Tag Archives: Soul

From “Morning and Evening” by C. H. Spurgeon

“The forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”
– Eph_1:7

Could there be a sweeter word in any language than that word “forgiveness,” when it sounds in a guilty sinner’s ear, like the silver notes of jubilee to the captive Israelite? Blessed, for ever blessed be that dear star of pardon which shines into the condemned cell, and gives the perishing a gleam of hope amid the midnight of despair! Can it be possible that sin, such sin as mine, can be forgiven, forgiven altogether, and for ever? Hell is my portion as a sinner-there is no possibility of my escaping from it while sin remains upon me-can the load of guilt be uplifted, the crimson stain removed? Can the adamantine stones of my prison-house ever be loosed from their mortices, or the doors be lifted from their hinges? Jesus tells me that I may yet be clear. For ever blessed be the revelation of atoning love which not only tells me that pardon is possible, but that it is secured to all who rest in Jesus. I have believed in the appointed propitiation, even Jesus crucified, and therefore my sins are at this moment, and for ever, forgiven by virtue of his substitutionary pains and death. What joy is this! What bliss to be a perfectly pardoned soul! My soul dedicates all her powers to him who of his own unpurchased love became my surety, and wrought out for me redemption through his blood. What riches of grace does free forgiveness exhibit! To forgive at all, to forgive fully, to forgive freely, to forgive for ever! Here is a constellation of wonders; and when I think of how great my sins were, how dear were the precious drops which cleansed me from them, and how gracious was the method by which pardon was sealed home to me, I am in a maze of wondering worshipping affection. I bow before the throne which absolves me, I clasp the cross which delivers me, I serve henceforth all my days the Incarnate God, through whom I am this night a pardoned soul.

From “Morning Thoughts” by Winslow

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24

IF, then, the first implantation of the divine life in the soul is sudden; the advance of that work is in most cases gradual. Let this be an encouragement to any who are writing hard and bitter things against themselves in consequence of their little progress. The growth of divine knowledge in the soul is often slow-the work of much time and of protracted discipline. Look at the eleven disciples-what slow, tardy scholars were they, even though taught immediately from the lips of Jesus; and “who teaches like Him?” They drank their knowledge from the very Fountain. They received their light directly from the Sun itself. And yet, with all these superior advantages-the personal ministry, instructions, miracles, and example of our dear Lord-how slow of understanding were they to comprehend, and how “slow of heart to believe,” all that He so laboriously, clearly, and patiently taught them! Yes, the advance of the soul in the divine life, its knowledge of sin, of the hidden evil, the heart’s deep treachery and intricate windings, Satan’s subtlety, the glory of the gospel, the preciousness of Christ, and its own interest in the great salvation, is not the work of a day, nor of a year, but of many days, yes, many years of deep ploughing, long and often painful discipline, of “windy storm and tempest.”

But this life in the soul is not less real, nor less divine, because its growth is slow and gradual: it may be small and feeble in its degree, yet, in its nature, it is the life that never dies. How many of the Lord’s beloved ones, the children of godly parents, brought up in the ways of God, are at a loss, in reviewing the map of their pilgrimage, to remember the starting-point of their spiritual life. They well know that they left the city of destruction-that by a strong and a mighty arm they were brought out of Egypt; but so gently, so imperceptibly, so softly, and so gradually were they led-“first a thought, then a desire, then a prayer”-that they could no more discover when the first dawning of divine life took place in their soul, than they could tell the instant when natural light first broke upon chaos. Still it is real. It is no fancy that he has inherited an evil principle in the heart; it is no fancy that that principle grace has subdued. It is no fancy that he was once a child of darkness; it is no fancy that he is now a child of light. He may mourn in secret over his little advance, his tardy progress, his weak faith, his small grace, his strong corruption, his many infirmities, his startings aside like “a broken bow,” yet he can say, “Though I am the ‘chief of sinners,’ and the ‘least of all saints’-though I see within so much to abase me, and without so much to mourn over, yet this ‘one thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see.’ I see that which I never saw before-a hatefulness in sin, and a beauty in holiness; I see a vileness and emptiness in myself, and a preciousness and fullness in Jesus.” Do not forget, then, dear reader, that feeble grace is yet real grace. If it but “hungers and thirsts,” if it “touches but the hem,” it shall be saved.

From “Morning Thoughts” by Winslow

“Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed.” John 20:29

THE circumstances of the Savior’s resurrection were in harmony with its lonely and solemn grandeur. No human witness was privileged to behold it. The mysterious reunion of the human soul with the body of Christ was an illustrious event, upon which no mortal eye was permitted to gaze. There is a moral grandeur of surpassing character in the resurrection of Christ unseen. The fact is not an object with which sense has so much to do, as faith. And that no human eye was permitted to witness the stupendous event, doubtless, was designed to teach man that it was with the spiritual, and not with the fleshly, apprehension of this truth that He had especially to do. What eye but that of faith could see the illustrious Conqueror come forth, binding with adamantine chains hell, death, and the grave? What principle but the spiritual and mighty principle of faith could enter into the revealed mind of God, sympathize with the design of the Savior, and interpret the sublime mystery of this stupendous event? It was proper, therefore, no it was worthy of God, and in harmony with the character and the design of the resurrection of our Lord, that a veil should conceal its actual accomplishment from the eye of His Church; and that the great evidence they should have of the truth of the fact should be the power of His resurrection felt and experienced in their souls. Oh yes! the only power of the Savior’s resurrection which we desire to know is that which comes to us through the energy of an all-seeing, all-conquering, all-believing faith. Oh, give me this, rather than to have witnessed with these eyes the celestial attendants clustering around the tomb-the rolling away of the stone that was upon the sepulcher-the breaking of the seal-and the emerging form of the Son of God, bearing in His hands the emblems and the tokens of His victory. The spiritual so infinitely transcends the carnal-the eye of faith is so much more glorious than the eye of sense, that our Lord Himself has sanctified and sealed it with His own precious blessing-“Jesus says unto him, Thomas, because you have seen me you have believed: blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed.” Blessed Jesus! in faith would I then follow You each step of Your journey through this valley of tears; in faith would I visit the manger, the cross, and the tomb; for You have pronounced him blessed above all, who, though he sees not, yet believes in You. “Lord, I believe: help You mine unbelief.”

 

From “Zion’s Wayfarer” by Joseph Philpot

“The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” _53:6

What heart can conceive, what tongue express what the holy soul of Christ endured when “the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all?” In the garden of Gethsemane, what a load of guilt, what a weight of sin, what an intolerable burden of the wrath of God did that sacred humanity endure, until the pressure of sorrow and woe forced the drops of blood to fall as sweat from his brow. The human nature in its weakness recoiled, as it were, from the cup of anguish put into his hand. His body could scarcely bear the load that pressed him down; his soul, under the waves and billows of God’s wrath, sank in deep mire where there was no standing, and came into deep waters where the floods overflowed him (_69:1; _69:2).

And how could it be otherwise when that sacred humanity was enduring all the wrath of God, suffering the very pangs of hell, and wading in all the depths of guilt and terror? When the blessed Lord was made sin (or a sin-offering) for us, he endured in his holy soul all the pangs of distress, horror, alarm, misery, and guilt that the elect would have felt in hell forever; and not only as any one of them would have felt, but as the collective whole would have experienced under the outpouring of the everlasting wrath of God. The anguish, the distress, the darkness, the condemnation, the shame, the guilt, the unutterable horror, that any or all of his quickened family have ever experienced under a sense of God’s wrath, the curse of the law, and the terrors of hell, are only faint, feeble reflections of what the Lord felt in the garden and on the cross; for there were attendant circumstances in his case which are not, and indeed cannot be in theirs, and which made the distress and agony of his holy soul, both in nature and degree, such as none but he could feel or know.

He as the eternal Son of God, who had lain in his bosom before all worlds, had known all the blessedness and happiness of the love and favor of the Father, his own Father, shining upon him, for he was “by him as one brought up with him, and was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him” (_8:30). When, then, instead of love he felt his displeasure, instead of the beams of his favor he experienced the frowns and terrors of his wrath, instead of the light of his countenance he tasted the darkness and gloom of desertion–what heart can conceive, what tongue express the bitter anguish which must have wrung the soul of our suffering Surety under this agonizing experience?

 

From “Zion’s Wayfarer” by Joseph Philpot

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness–for they shall be filled.” _5:6

Hunger is a painful sensation. It is not merely an appetite for food; but an appetite for food attended with pain. So spiritually. It is not merely a desire after Christ that constitutes spiritual hunger. “The sluggard desires, and has nothing.” But it is a desire attended with pain; not merely a wish for spiritual food, but also with such painful sensations, that unless this appetite is satisfied, the soul must perish and die. Nothing short of this constitutes spiritual hunger. There are many who say, “I have a desire.” If it be a spiritual desire, it will be granted. But spiritual desire is always attended with painful sensations which many are completely ignorant of who profess to have a desire. “The desire of the slothful kills him.” Why? Because he rests satisfied with a desire, and never takes the kingdom of heaven by violence.

The expression “thirst” conveys a still larger meaning. Hunger is more supportable than thirst. People die sooner when left without water than without food. Intense thirst is perhaps the most painful of all bodily sensations that a human being can know. The Spirit has therefore made use of this figure in order to convey the intense desire of a living soul–that he must have Christ, or perish–must feel his blood sprinkled upon the conscience, or die in his sins–must “know him, and the power of his resurrection,” or pass into the gloomy chambers of eternal woe–must have the presence of Jesus sensibly realized, and the love of God shed abroad, or else of all men be the most miserable.

 

From “Morning Thoughts” by Winslow

“Trust you in the Lord forever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.” Isaiah 26:4

THERE is no act of the soul more acceptable to God, because there is none that brings more glory to His great name, than this. Wherever we trace in the Scriptures of truth a trust in the Lord, there we find especial and remarkable deliverance. It is recorded of the children of Israel that the Lord delivered their enemies into their hand, “for they cried to God in the battle, and He was entreated of them; because they put their trust in Him.” Again, we read of God’s wondrous message sent by Jeremiah to Abed-melech, the Ethiopian, “I will surely deliver you, and you shall not fall by the sword, but your life shall be for a prey unto you; because you have put your trust in me, says the Lord.” The experience, too, of God’s people confirms the blessedness of trusting in the Lord. “In God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped.” The promises connected with trusting in the Lord are equally rich and encouraging. “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You; because he trusts in You.” “None of those who trust in Him shall be desolate.” “The Lord knows those who trust in Him.” “Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You; which You have wrought for those who trust in You before the sons of men. You shall hide them in the secret of Your presence.” What a marvelous and precious cluster of Divine encouragements to those who trust in the Lord with all their heart, under all circumstances, and at all times! “Only trust,” is Jesus’ word. “This is all I ask of you, the utmost thing I require at your hand. I demand no costly sacrifice-no wearisome pilgrimage-no personal worthiness-no strength, or wisdom, or self-endeavors of your own. Only trust me. Only believe that I wait to answer prayer-that I am gracious-that I have all power at my command-that I have your interest at heart-that there is no good thing I am willing to withhold-that I, and I alone, can guide your present steps, can unravel the web of your difficulties, guide your perplexities, extricate you from the snares that have woven their net-work around your feet, and bring you through fire and through water into a wealthy place. Only trust me!” Beloved, is this too hard? Is the request unreasonable and impracticable? What! only to trust Jesus? Only to trust your needs to His ear-your burdens to His arm-your sorrows to His heart? Is this too hard? Is it beyond your power? Then tell Jesus so. Remind Him of His own words, “Without me you can do nothing.” And ask at His hands the faith to trust, the heart to trust, the courage to trust, and the power to trust all your interests, temporal and spiritual, for time and for eternity, into His hands.

 

 

From “Morning and Evening” by C. H. Spurgeon

I found comfort in this.  Perhaps you will, too.

“Gather not my soul with sinners.”  – Psa_26:9
Fear made David pray thus, for something whispered, “Perhaps, after all, thou mayst be gathered with the wicked.” That fear, although marred by unbelief, springs, in the main, from holy anxiety, arising from the recollection of past sin. Even the pardoned man will enquire, “What if at the end my sins should be remembered, and I should be left out of the catalogue of the saved?” He recollects his present unfruitfulness-so little grace, so little love, so little holiness, and looking forward to the future, he considers his weakness and the many temptations which beset him, and he fears that he may fall, and become a prey to the enemy. A sense of sin and present evil, and his prevailing corruptions, compel him to pray, in fear and trembling, “Gather not my soul with sinners.” Reader, if you have prayed this prayer, and if your character be rightly described in the Psalm from which it is taken, you need not be afraid that you shall be gathered with sinners. Have you the two virtues which David had-the outward walking in integrity, and the inward trusting in the Lord? Are you resting upon Christ’s sacrifice, and can you compass the altar of God with humble hope? If so, rest assured, with the wicked you never shall be gathered, for that calamity is impossible. The gathering at the judgment is like to like. “Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” If, then, thou art like God’s people, thou shalt be with God’s people. You cannot be gathered with the wicked, for you are too dearly bought. Redeemed by the blood of Christ, you are his for ever, and where he is, there must his people be. You are loved too much to be cast away with reprobates. Shall one dear to Christ perish? Impossible! Hell cannot hold thee! Heaven claims thee! Trust in thy Surety and fear not!

From “Evening Thoughts” by Winslow

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.” Col_3:16

The diligent and prayerful reading of God’s holy word is a great means of increasing and promoting spirituality of mind. This, we fear, is not an element in the Christianity of many. It defines a duty sadly and, to a great extent, totally neglected. The tendency of the age is to substitute the writings of man for the Book of God. Let them come but with the robe of religion gracefully thrown around them, and whether they assume the form of history, or story, or song, they are devoured by the professing multitude, who would deem their true spirituality unquestionable! But the Divine life of the soul is not to be fed and nourished by the profound discoveries of science, or the recondite axioms of philosophy, or the brilliant flowers of genius, or the dreams of a poetical imagination. It ascends to a higher and a diviner source; it aspires towards the nourishments of its native climate. The bread that comes down from heaven, and the water that flows, pure as crystal, from beneath the throne of God and the Lamb, can alone feed, and nourish, and refresh this hidden principle. Jesus is its sustenance; and the gospel, as it unfolds Him in His glory and grace, is the spiritual granary from where its daily food is drawn. To this it repairs, oftentimes pressed with hunger, or panting with thirst, weary and exhausted, drooping and faint, and it finds its doctrines and its precepts, its promises and its admonitions, its exhortations and revelations, a “a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees; of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.” And thus refreshed and satisfied, the grateful soul adoringly exclaims, “Your words were found, and I did eat them; and Your word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.” Truly did Jesus testify, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you have no life in you;” evidently and solemnly implying, that if there exists no appetite for spiritual food, there is lacking the great evidence of the life of God in the soul. A mere semblance of life, an informed judgment, a “fair show” of religion “in the flesh,” can content itself with anything short of the spiritual aliment contained in God’s word. But the Divine life of a quickened soul, while it disdains no auxiliary to its spiritual advance, can yet feed on nothing but Divine food. The “flesh and the blood of Immanuel can alone meet and satiate its hungering and thirsting. It is from heaven, and its supply must be heavenly; it is from God, and its nourishment must be Divine. Jesus, and Jesus alone, received into the heart, rested in, and lived upon by faith, is the food of a believing man. Nothing but Christ-“Christ all” in Himself, and Christ “in all,” means “in all” ordinances, “in all” channels, “in all” seasons, sustains a soul whose “life is hid with Christ in God.” Dear reader, do you see the importance and feel the solemnity of this truth? Oh, it is a great and solemn one! Except by faith you “eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of man, you have no life in you!” Nothing short of Christ-Christ’s righteousness, Christ’s atonement, Christ’s flesh and blood, Christ in us, Christ without us, Christ risen, Christ alive at the right hand of God, yes, “Christ all and in all”-can meet the deep, immortal necessities of your soul. You need all that Christ is in the matter of pardon, and justification, and sanctification, and wisdom, and redemption. If anything less than Jesus had sufficed, if an expedient less magnificent, or if an expenditure less costly, had answered for God and man, then less would save you. But since the incarnate God alone is the Savior of a poor, lost sinner, see that you detract not from, or add to, this salvation by any works of human merit.

Be exhorted, then, to an intimate acquaintance with God’s holy word, as supplying a powerful help to the progress of the soul in deep spirituality. And if your time for reading is limited, limit it to one book, and let that one book be-the BIBLE. Let it be the companion of your hours of solitude; the solace in your seasons of sorrow; the store-house in all your necessities; the man of your counsel in all your doubts and perplexities. Then will your blessed experience resemble that of the psalmist: “Your word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against You. This is my comfort in my affliction: for Your word has quickened me. Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. I rejoice at Your word, as one that finds great spoil.”

 

From “The Selected Writings of Joseph Philpot”

“Our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.”1Th_1:5

The Holy Spirit never comes into any poor sinner’s soul, except through the medium of the gospel of the grace of God. Have you ever considered that point? You are praying, perhaps, that the Holy Spirit would teach you, and be in you a Spirit of revelation, a Remembrancer, a Comforter, Instructor, and Teacher. You pray for his gifts, and graces, and sanctifying operations; but have you ever viewed these graces in connection with the gospel of Jesus Christ? Now, if you want the Holy Spirit to come into your soul, you must keep firm hold of the gospel; you must not run away from it to the law or to self; but keep firm, fast hold of it, so far as you have felt its power, and have a living faith in it.

If, then, you are tried, still hold the gospel. If Satan get you into his sieve, still hold the gospel. If in the furnace of affliction, still hold the gospel. If called on to wade through floods of sorrow, still hold fast the gospel. Let not Satan, if ever you have felt the power and the preciousness of the gospel, baffle you out of it, and drive you from it; but hold to the gospel, for it is your life. Indeed, where else will you find anything to suit your case if you are a poor, tempted, tried sinner? Will you go to the LAW, which can only curse and condemn you? Will you go to SELF? What is self? A heap of ruins. Where, then, will you go? After all, you must come to the gospel, if your soul is to be saved and blessed, and if you are to experience the consolations of the Holy Spirit, who alone can bless and comfort you.

I want, with God’s blessing, to impress this vital truth upon your conscience, that you may not be looking away from the gospel, and as Berridge says,”squint and peep another way,”but that you may keep your eyes firmly fixed on the gospel; for if you believe it, it can and will save your soul. Does not the Apostle say it is”the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes,”so that there is neither power nor salvation in anything else? Never, therefore, expect power, salvation, or comfort, but in, and by, and through the Holy Spirit preaching the gospel into your heart.