It might have been the burning lake! Does
God use the pruning knife to lop you? He might bring
His axe to hew you down! Do the waters of affliction
come up to the ankles? God might make them rise
higher; nay, he might drown you in the waters!
God uses the rod when He might use the scorpion!

Remember—that your case is not so bad as others,
who are always upon the rack, and spend their years
with sighing. Psalm 31:10. Have you a gentle illness?
Others cry out of the severe pain of cancer. Do you
bear the wrath of men? Others bear the wrath of God.
You have but a single trial; others have several of them
mingled together. God shoots but one arrow at you, He
shoots a shower of arrows at others. We are apt to say,
"Never has any suffered like we do!" Was it not worse
with Lazarus, who was so full of sores that the dogs
took pity on him—and licked his sores! Nay, was it not
worse with Christ, who lived poor—and died cursed!
It is in kindness that God deals not so severely with
us, as with others.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The drop of sorrow

Sometimes affliction is preventive. God, by His
afflictive stroke
—would prevent some sin. Paul's
"thorn in the flesh" was to prevent his being lifted
up in pride. Affliction is sometimes sent for the

of sin, at other times for the prevention
of sin.

Prosperity exposes to much evil. It is hard to carry
a full cup without spilling—and a full estate without
sinning. God's people know not how much they are
indebted to their afflictions. They might have fallen
into some scandalous sin—had not God set a hedge
of thorns in their way to stop them. What kindness
is this! God lets us fall into sufferings—to prevent
falling into sinful snares!

God by affliction, would prevent damnation! We
are corrected in the world, "that we should not
be condemned with the world." 1 Cor 11:32.

A man, by falling into briers, is saved from falling into
the river. Just so, God lets us fall into the briers of
, that we may not be drowned in perdition!
It is a great favor when a less punishment is inflicted,
to prevent a greater punishment. Is it not mercy in the
judge, when he lays some light penalty on the prisoner,
and saves his life? So it is, when God lays upon us light
affliction, and saves us from wrath to come.

As Pilate said, "I will punish him—and let him go."
Just so, God punishes his children and lets them go,
frees them from eternal torment. What is
the drop
of sorrow
which the godly taste—compared to that
sea of wrath
the wicked shall be drinking to all
eternity? Oh! what kindness is here!

Say then, "Lord, do as it seems good in your
sight—may Your will be done."

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Corrosives to eat out the proud flesh

"Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks
 fly upward." Job 5:7

Troubles arise like sparks out of a furnace.

The present state of life is subject to afflictions.
Man comes into the world with a cry—and goes
out with a groan!

Afflictions are some of the thorns which the earth
brings forth. We may as well think to stop the sun
in its swift motion—as put a stop to troubles. The
consideration of a life exposed to troubles and
sufferings, should make us say with patience,
"May Your will be done."
It is vain to quarrel with instruments. Wicked men
are but a rod in God's hand! "O Assyria, the rod of
My anger." Isaiah 10:5. Whoever brings an affliction
—God sends it! The consideration of this should make
us say, "May Your will be done." What God does, He
sees a reason for. This believed, would rock the heart
quiet. Shall we mutiny at that which God does? We
may as well quarrel with God's works of creation—as
with God's works of providence.

Consider that there is a necessity for affliction.
"If need be, you are in heaviness." 1 Peter 1:6.
It is needful that some things are kept in brine.

Afflictions are needful to keep us humble. Often there
is no other way to have the heart low—but by being
brought low. When Manasseh "was in affliction, he
humbled himself greatly." 2 Chron 33:12. Corrections
corrosives to eat out the proud flesh.
"Remembering my misery, the wormwood and the gall;
my soul is humbled in me." Lamentations 3:19, 20.
Shall not we quietly submit, and say, "Lord, I see
there is a necessity for it. May Your will be done!"

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The Trojan horse

"Whatever a man sows, he will also reap." Gal. 6:7

We have brought our troubles upon ourselves;
we have put a rod into God's hand to chastise us.

Christian, God lays your afflictive cross on you—
but it is of your own making. If you reap a bitter
crop of affliction—it is what you yourself have sown.
The cords which pinch you, are of your own twisting.

If children will eat green fruit—they may blame
themselves if they are sick. Just so, if we eat the
forbidden fruit—no wonder that we feel it gripe.

Sin is
the Trojan horse which lands a multitude
of afflictions upon us. "Your own conduct and actions
have brought this upon you. This is your punishment.
How bitter it is! How it pierces to the heart!" Jeremiah
4:18. This should make us patiently submit to God in
affliction, and say, "May Your will be done." We have
no cause to complain of God; it is nothing but what
our sins have merited. "Have not you procured this
unto yourself?" Jeremiah 2:17. The afflictive cross,
though it be of God's laying—is of our making. Say,
then, as Micah (7:9), "I will bear the indignation
of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him."

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

It will heat hell the hotter!

"May Your will be done." Matthew 6:10

We pray that we may do God's will actively, subscribe
to all His commands, and lead holy lives. This is the
sum of all true religion. The knowledge of God's will is
not enough, without doing it. If one had a system of
divinity in his head; if he had "all knowledge," yet, if
obedience were lacking, his knowledge were lame, and
would not carry him to heaven. Knowing God's will may
make a man admired—but it is doing it, which makes
him blessed! Knowing God's will without doing it—will
not crown us with eternal happiness.

Knowing without doing God's will—will make the case
It will heat hell the hotter! "That servant
who knows his master's will and does not do what his
master wants, will be beaten with many blows." Luke
12:47. Many a man's knowledge is a torch to light him
to hell. You who have knowledge of God's will, but do
not obey it, wherein do you excel the devil? It is
improper to call such Christians, who are knowers of
God's will—but not doers of it. "May Your will be done."

The Word of God is not only a rule of what we are
to believe—but what we are to practice.

To be employed in doing God's will, is the highest
honor that a mortal creature is capable of. Obedience
to Christ's precepts do not burden us—but adorn us!
    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

They feared hell would be full

"They weary themselves to commit iniquity."
 Jeremiah 9:5

Sinners hire themselves out in the devil's service.
What pains some men take to satisfy their unclean
lusts! They waste their estates, wear the shameful
marks of their sin about them, and visit the harlot's
house, though it stands the next door to hell. "Her
house is the way to hell." Proverbs 7:27. The devil
blows the horn and men run speedily to hell—as if
they feared hell would be full before they could
get there.

Do the ungodly take all these pains for hell—and shall
not we take pains for the kingdom of heaven? Oh, let
it never be said, that the ungodly serve the devil better
—who rewards them only with fire and brimstone; than
we serve God—who rewards us with a glorious kingdom!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

No hive for drones!

"Making the most of your time time."
    Ephesians 5:16

Time spent unprofitably is not time lived
—but time lost. Those who have misspent
their golden hours, they have not only been

servants—but wasteful servants.

"Warn those who are idle." 1 Thess. 5:14

The devil himself cannot be charged with
idleness. He "walks about." 1 Peter 5:8.

An idle person is a cipher in the world; and
God writes down no ciphers in the book of
life! Heaven is
no hive for drones!
An idle person is an easy target for temptation.
When the bird sits still upon the bough—it is in
danger of being shot. Just so, when one sits still
in sloth—the devil shoots him with a temptation.
Standing water putrefies.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The lottery!

"I have observed something else in this world of ours.
 The fastest runner doesn't always win the race, and
 the strongest warrior doesn't always win the battle.
 The wise are often poor, and the skillful are not
 necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated
 don't always lead successful lives." Ecclesiastes 9:11

We cannot make sure of life. When we breathe out
we don't know whether we shall ever breathe in again!
How many are taken away suddenly! "Why, you do
not even know what will happen tomorrow! What is
your life? You are a mist that appears for a little time
and then vanishes away!" James 4:14

We cannot make sure of riches. It is uncertain whether
we shall ever get them. The world is like a
which everyone is not sure to get a prize. If we do get
riches, we are not sure to keep them! "Riches make
themselves wings—they fly away!" Proverbs 23:5. But
even if men should keep their estates a while—death
strips them of all!
When death's gun goes off—away
flies the estate! "We didn't bring anything with us when
we came into the world, and we certainly cannot carry
anything with us when we die!" 1 Timothy 6:7

"Command those who are rich in this present world not
 to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is
 so uncertain
, but to put their hope in God." 1 Tim. 6:17

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

When others were at their amusements

The more pains we have taken for heaven—the
sweeter heaven will be when we come there.
When a farmer has long been working hard—it
is pleasant to enjoy the fruit of his labors. Just so,
when in heaven, we shall remember our former
zeal and earnestness for the kingdom—which
will sweeten heaven.

It will add to the joy of heaven, for a Christian to
ponder, "Such a day I spent in examining my heart.
Such a day I was weeping for sin. When others
were at their amusements
—I was at prayer.
And now, have I lost anything by my devotion? No!
My tears are wiped away, and the wine of paradise
cheers my heart. I now enjoy Him whom my soul
loves! I am possessed of a glorious kingdom! My
labor is over—but my joy remains forever!"

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A bowl which will soon be broken!

"What is your life? You are a mist that appears for
 a little time and then vanishes away!" James 4:14

Time passes on apace! Our time is very short and uncertain.
It will not be long, "before the silver cord of life snaps and
the golden bowl is broken." Eccl 12:6. The skull wherein the
brains are enclosed, is a bowl which will soon be broken!

Our soul is in the body, as the bird in the shell, which soon
breaks—and the bird flies out. The shell of the body is soon
broken—and the soul flies into eternity! We know not whether
we shall live another day. Before we hear another sermon-bell
ring, our death-bell may ring. Our life runs as a swift stream
into the ocean of eternity!

Brethren, if our time is so short and transient; if the candle
of life
is so soon consumed, or perhaps blown out by an
unexpected death—how should we use all our strength,
that we may obtain the kingdom of glory! If time is so
short, why do we waste it on trivial things—and neglect
the "one thing needful"? A man who has a great work to
be done, and but one day for doing it, needs to work hard.
We have a great work to do, we are striving for a kingdom,
and alas! we are not certain of one day to work in!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Like ants on an anthill

"Seek first the kingdom of God." Matthew 6:33

First in time—before all things; and
first in affection—above all things.

The great purpose for which God sent us into the
world, is to prepare for this heavenly kingdom.

Great care is taken for securing worldly things.
To see people laboring for the earth, like ants
on an anthill
, would make one think that this
was the only purpose they were here for. But,
alas! what is all this, compared to the kingdom
of heaven? When we enjoy worldly things, peace
and plenty, and have our baskets full, we should
say to ourselves, "this is not the kingdom we are
to look after, this is not heaven!"

It is wisdom to remember our great purpose in
life. It will be but sad upon a death-bed, for a
man to find he has busied himself about trifles,
played with a feather, and neglected the main
thing he came into the world for.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He is either watching or fighting!

"Be faithful unto death—and I will give you a crown of life."
    Revelation 2:10

"It is the one who has endured to the end, who will be saved."
    Matthew 10:22

Is there such a thing as persevering until we come to heaven?
That anyone endures to the kingdom of heaven, is a wonder,
if you consider:

(1) What a great mass of sin and corruption is mingled with
grace. Grace is apt to be stifled, as the coal to be choked with
its own ashes. Like a spark in the sea, it is a wonder that grace
is not quenched.

(2) The implacable malice of Satan. He envies that we should
have the kingdom of heaven, when he himself is cast out. It
cuts him to the heart, to see a piece of dust and clay made a
bright star in glory
—and he himself a demon of darkness! He
will work with all the powers of hell—to hinder us from the
kingdom! Satan spits his venom, shoots his fiery darts, raises
a storm of persecution; yes, and prevails against some.

(3) The blandishments of riches. The young man in the
gospel went very far—but he had rich possessions, and
these golden weights hindered him from the kingdom.
Luke 18:23. Jonathan pursued the battle until he came
to the honeycomb, and then he stood still. 1 Sam 14:27.
Many are forward for heaven, until they taste the sweetness
of the world; but when they come to the honeycomb, they
stand still, and go no further. "The gain of money is the
ruin of the soul!" Those who have escaped the rocks of
gross sins—have been wrecked upon the golden sands!

(4) It is a wonder that any hold out in grace, and do not
tire in their march to heaven, if you consider the difficulty
of the Christian's work. He has no time to waste. He is
either watching or fighting!
While he does one duty,
he seems to cross another. He must come with holy
boldness to God in prayer—yet must serve him with
fear. He must mourn for sin—yet rejoice. He must be
contented—yet covet the greater gifts. 1 Cor 12:31.
He must condemn men's impieties—and yet reverence
their authority. What difficult work is this!

(5) To this I might add, the evil examples all around
us, which are so attractive, that we may say that the
devils have come among us in the likeness of men!

What a wonder is it that any soul perseveres until he
comes to the kingdom of heaven! But great as the
wonder is, there is such a thing as perseverance.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The sugared bait men bite at

"They sing with tambourine and harp. They make
 merry to the sound of the flute." Job 21:12

If you would not miss the heavenly kingdom, take heed
of the delights and pleasures of the flesh. Soft pleasures
harden the heart. Many people cannot endure a serious
thought—but are for comedies and romances; they play
away their salvation. "Men are caught by pleasure, as
fish by the hook." Pleasure is the sugared bait men
bite at
—but there is a hook under it!

The pleasures of the world, keep many from the pleasures
of paradise! Many while hunting after the sweet pleasures
of the world, lose the kingdom of heaven. "It is one of the
worst sights—to see a sinner go laughing to hell."

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

How dreadful is that!

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

He who leaps short of the bank—falls into
the river; such as come short of heaven—
fall into the river of fire and brimstone! 

"Who knows the power of Your anger?"
    Psalm 90:11

What will it be to have mountains of God's
wrath thrown upon the soul? When the bitter
vials of God's wrath are poured out, damnation
follows. Dives cries out, "I am tormented in this
flame." Luke 16:24. In hell there is not a drop of
mercy. In hell there is no oil of mercy to assuage
the sufferings of the damned, nor anything to
appease God's wrath.
How dreadful is that!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Today you will be with Me in paradise!

"I desire to depart—and be with Christ." Phil. 1:23

There is a speedy passage from death to glory; no
sooner is the soul of a believer divorced from the
body—but it immediately goes to Christ! The saints
shall enter upon the kingdom of glory, immediately
after death. Before their bodies are buried—their
souls shall be crowned. "Absent from the body—
present with the Lord." Quick as a wink—and they
shall see God. It will not only be a blessed change
to a believer—from a desert to a paradise, from a
bloody battle to a victorious crown—but a sudden
change. No sooner did Lazarus die—but he had a
convoy of angels to conduct his soul to the kingdom
of glory. You who now are full of bodily diseases, with
scarcely a pain-free day, saying, "My life is spent with
grief!" (Psalm 31:10); be of good comfort, you may be
eternally happy before you are aware! Before another
week or month is over—you may be in the kingdom of
glory, and then all tears shall be wiped away! "I assure
Today you will be with Me in paradise!"
Luke 23:43

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Eternal pleasures!

"Enter into the joy of your Lord." Matthew 25:23

This kingdom of heaven exceeds all earthly kingdoms in
joy and pleasure, and is therefore called paradise. For
delight, there are all things to cause pleasure; there is
the water of life clear as crystal; there is the honeycomb
of God's love

Separation from sin shall be complete—and then joy
follows. There can be no more sorrow in heaven—than
there is joy in hell.

God gives the saints a taste of joy here; but the fullness
of joy
is kept until they come to heaven. Not only the
physical parts, the outward senses, the eye, ear, taste;
but the heart of a glorified saint shall be filled with joy.
The understanding, will, and affections—are such a
triangle as none can fill, but the Trinity. There must
needs be infinite joy—
  where nothing is seen but beauty;
  where nothing is tasted but love!

"You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with

eternal pleasures
at Your right hand!" Psalm 16:11

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Satan cannot put his cloven foot in there

The kingdom of heaven excels in unity. All the
inhabitants agree together in love. Love will be

the perfume and music of heaven
. As love
to God will be intense—so to the saints. As perfect
love casts out fear—so it casts out envy and discord.
Those Christians who could not live quietly together
on earth (which was the blemish of their profession)
in heaven shall be all love! The fire of strife shall
cease! There shall be no vilifying, or censuring one
another, or raking into one another's sores—but all
shall be tied together with the heart-strings of love.
Satan cannot put his cloven foot in there, to
make divisions. There shall be perfect harmony and
concord, and not one jarring string in the saints' music.
It were worth dying—to be in that kingdom!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~


Too much pleasure is a pain!

The glories of heaven are constantly exhilarating
and refreshing. There is fullness—but no excess.

Worldly comforts, though sweet—yet grow stale
in time. A down-bed pleases a while—but soon we
are weary and must rise.
Too much pleasure is
a pain!
But the glory of heaven never surfeits or
nauseates; because, as there are all imaginable
rarities, so every moment fresh delights spring
from God into the glorified soul.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

There is no bitter ingredient

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There
 will be no more death or mourning or crying or
 pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
    Revelation 21:4

The glories of heaven are pure and unmixed.
The streams of paradise are not muddied. All
are clear—all are delightful. Heaven's gold has
no alloy.
There is no bitter ingredient in that
glory—all are as pure as the honey which drops
from the comb. There, the rose of Sharon
grows without thorns. There is—
  ease without pain,
  honor without disgrace,
  life without death.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

If we go to the creature for happiness

The glory of heaven, is that it is satisfying.
"With You is the fountain of life." Psalm 36:9.
How can they not be satisfied—who are at the
fountainhead? "When I awake, I shall be satisfied
with Your likeness," that is, when I awake in the
morning of the resurrection, having some of the
beams of Your glory shining in me—I shall be
satisfied. Psalm 17:15.

The creature says, concerning satisfaction, "It is
not in me." Job 28:14.
If we go to the creature
for happiness
, we go to the wrong place.

Heaven's glory alone, is commensurate to the vast
desires of an immortal soul. A Christian bathing in
these rivers of pleasures, cries out in divine ecstasy,
"I have enough!" The soul is never satisfied until it
has God for its portion, and heaven for its haven.
Dissatisfaction arises from some defect. But God is
an infinite good, and there can be no defect in that
which is infinite.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Most delicious

The kingdom of heaven implies a glorious fruition of all
good. Had I as many tongues as hairs on my head, I
could not fully describe this. It is a place where there
is no lack of anything. It is called "the excellent glory."
2 Pet 1:17. I might as well measure the skies, or drain
the ocean—as set forth the glory of this kingdom. The
kingdom of heaven is above all hyperbole. Were the
sun ten thousand times brighter than it is, it could not
parallel the luster of this kingdom. I can but give you
the shadowings of it. Do not expect to see it in all its
orient colors—until you are mounted above the stars!

We shall have an immediate communion with God Himself,
who is the inexhaustible sea of all happiness. This, divines
call "the beatific vision." The psalmist triumphed in the
enjoyment he had of God in this life. "Whom have I in
heaven but You?" Psalm 73:25. If God, enjoyed by faith,
gives so much comfort to the soul—how much more when
He is enjoyed by immediate vision! Here we see God darkly;
but in the kingdom of heaven we shall see Him "face to face."
1 Cor 13:12.

To see and enjoy God will be
most delicious; in him are
beams of majesty, and affections of mercy. God has all
excellencies centered in Him—the good in which are all
good things. If one flower should have the sweetness of
all flowers—how sweet would that flower be!

All the beauty and sweetness which lies scattered in the
creature—is infinitely to be found in God. To see and enjoy
Him, therefore, will ravish the soul with delight! We shall
have this sweet communion with Him—He shall be "all in
all;" light to the eye, manna to the taste, and music to
the ear. 1 Corinthians 15:28.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

We were troubled on every side

We were troubled on every side." 2 Corinthians 7:5

In this life we are subject to troubles and fluctuations.
We are like a ship on the sea having the waves beating
on both sides; but in the kingdom of heaven there is rest.
Heb 4:9. How welcome is rest to a weary traveler! When
death cuts asunder the string of the body—the soul, as a
dove, flies away, and is at rest! This rest is when the saints
shall lie on Christ's bosom—that hive of sweetness, that bed
of perfume.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The world is like a painted landscape

In the kingdom of heaven—we shall be freed from the
vanity and dissatisfaction of the creature. Take things
most pleasing and from which we promise ourselves
most contentment, still, of the spirit and essence of
them all—we shall say, "Behold, all was vanity!"
Ecclesiastes 2:11.

God never did, nor ever will—put a satisfying
virtue into any creature.
In the sweetest music
the world makes, either some string is lacking, or
out of tune. But in the kingdom of heaven, we shall
be freed from these dissatisfactions.

The world is like a painted landscape
, in which
you may see gardens with fruit trees, beautifully
drawn—but you cannot enter them. But into the joys
of heaven, you may enter. "Enter into the joy of your
Lord." The soul shall be satisfied while it bathes in
those rivers of pleasure at God's right hand. "I will
be fully satisfied, for I will see You face to face!"
Psalm 17:15

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Christ's lily is among thorns
In the kingdom of heaven—we shall be freed from
all society with the wicked. Here we are sometimes
forced to be in their company. "Woe is me, that I
sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar."
Psalm 120:5. Kedar was Ishmael's son, whose children
dwelt in Arabia; they were a profane, barbarous people.

Here the wicked are still raising persecutions against the
godly, and crucifying their ears with their oaths and curses.
Christ's lily is among thorns; but in the heavenly
kingdom there shall be no more any pricking brier. "The
Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will weed
out of His kingdom everything that causes sin and all who
do evil." Matthew 13:41.

As Moses said, "Stand still, and see the salvation of the
Lord! For the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you
shall never see them again forever!" So will God say,
"Stand still, and see the salvation of God; these your
enemies, that vex and molest you, you shall never see
them again forever!" Exodus 14:13. At that day, God will
separate the precious from the vile; Christ will thoroughly
purge his threshing floor; he will gather the wheat into
the garner; and the wicked, which are the chaff—shall
be blown into hell!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

When the kingdom of grace is set up

We may know that the kingdom of grace is set up in
our hearts, by having a metamorphosis or change
wrought in the soul—which is called the "new creation."
The faculties are not new—but there is a new nature.
When the kingdom of grace is set up, there is . . .
  light in the mind,
  order in the affections,
  pliableness in the will,
  tenderness in the conscience.

Those who can find no such change of heart, and are
the same as they were—as vain, as earthly, as unclean
as ever—have no evidence of God's kingdom of grace in them.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Remainders of corruption

The best of saints have
remainders of corruption.
In the regenerate, though the dominion of sin is taken
away—yet the life of sin is prolonged for a season. What
pride was there in Christ's own disciples, when they strove
who should be greatest! The life of sin will not be quite
stopped, until death.

The Lord is pleased to let the in-dwelling of sin continue—to
humble His people, and make them prize Christ more. Because
you find corruptions stirring, do not therefore presently unsaint
yourselves, and deny the kingdom of grace to be come into
your souls. That you feel sin—is an evidence of spiritual life;
that you mourn for sin—is a fruit of love to God; that you have
a combat with sin—argues antipathy against it. Those sins which
you once wore as a crown on your head, are now as fetters on
the leg. Is not all this from the Spirit of grace in you? Sin is in
you, as poison in the body, which you are sick of, and use all
Scripture antidotes to expel.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

They pluck the crown from His head

It is a sign that the kingdom of grace has come into
the heart, when it reigns there by universal obedience.
Hypocrites would have Christ to be their Savior—but

they pluck the crown from His head
—and will not
have Him rule. But he who has the kingdom of God
within him, submits cheerfully to every command of God.
He will do what God will have him do. He will be what
God will have him be. He puts a blank paper into God's
hand, and says, "Lord, write what you will—I will obey."

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

I hate every false way!

I hate every false way!" Psalm 119:104
Hatred is implacable. Anger may be reconciled—hatred
cannot. A true Christian has antipathy and opposition
against every known sin. A gracious soul not only forsakes
sin—but hates sin. He not only hates sin for hell—but he
hates it as hell, as being contrary to God's holiness and

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Hypocrites are like the snake

Many have begun some reformation, therefore now
they surely think that the kingdom of grace has come
into their hearts! But a man may leave his oaths and
drunkenness—and still be in love with sin. He may
leave his sin—out of fear of hell, or because it brings
shame and poverty—but still his heart goes after it,
"They set their heart on their iniquity" (Hos 4:8); as
Lot's wife left Sodom—but still her heart was in Sodom.

Hypocrites are like the snake which casts off her
skin, but keeps her poison. They keep the love of sin,
as one who has long been an unsuccessful suitor to
another, yet still he has a hankering love to her.

It may be a partial reformation. He may leave off one
sin and live in another. He may refrain from drunkenness,
and live in covetousness. He may refrain from swearing,
and live in the sin of slandering. One devil may be cast
out—and another as bad may come in its place!

A man may forsake gross sins—but have no reluctance
against heart sins—such as proud, lustful thoughts.
Though he dams up the stream, he lets the fountain alone!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

You know not where you are going!

"For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness,
 and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves,
 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
     Colossians 1:13-14
Every natural man, is in the kingdom of darkness.

(1) He is under the darkness of ignorance. "Having the
understanding darkened." Eph 4:18. Ignorance is a black
veil drawn over the mind. Men by nature may have a deep
understanding in the things of the world—and yet be
ignorant of the things of God. Nahash the Ammonite
would make a covenant with Israel to thrust out their
right eyes. 1 Sam 11:2. Since the fall, only our left eye
remains—that is—a deep insight into worldly matters.
But our right eye is thrust out—we have no saving
knowledge of God. Some things we know by nature;
but nothing as we ought to know. 1 Cor 8:2. Ignorance
draws the curtains round about the soul. 1 Cor 2:14.

2. Natural man is under the darkness of pollution. Hence
sinful actions are called "works of darkness." Romans 13:12.
Pride and lust darken the glory of the soul. A sinner's heart
is a dark conclave—which looks blacker than hell.

(3) A natural man is under the darkness of misery; he
is exposed to divine vengeance; and the sadness of this
darkness is, that men are not sensible of it. They are
they think they see!
The darkness of Egypt
was such thick darkness as "might be felt." Exod 10:21.
 Men by nature are in thick darkness. But here is the
misery—the darkness cannot be felt! They will not believe
they are in the dark—until they are past recovery!

See what the state of nature is—a "kingdom of darkness,"
and it is a bewitching darkness. "Men loved darkness rather
than light." John 3:19. Darkness of sin leads to "eternal
chains in darkness." Jude 6. What comfort can such take
in earthly things? The Egyptians might have food, gold,
silver; but they could take but little comfort in them,
while they were in such darkness as might be felt. Just
so, the natural man may have riches and friends to delight
in—yet he is in the kingdom of darkness, and how dead
are all these comforts!

You who are in the kingdom of darkness, do not know
where you are going. As the ox is driven to the shambles
—but knows not where he is going; so the devil is driving
you before him to hell—but
you know not where you
are going
! Should you die in your natural state, while
you are in the kingdom of darkness—blackness of darkness
is reserved for you! "To whom is reserved the blackness
of darkness forever!" Jude 13.

Be sensible of your dark, damned estate—that you have
not one spark of fire to give you light! Go to Christ to
enlighten you! "Christ shall give you light;" He will not
only bring your light to you—but open your eyes to see
it. Eph 5:14.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

May Your kingdom come

May Your kingdom come." Matthew 6:10

A twofold kingdom is meant.

(1) The kingdom of
grace, which God exercises in the
consciences of His people. This is God's lesser kingdom.
When we pray, "May Your kingdom come," we pray that
the kingdom of grace may be set up and increased in
our hearts.

(2) We pray also, that the kingdom of
glory may hasten,
and that we may, in God's good time, be translated into it.

These two kingdoms of grace and glory, differ not in
nature—but in degree only.

The kingdom of grace is nothing but the
beginning of the kingdom of glory.

The kingdom of grace—is glory in the seed;
the kingdom of glory—is grace in the flower.

The kingdom of grace—is glory in the daybreak,
and the kingdom of glory—is grace in the full meridian.

The kingdom of grace—is glory militant, and
the kingdom of glory—is grace triumphant.
There is such an inseparable connection between
these two kingdoms, grace and glory, that there
is no passing into the one but by the other.

At Athens there were two temples, a temple of virtue
and a temple of honor; and there was no going into
the temple of honor—but through the temple of virtue.

Just so, the kingdoms of grace and glory are so closely
joined together, that we cannot go into the kingdom of
glory—but through the kingdom of grace. Many people
aspire after the kingdom of glory—but never look after
grace; but these two, which God has joined together,
may not be put asunder.

The kingdom of grace leads to the kingdom of glory!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He has bent His bow

"Hallowed be Your name." Matthew 6:9

Men in this age sin at that rate, as if either they
did not believe there were a hell, or as if they
feared hell would be full before they could get
there! "We live in the dregs of time," wherein
the common sewer of wickedness runs. Physicians
call it cachexia, when there is no part of the body
free from distemper. England has such a disease.
"The whole head is sick, the whole heart is faint."
 Isaiah 1:5. As black vapors rising out of the earth
cloud and darken the sun, so the sins of people in
our age, like hellish vapors—cast a cloud upon God's
glorious name. O that our eyes were rivers of water
of holy tears, to see how God's name, instead of
being hallowed, is polluted and profaned! May we
not justly fear some heavy judgments on this

Can God put up with our affronts any longer? Can
He endure to have His name reproached? Will a king
allow his crown-jewels to be trampled in the dust?
Do we not see the symptoms of God's anger? Do we
not see His judgments hovering over us? Surely
God is whetting His sword,
He has bent His bow,
and is preparing his arrows to shoot!

To show how base the wicked are in God's esteem,
He compares them to things most vile—to chaff
(Psalm 1:4); to dross (Psalm 119:119); to the filth
that foams out of the sea (Isa 57:20). As God vilely
esteems such as do not hallow His name, so He sends
them to a vile place at last! Vagrants are sent to the
house of correction; and hell is the house of correction
to which the wicked are sent when they die!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Death is but going to your Father!

"Our Father in heaven." Matthew 6:9

Death is but going to your Father! Well might
Paul say, "death is yours!" 1 Cor 3:22. Death is your
friend—which will carry you home to your Father!
How glad are children when they are going home!
It was Christ's comfort at death that he was going
to His Father. "I am leaving the world—and am going
to the Father." John 16:28. "I ascend unto My Father."
John 20:17. If God is our Father, we may with comfort,
at the day of death, resign our souls into His hand.
Thus did Christ. "Father, into Your hands I commend
My spirit." Luke 23:46. If a child has any jewel, he
will in time of danger put it into his father's hands,
where he thinks it will be kept most safe; so the soul,
which is our richest jewel, we may resign at death
into God's hands, where it will be safer than in our
own keeping. "Father, into Your hands I commend
my spirit." What a comfort it is, that death carries
a believer to his Father's house, where are delights
unspeakable and full of glory! Death is a triumphant
chariot, to carry every child of God to his Father's

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~


I have everything I need

"Those who seek the Lord shall not lack
 any good thing." Psalm 34:10.

God is sometimes pleased to keep His children
on hard fare—but it is good for them. As sheep
thrive best on short pasture—so God sees that
too much may not be good for His people; plenty
might breed surfeit. God sees it good sometimes,
to diet His children, and keep them light—that
they may run the heavenly race the better.

God's children sometimes see the world's emptiness,
that they may acquaint themselves more with Christ's
fullness. If God sees it to be good for them to have
more of the world—they shall have it! He will not let
them lack any really good thing.

"The Lord is my shepherd;
I have everything
 I need
." Psalm 23:1

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The cup of affliction

"I will correct you, in measure." Jeremiah 30:11

This He will do two ways. It shall be in measure—for
the kind. He will not lay upon us more than we are
able to bear. 1 Cor 10:13. He knows our frame. Psalm
103:14. He knows we are not steel or marble, therefore
will deal gently—He will not over-afflict. As the wise
physician, who knows the temper of the body, will
not give too strong a medicine for the body, nor give
one grain too much; so God, who is not only the great
Physician—but has the affections of a loving father,
will not lay too heavy burdens on His children.

God will correct in measure—for duration; He will not
let the affliction lie too long. "I will not contend forever."
Isa 57:16. Our heavenly Father will love forever—but He
will not contend forever. The torments of the damned are
forever. "The smoke of their torment ascends up forever
and ever." Rev 14:11. The wicked shall drink a sea of
; but God's children only taste of
the cup of

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He puts a finger upon the scar!

"Our Father in heaven." Matthew 6:9

Since God is our Father—He will take notice of the
least good He sees in His children. If there is but a

for sin—He hears it. "My groaning is not hidden
from You." Psalm 38:9. If there is but a penitential
tear which comes out of the eye—He sees it. "I have
seen your tears." Isa 38:5. If there is but a good
intention, He takes notice of it. "Since it was your
desire to build a temple for My name, you have
done well to have this desire." 1 Kings 8:18.

God takes notice of the least spark of grace in His
children. "Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord."
1 Peter 3:6. The Holy Spirit does not mention Sara's
unbelief, or laughing at the promise.
He puts a finger
upon the scar
—and only takes notice of the good that
was in her.

More—that good which the saints scarcely take notice
of in themselves, God in a special manner observes. "I
was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was
thirsty and you gave Me something to drink. Then the
righteous will answer Him—Lord, when did we see You
hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something
to drink?" Matthew 25:35, 37. They as it were, overlooked
and disclaimed their own works of charity! But Christ takes
notice of them, "I was hungry and you gave Me something
to eat."

What comfort is this! God spies the least good in His
children! He can see a grain of corn, hidden under much
chaff. He can see a little grace, hidden under much

Those duties which we ourselves censure—He will crown.
When a child of God looks over his best duties, he sees
so much sin cleaving to them—that he is confounded.
"Lord," he says, "there is more sulphur than incense, in
my prayers." But for your comfort, if God is your Father,
He will crown those duties which you yourselves censure.
He sees there is sincerity in the hearts of His children.
Though there may be many defects in the services of
His children, He will not cast away their offering.

An earthly father kindly receives a letter from his young
child—though there are blots and bad spelling in it. What
blottings are there in our holy things!
Yet our Father
in heaven accepts them. "It is my child!" God says, "I will
look upon him, through Christ—with a merciful eye!"

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

What a miracle of mercy is this!

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

See the amazing goodness of God, that He is
pleased to enter into the sweet relation of a

to us. He had no need not to adopt us.
He did not need a son; but we needed a Father!

He showed His power in being our Maker;
He showed His mercy in being our Father!

When we were enemies, and our hearts stood out as
garrisons against God—He conquered our stubbornness,
and made us His children! He wrote His name, and put
His image upon us—and bestowed a kingdom of glory
on us!
What a miracle of mercy is this!

See the deplorable case of the wicked! They cannot say,
"Our Father in heaven." They may say, "Our Judge," but
not "Our Father." They fetch their pedigree from hell—
"You are of your father—the devil." John 8:44. Such as
are unclean and worldly—are the vile brood of the old
and it would be blasphemy for them to call
God their Father! God is not their Father! He disclaims
all kindred with them. The wicked, dying in their sins,
can expect no mercy from God! "I never knew you!
Depart from Me—you who work iniquity." Matt. 7:23.

But will God be a Father to me—who has been
such a great sinner?

If you will now at last seek God by prayer, and break
off your sins—He has the affections of a Father for you,
and will never cast you out! When the prodigal arose
and went to his father, "his father had compassion, and
ran and fell on his neck, and kissed him!" Though you
have been a prodigal, and spent all upon your lusts—
yet if you will give a bill of divorce to your sins, and flee
to God by repentance, know that He has the affections
of a Father! He will embrace you in the arms of His
mercy, and seal your pardon with a kiss!

What though your sins have been heinous? Your wound
is not so broad—as the plaster of Christ's blood! The sea
covers great rocks. Just so, the sea of God's compassion
can drown your great sins! Therefore be not discouraged!
Go to God—resolve to cast yourself upon his Fatherly
compassion! "No matter how deep the stain of your sins,
I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen
snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can
make you as white as wool!" Isaiah 1:18

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Our father, who is in hell

"Our Father, who is in heaven" Matthew 6:9

All cannot say, "Our Father." The Jews boasted
that God was their Father. "We have one Father,
even God." John 8:41. Christ tells them their true
pedigree, "You are of your father—the devil!" They
should have said, "
Our father, who is in hell."

How may we know, that God is our Father?

We know God is our Father, by having the leading
of the Spirit.
"As many as are led by the Spirit of
—they are the sons of God." Romans 8:14.

God's Spirit does not only quicken us in regeneration;
but leads us on until we come to the end of our faith.
As the Israelites had the cloud and pillar of fire to go
before them, and be a guide to them—so God's Spirit
is a guide to go before us—and lead us into all truth
—and counsel us in all our doubts—and influence us
in all our actions. None can call God their Father, but
such as have the leading of the Spirit. Such as are led
by a spirit of envy, lust, and avarice—are not led by the
Spirit of God! It would be blasphemy for them to call
God their Father! They are led by the spirit of Satan,
and may say, "
Our father, who is in hell!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Resembling Him

"Our Father, who is in heaven" Matthew 6:9

How may we know, that God is our Father?

By having a childlike disposition, which is seen in
resembling Him. The child is his father's picture.
Herein God's adopted children and man's adopted
children differ. A man adopts one for his son and heir,
who does not at all resemble him; but whoever God
adopts for His child—is like Him; he not only bears his
heavenly Father's name—but His image! He who has
God for his Father—resembles Him in holiness, which
is the glory of the Godhead. Exod 15:11. The holiness
of God is the intrinsic purity of His essence. He who has
God for his Father, partakes of the divine nature; though
not of the divine essence—yet of the divine likeness. As
the seal sets its print and likeness upon the wax, so he
who has God for his Father, has the print and image of
His holiness stamped upon him.

Wicked men desire to be like God hereafter in glory—but
do not want to be like Him here in grace. They say that
God is their Father—yet have nothing of God to be seen
in them. They are not only without His image, but hate it.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A gracious thaw in the heart

"Our Father, who is in heaven" Matthew 6:9

How may we know, that God is our Father?

By having a childlike disposition, which is seen
in melting in tears for SIN, as a child weeps for
offending his father.

It is a sign that God is our Father—when the
heart of stone is taken away—and there is
gracious thaw in the heart
; and it melts
into tears for sin. He who has a childlike heart,
mourns for sin in a spiritual manner—as it is
sin he grieves for, as it is an act of pollution.

Sin deflowers the virgin soul.

Sin defaces God's image.

Sin turns beauty into deformity.

Sin is the plague of the heart. 1 Kings 8:38.

A child of God mourns for the defilement of sin;
sin has to him a blacker aspect than hell.

He who has a childlike heart, grieves for sin, as it
is an act of enmity towards God. Sin is diametrically
opposed to God. It is called walking contrary to God.
Sin does all it can to spite God; if God is of one mind
—sin will be of another. Sin would not only unthrone
God—but strike at His very being! If sin could help it
—God would no longer be God!

A childlike heart grieves for this; "Oh! that I should
have so much enmity in me, that my will should be
no more subdued to the will of my heavenly Father!"
This springs a leak of godly sorrow.

A childlike heart weeps for sin, as it is an act of
ingratitude. It is an abuse of God's love; it is taking
the jewels of His mercies—and making use of them
to sin. To sin against kindness, makes sin crimson.
Nothing so melts a childlike heart in tears, as sins
of unkindness. "Oh, that I should sin against the
blood of a Savior—and the affections of a Father!"
This opens a vein of godly sorrow—and makes the
heart bleed afresh.

Certainly it evidences God to be our Father, when
He has given us a childlike frame of heart—to weep
for sin as it is sin, an act of pollution, enmity and
ingratitude. A wicked man may mourn for the bitter
fruit of sin
—but only a child of God can grieve for
the odious nature of sin!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Two loadstones

If you would be preserved from sin—get your
hearts fired with love to God. Love has great
force in it; it is "as strong as death;" it breaks
the league between the heart and sin.

Meditate on the astonishing love of God to you.
What a wonder of love was it—for God to give
His Son out of His bosom—and lay such a jewel
to pawn for our redemption! The glories of God's
beauty, and the magnitude of His love, like
, draw our love to God! If we love
Him, we shall not sin against Him. He who loves
his friend, will not by any means displease him.

I have read of four men meeting together,
who asked one another what it was that kept
them from sinning.
The first one said, "the fear of hell."
The second said, "the joys of heaven."
The third said, "the odiousness of sin."
The fourth said, "that which keeps me from
sin, is love to God. Shall I sin against so
loving a God? Shall I abuse His love?"
Love to God is the best curbing-bit to keep from sin.

"If you love Me, you will keep My commandments."
    John 14:15

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Pandora's box

Sin is worse than affliction. There is more evil
in a drop of sin—than in a sea of affliction!

Sin brings all harmful things—it has death and hell
in its womb.

Sin rots the name, consumes the estate, and wastes
the body. The poets feigned that when
was opened, it filled the world full of diseases.
When Adam broke the box of original righteousness,
it caused all the evils in the world! Sin is the evil
which sets the world on fire. Sin turned the angels
out of heaven—and Adam out of paradise! The sword
of God's justice lies quietly in the scabbard—until sin
draws it out and sharpens it!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Galloping to hell!

Some go at a slower pace to hell—but
such as run themselves into temptation,
galloping to hell! We have too many
of these in this debauched age, who, as
if they thought they could not sin fast
enough—tempt the devil to tempt them!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The picture of him who would murder you

"Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil,
 your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring
 lion, looking for some victim to devour!" 1 Peter 5:8
There is a story of a Jew who would have poisoned
Luther—but a friend sent to Luther the picture of the
Jew, warning him to take heed of such a man when
he saw him; by which means Luther recognized the
murderer, and escaped his hands. I have taught
you the subtle devices of Satan in tempting; I have
shown you
the picture of him who would murder
. Being forewarned, I beseech you to take heed
of the murderer!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Death surprised them!

Satan persuades men to delay repenting and
turning to God. This temptation is the devil's
draw-net by which he draws millions to hell;
it is a dangerous temptation.

"Sin is a sweet poison." The longer poison lies in
the body—the more deadly it is. Just so, by delay
of repentance, sin strengthens, and the heart
hardens. The longer ice freezes, the harder it is
to be broken. Just so, the longer a man freezes
in impenitency, the more difficult it will be to
have his heart broken. When sin has settled in
the heart—it is not easily driven away.

Besides, the danger of delaying repentance appears
in this—that life is hazardous, and may suddenly
expire. What security have you, that you shall live
another day? Life is made up of a few flying minutes.
Life is a candle, which is soon blown out. "What is
your life? It is even a vapor." James 4:14. How
dangerous therefore is it to procrastinate and put
off turning to God by repentance! Many now in hell
purposed to repent—but
death surprised them!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He can stand your small shot

Satan labors to keep us from serious meditation.
He will let men profess, or pray and hear in a formal
manner—which does him no hurt and them no good.
He can stand your small shot, if you do not put in
this bullet of meditation. He does not care how much
you hear preaching or read Scripture—but how much
you meditate. Meditation is chewing the cud—it makes
the Word digest and turn to nourishment; it is the
bellows of the affections. The devil is an enemy to this.

Satan will thrust in worldly business—something or
other to keep men off from holy meditation.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

This hellish serpent!

"The devil has come down unto you, having
 great wrath." Revelation 12:12

Satan is a malicious revengeful spirit! 
This hellish
is swelled with the poison of malice!

Satan envies man's happiness. To see a clod of dust
so near to God; and himself, once a glorious angel,
cast out of the heavenly paradise—makes him pursue
mankind with inveterate hatred. If there is anything
this infernal spirit can delight in—it is to ruin souls, and
to bring them into the same damnation as himself! He
is enraged, and lays his snares and shoots his darts
against us!

This malice of Satan in tempting, must needs be
great, if we consider that Satan, though full of
torment, should tempt others. One would think
that he would scarcely have a thought but of his
own misery; and yet such is his rage and malice
that, while God is punishing him—he is tempting

His malice is great, because though knowing his
tempting men to sin will increase his own torment
in hell—he will not leave it off! Every temptation
makes his chain heavier and his fire hotter—and
yet he will tempt!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Wonder and astonishment!

How shall we know that our sins are pardoned?

Christ's blood quenches the flames of hell. The
pardoned sinner is a great weeper. The sense of
God's love melts his heart. "That free grace should
ever look upon me—that such crimson sins as mine
should be washed away in Christ's blood—makes my
heart melt and my eyes drop with tears!"

Never did any man read his pardon with dry eyes.
"She stood at his feet weeping." Luke 7:38. Mary's
tears were more precious to Christ than her ointment;
her eyes, which before sparkled with lust, now became
a fountain, and washed Christ's feet with her tears! She
was a true penitent, and had her pardon. "Therefore, I
say, her sins, which are many, are forgiven;" ver 47.
Pardon of sin, will make the hardest heart soften, and
cause the stony heart to bleed. Is it thus with us?
Have we been dissolved into tears for sin? God seals
His pardons upon melting hearts.

When God shows a man how near he was falling into hell,
how that gulf is passed, and all his sins are pardoned, he
is amazed, and cries out, "Who is a God like You,
who pardons my iniquity! That God should pardon me
and pass by others—that I should be taken and others
left—fills my soul with
wonder and astonishment!"

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

When God seems most unkind

It should make us cheerfully submit to God's will, to
consider that in every afflictive path of providence, we
may see His footstep of kindness. There is kindness in
when God seems most unkind.

There is kindness in affliction—in that God deals with
us as His children. "If you endure chastening, God
deals with you as with sons." Heb 12:7. God has one
Son without sin—but no son without stripes! Affliction
is a badge of adoption. Shall not we then say, "Lord,
there is kindness in the cross, you treat us as your
children. The rod of discipline is to fit us for the
inheritance. May Your will be done."

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Holy complaint

"May Your will be done." Matthew 6:10

We pray that we may have grace to submit
to God's will patiently, in whatever He inflicts.

A Christian may be deeply sensible of affliction,
and yet patiently submit to God's will. We ought
not to be Stoics, insensible and unconcerned with
God's dealings; as if we were begotten of a stone.
Christ was sensible when He sweat great drops of
blood—but there was submission to God's will.
"Nevertheless, not as I will—but as you will." We
are bid to humble ourselves under God's hand,
which we cannot do unless we are sensible of it.

A Christian may weep under an affliction, and yet
patiently submit to God's will. God allows tears.
Grace makes the heart tender; weeping gives
vent to sorrow; grief is poured out in tears.

A Christian may complain in his affliction, and yet be
submissive to God's will. "I cry out to the Lord; I plead
for the Lord's mercy. I pour out my complaints before
Him and tell Him all my troubles." Psalm 142:1, 2. We
may, when under affliction, tell God how it is with us.
Shall not the child complain to his father when he is
Holy complaint may agree with patient
submission to God's will; but though we may complain
to God, we must not complain of God. 

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Do it as the angels do it
"May Your will be done on earth, as it is
 in heaven." Matthew 6:10

We do God's will as it is done in heaven,
when we
do it as the angels do it.

We do God's will as it is done in heaven by the
angels—when we do it regularly, without

We do God's will as it is done in heaven by the
angels—when we do it entirely—when we do
all God's will.

We do God's will as it is done in heaven by the
angels—when we do it sincerely, and without

We do God's will as it is done in heaven by the
angels—when we do it willingly, and without
complaint. Though we cannot serve God perfectly,
we serve Him willingly.

We do God's will as it is done in heaven by the
angels—when we do it fervently, and without

We do God's will as it is done in heaven by the
angels—when we give God the best in every

We do God's will as it is done in heaven by the
angels—when we do it readily and swiftly.

We do God's will as it is done in heaven by the
angels—when we do it constantly

"May Your will be done on earth, as it is
 in heaven." Matthew 6:10

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He is weary of his weariness

A hypocrite may be able to do some right things—yet
he has no delight in duty; he does it rather out of fear
of hell than love to God. When he does God's will it is
against his own will. Cain brought his sacrifice—but
grudgingly; his worship was rather a task than an
offering, rather penance than a sacrifice; he did
God's will—but against his own will.

We must be carried upon the wings of delight in every
duty. We must read and hear the Word with delight.
"Your Words were found, and I ate them, and Your
Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart."
Jer 15:16. A pious soul goes to the Word as to a feast,
or as one would go with delight to hear music.

Not that a truly regenerate person is always in the same
cheerful temper of obedience; he may sometimes find an
indisposition and weariness of soul—but his weariness is
his burden; he is weary of his weariness; he prays,
weeps, uses all means to regain the alacrity and freedom
in God's service that he was accustomed to have.

To do God's will acceptably, is to do it willingly. Delight
in duty is better than duty itself. The musician is not
commended for playing long—but well; it is not how
much we do—but how much we love. "O, how I love
Your law!" Psalm 119:97. Love perfumes obedience,
and makes it go up to heaven as a sweet incense.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Rivers of pleasure!

"May Your kingdom come." Matthew 6:10

We are compassed with a body of sin—should we
not long to shake off this viper? We are in a valley
of tears—is it not better to be in a glorious kingdom?
Here we are combating with Satan—should we not
desire to be called out of the bloody field, where the
bullets of temptation fly so fast, that we may receive
a victorious crown? O, breathe after the heavenly
kingdom! We should anxiously desire to be always
sunning ourselves in the light of God's countenance.

Think what it will be—to be forever with the Lord!
Are there any sweeter smiles or embraces than His!
Is there any bed so soft as Christ's bosom! Is there
any such joy as to have the golden banner of Christ's
love displayed over us! Is there any such honor as to
sit upon the throne with Christ! O, then, long for the
celestial kingdom!

God will be a deep sea of blessedness, and the
glorified saints shall forever bathe themselves in
this ocean! "And they will reign forever and ever!"
Revelation 22:5. Heaven will make amends for all.

O let this be our support under all the calamities
and sufferings in this life. What a vast difference is
there between a believer's sufferings, and his reward!
"The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to
be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in
us." Romans 8:18. For a few tears—we shall receive
rivers of pleasure!

"Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good
 pleasure to give you the kingdom!" Luke 12:32

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A jewel which few Christians wear

If you hope to shortly enter the glorious kingdom
of heaven—be content though you have but a little
of the world!

Contentment is a rare thing, it is a jewel which
few Christians wear

Were you to take an estimate of a man's estate,
how would you value it? By what he has in his
house, or by his land? Perhaps he has little money
or jewels in his house—but he owns vast lands—
there lies his worth.

A believer has but a little oil in the cruse, and meal
in the barrel—but he has a title to the glorious
kingdom of heaven—and may not this satisfy him?

If a man who lived here in England, had a great
estate beyond the seas, and perhaps had no more
money at present but just to pay for his voyage,
he is content; he knows when he comes to his
estate he shall have money enough. Just so, you
who are a believer have a kingdom befallen you;
though you have but little in your purse—yet if
you have enough for your voyage to heaven, it
is sufficient. God has given you grace, which is
the fore-crop, and will give you glory, which is
the after-crop; and may not this make you content?

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Drops the holy oil into the ear

"If they won't listen to Moses and the prophets, they won't
 listen even if someone rises from the dead!" Luke 16:31

If the Word preached does not work upon men, nothing will;
not judgment, nor miracles; no, not though one should rise
from the dead!

If you would get to heaven—attend to the Word preached.
It was by the ear—by our first parents listening to the serpent,
that we lost paradise. And it is by the ear—by hearing of the
Word, that we get to heaven. "Hear, and your soul shall live."
God sometimes in the preaching of the Word—
drops the holy
oil into the
, which softens and sanctifies the heart! The
Word preached is called the "ministry of the Spirit," because
the Spirit of God makes use of the engine to convert souls.

If you intend to get to heaven, be swift to hear: for "faith
comes by hearing." Peter let down the net of his ministry,
and at one draught caught three thousand souls! If you
would have heaven's door opened to you—wait at the posts
of wisdom's door.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The tongue
Every member of the body is infected with sin,
as every branch of wormwood is bitter; but "
is full of deadly poison." James 3:8. Some
care not what they say in their anger; they will
censure, slander, and wish evil to others. How can
Christ be in the heart—when the devil has taken
possession of the tongue?
Anger disturbs reason,
it is a temporary insanity. Water, when hot, soon
boils over. Just so, when the heart is heated with
anger, it soon boils over in fiery passionate speeches.
Let those whose tongues are set on fire, take heed
that they do not one day in hell desire a drop of
water to cool them! Oh, if you would not miss the
heavenly kingdom, beware of giving way to unbridled
passions. Some say, "words are but wind;" but they
are such a wind as may blow them to hell!

     ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

We would be overwhelmed!

"You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with
 eternal pleasures at Your right hand." Psalm 16:11

Nothing is lacking in heaven, which may complete the
saints' happiness; for, wherein does happiness consist?

Is it in knowledge? We "shall know as we are known."

Is it in royal fare? We shall be at the "marriage supper of the Lamb."

Is it in rich apparel? We shall be "clothed in long white robes."

Is it in exquisite music? We shall hear the choir of angels singing.

Is it in dominion? We shall reign as kings, and judge angels.

Is it in pleasure? We shall enter into the joy of our Lord!

Would God give us a vision of heaven for a moment, as he
did Stephen, who saw "the heavens opened" (Acts 7:56),
we would be overwhelmed!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Christ's blood is the key which opens the
gates of heaven!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

He still loves sin

"They set their heart on their iniquity." Hosea 4:8

A man may forsake his open sins—and yet come short
of heaven. He may forsake gross sins, and yet have no
reluctance to heart sins—such as pride, unbelief, malice
and lust. Though he dams up the stream—he lets alone
the fountain! Though he lops and prunes the branches
—he does not strike at the root of it!

Though he leaves sin for fear of hell, or because it brings
shame or poverty—yet
he still loves sin; as if a snake
would cast off her skin—and yet retain her poison! 

It is but a partial forsaking of sin; though he leaves one
sin—he lives in some other. Herod reformed very much.
"He did many things;" but he lived in incest. Mark 6:20.
Some leave drunkenness, and live in covetousness. Some
forbear swearing—and live in slandering. It is but a partial
reformation, and so they miss of the kingdom of glory.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The earth swallowed them up!

"Their mind is on earthly things." Philippians 3:19

The world is the great Diana which the ungodly cry up;
as if they would fetch happiness out of the earth which
God has cursed; they labor for honor and riches. Like
Korah's household, "
The earth swallowed them up!"
Numbers 16:32. It swallows up their time and thoughts.
Like the serpent, they lick the dust!

Oh, what is there in the world that we should so idolize it;
and Christ and heaven are to be disregarded as worthless?
What has Christ done for you? Died for your sins! What will
the world do for you? Can it pacify an angry conscience? Can
it procure God's favor? Can it purchase for you a place in the
kingdom of heaven? Oh, how are men bewitched with worldly
profits and honors—that for these things they will forfeit
paradise! It was a good prayer of Bernard, "Let us so
possess temporal things, that we do not lose eternal things."

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

These fools will lose heaven!

See the folly of those who, for vain pleasures and
profits, will lose such a glorious kingdom!

Lysimachus, for a draught of water, lost his empire; just
so, for a draught of sinful pleasure,
these fools will lose
We too much resemble our grandfather, Adam,
who for an apple lost paradise! Many for trifles—will
venture the loss of heaven. It will be an aggravation
of the sinner's torment, to think how foolishly he was
undone; that for a flash of impure joy—he lost an eternal
weight of glory! Would it not vex a king, to think he would
lose his kingdom—for a feather! Such are those who let
heaven go—for a song. This will make the devil insult at
the last day, to think how he has befooled men, and
made them lose their souls and their happiness for
"lying vanities." If Satan could make good his brag,
in giving all the glory and kingdoms of the world, it
could not countervail the loss of the celestial kingdom.
All the tears in hell are not sufficient to lament the loss
of heaven!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

A worm which is ever feeding
at the root of our gourd!

"Neither can they die any more." Luke 20:36

This kingdom of heaven excels all others in healthfulness.
Death is a worm which is ever feeding at the root of
our gourd!
Earthly kingdoms are often hospitals of sick
people; but the kingdom of heaven is a most healthful
climate. There are no physicians there—for there is no
sickness there. In the heavenly climate, there are no ill
vapors to breed diseases; but a sweet, aromatic healing
fragrance coming from Christ; all His garments smell of
myrrh, aloes, and cassia.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Confined to a small cottage

The kingdom of heaven excels all other kingdoms in
magnitude; it is of vast dimensions! Though the gate
of the kingdom is narrow, and we must pass into it
through the narrow gate of mortification—yet, when
once we are in it, it is very large. Though there are an
innumerable company of saints and angels—yet there
is room enough for them all.

You who are now confined to a small cottage,
when you come into the celestial kingdom, shall not
be straitened for room. As every star has a vast orb
to move in, so it shall be with the saints, when they
shall shine as stars in the kingdom of heaven.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Living by faith

"I live by faith in the Son of God." Gal 2:20.

The kingdom of grace flourishes in the heart,
when a Christian has learned to live by faith.
For a Christian to live on the promises, as a
bee on the flower, and suck out the sweetness
of them; to trust in God's heart—where we
cannot trace His hand; to believe His love
through a frown; to persuade ourselves,
when He has the face of an enemy—that
He has the heart of a Father; when we are
arrived at this, the kingdom of grace is
flourishing in our souls.

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

If there is either justice
in heaven, or fire in hell

"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for
whatever a man sows, this he will also reap!"
    Galatians 6:7

If there is either justice in heaven,
or fire in hell
—the ungodly shall not
be unpunished!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Children's bread!

"Heirs of the promise." Hebrews 6:17.

A wicked man can lay claim to nothing in the
Bible, but the curses! The promises are children's
They are the breasts of the gospel, milking
out consolations! And who are to suck these breasts
—but God's children? The promise of pardon is for
them. "I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby
they have sinned against Me." Jer 33:8. The promise
of healing is for them. Isa 57:19. The promise of
salvation is for them. Jer 23:6. The promises are
the supports of faith; they are a Christian's cordial.
Oh, the heavenly comforts which are distilled from
the promises! Chrysostom compares the Scripture
to a garden: the promises are the fruit trees which
grow in this garden. A child of God may go to any
promise in the Bible, and pluck comfort from it!
He is an heir of all the promises!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Until God teaches us

"Our Father in heaven." Matthew 6:9

Wherein lies the happiness, of having God for our Father?

"I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit."
     Isaiah 48:17

If God is our Father—He will teach us. What father
will refuse to counsel his son? Does God command
to instruct their children—and will not He
instruct His children? "O God, you have taught me
from my youth." Psalm 71:17. If God is our Father,
He will give us the teachings of His Spirit.

"The natural man receives not the things of God,
neither can he know them." 1 Cor 2:14. The natural
man may have excellent notions in theology—but God
must teach us to know the mysteries of the gospel
after a spiritual manner. A man may see the figures
upon a dial, but he cannot tell the time of day, unless
the sun shines. Just so, we may read many truths in
the Bible—but we cannot know them savingly—until
God by his Spirit shines upon our soul. God teaches
not only our ear—but our heart! He not only informs
our mind—but inclines our will. We never learn
until God teaches us!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

It files off the ruggedness

"Our Father, who is in heaven" Matthew 6:9

How may we know, that God is our Father?

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall
 be called the children of God." Matthew 5:9

If God is our Father, we are of peaceable spirits.
Grace infuses a sweet, amicable disposition. It
files off the ruggedness
of men's spirits; it
turns the lion-like fierceness into a lamb-like
gentleness. Those who have God to be their
Father, follow peace as well as holiness.
God the Father is the God of peace, Heb 13:20:
God the Son, is the Prince of peace, Isa 9:6:
God the Spirit, is the Spirit of peace; Eph 4:3.

The more peaceable, the more like God. God
is not the Father of those who are fierce and
cruel—as if they had sucked the milk of a wolf!
"The way of peace have they not known."
These furies may not call God their Father,
though they may call the devil their father!

    ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The key of heaven

Prayer is the key of heaven, and
is the hand which turns it.