Saturday, March 24, 2018

My Victorian Year #12

This week I'll be sharing quotes from Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening and J.C. Ryle's Old Paths.

Morning and Evening:

  • The weak Christian is as much a child of God—as the strong one. Yet, while we are comforted by knowing this, let us not rest contented with weak faith—but ask, like the Apostles, to have it increased.
  • You can trace the beginning of human affection; you can easily find the beginning of your love to Christ—but His love to us is a stream whose source is hidden in eternity. God the Father loves Jesus without any change. Christian, take this for your comfort, that there is no change in Jesus Christ’s love—to those who rest in Him.
  • There is no road between my soul and heaven—but faith.
  • When Jesus is the host—no guest goes empty from the table. Our head is satisfied with the precious truth which Christ reveals; our heart is content with Jesus, as the altogether lovely object of affection; our hope is satisfied, for whom have we in heaven but Jesus? and our desire is satiated, for what can we wish for more than “to know Christ and to be found in Him”?
  • God alone can remove the winter of spiritual death from an individual, or a people. Lord, end my winter, and let my spring begin. I cannot with all my longings raise my soul out of her death and dullness—but all things are possible with You.
  • Exiles though we are, we rejoice in our King! Yes, in Him we exceedingly rejoice, while in His name we set up our banners.

Old Paths, chapter three

  • If the common opinion of the world as to the number of the saved was correct, I would not trouble men with searching and hard questions. But is it so? Let us see.
  • If God had never spoken plainly in the Bible about the number of the saved, I might well be silent But is it so? Let us see. If experience and facts left it doubtful whether many or few would be saved, I might hold my peace. But is it so? Let us see.
  • I. Let me explain what it is to be saved. 2. Let me point out the mistakes which are common in the world about the number of the saved. 3. Let me show what the Bible says about the number of the saved. 4. Let me bring forward some plain facts as to the number of the saved.
  • By being “saved” I may mean one thing, and you may mean another. Let me show you what the Bible says it is to be “saved,” and then there will be no misunderstanding.
  • To be saved, is not merely to profess and call ourselves Christians. We may have all the outward parts of Christianity, and yet be lost after all.
  • To be saved, is to be delivered in this present life from the guilt of sin, by faith in Jesus Christ, the Saviour. It is to be pardoned, justified, and freed from every charge of sin, by faith in Christ’s blood and mediation.
  • To be saved, is to be delivered in this present life from the power of sin, by being born again, and sanctified by Christ’s spirit. It is to be freed from the hateful dominion of sin, the world, and the devil, by having a new nature put in us by the Holy Ghost.
  • To be saved, is to be delivered in the day of judgment, from all the awful consequences of sin. It is to be declared blameless, spotless, faultless, and complete in Christ, while others are found guilty, and condemned for ever. It is to hear those comfortable words,--“Come, ye blessed!” while others are hearing those fearful words,--“Depart, ye cursed!” (Matthew 25:34-41.)
  • It is to be owned and confessed by Christ, as one of His dear children and servants, while others are disowned and cast off for ever.
  • Let it never be forgotten that the chief object of a minister of the Gospel is to set forward the salvation of souls. 
  • If the saving of souls is not the grand interest--the ruling passion--the absorbing thought of his heart,--he is no true minister of the Gospel: he is a hireling, and not a shepherd. Congregations may have called him,--but he is not called by the Holy Ghost, Bishops may have ordained him,--but not Christ.
  • Never, never let us be content with anything short of a saving religion. Surely to be satisfied with a religion which neither gives peace in life, nor hope in death, nor glory in the world to come, is childish folly.
  • What then do men generally think about the spiritual state of others while they are alive? What do they think of the souls of their relations, and friends, and neighbours, and acquaintances? Let us just see how that question can be answered.
  • Men flatter themselves there is no great difficulty in getting to heaven. It proves plainly that men are of opinion that most persons will be saved.
  • But what do men generally think about the spiritual state of others after they are dead? Let us just see how this question can be answered.
  • I say, without fear of contradiction, that there is an unhappily common fashion of speaking well of the condition of all who have departed this life. It matters little, apparently, how a man has behaved while he lived. He may have given no signs of repentance, or faith in Christ; he may have been ignorant of the plan of salvation set forth in the Gospel; he may have shown no evidence whatever of conversion or sanctification; he may have lived and died like a creature without a soul. And yet, as soon as this man is dead, people will dare to say that he is “probably happier than ever he was in his life.”
  • But again, what do men generally think of ministers who preach fully the doctrines of the New Testament?
  • And what does it prove? It just makes one more proof that men generally are resolved to think that salvation is not a very hard business, and that after all most people will be saved.
  • Upon what Scripture do they build this notion, that salvation is an easy business, and that most people will be saved? What revelation of God can they show us, to satisfy us that these opinions are sound and true? They have none,--literally none at all. They have not a text of Scripture which, fairly interpreted, supports their views. They have not a reason which will bear examination. They speak smooth things about one another’s spiritual state, just because they do not like to allow there is danger.
  • The plain truth is that the world’s opinion is worth nothing in matters of religion.
  • Let us remember, above all, that it never will do to think as others do, if we want to get to heaven. No doubt it is easy work to “go with the crowd” in religious matters. It will save us much trouble to swim with the stream and tide. We
  • But let us remember, once for all, that the world’s mistakes about salvation are many and dangerous. Unless we are on our guard against them we shall never be saved.
  • What the Bible says about the number of the saved. Let me show, in the third place, what the Bible says about the number of the saved.
  • Whatsoever is there written we must receive and believe: whatsoever cannot be proved by Scripture we ought to refuse.
  • Let us go through the whole four thousand years, over which the history of the Bible reaches. Let us find, if we can, one single period of time at which godly people were many, and ungodly people were few.
  • The sum of the whole matter is this: the Bible and the men of the world speak very differently about the number of the saved. According to the Bible, few will be saved: according to the men of the world, many.
  • Some plain facts about the number of the saved. Let me show, in the last place, some plain facts about the number of the saved.
  • I am persuaded that the views of most people about the quantity of unbelief and sin in the world, are utterly inadequate and incorrect. I am convinced that very few people, whether ministers or private Christians, at all realize how few there are in a way to be saved. I want to draw attention to the subject, and I will therefore bring forward a few plain facts about it.
  • People generally die just as they have lived. True repentance is never too late:--but repentance deferred to the last hours of life is seldom true.
  • There is a spurious charity, I am afraid, which dislikes all strong statements in religion,--a charity which would have no one interfered with,--a charity which would have everyone let alone in his sins,--a charity which, without evidence, takes for granted that everybody is in a way to be saved,--a charity which never doubts that all people are going to heaven, and seems to deny the existence of such a place as hell. But such charity is not the charity of the New Testament, and does not deserve the name.
  • Give me the charity which tries everything by the test of the Bible, and believes nothing and hopes nothing that is not sanctioned by the Word. Give me the charity which St. Paul describes to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 13:1, etc.): the charity which is not blind, and deaf, and stupid, but has eyes to see and senses to discern between him that feareth God and him that feareth Him not. Such charity will rejoice in nothing but “the truth;” and will confess with sorrow that I tell nothing but the truth when I say that few are likely to be saved.
  • Whether we like to believe it or not, hell is filling fast,--Christ is daily holding out His hand to a disobedient people,--many are in the way to destruction,--few, few are in the way to life. Many, many are likely to be lost. Few, few are likely to be saved. 

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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