And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. – John 1:16
Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons – Acts 10:34
Poverty is no virtue; wealth is no sin. On the other hand, wealth is not morally good, and poverty is not morally evil. A man may be a good man and a rich man; it is quite certain that very frequently good men are poor men. Virtue is a plant which depends not upon the atmosphere which surrounds it, but upon the hand which waters it, and upon the grace which sustains it. We draw no support for grace from our circumstances whether they be good or evil. Our circumstances may sometimes militate against the gracious work in our breast, but it is quite certain that no position in life is a sustaining cause of the life of grace in the soul. That must always be maintained by divine power, which can work as well in poverty as in riches; for we see some of the finest specimens of the full development of Christianity in those who are the very meanest in temporal circumstances; far outshining those whom we should have imagined, from their position in society, would have had many things to assist their virtues and sustain their graces. Grace is a plant which draws no nourishment from the wilderness in which it grows; it finds nothing to feed upon in the heart of man; all it lives upon it receives supernaturally. It sends all its roots upwards, none downwards; it draws no support from poverty, and none from riches. Gold cannot sustain grace; on the other hand, rags cannot make it flourish. Grace is a plant which derives the whole of its support from God the Holy Spirit, and is, therefore, entirely independent of the circumstances of man. ~ C.H. Spurgeon
Our divines, now-a-days, spend a great deal of time in trying to prove Christianity against those who disbelieve it. I should like to have seen Paul trying that! Elymas the sorcerer withstood him: how did our friend Paul treat him? He said “O, full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?” That is about the politeness such men ought to have who deny God’s truth. We start with this assumption: we will prove that the Bible is God’s word, but we are not going to prove God’s word. If you do not like to believe it, we will shake hands, and bid you good-by; we will not argue with you. The gospel has gained little by discussion…The truth will win the day. Christianity need not wish for controversy; it is strong enough for it, if it wishes it; but that is not God’s way. God’s direction is, “Preach, teach, dogmatize.” Do not stand disputing; claim a divine mission; tell men that God says it, and there leave it. Say to them, “He that believeth shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned;” and when you have done that, you have done enough.
O, Christian, instead of disputing, let me tell thee how to prove your religion. Live it out! live it out! Give the external as well as the internal evidence; give the external evidence of your own life. ~ C.H. Spurgeon
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. – Colossians 3:16
John Bunyan tells us, that as Christian was going through the valley he found it a dreadful dark place, and terrible demons and goblins were all about him, and poor Christian thought he must perish for certain; but just when his doubts were the strongest, he heard a sweet voice; he listened to it, and he heard a man in front of him saying, “Yea, when I pass through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” Now, that man did not know who was near him, but he was unwittingly singing to cheer a man behind. Christian, when you are in trouble, sing; you do not know who is near you. Sing! Perhaps you will get a good companion by it. Sing! Perhaps there will be many a heart cheered by your song. There is some broken spirit, it may be, that will be bound up by your sonnets. Sing! There is some poor distressed brother, perhaps, shut up in the Castle of Despair, who, like King Richard, will hear your song inside the walls, and sing to you again, and you may be the means of getting him a ransom. Sing, Christian, wherever you go; try, if you can, to wash your face every morning in a bath of praise. When you go down from your chamber, never go to look on man till you have first looked on your God; and when you have looked on Him, seek to come down with a face beaming with joy; carry a smile, for you will cheer up many a poor way-worn pilgrim by it. And when thou fastest, Christian-when thou hast an aching heart, do not appear to men to fast; appear cheerful and happy; anoint thy head, and wash thy face; be happy for thy brother’s sake; it will tend to cheer him up, and help him through the valley.~ C.H. Spurgeon
And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. 1 Samuel 16:23
(B)eloved, it is very useful to sing in the night of our troubles, first, because it will cheer ourselves. When you were boys living in the country, and had some distance to go alone at night, don’t you remember how you whistled and sang to keep your courage up? Well, what we do in the natural world we ought to do in the spiritual. There is nothing like singing to keep your spirits alive. When we have been in trouble, we have often thought ourselves to be well-nigh overwhelmed with difficulty; and we have said, “Let us have a song.” We have begun to sing; and Martin Luther says, “The devil can not bear singing.” That is about the truth; he does not like music. It was so in Saul’s days: an evil spirit rested on Saul; but when David played on his harp, the evil spirit went away from him. This is usually the case: if we can begin to sing we shall remove our fears. I like to hear servants sometimes humming a tune at their work; I love to hear a plowman in the county singing as he goes along with his horses. Why not? You say he has no time to praise God; but he can sing a song-surely he can sing a Psalm, it will take no more time. Singing is the best thing to purge ourselves of evil thoughts. Keep your mouth full of songs, and you will often keep your heart full of praises; keep on singing as long as you can; you will find it a good method of driving away your fears. ~ C.H. Spurgeon
I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself. – Psalm 119:52
Christian, perhaps the best song thou canst sing, to cheer thee in the night, is the song of yester-morn. Remember, it was not always night with thee: night is a new thing to thee. Once thou hadst a glad heart, a buoyant spirit; once thine eye was full of fire; once thy foot was light; once thou couldst sing for very joy and ecstacy of heart. Well, then, remember that God, who made thee sing yesterday, has not left thee in the night. He is not a daylight God, who can not know His children in darkness; but He loves thee now as much as ever: though He has left thee a little, it is to prove thee, to make thee trust Him better, and serve Him more.
My beloved brethren, you will find it a sweet subject for song at times, to begin to sing of electing love and covenanted mercies. When thou thyself art low, it is well to sing of the fountain-head of mercy; of that blessed decree wherein thou wast ordained to eternal life, and of that glorious Man who undertook thy redemption; of that solemn covenant signed, and sealed, and ratified, in all things ordered well; of that everlasting Love which, ere the hoary mountains were begotten, or ere the aged hills were children, chose thee, loved thee firmly, loved thee fast, loved thee well, loved thee eternally…if thou canst read in His loving heart eternal thoughts of love to thee, thou wilt find this a charming means of giving thee songs in the night. ~ C.H. Spurgeon
Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls—Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. – Habakkuk 3:17-18
Any man can sing in the day. When the cup is full, man draws inspiration from it; when wealth rolls in abundance around him, any man can sing to the praise of a God who gives a plenteous harvest, or sends home a loaded argosy. It is easy enough for an aeolian harp to whisper music when the winds blow; the difficulty is for music to come when no wind bloweth…Let all things go as I please-I will weave songs, weave them wherever I go, with the flowers that grow upon my path; but put me in a desert, where no flowers are, and wherewith shall I weave a chorus of praise to God? How shall I make a crown for Him? Let this voice be free, and this body be full of health, and I can sing God’s praise; but stop this tongue, lay me upon the bed of languishing, and it is not so easy to sing from the bed, and chant high praises in the fires…It is not in man’s power to sing, when all is adverse. It is not natural to sing in trouble-“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name:” for that is a daylight song. But it was a divine song which Habakkuk sang, when in the night he said-“Though the fig-tree shall not blossom,” and so on, “yet will I trust in the Lord, and stay myself in the God of Jacob.” Songs in the night come only from God; they are not in the power of man.~ C.H. Spurgeon