Part 1:
General Interest

Brethren, can you follow me in a great flight? Can you stretch broader wings than the condor ever knew, and fly back into the unbeginning eternity? There was a day before all days, when there was no day but the Ancient of Days. There was a time before all time, when God only was: the uncreated, the only-existent One. The Divine Three, Father, Son, and Spirit, lived in blessed consort with each other, delighting in each other. Oh the intensity of the divine love of the Father to the Son! There was no world, no sun, no moon, no stars, no universe, but God alone; and the whole of God's omnipotence flowed forth in a stream of love to the Son, while the Son's whole being remained eternally one with the Father by a mysterious essential union. How came all this which we now see and hear? Why this creation? this fall of Adam? this redemption? this church? this heaven? How came it all about? It needed not to have been, but the Father's love made him resolve to show forth the glory of his Son. The mysterious volume which has been gradually unfolded before us has only this one design—the Father would make known his love to the Son, and make the Son's glories to appear before the eyes of those whom the Father gave him. This Fall and this Redemption, and the story as a whole, so far as the divine purpose is concerned, are the fruit of the Father's love to the Son, and his delight in glorifying the Son. Those myriads, those white-robed myriads, harping to music infinitely deep, what mean they all? They are the Father's delight in the Son. That he might be glorified for ever, he permitted that he should bear a human body, and should suffer, bleed, and die, so that there might come out of him, as a harvest cometh from a dying and buried corn of wheat, all the countless hosts of elect souls, ordained for ever to a felicity exceeding bounds. These are the bride of the Lamb, the body of Christ, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. Their destiny is so high that no language can fully describe it. God only knows the love of God and all that is has prepared for those who are the objects of it.


"Why They Leave Us"

Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit

Volume 32, page 178

A

ACCEPTANCE 36

If they could but see that all their high joys do not exalt them, and all their low despondencies do not really depress them in their Father's sight, but that they stand accepted in one who never alters, in one who is always the beloved of God, always perfect, always without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, how much happier they would be, and how much more they would honour the Saviour! ME534


God is so boundlessly pleased with Jesus that in him he is altogether well pleased with us. 1731.398


The criminal is now a child, the enemy is now a friend, the condemned one is now justified. Mark, it is not said that we are "acceptable," though that were a very great thing, but we are actually accepted; it has become not a thing possible that God might accept us, but he has accepted us in Christ. 1731.398


If I accept a man, I cannot quarrel with his little finger; if I accept a man, I accept his whole body: and so, since the Father accepts Christ, he accepts every member of his mystical body. 1731.403


The way of acceptance described in Scripture is, first, the man is accepted, and then what that man does is accepted. It is written: "And he shall purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." First, God is pleased with the person, and then with the gift, or the work. The unaccepted person offers of necessity an unacceptable sacrifice. If a man be your enemy, you will not value a present which he sends you. 2100.447

ACCOMPLISHMENT 7

Do much, very much, all you can do, and a little more. "How is that?" says one. I do not think a man is doing all he can do if he is not attempting more than he will complete. 1111.273


But, young friend, there is a difference, and more than a slight one, between intentions and accomplishments. We do not always perform what we think we shall, nor do we always reach where we hope to arrive. Failures are as numerous as successes, and even the most successful have failures to mourn over. Good intentions are not so rare that you may begin to crow about them; there is a road which is paved with them, but I would not have you travel it. 1193.519


The way to do a great deal, is to keep on doing a little. The way to do nothing at all, is to be continually resolving that you will do everything. 2549.618

ACCOUNTABILITY* 7

I think we have greater reason to ask the Lord to impress more deeply upon us the truth we have received than to ask him to give us more truth; for what we already know might suffice us if we did but know it better; and if we kept in mind the things which we have already heard, we might almost be satisfied even if we heard no more. 3057.446


ADMONITION 4

There is nothing in the law of God that will rob you of happiness; it only denies you that which would cost you sorrow. 2419.305


It is that which thou art most loath to hear that thou hast most need to hear; instead of being angry with him who points it out to thee, thou shouldst be willing to pay him for doing it. 2432.462

ADVERSITY 40

He who has tasted a sour apple will have the more relish for a sweet one; your present want will make future prosperity all the sweeter. PT166


The dog in the kennel barks at the fleas; the hunting dog does not even know they are there. PT166


If there are no adversaries, you may fear that there will be no success. 1781.279


In any labour to which we set our hand, if we take too much notice of the difficulties, we shall be hindered in it. 2264.325

AFFECTIONS 18

Well, brother, well, sister, remember that where your treasure is your heart will go, and if that treasure be taken away your heart must ache. 1210.10


The more objects you set your heart upon, the more thorns there are to tear your peace of mind to shreds. 1692.668


Those things which we allow to take the chief place in our bosoms have the most power to give us grief. 2728.241


We cannot too often turn our thoughts heavenward, for this is one of the great cures for worldliness. The way to liberate our souls from the bonds that tie us to earth is to strengthen the cords that bind us to heaven. You will think less of this poor little globe when you think more of the world to come. 3499.72

AFFLICTION 40

They who dive in the sea of affliction bring up rare pearls. 619.145


Affliction hardens those whom it does not soften. 1129.484


Some of you people of God, when you get bitter waters, want to throw them away. Do not throw a drop of it away, for that is the water you have yet to drink. Accept your afflictions. They are a part of your education. 2301.150


All afflictions are not chastisements for sin; there are some afflictions that have quite another end and object. 2309.241

AGING 19

It is a crime to permit our fires to burn low while experience yields us more and more abundant fuel. AM191


From the altar of age the flashes of the fire of youth are gone, but the more real flame of earnest feeling remains. ME556


As we grow older, it is wise to concentrate more and more our energies upon the one thing, the only thing worth living for—the praise of God. 998.368


As Barzillai in his old age prayed David to accept the personal service of his son Chimham, so would we, when our own strength declines, present our offspring to the Lord, that they may supply our lack of service. 1148.712


O you of forty, fifty, or sixty, what a world of mischief there is in you that will have to come out. 1248.455


Many of God's aged servants who have been spared to advanced years, have come to look out for the setting of earth's sun without a fear of darkness. While they have seemed to have one foot in the grave, they have really had one foot in heaven. 1922.537


Well, dear friend, if you want to get old, the surest way is to get old. I mean this. Think that you cannot do what you used to do, and give up your religious engagements because you are getting old; give up preaching because you are so old; give up the Sunday-school because you are so old; and you will be old fast enough: that is the sure way to make yourself old. 2303.173


Old men sometimes arrive at a second childhood. Do not be afraid, brother, if that is your case; you have gone through one period already that was more infantile than your second one can be, you will not be weaker then than you were at first. 2457.137


In the case of some old people, who have been professors of religion for years, but who have done next to nothing for Christ, I find it very difficult ever to stir them up at all. 2618.183


People are continually warning young men of their danger. No doubt we are in danger; but let me remind you that there is not an instance in Sacred Scripture of a young man disgracing his profession; but there are instances in Scripture of men of middle age and of grey hairs doing so. 2700.532


I always find that the older saints become more Calvinistic as they ripen in age; that is to say, they get to believe more and more that salvation is all of grace; and whereas, at first, they might have had some rather loose ideas concerning freewill, and the power of the creature, the lapse of years and fuller experience gradually blow all that kind of chaff away. 2991.287


When somebody said to a Christian minister, "I suppose you are on the wrong side of fifty?" "No," he said, "thank God, I am on the right side of fifty, for I am sixty, and am therefore nearer heaven." Old age should never be looked upon with dismay by us; it should be our joy. 3183.72


Though with the teaching of the Holy Spirit every year's experience will make the Christian riper, yet without that teaching it is possible that each year may make a man, not more ripe, but more rotten. 3283.1

Temptation, instead of getting weaker with our age, gets stronger; the passions which we thought would expire when the heat of youth had evaporated, become more fierce as we grow more infirm, till some lusts are more rampant in those who have the least power to gratify them. 3462.273

AGNOSTICISM 42

One walking with me observed, with some emphasis, "I do not believe as you do. I am an Agnostic." "Oh," I said to him. "Yes. That is a Greek word, is it not? The Latin word, I think, is ignoramus." He did not like it at all. Yet I only translated his language from Greek to Latin. These are queer waters to get into, when all your philosophy brings you is the confession that you know nothing, and the stolidity which enables you to glory in your ignorance. 1933.670


I should be surprised to see an Agnostic lay down his life for the defence of nothing. 2859.573

AIMLESSNESS 15

Some time ago, I read in the paper of a gentleman being taken up before a magistrate. What was the charge against him? Nothing very serious, you will say. He was found wandering in the fields. He was asked where he was going, and he said he was not going anywhere. He was asked where he came from, and he said he did not know. They asked him where his home was, and he said he had none. They brought him up for wandering. As what? A dangerous lunatic. The man who has no aim or object in life, but just wanders about anywhere or nowhere, acts like a dangerous lunatic, and assuredly he is not morally sane. BA8


Are you like a vessel which is left to the mercy of the winds and waves? Ignoble condition! Perilous case! What! are you no more than a log on the water? I should not like to be a passenger in a vessel which had no course marked out on the chart, no pilot at the wheel, no man at the watch. Surely, you must be derelict, if not water-logged; and you will come to a total wreck before long. BA9

ALCOHOL 2

The best way to make a man sober is to bring him to the foot of the cross. AM108


Those beershops are the curse of this country—no good ever can come of them, and the evil they do no tongue can tell; the publics were bad enough, but the beershops are a pest; I wish the man who made the law to open them had to keep all the families that they have brought to ruin. PT91


The drunkard goes lower than the sow, for no sow would habitually intoxicate itself: few animals would even touch the defiling concoction. 1279.100


That which goes under the name of wine is not true wine, but a fiery, brandied concoction of which I feel sure that Jesus would not have tasted a drop. 1556.493


When Bacchus rolls the wine-cask against the door it is hard to force an entrance, even though we demand it in the name of King Jesus. Men are in an ill state for hearing when the barrel and the bottle are their idols. It is not at all marvellous that the gospel should be neglected by men who have put an enemy into their mouths to steal away their brains. 1593.205


There is the "pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb," and there is the fire-water, which has its origin among the flames of hell; and yet, when the choice is left to men, many of them prefer the fiery liquor to that water which would be in them "a well of water springing up into everlasting life." 3111.459


It is the devil's backdoor to hell, and everything that is hellish; for he that once gives away his brains to drink is ready to be caught by Satan for anything. 3233.30

ABSTINENCE FROM 2

I heard of a brother who claimed to long having been a teetotaller, but some doubted. When he was asked how long he had been an abstainer, he replied, "Off and on for twenty years." You should have seen the significant smile upon all faces. An abstainer off and on! His example did not stand for much. Certain professors are Christians off and on, and nobody respects them. BA34


I neither said nor implied that it was sinful to drink wine; nay, I said that, in and by itself, this might be done without blame. But I remarked that, if I knew that another would be led to take it by my example, and this would lead them on to further drinking, and even to intoxication, then I would not touch it. PM267


Water is the strongest drink, it drives mills. It's the drink of lions and horses, and Samson never drank anything else. PT169


But though I am no total abstainer, I hate drunkenness as much as any man breathing, and have been the means of bringing many poor creatures to relinquish this bestial indulgence. 150.344

I abstain myself from alcoholic drink in every form, and I think others would be wise to do the same; but of this each one must be a guide unto himself. 1556.494


Go not to wine for comfort in the hour of depression. Above all things, dread the intoxicating cup in all its forms. 2209.333

ALERTNESS 15

The wide-awake man seizes opportunities or makes them, and thus those who are widest awake usually come to the front. 996.338

AMBITION* 16

Men do not quarrel when their ambitions have come to an end. 2281.529


Do you not know that the higher you rise, even in the Church of Christ, the more responsibility you have, and the heavier burdens you have to carry? 2871.91


And it is much the same also with ambition,—not the desire to use one's capacities to the full, especially for God's glory, and the good of our fellow-creatures; but that craving for so-called "glory" which makes a man court the homage of his fellow-men, and which will not let him be content unless he is set up on a high pedestal for fools to stare at. 2886.268

GODLY* 16

Aspire to be something more than the mass of church members. Lift up your cry to God and beseech him to fire you with a nobler ambition than that which possesses the common Christian—that you may be found faithful unto God at the last, and may win many crowns for your Lord and Master, Christ. 867.232

SINFUL* 16

Ambition is like the sea which swallows all the rivers and is none the fuller; or like the grave whose insatiable maw for ever craves for the bodies of men. It is not like an amphora, which being full receives no more, but its fulness swells it till a still greater vacuum is formed. In all probability, Napoleon never longed for a sceptre till he gained the bâton, nor dreamed of being conqueror of Europe till he had gained the crown of France. Caligula, with the world at his feet, was mad with a longing for the moon, and could he have gained it the imperial lunatic would have coveted the sun. It is in vain to feed a fire which grows the more voracious the more it is supplied with fuel; he who lives to satisfy his ambition has before him the labour of Sisyphus, who rolled up hill an ever-rebounding stone, and the task of the daughters of Danaus, who are condemned for ever to attempt to fill a bottomless vessel with buckets full of holes. FA10


He who undertakes too much succeeds but little. PT140


You may burst a bag by trying to fill it too full, and ruin yourself by grasping at too much. PT140


Our endeavours to go up lead us to push others down. 2153.379


A man is never perfectly at peace if he is ambitious, and craving for this or that which as yet is beyond his reach. 2626.280

AMUSEMENTS* 44

"But," says one, "are we not to have amusements?" Yes, such amusements as you can take in the fear of God. Do whatever Jesus would have done. GS291


I have nothing to say against recreation in its proper place. Certain forms of recreation are needful and useful; but it is a wretched thing when amusement becomes a vocation. Amusement should be used to do us good "like a medicine": it must never be used as the food of the man. From early morning till late at night some spend their time in a round of frivolities, or else their very work is simply carried on to furnish them funds for their pleasures. This is vicious. Many have had all holy thoughts and gracious resolutions stamped out by perpetual trifling. Pleasure so called is the murderer of thought. This is the age of excessive amusement: everybody craves for it, like a babe for its rattle. 2040.476

ANCESTRY 19

Big as men may account themselves to be on account of their ancestors, we all trace our line up to a gardener, who lost his place through stealing his Master's fruit, and that is the farthest we can possibly go. Adam covers us all with disgrace, and under that disgrace we should all sit humbly down. 1210.3

ANGELS 3

How angels thus keep us we cannot tell. Whether they repel demons, counteract spiritual plots, or even ward off the subtler physical forces of disease, we do not know. Perhaps we shall one day stand amazed at the multiplied services which the unseen bands have rendered to us. TD91:11


If you had eyes to see, you would perceive a bodyguard of angels always attending every one of the blood-bought family. WC30


If two angels were sent down to earth, one to rule an empire, and the other to sweep a street, they would have no choice in the matter, so long as God ordered them. WC50


There is not an angel in heaven with whom the meanest saint might wish to exchange estates, for though the angels excel us now, we shall certainly excel them in the world to come: we shall be nearer the eternal throne than any one of them, inasmuch as Christ Jesus is our brother and not the brother of angels. He is God-and-man in one person, and there was never God and angel in like union. 1466.186


The angels in heaven are humble because they remember who made them and kept them angels, for they would have been devils in hell if God had not preserved them in their first estate. 3202.294


The angels will know their Master's property. They know each saint, for they were present at his birthday. 3393.76

ANGER* 18

Anger is a short madness. The less we do when we go mad the better for everybody, and the less we go mad the better for ourselves. PP36


Do nothing when you are out of temper, and then you will have the less to undo. PP37


Anger does a man more hurt than that which made him angry. PP37


People look none the handsomer for being red in the face. PP144


Remember, anger is temporary insanity. 21.160


But oh, beloved, I have no more right as a Christian to suffer bad temper to dwell in me than I have to suffer the devil himself to dwell there. 673.62


When I have a hasty thought against a man and wish him out of the world, I have killed him in thought, and even though I may disguise the wish under the expression of wishing him in heaven, there is guilt in the desire. Oh the hard, cruel, black thoughts which men have towards one another, when they are angry; why they kill and slay a thousand times over. These hasty sins are soon forgotten by us, but they are not so soon forgotten by God. 713.544


Do you ask, "How can a man master his temper?" In reply, my brethren, I must ask, how can a man go to heaven if he does not? If the grace of God does not change us and help us to bridle that lion that is within us, what has it done for us? If a man says, "I cannot help it," I cannot help telling him that if there be no help, nothing can remain for him but despair. Only in salvation from sin is there salvation from wrath. 901.639


Fighting sheep are strange animals, and fighting Christians are self-evident contradictions. 1370.475


Do not say, "I cannot help having a bad temper." Friend, you must help it. Pray God to help you to overcome it at once; for either you must kill it, or it will kill you. You cannot carry a bad temper into heaven. 2109.562


I heard one say that he was sorry that he had lost his temper. I was uncommonly glad to hear that he had lost it, but I regretted that he found it again so soon. 2411.212


Little pots soon boil over; and I have known some professing Christians, who are such very little pots, that the smallest fire has made them boil over. When you never meant anything to hurt their feelings, they have been terribly hurt. The simplest remark has been taken as an insult, and a construction put upon things that never was intended, and they make their brethren offenders for a word, or for half a word, ay, and even for not saying a word. 3065.545

ANIMALS, TREATMENT OF 38

Poor dumb animals cannot speak for themselves, and therefore every one who has his speech should plead for them. PP50


There's a deal to be done with animals with kindness, and nothing with cruelty. He who is unmerciful to his beast is worse than a beast himself. PT158


Mr. Rowland Hill used to say that a man was not a true Christian if his dog and his cat were not the better off for it. That witness is true. 1864.559


I do not believe in the piety of a man who is cruel to a horse. There is need of the whip sometimes, but the man who uses it cruelly cannot surely be a converted man. 3158.405


Treat all creatures kindly, then, so far as you can, for the great Creator's sake. 3180.30

ANNIHILATIONISM 1

Let us think what that death is! It is not non-existence; I do not know that I would lift a finger to save my fellow-creature from mere non-existence. I see no great hurt in annihilation; certainly nothing that would alarm me as a punishment for sin. WCo133


While you shall not see life, you shall exist in eternal death, for the wrath of God cannot abide on a non-existent creature. 1012.538


If I believed that sinners could be annihilated I should have no particular reason for preaching to them; in fact, I should have a very urgent reason for never doing anything of the kind. 1130.501


There is further cause for comfort in the fact that, through death, Christ destroyed the devil. Those persons who always interpret the word "destroy" as meaning "annihilate" would do me a very great favour if they could really prove to me that Jesus Christ annihilated the devil. 3286.41

ANTEDILUVIANS 11

Man becomes a bad enough sinner when he lives to be seventy; but what he became at seven hundred or more is somewhat difficult to guess. We wonder not that there were giants in those days—giants in crime as well as in stature. 1891.158

ANTINOMIANISM 27

We have in spiritual matters things called liberty which are no liberty. There is Antinomian liberty—God deliver us from that! A man saith, "I am not under the law of God, therefore I will live as I like." A most blessed truth followed by a most atrocious inference. 565.223

Oh! to be a child, and to give the obedience of a child and not the homage of a serf! But the Antinomian saith, "I am not under the law, therefore will I live and fulfil my own lust and pleasures." Paul says of those who argue thus, their damnation is just. 565.223


Brethren, it is a precious doctrine that the saints are safe, but it is a damnable inference from it, that therefore they may live as they list. It is a glorious truth that God will keep his people, but it is an abominable falsehood that sin will do them no harm. Remember that God gives us liberty, not licence, and while he gives us protection he will not allow us presumption. 689.259


Only fancy what the effect would be upon our country if a proclamation were issued, that henceforth all manner of offences against the law would be immediately forgiven, and men might still continue to perpetrate them. We should hasten to emigrate from such a pandemonium. The wicked might approve of such a relaxation of the bonds of law, but it would be an awful curse to the righteous. If the judge of all the earth could possibly forgive sin while men continue to indulge in it, I do not see how the world could be inhabited; it would become a den of beasts, wild and without restraint, raging against all goodness, and even against themselves. The very pillars of society would be moved if sin could be at the same time indulged by the sinner and pardoned by the Lord. 1278.88


Does some mere professor sneeringly enquire, "What, are we always to live to God's glory, and are we to do nothing but what would glorify him? This is laying down very straight rules, and making the road to heaven very narrow indeed." Do you think so, friend? Then I will tell you plainly my solemn suspicion about you,—I am persuaded that you do not know the Lord, for if you did, the way of holiness would be your delight, and you would not ask for licence to sin. I can understand your sinning, but I cannot understand your finding pleasure in it if you are a real Christian. 1305.415


A man is very far gone in guilt when he reads grace the wrong way upwards, and infers, from the longsuffering of the Lord, that he may continue in sin. 2932.185

ANTIQUITY 44

We cannot be certain that a thing is right because it is old, for Satan is old, and sin is old, and death is old, and hell is old; yet none of these things are right and desirable on that account. TN95

APATHY 15

But there are districts, especially rural districts, where indifference prevails; and the same state of things exists in various parts of London. It is not infidelity; the people do not care enough about religion to even oppose it. SW117


No wonder that sinners are given to slumber when saints sleep as they do. No wonder that the unconverted think hell a fiction when we live as if it were so. No wonder that they imagine heaven to be a romance, when we act as if it were so little a reality. 1427.444


Poor mortals! They concern themselves about everything that does not concern them, but they persistently neglect everything that is needful to their eternal well-being. 1908.363


I believe that there are some Christian men who have wasted a large part of their lives for want of somebody or something to wake them up. There is more evil wrought in the world by want of thought than by downright malice, and there is more good left undone through want of thought than through any aversion to the doing of good. 2617.169

APOLOGETICS 14

I question whether Butler and

Paley have not both of them created more infidels than they ever cured, and whether most of the defences of the gospel are not sheer impertinences. The gospel does not want defending. If Jesus Christ is not alive, and cannot fight his own battles, then Christianity is in an evil case. But he is, and we have only to preach his gospel in all its naked simplicity, and the power that goes with it will be the evidence of its divinity. 1106.214


Most of the objections against the articles of our holy faith are contemptible, yet none the less difficult to answer because contemptible, for an argument is not always apparently strong in proportion to its reasonableness. 1111.270


The armour of external evidences is well stored with weapons of proof. The gospel also bears within itself its own evidence, it has self-proving power. 1187.445


I confess that when I have to argue about the truth of divine things it is a dreary task to me. I am so sure of these things myself, by living and actual test, that I wonder other people are not sure too; and while they are wanting me to argue about this point or that it seems to me like asking a man to prove that there is a sun in yonder sky. I bask in his beams, I swoon under his heat, I see by his light; and yet they ask me to prove his existence! Are the men mad? What do they want me to prove? That God hears prayer? I pray and receive answers every day. That God pardons sin? I was in my own esteem the blackest of sinners, and sunk in the depths of despair, yet I believed, and by that faith I leaped into a fulness of light and liberty at once. Why do they not try it themselves? 1428.454


Some of us have thought it our miserable duty to read certain books that have been brought out against the truth, that we might be able to answer them; but it is a perilous calling. The Lord have mercy upon us when we have to go down into these sewers; for the process is not healthy! 2183.18


I confess that I do not believe that one human brain is capable of answering every objection that another human brain could raise against the most obvious truth in the world. 2209.334


To answer objections, is an endless task; it is like trying to empty a flowing fountain with bottomless buckets. 2304.186


A great many learned men are defending the gospel; no doubt it is a very proper and right thing to do, yet I always notice that, when there are most books of that kind, it is because the gospel itself is not being preached. Suppose a number of persons were to take it into their heads that they had to defend a lion, a full-grown king of beasts! There he is in the cage, and here come all the soldiers of the army to fight for him. Well, I should suggest to them, if they would not object, and feel that it was humbling to them, that they should kindly stand back, and open the door, and let the lion out! I believe that would be the best way of defending him, for he would take care of himself; and the best "apology" for the gospel is to let the gospel out. 2467.256

APOSTASY* 42

The first step astray is a want of adequate faith in the divine inspiration of the Sacred Scriptures. DG13


In looking carefully over the history of the times, and the movement of the times, of which we have written briefly, this fact is apparent: that where ministers and Christian churches have held fast to the truth that the Holy Scriptures have been given by God as an authoritative and infallible rule of faith and practice, they have never wandered very seriously out of the right way. But when, on the other hand, reason has been exalted above revelation, and made the exponent of revelation, all kinds of errors and mischiefs have been the result. DG13


Saul was once among the prophets, but he was more at home among the persecutors. 2LS20


This would be the first step in apostasy; men first forget the true, and then adore the false. TD44:20


If I must be lost, let it be anyhow rather than as an apostate. If there be any distinction among the damned, those have it who are wandering stars, trees plucked up by the roots, twice dead, for whom Jude tells us, is "reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." Reserved! as if nobody else were qualified to occupy that place but themselves. They are to inhabit the darkest, hottest place, because they forsook the Lord. 547.11


You know how many passages there are in which it is positively asserted that if a child of God did deliberately and totally apostatize, his restoration would be utterly impossible—not difficult, but impossible. This is one of the greatest proofs of the doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints, since there is no man in a condition in which it is impossible to save him, and yet any man would be in such a state if he apostatized. Therefore true believers shall not apostatize, but shall stand fast, and shall be kept even to the end. Yet, could they totally apostatize, they could never be restored again: the greatest remedy having already failed, there would remain no other. 1341.129


The raw material for a devil is an angel. The raw material for the son of perdition was an apostle; and the raw material for the most horrible of apostates is one who is almost a saint. 1929.623


That which begins with shamefacedness, equivocation, hesitation, and compromise will ripen into apostasy. 2209.328


Neither would it ensure your salvation to be able to foretell the future, for Balaam was a great prophet, but he was a great sinner; he was an arch-rebel although he was an arch-divine. 2330.495


He is not the God of apostates, for he hath said, "If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." 2633.362


You must pick from among the apostles to find an apostate. 2914.610


Beginners in the way of grace, it is a great and solemn truth that every child of God will hold on until the end, but it is an equally solemn truth that many who profess to be the Lord's are self-deceivers, and will turn out apostates after all. 3520.329

ARGUMENT 29

Reason is folly with the unreasonable. PP58


Some people like rows—I don't envy their choice; I'd rather walk ten miles to get out of a dispute than half-a-mile to get into one. PT73


Satan greatly approves of our railing at each other, but God does not. 820.392


I notice, however, that, while it is true that our gracious Master was very gentle and patient with those who had real difficulties, yet he did not always answer everybody's cavil. When the difficulty was raised for the sake of questioning and disputing, when it was mere quibbling, when the enquirer were not in earnest, and did not really wish to know the truth, he often declined to answer them. My Master has no desire to be merely victor in a debate: he did not come into the world to fight a battle of logic just for the sake of winning it. 2413.229

ARMINIANISM 14

I believe it is a mistake about God himself which has been the root and foundation of all the mistakes in theology. Our conviction is, that Arminian theology, to a great extent, makes God to be less than he is. 394.370


The basis and groundwork of Arminian theology lies in attaching undue importance to man, and giving God rather the second place than the first. 406.465


I believe that very much of current Arminianism is simply ignorance of gospel doctrine; and if people began to study their Bibles, and to take the Word of God as they find it, they must inevitably, if believers, rise up to rejoice in the doctrines of grace. 609.29

ARROGANCE 16

Certain men might have been something if they had not thought themselves so. A consciously great man is an evidently little one. GF48


We know many persons who are always doing a great deal, and yet do nothing; fussy people, people to the front in every movement, persons who could set the whole world right, but are not right themselves. 1936.697


The "superior" person will always be lost, take my word for it. The more superior he is, the more sure he is to be lost; I mean not that he is superior, but that he thinks himself so, superior to all teaching. He is not prepared to be a learner, he is ready to set up as a teacher, and a master of anything you like. He is not the kind of man to enter the gates of heaven; he carries his head too high for that. He is a man of broad thought; and, of course, he goes the broad way. Narrow-minded people go in the narrow way; but then it leadeth to life eternal, and therefore I commend it to you. 2304.187


Yet this is the bane and ruin of many men, they know so much that, like Solomon's sluggard, they are wiser in their own conceit than seven men who can render a reason. See how they treat the Bible itself; when they open it, it is not that they may hear what God says in it, but that they may tell God what he ought to have said. 2452.79


Some of the Lord's workers have grown so big that the least thing offends them; everything must be according to their own way, or they will have nothing to do with it. 2453.94

ASSERTIVENESS 33

When we are injured, we are bound as Christians to bear it without malice; but we are not to pretend that we do not feel it, for this will but encourage our enemies to kick us again. He who is cheated twice by the same man, is half as bad as the rogue; and it is very much so in other injuries—unless we claim our rights, we are ourselves to blame if we do not get them. PT35

ASSISTANCE 28

When we have good work to do for our Lord, we are glad of the company of kindred spirits, determined to make the good work succeed; but if we have no such comrades, we must go alone. There is no absolute necessity for numbers. Who knows? The friends we invite might be more hindrance than assistance. 3193.183

ASSURANCE 35

If thou canst believe, thou art saved. I cannot help quoting my brother Hill's expression the other day: "He that believeth on me hath everlasting life" (John 6:47). You know how he put it: "h a t h spells got it." So it does; it is a curious but a perfectly correct way of spelling it. If you take Christ to yourself, He will never be taken from you. Breathe the air, and the air is yours; receive Christ, and Christ is yours, and you have attained to righteousness. BA108


I think it very convenient to come every day to Christ as a sinner—as I came at first. "You are no saint," says the devil. Well, if I am not, I am a sinner, and Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. Sink or swim, there I go—other hope I have none. 510.287


If any man be not sure that he is in Christ, he ought not to be easy one moment until he is so. Dear friend, without the fullest confidence as to your saved condition, you have no right to be at ease, and I pray you may never be so. This is a matter too important to be left undecided. 1408.206


Nobody ever sings over uncertain blessings. I say again, nobody ever sings over an uncertain pardon; a doubt as to our forgiveness is fatal to all joy, for it lets in the dread fear of divine wrath. 1492.499


We count it no presumption to say that we are saved, for the word of God has told us so in those places where salvation is promised to faith in Christ Jesus. The presumption would lie in doubting the word of God; but in simply believing what he says there is far greater humility than in questioning it. 1592.196


They are written—where? In the earth? No; the wicked are written in the earth, but the names of the Lord's people are written in heaven. In the divine decree that never changes, in the divine heart that never alters, in the divine memory that never fails, in the divine thought that never forgets, all the names of the godly are written. 1689.634


Full assurance is not essential to salvation, but it is essential to satisfaction. May you get it—may you get it at once; at any rate, may you never be satisfied to live without it. 2023.266


Thou must be in heaven, or else he will be bereaved. Thou must be in heaven, or else he will be imperfect. Thou art a member of his body; and if he should lose one of his members, then his body would not be perfect, nor the Head either. 2488.510


Like Jonah, you may lose your gourd, but you cannot lose your God. 3371.439


We prize full assurance beyond all price. We count it to be a gem beyond all earthly values; but we think it is a distressing doctrine to some of the weak ones of the flock to say that full assurance is necessary to salvation. We believe it to be necessary to deep joy, necessary to edification, necessary to usefulness; but necessary to salvation we do not believe it to be. 3384.590

ATHEISM 42

If a spot could be found wherein there would be no God, what a fine building speculation might be made there. Millions would emigrate to "No God's land," and would feel at ease, as soon as they trod its Godless shores. BA174


The atheist is, morally, as well as mentally, a fool, a fool in the heart as well as in the head; a fool in morals as well as in philosophy. With the denial of God as a starting point, we may well conclude that the fool's progress is a rapid, riotous, raving, ruinous one. He who begins at impiety is ready for anything. "No God," being interpreted, means no law, no order, no restraint to lust, no limit to passion. TD53:1


Those who talk so abominably as to deny their Maker will act abominably when it serves their turn. TD53:1


An atheist is a misanthrope. Irreligion is akin to inhumanity. TD86:14


Atheism is the mother of anarchy; the reigning power of God exhibited in true religion is the only security for the human commonwealth. A belief in God is the foundation and cornerstone of a well-ordered state. TD93:1


There are no infidels anywhere but on earth: there are none in heaven, and there are none in hell. Atheism is a strange thing. Even the devils never fell into that vice, for "the devils believe and tremble." And there are some of the devil's children that have gone beyond their father in sin, but how will it look when they are for ever lost? 667.731


You never saw a child startled when it was told for the first time that God made it, for within that little mind there dwells an instinct which accepts the statement. 1197.568


I have heard of an atheist who said he could get over every argument except the example of his godly mother: he could never answer that. 1725.331


Pantheism is atheism in a mask. 2085.266


Man is by nature both an atheist and an idolater. These are two shades of the same thing. We want, if we do worship at all, something that we can see. But a god that can be seen is no god; and so the idolater is first cousin to the atheist. 2239.27


Behind the doubt of the existence of God, many men shield themselves, and permit themselves to indulge in iniquities of which they might be ashamed if they did not make a cloak of their atheism. 2430.433

I believe that the most unreasonable things in all the world are doubt and unbelief; in fact, atheists and infidels are the most gullible persons living. 2463.211

PRACTICAL 42

Let me ask you, how many atheists are now in this house? Perhaps not a single one of you would accept the title, and yet, if you live from Monday morning to Saturday night in the same way as you would live if there were no God, you are practical atheists; and as actions speak more loudly than words, you are more atheists than those doctrinal unbelievers who disavow God with their mouths, and, after all, are secretly afraid of him. 2100.451

ATONEMENT 14

Never has there been a sin pardoned, absolutely and without atonement, since the world began. 255.241


What the sun is to the heavens, that the doctrine of a vicarious satisfaction is to theology. Atonement is the brain and spinal cord of Christianity. Take away the cleansing blood, and what is left to the guilty? Deny the substitutionary work of Jesus, and you have denied all that is precious in the New Testament. 765.449


To deny the great doctrine of atonement by the blood of Jesus Christ is to hamstring the gospel, and to cut the throat of Christianity. 1620.538


I can truly declare among you that I do not preach this doctrine of vicarious sacrifice as one among many theories, but the saving fact of my experience. I must preach this or nothing. 1987.569


God has so impressed this truth upon humanity that you can scarcely go into any nation, however benighted, but there is connected with their religion the idea of sacrifice, and therefore the idea of the offering of a life on account of a broken law. 2070.87


What a wonderful atonement is that which hides from God that which cannot be hidden, so that God does not see what, in another sense, he must always see, and forgets what it is impossible for him, in another sense, ever to forget! 2551.14


If the atoning sufferings of Christ are left out of a ministry, that ministry is worthless. "The blood is the life thereof," is as true about sermons as it is about animals and sacrifices. A bloodless gospel, a gospel without the atonement, is a gospel of devils, and not the gospel of God. 2610.89

Man seems to know, in his inmost nature, that he must bring a sacrifice if he would appear before God; and this is, by no means, an error on his part. However erroneous may be the form it takes, in its essence there is truth in it. 2693.446


When we are giving the invitations of the gospel that we find in the Scriptures, we never think of limiting them. Though we believe the special purpose of Christ's atonement was the redemption of his Church, yet we know that his sacrifice was infinite in value, and therefore we set the wicket gate as wide open as we can, and we repeat Christ's own invitation, "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." 3216.458

DEFINITE 14

I do not believe in an atonement which is admirably wide, but fatally ineffectual. BA143


I may be called Antinomian or Calvinist for preaching a limited atonement; but I had rather believe a limited atonement that is efficacious for all men for whom it was intended, than a universal atonement that is not efficacious for anybody, except the will of man be joined with it. 173.70


Once again, if it were Christ's intention to save all men, how deplorably has he been disappointed! 204.316


"The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." It is usually conceded by us who hold the doctrine of particular redemption that there was in the death of Christ very much of generality and universality. We believe that the atonement of Christ was infinite in value, and that if Christ had decreed to save every man of woman born, he need not have suffered another pang; there was sufficient in his atonement if he had so willed it to have redeemed the entire race. We believe also that by the death of Christ there is a general and honest invitation given to every creature under heaven in terms like these:—"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." We are not prepared, however, to go an inch beyond that. We hold that from the very nature of the satisfaction of Christ it could not have been made for any but his elect; for Christ either did pay the debts of all men or he did not; and if he did pay the debts of all men they are paid, and no man can be called to account for them. If Christ was the surety of every man living, then how in the name of common justice is Christ to be punished, and man punished too? If it be replied that the man would not accept the atonement, then I ask again, Was there a satisfaction given, for if so it was given whether the man accepts or not, or else satisfaction by itself is powerless until man puts efficacy in it, which is preposterous to suppose. If you take away from us the fact that Christ really did satisfy for those for whom he stood, we cry like Jacob, "If I am bereaved I am bereaved;" you have taken away all that is worth having, and what have you given us in its place? You have given us a redemption which confessedly does not redeem; you have given us an atonement which is made equally for the lost in hell and for the saved in heaven; and what is the intrinsic value of such an atonement? If you tell us that Christ made a satisfactory atonement for every one of the human race, we ask you how it was that he made atonement for those that must have been in the flames of hell thousands of years before he came into this world? 694.318


I fear me there are thousands of people who believe that Jesus died for them, who are not born of God, but rather are hardened in their sin by their groundless hopes of mercy. There is no particular efficacy in a man's assuming that Christ has died for him; for it is a mere truism, if it be true as some teach, that Jesus died for everybody. On such a theory every believer in a universal atonement would necessarily be born of god, which is very far from being the case. 979.139


I thank God I do not believe that I was redeemed the same way that Judas was, and no more. If so, I shall go to hell as Judas did. General redemption is not worth anything to anybody, for of itself it secures to no one a place in heaven: but the special redemption which does redeem, and redeems men out of the rest of mankind, is the redemption that is to be prayed for, and for which we shall praise God for ever and ever. 1225.175


He did not die to make men savable, but to save them. 2043.509


We do not believe in a universal redemption which extends even to those who were in hell before the Saviour died, and which includes the fallen angels as well as unrepentant men. 2785.303


I know there is a general aspect to redemption, which brings some good things to all men; but there is also the special aspect in it, which brings all good things to some men. 2877.166


Christ did not die for Judas as he did for Peter; he did not shed his blood for Demas as he shed it for Paul. 3012.531


We hold most firmly the doctrine of particular redemption, that Christ loved his Church, and gave himself for it; but we do not hold the doctrine of the limited value of his precious blood. There can be no limit to Deity, there must be infinite value in the atonement which was offered by him who is divine. The only limit of the atonement is in its design, and that design was that Christ should give eternal life to as many as the Father has given him; but in itself the atonement is sufficient for the salvation of the whole world, and if the entire race of mankind could be brought to believe in Jesus, there is enough efficacy in his precious blood to cleanse everyone born of woman from every sin that all of them have ever committed. 3278.568


Unless God can undeify himself, every soul that Christ died for he will have. 3293.124


There be those who say that Christ has thus given himself for every man now living, or that ever did or shall live. We are not able to subscribe to the statement, though there is a truth in it, that in a certain sense he is "the Saviour of all men," but then it is added, "Specially of them that believe." At any rate, dear hearer, let me tell thee one thing that is certain. Whether atonement may be said to be particular or general, there are none who partake in its real efficacy but certain characters, and those characters are known by certain infallible signs. 3513.245

UNLIMITED 14

Again let me remind you that the Scriptures plainly teach us that the atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ has a universal bearing; and it seems to me that those who limit the value of the atonement do most seriously err from the faith. I believe the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was so infinite that, if there had been ten thousand worlds full of sinners to have been redeemed, it was amply sufficient to have redeemed them all. 3012.530


The chosen are spoken of in this manner, "These are they which are redeemed from among men," and although the redemption of Christ has its universal aspect very plainly taught in God's Word, and I hope we shall never try to take away the force of those universal passages—yet there is a special redemption besides. 3358.278


Some preachers and professors affect to believe in a redemption which I must candidly confess I do not understand; it is so indistinct and indefinite—a redemption which does not redeem anybody in particular, though it is alleged to redeem everybody in general; a redemption insufficient to exempt thousands of unhappy souls from hell after they have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus; a redemption, indeed, which does not actually save anybody, because it is dependent for its efficacy upon the will of the creature; a redemption that lacks intrinsic virtue and inherent power to redeem anybody, but is entirely dependent upon an extraneous contingency to render it effectual. 3532.476