WALKING WITH JESUS by Mary Winslow
Spiritual meditations for pilgrims in a weary land on their way to glory!
Every new trial, and every fresh cross, drives me into the very bosom of Jesus; and it seems as if I could lie there, and feel the very throbbings of His loving heart. I am His, and in His own loving hands, and can fully trust Him for all. In the cup of trial we are called to drink, there is no wrath, all is love; though faith may be tried, and we may for a season weep. Whatever draws or drives us to Christ is a mighty blessing. How needful are these high winds and storms to cause us to cling to our heavenly Pilot, and to speed our way to our blessed harbor of eternal rest.
The Lord's table is a season of melting love. The heart is softened; Christ crucified for my sins is placed before the eye; deep repentance and holy affection fill the soul.
This world, and all that you have loved, are insufficient to impart one grain of real happiness. You may find in Jesus all, and more than tongue can express, of what your soul needs; an everflowing, overflowing fountain of indescribable happiness and holy enjoyment.
How graciously God is dealing with my soul. I cannot describe, for language fails me, His exceeding gentleness, and His tender love to my soul. I go to Him often in perplexity, not knowing where to look; and as a babe is hushed to quietness, soothed and comforted on its mother's bosom, so the Lord calms and quiets me.
Never, never could it enter into the heart of man to conceive the rich gifts there are in the heart of Christ for His saints!
Heaven would be no heaven to me if I did not see Jesus, my best, my dearest, my constant Friend, who with unceasing patience, tenderness, and mercy, has followed me through all my wanderings in this wilderness world; and has never, no, never, left nor forsaken me for one single moment. To know Him aright is a little heaven begun below.
Oh, heaven is worth living for! A life of trial and of tribulation is as nothing when compared with the mighty blessings that await the believer in Jesus, when he drops the body of sin and of death. I have been, and still am, looking to the things that are not seen, and that are eternal.
Precious Bible! Precious revelation of God's most gracious doings of eternal mercy to such sinners as we are!
Heaven seems always before me, and in imagination I am constantly there. I long to be gone. I much enjoy, in anticipation, the blessedness of that place where Jesus is, where He unveils His beauteous face, and we shall behold Him without a cloud between. My sweetest meditation, lying down and rising up, or waking in the night, is Heaven. Oh, to enjoy unutterable bliss of perfect freedom from sin, in the presence of Jesus, my dearest, my best Friend.
"The Lord raises those who are bowed down." Psalm 146:8. How little do we think of whose care we are under, and whose loving eye is ever guiding our way through the wilderness, causing all things we meet with, to work together for our good! Thus has He led me. He has brought me into the wilderness to teach me; to lead me to cling closer to Himself; to brighten every grace of the Spirit; to wean me from a dying world; and to show me this is not my rest, because it is polluted. Here He gave me precious faith, and then tried the faith He gave. When bowed down, He lifted me up. He shut me out of the vain things of a poor empty world, and shut me into Himself.
Growth in grace is to know more of Christ, His excellence, preciousness, and fullness, through the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Growth in grace is to know more of our wretched, lost condition, our helplessness and unworthiness.
Surely the wise virgins are slumbering! Oh that the church would awaken and rejoice at the glorious prospect that is before her! The Lord Jesus is on His way!
When you enlisted under the banner of King Jesus, you commenced the life of a soldier, and are therefore called, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, to fight manfully. Your enemies are the world, Satan, and the flesh; this last is the greatest of all; it lies down and rises up with you, and wherever you are, this enemy is always at hand.
A corpse floats down with the stream; but where there is living faith in the soul, it stems the tide, buffets with the wave, and makes its way through all that opposes it. Be of good courage, keep close to Jesus, and you have nothing to fear from within or without.
This world is nothing more than a wretched, dying vanity! But the bright world to which we are traveling has substantial blessing and unutterable happiness to bestow. Oh, then, what folly to grieve here, and allow our affections to wander from God!
Oh, for more weanedness from the world! Oh, to love Jesus more, and to have Him more in our thoughts! How soon we may behold Him in all His glory, coming in the clouds of heaven, with all His saints and holy angels!
Time is short! You have much to do for God in a little space. Eternity will be quite long enough to rest.
Oh that you may trace His dear hand in all His tender, gentle dealings. Walk doubly close to Him in the day of prosperity, and watch over your heart with a jealous eye, lest it prove a temptation and a snare.
Christianity ennobles, sanctifies, and immortalizes all the endeared relationships of life.
Ought I not to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of God my Savior? But oh, how slowly I advance to what I ought! One thing I do know: I feel increasingly my own vileness, and see increasing beauty in the gospel, and its suitableness to the needs of a poor sinner. God shows me more of my own sinful self, and more of that perfect righteousness in Christ Jesus, which is unto all and upon all those who believe.
Oh, to call the Creator, the Upholder of all worlds, mine; yes, mine, for I am His, and He is mine, and that through all eternity; is a privilege so sweet that angels might envy!
This world, with the dearest earthly creatures, could not satisfy my soul.
How delightful to live to please Him, and Him only, who died for you!
Watch against the treacherous foe we carry within!
I would be holy, even as He is holy. I am wearied with sin; my soul loathes it, and I abhor myself in dust and in ashes. Truly, I would not live always thus. Heaven would be greatly to be desired, were it only to be done with sin forever. But oh! the presence of Jesus in all His glories, unveiled to our wondering eye, will make our happiness complete. "O earth, earth! let my heart's best affections go, and trouble me no more. I want this heart only for Christ! It is His by the purchase of His blood; it is His by the conquest of His grace; and I covet it all for Him. Oh! May every throb beat with love, gratitude, and adoration to Him who has saved my soul, and redeemed me from the power of the enemy! Amen, and amen."
I look back, and sigh, and grieve, and think how many evils I could have avoided.
I feel more and more the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and my own weakness and inability to stand one moment, without the all upholding arm of Jehovah Jesus!
The way to God is so delightful, so exactly suited to a poor lost sinner; so suited to me. A way sprinkled with atoning blood; justice and mercy as a wall of defense on either side; and this way leading to such a rich treasure house, filled with all blessing for time and for eternity. All is in Jesus the way to God, the way of holiness, the way to glory.
I have to recount the goodness and unfailing mercy of my good and gracious God, who has brought me thus far on my weary pilgrimage. I have to lament my unfaithfulness and backslidings of heart from Him.
Let us often look back upon all the way our God has led us, and trace His gracious dealings at every step; and we shall not only acknowledge that He is good, but we shall aim more and more to do everything that is right and pleasing in His sight. Oh for more grace, more uprightness of heart, and more singleness of eye! It is with God we have to do, and not with man.
Keep your eye upon the cross of Christ, and you need not fear to see yourself as you are.
I have felt today much blessedness in viewing the Lord as my own and only Friend on earth and in heaven; and making a renewed surrender of my whole heart to Him, desiring above all earthly good that it should be molded according to His will, and made conformable to His likeness. There is a store of incalculable riches in Christ! He is everything to me! I could not live without Him! I could not die without Him! Heaven would be no heaven to me if my Beloved were not there!
Every place where Jesus is, and which He blesses with His presence, is sweet. He can transform a dungeon into a palace, and His presence can turn darkness into light.
Who can tell the glory that surrounds the saints on their entrance into that abode of bliss? How strange that we do not more often long to be there, freed from a body of sin and death, and a life of pain and suffering! Oh that I may be helped to keep my garments unspotted by the world; and to be ready when the summons comes!
Oh, if we did but fully believe that God will condemn the impenitent sinner to eternal perdition, we would act very differently!
If the religion of Christ is not the main business of our whole life, it is nothing, and we are nothing, and shall be found as nothing, or worse than nothing, when He comes to judge the world.
Unbelief, unbelief, oh, this is our great crime before God! We will not take Him at His word, fully believing all that He has promised. If we really believe that sinners will be cast into hell, would we not be more earnest both with them and with God? Oh yes, we would!
When I have a glimpse of God as He is in Himself, as well as what He is to my soul, I sink in all my nothingness, melted into love, at His feet. What would I do but for Jesus? "Precious Jesus! I do love You. You are the chief among ten thousand. I am wearied with 'the creature', for disappointment is written upon the dearest object here below. But in You there is no disappointment, You blessed, dearest One! Oh that I could love You as I wish to do, and serve You with all the powers of my mind and body! Let not my heart wander from You! Keep me under the shadow of Your wing until the storm of life be past."
I cannot trace a single thing I ever did in my whole life that affords me any real pleasure to look back upon.
With what a delusion Satan continually aims to blind the minds of men as to the brevity and uncertainty of human life. How often does he prevail, even with the real Christian! On looking back upon the past sixty years of my life, and forward to the little point that remains, what a dream! How like a vision does it appear! Oh, how little of it, if any at all, has been spent to the real glory of Him who gave it.
None but God Himself could bear with such sinners as we are.
I seldom rise from my knees without weeping; my whole heart melted with contrition in view of the wonderful love of God to one so poor and vile as I. Oh, how near does He sometimes draw me to Himself! And when I look around, and see so many mercies, so many blessings, such tender care in providing for all my needs, no good thing withheld; although my base heart has distrusted Him in the very mist of countless proofs of His love; I abhor myself in dust and in ashes. God has forgiven, and does forgive me, but I cannot forgive myself.
God's ear is ever open to the cry of His children!
I have never wept so much for sin as I have done lately. Often have I put up the prayer, 'Search me, O God'. The Lord has heard and answered it; and oh, if it had not been that the fountain was still open, I would have sunk into unutterable despair. He has ploughed up the fallow ground afresh of my poor heart, and the view presented has prostrated me in the dust. If ever I felt what a broken heart and a contrite spirit was, I have of late. Oh, the evil that is there covered over by the rank weeds of 'self love', self complacency, or self in some hideous form or other, that is not discernible until the Holy Spirit makes it known. He is pleased to show us enough to make us cling closer to the cross, to make Jesus more precious, and sin more hateful. But while I have thus been led of late to mourn so much for sin, I have never felt pardon so abundantly manifested. Oh, keep close to the cross!
I see myself more and more, every hour, a poor sinner, unworthy of the least crumb that falls from the Master's table. But I see, at the same time, Jesus a great Savior, divinely able, and most lovingly willing, to save the chief of sinners, even me. No one can tell how this thought fills my heart with contrition, and my eyes with tears.
Oh that we might always endeavor in all things, in thought, word, and deed, to please God; setting aside everything which is not connected with His glory, and contemplating all things and all events more in the light of eternity!
How jealous ought we to be over our hearts. When we find a traitor there, how earnest should we be to bring him directly to the Savior, that He might enable us to place our foot upon his neck, while He himself subdues the evil that He hates.
Had God not tried me in the furnace of affliction my loss would have been immense. I thank Him for my deep, deep cup of sorrow. Whatever draws or drives us to Christ is a blessing. We then breathe a holy, heavenly atmosphere, and see the poverty of all other things to make us happy here or hereafter.
We shall soon meet where we shall be all of one mind, in a brighter, happier world, surrounding the throne of Him we love. Blessed be God for this prospect! It often causes the dark cloud to withdraw, and the weary soul to take fresh courage, and press onward, and look upward. Blessed is the hope of the Christian!
Oh, what a mercy to have a throne of grace, and a tender, compassionate, loving Christ to go to at all times, and under all circumstances! A genuine welcome; no frown to fear; no distant look. Oh that we all might live upon Him, moment by moment! For this reason He takes away our props, that we might lean fully upon Himself.
Did you but see your children standing on the edge of an awful precipice, and know that none but God could prevent their destruction, would you not cry day and night to Him? What can be compared to the eternal death that awaits them, if they die unconverted? Will you not pray, that your dear children may escape from the wrath to come? In proportion as you feel the infinite value of their immortal souls, you shall feel anxious for their salvation.
Our heavenly Father knows better how to control and direct our concerns than we know ourselves. Oh, to be among the number who wholly trust in the Lord!
Nothing but the power of the Holy Spirit can convert the soul. The Word, and the preaching of the Word, pass for nothing, unless accompanied by the Holy Spirit. If God has begun His work in the soul, God will complete it, and all sin cannot destroy it. Salvation from first to last is of God. God begins it, God carries it on, and God will finish it forever. Blessed be His holy name!
May the little trials we have may be so sanctified, as to draw us near to Christ, and make Him more precious than ever!
I weep that I am such a sinner, while I stand in wonder and astonishment that God can love and does love, such a one as I, and having loved me in time, will love me through eternity.
Our happiness does not depend upon a favorable change of circumstances or of place, but upon a submission of our wills to the will of God; a complete surrender of every desire and wish to Him who is acquainted with what is best for us.
What a chamber of iniquity is the heart, all hidden and unknown, until God in mercy shows it to us, as we are able to bear the disclosure!
Let us not be faint and weary because of the hardness of the way. It is the Lord's way. Thorny and steep though may be the ascent, when we reach the summit we shall be well repaid for all our labor.
Great things often spring out of little things. Let me entreat you to look to Him continually, for counsel to direct in little as well as in great matters. Oh that we might both be led to sit more constantly at the feet of Jesus, looking up, like little children, into His face to catch His smile and watch His eye; to see what He would have us to do, seeking nowhere else for comfort and guidance but in Him!
Be very cautious to whom you open your heart. Make no one your confidant but Jesus. Oh, commune with Him of all that is in your heart. If you are wounded, go and tell Christ. If you are in need, go and tell Christ; the silver and the gold are His. If you are in trouble, go and tell Christ; and He will deliver you out of it, and you shall glorify Him. Live upon Him as little children would live upon a dear, kind, and tender father. Oh, how happily will you then pass on your way! If at any time you are in perplexity or difficulty, through your own imprudence or otherwise, do not go to an arm of flesh, nor sit down to consider how you are to obtain deliverance; but go directly to Jesus, and tell Him all, all; and He will appear for you, and bring you out of all.
I have been thinking of the worldling's happiness; it never satisfies; it affords no real enjoyment; it does not reach the soul. Ten thousand worlds could not satisfy me, now that I have tasted the unspeakably precious love of Christ!
It is not change of place or circumstances, but Christ alone, that can make us truly happy here and hereafter. God would have us cease from these things, and live upon Him alone for our enjoyments!
I often think how mysterious are the ways of God. It is our mercy, however, to know at all times that He is directing our steps, and that not a circumstance in our lives but is included in the everlasting covenant that is ordered in all things and sure. It is a great thing to be helped to be satisfied with God's dealings and ways, and not to dictate to Him, even in our minds, what we conceive would be better for us.
Remember, the more your sermons are filled with Christ, from first to last, the more will Christ honor your ministry. There is no preaching like it. Never be afraid of not finding something new to say of Him. The Holy Spirit will supply you with matter as you go on. Never doubt it, never fear. The whole Bible points to Christ, and you must make it all bear upon the subject. Christ is the sum and substance of the whole!
I never knew a man who seemed to find his way to one's heart as Mr. Evans does in his preaching. He arrests your attention, instructs your mind, and captivates your heart. Oh, what a precious gospel we hear; doctrinal, practical, and experimental religion beautifully blended!
How deep are the riches of the love of Christ!
Oh, what a God do you serve! How infinitely condescending in all His steps towards you, and how deeply indebted are you to give yourself entirely to Him!
What should we do were it not for a throne of grace to go to? In all my troubles and difficulties I flee to Christ, for none can help me but Him. You do the same. You need not carry your own burdens, when Christ has commanded you to cast them on Him. Learn in the early stages of your Christian pilgrimage to go constantly to Jesus. Live upon Him for all you need for both soul and body, for He has redeemed and will take care of both.
Oh, how precious is Jesus to a poor seeking sinner! What a mercy that when we sin we have in Him an Advocate, and a fountain still open to wash away our sin, and always welcome to come; never so welcome to Christ as when we feel our misery and poverty, our nothingness and unworthiness. He it is who gives the broken and contrite heart that He delights to look upon. The enemy would sincerely keep us from Christ when we feel our vileness; but it was for sinners Jesus died.
Oh, it is sweet to live a life of holy dependence upon the Savior! I find it more and more so every day. May He save you from trusting your own heart, or leaning to your own understanding in anything.
Let us think a little of our home, our pleasant home. A precious Jesus waiting to welcome His weary pilgrims there. A sweet home indeed! Our Father's home! And a happy meeting with all who are dear to us and to Christ. No more separation; no more sickness, no more sin, nor more labor, but one endless scene of love and happiness!
How often has an unkind look or word proved a blessing to my soul! It has made me flee to Christ; and there I have found no unkindness. He has appeared, at such times, more than enough to make up for the lack of all 'creature love' and created good.
How wretchedly poor are my best conceptions of this most glorious work of salvation! Dear Lord, enlighten my understanding, that I may more and more see the infinite value of this wondrous work of everlasting love; and may my base ingratitude and unbelief never be thorns to wound You afresh.
What a mercy, of more value than a thousand worlds, to walk in the fear of the Lord all the day long; to be enabled to live above the smiles or frowns of this world, and to find the love of Christ all satisfying to our souls; to feel all 'creature love' swallowed up in Christ, and to know that He loves us better than we love ourselves.
As soon as I take my eye from Jesus, and look for anything like comfort from this world, or look within for something to rest upon, I begin to be in trouble, and have again to run into the name of the Lord, which is a strong tower to my soul at all times! Oh, why look to 'creature love' when the love of Christ is always the same?
Still traveling on, I humbly trust, through this waste howling wilderness, to my heavenly home. I need to look more to Jesus, that I may be strengthened for this continual warfare, for so it is with me. But am too often looking to some broken cistern still; but afterwards can say, when enabled to turn and take a fresh view of Christ, I do prefer Him, with all my trials and cares, to all that the world calls good.
By constantly poring over anticipated troubles, we lose the sweet enjoyment of present mercies in the expectation of future evil. I pray to be enabled to praise Him for the present, and trust His love for all that is to come.
There is an inexpressible sweetness in the thought, that salvation is not of works; and that our full and complete acceptance is not in our wretched selves. It is all, all of grace.
Oh, the hidden evil of the heart, unknown and unfelt, until the Spirit of Christ sees fit to reveal the depths of iniquity that are there. It is a sickening view; and were it not that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, I would lie down in utter despair. Nothing but the precious blood of Christ can wash my guilt away.
O Lord, help me more and more to cease from man, whose breath is in his nostrils, and to expect nothing but evil from an evil world!
It is good to walk by faith; to feel dependent for all, and to come to Him as little children for all we need.
Oh, the sad levity and trifling of some, even of the ministers of Christ! I am aware of the same evil in myself, and by these things lay up material for bitter repentance.
Oh how lovely, how good, exceedingly good, is Jesus Christ to unworthy me! He is enough to satisfy my soul. When disappointed in the creature, and I turn with a sickening feeling from the world to Christ, I find here no disappointment. Here is fullness of joy, an ocean of love, a heart to feel and sympathize, an eye to pity, and a power, an infinite power to supply all my needs, to comfort my drooping spirits, to refresh my fainting heart, and lift me with joy and peace in believing. Jesus is an all satisfying portion, and He is my portion, O my soul.
Some new lesson in the school of Christ is daily, no, hourly, to be learned; some hidden evil to be felt; some new enemy to be encountered; some fresh, precious views of Jesus to be obtained.
I increasingly feel that this poor world is not my rest; it is polluted! Go where he may, rest where he will, trials and crosses await the Christian.
When trials press upon my mind I must arise and carry them to Jesus. To whom else can I go? I would not often tell the dearest friend in the world what passes in my mind; but I can disclose it all to Jesus! I can and do unbosom myself to Him whose compassions fail not, and who remembers I am but dust; yet pities and loves me better than I love myself!
I never fail to find that trials drive me closer to Christ, and quicken me in the exercise of prayer.
The essence of real religion is intimacy with God.
Remember that God has to do with the heart. 'To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit.' Humility is one of the sweetest graces of God's Spirit. Earnestly seek to know as much of your own hearts as will keep you sitting at the foot of the cross; and at the same time to know as much of Christ's heart as will enable you to rejoice in the fullness and sufficiency there is in Him.
My beloved children, never, never omit secret prayer! Remember, the first departures from Christ begin at the closet, or rather in the heart; and then private prayer is either hurried over, becomes a mere form, or is entirely neglected.
A few more years, and we shall be done with all things here below, and eternity, with all its glorious realities, will burst upon your view! Oh, then, live for eternity! Think much of your blessed inheritance there, and let the glory of God be dearer to you than your own lives.
Beloved, in all your many difficulties and trials, do not first go to an arm of flesh, nor sit and ponder what you shall do. But go directly to your dear Savior, and ask earnestly for wisdom and grace to guide you through them. Watch the leadings and openings of His gracious providence, and follow on as He leads the way, and He will make even these things to work for your good. Cast your cares, as they arise, upon Him who cares for you!
Avoid trifling, lukewarm professors. They are the bane of the church of Christ! If you can do them no good, they will do you much harm.
Beloved, go to Jesus for all you need. Lean upon Him. There is a fullness in Christ, treasured up for you, that the highest angel in heaven cannot fathom! Tell Him all that is in your heart. Lay your case before Him as if He did not already know it. This is the sweet simplicity of faith that Christ loves. You cannot come too often. Bring to Him your little cares as well as your great ones. If anything is a trouble to you, however small it may be, you are warranted, no, commanded, to take it to Him, and thereby you glorify His name.
Oh what a mercy is a throne of grace! Wherever you are, at home or by the wayside, lift up your heart to that precious Savior who has manifested so much love to your souls.
Oh, it is good to look back and trace His dealings and His wondrous works to us! Taking thus a review of these gracious things, under the teaching of the Eternal Spirit, so far from being puffed up, they will lay us low in the dust under a sense of our base ingratitude towards Him, and the wretched returns we have made for such distinguishing mercies.
Nothing tests or strengthens faith so much as the trying dispensations of God toward His people. The furnace destroys everything but the pure gold! Nothing but real faith can endure the heat of the fiery crucible, and, what is strange, it grows in the fire!
In Christ, I discover such a fullness, such a sufficiency, such goodness, and boundless, matchless love, that at times I can but kneel and weep! My mind is led from earthly things to longing desires after conformity to His holy likeness. Oh, to be holy! How beautiful does holiness appear to me! To be holy is to be happy. May the Lord sanctify us! A little while and we shall be done with those things that but too often encumber us, and then, Oh what glory awaits the believing soul!
I feel my vileness, my unprofitableness, my woeful shortcomings, and am thankful if I can but only creep to the foot of the Cross, and there repose my weary soul, refreshed by one look at Jesus, who died for my sins. But oh, I want to be more conformable to His lovely image, to be sanctified, body, soul, and spirit, and to have every power of my mind under the constant influence of the Holy Spirit.
Mysterious are the ways of God! This bereaving providence has done more to wean me from the world, and show me the importance of eternal things, than you can imagine. Blessed be God for all His dispensations, the evil as well as the good. My severe trials have awakened a general sympathy among the dear people of God, who have visited and endeavored to comfort me. But vain is the help of man. God alone can comfort. I see love and mercy directing this stroke, and I trust it will be abundantly sanctified to my soul. I know it is for my good that I have been afflicted.
Tribulation must be felt, or it would not be tribulation; and it is needful. I think I have learned more of my dreadfully wicked heart, and the preciousness of Jesus, during this trial, than I ever learned before. It has been a bitter discipline, but I hope, with God's blessing, it will bring forth the peaceable fruits of righteousness; tending to wean me from the world and from self, and causing me to know where my great strength lies. I failed not to thank my God, and to implore His aid to strengthen me, and enable me to bear up under this and every other disappointment and trial, through what His infinite wisdom should see fit I should pass while on my pilgrimage through this wilderness.
I feel my poverty and my need of Christ more and more. My choicest seat is at the foot of the Cross! When I can but view His bleeding wounds, and obtain one glance by faith of His gracious countenance, it is worth a thousand worlds to me. Nothing else can give me joy and comfort. I find it is the safest to keep close to Jesus; and as I came at first, so I come again and again. In this way the foe is defeated, and my soul is melted with love, while He lifts upon me His heavenly countenance.
I rather decline much communication with worldly people; for if one can do them no good, they are sure to do you some harm.
Oh, the sweets of true religion! To know the Lord Jesus is our Friend surpasses every earthly good, and is better than the possession of a thousand worlds. To have Him to go to; to lay before Him all our needs, to express our fears, to plead His promises, and to expect that because He has promised He will fulfill; is worth more than all the world can give. His ear is ever open to the prayer of His people, and, though hell and death obstruct the way, the weakest saint shall win the day.
I am strong, and in good spirits! for my Friend above reigns, and He has enabled me to cast every weight of care upon Him.
May the Lord fill your hearts with peace and joy in believing, and lift you above this poor, fleeting, perishing world.
Oh, how far, how very far do I fall short of what a true Christian ought to be! I grieve and lament my shortcomings, and long to manifest myself, by practice as well as by profession, a lowly follower of Jesus Christ.
All we have to do in this valley of tears is to press forward to the glorious prize He has placed in our view, looking continually to Jesus, trusting not to our own strength, but waiting in humble dependence upon Him for all our sufficiency to carry us on, and to enable us to hold out unto the end. This world is not our home; we look for a better. His people are pilgrims here on earth, and generally are a poor and afflicted people. They have not their portion here as thousands have; their portion is to come. Their names are written in the book of life, and were written before the foundation of the world. They are as dear to Him as the apple of His eye. Then what have we to fear? nothing; but everything to hope.
Blessed be God, who sent His only Son to pay our debt, to rescue us from the power of Satan, to cleanse us from all our guilt, to clothe our souls with His righteousness, and thereby give us a rightful claim to a crown of glory.
Beware of the form of godliness without its vital, its blessed power!
Remember that you have not to do with man but with God, and that God has to do with you. He scrutinizes the motive, searches the hidden spring, regards the principle, and by Him actions are weighed.
Live and think and act with eternity fully in view!
There is not a circumstance in my whole past life, but what I have reason to mourn and weep over in the dust before God. It has been evil, and that continually. Never, never publish my worthless life. I am ashamed of it, and abhor myself in dust and ashes. God knows I do. I see nothing but sin in myself from the moment I knew anything to the present instant. Lost as I was, vile and polluted, Jesus made the atonement required, paid my debt, bore the penalty, washed me in His precious blood, and the Holy Spirit in due time unveiled my blind eyes to see my lost condition, wretchedness, and misery; and then led me to the fountain opened for sin and uncleanness. There He cleansed, clothed, and saved me! But what returns have I made for all this rich display of mercy? I must put my hand upon my mouth, and my mouth in the dust before Him.
How few follow hard after their glorious Leader, the Captain of our salvation! There are few who seem to be in right down earnest in this holy, heavenly warfare.
There is a divine reality in the religion of the Bible, but it must be experienced in the soul to learn its mighty value and infinite blessedness. I meet with but few who have this divine echo in the heart; the soul's experience harmonizing with the revealed word of truth.
Why do you stand outside when there is room in the heart of Christ for His every needy child?
Oh, this precious Jesus! how can we love Him enough? We shall love Him as we desire to, when this poor body of flesh is thrown off and we see Him as He is.
How many ways the Lord takes to teach His children, and to wean them from the creature and from themselves!
God does nothing in vain towards His own people. He loves us too dearly to afflict us arbitrarily or for nothing.
We are so prone to look to the creature, and thus God removes our created prop that we may lean more simply and entirely upon Him, and upon Him only. He is teaching some hard yet precious and, perhaps, needed lessons; but the issue will be your deeper holiness and His loftier praise and richer glory.
Cast your present burden upon Him from whom comes all help. Is He not a very present help in every time of trouble? Why should you carry a heavy burden, when Jesus has undertaken and is better able to bear it for you, and stands ready to transfer it from you to Himself? "Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain you."
Everything around us, viewed in relation to eternity, is alarming! The unconverted are passing into the world of woe, the Church is slumbering, error is prevailing, worldliness abounding, and the love of many for the Lord and His truth is waxing cold.
Do we really believe that there is a hell and that there is a heaven?
Temptation is a test, tribulation is a discipline, and trial is a school. All are essential to our perfect education for eternity.
Try and realize the nearness of heaven to you. It will enable you to walk more above the world, and incline your heart to seek a closer acquaintance with God as your reconciled Father in Christ Jesus.
Dear friend, make God your Confidant. Carry to Him all your needs, disclose to Him all your sorrows, confide to Him all your secrets, confess to Him all your sins. He will do all, soothe all, supply all, and pardon all, for who is a God like Him? He cares for you, His loving heart is towards you, His unslumbering eye is upon you. Oh, how condescendingly kind and gentle is Jesus to poor sinners who feel their need of Him, and are conscious that they can do nothing without Him! You will always meet with a welcome from Jesus, come when you may, and how you will.
Prayer, precious prayer, how can we live without it? What could I do had I not God to go to? Oh, it is my chief joy and comfort to throw open every avenue and chamber of my heart, and disclose to Him all.
Oh the comfort, that while crossing this sandy desert we are privileged to hold converse with Jesus, telling Him as our dearest Friend, all we need and all we desire.
Oh, what would we do in a world of sin and sorrow without Jesus! Heaven itself would be no heaven were He not its attraction, its glory, and its joy. His name is Love, and an ocean of love is His heart.
Is it not strange that we cling to this shadowy, fleeting life as we do?
Jesus came to my help, raised my eyes to Himself, drew me closer to His heart, hushed my mourning, and enabled me to repose my sorrow upon His bosom.
Oh, for stronger faith and more filial submission to all His blessed, loving, holy will!
May the presence of the Lord be with you, may His love comfort you, and may His arms encircle you, to preserve you from all evil!
Who can portray the joy of the soul the moment it is freed from the flesh, and finds itself in the immediate presence of God, encircled by all the holy angels, and the goodly company of glorified saints, who stand round about the throne?
May we be enabled to follow on to know the Lord more fully, and be more engaged in the contemplation of heavenly realities, so that we might live more above the poor things of a dying world. This poor world is not our rest; and God will not have His people rest in anything short of Himself.
It is our loss, when we permit ourselves to be so absorbed with present passing trifles as to lose sight, even for a moment, of the glories and attractions of that upper world into which we shall to a certainty soon enter. I think I could sometimes sit all day long looking up into heaven; heaven seems so opened to my view, so near, so real, so blessed and holy. I seem to stand upon its verge, and beneath its very portal.
It is through Satan's devices that God's Word is cast aside, and human wisdom and tradition is set up in the place of God's revealed truth.
In a little while we all must stand at the bar of God. Short and uncertain is our time here. Eternity, with solemn realities, is before us. God has, in His rich mercy, left us a divine direction to show us plainly the way we should take, turning neither to the right hand nor to the left. The path is there prescribed to those who desire to do God's holy will and to walk in the same.
Alone with God. Sweet moments these, to a saint of God; rich the privilege to be closeted with Jesus. To get closer to Him, to hear His voice, the gentle whisper of His unchanging love, to be enabled to unbosom our whole hearts to Him, confiding to Him all their secrets. Is not this a mighty privilege?
How mysterious are often our Father's dealings with us; and yet all is infinite love. Not a cross, not a pain, not a trial but is given in the tenderest love to our souls, dear to Him as His own beloved Son.
Do you not love to think of heaven? Not only as a place of rest- rest from all care, and conflict, and toil- but above all, a perfect rest from sin. But more even than this, as the place where we shall see and be with Jesus, and be perfectly like Him. To behold the once despised Man of sorrow, seated upon His throne, encircled by the host of heaven, will be a glorious spectacle. And shall you and I be there? Shall we not together shout our song of praise to Him who bled for us, died for us, who paid our mighty debt, and who so patiently bore our ingratitude and coldness, our wanderings and lack of love, throughout our wilderness journey? How unwearied has been His changeless love towards us.
One precious view of Jesus will more than repay us for all our sufferings and afflictions and crosses here, were they ten thousand times more than they have been. To look upon that countenance which so often illumined with its smile our dreary path, filling our souls with joy unspeakable and full of glory, and which, when our hearts were so broken for sin, because it was sin against One who so loved us, and whom we loved, that we were ashamed to look up and knew not what to say, even then has He beamed upon us His look of forgiveness- oh, will not this be heaven! Long we not, dear friend, to see Him, that we might thank Him again and again for all His mighty love and great goodness, marvelous loving-kindness towards us poor sinners, eternally lost but for Him? There are seasons when language quite fails me to express what I feel towards Him, and then how do I long to depart that I might tell Him all I cannot tell Him now.
God is in small events! How unspeakably precious and sweet it is when we can believe that God our Father in heaven is absolutely directing the most minute circumstance of our short sojourn in this wilderness world! That nothing, however trivial, takes place, whether it relates to the body or the soul, but is under His control; in fact, is ordered by Himself! But how hard to believe this, particularly when things look dark, and we cannot discern the way we should take. It is, then, the province of faith to wait upon the Lord, keeping a steadfast eye upon Him only; looking for light, help, and deliverance, not from the creature, but from Jehovah Himself. Well may it be called precious faith! How happy do those travel on, whose faith can discern God's hand in everything. But I fear the number is very small who so live. I cannot imagine how those who deny God's particular providence can get comfortably on, for they must perpetually be confronted with minute events in their history as mysterious and baffling to them as greater ones.
It is a consolation to know that Jesus reigns, and that all things, all creatures, and all events are in His hands and beneath His control.
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