Tuesday, December 27, 2011

FIVE ESSENTIAL DOCTRINES TO BELIEVE IN--J.C. RYLE


1. The Absolute Supremacy of Holy Scripture
Show us anything, plainly written, in that Book, we will receive it, believe it, and submit to it. Show us anything contrary to that Book, and however sophisticated, plausible, beautiful and apparently desirable, we will not have it at any price.

2. The Doctrine of Human Sinfulness and Corruption
Man is radically diseased. I believe that ignorance of the extent of the Fall, and of the whole doctrine of original sin, is one grand reason why many can neither understand, appreciate, nor receive Evangelical Religion.

3. The Work and Office of our Lord Jesus Christ
The eternal Son of God is our Representative and Substitute. We maintain that people ought to be continually warned not to make a Christ of the Church. We hold that nothing whatever is needed between the soul of man the sinner, and Christ the Savior, but simple child-like faith.

4. The Inward Work of the Holy Spirit
We maintain that the things which need most to be pressed on men’s attention are those mighty works of the Holy Spirit–inward repentance, faith, hope, hatred of sin, and love to God’s law. We say that to tell men to take comfort in their baptism or church membership when these all-important graces are unknown, is not merely a mistake, but positive cruelty.

5. The Outward and Visible Work of the Holy Spirit in the Life of Man
We maintain that to tell a man he is “born of God” or regenerated, while living in carelessness or sin, is a dangerous delusion. It is the position we assign to these five points which is one of the grand characteristics of Evangelical theology. We say boldly that they are first, foremost, chief and principal things in Christianity.
~ J.C. Ryle

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

THE HARD WORK OF THE MINISTRY--CHARLES SPURGEON


The man who does not make hard work of his ministry will find it very hard work to answer for his idleness at the last great day. A gentleman who wants an easy life should never think of occupying the Christian pulpit, he is out of place there, and when he gets there the only advice I can give him is to get out of it as soon as possible; and if he will not leave the position voluntarily, I call to mind the language of Jehu concerning Jezebel, Fling her down, and think the advice applicable to a lazy minister. An idler has no right in the pulpit. He is an instrument of Satan in damning the souls of men.

The ministry demands brain labour; the preacher must throw his thought into his teaching, and read and study to keep his mind in good trim. He must not weary the people by telling them the truth in a stale, unprofitable manner, with nothing fresh from his own soul to give force to it. Above all, he must put heart work into his preaching. He must feel what he preaches: it must never be with him an easy thing to deliver a sermon; he must as if he could preach his very life away ere the sermon is done. There must be soul work in it, the entire man must be stirred up to effort, and the whole nature that God has endowed him with must be concentrated with all its vigour upon the work in hand. Such men we want.

To stand and drone out a sermon in a kind of articulate snoring to a people who are somewhere between awake and asleep must be wretched work. I wonder what kind of excuse will be given by some men at last for having habitually done this. To promulgate a dry creed, and go over certain doctrines, and expound and enforce them logically, but never to deal with men’s consciences, never to upbraid them for their sins, never to tell them of their danger, never to invite them to a Saviour with tears and entreaties! What a powerless work is this! What will become of such preachers? God have mercy upon them! We want labourers, not loiterers. We need men on fire, and I beseech you ask God to send them.-C.H. Spurgeon

Friday, December 2, 2011

MATTHEW HENRY WAS ROBBED

Many years ago, Matthew Henry, a well-known Bible scholar, was once robbed of his wallet. Knowing that it was his duty to give thanks in everything, he meditated on this incident and recorded in his diary the following:

Let me be thankful, first, because he never robbed me before; 

second, because although he took my purse, he did not take my life; 

third, because although he took all I possessed, it was not much; and 

fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.

Matthew Henry (1662-1714)


Friday, November 25, 2011

TWELVE FACTS ABOUT THE TRUE CHURCH --W.F. BELL



The true church is no particular denomination, though there are many true Christians in the various denominations.

The true church is not about entertaining people, producing shows, or making people feel comfortable in their sins.

The true church of Christ proclaims truth, righteousness, and holiness, as it magnifies the grace of God in Christ.

The true church is spiritual in nature, not carnal or worldly, so this spiritual body is out of step with the world.

The true church has Christ as the chief cornerstone, and his holy apostles and prophets as its only foundation.

The true church is composed of all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, and they are vitally one in him alone.

The true church of Christ is dependent upon no man as priest, vicar, minister, or pope to carry on its existence.

The true church proclaims the Lord Jesus Christ as the Mighty Savior of sinners, who never fails to save God's elect.

The true church will always be in the world, can never be extinguished, and does know true unity in the Spirit.

The true church's members all have the same marks of repentance, faith, holiness of life, and hatred of sin.

The true church has no boundaries, no official headquarters, and cannot be identified by human  buildings or creeds.

The true church is inward, not outward, so cannot be joined humanly, though is revealed in local assemblies.

"I will build my church."  Matthew 16:18 

"Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it."  Ephesians 5:25

"And he is the head of the body, the church."  Colossians 1:18

"To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven."  Hebrews 12:23

The solemn question is, "Do YOU belong to this one true church?"

Friday, November 11, 2011

EVERY STORM OUTRIDE------W.F. BELL

Sin-burdened soul, with tempest tossed,
Thy bark shall every storm outride;
Grace once received can ne'er be lost,
Nor hell from Christ thy soul divide.

These precious words from John Kent (1766-1843) say in a quaint way what the gospel is all about.  Sinners cannot save themselves, for they are "sin-burdened" and "tempest tossed."  But "grace" comes to us in sweet sovereignty to rescue us, enabling our "bark" to safely "every storm outride."  Not even "hell" itself can sever one soul from the hands of our mighty Savior, for "Grace once received can ne'er be lost."

The doctrine of perseverance is often either misunderstood or mistaught.  This doctrine does not mean we hope to be saved if we can just hold out, as maybe we can be faithful enough within ourselves to "endure to the end," others not being so "lucky."  "Enduring, faithful, holding fast, patient to the end, clinging, trusting, believing, being steadfast, overcoming," are all important words in the New Testament regarding "the perseverance of the saints."  But God's superabounding grace alone puts us on this journey, and keeps us all the way to journey's end, as beautifully illustrated by John Bunyan in his The Pilgrim's Progress.  We remind you that Bunyan rightly named his pilgrim "Graceless" before becoming "Christian."  Indeed, the grace of God made the difference for Graceless, and makes the same difference for us!

"Every storm outride."  Here is the true doctrine in all its glory.  Not that we have smooth sailing.  Never.  Not that we have cloudless days, with no storms.  Never.  Not that there are not tears and sorrows in abundance.  Never.  Not that we never know "fiery trials."  Not that we cannot sin and fall, and lose our joy, and our hopes for heaven become dim.  Not that we have "full assurance" at all times (sometimes we have no "assurance" at all).  Not that we cannot be hurt deeply in running this race to glory, for we can lose heart, grow faint and weary, even "in well doing."  "But God."  Yes, by God's mercy we keep going, for grace has not been bestowed upon us "in vain," and according to Paul, this was what made him "labor abundantly" (I Corinthians 15:10).  Yes, grace makes us work and pray and study and persevere!

So, once again, let us be reminded that "grace bestowed" or "grace received" is the fuel that keeps us going.  It is not our human faith, our human abilities, our human wisdom, our cleverness, or our "good luck."  GRACE ALONE keeps us and preserves us, and no devil or power, things now or later, not even death itself, can ever "separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).  In a world gone mad with lust and greed and war and unbelief and doubt, we need this message to comfort us and assure us.  Let us continue to "outride" these and all other storms, and after our "bark" safely reaches Glorification Harbor (The Day of Rapture or Resurrection), we shall render to our most worthy Captain all praise and glory "forever and ever" (I Peter 5:10-11).  God's people are indeed "more than conquerors," but ONLY "through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37). 

Friday, November 4, 2011

PUTTING ON THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST

BY ROBERT MURRAY MCCHEYNE

If, then, dread of God, and hatred of God, be the cause of all our sins, how shall we be cured of the love of sin, but by taking away the cause? How do you most effectually kill the noxious weed? Is it not by striking at the root? In the love of Christ to man then—in that strange, unspeakable gift of God, when He laid down His life for His enemies, when He died the just for the unjust that He might bring us to God—do not you see an object which, if really believed by the sinner, takes away all his dread and all his hatred of God? The root of sin is severed from the stock. 

In His bearing double for all our sins, we see the curse carried away, we see God reconciled. Why should we fear anymore? Not fearing, why should we hate God anymore? Not hating God, what desirableness can we see in sin anymore? Putting on the righteousness of Christ, we are again placed as Adam was, with God as our friend. We have no object in sinning; and, therefore, we do not care to sin.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

BEING DEAD EARNEST----JAMES A. STEWART

"Which things the angels desire to look into" (I Peter 1:12)
Oh God, make us likewise dead in earnest! No man can be dead in earnest for the salvation of others who has not been dead earnest in contemplating and evaluating the glory of his own salvation. How pathetic that many professed Christians never ponder or meditate deeply into the wonders of sovereign grace.
Duncan Mathieson, that fiery Scottish evangelist who labored in the Highlands, was a man filled with the wonder of redeeming grace and thus was in earnest for the salvation of the lost. Often he cried out in the midst of his message, "Eternity is stamped on my eyeballs. I have seen a sight which has dimmed the glory of all else!"
While stricken at Aberdeen of a painful internal malady, he spoke in a solemn manner to a gathering in a house he visited. Upon reaching his own home he became very ill and in his fevered condition his mind began to wander. He imagined he was ad­dressing a group of theological students at Edinburgh. Rising from bed, he cried, "Up young men, souls are perishing! Up, and aim at sinners!"
James Turner, another fellow Scot, a fisherman by profession and a mighty revivalist, was also dead in earnest. Those who saw him tell us that his intenseness was awe-inspiring. He knew that he was dying of consumption and that his days were num­bered, and so he travelled all over the towns of the Scottish east coast, sounding the alarm for sinners to escape from the wrath of God. At the close of his life, spent and ill in health, he cried on his sick bed, "Oh to live at Jesus' feet and to gather in souls in armfuls for our blessed Master!"
-James Stewart


     He plucked me as a brand from hell; My Jesus hath done all things well!       

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

THE PURPOSE OF BIBLE STUDY---A.W. PINK

That against which we are here protesting is the God-dishonoring idea that His Word is merely a piece of literature, which may be "mastered" by a course of "study."  That which we would warn against is an undue occupation with the technical aspects of the Bible.  God's blessed Word is not for dissection by the knife of cold intellectuality -- but is to be laid to heart.  It is not given for us to display our cleverness and "brilliance" upon -- but to be bowed before in true humility.  It is not designed for mental entertainment -- but for the regulation of our daily lives.
Far, far more important than "method" is our motive when approaching the Word.  What we should seek is that which will subdue pride and bring us as supplicants to the footstool of mercy -- not to acquire that which will puff us up in our own conceit.  Of what value is a knowledge of the original Hebrew and Greek, or a thorough acquaintance with the history, geography and chronology of the Bible, if the heart be left cold and hard toward its Author?
I seriously doubt if God has called or requires us to [merely] "study" His Word.  What we need to do is feed thereon. "Nourished up in the words of faith" (I Timothy 4:6).  "Desire the sincere [pure] milk of the word, that you may grow thereby" (I Peter 2:2).  This is the only nutritive food for the soul.  By all means, "Search the Scriptures daily" (Acts 17:11) in order to test all you hear and read.  Above all, beg God to write His Word more legibly and fully upon the tablets of your heart.  Put the precepts into practice, heed the warnings of Scripture, and then you will assimilate what you have fed upon.
Concluding Note:  May we humbly hear these words by Mr. Pink, adapted from an Editorial in his magazine, Studies in the Scriptures.  This should cause us to never argue the Bible in a heated debate, nor should we ever read or teach Scripture from mere intellectualism, for "God resists the proud."

Monday, October 10, 2011

HIS GREAT PATIENCE---CHARLES SPURGEON

Reflect again, my brethren, upon the unevangelical spirit which these apostles often showed. On one occasion even John, as mild and gentle a spirit as any of them, asked to be permitted to call fire from heaven to destroy certain Samaritans who would not receive the Savior because his face was set towards Jerusalem. Jesus the friend of sinners calling fire from heaven! This might suit Elias, but was not after the manner of the meek and lowly Prince of Peace. It would have been quite foreign to all his purposes, and contrary to his entire spirit; yet the two sons of thunder would hurl lightning on their Master’s foes. He might well have spoken to them as bitterly as David did to the sons of Zeruiah, when in their hot rage they would have slain their leader’s foolish foes; he might have said, “What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zebedee?” But he merely said, “Ye know not what spirit ye are of.” (Luke 9:55b)

Read the ninth chapter of Luke, which is full of the failings of the disciples, and notice how John and the rest forbade the man who was casting out devils in Jesus’ name. With the true spirit of bigoted monopoly that will not tolerate anything outside the pale of orthodoxy, they said, “We saw one casting out devils in thy name;” (Luke 9:49)  and instead of rejoicing that there were some beyond our company who were assisted by the Master’s power, and were glorifying the Master’s name, “we forbad him because he followeth not with us.” (Luke 9:49b) Their Lord, instead of angrily upbraiding their intolerance, gently chide them with the sentence, “Forbid him not, for he that is not against us is for us.” (Luke 9:50) Remember, also, how the disciples put away the mothers of Israel when they brought their tender offspring to receive the Savior’s blessing; this showed a very unevangelical spirit. They would not have their Lord interrupted by the cries of babes, and thought the children too insignificant to be worthy of his consideration. But, though our Lord was much displeased with the disciples, yet he only said, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14)

But, my brethren, it must have wanted great patience for our dear Lord and Master, who himself would not break a bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax, to bear with these rough men who pushed the little ones on one side, who would gag the mouths of those who were doing good in their own way, and who would even call fire from heaven upon poor ignorant sinners. Admire much his patience with their impatience, and see how “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.” (Psalm 103:13) because he knew they feared him in their hearts, and their faults were rather infirmities than rebellions.

  (Charles Haddon Spurgeon From The Tender Pity of The Lord, July 17, 1870)



Saturday, October 1, 2011

GOD IS SELF-EXISTENT--J.I..PACKER


God is self-existent, God has always been...Our Maker exists in an eternal, self-sustaining, necessary way, ­necessary, that is, in the sense that God does not have it in Him to go out of existence, just as we do not have it in us to live forever. 

We necessarily age and die, because it is our present nature to do that; God necessarily continues forever unchanged, because it is His eternal nature to do that. This is one of many contrasts between creature and Creator...God's self existence is basic truth. At the outset of his presentation of the unknown God to the Athenian idolaters, Paul explained that this God, the world's Creator, "is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else" (Acts 17:23-25).

Sacrifices offered to idols, in today's tribal religions as in ancient Athens, are thought of as somehow keeping the god going, but the Creator (the I AM) needs no such support system. The word aseity, meaning that he has life in himself and draws his unending energy from Himself (a se in Latin means "from himself"), was coined by theologians to express this truth, which the Bible makes clear.
 

J.I. Packer; Concise Theology; Tyndale House, 2001; pg. 26-7

Thursday, September 29, 2011

GOD IS OUR NEED---CHARLES WOODRUFF

We need God. Not just truths about God; but the God of the truth!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

COMMENTS ON REVIVAL----JONATHAN EDWARDS





It would not be correct to assert that Edwards here spoke with complete impartiality; he did champion the cause of the revival, earnestly pleading its validity and divinity. Yet even in these exciting days of 1741 a power of discrimination is evident in Edwards which later was given fuller and freer expression. In Distinguishing Marks, Edwards dismissed as irrelevant such things in the revival as its extraordinary intensity, its effects "on the bodies of men," its showy, noisy religiousness, its effects upon men's imaginations, and the ir­regularities, disorders, and errors of some who were associated with it.

These things may, we know from Scripture, accompany a divine work; on the other hand, Edwards stated, they have appeared in situations that were not of God's doing. They are then not trustworthy criteria by which one may judge the contemporary religious scene. Arguing closely from his text, I John 4, Edwards presented a positive statement of valid criteria. 

The "distinguishing marks" were five: a true revival 
(1) will cause a greater esteem for Jesus (I John 4:2),
(2) will operate against the interest of Satan (4:4, 5), 
(3) will cause a greater regard for scripture (4:6), 
(4) will lead persons to truth, convincing them of those things that are true (4:6), and 
(5) "operates as a spirit of love to God and man" (4:7 f). 
From his "trial of the spirit" then rushing throughout New England, Edwards judged "that the extraordinary influence that has lately appeared causing an uncommon concern and engagedness of the mind about the things of religion is undoubtedly, in general, from the Spirit of God."8

Extended among so many places and over so many months, the revival cannot be a pretense or delusion. As far as the Northampton experiences are concerned, "we must throw by all talk of conversion and Christian experience; and not only so, but we must throw by our Bibles, and give up revealed religion; if this |be not in general the work of God."9 In view of this judgment, the commencement speaker warned all "by no means to oppose, or do any thing in the least to clog or hinder, the work; but, on the contrary, do our utmost to promote it." In the coldest, darkest corner of New England, by New Light standards, Edwards had defended the Great Awakening and had spoken harsh words to any that tried to thwart it. He was never invited back.

COMMENTS ON REVIVAL BY JONATHAN EDWARDS 
IN  DISTINGUISHING   MARKS 
(From THE GREAT AWAKENING IN NEW ENGLAND,  EDWIN SCOTT GAUSTAD, Quadrangle Books Edition 1968)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

WHAT WE CAN DO FOR HIM--CHARLES WOODRUFF


Jesus said of the woman who washed His feet with her tears, “She hath done what she could” (Mark 14:8). In His grace alone, let us do what we can, until He comes. You can pray for me, and I for you. You can pray for America, and other lands as well. Pray for those in your local church, and the church  worldwide. Pray for his elect to be gathered in. You CAN pray if you are His.
His last words to the church are “Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).

Saturday, September 10, 2011

IGNORANT FORMAL CHRISTIANITY--J.C. RYLE



I am convinced  that one of our grave defects today, is a most serious diminishing of the good old custom of private reading of the Bible.  Between the growth of Christian periodicals and books, I have a strong impression that Bibles are not read as much and as carefully as they were two hundred years ago.
Neglect of the Bible, is like disease of the body–it shows itself in the face of a man’s conduct.  It tells its own tale.  It cannot be hidden.

I fear that many neglect the Bible–because of the enormous ignorance of true religion which everywhere prevails. There are thousands of professing Christians in this country, who know literally nothing about the Gospel. They could not give you the slightest account of its distinctive doctrines. They have no more idea of the true meaning of conversion, grace, faith, justification, and sanctification–than of so many words and names written in Arabic! And can I suppose that such people search the Scriptures? I cannot suppose it.  I do not believe they do!

I fear that many neglect the Bible–because of the utter indifference with which they regard false doctrine–as if it did not signify much, and was all the same thing in the long run–whether one was a Roman Catholic, or a Socinian, or a Mormonite, or a Deist, or an Agnostic. And can I suppose that such people search the Scriptures? I cannot suppose it.  I do not believe they do!

I fear that many neglect the Bible–because of the readiness with which they receive false teaching. They are led astray by the first false prophet they meet with, who “comes in sheep’s clothing,” and has a pleasant voice, a nice manner, and a gift of eloquent speech! They swallow all that he says without inquiry, and believe him as implicitly as papists believe the Pope! And can I suppose that such people search the Scriptures? I cannot suppose it. I do not believe they do!

I declare my firm conviction, that an idle neglect of the Bible is one cause of the ignorant formal Christianity which is so widely prevalent in these latter days!

Brethren! We are drifting, drifting, drifting–and what the end will be–no man can tell.



Wednesday, August 31, 2011

IRRECONCILIBLE HOSTILITY--A.W.TOZER

 
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." 
--Ephesians 6:12

In the early days, when Christianity exercised a dominant influence over American thinking, men and women conceived the world to be a battleground. Our fathers believed in sin and the devil and hell as constituting one force, and they believed in God and righteousness and heaven as the other. By their very nature, these forces were opposed to each other forever in deep, grave, irreconcilable hostility. 


Humans, our fathers held, had to choose sides-they could not be neutral. For them it must be life or death, heaven or hell, and if they chose to come out on God's side they could expect open war with God's enemies. The fight would be real and deadly and would last as long as life continued here below. People looked forward to heaven as a return from the wars, a laying down of the sword to enjoy in peace the home prepared for them....

How different today. The fact remains the same, but the interpretation has changed completely. People think of the world, not as a battleground, but as a playground. We are not here to fight; we are here to frolic. We are not in a foreign land; we are at home. We are not getting ready to live, but we are already living, and the best we can do is rid ourselves of our inhibitions and our frustrations and live this life to the full. This World: Playground or Battleground?

"Lord, we've lost too much by becoming friendly with the enemy. Help me to be willing to take a stand for righteousness, to choose clearly to be on Your side against the enemy, to pay any price--and then to look forward to laying down my sword later in heaven. Amen."

Friday, August 26, 2011

GOD IS WISE--JOHN BUNYAN


 God is wise and He knows how to instruct those He loves. Sometimes, He may break their bones and save them; He may throw them in the deepest pit, in darkness and depression, and there He will save them; He may even take their physical life, and save them that way. This is the wonderful grace of God, that [we] will never be forsaken.

Monday, August 15, 2011

COME THOU FOUNT OF EVERY BLESSING

                                                             Robert Robinson

Another great hymn of grace is:
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing, Tune my heart to sing Thy grace!
Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet, Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer; Hither by Thy help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor, Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning, I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen, How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry, Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry, Me to realms of endless day.

For more on this great hymn and the author, Robert Robinson, see:
http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/c/o/comethou.htm

Sunday, August 7, 2011

SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD--J. C. RYLE


“The subject is one that demands the best attention of all who profess and call themselves Christians.  In every age of the Church separation from the world has always been one of the grand evidences of a work of grace in the heart.  He that has been really born of the Spirit, and made a new creature in Christ Jesus, has always endeavoured to “come out from the world,” and live a separate life.  They who have only had the name of Christian without the reality, have always refused to ‘come out and be separate’ from the world.”

“The subject perhaps was never more important than it is, at the present day.  There is a widely-spread desire to make things pleasant in religion—to saw off the corners and edges of the cross, and to avoid, as far as possible, self-denial.  On every side we hear professing Christians declaring loudly that we must not be “narrow and exclusive,” and that there is no harm in many things which the holiest saints of old thought bad for their souls.  That we may go anywhere, and do anything, and spend our time in anything, and read anything, and keep any company, and plunge into anything, and all the while may be very good Christians—this, this is the maxim of thousands.  In a day like this I think it good to raise a warning voice, and invite attention to the teaching of God’s Word.  It is written in that Word, ‘Come out, and be separate.’”

J.C Ryle in Practical Religion, page 184; James Clarke, Cambridge, 1977 (original 1878).

Sunday, July 31, 2011

TO THE AGED CHRISTIAN--C.H. SPURGEON

For my part, I think that the aged Christian is better employed in looking after the lambs of the flock and trying to carry them in their bosoms. Talk cheerily to the young and anxious enquirer. Lovingly try to remove stumbling blocks out of his way. When you find a spark of Divine Grace in the heart, kneel down and blow it into a flame. Leave the young Believer to discover the roughness of the road by degrees.Tell him of the strength which dwells in God, of the sureness of the promise, of the delightfulness of fellowship with Jesus, of the charms of communion with Christ.

Entice the young Christian on as good mothers teach their children to walk by holding out here a sweet, and
there some tempting thing,that they may put their trembling feet one after the other, and at last know how to walk.I would that every Church had many of these aged Brothers and Sisters, fathers and mothers in Israel, who take this for their motto whenever they see a young Christian—“Encourage him.”

I know of nothing more inspiriting than to hear the experience of a gray-headed Believer. I have found much spiritual comfort in sitting at the feet of my venerable grandfather, more than 80 years of age. The last time I saw him, I said to him, “I suppose you have had many trials, Grandfather?” He said,“I have not had too many, and the most of what I have had, I have made myself.” “And do you think that God will ever leave His people?” I asked. “No,” he said, “for if He would leave one of them, He would have left me. But He is a faithful God, and I have proved Him, for I have known His love more than 70 years, and yet He has been faithful to me. Not one good thing has failed of all that the Lord God has promised.”

Why, it comes home to the hearts of us young people, and makes us feel that we have found something which it is safe to depend upon when those who have gone through the valley can bear such a word of testimony as this! Do not let a word of peevishness come out of your mouth, my aged Brothers and Sisters! Let no syllable of complaining ever escape you! Let your mouth be filled with your Lord’s praises, and with His honor all the day, and so you will encourage others.—Adapted from The C. H. Spurgeon Collection, Version 1.0, Ages Software,—Sermon #537, Vol 9—Encourage Your Minister!—
___________________________