Grace Gems for NOVEMBER 2010
Home, sweet home! There is no place like home!
(James Smith, "Rills from the Rock of Ages", 1860)
"These all died in faith . . . they confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth" Hebrews 11:13
The day of life with them is ended. Its duties are ended. Its responsibilities are past. Its hours are fled away.
What a trying day some of them had! How stormy. How sultry. How often overcast. How gloomy. But it is now past — and past forever! The toils of the wilderness are over! They had much to afflict and pain them . . .
a difficult and dangerous journey,
a long wearisome march,
many a heavy cross to carry,
many a stubborn foe to face,
many a painful doubt,
numerous gloomy fears.
But now the wilderness is all behind them! The afflictions of the pilgrimage are terminated. Those sufferings were sharp, and some of them continued long. Many of them were endured in secret without sympathy, and without relief. They were soul sorrows, agony of mind — as well as sharp pains of body. But however multiplied, however severe, however protracted those sorrows — they are past and gone, never, never to return!
The sweetest repose is now enjoyed. The poor tabernacle has been taken down, and is laid in a quiet resting-place, until the resurrection morning. The soul is gone to be with Jesus. It has traveled through the rough path of life — and is now in God's presence, where there is fullness of joy, and pleasures for evermore!
As Christians, we are going to the same place. The graves will soon be ready for our bodies — and the mansions of glory for our souls. We are going home! Home to our Father's house! Home where our hearts have long been. Home where all our prayers will be answered, and all our best desires will be gratified. "Home, sweet home! There is no place like home!" Especially our home! A paradise without a tempting serpent! A paradise where all are holy, all are safe, all are happy. Those pure and perpetual joys, which are at God's right hand, await us! We taste them now, and are delighted with a sip — but there we shall soon drink full draughts of eternal glory, eternal joy, and eternal blessedness!
Amidst present toils and trials, dangers and distresses — when wearied, way-worn, and tempted to fret — remember that you will soon be HOME! Think, think, O my soul, of an eternity of enjoyment — when the sufferings of time are ended! "Weeping may remain for a night — but rejoicing comes in the morning!" Psalm 30:5
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I am God — and not man!
(James Smith, "Rills from the Rock of Ages", 1860)
"I will not carry out My fierce anger, nor will I turn and devastate Israel. For I am God — and not man; the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath!" Hosea 11:9
Thus spoke the Lord, when assigning a reason for not executing the fierceness of His wrath upon guilty and rebellious Israel. A God can do — what a man cannot; and a God can bear — what a man cannot. God always acts in accordance with the grandeur, glory, and greatness of His nature.
Every thought of His heart,
every word of His mouth, and
every work of His hand —
is worthy of Himself!
If we bear this in mind, it will . . .
fortify our minds,
strengthen our faith,
and comfort our souls.
Why does God not cut down the wicked immediately? Because He is God — and not man.
Why does He chasten His people so greatly, and allow them to suffer so much? Because He is God — and not man.
Let us meditate on this declaration of our God for a few moments.
"I am God — and not man," and therefore I am infinitely patient, and not soon moved to take vengeance upon My sinful and rebellious creatures!
"I am God — and not man," and therefore I am ready to forgive, and receive back the returning prodigal to My heart and home!
"I am God — and not man," and therefore I receive great sinners, taking to My heart, and putting among My children — such despicable ones as no one else would notice or regard!
"I am God — and not man," and therefore I pardon again and again, not only first offences — but repeated transgressions, forgiving and forgetting them forever!
"I am God — and not man," and therefore bear with such numerous affronts, such gross ingratitude, such inexcusable conduct — in My own people!
"I am God, and not man," and therefore I invite, entreat, and beseech such base backsliders to return unto Me, and prove the power and freeness of My forgiving love!
"I am God — and not man," and therefore I save freely, fully, and forever — such degraded, depraved, and desperate sinners, to the praise of the glory of My grace!
"I am God — and not man," and therefore I remain faithful to My promises and covenant engagements, amidst all the changes and faithlessness of My fickle people!
"I am God — and not man," and therefore I give such rich, costly, priceless gifts — to the poor, destitute, and unworthy sinners!
"I am God — and not man," and therefore I hear, accept, and answer, such poor, imperfect, and worthless prayers — which, no one else could tolerate, much less approve!
"I am God — and not man," and therefore I work such wonders — wonders in providence, and wonders in grace; wonders in the world, and wonders in the heart!
"I am God — and not man," and therefore, I have prepared such mansions, and will confer such a glorious kingdom — on sinners who have no claim upon Me, nor the least reason to expect any good thing from Me!
Yes, because He is Jehovah, and changes not — therefore we poor, sinning, changeable creatures are not consumed!
Believer, to you the Lord says, "I am God — and not man!" Therefore expect from Him as God — and act toward Him as God! He can do exceedingly and abundantly, above all that you can ask or think! Do not measure His heart by yours — but remember that as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His thoughts higher than your thoughts, and His ways than your ways!
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A Seasonable Prescription
(James Smith, "Rills from the Rock of Ages", 1860. This one is longer — but choice. Please forward it to all Christian parents.)
As we Christians advance in life, and know more of human nature, and the power of temptation — the greater interest should we take in the young, and the more urgently should we seek their salvation. It is a lovely sight to see aged Christians endeavoring to bring young people to the Savior. And this we ought constantly to see — for they know the power . . .
of youthful lusts,
of the world's attractions,
of Satanic influence,
of the deceitfulness of the heart,
and the value of the immortal soul!
Aged friends, do you feel and act, as you should for the young? Do you do all that you can to snatch them as brands from the burning?
Solomon was an old man when he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes, and in that book he manifests great solicitude for the young. Again and again he addresses them in different ways — but with what touching and subtle irony, does he speak to them in one place, "Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see. BUT KNOW that for all these things — God will bring you to judgment!" Ecclesiastes 11:9
The Youth's Practice. He is happy in his youth — in his physical vigor, personal attractions, and newly acquired liberty. Feeling strong, he puts the day of judgment far from him. Vain of his person — he is proud of his appearance and abilities. Freed from the restraints of home — he removes the reins from the neck of his lusts. His heart cheers him on — and urges him forward in the pursuit of folly! He walks in the way of his heart — which is always evil. He is ignorant of its powers of deception. He is therefore deceived by the corrupt principles that work within it. He hushes his conscience to sleep, or by violence constrains it to be silent.
He then yields to the alluring influence of the world. And while so doing, Satan tempts him to proceed farther and farther — plotting his eternal damnation!
He does what he thinks best in his own eyes — allowing them to mislead him. He walks by sight — not according to God's Word. He is led away by appearances, and despises the counsel and example of the godly. He refuses to listen to, or be guided by the advice of parents. He despises, or slights, the preacher's admonition, and will be a law unto himself. He chooses vain people for his companions, and follows the example of the foolish! Let us now listen to,
The Preacher's Prescription. "Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see. BUT know that for all these things — God will bring you to judgment!"
Take your own course — if you are determined.
Go on in the way which you prefer — if you think it best.
Persevere in the path that you have chosen.
BUT KNOW that there is an end to your course — and that end is a judgment!
The judgment day is fixed — and it is therefore certain.
The judge stands at the door — it is therefore near.
The dead, small and great, shall stand before God — it is therefore universal.
Every one of us shall give account of himself before God — it is therefore personal.
Before this final judgment, shall be gathered all nations — it will therefore be open and public.
God will judge in justice and uprightness — it will therefore be righteous.
It will be the great day, the last day — and will therefore be final.
"BUT KNOW that for all these things — God will bring you to judgment!"
You will not be able to escape!
You will not be overlooked or forgotten!
You will be personally summoned — and there will be no evading!
Death will arrest and cast you into prison. From thence, the angels will bring you out — and Jesus will judge you! For "He has set a day when He is going to judge the world in righteousness, by the Man He has appointed!" Acts 17:31
Young man! Young woman! To you is this word of solemn admonition sent! See how many young people are being called away by death! Fatal diseases and accidents — how common. Sudden deaths — how frequent. It is very probable that God may soon call for YOU! How necessary then that you be ready, for death very often gives but a short notice — or no notice! God . . .
warns you by His providence;
He directs you in His Word;
He invites you by His ministers;
and He will judge you by His Son!
Whenever therefore you are tempted to indulge in any unholy amusement or practice, remember these words: "BUT KNOW that for all these things — God will bring you to judgment!"
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The glorious gospel of Christ!
(James Smith, "Rills from the Rock of Ages", 1860)
"The glorious gospel of Christ!" 2 Corinthians 4:4
The gospel is a glorious revelation of divine grace — a manifestation of the purpose and good pleasure of God, to save sinners in harmony with, and to the honor of — all His divine perfections.
The gospel contains . . .
the loftiest doctrines,
the largest promises, and
the freest invitations conceivable!
The gospel exhibits the Lord Jesus Christ, in . . .
the glory of His person,
the depth of His love,
the vastness of His merit, and
His infinite willingness to save the vilest sinners!
The gospel is a proclamation . . .
of peace by the blood-shedding of God incarnate;
of a full, free, and complete salvation — for all who truly believe on His name;
of a glorious inheritance, an everlasting kingdom, and a crown of glory — as a free gift for the vilest of men! Or in other words, the gospel is the good news of pardon, peace, protection, and everlasting life — for all who are willing to receive and enjoy them!
In the gospel . . .
God's heart is laid bare,
the fullness of Christ is thrown open, and
miserable souls are invited to come and be made eternally happy!
The gospel contains . . .
God's kindest thoughts,
God's wisest plans,
God's most gracious promises, and
God's fullest revelation of Himself!
The gospel is . . .
balm for sinners' wounds,
solace for the troubled conscience,
and the remedy for a sin-broken heart!
The gospel is God's powerful instrument, through which He . . .
raises the dead in sin,
enlightens the blind mind,
pardons the guilty,
cleanses the filthy heart,
heals the sin-sick soul, and
makes the miserable, eternally happy!
In a word, the gospel reveals . . .
all that God can give,
all that man can need, and
all that the child of God can enjoy!
Yet many spurn the gospel . . .
some on account of its simplicity,
some on account of its spirituality,
and some on account of its purity.
The gospel lays man in the dust — and places God on the throne! It places man as a sinner, at the sovereign disposal of God. It will yield nothing to man's pride, and pays no compliment to man's supposed goodness or abilities.
If a man is saved at all . . .
it is of grace alone,
it is by Christ alone,
it is to God's honor alone!
The gospel despises the wisdom of the world, and puts the rich and the poor, the moral and immoral, the learned and illiterate — on the same level! The pride of man cannot tolerate this!
The gospel must be experimentally known by the teaching of the Holy Spirit — before it will be loved, prized, and practiced as it ought!
Do WE personally and experimentally know the gospel? Have we tasted its sweetness — as well as felt its power? Is it to us, more desirable than gold — even the finest gold? Is it sweeter than honey — even honey dripping from the comb?
Have we received the gospel with a demonstration of the Spirit's power?
Has it . . .
enlightened our judgments,
purified our hearts, and
corrected our lives?
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(The following letter was written by Pastor William Burns to the youth Sunday School class in Edinburgh, on March 10, 1840.)
Dear fellow-sinners, if you take refuge by faith in this sacrifice of Emmanuel, you are saved, and cannot come into condemnation. But if you despise and reject it, then sooner may heaven and earth pass away — than that you should escape being in hell to all eternity for your sins!
I rejoice to hear that some of you seem to have gotten a glimpse of the love of Jesus, and of the preciousness of His atoning blood. To such I would say — remain at Calvary, be there sleeping and waking, at work or at play, living and dying. Gaze upon that great sight — until your conscience enjoys perfect peace with God, until your heart is filled with Emmanuel's love, and your whole soul is transformed into His image, and becomes as a mirror, finely polished to reflect the rays of His grace and glory — to all eternity!
"Look unto Jesus!" is the whole of the gospel. Look and wonder, look and live, look and love, look and adore, look and admire, look and be blessed, look and be glorified, look eternally — and your hearts will be filled with everlasting love, and your mouth with an unending hallelujah!
But what can I say to those among you, who have heard of Jesus, and whose hearts are given to another — to the world, to themselves, to a lust, to a passion, to an idol, to sin, to Satan! Ah! to hell-fire you will go — if the Lord, in infinite mercy, does not interpose for you! Children, young people, who have not yet come to Jesus — realize that you are under the wrath of God — and that every moment it is coming nearer and nearer to your poor souls! Awake, arise, flee without a moment's delay to Jesus, and take refuge below His atoning cross — and enjoy now and to all eternity — His free, infinite, and unchangeable love to perishing sinners!
Shall I meet you in heaven — or see you going away in your impenitence and unbelief to hell?
Yours in Emmanuel,
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The sin of sacrilege!
(Octavius Winslow, "The Officer's Daughter" 1861)
"I, the Lord, have spoken! I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at My Word." Isaiah 66:2
Alas! how prevalent the sin of sacrilege is — even with some professing Christians! The common use which is sometimes made of sacred words, the light and flippant manner in which holy phrases are employed, the carnal use which is frequently made of the words of Scripture itself, the interlarding of vain conversation with Scripture phraseology, and what are intended to be witticisms — at the expense of God's holy Word. These are sins of greater prevalence and magnitude than, perhaps, many who are beguiled into their commission are aware!
We can scarcely conceive of anything more grieving to the Holy Spirit — than the manner in which some people deal with His inspired Word. Nor is the low spirituality which this solemn trifling with the Bible betrays, less painful.
A heavenly mind will guard the sacredness and purity of God's Word with holy jealousy! How can it be otherwise? To the Bible, the instrumentality of God's truth — the believer is indebted for his quickening, for his sanctification, and for his comfort! To trifle, then, with that holy Word, to quote it flippantly, to speak of it irreverently, to jest with it profanely — would seem a crime from which a mind stored with its precious treasures, and imbued with its hallowed spirit — would recoil with holy dread!
Oh, beware, reader, how you sport with, or trifle with — God's holy Scriptures! Oh, it is a fearful thing to quote with sportive lip, to touch with unhallowed hands — the holy Word of God!
"My heart stands in awe of Your Word! I rejoice in Your Word like one who discovers a great treasure!" Psalm 119:161-162
(Editor's note: It is truly lamentable, that many professing Christians use the holy Word of God to amuse others with 'bible jokes' and in other trifling and irreverent ways. Much of today's pseudo-Christian music, movies and literature — use the Word of God in a flippant manner, if not in a downright profane and sacrilegious way.)
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Those bright constellations — Christ created them.
Those burning suns — Christ kindled them.
Those snow wreathed alps, those cloud capped mountains — Christ raised them.
Those verdant valleys — Christ spread them.
That blushing rose,
that graceful lily,
that exquisite fern,
that curious sea flower tossed upon the shore,
that wayside violet that screens the dew drop from the sun,
that winding stream,
that leafy grove —
Christ formed and penciled them all.
Yes, Christ is the one who . . .
clad that magnificent landscape with its robe of living green;
scented the air with its fragrance, and
hollowed out the depth of that expansive ocean, dimpled with beauty by the gentle breeze — or awesome in its grandeur, when trod by the storm.
Truly, He has made everything beautiful in its time.
Oh! I delight to see the Incarnate God, who died to save — scattering from the opulence of His own boundless resources — all this jewelry; making man's sinful home so rich, so lovely, so attractive!
"The heavens tell of the glory of God.
The skies display His marvelous craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make Him known.
They speak without a sound or a word;
their voice is silent in the skies;
yet their message has gone out to all the earth,
and their words to all the world." Psalm 19:1-4
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What a treacherous foe dwells in our bosom!
(Mary Winslow, "Words of Loving Counsel and Sympathy")
We live in a dangerous world — a world lying in wickedness! And when we remember what a treacherous foe dwells in our bosom, ever prompting us to evil — we need to cry mightily to God to save us from Satan, and from our own selves! "Hold me up — and I shall be safe!" Psalm 119:117
I have lately had a very sweet humbling view of my own hateful self — and a soul-melting view of the wonderful and over-whelming goodness of God, in loving and saving one so vile! "Christ died for the ungodly!" Romans 5:6
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Our Almighty Friend!
(Mary Winslow, "Words of Loving Counsel and Sympathy")
"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16
The Lord knows what we require every step we take through this poor, trying, wilderness world — and stands ready to supply our needs, small and great. He is concerned in all that concerns us. Let it be our daily habit to cast our care upon Him — who cares for us.
We must be growing in a better acquaintance with our own souls — as poor and needy; and with Christ — who is all and everything to us. For in Him all fullness dwells — and that fullness is for us! He is our rich storehouse. We need only to go and tell Him — and His heart is open to us in a moment. Let us live upon Him — and go to Him constantly! He is our Almighty Friend!
Could we look into His heart, and see how precious we were to Him, and how truly He is near to us, watching over us, directing all things for our good and His glory — how would our present grievances vanish from our minds, as we sit as beloved children at the feet of Jesus.
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(by John MacDuff)
"Behold! I have engraved you on the palms of My hands!" Isaiah 49:16
"Behold," says Immutable One, "I have engraved you on the palms of My hands!"
Not on the mountains, as colossal as they are — for they shall depart;
on no page of nature's vast volume — for the last fires shall scorch them;
not on blazing sun — for he shall grow dim with age;
not on glorious heavens — for they shall be folded together as a scroll.
But on . . .
the hands of might and love,
the hands which made the worlds,
the hands which were transfixed on Calvary,
— I have engraved you there!
No corroding power can efface the writing, or obliterate your name!
You are Mine now — and Mine forever!
"I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish;
no one can snatch them out of My hand!" John 10:28
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All this, and unspeakably more!
"Receiving the end of your faith — the salvation of
your souls." 1 Peter 1:9
The full and final salvation of our souls, embraces
the whole of what God has in reserve for His people
through eternity! It includes the enjoyment of
those pleasures . . .
which no sin can ever pollute,
which no sorrow can ever becloud,
which no time can ever impair,
which no change can ever affect,
which no calamity can ever destroy!
The full and final salvation of our souls, includes . . .
whatever the infinite wisdom of God can devise;
whatever the infinite love of God can prepare;
whatever the infinite power of God can secure;
complete deliverance from the bondage of corruption;
entire emancipation from the power of every foe;
the body of sin and death forever left behind;
every grace, grown to perfect maturity;
all the ineffable treasures of eternal glory;
all this, and unspeakably more!
Welcome shame and sorrow — if such an end shall at
length be ours! The ungodly world may despise us;
even our nearest friends may forsake us. Yet we can
well afford to bear their opposition without a single
murmur, if we are only permitted to cherish the hope
that our course will eventually terminate in so blissful
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has
imagined — what God has prepared for those who love
Him!" 1 Corinthians 2:9
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He groaned, bled, and died for you!
(John MacDuff, "Encouragements to Patient Waiting" 1864)
"Yes, I have loved you, My people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to Myself!" Jeremiah 31:3
Christian, think on what Christ has already done for you.
He groaned, bled, and died for you!
You were lost and on your way to Hell — but He found you!
You were His enemy — but He reconciled you!
You were a captive of the devil — but He freed you!
You were blind to your desperate condition — but He cured you!
You were dead in sin — but He quickened you!
As deep as is the mountain of our guilt — deeper, far deeper is that ocean of infinite love in which God has promised to bury it forever, and to remember it no more against us!
Oh! when you reflect how He has watched over you, since He has saved you — how He has . . . .
preserved you from dangers,
supported you in seasons of temptation,
sustained you in times of trial,
nourished you in days of sickness,
comforted you in the hours of despondency!
Surely, you cannot surely imagine that He will now desert you; you cannot believe that He will so mar the work of His own hands — the labor of His own love — as to cast you off, and leave you to perish! If He sought you when His enemy — will He not take care of you when His child?
"May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully!" Ephesians 3:19
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Last night Sam was at "The Fighting Rooster"
(James Smith, "God is Merciful" 1858)
"God is merciful!" said old Mrs. Jenkins, as she came from the funeral home where drunken Sam Voller was just laid out. Last night Sam was at "The Fighting Rooster" and drank too much beer, then he quarreled, a fight followed, and Sam got an unlucky blow — and now he has gone to appear before his Maker, to give an account of the deeds!
Yes, Mrs. Jenkins, God is merciful — but not always. God is merciful — but not to all. There was no mercy for the world of the ungodly, who perished in the flood. Nor was there any mercy for the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, who were consumed by fire from heaven.
Neither can we see, though we do not wish to judge harshly of our poor fellow-creatures, how there could be mercy for Sam — who lived in sin, died in sin, and died in consequence of his sin. "He who confesses and forsakes his sin — shall find mercy;" but how can he hope for mercy — who hardens himself in sin, and perseveres in it until summoned to appear before God to give an account of it?
"There is mercy with God — that He may be feared," not that He may be trifled with, and insulted to His face!
Mercy may now be obtained by any one and every one who seeks it. But the Lord, who is now so merciful and gracious — will by and by manifest His wrathful indignation; and say to those who now refuse to come when He calls them, "Depart from me, you cursed ones, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels!" Terrible words — called forth by persevering in sin, and inflicting a terrible doom! May no reader of these lines, ever endure the threatening contained in them!
In vain for mercy now they cry;
In lakes of liquid fire they lie;
There on the flaming billows tossed,
Forever — O, forever, lost!
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Surely, the very devils will laugh that sinner to scorn to all eternity!
(James Smith, "Sunny Subjects for All Seasons" 1858)
"God has given to us eternal life — and this life is in his Son." 1 John 5:11
What a wonderful display of divine benevolence is this! What an extraordinary exhibition of sovereign love — to rebel sinners such as we are!
"You will not come to Me, that you might have life!" John 5:40. Rejectors of Christ are ungrateful, inexcusable and suicidal. How can we properly represent the blackness of that ingratitude which refuses to come to Jesus for eternal life! Surely, surely, no one can pity the sinner who dies because he will not receive a pardon — because he will not have eternal life!
Sinner, if you perish — you are a suicide! You die by your own hand! You die because you will not come to Jesus, and have eternal life. Such conduct must certainly be inexcusable. Surely, the very devils will laugh that sinner to scorn to all eternity, who goes to hell from beneath the sound of the everlasting gospel.
He would not have eternal life!
He would not go to heaven!
There was the gate — but he would not pass through it.
There was the road — but he would not travel it.
There was eternal life offered — but he would not have it.
He would go to hell.
He was determined to do so.
He chose death and damnation in his erroneous way.
He would not be stopped, either by the invitations of divine mercy, or the threatenings of divine wrath!
No offer of eternal life was ever made to devils, after they had fallen; so, that they are more excusable in one sense than the sinner who perishes, because he will not come unto Jesus, and have life.
What a thought is this! There is an enormity about the sin of rejecting eternal life by Christ — not even to be found in the sin of devils!
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My poor, depraved, polluted heart!
(James Smith, "Precious Things from the Everlasting Hills" 1853)
"You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind!" Matthew 22:37
God desires to be loved by His redeemed children. He values our love. He speaks to us as His children, and with paternal tenderness asks, "My son, give me your heart!" How amazing, how astonishing is this! The High and Lofty One, who inhabits eternity — asks for my heart — my poor, depraved, polluted heart!
O my God! take it, purify it, inhabit it — and use it for Your own glory and praise!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
by James Smith, 1858
A few years ago it pleased the Holy Spirit to work a saving change in the heart of a poor sailor, while out at sea. Jack knew nothing of real religion, nor had he one on board with him to whom he could open his mind. Convinced of sin, afraid of hell — he was terrified and alarmed, and knew not what to do. He prayed, obtained a Bible, read it, and sunk still deeper into distress of soul. At length all hope that he could be saved was taken away, and self-despair seized him. He considered his case to be singular, and was now tempted to drown his convictions in the intoxicating cup, and then to end his miserable life by suicide.
At length, when he had done business in these deep waters of despair for a time, the Holy Spirit revealed Jesus to his soul as an able and willing Savior; and, committing himself entirely to Jesus, to be saved wholly by him — he found peace with God, and was filled with unspeakable joy.
In this state of mind he reached the port, and soon inquired where he could hear the Gospel. He was directed to a place of worship, where a friend of mine was preaching. When Jack entered, he was all eyes and ears. The first hymn was full of Christ, and poor Jack felt his heart swell. In the prayer, the minister appeared to speak the very feelings of Jack's soul. As sweet as the first hymn was — the second appeared to be sweeter, and the tears flowed down poor Jack's cheeks!
At length the minister arose to announce his text, which was Colossians 3:11, and fixing his eyes on the poor sailor — he emphatically pronounced the words, "Christ is all!" When the minister once more said, "Christ is all!" Jack could contain himself no longer, and at the top of his voice, Jack shouted — "And poor Jack's nothing at all!"
This was just the poor sailor's religion — "Jesus Christ is all in all — and poor Jack is nothing at all!" And this is the religion of every one who is taught of God!
The work of the Holy Spirit has a twofold tendency — to humble the sinner, and exalt the Savior! And just in proportion as we are taught by the Spirit of God, shall we have low views of ourselves — and high thoughts of Christ. As the sinner sinks — the Savior rises in his estimation.
Christ is all that the sinner needs — and all that the saint desires. He is a perfect Savior — and an infinite portion. Christ has all, and gives all that we can need: his blood procures our pardon, his righteousness secures our justification, his Spirit sanctifies our nature, and his fullness supplies all our needs! He is just suited to the sinner — and the sinner is just suited to him. He loves to save, to save freely, to save perfectly, and to save forever; and the sinner who is taught of God, feels that he needs just such a Savior. And this makes the Gospel so sweet and precious to every truly convinced sinner, because it proclaims as from the mouth of God, that the Lord Jesus is a perfect Savior — a present Savior — a willing Savior — who never did, and never will, cast out one that comes to him.
Reader, are you truly saved? If so — your religion is the same as poor Jack's, and you can say:
"I am a poor sinner and nothing at all,
And Jesus Christ is all in all!"
You must be brought to this — before you can be saved, for salvation is entirely of grace, and grace only saves the unworthy. Grace will save you — if you feel that you are lost, and unable to do anything toward your own salvation, and are willing to be saved gratuitously through simple faith in Christ. Anyone may be saved in this way — but there is no possibility of being saved in any other way; for there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we can be saved. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ — and you shall be saved!" For, "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him!"
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(James Smith, "HEAVEN!" 1858)
"You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand!" Psalm 16:11
HEAVEN! What is it?
It is . . .
the Savior's home,
our Father's house,
a paradise of pleasure,
a temple of worship, and
the residence of perfect purity and peace!
There . . .
God unveils His glory,
the Savior exhibits His charms,
the angels perform their service, and
the saints are entirely happy with their God.
In Heaven . . .
sin is banished,
holiness is perfected,
life is a continual feast, and
mortality is swallowed up in life!
From Heaven . . .
all pain is banished,
all enemies are excluded, and
all causes of sorrow are shut out!
In Heaven . . .
all our prayers are answered,
all our desires are gratified, and
all our needs are supplied.
There is no weeping, wailing, or wishing there.
In Heaven . . .
our knowledge will be perfect,
our happiness will be abiding,
our pleasures will be ever new.
In Heaven we shall . . .
be with Jesus, and
be like Jesus, forever!
HEAVEN! Who are there?
All tried and tempted followers of Jesus are there.
All doubting and fearing disciples of Jesus are there.
All poor and despised believers are there.
Multitudes, who felt totally unworthy of such glory, and feared they would never reach the place — are there.
All who were chosen by the Father,
all who were redeemed by the Son, and
all who were sanctified by the Holy Spirit — are there.
HEAVEN! What do they enjoy there? Who can answer this question — but one who has been there; and he would need a new language to state, and new figures to represent the enjoyments of Heaven. They enjoy rest from their pains — and a full supply of all their needs. They enjoy perfect satisfaction, a fullness of joy, and pleasure forevermore. They see all that they believed, realize all that they hoped for, and possess all that they loved. They have . . .
health — without sickness;
pleasure — without pain;
and holiness — without sin.
Every sense is gratified, every power is pleasurably employed — and they are perfectly and perpetually happy!
O Heaven, in you there is . . .
no tempting devil,
no ensnaring world,
no indwelling corruption;
no doubts, fears, or misgivings!
And best of all, there is no sin!
O Heaven, in you I shall see my God, possess my Savior, and enjoy the fullness of the Holy Spirit! O my God, in Heaven I shall be satisfied — for I shall be with You, serving and enjoying You without weariness or cessation!
HEAVEN! Who will yet get to Heaven? Who? Ah, perhaps many we little think of! We shall miss many whom we expected to find there — and find many whom we never expected would reach that glorious place!
Who will go to Heaven? That poor man who is striving against sin, mourning over corruption, and loathing himself before God. That poor woman, who sighs because she sins, pants for perfect holiness, and clings to the cross of Jesus. Do you see that poor soul on his knees, confessing his transgressions, pleading for pardon, and seeking grace to sanctify his nature — he will go to Heaven. Do you see that lowly Christian, who is visiting the sick, pointing sufferers to the cross, and trying to alleviate human woe, out of love to Jesus — he will go to Heaven. Do you see that Sunday School teacher, who, after a hard week's work, is regularly in his class, speaking loving words, in tender tones, to win the little ones for the Savior — he will go to Heaven. Do you see that preacher who exalts Christ in his ministry, honors the gospel in his life, and travails in birth for souls — he will go to Heaven.
Heaven will be peopled by all who believe in Jesus, love the brethren, and worship God in Spirit and in truth. There will be a numberless multitude there, all deeply indebted to free mercy, washed in the Savior's blood, and sanctified by the Spirit's grace!
Reader, there is a way — but only one way to Heaven! Only those found in that way will ever reach it! You yourself, may be within an hour or two of either Heaven or Hell — do you know which? If called away suddenly — to which would you go? You have a Heaven to obtain, or a Hell to endure — to all eternity! Which shall it be? O that you were wise, that you properly realized this, that you would consider your latter end!
Heaven with all its glories — or Hell with all its horrors — must be your eternal portion! If you despise the Savior, make light of the Gospel, and neglect God's great salvation — then Hell, an eternal Hell, with all its unspeakable horrors — is your portion!
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined — what God has prepared for those who love Him!" 1 Corinthians 2:9
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James Smith, 1858
"The rich man also died and was buried. In Hell, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him: Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire!" Luke 16:22-24
HELL! What is it? It is God's great prison, where His criminals are confined. It is the place of punishment — where the wages of sin are paid. It is the house of despair, the residence of desperation, the dwelling-place of the worm that never dies. It is called the lake of fire, burning with brimstone. It is a place of terrible torture, dreadful agony, and soul-racking remorse. Hope never enters there. Repose is never enjoyed there. Light never shines there. But all is pain, gloom, restless agony, and indescribable torment! There is weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth — forever!
HELL! Who are there? The rich man, at whose gate Lazarus lay, is there. Judas, who betrayed Jesus, is there. Cain, who slew his brother, is there. Demas, who preferred the world to Christ, is there. The covetous and thieves are there! The immoral and liars are there! The proud and vain are there! All who made light of the Gospel are there! All who neglected the great salvation are there! All who worshiped the Roman beast are there! And they are all "tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb! The smoke of their torment ascends up forever and ever — and they have no rest day nor night!"
Many perhaps whom you have known are there! Some of our relations even may be there! Old friends of ours may be there. Some who lived in the same street, met in the same place of worship, and whom we once hoped to meet in Heaven — are there!
Who are there? Why, we were nearly there ourselves! We lay at the entrance of Hell! We were within a few inches of Hell! A slight accident, a stroke, or a disease — would have sent us there. Yes — but for free and sovereign grace — WE would have been in Hell!
"Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life!" Revelation 21:27
"Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying!" Revelation 22:15
HELL! What do they suffer there? No tongue can tell. No pen can write; no heart can conceive — what lost souls suffer in Hell! Who can tell what the unmixed wrath, the fiery indignation, the endless curse of Almighty God is? Who can set forth what sin deserves, and what is the obstinate sinner's due?
They weep, they wail, they gnash their teeth. They are tormented in eternal flames. In every member of the body, in every power of the soul — the lost in Hell will suffer. Memory, conscience, and the imagination — will especially increase their agonies! And hopeless despair will render their doom indescribably dreadful!
What do they suffer in Hell? Tell! O tell me — what God can justly inflict, what an immortal man can bear, what the threatenings of the violated law require, and how devils can add to the torments of lost souls — and I will tell you what they may suffer in Hell!
But, O! may you never know in your own experience what lost souls have to endure, and endure forever! Could we but lift the veil that conceals that awful place from our view, and see but for five minutes the agonies of those in Hell — we would never forget the sight! Our flesh would tremble, our hair would stand up on our heads, and our souls would be paralyzed with horror!
HELL! Who will yet go to Hell? Who? Perhaps the reader of these lines! Who? ah, perhaps many of whom we have now no suspicion! Will any of our children go there? Will any of our brothers or sisters go there? Will any of the members of the church go there? Will any of this congregation go there?
Who will go there? All liars shall have their part in the lake that burns with brimstone and fire. All swearers, all drunkards — will find a place set apart in Hell for them. All immoral people; all covetous and dishonest people — all will find a place in Hell prepared for them.
Who will go to Hell? All who live and die impenitent; "for unless you repent — you shall all likewise perish!" All unbelievers; for "he who believes not, shall be damned!" All who are in their natural state; for "unless a man is born again — he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
Without faith in Christ, and repentance toward God; without love to God and man, the proof and evidence of the new birth; without union to Christ, and the possession of the Spirit of Christ — there is no escaping the wrath to come — the person must go to Hell! O solemn consideration! Let a man therefore examine himself, whether he is in the faith; let each man and woman prove their own selves, and see if Christ is in them.
HELL! How may we escape it? Only by fleeing to Jesus, by believing in Jesus, and receiving the Spirit of Jesus. No one can save us but Jesus, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we can be saved. Jesus has done all that is necessary to save souls from Hell, and he is ready to put on our account — what he has done to us; whenever we go to him, plead with him, trust in him, and commit our souls to him. We need not go to Hell, for Jesus is both able and willing to save us; and yet we must go to Hell, unless we apply to him, to be saved by him.
As therefore Hell is so dreadful; as the punishments of Hell are eternal; as once lost, we are lost irrecoverably — as no one can save us but Jesus — and as Jesus will only save those who make personal application to him — let us at once, with all our hearts and souls, apply to Christ! "Behold! now is the accepted time. Behold! now is the day of salvation." Let us then "Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon!" Isaiah 55:6-7
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Most probably, I would have been in Hell!
(James Smith, "A Review" 1858)
What WAS I by NATURE? This is a dark and dreary subject, for I was in a sad state, and had acquired a sad character.
My heart was fearfully depraved — my nature was totally fallen.
All within was spiritually dead — and all without was unholy.
The creature was loved and served — and the Creator was neglected and despised.
Sin was my element.
Satan was my master.
The world was my heaven.
I had no good desires — no holy aspirations — no redeeming qualities.
I was a rebel against God's government — and a traitor against God's crown!
I would have destroyed God if I could — and blotted His name out of creation! The language of my heart and life was, "No God for me!" My heart was filled and fired with enmity against Him, and at times I could have cursed Him to His face!
I hated His law.
I despised His gospel.
I abhorred His people.
If I could — I would have crushed His cause!
How astonishing that such a wretch was allowed to live!
How astonishing that God had not crushed me by His power, and sentenced me to Hell!
But, O the patience and the sovereign grace of God! He bore with me. He loaded me with His benefits. He determined to win me with His love. Nevertheless I sinned yet the more, and provoked Him with my ungodly conduct. O how surprising that I am not in Hell! Surely there are many already in Hell — who were never such great sinners as I have been!
But, the Lord is good, ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy unto all who call upon Him. He put a cry into my heart, He listened to that cry — and made me a new creature in Christ Jesus. He unveiled my enormous wickedness before the eyes of my mind, which filled me with confusion, despondency, and shame. He laid me in the dust, and seemed to doom me to despair. He . . .
crushed my proud spirit,
destroyed my infernal enmity against Him,
and melted me into contrition with His love.
What AM I by GRACE? For all that I now am — I once was not. Everything which is in any sense was good in me — must be ascribed to the free grace of God. Yes, with the holy Apostle I must say, "By the grace of God — I am what I am!" All that has been wrought within me, all that has been conferred upon me, and all the good that has been done by me — must be traced to the free and invincible grace of God!
Who can tell what I would have been by this time — but for the grace of God?
Who can say where I would have been this morning — but for the grace of God? Most probably, I would have been in Hell — where the worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched! O what a debtor to grace I am! If anyone should magnify sovereign grace — surely I should. For to God's sovereign grace — I owe everything!
I am not now — what I once was. Why? Because God had a purpose of grace toward me.
I am not now — what I soon shall be. Why? Because grace is always crowned with glory!
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He smote her with a disease which deprived her of strength, destroyed her beauty, and left her deformed!
(James Smith, "Loving Rebukes" 1858)
"I know, O Lord, that in faithfulness You have afflicted me!" Psalm 119:75
"God disciplines us for our good — that we may share in His holiness!" Hebrews 12:10
As God loves His people with an everlasting love — He takes the deepest interest in their welfare, and rejoices to do them good. But love can frown as well as smile; rebuke as well as commend; and God's rebukes are often very pointed, and very sharp. "As many as I love — I rebuke and chasten." Revelation 3:19
Mary Scott was in a good situation, enjoyed many privileges, and was doing well; but she got vain, dressy, and carnally-minded. She thought too much of earthly things, and too little of heavenly things — and at length you could discern but little difference between her and the world! The Lord then laid His afflictive hand upon her — she fell sick, had to leave her pleasant situation, her little all was soon spent — and she is now poor, and totally dependent on friends.
But God has attended the painful dispensation with His blessing — so that she is now humble, spiritual, and heavenly-minded. Worldly things have lost their charms — and spiritual things appear all-important. She now deeply deplores her former worldly course. Her Bible is now her precious companion, and she finds sweet access to God at the throne of grace. She now looks forward to Heaven, rejoicing that there shall be no more pain, nor sorrow, nor crying. She often blesses God for her affliction! This was a loving rebuke from her heavenly Father!
Eliza Brown was naturally proud and high-minded, and thought only of her figure and personal attractions. Being brought to know the Lord — for a time she walked wisely, and was happy in God. But she gave way to her natural besetting sin of pride, carried her head high, and her heart became haughty. She soon lost the humility that was manifest in her life. Meekness and gentleness seemed to forsake her — and she became spiritually dry and barren. For a time this was allowed to continue — but at length the Lord came forth to rebuke her. He smote her with a disease which deprived her of strength, destroyed her beauty, and left her deformed!
At first, her heart rose in opposition to God — she kicked like a wild bull caught in a net, and spoke harshly of God. But the Lord followed her with stroke upon stroke, until at length her proud spirit yielded, she fell down before God, confessing her sin, and mourning over her rebellious feelings. Then the Lord sweetly breathed upon her soul, and she felt a sweet peace of mind; her heart melted like wax before the fire, and she cried, "Lord, do with me as seems good to You." Meekness, humility, submission, and acquiescence in the will of God now characterize her. And, though at times she finds the old feelings arise, and her natural pride work — she daily seeks grace from God, to crucify the flesh with its affections and lusts. This was a loving rebuke from her heavenly Father!
"Before I was afflicted I went astray — but now I obey Your Word." Psalm 119:67
"It was good for me to be afflicted — so that I might learn Your decrees!" Psalm 119:71
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Twenty-four hours in Hell!
(James Smith, "ANTIDOTES!" 1858)
"Why should any living man complain?" Lamentations 3:39
Occasionally, I am tempted to complain of my hard lot — and think myself harshly dealt with. Ingratitude rises and works in my heart. This always makes me wretched. I then find it profitable to look down into Hell — and realize its horrors and agonies as my just deservings.
If anyone ever deserved to go to Hell — I did!
If justice was ever honored in a sinner's damnation — it would have been in mine!
If anyone was ever saved by grace alone — I am the man!
Shall I then, who deserve to be in Hell — but am not;
shall I, who am an heir of Heavenly glory — though no one ever deserved it less;
shall I, because of a few trials, troubles, and disappointments, or because I have rather a heavy cross to carry —
shall I dare to murmur, or fret, or complain, or think myself harshly dealt with?
What are my present pains or sufferings — compared with the Hell that I deserve!
All the afflictions that I am called to endure here on earth — cannot be compared with only twenty-four hours in Hell! And yet my desert is, not to be in Hell for a few hours — but forever! Surely every lost soul, every damned spirit — will be ready to upbraid me — if I complain of my present lot! What base gratitude — if I do not praise the Lord with joyful lips, for His rich, free, and sovereign grace!
O my soul, whenever I am tempted to complain of my difficult lot — think of my deservings! Think of what would have been my eternal doom — if God had not saved me by His sovereign grace!
Yes, I do find that looking down into Hell . . .
silences my complaints,
awakens my gratitude, and
humbles me in the dust before my God!
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I am somewhat like that bird!
(James Smith, "Sighing for Jesus!" 1858)
"As the deer pants for streams of water — so my soul pants for you, O God! My soul thirsts for God, for the living God! When can I go and meet with God?" Psalm 42:1-2
I have just been reading of the last days of a true believer, and his whole dying experience was comprehended in one sentence, "I am sighing for Jesus!" He did not sigh for life, nor for ease — but he was sighing for Jesus.
I cannot help observing, how much of my experience now, is expressed in those words, "I am sighing for Jesus." Yes, yes, I can do without riches, or fame, or the honor which man confers. I am pretty well content with what providence sends me — and yet I often sigh, and sigh deeply too. Some would think me unhappy — but I am not. Some may conclude I am discontented with my situation in life — but I am not. Yet I sigh — I often sigh.
I have read of a bird, which if caught and caged — never ceases to sigh, until it obtains its liberty, or dies. I am somewhat like that bird, and I expect I shall continue to sigh — until I obtain my desire.
I have had a glimpse of Jesus — and I sigh for a full view of Him.
I have tasted the sweetness of communion with Him — and I sigh for uninterrupted fellowship.
I have felt a little of the cleansing influence of His precious blood, and Holy Spirit — and I sigh for a thorough cleansing, that I may be perfectly and forever holy.
I sigh for Jesus — that I may . . .
know Him more perfectly,
love Him more entirely, and
enjoy Him uninterruptedly!
I sigh to be exactly like Jesus!
I sigh to be forever with Jesus!
I believe that if I were just like Him, and always with Him — that I would sigh no more; and I think that nothing else will put a complete stop to my sighing.
Yes, the day is coming, and it may be very near — when the days of my mourning will be ended, and when I shall heave the last sigh, and begin the never-ending song! My sorrows will soon end, and my sighing will forever cease! I shall soon be with Jesus, like Jesus, and everlastingly employed in praising Jesus! And then, I shall sigh no more!
"The ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away!" Isaiah 51:11
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The vilest and the foulest thing in all creation!
(James Smith, "Sunny Subjects for All Seasons" 1858)
"The Lord saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time." Genesis 6:5
"The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" Jeremiah 17:9
No man by nature really believes God's representation of the human heart. Nor does the young Christian realize it fully. God calls us to learn the plague of the heart.
The vilest and the foulest thing in all creation — is the heart of man! There are profound depths of evil there! There are the seeds of all dreadful moral maladies there. No man's conduct, as bad as it may be–is ever as bad as his heart is.
Just in proportion, as we learn the plague of our own hearts — do we . . .
admire the free and distinguishing grace of God,
see the need of the Holy Spirit's work and operation,
value the glorious atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is a life's lesson — to learn the plague of one's own heart.
Click here to see a picture of YOUR heart!
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Oh, this is a sad sight!
(Ashton Oxenden, "A Happy Old Age" 1870)
One would think that the longer a person lived — the more willing he would be to leave his present earthly abode. But this is not always the case.
Sometimes, alas! we see very aged people clinging to this world even more tightly than the young. We see them close to the grave's mouth — and yet loving the riches, the pleasures, the trifles of this world — with all their affections! Oh, this is a sad sight! It is sad to see a poor dying creature entering upon a solemn eternity — with a heart glued to the world which he is leaving, and full of its concerns!
When this is the case with a Christian — God often in mercy sends us some affliction. He withers our gourds which have grown up around us, that He may lead us to seek a truer and a safer shelter. He sees that we are too fond of these clay cottages of ours; so He makes the walls to crumble, that we may be content to leave them at His call.
Look at your growing infirmities, dear reader — as so many mercies. Let them serve to remind you that you will not be here always, and that this world "is not your rest, because it is polluted!" Let your growing infirmities make you long for that happier land, where there shall be no more old age — where sorrow and sighing shall be unknown — and where "the inhabitant shall never say, I am sick."
Oh, it is well for us that all is not health, and strength, and sunshine here — else we would be even fonder than we are, of our present earthly home.
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What does infant baptism do for them?
(James Smith, "Points of Difference between the First and Second Covenants" 1858)
"But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." Acts 8:12
"Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized." Acts 18:8
"So Philip proceeded to tell him the good news about Jesus, beginning from that Scripture. As they were traveling down the road, they came to some water. The eunuch said, 'Look, there’s water! What would keep me from being baptized?' And Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart you may.' And he replied, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.' Then he ordered the chariot to stop, and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him." Acts 8:35-38
The New Testament order appears to have been as follows:
the Word was preached,
the soul was quickened,
faith was professed,
the believer was baptized,
the baptized were added to the church, and
the church surrounded the Lord's table as one holy, obedient, loving family.
Such was the first church, and such were the first Christians, who continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, in breaking of bread and in prayer.
But someone may be ready to ask, "What is to become of our children?" May I ask also, What becomes of them now? What does infant baptism do for them? Does it regenerate them? Does it give them a saving interest in Christ? Does it raise them one inch above, or place them one step above the unbaptized? It does not!
Then some may ask, "Why do we baptize them?"
Truly — why do you baptize them?
God has not commanded you.
His Spirit does not sanction you.
His Word does not command you.
Infant baptism has done a world of mischief — but it never did any good. It is doing incalculable mischief at the present time; may the Lord root it up, and root it out, of His church entirely and forever!
"But what are we to do with our children?" Do! bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Teach them that by nature they are without Christ, afar off from God, and exposed to everlasting misery! Show them that they form no part of the Church of God, which is composed only of His friends — but they are numbered with His enemies. Inform them of their need of the pardon which the gospel proclaims, of the sanctifying Spirit, and the finished work of Jesus to furnish them with a title of everlasting life. Teach them that they must repent of sin — or perish; that they must personally believe in Jesus — or be forever condemned. Set forth Christ in all His love and loveliness; and by a holy life, by frequent exhortation, by leading them to the house of prayer, and by endeavoring to render Christianity as lovely — strive to bring them to decision and salvation.
I cannot see that infant baptism . . .
gives a parent any assistance,
imparts to the child any blessing,
brings to the Lord any honor,
or does any party the least good!
But, it does appear to me . . .
to throw a stumbling block in the way,
to lead to soul-deception,
and to do much mischief.
Infant baptism is, in my view . . .
a pillar of popery,
the principal basis of corrupt religious establishments,
and one of Satan's strongest holds.
Infant baptism . . .
divides the Lord's people,
unites the world and the church together,
and leads thousands into mischief and misery!
It is to me truly astonishing, that a practice . . .
so destitute of all Scriptural authority,
so totally and entirely useless,
so opposed to the nature of the present Gospel dispensation
— should be practiced, approved, and defended by so many!
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Is it possible?
(by James Smith)
"The Lord delights in you!" Isaiah 62:4
Is it possible, that such poor, depraved, unworthy creatures — can be the objects of Jehovah's delight? Yes! The infinite love of God has been fixed upon us from eternity! Because He loved us, He sent His only-begotten Son to die for us! He sent His Holy Spirit into our hearts to regenerate us!
"You have loved them — AS You have loved Me!" John 17:23.
Yes, the Father has loved us — just as He has loved Jesus — with an infinite love!
Every believer, though . . .
his faith is weak,
his fears are many,
his corruptions are strong,
his troubles are great, and
his temptations are sore —
is the object of Jehovah's delight!
Let us therefore endeavor to pass through this day, yes, and every day — believing and realizing:
"I am Jehovah's delight!
I am the object of His highest love!
I am the subject of His sweetest thoughts!
I am His portion for evermore!"
O incomparable privilege!
Wondrous source of comfort, holiness, and love!
You have more cause for gratitude than an angel!