His Own Holiness

“The iniquity of the holy things.”- Exodus 28:38

What a veil is lifted up by these words, and what a disclosure is made! It will be humbling and profitable for us to pause awhile and see this sad sight. The iniquities of our public worship, its hypocrisy, formality, lukewarmness, irreverence, wandering of heart and forgetfulness of God, what a full measure have we there! Our work for the Lord, its emulation, selfishness, carelessness, slackness, unbelief, what a mass of defilement is there! Our private devotions, their laxity, coldness, neglect, sleepiness, and vanity, what a mountain of dead earth is there! If we looked more carefully we should find this iniquity to be far greater than appears at first sight. Dr. Payson, writing to his brother, says, “My parish, as well as my heart, very much resembles the garden of the sluggard; and what is worse, I find that very many of my desires for the melioration of both, proceed either from pride or vanity or indolence. I look at the weeds which overspread my garden and breathe out an earnest wish that they were eradicated. But why? What prompts the wish? It may be that I may walk out and say to myself, ‘In what fine order is my garden kept!’ This is pride. Or it may be that my neighbours may look over the wall and say, ‘How finely your garden flourishes!’ This is vanity. Or I may wish for the destruction of the weeds because I am weary of pulling them up. This is indolence.” So that even our desires after holiness may be polluted by ill motives. Under the greenest sods worms hide themselves; we need not look long to discover them. How cheering is the thought, that when the High Priest bore the iniquity of the holy things he wore upon his brow the words, “HOLINESS TO THE LORD:” and even so while Jesus bears our sin, He presents before His Father’s face not our unholiness, but His own holiness. O for grace to view our great High Priest by the eye of faith! ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Grow in Grace and Knowledge

“Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” – 2 Peter 3:18

“Grow in grace”–not in one grace only, but in all grace. Grow in that root-grace, faith. Believe the promises more firmly than you have done. Let faith increase in fulness, constancy, simplicity. Grow also in love. Ask that your love may become extended, more intense, more practical, influencing every thought, word, and deed. Grow likewise in humility. Seek to lie very low and know more of your own nothingness. As you grow downward in humility, seek also to grow upward–having nearer approaches to God in prayer and more intimate fellowship with Jesus. May God the Holy Spirit enable you to “grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour.” He who grows not in the knowledge of Jesus, refuses to be blessed. To know Him is “life eternal,” and to advance in the knowledge of Him is to increase in happiness. He who does not long to know more of Christ, knows nothing of Him yet. Whoever hath sipped this wine will thirst for more, for although Christ doth satisfy, yet it is such a satisfaction, that the appetite is not cloyed, but whetted. If you know the love of Jesus–as the hart panteth for the water-brooks, so will you pant after deeper draughts of His love. If you do not desire to know Him better, then you love Him not, for love always cries, “Nearer, nearer.” Absence from Christ is hell; but the presence of Jesus is heaven. Rest not then content without an increasing acquaintance with Jesus. Seek to know more of Him in His divine nature, in His human relationship, in His finished work, in His death, in His resurrection, in His present glorious intercession, and in His future royal advent. Abide hard by the Cross and search the mystery of His wounds. An increase of love to Jesus, and a more perfect apprehension of His love to us is one of the best tests of growth in grace. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

We Go Forward in Hope

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:10

Since there is an everlasting arm that never can be palsied, since there is a brow that knows no wrinkle, and a divine mind that is never perplexed, we go forward in hope, and cast ourselves upon our eternal Helper once again. You have heard of the ancient giant Antæus, who could not be overcome, because as often as Hercules threw him to the ground, he touched his mother earth, and rose renewed. Such be your lot and mine, often to be cast down, and as often to rise by that downcasting. “When I am weak then am I strong.” Let us glory in infirmity, because the power of Christ doth rest upon us. Let us be content to decrease that Christ may increase; to be nothing that Jesus may be all in all. If we do fear and tremble for all the goodness that God has procured for us, it is not a fearing that He will change, or a trembling lest He should be defeated. The fear and trembling are for ourselves, and not for Him. I have no fear and trembling about the gospel. I have preached it many years in this place, and its attractive perfume is undiminished. I read the other day of a grain of musk which had been kept for ten years in a room wherein the air was perpetually changed; it scented that chamber from year to year, and yet when it was weighed by the most delicate scales no diminution of its bulk was apparent. So the gospel continues to be as ointment poured forth, savouring the thousands that come hither year by year, and yet it is as full of fragrance and freshness as ever, and so shall it be even if for a thousand ages it should be our theme. Come we then with comfort back to the unalterable gospel, to the undying Spirit, to the unchanging God: here is room for joy unspeakable and full of glory. Up with your banners, then! Forward to new victories! In the name of the God of Jacob let us be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. Amen. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Be Careful in Your Prosperity

…and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it. – Jeremiah 33:9

We have hundreds of us perceived the benefits of the dark lines and shadings of life’s picture, and we see how fit and proper it is that trembling should mingle with transport. As the fruit of experience, I have learned to look for a hurricane soon after an unusually delightful calm. When the wind blows hard, and the tempest lowers, I hope that before long there will be a lull; but when the sea-birds sit on the wave, and the sail hangs idly, I wonder when a gale will come. To my mind there is no temptation so bad as not being tempted at all. The worst devil in the world is when you cannot see the devil at all, because the villain has hidden himself away within the heart and is preparing to give you a fatal stab.

Mr. Jonathan George made use of this text in a little speech that he made: “It would be well for us all to remember, when God blesses us with any measure of prosperity, that prosperity is very hard to bear. How is that? Cannot Christianity or the grace of God bear it? No, it is because of the extreme carnality and pride of our hearts. Here is a portion of Scripture we should all recollect: ‘They shall fear and tremble for all the prosperity that I send.’ It is a blessing when God has succeeded our poor efforts, and poured out a blessing upon us, if we are jealous of our own hearts, and fear and tremble. Oh God, how rich, how beneficent thou art! Let us not lose thy full blessing by our own pride; by pointing to some second cause, and saying, ‘It was I; it was ourselves; it was our ministers.’” Such holy jealousy, if faith be also active, will help to keep us right. Evils may be prevented by the foresight of them. Through grace, by our fear of falling, we may be helped to stand. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Be Watchful, Saint

Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. – 1 Corinthians 10:12

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. – 2 Corinthians 13:5

One thought may occur to the most joyous believer. He will say, “What if after rejoicing in all this blessedness I should lose it?” “What,” cries one, “do you not believe in the final perseverance of the saints?” Assuredly I do, but are we saints? There’s the question. Moreover, many a believer who has not lost his soul has, nevertheless, lost his present joy and prosperity, and why may not we? The good man has shone as a star of the first magnitude, but suddenly he has dwindled into darkness: he has been unwatchful, and in consequence by the dozen years together he has had to go softly in the bitterness of his soul. We have known fathers in Israel who have stepped aside, and though they have by deep repentance found their way to heaven, they have gone sorrowing thither. Look at David’s history. Note that one sin with Bathsheba, and ask who was more tried and troubled than David throughout the rest of his pilgrimage? The doctrine of final perseverance was never intended for the comfort of any who are afraid of self-examination, or who are not watchful; for it is by no means at variance with the other doctrine that many who made sure of heaven in their own minds will never enter there, because Jesus never knew them. Great joy may be only a meteor, great excitement may be a mirage of the desert, great confidence may be a will-o’-the-wisp luring to destruction. The highest seats in the synagogue do not secure for their occupants a place among the shilling ones above. Many rejoicing professors will yet discover that their spot was not the spot of God’s people, and their song was not the new song which God doth put into the mouth. And what if that should be your case and mine? So, when I stand upon my high mountain, let me pray, “Lord, hold thou me up.” Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall, for he is the man who is most in danger. He who is fullest of holy delight is still to watch, for did not Jesus say, “What I say unto you I say unto all, watch”? God grant that we may be helped to watch against the arrow which flieth by day as much as against the pestilence which walketh in darkness. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Banished Vainglory

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? —unless indeed you are disqualified. – 2 Corinthians 13:5

Grace never makes a man vain. When a soul is adorned with glory and beauty and made to shine like the star of the morning, it owns its borrowed comeliness and brightness, and is mildly radiant with reflected rays. When raised up by the special favour of our God into communion with Himself, we are afraid of trespassing against the decorum of almighty love, fearful of violating the propriety of sovereign grace. The Lord our God is a jealous God; and He will be had in reverence of those who are round about Him. This fact has made us feel like those apostles who were filled with fear as well as with great joy. To know how to behave ourselves in the house of God has been our anxiety. We have felt like a poor countryman, bred and born in the wilds, who finds himself in a court, and feels strange in such a place. Thus, have we been clothed with humility as we have worn the garments of praise. Exalted to be kings and priests, our kingdom and priesthood have called forth our careful thought, and vainglory has thus been banished.

He who has never questioned his own condition had better make an immediate enquiry. He who has never felt great searchings of heart needs to be searched with candles. It is idle to take things for granted, for all of us must be tried by fire, and even “the righteous scarcely are saved.” No man’s hell shall be more terrible than that of the self-confident one who made so sure of heaven that he would not take the ordinary precaution to ask whether his title-deeds were genuine or no. ~ C.H. Spurgeon