Archive for the ‘Dead Theologians’ Category

27
Apr

The devil’s draw-net!

   Posted by: jmueller

(Thomas Watson, “Dearly Beloved” 1662)

“He who walks with wise men shall be wise; but a companion of fools shall be destroyed!” Proverbs 13:20

Take heed of the company you keep! Beware of unnecessary familiarity with the ungodly.

We cannot catch health from another–but we may soon catch a disease! The disease of sin is very contagious! I should be as afraid of going among the wicked–as going among those who have the plague! “They mingled among the pagans–and adopted their evil customs!” Psalm 106:35. If we cannot make others better–let us take care that they make us no worse.

Lot was a ‘miracle’–he kept fresh in Sodom’s salt-water!

My beloved, take heed of the occasions of sin–evil company is a great occasion of sin. The Nazarites in the old law, as they were not to drink wine–so they were also forbidden grapes, from which the wine was made, as you read in Numbers 6. This teaches us, that all occasions of sin must be avoided.

Evil company is the devil’s draw-net, by which he draws millions to Hell. How many families, and how many souls have been ruined and undone by evil company? Many there are, who go from a play-house and from a tavern–to the bottomless pit!

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7
Feb

You can’t love God and the world

   Posted by: jmueller

(by James A. La Belle)

“You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” James 4:4

It is my firm conviction that worldliness is destroying the church of Jesus Christ. The church is more and more becoming . . .
like the world,
indistinguishable from the world,
pursuers of the world,
lovers of the world.

Our relationship with Jesus Christ is hardly more than an appendage or appendix to our busy, worldly lives. We are no longer distinguished as separate, consecrated, pilgrims, sojourners, or holy unto the Lord; instead, we have . . .
eyes full of the world,
hearts in love with the world,
ears attentive to the world,
lips filled with worldly speech,
hands filled with worldly things,
feet comfortable with worldly paths, and
bodies no longer ready to depart and be with Jesus since that would mean giving up the world.

There is a heaven to be won and a hell to be shunned, and all those who have no visible, practical, transforming, determinative, self-denying, world-abhorring love for Jesus Christ–will be anathema at His coming!

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions–is not from the Father but is from the world.” 1 John 2:15-16

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19
Jan

The Christian’s Daily Prayer

   Posted by: jmueller

(James Smith, 1865)

“O Lord, remember me, and visit me.” Jeremiah 15:15

The prophet was in great trouble! Life was almost a burden. Yet the Lord had promised to show him special favor. He had promised to be with him, and that it should be well with his remnant. But the promises which support us — do not always cheer us. We have always more wealth in our possession — than we turn to account. But he falls upon his knees, he looks up to his God. Oh, what a relief is prayer! We never value prayer — as we do in deep affliction, when the heart must find vent or burst!

He cries, “O Lord, you know my sincerity and deep suffering.” He had sincerely sought the people’s good, and done the Lord’s will. But sincerity often exposes to suffering — but while it does so, it soothes the spirit. “Lord,” he says, “remember me, and visit me.” How beautifully simple! How expressive! How suited to us! Let us look at this prayer, and make it our own.

It is a prayer for times of trouble. Most are suffering from one cause or another. Oh, that the Lord would sanctify the sorrows of his people, and make the sufferings of his foes — the means of their conversion!

“O Lord, REMEMBER me!” Who can bear to be forgotten? Especially by a kind, wealthy, and powerful friend. How could we bear to be forgotten by the Lord? But though he never will forget us — yet we may plead for a special remembrance:

“Lord, I am tried, troubled, and cast down! Remember that I am your child! You have put me among your children. I have called you, Abba, Father. You have owned me at your throne of grace, and I cannot live contented without your smile and your blessing. Lord, I am your weeping child. The sorrows of my heart are enlarged; oh, bring me out of my distresses!

Oh Lord, remember that I am your friend. I have been reconciled to you by the death of your Son. I have committed my all unto you. I have been familiar with you. I have poured out all my heart before you. I cannot be happy — except you think of me, send to me, and show me friendship.

Oh Lord, remember that I am your soldier, engaged in your cause and quarrel. I wear your armor. I fight under your banner. I am jealous of your honor. But I am wounded in the field. I find my foes too strong for me. My heart betrays me. My courage fails me. I cannot conquer — unless you appear for me, and strengthen me with strength in my soul.

Oh Lord, remember that I am your servant. I have been long in your family. I love your children. I sometimes enjoy your work. But I am weak, beset with fears, and discouraged in the path of duty! Lord, oh, remember me!

Oh Lord, remember me, for I am in an enemy’s land. It is not the country I love and long for. I am in a howling wilderness, where there are few friends, little pleasant food, or refreshing rest. I am in a house of disease and death. All are suffering, and many are dying around me.

Oh Lord, remember . . .
my weakness — for it is great;
my fears — for they are many;
my temptations — for they are violent;
my infirmities — for they are numerous and painful; and
my present circumstances — for they are very trying.

Oh Lord, remember . . .
my prayers — and answer them;
my desires — and grant them;
my needs — and supply them;
my sorrows — and sanctify them;
my labors — and crown them with your effectual blessing!

Oh Lord, remember me — though I am so sinful — though I am so unworthy. Remember me, for I do remember you, and long for your presence and your love.

Oh Lord, remember me, for Jesus did so when he suffered in Gethsemane, and died on the cruel tree.

Oh Lord, remember me, or I shall be miserable now, and wretched for evermore! Oh Lord, remember me, for it does not matter who else remembers me or who forgets me — if I only have the assurance of your love and favor. Remember me, O Lord, with the favor you bear unto your people. Oh, visit me with your salvation, that I may see the good of your chosen people, and glory with your inheritance.”

“O Lord, VISIT me!” What is life — without God’s presence! What would the world be — if God did not visit us! How could we bear it — if he were to say, “You have had the last visit — I will come to you no more!” But he will see us again, and our hearts shall rejoice. He will come unto us, and he will bless us. Still, promises are not enough — if we are really alive to God. We want their fulfillment. We cannot be satisfied unless the Lord comes, and manifests himself unto us.

O Lord, visit me — and soften my heart — it is hard and unfeeling! I have tried to melt it in vain. I have taken it to Sinai — there it grows harder. I have taken it to Gethsemane and Calvary — but no place, no scene, no subject will do. It must be your presence, your smile, the sense of your love. Only come unto me, and my hard heart will yield, and flow with streams of penitential tears.

O Lord, visit me — and sanctify my temper. It is harsh and unlovely. It is trying to myself and others. I have had a long and severe conflict with it — but it is unlovely still. But your presence will make me meek, gentle, loving, kind-hearted, and good-tempered with all about me. In my very worst moods, a visit from you fills me with shame, self-abhorrence, gratitude, and humility; and then I am good-tempered in a moment.

O Lord, visit me — and revive my graces. My faith is weak. My hope is languid. My love is unsettled and wandering. A visit from you will fill me with confidence, raise my expectations, and cause my whole soul to glow with love! Then zeal will burn, repentance will work, fortitude will spring up, and every grace that should adorn the Christian character — will be in lively act and exercise.

Oh Lord, visit me — and brighten my evidences. They are often so dim, so unsatisfactory, that I can derive no comfort from them. I want to feel sure that I am a Christian: to have no doubts, no misgivings; to have every satisfactory evidence in my heart and life; but unless you visit me, I feel certain that I shall not.

Oh Lord, visit me — and cheer my spirits. I am dejected and cast down. My comforts droop and die. I am low — in a low place.

Oh Lord, visit me — and confound my foes. They are many. They are powerful. They get access to my heart. They bewilder, confuse, and mislead me! They often cast me down wounded, and fill me with fear and dread.

Oh Lord, visit me — and perfect my resignation. I would yield to your will in everything. I would prefer your choice to my own. I would be perfectly satisfied with all your arrangements.

Oh Lord, visit me, and produce this blessed, this desirable state of mind.

Beloved, God’s remembrance is always fruitful, it always brings us good things. God’s visits are always beneficial. They check every evil, nourish every grace, revive every virtue, and satisfy every really good desire. In this short prayer — is all we shall need in life or in death.

Are you concerned that God should remember you? Could you bear to be forgotten of God? Did God ever visit you in mercy? Has he visited you lately? Can you be satisfied without his visits? Oh, make the prophet’s prayer your own, and daily cry, “O Lord, remember me, and visit me!”

“Lord, when I quit this earthly stage,
Where shall I fly, but to your breast?
For I have sought no other home,
For I have desired no other rest.

I cannot live contented here,
Without some glimpses of your face;
And Heaven without your presence there,
Would be a dark and tiresome place!

When earthly cares engross the day,
And hold my thoughts aside from thee,
The shining hours of cheerful light,
Are long and tedious years to me.

And if no evening visits paid,
Between my Savior and my soul,
How dull the night! how sad the shade,
How mournfully the minutes roll!

My God! and can a humble child,
That loves you with a flame so high,
Be ever from your face exiled,
Without the pity of your eye?

Impossible! for your own hands
Have tied my heart so fast to thee,
And in your book the promise stands,
That where you are — your friends must be!”

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(James Smith, “PROCRASTINATION” 1865)

“As Paul reasoned with them about righteousness and self-control and the coming day of judgment, Felix trembled and replied: Go away for now. When it is more convenient, I will send for you!” Acts 24:25

Here is Felix listening to the apostle Paul. He is attentive. He is interested. He is affected. He trembles. He realizes something of the solemnity of eternity. He feels concern–but it is not deep enough, therefore he says, “Go away for now. When it is more convenient, I will send for you!” He does not positively refuse–but he postpones the matter. He thought there would be a more convenient time–but there never was! Felix has had some eighteen hundred years in Hell to rue his folly! He is regretting it at this moment–and he will regret it forever!

Many have imitated his foolish conduct. They say to God’s ministers, “Go away for now. When it is more convenient, I will send for you!”
What they are really saying is, “I love sin. It is my element. It is my delight. I cannot give it up just now. The dance–the jovial party–the customs of the present world–these are things that I like. I am not prepared to part with them, and embrace the gospel you preach. Go away for now. I had rather remain as I am–at least a little longer. I do not wish to be saved at present. By and bye, when I am too old to enjoy sin, or when sickness has made me too weak to follow any carnal pleasures–then, at this convenient season, I will send for you.”

Oh, sinner, sinner! Will you spurn God’s gracious invitation–will you turn a deaf ear to the message of mercy?

Will you persevere in sin–until you lie down in black despair?

Will you go to Hell–when so near the gates of Heaven?

Will you perish in your own deceivings?

Have you no fear of God?

Have you no dread of eternal torments?

Have you no wish to escape from the wrath to come?

What will you do in that dread day . . .
when death arrests you,
when the just Judge passes sentence upon you,
when Satan seizes you,
when Hell opens to engulf you, and
when the gates of the infernal pit close upon you forever?

What will you do?

What can you do?

To whom will you flee for help?

How will you, how can you, escape?

Alas! escape then, will be impossible!

Then the door of hope will be forever shut!

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8
Oct

Suppose Your Child Was Dying

   Posted by: jmueller

(James Smith, “Our Father and Comforter”)

Surely, if parents realized the value of their children’s souls; if they had a vivid sight of the danger to which they are exposed; if they felt that they must be saved by the Lord Jesus–or perish for ever–then they would act very differently toward them!

Could a parent, if he believed the Scriptural representation of hell, as a place of torment; and saw that his child hung over that ever-burning lake as by a thread–and might, at any moment, by some accident, be plunged into the bottomless abyss; I say, if he saw and believed this–could he let his child go on, day after day, and month after month, without the tender expostulation, the affectionate appeal, and the heart-felt prayer with him? I think not!

Alas! alas! We do not half believe . . .
in the horrors of hell,
in the danger of our children, and
in the absolute necessity of faith in Christ, in order to for them to be saved–or we could never live as we do!

What anxiety is manifested about their health and their education; and what indifference about their never-dying souls! One feels at times ready to conclude that many professing Christian parents must be half infidels, or wholly insane–to act as they do!

Reader, suppose your child was dying. His pulses are faint and few. He breathes short and hard. You approach his bedside. You take his hand in yours. He asks, “Father, did you believe I was a sinner? Did you know that it was possible I might die young? Were you aware that, without faith in Christ–I must perish forever? Did you, father?”

“I did, my child.”

“Then how could you be so cruel, so hard-hearted, as to treat me in the way you have? You never took me aside to talk to me seriously. You never endeavored to impress upon my mind the importance of spiritual things. You never earnestly warned me to flee from the wrath to come. You never lovingly invited me to the Lord Jesus Christ. You never prayed with me as if you believed I was in danger of going to hell, and could only be saved by the grace of God. You were very earnest about temporal things–but indifferent about spiritual realities. You knew that I was going to hell–and you did not try to prevent it. Now I am lost! Lost for ever–and you are the cause of it! Or, at least, you are accessory to my everlasting damnation!”

Or, suppose you were before the Great White Throne, and the Judge seated thereon, and you meet your children there. One of them points to you, and says, “There is my mother! She showed great concern about my body–but she never showed anxiety about my soul. She never knelt by my side in prayer. I never heard her plead with God for my soul, nor did she ever, in downright earnest, plead with me. I charge her, before the Judge of all–with cruelty to my soul; and throughout eternity I shall curse the day that ever I had such a parent! No name will excite my enmity, or draw forth my bitter reproaches, like the name of my mother! I am lost, lost forever–and my mother never heartily tried to prevent it!”

Parents, how could you bear this? Parents, parents! By all the tender ties that unite you to your children, I beseech you to seek, first, principally, and most earnestly–the conversion of your children!

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29
Sep

Wavering Faith

   Posted by: jmueller

For several weeks now,  I have been struggling with feelings that God is distant from me, or to be more precise, that I have been distant from Him. And that many of the things I do with the church are empty and pointless in regard to furthering the Gospel of Christ.

I received this Grace Gem this morning, and it is exactly the reading that I needed.  I have read it about a half dozen times whenever I have had a break in the action while visiting a customer in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.  I felt the need to post it and share it with others.

The grand secret!

(Octavius Winslow, “Evening Thoughts”)

“This is real love. It is not that we loved God–but that He loved us and sent His Son as a  sacrifice to take away our sins.” 1 John 4:10

Deal much and closely with a crucified Savior! This is the grand secret of a constant ascending of the affections to God. If you find it difficult to comprehend the love of God towards you–then read it in the cross of His dear Son!

Dwell upon this amazing fact,
drink into this precious truth,
muse upon it,
ponder it,
search into it,
pray over it,
until your heart is melted down, and broken, and overwhelmed with God’s wondrous love to you, in the gift of Jesus!

Oh, how will this rekindle the flame that is ready to die in your bosom! How it will draw you up in a holy and unreserved surrender of body, soul, and spirit!

Deal much with Jesus!

Whenever you detect . . .
a waning of love,
a reluctance to take up the daily cross,
a shrinking from the precept
–go immediately to Calvary!

Go simply and directly to Jesus!

Get your heart warmed with ardent love by contemplating Him upon the cross–and soon will the frosts that gather round it melt away, and the congealed current shall begin to flow!

“Who loved me–and gave Himself for me!” Galatians 2:20

We must keep our eyes focused on the Cross of Christ and and what he did for us as the Holy wrath of the Father was poured onto him, utterly breaking him.  This needs to be so much more than just words, though it so often seems to fall into that.

Lord, please help me to keep the Cross centered in my vision and let it guide all that I do.  Amen.

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8
Aug

It leaves earth for Heaven–or for Hell!

   Posted by: jmueller

(James Smith, “CONSIDER!” 1859)

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: Consider your ways!” Haggai 1:7

God commands you to consider–and you cannot neglect to do so, but you sin. Your circumstances require it of you–and you cannot neglect to do so, but you must be losers thereby. God complains, “My people do not consider!”

Inconsideration has ruined thousands–and will ruin thousands more. But shall it ruin you? It will–if you give way to it. Let me entreat you to do so no longer.

Consider that you are immortal–and must live forever.
Your BODY will die–and perhaps soon.
But not so your SOUL–it never dies.
Death changes its place–but not its nature.
It leaves earth for Heaven–or for Hell! It lives as much when the body is dead–as it did before. It is conscious–and capable of enjoying the highest pleasures–or of enduring the most dreadful torments! And one or the other will be its lot.

Heaven–or Hell,
happiness–or misery,
always follows upon death!

Surely an immortal being ought to consider:

Where shall I be after death?

What shall I be?

Among whom shall I have my eternal portion?

Is it rational to confine our attention to the present time, and the present world–when time bears no comparison to eternity; and our stay in this present world must be brief?

Consider that you are a sinner.
You have broken God’s law.
You have incurred God’s displeasure.
You are condemned by God’s Word.
You deserve God’s wrath.
Your heart is alienated from God.
You act in opposition to God.
You lie absolutely at God’s mercy–and at any moment He could cut you down, and send you to Hell.
You have no right to expect anything but justice at His hands! And if He dealt with you after your sins, and rewarded you according to your iniquities–your doom would be indescribably dreadful!

Reader! “Consider your ways!”

Consider that you are immortal–and that you must live somewhere forever!

Consider that you are a sinner–and that you cannot live in Heaven as such!

Consider that you may be saved–for the Lord Jesus Christ is both able and willing to save sinners!

Consider that you can only be saved by sincere faith in Christ!

Consider that you must denounce your own righteousness, and rely solely on His finished work!

Consider that if you are saved by Christ–you will live to Christ.
He will be your Lord–as well as your Savior.
He will be your example–as well as your atoning sacrifice!

Consider that faith is the root of holiness, and a holy life alone proves our faith to be genuine.

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: Consider your ways!”

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21
Jul

Her life-lesson was comprised in four words

   Posted by: jmueller

(James Smith, “Keep Close to Christ” 1857)

A Christian minister was dying. He had a young sister whom he tenderly loved, and in whose welfare he felt the deepest interest. She came to pay the last visit, and receive from his lips the last words of advice. The words of a dying minister, realizing the value of the soul, and the solemnity of eternity, are important words. Taking her by the hand, and fixing his eyes upon her with a loving look, he said, “Keep close to Christ!”

What could he say of more import? Her life-lesson was comprised in four words, “Keep close to Christ!” She had come to Jesus, she  loved Jesus, she found happiness in Jesus; but the dying brother knew . . .
the deceitfulness of the human heart;
the power of the world’s fascinations,
and the craft and subtlety of Satan,
therefore he exhorts, “Keep close to Christ!”

May the Lord give us grace to get near to Him; and then give us more grace, to keep near to Him; for alas! how many of us, like Peter, follow Him afar off!

What must we do–to keep close to Jesus?

We must keep close to His Word. Here He . . .
reveals His mind,
displays His love, and
exhibits His beauty!

It is a revelation of His deepest, sweetest, kindest thoughts!

It is an exhibition of His infinite, eternal, deathless love!

It is a mirror in which we may see His unparalleled beauty and excellency!

No one can keep close to Jesus–who does not daily, seriously, and prayerfully read His Word. That Word . . .
received into the heart by faith,
digested by meditation, and
reduced to practice in the life,
will bring the soul and Christ together!

For the more we know of Christ–the more we shall love Him, the more we shall prize, pant for, and seek to enjoy His presence!

Blessed Spirit, help us so to read the Word–as always to find Christ in it; and by it endear Him more and more unto us, and bring us into closer fellowship with Him!

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16
Jul

The Hiding Place!

   Posted by: jmueller

Be sure to listen to this precious song, “The hiding place!” as you read along with the lyrics!

The Hiding Place!

(James Smith, “Daily Bible Readings for the Lord’s Household”)

“A MAN will be as a hiding place from the wind,
And a refuge from the tempest,
As rivers of water in a dry place,
As the shade of a massive rock in an arid land!”
Isaiah 32:2

The present world is like a bleak and cheerless desert; the climate is very changeable, and we are exposed to piercing, cutting winds.

Sometimes dangerous errors,
sometimes deep afflictions,
sometimes soul-distressing trials,
like violent winds, blow upon us and fill us with alarm and dread!
At such times–a hiding place is necessary.

Jesus is our hiding place!

He will hide us from . . .
the wrath of God,
the rage of Hell, and
the injurious effects of trials and troubles!

Beloved, are you in this hiding place? If so, abide in it, for nowhere else will you find such safety, or enjoy such repose!

Hail, sovereign love which first began,
The scheme to rescue fallen man!
Hail, matchless, free, eternal grace,
Which gave my soul a hiding place!

Against the God who rules the sky,
I fought with hand uplifted high!
Despised the notion of His grace,
Too proud to seek a hiding place!

Enwrapt in thick Egyptian night,
And fond of darkness more than light!
Madly I ran the sinful race,
Secure without a hiding place!

But thus the eternal counsel ran:
“Almighty love–arrest that man!”
I felt the arrows of distress,
And found I had no hiding place!

Indignant Justice stood in view;
To Sinai’s fiery mount I flew!
But Justice cried, with frowning face,
“This mountain is no hiding place!”

E’er long, a heavenly voice I heard,
And Mercy’s angel soon appeared;
He led me on with gentle pace,
To Jesus as my hiding place!

Should sevenfold storms of thunder roll,
And shake the earth from pole to pole;
No thunder bolt could daunt my face,
For Jesus is my hiding place!

On Him almighty vengeance fell,
That would have sunk a world to hell!
He bore it for the chosen race,
And thus became their hiding place!

A few more rolling suns at most,
Shall land me on fair Canaan’s coast;
Where I shall sing the song of grace,
And see my glorious Hiding Place!

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14
Jul

She is a common sewer

   Posted by: jmueller

(Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments”. This selection is longer, but it is needful in our immoral society. Though it particularly addresses adultery, it easily applies to any kind of immorality. This is the best article I have ever read, on how to deal with lust. Every man struggles with lust—so please forward this on.)

“You shall not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14

This commandment is set up as a hedge to keep out impurity; and those who break this hedge—a serpent shall bite them! The fountain of this sin is lust. God is a pure, holy being, and has an infinite antipathy against all impurity. We must take heed of running on the rock of impurity, and so making shipwreck of our chastity. The meaning of the commandment is not only that we should not stain our bodies with immorality—but that we should keep our souls pure. To have a chaste body—but an unclean soul, is like a beautiful face with a cancerous heart. “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16.

There is a mental adultery. “Whoever looks on a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Matthew 5:28. As a man may die of an inward bleeding—so he may be damned for the inward boilings of lust, if it is not mortified. That I may deter you from the sin of adultery, let me show you the great evil of it.

(1) Adultery is a thievish sin. It is the highest sort of theft. The adulterer steals from his neighbor, that which is more than his goods and estate; he steals away his wife from him!

(2) Adultery debases a person. It makes him resemble the beasts; therefore the adulterer is described like a horse neighing. “Everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife.” Jeremiah 5:8. It is worse than brutish; for some creatures which are void of reason—yet by the instinct of nature, observe some decorum and chastity. The turtle-dove is a chaste creature, and keeps to its mate. And the stork, wherever he flies, comes into no nest but his own. Naturalists write that if a stork, leaving his own mate, joins with any other, all the rest of the storks fall upon it, and pull its feathers from it. Adultery is worse than brutish, it degrades a person of his honor.

(3) Adultery pollutes. The devil is called an unclean spirit. Luke 11:24. The adulterer is the devil’s first-born; he is unclean; he is a moving quagmire. He is all over ulcerated with sin; his eyes sparkle with lust; his mouth foams out filth; his heart burns like mount Etna, in unclean desires. He is so filthy, that if he dies in this sin, all the flames of hell will never purge away his immorality! And, as for the adulteress, who can paint her black enough? The Scripture calls her a deep ditch. Proverbs 23:27. She is a common sewer! The body of a harlot is a walking dung-hill, and her soul a lesser hell!

(4) Adultery is destructive to the body. “Afterward you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body.” Proverbs 5:11. Immorality turns the body into a hospital, it brings foul diseases, and eats the beauty of the face. As the flame wastes the candle, so the fire of lust consumes the body. The adulterer hastens his own death. “So she seduced him with her pretty speech. With her flattery she enticed him. He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter or like a trapped stag, awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life!” Proverbs 7:21-23.

(5.) Adultery is a drain upon the purse; it wastes not the body only—but the estate. “Keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life!” Proverbs 6:24-26. Whores are the devil’s horse-leeches, sponges that suck in money. The prodigal son spent his inheritance, when he fell among harlots. Luke 15:30. The concubine of King Edward III, when he was dying, got all she could from him, and even plucked the rings off his fingers.

(6) Adultery destroys reputation. “But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys his own soul. Wounds and constant disgrace are his lot. His shame will never be erased!” Proverbs 6:32, 33. Wounds of reputation—no physician can heal. When the adulterer dies, his shame lives. When his body rots underground, his name rots above ground. His bastard children are living monuments of his shame.

(7) Adultery impairs the mind. It steals away the understanding; it stupefies the heart. “Whoredom and wine take away the heart.” Hosea 4:11. It eats all purity out of the heart. Solomon besotted himself with women, and they enticed him to idolatry.

(8) Adultery incurs temporal judgments. The Mosaic law made the penalty for adultery, to be death. “The adulterer and adulteress shall surely be put to death;” and the usual death was stoning. Lev 20:10; Deut. 22:24. The Salons commanded people guilty of this sin, to be burnt. The Romans caused their heads to be stricken off. Like a scorpion—this sin carries a sting in its tail. “For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge!” Proverbs 6:34. The adulterer is often killed in the act of his sin. “Lust’s practice is to make a joyful entrance—but she leaves in misery.” I have read of two in London, who, having defiled themselves with adultery, were immediately struck dead with lightening from heaven. If all who are now guilty of this sin were to be punished in this manner, it would rain fire again, as on Sodom.

(9) Adultery, without repentance, damns the soul. “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor homosexual offenders . . . will inherit the kingdom of God!” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. The fire of lust, brings to the fire of hell. “God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral!” Hebrews 13:4. Though men may neglect to judge them—yet God will judge them! He will judge them assuredly; they shall not escape the hand of justice; and He will punish them severely. The harlot’s breasts keeps from Abraham’s bosom! “The delight lasts a moment—the torment an eternity!” Who for a cup of pleasure—would drink a sea of wrath! “Her guests are in the depths of hell.” Proverbs 9:18. The harlot is perfumed with powders, and lovely to look on—but poisonous and damnable to the soul! “She has cast down many wounded, yes, many strong men have been slain by her.” Proverbs 7:26.

(10) The adulterer does all he can, to destroy the soul of another—and so kills two at once! He is worse than the thief; for, suppose a thief robs a man, yes, and also takes away his life— the man’s soul may be happy; he may go to heaven as well as if he had died in his bed. But he who commits adultery, endangers the soul of another, and does all he can, to deprive her of salvation. What a fearful thing it is—to be an instrument to draw another to hell!

(11) The adulterer is abhorred of God. “The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; he who is abhorred by the Lord, will fall into it.” Proverbs 22:14. What can be worse than to be abhorred by God? God may be angry with His own children; but for God to abhor a man—is the highest degree of hatred! The immoral person stands upon the threshold of hell; and when death gives him a push—he tumbles in!

All this should sound a warning in our ears, and call us off from the pursuit of so damnable a sin as immorality. Hear what the Scriptures say: “Her house is the way to hell.” Proverbs 7:27.

I shall give some directions, by way of antidote, to keep from the infection of this sin.

(1) Do not come into the company of a whorish woman; avoid her house, as a seaman does a rock. “Run from her! Don’t go near the door of her house!” Proverbs 5:8. He who would not have the plague, must not come near infected houses; every whore-house has the plague in it. Not to avoid the occasion of sin, and yet pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” is, as if one should put his finger into the candle, and yet pray that it may not be burnt!

(2) Look to your eyes. Much sin comes in by the eye. “Having eyes full of adultery.” 2 Pet 2:14. The eye tempts the imagination, and the imagination works upon the heart. A lustful amorous eye, may usher in sin. Eve first saw the tree of knowledge—and then she took. Gen 3:6. First she looked—and then she loved. The eye often sets the heart on fire; therefore Job laid a law upon his eyes. “I made a covenant with my eyes—not to look with lust upon a young woman.” Job 31:1.

(3) Look to your lips. Take heed of any unclean word which may enkindle unclean thoughts in yourselves or others. “Evil communications corrupt good manners.” 1 Cor. 15:33. Impure discourse, is the bellows to blow up the fire of lust. Much evil is conveyed to the heart by the tongue. “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth!” Psalm 141:3.

(4) Look in a special manner to your heart. “Guard your heart with all diligence.” Proverbs 4:23. Every person has a tempter in his own bosom! “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, adultery, all other sexual immorality.” Matthew 15:19. Thinking of sin, makes way for the act of sin. Suppress the first risings of sin in your heart. As the serpent, when danger is near—guards his head, so keep your heart, which is the spring from whence all lustful motions proceed.

(5) Look to your attire. We read of the attire of a harlot. Proverbs 7:10. A wanton dress is a provocation to lust. A painted face, and half-naked breasts, are allurements to immorality. Where the sign is hung out—people will go in and taste the liquor. Jerome says, “those who by their lascivious attire endeavor to draw others to lust, though no evil follows—are tempters—and shall be punished, because they offered the poison to others, even though they would not drink.”

(6) Take heed of evil company. Sin is a very contagious disease; one person tempts another to sin, and hardens him in it. There are three cords which draw men to immorality:
the inclination of the heart,
the persuasion of evil company, and
the embraces of the harlot. This threefold cord is not easily broken. “A fire was kindled in their company.” Psalm 106:18. The fire of lust is kindled in bad company.

(7) Beware of going to theaters and plays. A play-house is often a preface to a whorehouse. “Plays furnish the seeds of wickedness.” We are bid to avoid all appearance of evil; and are not plays the appearance of evil? Such sights are there, which are not fit to be beheld with chaste eyes. A learned divine observes, that many have on their death-beds confessed, with tears, that the pollution of their bodies has been occasioned by going to plays.

(8) Take heed of mixed dancing. “Dances are instruments of lust and wantonness.” From dancing, people come to dalliance with another, and from dalliance to immorality. “There is,” says Calvin, “for the most part, some unchaste behavior in dancing.” Dances draw the heart to immorality—by wanton gestures, by unchaste touches, and by lustful looks. Chrysostom inveighed against mixed dancing in his time. “We read,” he says, “of a marriage feast—but of dancing there—we read not.” Matthew 25:7. Many have been ensnared by dancing. “Dancing is not the conduct of a chaste woman—but of the adulteress,” says Ambrose. Chrysostom says, “Where dancing is, there the devil is!”

(9) Take heed of lascivious books and pictures, which provoke to lust. As the reading of the Scripture stirs up love to God, so reading vile books stirs up the mind to wickedness. To lascivious books I may add lascivious pictures, which bewitch the eye, and are incendiaries to lust! They secretly convey poison to the heart.

(10) Take heed of excess in diet. When gluttony and drunkenness lead the van, immorality and wantonness bring up the rear. “Wine inflames lust.” “Sodom’s sins were pride, laziness, and gluttony.” Ezekiel 16:49. The foulest weeds grow out of the fattest soil. Immorality proceeds from excess. “When I had fed them to the full, everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife.” Jer. 5:8. Get the “golden bridle of temperance.” God allows the refreshment of nature, and what may fit us the better for his service; but beware of surfeit. Excess in temporal things—clouds the mind, chokes good affections, and provokes lust. “I discipline my body and bring it under strict control.” 1 Cor. 9:27. The flesh pampered—is liable to immorality.

(11) Take heed of idleness. When a man is idle, he is ready to receive any temptation. The devil sows most of his seeds of temptation in fallow ground. Idleness is the cause of sodomy and immorality. “Sodom’s sins were pride, laziness, and gluttony.” Ezekiel 16:49. When David was idle on the top of his house, he espied Bathsheba, and committed adultery with her. 2 Samuel 11:4. Jerome gave his friend counsel to be always well employed in God’s vineyard, that when the devil came, he might have no leisure to listen to temptation.

(12) To avoid fornication and adultery, let every man have a chaste, entire love to his own wife. Ezekiel’s wife was the desire of his eyes. Ezekiel 24:16. When Solomon had dissuaded from immoral women, he prescribed a remedy against it. “Rejoice with the wife of your youth.” Proverbs 5:18. It is not having a wife—but loving a wife— which makes a man live chastely. He who loves his wife, whom Solomon calls his fountain, will not go abroad to drink of muddy, poisoned waters. Pure marital love is a gift of God, and comes from heaven; but, like the vestal fire, it must be nourished, so that it does not go out. He who does not love his wife, is the likeliest person to embrace the bosom of a harlot.

(13) Labor to get the fear of God into your hearts. “By the fear of the Lord, men depart from evil.” Proverbs 16:6. As the embankment keeps out the water, so the fear of the Lord keeps out immorality. Such as lack the fear of God, lack the bridle which should check them from sin! How did Joseph keep from his mistress’ temptation? The fear of God pulled him back! “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God!” Genesis 39:9. Bernard calls holy fear, “the door-keeper of the soul.” As a nobleman’s porter stands at the door, and keeps out vagrants, so the fear of God stands and keeps out all sinful temptations from entering.

(14) Take delight in the Word of God. “How sweet are your words unto my taste.” Psalm 119:103. Chrysostom compares God’s Word to a garden. If we walk in this garden, and suck sweetness from the flowers of the promises, we shall never care to pluck the “forbidden fruit.” “Let the Scriptures be my pure pleasure,” says Augustine. The reason why people seek after unchaste, sinful pleasures—is because they have nothing better. Caesar riding through a city, and seeing the women play with dogs and parrots, said, “Surely, they have no children.” So those who sport with harlots, have no better pleasures. He who has once tasted Christ in a promise, is ravished with delight; and he would scorn a temptation to sin! Job said, that the Word was his “appointed food.” Job 23:12. No wonder then, that he made a “covenant with his eyes.”

(15) If you would abstain from adultery, use serious consideration.

[1] Consider that God sees you in the act of sin! He sees all your curtain wickedness. He is totus oculus—”all eye.” The clouds are no canopy, the night is no curtain—to hide you from God’s eye! Whenever you sin—your Judge looks on! “I have seen your detestable acts—your adulteries and your neighings.” Jer. 13:27. “They have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives. I know it and am a witness to it! declares the Lord.” Jer. 29:23.

[2] Consider that few who are entangled in the sin of adultery, ever recover from the snare. “None that go to her return again.” Proverbs 2:19. This made some of the ancients conclude that adultery was an unpardonable sin; but it is not so. David repented. Mary Magdalene was a weeping penitent; upon her amorous eyes which sparkled with lust, she sought to be revenged, by washing Christ’s feet with her tears! Some, therefore have recovered from this snare. “None that go to her return,” that is, “very few.” It is rare to hear of any who are enchanted and bewitched with the sin of immorality, who recover from it. “I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare.” Eccl. 7:26. Her “heart is a trap,” that is, she is subtle to deceive those who come to her; and “her hands are chains,” that is her embraces are powerful to hold and entangle her lovers. This consideration should make all fearful of this sin. Soft pleasures, harden the heart.

[3] Consider what Scripture says, which may lay a barricade in the way to this sin. “I will be a swift witness against the adulterers.” Malachi 3:5. It is good when God is a witness “for us”, when He witnesses to our sincerity, as He did to Job’s; but it is sad to have God as a “witness against us.” “I,” says God, “will be a swift witness against the adulterer.” And who shall disprove God’s witness? He is both witness and judge! “God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.” Hebrews 13:4.

[4] Consider the sad farewell, which the sin of adultery leaves. It leaves a hell in the conscience. “The lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil. But the result is as bitter as poison, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to hell.” Proverbs 5:3-5. The goddess Diana was so artfully drawn, that she seemed to smile upon those who came into her temple—but frown on those who went out. So the harlot smiles on her lovers as they come to her—but at last, they come to the frown and the sting! “Until an arrow pierces his liver.” Proverbs 7:23. “Her end is bitter.”

When a man has been virtuous, the labor is gone—but the comfort remains; but when he has been wicked and immoral, the pleasure is gone—but the sting remains. “He gains momentary pleasure—but after that, eternal torment,” says Jerome. When the senses have been feasted with unchaste pleasures, the soul is left to pay the reckoning. Stolen waters are sweet; but, as poison, though sweet in the mouth, it torments the conscience. Sin always ends in tragedy! Sad is that which Fincelius reports of a priest in Flanders, who enticed a young girl to immorality. When she objected how vile a sin it was, he told her that by authority from the Pope, he could commit any sin; so at last he drew her to his wicked purpose. But when they had been together a while, in came the devil, and took away the harlot from the priest’s side, and, notwithstanding all her crying out, carried her away! If the devil should come and carry away all who are guilty of immorality in this nation—I fear more would be carried away, than would be left behind!

(16) Pray against this sin. Luther gave a lady this advice, that when any lust began to rise in her heart, she should go to prayer. Prayer is the best armor against sin; it quenches the wild fire of lust. If prayer will “cast out the devil,” it will certainly cast out those lusts which come from the devil.

O let us labor for soul purity! To keep the soul pure—have recourse to the blood of Christ, which is the “fountain open, to cleanse from sin and impurity.” Zech. 13:1. A soul steeped in the briny tears of repentance, and bathed in the blood of Christ—is made pure! Say, “Lord, my soul is defiled! I pollute all I touch! O purge me with hyssop—let Christ’s blood sprinkle me, let the Holy Spirit anoint me. O make me pure, that I may be taken to heaven—where I shall be as holy as You would have me to be—and as happy as I can desire to be!”

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