C.H. Spurgeon

“Ephraim is a cake not turned.” – [Hosea 7:8]

A cake not turned is uncooked on one side; and so Ephraim was, in many respects, untouched by divine grace: though there was some partial obedience, there was very much rebellion left. My soul, I charge thee, see whether this be thy case. Art thou thorough in the things of God? Has grace gone through the very centre of thy being so as to be felt in its divine operations in all thy powers, thy actions, thy words, and thy thoughts?

To be sanctified, spirit, soul, and body, should be thine aim and prayer; and although sanctification may not be perfect in thee anywhere in degree, yet it must be universal in its action; there must not be the appearance of holiness in one place and reigning sin in another, else thou, too, wilt be a cake not turned.

A cake not turned is soon burnt on the side nearest the fire, and although no man can have too much religion, there are some who seem burnt black with bigoted zeal for that part of truth which they have received, or are charred to a cinder with a vainglorious Pharisaic ostentation of those religious performances which suit their humour. The assumed appearance of superior sanctity frequently accompanies a total absence of all vital godliness. The saint in public is a devil in private. He deals in flour by day and in soot by night. The cake which is burned on one side, is dough on the other.

If it be so with me, O Lord, turn me! Turn my unsanctified nature to the fire of Thy love and let it feel the sacred glow, and let my burnt side cool a little while I learn my own weakness and want of heat when I am removed from Thy heavenly flame. Let me not be found a double-minded man, but one entirely under the powerful influence of reigning grace; for well I know if I am left like a cake unturned, and am not on both sides the subject of Thy grace, I must be consumed for ever amid everlasting burnings.




C.H. Spurgeon

“The man who is righteous before God has a way of his own. It is not the way of the flesh, nor the way of the world; it is a way marked out for him by the Divine command, in which he walks by faith. It is the king’s Highway of Holiness, the unclean shall not pass over it: only the ransomed of the Lord shall walk there, and these shall find it a path of separation from the world. Once entered upon the way of life, the pilgrim MUST persevere in it or perish, for thus saith the Lord ‘If any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him.’ [Heb 10:38]

Perseverance in the path of faith and holiness is a NECESSITY of the Christian, for only ‘he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ It is in vain to spring up quickly like the seed that was sown on the rock, and then by-and-by to wither when the sun is up; that would but prove that such a plant has no root in itself, but ‘the trees of the Lord are full of sap’ and they abide and continue and bring forth fruit, even in old age, to show that the Lord is upright. [Psalm 92:12-15]

THERE IS A GREAT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NOMINAL CHRISTIANITY AND REAL CHRISTIANITY, and this is generally seen in the failure of the one and the CONTINUANCE of the other. Now, the declaration of the text is, that the truly righteous man shall hold on his way: he shall not go back, he shall not leap the hedges and wander to the right hand or the left, he shall not lie down in idleness, neither shall he faint and cease to go upon his journey; but he ‘shall hold on his way.’ It will frequently be very difficult for him to do so, but he will have such resolution, such power of inward grace given him, that he will hold on his way’ with stern determination, as though he held on by his teeth, resolving never to let go. Perhaps he may not always travel with equal speed; it is not said that he shall hold on his pace, but he shall hold on his way.

There are times when we run and are not weary, and other times when we walk and are thankful that we do not faint; ay, and there are periods when we are glad to go on all fours and creep upwards with pain; but still we prove that ‘the righteous shall hold on his way.’ Under all difficulties the face of the man whom God has justified is steadfastly set towards Jerusalem, nor will he turn aside till his eyes shall see the King in His beauty. [Glory to God! M.J.]

This is a great wonder. It is a marvel that any man should be a Christian at all, and a GREATER WONDER THAT HE SHOULD CONTINUE SO. Consider the weakness of the flesh, the strength of inward corruption, the fury of Satanic temptation, the seductions of wealth and the pride of life, the world and its fashion; all these things are against us, and yet behold, “greater is HE who is for us than all those who are against us,” and defying sin, and Satan, and death, and hell, the righteous man holds on his way. [Hallelujah! M.J.]

The Scripture does not teach that a man will reach his journey’s end without continuing to travel along the road; it is not true that one act of faith is all, and that nothing is needed of daily faith, prayer, and watchfulness. Our doctrine is the VERY OPPOSITE, namely, that the righteous shall hold on his way; or, in other words, SHALL CONTINUE IN FAITH, IN REPENTANCE, IN PRAYER, AND UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF THE GRACE OF GOD. We do not believe in salvation by a physical force which treats a man as a dead log, and carries him whether he wishes or not towards heaven. No, “he holds on,” he is PERSONALLY ACTIVE ABOUT THE MATTER, and plods over hill and dale until he reaches his journey’s end.

We never thought, nor even dreamed; that merely because a man supposes that he once entered on this way he may therefore conclude that he is certain of salvation, even if he leaves the way immediately. No, but we say that he who truly receives the Holy Spirit, so that he believes in the Lord Jesus Christ, SHALL NOT GO BACK, BUT PERSEVERE IN THE WAY OF FAITH.

Though the believer to his grief will commit many a sin, yet still the tenor of his life will be holiness to the Lord, and he will hold on in the way of obedience. We detest the doctrine that a man who has once believed in Jesus will be saved even if he altogether forsook the path of obedience. We DENY that such a turning aside is possible for the true believer, and therefore the idea imputed to us is clearly an invention of the adversary.

No, beloved, a man, if he is indeed a believer in Christ, will not live according to the will of the flesh. When he does fall into sin it will be his grief and misery, and he will never rest until he is cleansed from guilt; but I will say this of the believer, that if he could live as he would like to live he would live a perfect life. If you ask him if, after believing, he may live as he wishes, he will reply, “Oh that I could live as I wish, for I desire to live altogether without sin. I would be perfect, even as my Father in heaven is perfect.” The doctrine is not the licentious idea that a believer may live in sin, but that he cannot and will not do so. This is the doctrine, and we will FIRST PROVE IT; and, secondly, in the Puritan sense of the word, we will briefly IMPROVE IT, by drawing two spiritual lessons from it.


We believe that God has an elect people whom he has chosen for eternal life, and that truth necessarily involves the perseverance in grace. We believe in special redemption, and this secures the salvation and resulting perseverance of the redeemed. We believe in effectual calling, which is bound up with justification, a justification which ensures glorification. The doctrines of grace are like a chain — IF YOU BELIEVE IN ONE OF THEM YOU MUST BELIEVE THE NEXT, FOR EACH ONE INVOLVES THE REST; THEREFORE I SAY THAT YOU WHO ACCEPT ANY OF THE DOCTRINES OF GRACE MUST RECEIVE THIS ALSO, AS INVOLVED IN THEM. But I am about to try to prove this to those who do not receive the doctrines of grace; I would not argue in a circle, and prove one thing which you doubt by another thing which you doubt, but “to the law and to the testimony,” to the actual words of Scripture we shall refer the matter.

Before we advance to the argument it will be well to remark that those who reject the doctrine frequently tell us that there are many cautions in the word of God against apostatizing, and that those cautions can have no meaning if it is true that the righteous shall hold on his way. But what if those cautions are the means in the hand of God of keeping his people from wandering? What if they are used to instill a holy fear in the minds of his children, and so become the means of preventing the evil which they denounce. I would also remind you that in the epistle to the Hebrews, which contains the most solemn warnings against apostasy, the apostle always takes care to add words which show that he did not believe that those whom he warned would actually apostatize.

In the sixth chapter he has been telling these Hebrews that if those who had been once enlightened should fall away, it would be impossible to renew them again into repentance, and he adds, “But, beloved, we are persuaded of better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we speak like this.” [Heb 6:9] In the tenth chapter he gives an equally earnest warning, declaring that those who should do despite to the spirit of grace are worthy of more severe punishment than those who despised Moses’ law, but he closes the chapter with these words, “Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man draws back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who draw back to perdition; but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.” [Heb 10:38,39] Hence he shows what the consequences of apostasy would be, but he is convinced that they will not choose to incur such a fearful doom.

Again, objectors sometimes mention examples of apostasy which are mentioned in the word of God, but on looking into them it will be discovered that these are cases of people who only professed to know Christ, but were not really possessors of the divine life. John, in his first Epistle, fully describes these apostates; “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out, so that it might be shown that they were not all of us.” [1Jo 2:19] The same is true of that memorable passage in John, where our Saviour speaks of branches of the vine which are cut off and cast into the fire; these are described as branches in Christ that bear no fruit. Are those real Christians? How can they be so if they bear no fruit? “By their fruits you shall know them.” [Mt 7:20] The branch which bears fruit is purged, but it is never cut off. Those which bear no fruit are not examples of true Christians, but they fitly represent mere professors. Our Lord, in Mt 7:22, tells us concerning many who will say in that day “Lord, Lord,” that he will reply, “I never knew you.” Not “I have forgotten you,” but “I never knew you”; they were never really his disciples.

But now we go to the argument itself. First we argue the perseverance of the saints, most distinctly FROM THE NATURE OF THE LIFE WHICH IS IMPARTED AT REGENERATION. What does Peter say concerning this life? He speaks of the people of God as “being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and remains forever.” [1Pe 1:23] The new life which is planted in us when we are born again is not like the fruit of our first birth, for that is subject to mortality, but it is a divine principle, which cannot die nor be corrupt; and, if it is so, then he who possesses it must live forever, must, indeed, be for evermore what the Spirit of God in regeneration has made him. So in the First Epistle of John we have the same thought in another form. “Whoever is born by God does not commit sin; for his seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born by God.” [1Jo 3:9] That is to say, the direction of the Christian’s life is not towards sin. It would not be a fair description of his life that he lives in sin; on the contrary, he fights and contends against sin, because he has an inner principle which cannot sin.

The new life does not sin; it is born by God, and cannot transgress; and though the old nature wars against it, yet the new life so prevails in the Christian that he is kept from living in sin. Our Saviour, in his simple teaching of the gospel to the Samaritan woman, said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whoever drinks from the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” [Joh 4:13,14] Now, if our Saviour taught this to a sinful and ignorant woman, at his first interview with her, I take it that this doctrine is not to be reserved for the inner circle of fully grown saints, but to be preached ordinarily among the common people, and to be held up as a most blessed privilege.

If you receive the grace which Jesus imparts to your souls, it shall be like the good part which Mary chose, it shall not be taken away from you; it shall remain in you, not as the water in a cistern, but as a living fountain springing up into everlasting life.

We all know that the life given in the new birth is intimately connected with faith. Now, faith is in itself a conquering principle. In the First Epistle of John, which is a great treasury of argument we are told, “Whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, except he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” [1Jo 5:4,5] See, then, what is born of God in us, namely, the new life, is a conquering principle; there is no hint given that it can ever be defeated; and faith, which is its outward sign, is also in itself triumphant for evermore.

Therefore by necessity, because God has implanted such a wondrous life in us in bringing us out of darkness into his marvellous light, because He has begotten us again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, because the eternal and ever-blessed Spirit has come to dwell in us, we conclude that the divine life within us shall NEVER DIE. “The righteous shall hold on his way.”

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C.H. Spurgeon

“And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge” [Eph 3:19] 

The love of Christ in its sweetness, its fulness, its greatness, its faithfulness, passeth all human comprehension. Where shall language be found which shall describe His matchless, His unparalleled love towards the children of men? It is so vast and boundless that, as the swallow but skimmeth the water, and diveth not into its depths, so all descriptive words but touch the surface, while depths immeasurable lie beneath. Well might the poet say, “O love, thou fathomless abyss!”

For this love of Christ is indeed measureless and fathomless; none can attain unto it. Before we can have any right idea of the love of Jesus, we must understand His previous glory in its height of majesty, and His incarnation upon the earth in all its depths of shame. But who can tell us the majesty of Christ? When he was enthroned in the highest heavens He was very God of very God; by Him were the heavens made, and all the hosts thereof. His own almighty arm upheld the spheres; the praises of cherubim and seraphim perpetually surrounded Him; the full chorus of the hallelujahs of the universe unceasingly flowed to the foot of His throne: He reigned supreme above all His creatures, God over all, blessed forever. Who can tell His height of glory then?

And who, on the other hand, can tell how low He descended? To be a man was something, to be a man of sorrows was far more; to bleed, and die, and suffer, these were much for Him who was the Son of God; but to suffer such unparalleled agony-to endure a death of shame and desertion by His Father, this is a depth of condescending love which the most inspired mind must utterly fail to fathom. Herein is love! and truly it is love that “passeth knowledge.” O let this love fill our hearts with adoring gratitude, and lead us to practical manifestations of its power. Amen!

Praise the Lord!




Many sincere preachers go around trying to convince people that they are ‘lost’. Fact is that most of them aren’t ‘lost’ for they are Goats; and the Sheep of God who are truly lost do not know that they are lost until the Spirit regenerates them! “I once was lost but now am found” can only be sung in sincerity by a sheep that’s been found! Here’s a good meditation by the beloved Spurgeon along the same lines – 


C.H. Spurgeon

If any man be saved, he is saved by Divine grace, and BY DIVINE GRACE ALONE; and the reason of his salvation is NOT TO BE FOUND IN HIM, BUT IN GOD. 

We are not saved as the result of anything that WE DO or that we will; but we will and do as the result of God’s good pleasure, and the work of His grace in our hearts. No sinner can prevent God; that is, he cannot go before Him, cannot anticipate Him; GOD IS ALWAYS FIRST IN THE MATTER OF SALVATION. He is before our convictions, before our desires, before our fears, before our hopes. All that is good or ever will be good in us, is preceded by the grace of God, and is the effect of a Divine cause within.

Now in speaking of God’s gracious acts of salvation, this morning, I notice first, that they are entirely UNMERITED. You will see that the people here mentioned certainly did not merit God’s grace. They found him, BUT THEY NEVER SOUGHT FOR HIM; he was made manifest to them, but THEY NEVER ASKED FOR HIM.


Ask all the saints of God, and they will tell you that their former life was spent in the lusts of the flesh; that in the days of their ignorance, they revolted against God and turned back from his ways, that when they were invited to come to Him THEY DESPISED THE INVITATION, AND, WHEN WARNED, CAST THE WARNING BEHIND THEIR BACK. They will tell you that their being drawn by God, was not the result of any merit before conversion; for some of them, so far from having any merit, WERE THE VERY VILEST OF THE VILE: they plunged into the very kennel of sin; they were not ashamed of all the things of which it would be a shame for us to speak; they were RINGLEADERS IN CRIME, very princes in the ranks of the enemy; and YET sovereign grace came to them, and they were brought to know the Lord.

They will tell you that it was not the result of ANYTHING GOOD IN THEIR DISPOSITION, for although they trust that there is now something excellent implanted in them, yet in the days of their flesh they could see no one quality which was not perverted to the service of Satan. Ask them whether they think they were chosen of God because of their courage; they will tell you, no; if they had courage it was defaced, for they were COURAGEOUS TO DO EVIL. Question them whether they were chosen of God because of their talent; they will tell you, no; they had that talent, but THEY PROSTITUTED IT TO THE SERVICE OF SATAN. Question them whether they were chosen because of the openness and generosity of their disposition; they will tell you that that very openness of temper, and that very generosity of disposition, led them to plunge deeper into the depths of sin, than they otherwise would have done, for they were “hail fellow, well met,” with every evil man, and ready to drink and join every jovial party which should come in their way. There was in them NO REASON WHATEVER why God should have mercy upon them, and THE WONDER TO THEM IS THAT HE DID NOT CUT THEM DOWN IN THE MIDST OF THEIR SINS, BLOT OUT THEIR NAMES FROM THE BOOK OF LIFE, AND SWEEP THEM INTO THE GULF WHERE THE FIRE BURNETH. THAT SHALL DEVOUR THE WICKED.

But some have said that God chooses His people because He foresees that after he chooses them, they will do this, that, and the other, which shall be meritorious and excellent. Refer again to the people of God, and they will tell you that since their conversion they have had much to weep over. Although they can rejoice that God has begun the good work in them, THEY OFTEN TREMBLE LEST IT SHOULD NOT BE GOD’S WORK AT ALL. They will tell you that if they are abundant in faith yet THERE ARE TIMES WHEN THEY ARE SUPERABUNDANT IN UNBELIEF; that if sometimes they are full of works of holiness, yet there are times when they weep many tears to think that those very acts of holiness were stained with sin. The Christian will tell you that he weeps over his very tears; he feels that THERE IS FILTH EVEN IN THE BEST OF DESIRES; THAT HE HAS TO PRAY TO GOD TO FORGIVE HIS PRAYERS, FOR THERE IS SIN IN THE MIDST OF HIS SUPPLICATIONS, and that he has to sprinkle even his best offerings with the atoning blood, for he never else can bring an offering without spot or blemish.

You shall appeal to the brightest saint, to the man whose presence in the midst of society is like the presence of an angel, and he will tell you that he is still ashamed of himself. “Ah!” he will say, “you may praise me, but I cannot praise myself, you speak well of me, you applaud me, but if you knew my heart you would see abundant reason to think of me as a poor sinner saved by grace, who hath nothing whereof to glory, and must bow his head and confess his iniquities in the sight of God.”


Again, the grace of God is SOVEREIGN. By that word we mean that God has an absolute right to GIVE THAT GRACE WHERE HE CHOOSES, and to WITHHOLD IT WHEN HE PLEASES. HE IS NOT BOUND TO GIVE IT TO ANY MAN, MUCH LESS TO ALL MEN; and if He chooses to give it to one man and not to another, His answer is, “Is thine eye evil because mine eye is good? Can I not do as I will with mine own? I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.” Now, I want you to notice the sovereignty of Divine grace as illustrated in the text: “I was found of them that sought Me not, I was made manifest to them that asked not after Me.” You would imagine that if God gave His grace to any He would wait until he found them earnestly seeking Him. You would imagine that God in the highest heavens would say, “I have mercies, but I will leave men alone, and when they feel their need of these mercies and seek Me diligently with their whole heart, day and night, with tears, and vows, and supplications, then will I bless them, but not before.”

But, beloved, God saith no such thing. It is true He doth bless them that cry unto Him, but He blesses them before they cry, for their cries are not their OWN CRIES, BUT CRIES WHICH HE HAS PUT INTO THEIR LIPS; their desires are not of their own growth, but desires which He has cast like good seed into the soil of their hearts.


Oh, wonder of wonders! It is mercy indeed when God saves a seeker; but how much greater mercy when He seeks the lost himself! Mark the parable of Jesus Christ concerning the lost sheep; it does not run thus: “A certain man had a hundred sheep, and one of them did go astray. And he tarried at home, and lo, the sheep came back, and he received it joyfully and said to his friends, rejoice, for the sheep that I have lost is come back.” NO; he WENT AFTER the sheep: it never would have come after Him; it would have wandered farther and farther away. He went after it; over hills of difficulty, down valleys of despondency He pursued its wandering feet, and at last He laid hold of it; He did not drive it before him, He did not lead it, but He carried it himself all the way, and when He brought it home He did not say, THE SHEEP IS COME BACK,” BUT, “I HAVE FOUND THE SHEEP WHICH WAS LOST.”


If you are desiring him He desired you first, and your good desires and earnest seeking will not be the CAUSE of your salvation, but the EFFECTS of previous grace given to you. “Well,” says another, “I should have thought that although the Saviour might not require an earnest seeking and sighing and groaning, and a continuous searching, after Him, yet certainly He would have desired and demanded that every man, before he had grace, should ask for it.” That, indeed, beloved, seems natural, and God will give grace to them that ask for it; but mark, the text says that he was manifested “to them that asked not for Him.” That is to say, BEFORE we ask, God gives us grace.


I remember, when I was converted to God, I WAS AN ARMINIAN THOROUGHLY. I thought I had begun the good work myself, and I used sometimes to sit down and think, “Well, I sought the Lord four years before I found him,” and I think I began to compliment myself upon the fact that I had perseveringly entreated of Him in the midst of much discouragement. But one day the thought struck me, “How was it you came to seek God?” and in an instant the answer came from my soul, “Why, because He led me to do it; He must first have shown me my need of Him, or else I should never have sought Him; He must have shown me His preciousness, or I never should have thought Him worth seeking;” and AT ONCE I SAW THE DOCTRINES OF GRACE AS CLEAR AS POSSIBLE.

GOD MUST BEGIN. Nature can never rise above itself. You put water into a reservoir, and it will rise as high as that, but no higher if let alone. Now, IT IS NOT IN HUMAN NATURE TO SEEK THE LORD. HUMAN NATURE IS DEPRAVED, and therefore, there must be the extraordinary pressure of the Holy Spirit put upon the heart to lead us first to ask for mercy. But mark, we do not know any thing about that, while the Spirit is operating; we find that out AFTERWARDS. We ask as much as if we were asking all of ourselves. Our business is to seek the Lord as if there were no Holy Spirit at all. But although we do not know it, there must always be a previous motion of the Spirit in our heart, before there will be a motion of our heart towards Him.

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 All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.”—John 6:37.

Look at the text before us. Here we have, in two small sentences, the sum and substance of all theology. The great questions which have divided the Church in all ages, the apparently contradictory doctrines which have set one minister of Christ against his fellow, are here revealed so simply and plainly, “that he may run that readeth it” (Habakkuk 2:2).

Even a child may understand the Words of Christ, though perhaps the loftiest human intellect cannot fathom the mystery hidden therein.

Take the first sentence of my text: “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me.” What a weighty sentence! Here we have taught us what is called, in the present day, “High Calvinistic doctrine”—the purpose of God; the certainty that God’s purpose will stand; the invincibility of God’s will; and the absolute assurance that Christ “shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied.”

Look at the second sentence of my text: “And him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” Here we have the richness, the fullness, the unlimited extent of the power of Christ to save those who put their trust in Him. Here is a text upon which one might preach a thousand sermons. We might take these two sentences as a life-long text, and never exhaust the theme.

It rests, you perceive, not on something which man does, but on something which God the Father does. The Father gives certain persons to His Son, and the Son says, “All that the Father giveth Me Shall come to Me.” I take it that the meaning of the text is this,—that, if any do come to Jesus Christ, it is those whom the Father gave to Christ. And the reason why they come,—if we search to the very bottom of things,—is, that the Father puts it into their hearts to come.

The reason why one man is saved, and another man is lost, is to be found in God; not in anything which the saved man did, or did not do; not in anything which he felt, or did not feel; but in something altogether irrespective of himself, even in the sovereign grace of God. In the day of God’s power, the saved are made willing to give their souls to Jesus.

Miss Much-afraid, and Mrs. Despondency, and Mr. Feeble-mind, shall as certainly come to the arms of Christ, as Mr. Great-heart, and Mr. Faithful, and Mr. Valiant-for-Truth. If one jewel were lost from Christ’s crown, then Christ’s crown would not be all-glorious. If one member of the body of Christ were to perish, Christ’s body would not be complete. If one of those who are one with Christ should miss his way to eternal life, Christ would not be a perfect Christ.


But suppose it should be one of those who are living in the interior of Africa, and he does not hear the gospel; what then?” He shall hear the gospel; either he shall come to the gospel, or the gospel shall go to him. Even if no minister should go to such a chosen one, he would have the gospel specially revealed to him rather than that the promise of the Almighty God should be broken.

“But suppose there should be one of God’s chosen who has become so bad that there is no hope for him? He never attends a place of worship; never listens to the gospel; the voice of the preacher never reaches him; he has grown hardened in his sin, like steel that has been seven times annealed in the fire; what then?” That man shall be arrested by God’s grace, and that obdurate, hard-hearted one shall be made to see the mercy of God; the tears shall stream down his cheeks, and he shall be made willing to receive Jesus as Saviour. I think that, as God could bend my will, and bring me to Christ, He can bring anybody.

Why was I made to hear His voice,

And enter while there’s room;

When thousands make a wretched choice,

And rather starve than come?

‘Twas the same love that spread the feast,

That sweetly forced me in;

Else I had still refused to taste,

And perished in my sin.”





C.H. Spurgeon

“Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and REST A WHILE.” [Mark 6:31]

What! When the people are fainting? When the multitudes are like sheep upon the mountains without a shepherd? Does Jesus talk of rest? When Scribes and Pharisees, like grievous wolves, are rending the flock, does he take his followers on an excursion into a quiet resting place? Does some red-hot zealot denounce such atrocious forgetfulness of present and pressing demands? Let him rave in his folly. The Master knows better than to exhaust his servants and quench the light of Israel.

REST TIME IS NOT WASTE TIME. It is economy to gather fresh strength. Look at the mower in the summer a day, with so much to cut down ere the sun sets. He pauses in his labour, is he a sluggard? He looks for his stone, and begins to draw it up and down his scythe, with “rink-a-tink—rink-a-tink—rink-a-tink.” Is that idle music? is he wasting precious moments? How much he might have mown while he has been ringing out those notes on his scythe! But he is sharpening his tool, and he will do far more when once again he gives his strength to those long sweeps which lay the grass prostrate in rows before him. Even thus a LITTLE PAUSE prepares the mind for GREATER SERVICE in the good cause.

Fishermen must mend their nets, and we must every now and then repair our mental waste and set our machinery in order for future service. To tug the oar from day to day, like a galley-slave who knows no holidays, suits not mortal men. Mill-streams go on and on forever, but we must have our pauses and our intervals. Who can help being out of breath when the race is continued without intermission? Even beasts of burden must be turned out to grass occasionally; the very sea pauses at ebb and flood; earth keeps the Sabbath of the wintry months; and man, even when exalted to be God’s ambassador, must rest or faint; must trim his lamp or let it burn low; must recruit his vigour or grow prematurely old.

It is wisdom to take occasional furlough. IN THE LONG RUN, WE SHALL DO MORE BY SOMETIMES DOING LESS. On, on, on forever, without recreation, may suit spirits emancipated from this “heavy clay,” but while we are in this tabernacle, we must every now and then cry halt, and serve the Lord by holy inaction and consecrated leisure. Let no tender conscience doubt the lawfulness of going out of harness for awhile, but learn from the experience of others the necessity and duty of taking timely rest.

“For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength!” [Isaiah 30:15]




“Cursed be the man before the Lord, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho!” Joshua 6:26

Since he was cursed who rebuilt Jericho, much more the man who labours to restore Popery among us. In our fathers’ days the gigantic walls of Popery fell by the power of their faith, the perseverance of their efforts, and the blast of their gospel trumpets; and now there are some who would rebuild that accursed system upon its old foundations. O Lord, be please to thwart their unrighteous endeavours, and pull down every stone which they build.

(Sadly the celebration of Christ-mass happens to be one of those massive stones! – M.J.)

It should be a serious business with us to be thoroughly purged of every error which may have a tendency to foster the spirit of Popery, and when we have made a clean sweep at home we should seek in every way to oppose its all too rapid spread abroad in the church and in the world.

( That means don’t just pussy foot, cough and wheeze like many of the ‘panty-waist’ preachers in the land and justify this adulterous child of the Great Whore (Rev 17:1) by saying you are trying to put Christ back where He never was to start with; but
“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins! And warn them to “come out of her lest they be partakers of her sins and receive of her plagues!” – Isa 58:1; rev 18:4 )

This last can be done in secret by fervent prayer, and in public by decided testimony. We must warn with judicious boldness those who are inclined towards the errors of Rome; we must instruct the young in gospel truth, and tell them of the black doings of Popery in the olden times. We must aid in spreading the light more thoroughly through the land, for priests, like owls, hate daylight.

Are we doing all we can for Jesus and the gospel? If not, our negligence plays into the hands of priestcraft. What are we doing to spread the Bible, which is the Pope’s bane and poison? Are we casting abroad good, sound gospel writings? Luther once said, ‘The devil hates goose quills,’ and doubtless, he has good reason, for ready writers, by the Holy Spirit’s blessing, have done his kingdom much damage. If the thousands who will read this short word this night will do all they can to hinder the rebuilding of his accursed Jericho, the Lord’s glory shall speed among the sons of men.

Reader, what can you do? What will you do?”

(Well, for a start you can share this post and others like it and dare to be counted among His despised ones! 1Cor 4:10)

Condensed and paraphrased from Spurgeon’s ‘Evening by Evening’ by Michael Jeshurun




C.H. Spurgeon

“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.” Proverbs 19:21

“Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?” Proverbs 20:24

Do not judge divine providence in little pieces — it is a grand mosaic, and must be seen as a whole.

The Lord’s wisdom is seen in arranging the smallest events so as to produce great results. We frequently hear people say of a pleasant or a great event, “What a providence! This is the finger of God!” — while they are silent as to anything which appears less important, or has an unpleasant savor.

But the place of the flower upon the hillside — is as fixed as the station of a king! And the dust which is raised by a cart-wheel — is as surely steered by divine providence as the planet in its orbit!

There is as much providence in the creeping of an insect upon a rose leaf — as in the marching of an army to ravage a continent!

Everything, the most minute, as well as the most magnificent — is ordered by the Lord who has prepared His throne in the heavens, whose kingdom rules over all.

Whatever the event may be, the attentive eye will as clearly see the Lord’s providential hand.

I am sure that God is in the world, yes, and is at my own fireside, and in my chamber — and manages my affairs, and orders all things for me, and for each one of His redeemed children. We need no miracles to convince us of His working, the wonders of His providence are as great marvels as miracles themselves.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.!” [Romans 8:28]


Christ’s Lily – His Church

Christ’s Lily – His Church

C.H. Spurgeon

“As the lily among thorns, so is My Love among the daughters.” [Sos 2:2]

He styles her, “My Love” i.e. “My darling.” An exquisitely sweet name; as if His love had all gone forth from Him, and had become embodied in her. The first point then of her relation to Christ is that she has His DARLING. Think of it, and let the blessed truth dwell long and sweetly in your meditations. The Lord of life and glory, the Prince of the kings of the earth, has such a loving heart that He must have an object upon which to spend His affection; and His people, chosen from among men, whom he calls His church, these are they who are His “love,” the object of His supreme delight. “Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it.”

He looked on His people and he exclaimed, “as the Father has loved me even so have I loved you.” Every believer, separated from mankind, and called unto the fellowship of Christ, is also the peculiar object of His love. Not in name only, but in deed and in truth, does Jesus love each one of us who have believed on Him. You may each one of you say with the apostle, “He loved me”; you may read it in any tense you please- He loved me; He loves me; He will love me, for He gave Himself for me. This shall be your song in heaven, “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, to Him be glory.”

This love is DISTINGUISHING love, for in its light one special object shines as a lily, and the rest, “the daughters,” are as thorns. Love has fixed on its chosen object, and compared with the favored one all others are as nothing. There is a love of Jesus which goes forth to all mankind, for “the Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works”; but there is a special and peculiar love which He bears to His own.

As a man loves his neighbors but still he has a special affection for his own wife, so is the church Christ’s bride, beloved above all the rest of mankind, and every individual believer is the favored one of heaven. The saint is united to Christ by a mystical union, a spiritual marriage bond, and above all others, Christ loves the souls espoused to Him. He said once, “I pray for them. I pray not for the world, but for them which you have given me;” thus indicating that there is a specialty about His intercession.

We rejoice in the largeness and the width of Jesus’ love, but we do not therefore doubt its specialty. The sun shines on all things, but when it is focussed upon one point, ah, then there is a heat about it of which you little dreamed! The love of Jesus is focussed on those whom the Father has given Him. Upon you, my brother or sister, if indeed you are a believer in Jesus Christ, the Lord’s heart is set, and he speaks of you in the words of the text as “my love,” loved above all the daughters, precious in His sight and honorable, so that he will give men for you and people for your life.

Observe that this is a love which he OPENLY AVOWS. The bridegroom speaks and says before all men, “As a lily among thorns, so is my darling among the daughters.” He puts it upon record in that book which is more widely scattered than any other, for he is not ashamed to have it published on the housetops. The love of Christ was at first hidden in His heart, but it soon revealed itself, for even of old His delights were with the sons of men, and he bent His steps downward to this world in divers forms before ever Bethlehem’s song was sung. And now, since the incarnate God has loved, and lived, and died, He has unveiled His love in the most open form, and astonished heaven and earth thereby.

On Calvary He set up an open proclamation, written in His own heart’s blood, that He loved His own people even unto the end. He bids His ministers proclaim it to the world’s end, that many waters could not quench His love, neither could the floods drown it; and that neither life, nor death, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. He would have it known, for he is not ashamed to call His people “the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” He declares it that His adversaries may know it, that He has a people in whom His heart delights, and these he will have and hold as His own, when heaven and earth shall pass away.

Note, too, that He who gave the beauty is the first to see it. While they are unknown to the world Jesus knows His own. Long before anybody else sees any virtue or any praise in us, Jesus observes it, and is pleased therewith. He is quick to say, “Behold, he prays,” or “Behold, he repents.” He is the first to say, “I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself.”

Love’s eyes are quick, and her ears are open. Love covers a multitude of faults, but it discovers a multitude of beauties. Can it be so, O my soul, can it be so that Christ has made you lovely in His loveliness? Has He shed a beauty upon you, and does He Himself look complacently upon it? He whose taste is exquisite, and whose voice is the truth, who never calls that beautiful which is not beautiful, can he see a beauty in your sighs and tears, in your desires after holiness, in your poor attempts to aid His cause, in your prayers and in your songs, and in your heart’s love towards Him.

Can He see a beauty in these? Yes, assuredly He can, or He would not speak as He does in this text. Let His condescending discernment have all honor for this generous appreciation of us. Let us bless and love Him because he deigns to think so highly of us who owe everything to Him. “You are,” says He, “my darling, as the lily.”

“As the lily among thorns” wears also another meaning. Dr. Thompson writes of a certain lily, “It grows among thorns, and I have sadly lacerated my hands in extricating it from them. Nothing can be in higher contrast than the luxuriant, velvety softness of this lily, and the withered, tangled hedge of thorns about it.” Ah, beloved, you know who it was that in gathering your soul and mine, lacerated not His hand only, but His feet, and His head, and His side, and His heart, yes, and His inmost soul. He spied us out, and said, “Yonder lily is mine, and I will have it”; but the thorns were a terrible barrier; our sins had gathered round about us, and the wrath of God most sharply stopped the way. Jesus pressed through all, that we might be His; and now when he takes us to Himself he does not forget the thorns which girded His brow, and tore His flesh, for our sakes.

This then is a part of our relationship to Christ, that we cost Him very dear. He saw us where we were, and He came to our deliverance; and now, even as Pharaoh’s daughter called the young child’s name “Moses,” “because,” said she, “I drew him out of the water,” so does Jesus call His chosen “the lily among thorns,” because such she was when he came to her rescue. Never will he forget Calvary and its thorns, nor should His saints allow the memory thereof to fade. Amen!




C.H. Spurgeon

“And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish Thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish Thou it.” ]Psalm 90:17]

Brethren, what a beauty is this which the Lord gives—“the beauty of the Lord our God!” This comeliness is the beauty of His grace, for our covenant God is the God of all grace. If the Lord makes us to know that we are His, our faces shine. If He fills us with His life and love, then brightness flashes from the eyes and there is a grace about every movement. This “beauty” means holiness, for holiness is the beauty of God. If the Holy Spirit works in you the beauty of holiness, you will rise superior to your afflictions. If this church shall be made the holier by its bereavements, we shall gain much by our losses.

This beauty of the Lord must surely mean His presence with us. As the sun, beautifies all things, so does God’s presence. When we know that Jesus is with us, when we feel that He is our helper, when we bask in His love, when He abides with us in power, this is the beauty of the saints. If we have Christ in us, Christ with us, we can bear any amount of trouble— “I can do all things, or can bear All suffering if my Lord is there.”

This beauty gives to the believer attractiveness in the eyes of men. They perceive that we have been with Jesus, and they behold our faces shining like the faces of angels. It is a great thing when a Christian is so happy, so holy and so heavenly that he attracts others to Christ, and people seek his company because they perceive that he has been in the company of the blessed Lord.

“Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He hath glorified thee.” [Isaiah 55:5]

Praise the Lord!