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Spurgeon's Maxims for Living
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Darkness ~ Demons | Depravity ~ Duty
DEPRAVITY read more quotes relating to sin

It is the surest proof of man’s natural enmity against God that he dares to impute
falsehood to one who is truth itself. AP36

We have in our time heard great talk about discovering pure, unsophisticated tribes,
beautiful in native innocence, untainted with the vices of civilization; but it has
turned out to be all talk. TN315

Who can understand the number of his errors? The mightiest mind could not count
the sins of a single day. As the multitude of sparks from a furnace, so innumerable
are the iniquities of one day. We might sooner tell the grains of sand on the
sea-shore, than the iniquities of one man’s life. A life most purged and pure is still as
full of sin as the sea is full of salt. And who is he that can weigh the salt of the sea, or
can detect it as it mingles with every fluid particle? But if he could do this, he could
not tell how vast an amount of evil saturates our entire life, and how innumerable
are those deeds, and thoughts, and words of disobedience, which have cast us out
from the presence of God, and caused him to abhor the creatures which his own
hands have made. 299.102

The fact is, that man is a reeking mass of corruption. His whole soul is by nature so
debased and so depraved, that no description which can be given of him even by
inspired tongues can fully tell how base and vile a thing he is. 299.104

If we would run in the way of God’s commands, then sin has lamed us; if we would
grasp God’s promises, evil has paralysed us; if we would see into the mysteries of
grace, guilt has blinded us; if we would hear the voice of God, transgression has
smitten us with deafness; and if our voices would swell the song of cherubim and
seraphim, alas, the plague of our heart within has made us dumb. 618.134

Our prayers have stains in them, our faith is mixed with unbelief, our repentance is
not so tender as it should be, our communion is distant and interrupted. We cannot
pray without sinning, and there is filth even in our tears. 618.135

In the best prayer that was ever offered by the holiest man that ever lived, there was
enough of sin to render it a polluted thing if the Lord had looked upon it by itself. 1051.278

My friend, you, who are so fair to look upon when you look in the glass of your own
self-adulation, if you could see yourself as God sees you, would discover that you are
leprous from head to foot; your sins are abundant and loathsome, though you
perceive them not. 1145.678

He who cannot find water in the sea is not more foolish than the man who cannot
perceive sin in his members. As the salt flavours every drop of the Atlantic, so does
sin affect every atom of our nature. It is so sadly there, so abundantly there, that if
you cannot detect it you are deceived. 1241.365

There is no beast in wolf, or lion, or serpent that is so brutish as the beast in man.
Did I not tell you last Sabbath day that whereas, according to the Levitical law, he
that touched a dead animal was unclean till the evening, he who touched a dead man
was unclean seven days, for a man is a seven times more polluting creature than any
of the beasts of the field when his animal nature rules him. 1482.373

A very hell of corruption lies within the best saint; and if the grace of God did not
restrain it, he would soon be found among the chief of sinners. 1639.33

If any man could see his own heart as it is by nature, he would be driven mad: the
sight of our disease is not to be borne unless we also see the remedy. 2097.411

No man’s reason would survive a full sight of his own inner self. 2134.153

The creature that has done nothing right, but everything that is wrong, still believes
in himself. 2305.197

No, sir, you are even worse in heart than you ever were in life, because there are
many things that restrain you from revealing your naked self to those who only see
your outward life. 2932.197

DEPRESSION* read more quotes relating to emotional issues

Better to have a Christian’s days of sorrow, than a worldling’s days of mirth. WC87

To have something to do for Jesus, and to go right on with it, is one of the best ways
to get over a bereavement, or any heavy mental depression. If you can pursue some
great object, you will not feel that you are living for nothing. WE81

He who would have his spirit bowed down even to the very earth, has only to fix
his thoughts upon himself and his circumstances, instead of looking to God and his
promises. 428.15

Depression of spirit often leads to slackness of hand. 1096.94

We have our times of natural sadness; we have, too, our times of depression, when we
cannot do otherwise than hang our heads. Seasons of lethargy will also befall us from
changes in our natural frame, or from weariness, or the rebound of over excitement.
The trees are not always green, the sap sleeps in them in the winter; and we have
winters too. Life cannot always be at flood tide: the fulness of the blessing is not upon
the most gracious at all times. 1427.439

The worst forms of depression are cured when Holy Scripture is believed. 2084.260

I notice that people who have nothing to do but to sit down and stare into the black
hole of their own nature, are generally very sad, and not often very virtuous; but they
who, knowing how dark and sinful their nature is, trust Jesus for salvation, and then
spend their lives in doing the will of the Lord, these are they who are both holy and
happy. 2449.42

You cannot always rejoice, because, although your treasure is not in this world, your
affliction is. 3406.230

It is a good thing for the melancholy to become a Christian; it is an unfortunate thing
for the Christian to become melancholy. 3503.126

DESIRE read more quotes relating to spiritual disciplines

You may judge a man by what he groans after. ME679

It cannot be that my Lord has made me sick of this world, and yet will not give me
another. 2580.351

DETERMINATION read more quotes relating to drive and motivation

A mouse may find a hole, be the room ever so full of cats. PT167

DIARIES read more quotes relating to ego

I do not believe in keeping a detailed diary of each day’s experience, for one is very
apt, for want of something to put down, to write what is not true, or at least not real.
I believe there is nothing more stilted or untruthful, as a general rule, than a
religious diary; it easily degenerates into self-conceit. 1138.598

I do not believe in keeping diaries and putting down every day what you feel, or what
you think you feel but never did feel. I fear it would become a mere formality, or an
exercise of imagination to most of us; for when I read very pious people’s diaries
they always seem to me to have had an eye to the people who would read them, and
to have put down both more and less than the truth; I am a little frightened at the
artificial style of experience which it must lead to. 1308.450

DIFFICULTIES read more quotes relating to drive and motivation

A world where everything was easy would be a nursery for babies, but not at all a fit
place for men. PP127

The more spiritual the exercise, the sooner we tire. Joshua was not weary of fighting
in the valley, but Moses’ hands began to grow weary with holding them up in prayer. 3219.494

DILIGENCE read more quotes relating to drive and motivation

A wise man does at first what a fool does at last. PP20

I find in Scripture that most of the great appearances that were made to eminent
saints were made when they were busy. WWi55

Those who do much already, are usually the people who can do more. 998.361

Instead of complaining that you have no more light, make good use of what you have.
Many groan over their inabilities, and yet they have never gone to the end of their
abilities: this is sheer hypocrisy. 1792.409

The other day, I saw John Wesley’s diary, or rather, horary, for it had in it not merely
an entry for every day, but for every hour; and not only for every hour, but usually
there was a distinct occupation for every twenty minutes. The good man made his
days to have many hours in them, and his hours seemed to have more minutes in
them than most men’s hours have, because he did not waste any of them, but
diligently used them all in his Master’s service. 2718.122

DISAPPOINTMENT read more quotes relating to trials and suffering

Like Jehoshaphat, we may be precious in the Lord’s sight, although our schemes end
in disappointment. ME26

It was a pretty remark I read, the other day, of a Christian man who said, “I used to
have many disappointments, until I changed one letter of the word, and chopped it
into two, so that instead of ‘disappointments,’ I read it, ‘his appointments.’” That was
a wonderful change, for “disappointments” break your heart, but “his appointments”
you accept right cheerily. 2420.321

DISCERNMENT read more quotes relating to truth

It is for us, therefore, to judge carefully, and not to think that any opinion will do.
Besides, opinions have influence upon the conduct, and if a man have a wrong
opinion, he will, most likely, in some way or other, have wrong conduct, for the two
usually go together. 134.221

A little excess in right may be faulty. It may be wise to look, but foolish to gaze.
There is a very thin partition sometimes between that which is commendable and
that which is censurable. 1817.16

Before I leave this point, I would urge you earnestly to be careful both as to the man
you hear, and the words of his on which you rest. I beseech any of you who are
attendants here, who are resting yourselves upon my words, to cease that habit. 2250.165

As the good man said to his boy, “My boy, pay as you go.” “Suppose I cannot pay,
father.” “Then, don’t go;” so would I say to you, examine your life as you go. If you
dare not examine an action, or look at it, then do not do it. 2313.297

This shall be an infallible test to you concerning anyone’s ministry. If it is man-
praising, and man-honouring, it is not of God. 2784.294

DISCIPLESHIP read more quotes relating to spiritual disciplines

A whetstone, though it cannot cut, may sharpen a knife that will. PP34

If I had any human master he would have been out of patience with me long ago, but
the Lord Jesus Christ never gives up a scholar; having once commenced to teach, he
continues his divine lessons till they are fully learned, and the more difficult it
is for him to teach the more honour it will be when he gets all his scholars educated
for the skies. 1248.456

He cannot be a disciple who does not learn, but invents. 1986.558

It seemed, sometimes, to be rather repelling men than attracting them to say to
would-be disciples, “If you will follow me, do this, and do that,”—perhaps, some very
trying ordeal; yet that was the Saviour’s usual habit. 2874.122

You cannot be Christ’s servant if you are not willing to follow him, cross and all.
What do you crave? A crown? Then it must be a crown of thorns if you are to be like
him. Do you want to be lifted up? So you shall, but it will be upon a cross. 2874.124

God in his providence and in grace, as far as we have been made willing to learn of
him, is educating us for something higher than this world. 3335.3

All the flowers of the field, and many of the beasts of the plain, and now the very orbs
of heaven, are turned into metaphors and symbols by which the glory of Jesus may
be manifested to us. Where God takes such pains to teach, we ought to be at pains to
learn. 3343.97

DISCONTENTMENT read more quotes relating to finances/possessions

Many a worldling is satiated, but not one is satisfied. TD103:5

This is the miraculous mistake of man,—that he is always beginning to live; but he
never does live; he always intends to be satisfied, but he never is; he always means
to sit down in content, but that period never arrives. He always has something to
vex him, but still hopes the day shall come when he shall be vexed no more. 247.179

As to money, every man will have enough when he has a little more, but contentment
with his gains comes to no man. 1222.146

Discontentment is a bottomless bog into which if one world were cast it would quiver
and heave for another. 1222.147

When the vulture of dissatisfaction has once fixed its talons in the breast it will not
cease to tear at your vitals. 1222.147

I do believe that there are some Christians whom God himself will never satisfy until
he takes them to heaven. 2860.579

Possibly you are dissatisfied because you cannot bring the contents of your pocket up
to the height of your wishes; but if you bring your wishes down to the level of the
contents of your pocket, you will be satisfied with what you now have. 2987.238

We are all for pronouncing our neighbour’s lot happier than our own. As Young says
of mortality, “All men think all men mortal but themselves,” we are apt to think all
men happy but ourselves. 3054.409

DISTRACTION read more quotes relating to drive and motivation

To have a great many aims and objects is much the same thing as having no aim at
all; for if a man shoots at many things he will hit none, or none worth the hitting. GS303

Man invents mechanical forms and modes in order to get away from the horrible
necessity of thinking, but in doing so he destroys his soul. 1094.58

See how the bulk of them hurry on with their eyes tightly shut, rushing fast and yet
faster still down to destruction. You cannot make them stop and think. There are
thousands of men who would almost sooner be whipped than be made to think. 2404.122

It is no use having a brain that is taken up with fifty different subjects, and yet does
not master any one of them. 2649.558

DIVISION read more quotes relating to relationship issues

Discord usually takes first hold upon the thorns; it is nurtured among the hypocrites
and base professors in the church, and away it goes among the righteous, blown by
the winds of hell, and no one knows where it may end. ME475

Divisions in Churches never begin with those full of love to the Saviour. 607.11

Besides, Satan always hates Christian fellowship; it is his policy to keep Christians
apart. Anything which can divide saints from one another he delights in. He
attaches far more importance to godly intercourse than we do. 657.602

When you hear of disturbances in churches you need not so much seek to compose the
differences among the members as to amend the men themselves. 1368.450

I never heard of quarrels among devils, nor did I ever read of sects in hell: they are
all one in their hatred of the Christ and of God. 1643.82

Why are we not one? Sin is the great dividing element. The perfectly holy would be
perfectly united. The more saintly men are, the more they love their Lord and one
another; and thus they come into closer union with each other. Our errors and our
sins are roots of bitterness which spring up and trouble us, and many are defiled. Our
infirmities of judgment are aggravated by our imperfections of character, and our
walking at a distance from our God; and these breed coldness and lukewarmness, out
of which grow disunion and division, sects and heresies. 1890.152

A church divided in its doctrine,—what can it do? If it has to spend its strength in
continual debate, what force has it with which to conquer the world? 2439.544

Time was when they that feared the Lord spake often one to another; I am afraid
that now they more often speak one against another. 3295.149

The strength that is spent in division is so much taken away from service. 3527.411

DIVORCE read more quotes relating to family issues

Ah! there is no divorce court in heaven, there is no division, no separation bill
possible, for he “hateth putting away.” If chosen, he will not reject, if once embraced,
he will never cast out; his she is, and his she shall be evermore. 374.211

When should a man forget or forsake his spouse? Never under any conceivable
circumstances, but certainly not when she is sick or sorrowful. Shall he sue in the
Divorce Court against her because she is afflicted, and full of pains and griefs? Is she
to be cast out of doors because her spirits are broken? Villany alone could dictate such
an argument, and rest assured, beloved, such an argument should have no tolerance
with the Wellbeloved. 794.82

It was like the putting away of a wife with a writing of divorcement, of which the
Saviour said that “Moses suffered it because of the hardness of their hearts.” It was
not right in itself, but it was simply endured because of the low moral state of the
people when they came as a herd of slaves from Egypt’s brick-kilns, not having been
trained and educated to understand the value of liberty as you and I happily have
been in these later times for these many years. 3337.26

DOCTRINE* read more quotes relating to doctrine

Now, extremes are the error of ignorance. Generally, when men believe one truth,
they carry it so far as to deny another; and, very frequently, the assertion of a
cardinal truth leads men to generalise on the other particulars, and so to make
falsehoods out of truth. 128.169

Men are rather triflers than tremblers. If there be any doctrine which has peculiar
weight and solemnity about it, they try to pare it down to less terrible proportions.
Sin is not exceedingly sinful to them, nor its punishment exceeding terrible. 2033.386

Depend upon it, there are countless holy influences which flow from the habitual
maintenance of great thoughts of God, as there are incalculable mischiefs which flow
from our small thoughts of him. The root of false theology is belittling God; and the
essence of true divinity is greatening God, magnifying him, and enlarging our
conceptions of his majesty and his glory to the utmost degree. 2219.446

Dry doctrine, without the damping of the Spirit of God, may only make fuel for
your eternal destruction. 2284.570

I believe certain doctrines because God says they are true; and the only authority I
have for their truth is the Word of God. I receive such and such doctrines, not because
I can prove them to be compatible with reason, not because my judgment accepts
them, but because God says they are true. Now this is one of the best services we can
render to God,—to submit ourselves to him in our belief of what he has revealed, and
ask him to fix his truths in our hearts, and make us obey them. 2651.578

-FALSE read more quotes relating to doctrine

Men go after novel and false doctrines because they do not really know the truth; for
if the truth had gotten into them and filled them, they would not have room for these
day-dreams. GS108

It has been well remarked by a great writer, that he never knew a man who held any
great theological error, who did not also hold a doctrine which diminished the
depravity of man. 251.210

Ah! brethren and sisters, beware of thinking too little of the fall. Slight thoughts
upon the fall are at the root of false theologies; the mischief that has been wrought in
us is not a trifling matter, but a thing to be trembled at. 790.26

Every age produces a new crop of heretics and infidels. Just as the current of the
times may run, so doth the stream of infidelity change its direction. We have lived
long enough, some of us, to see three or four species of atheists and deists rise and
die, for they are short lived, an ephemeral generation. 791.6

No error would live if it did not chime in with some evil propensity of human nature,
if it did not gratify some error in man to which it is congruous. 1248.447

All systems of theology, except that which is founded upon free grace, in some way or
other take off the edge of guilt. 1416.301

Some people can eat sawdust, and make a meal of shadows. I could almost wish it
were true of them, that they could drink any deadly thing, and it should not hurt
them; for assuredly they do drink very deadly things when they go to the tavern of
modern thought. 2039.459

One said the other day, that to lay sin upon Christ, and to treat him as guilty, and let
him die for the unjust, was not just. Yet the objector went on to say that God forgave
men freely without any atonement at all. Of this wise critic I would ask—Is that just?
Is it just to pass by breaches of the law without a penalty? Why any law at all? and
why should men care whether they keep it or break it? 2207.305

If you meet with a system of theology which magnifies man, flee from it as far as you
can. 2784.294

The teachers of the modern school of theology work in a kind of god-factory. 2834.266

All errors will die in due time. 3142.214

-SOUND read more quotes relating to doctrine

The path of truth in doctrine is generally a middle one. WCo35

Whether you are Calvinists, or Arminians, or anything else, dear friends, be first and
chiefly Christians—Christians—following Christ, receiving him as the great
Expositor to you of God, and of the great truths of revelation. You will tell me you
have your “bodies of divinity;” there never was but one “body of divinity,” and that
was the “body” of the man, Christ Jesus; do you, abating all prejudices and
self-formed opinions, receive our Lord as the great embodiment of truth. 669.15

This verse (1 Timothy 1:11) occurs just after a long list of sins, which the apostle
declares to be contrary to sound doctrine; from which we gather that one test of
sound doctrine is its opposition to every form of sin. That doctrine which in any way
palliates sin may be popular, but it is not sound doctrine: those who talk much of
their soundness, but yet by their lives betray the rottenness of their hearts, need far
rather to be ashamed of their hypocrisy than to be proud of their orthodoxy. 758.361

The theology of the present aims at the deification of man, but the truth of all time
magnifies God. 2100.454

This is the doctrine that we preach; if a man be saved, all the honour is to be given to
Christ; but if a man be lost, all the blame is to be laid upon himself. You will find all
true theology summed up in these two short sentences, salvation is all of the grace of
God, damnation is all of the will of man. 2411.209

“Then,” say some, “tell us how to discern the truth.” You may judge of it by three
things; by God, by Christ, and by man; that is, the truth which honours God, the
truth which glorifies Christ, and the truth which humbles man. 3093.247

DOGMATISM read more quotes relating to truth

Orthodoxy is my doxy; heterodoxy is anybody else’s doxy who does not agree with
me. 1005.449

It is of no use for a man to say, “I have made up my mind upon certain things,” and
to keep doggedly fighting over those matters, while, at the same time, the whole of
his life is unkind, ungenerous, and unlovable. Yes, by all manner of means be a
martyr if you like; but do not martyr everybody else, for it is very possible to get so
much grit in you, that you become all grit. There are some who have carried firmness
into obstinacy, and determination into bigotry, which is a thing to be shunned. 2291.30

Be dogmatically true, obstinately holy, immovably honest, desperately kind, fixedly
upright. 3381.558

DOMINEERING read more quotes relating to relationship issues

Doubtless, there is a tendency with us all to wish to impose our opinions upon others,
by all available means. The exaggeration of anxiety for our fellow-men would lead us
to adopt wrong means to make them of a right opinion; we forget that men’s
consciences and judgments are never touched by such rude or vulgar means as
threats or penalties. We should always feel that consciences and hearts are under the
jurisdiction of the Most High, and in no sense whatever are they to be brought under
the jurisdiction of Pope or potentate, or any one of us, no matter how orthodox we
may conceive ourselves to be. Strive earnestly for your faith, but strive lawfully. 639.388

DOUBLE-MINDEDNESS read more quotes relating to truth

Mark Antony yoked two lions to his chariot; but there are two lions no man ever
yoked together yet—the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the lion of the pit. These can
never go together. Two opinions you may hold in politics, perhaps, but then you will
be despised by everybody, unless you are of one opinion or the other, and act as an
independent man. But two opinions in the matter of soul-religion you cannot hold. WWa145

DOUBT read more quotes relating to unbelief

Our failure lies in want of faith, not in excess of it. It would be hard to believe God too
much: it is dreadfully common to believe him too little. AP89

I heard of a little girl whose mother found her one day with a carving knife and the
family Bible. “What are you doing?” she asked, in some surprise, for the safety of
both Bible and child. “O mother,” she said, “I was reading about the man who came
to Jesus and said, ‘If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean;’ and I thought he ought
not to have said ‘if’ to Jesus; so please, mother, I am scraping it out.” A very good
thing to do with all our “ifs.” BA136

We believe on evidence. Now the most foolish part of many men’s doubts, is, that they
do not doubt on evidence. 246.170

If you believe a thing you want evidence, and before you doubt a thing you ought to
have evidence too. To believe without evidence is to be credulous, and to doubt
without evidence is to be foolish. 246.170

Why did Simon Peter doubt? He doubted for two reasons. First, because he looked too
much to second causes, and secondly, because he looked too little at the first cause. 246.170

Atheism denies God’s existence—unbelief denies his goodness, and since goodness
is essential to God, these doubts do, in reality, stab at his very being. 439.145

Some of you are always fashioning fresh nets of doubt for your own entanglement.
You invent snares for your own feet, and are greedy to lay more and more of them.
You are mariners who seek the rocks, soldiers who court the point of the bayonet. It
is an unprofitable business. Practically, mentally, morally, spiritually, doubting is
an evil trade. You are like a smith, wearing out his arm in making chains with which
to bind himself. Doubt is sterile, a desert without water. Doubt discovers difficulties
which it never solves: it creates hesitancy, despondency, despair. 2100.455

Would it not be better to be dumb when we are doubtful? Muzzle that dog of unbelief! 2237.1

I usually find that the greatest doubters are the people who do not read the Bible. 2623.247

Doubt thee, my Lord? I could doubt all except thee; and doubt myself most of all. 2721.162

DREAMS read more miscellaneous quotes

Were you ever pained by a dream? I will hold no man responsible for his dreams; but,
if there were no sin in us, we should have no sin even in our dreams. If we were
perfectly pure,—as some think that they are,—we should be perfectly pure even in
our dreams. 2609.80

DUTY* read more quotes relating to drive and motivation

Men do not get character among their fellows by indolence and listlessness, or by
pretensions and talk. Action! action!—this is what the world wants; and there is
more truth than we have dreamed in Nelson’s aphorism, “England expects every
man to do his duty.” 600.647

It is a good saying of an old divine, “Never bring to God one duty stained with the
blood of another.” As much as lieth in you, give to each distinct duty its due
proportion. 2976.105

Darkness ~ Demons | Depravity ~ Duty

© 2005 Pre-Evangelism Ministries
& Fox River Press