It gave me no pleasure to see people drink in my opinions if they seemed ignorant of Jesus Christ and the value of being saved by Him. Sound conviction for sin, especially the sin of unbelief, and a heart set on fire to be saved by Christ, with a strong yearning for a truly sanctified soul-this was what delighted me; those were the souls I considered blessed.
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Therefore if mine enemy hunger, let me feed him; if he thirst, let me give him drink. Now in order to do this, (1) We must see good in that, in which other men can see none. (2) We must pass by those injuries that other men would revenge. (3) We must show we have grace, and that we are made to bear what other men are not acquainted with. (4) Many of our graces are kept alive, by those very things that are the death of other men's souls.... The devil, (they say) is good when he is pleased; but Christ and His saints, when displeased.
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There is a warning here for true pilgrims. Beware of the talker, but also be careful not to judge too quickly those whom God has blessed with both genuine grace and a fluency to speak of divine mercy in ways more eloquent than others. The proof is in the life-not a perfect life, but a life that both delights in divine truth and magnifies God, the only giver of the sovereign grace that always produces the truly fruitful, fragrant life.
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He that comes to Christ cannot, it is true, always get on as fast as he would. Poor coming soul, thou art like the man that would ride full gallop whose horse will hardly trot. Now the desire of his mind is not to be judged of by the slow pace of the dull jade he rides on, but by the hitching and kicking and spurring as he sits on his back. Thy flesh is like this dull jade, it will not gallop after Christ, it will be backward though thy soul and heaven lie at stake.
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The kingdom of heaven is for the heirs - and if children, then heirs; if born again, then heirs. Wherefore it is said expressly, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. By this one word, down goes all carnal privilege of being born of flesh and blood, and of the will of man. Canst thou produce the birthright?
It is sad to see how the most of men neglect their precious souls, turning their backs upon the glorious gospel, and little minding a crucified Jesus, when, in the meanwhile, their bodies are well provided for, their estates much regarded, and the things of this present life are highly prized, as if the darling was of less value than a clod of earth; an immortal soul, than a perishing body; a precious Saviour, than unsatisfying creatures.
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O my Mansoul, I have lived, I have died, I live, and I will die no more for thee. I live that thou mayest not die. Because I live thou shalt live also; I reconciled thee to my Father by the blood of My cross, and being reconciled thou shalt live through me. I will pray for thee, I will fight for thee, I will yet do thee good. Nothing can hurt thee but sin; nothing can grieve Me but sin; nothing can make thee base before thy foes but sin; take heed of sin, my Mansoul.
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Then said he, 'I am going to my Father's; and though with great difficulty I am got hither, yet now I do not repent me of all the trouble I have been at to arrive where I am. My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it. My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought His battles who now will be my rewarder.'... So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.
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