Knowing the worth and joy of life yourself, pray very earnestly that God would give it to others. Look on the dead in sin, but not with stony eyes. Look on them with tears. Even if I knew that my hearers must be lost, I would pray God to help me to weep over them, because our Savior’s tears over Jerusalem, you remember, were accompanied with a distinct indication that Jerusalem would be destroyed. “Oh, that thou hadst known, even thou, in this thy day, the things which make for thy peace! But now are they hid from thine eyes.” Still he wept. We have no such terrible knowledge about the destiny of any man. We look hopefully upon you unconverted people, and we exhort you because we expect you to believe in Jesus. We sincerely trust that yet you will be saved, and therefore we pray for you in hope. May the Lord in infinite mercy lead you to feel for yourselves, and pray for yourselves. “Quicken thou me” (Psalm 119:25).
—Charles H. Spurgeon
The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Sermon “Enlivening And Invigorating,” Sermon no. 1350, Psalm 119:25 (Banner of Truth Trust, 1876).
Love will dispose to walk humbly among men. For real and dear love will dispose men to high thoughts of [others]; and Christian love disposes men to think others better than themselves. Love will dispose men to honor one another. For we are naturally inclined to think honorably of those whom we love, and to give them honor. So that those precepts in 1 Peter 2:17 are fulfilled by love, “Honor all men.” And Philippians 2:3, “In lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Love will dispose to contentment in the station in which God hath set him, without coveting anything which his neighbor possesses, or envying him any good thing which he has. Love will dispose men to meekness and gentleness in their carriage towards their neighbors, and not to treat them with passion or violence, but with moderation and calmness. Love checks and restrains a bitter spirit. For love has no bitterness in it. It is altogether a sweet disposition and affection of the soul. Love will prevent broils and quarrels, and will dispose to peaceableness. Love will dispose men to forgive injuries, which they receive from their neighbors. Proverbs 10:12, “Hatred stirreth up strifes; but love covereth all sins.” Love will dispose men to all acts of mercy towards our neighbor who is under any affliction or calamity. For we are naturally disposed to pity those whom we love when they are afflicted. This would dispose men to give to the poor, and bear one another’s burdens, to weep with those that weep, and rejoice with those that rejoice.
Ethical Writings, The Works of Jonathan Edwards (Yale University Press, 1989), 135–136.
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.—PSALM 51:5.
The end of the ministry of the gospel is to bring sinners unto Christ. Their way to this end lies through the sense of their misery without Christ. The ingredients of this misery, are our sinfulness, original and actual; the wrath of God, whereto sin has exposed us; and our impotency to free ourselves either from sin or wrath. That we may therefore promote this great end, we shall endeavour, as the Lord will assist, to lead you in this way, by the sense of misery, to him who alone can deliver from it. Now the original of our misery being the corruption of our natures, or original sin, we thought fit to begin here, and therefore have pitched upon these words as very proper for our purpose.
The Works of David Clarkson, vol. 1 (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1864), 3.
One of the greatest needs of our times is for living, biblical churches. No other institution can adequately replace them. Every Christian ought to give much thought and prayer to this subject., and then order his life in such a way as to further the work of God’s true churches. This is not a time for an apathetic, easy-going attitude toward churches. The needs are great. The pressures of ungodliness are heavy. Those who demean God’s churches are legion. Let us, then, rise up and go forth with boldness to declare ourselves servants of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by following His will in His local church wherever His providence directs us.
—Daniel E. Wray
The Importance of the Local Church (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1990), 15.
“Pearls do not lose their worth though swine trample upon them.”
Scriptural truth is none the less worthy to be held and proclaimed because foolish and depraved men pervert it to their own destruction. A knife is a very useful article; and, though some have committed suicide by its means, it is no reason why knives should be discarded. The doctrines of grace are pearls even after Antinomians have turned them over. Justification by faith is the crown-jewel of the gospel, though hypocrites abuse it. Every truth is perverted by polluted minds, but this is no reason for our renouncing what God has revealed; rather is it a strong argument for adorning the doctrine of our Saviour in all things.
My heart, see thou to it that the doctrines of grace are honored at thy hands. Since so many pour contempt upon them, do thou hold them in high esteem, and by thy life make them to be esteemed by others.
—Charles H. Spurgeon
Flowers from a Puritan’s Garden (Passmore & Alabaster, 1883).