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Spurgeon's Maxims for Living
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Failure ~ Financial Speculation | Flattery ~ Future, The
FLATTERY* read more quotes relating to relationship issues

I notice that if I am at all pleased with the praise of a friend, I become in that degree
open to be grieved by the censure of a foe. GS123

I wonder how old a man would be when he would be too old to love flattery. GS166

To live upon the praises of others is to feed on the air; for what is praise but the
breath of men’s nostrils? PP25

The moment a man praises you to your face, mark him, for he is the very gentleman
to rail at you behind your back. If a fellow takes the trouble to flatter he expects to be
paid for it, and he calculates that he will get his wages out of the soft brains of those
he tickles. When people stoop down it generally is to pick something up, and men
don’t stoop to flatter you unless they reckon upon getting something out of you. PP104

Soft, smooth, oily words are most plentiful where truth and sincerity are most scarce. TD55:21

I dare say that if any cautious flatterer will assure me that I am a very wise person,
I shall before long come to the conclusion that he is a remarkably sensible and
far-seeing individual. If anyone should accuse you of a virtue which you never
possessed, if he would but persevere long enough with his pleasing insinuation, you
will begin to smile inwardly, and hint to your conscience that there are latent
excellencies about you which this man with prophetic glance has discovered. 1658.256

Beloved, I fear that preachers often think too well of their congregations, and talk to
them as if they were all perfect, or nearly so. I cannot thus flatter you. 2042.503

If a man can stand commendation, he can stand anything. 3167.508

FLEXIBILITY read more quotes relating to relationship issues

Mark you, there never was a man more stern for principle than Paul; in things where
it was necessary to take his stand he was firm as a rock, but in merely personal and
external matters he was the servant of all. 1170.248

FLOOD, THE read more quotes relating to creationism

The destruction caused by the deluge was universal. It did not merely sweep away
some who were out of the ark, but it swept them all away. 823.421

It all hinges on this one matter, inside or outside the ark: inside the ark a thousand
imperfections, but all saved; outside the ark a thousand excellencies, but all drowned
without a single exception at last! 823.426

Floods of sin called for floods of destruction. 1125.435

FOLLOWSHIP read more quotes relating to leadership

We must be all conscious that we imitate those whom we admire. Love has a strange
influence over our nature, to mould it into the form beloved. 1248.448

Men, if they outstrip their leaders, generally do so in the wrong direction. They
seldom exaggerate their virtues, those they frequently omit, but they usually
exaggerate peculiarities, follies, failings, and faults. 1248.448

Brethren, we are apt to think too little of our leaders. First of all we think too much
of them, and afterwards we think too little of them. 2258.254

Wellington used to say that no man is fit to command until he has learned to obey;
and I am sure that it is so. 2317.345

FOOD read more quotes relating to body issues

If we went out into the field and gathered food which dropped down direct from the
skies we should think it a great miracle to admire and wonder at; but is it not quite
as great a marvel that our bread should come up from the earth as that it should
come down from the sky? The same God who bade the heavens let fall the angel’s
food in the wilderness bids the dull earth in its due season yield the corn for the
millions of mankind. 3315.386

FOOLS and FOOLISHNESS read more quotes about knowledge and wisdom

The young men are wonderfully bright and intelligent, and the old people are a good
deal behind them. Yes, yes; that is the way we talk before our beards have grown. GS48

He is the greatest fool of all who pretends to explain everything, and says he will not
believe what he cannot understand. PP142

When a man has a particularly empty head, he generally sets up for a great judge,
especially in religion. None so wise as the man who knows nothing. PT18

He who knows nothing is confident in everything; hence they are bullheaded beyond
measure. PT19

After the miser comes the prodigal. Often men say of the spendthrift his old father
was no man’s friend but his own, and now the son is no man’s enemy but his own: the
fact is, the old gentleman went to hell by the lean road, and his son has made up his
mind to go there by the fat. PT111

There is no fool like the man who will be a fool cost him what it may. TD85:8

Let us mind we all make a distinction between things which differ, and do not pull a
house down on our heads, and then pray the Lord to console us under the trying
providence. 547.5

Tomorrow is only in the fool’s almanack: it exists nowhere else. 1107.224

When we say, “I am surprised that I should have acted so unwisely,” we betray our
secret pride, and confess that we thought ourselves wonderfully wise. 1536.268

Sometimes the more men know the greater fools they become; for knowledge is not
wisdom, though wisdom cannot be without knowledge. Knowledge in the hands of a
fool is but a means of publishing his folly. 1755.691

Mad people do not know that they have been mad till they are cured; they think that
they alone are wise, and all the rest are fools. Here is another point of their
resemblance to sinners, for they also think that everybody is wrong except
themselves. Hear how they will abuse a pious wife as “a fool.” What hard words they
will use towards a gracious daughter! How they will rail at the ministers of the
gospel, and try to tear God’s Bible to pieces! Poor mad souls, they think all are mad
except themselves! 2414.245

Between the ignorant man who cannot read a letter, and the learned man who is apt
in all knowledge, there is small difference if they are both ignorant of Christ; indeed,
the scholar’s folly is in this case the greater of the two. The learned fool generally
proves himself the worst of fools, for he invents theories which would be ridiculed if
they could be understood, and he brings forth speculations which, if they were judged
by common sense and men were not turned into idiotic worshippers of imaginary
authority, would be scouted from the universe with a hiss of derision. There are fools
in colleges and fools in cottages. 3070.603

FOREBEARANCE read more quotes relating to relationship issues

If we would follow peace we must gird our loins with the girdle of forebearance; we
must resolve that as we will not give offence, so neither will we take offence, or if
offence be felt we must resolve to forgive. 940.389

Personally, I tax your forebearance to put up with me; and I need not say that
sometimes I have need to exercise forebearance towards one and another in so large
a church. We have all our own angles and edges, and these are apt to come into
contact with others. We are all pieces of one puzzle, and shall fit in with each other
one day, and make a complete whole; yet just now we seem misshapen and unfitting.
Our corners need to be rounded. Sometimes they are chipped off by collision with
somebody else; and that is not comfortable for the person with whom we collide. Like
pebbles in the river of the water of life, we are wearing each other round and smooth,
as the living current brings us into communion: everybody is polishing and being
polished, and in the process it is inevitable that some present inconvenience should
be sustained; but nobody must mind it, for it is part of a great process by which we
shall all come into proper shape, and be made meet for endless fellowship. 1841.284

Cultivate forebearance till your heart yields a fine crop of it. Pray for a short memory
as to all unkindnesses. 1841.288

FORGETFULNESS read more quotes relating to bad character

Hard hearts and painful unbeliefs spring up in the waste places where we bury our
forgotten mercies. 1218.97

Our second remark is a very commonplace one, you have heard it a thousand
times—we seldom value our mercies till we lose them. We best appreciate their
excellence when we have to deplore their absence. This has been so often said that I
wish it did not continue to be true, for it is an atrocious piece of folly that, after all,
we should be obliged to lose our blessings in order to learn gratitude for them. Are we
such dolts that we never shall know better than this? Such conduct is only worthy of
the idiot or the insane! 1323.626

FORGIVENESS OF OTHERS read more quotes relating to relationship issues

Who has not, under temporary irritation, said that of another which he afterwards
regretted? It is the part of the generous to treat passionate words as if they had never
been uttered. 2LS163

Learn to disbelieve those who have no faith in their brethren. Suspect those who
would lead you to suspect others. A resolute unbelief in all the scandalmongers will
do much to repress their mischievous energies. 2LS172

Ours is a mission of grace and peace; we are not prosecutors who search out
condemnatory evidence, but friends whose love would cover a multitude of offences.
The peeping eyes of Canaan, the son of Ham, shall never be in our employ; we prefer
the pious delicacy of Shem and Japheth, who went backward and covered the shame
which the child of evil had published with glee. 2LS173

I read a story the other day of an elder of a Scotch kirk, who at the elders’ meeting
had angrily disputed with his minister, until he almost broke his heart. The night
after, he had a dream which so impressed him, that his wife said to him in the
morning, “Ye look very sad, Jan; what is the matter wi’ ye?” “And well I am,” said he,
“for I have dreamed that I had hard words with our minister, and he went home and
died, and soon after, I died too; and I dreamed that I went up to heaven, and when I
got to the gate, out came the minister, and put out his hands to welcome me, saying,
‘Come along, Jan, there’s nae strife up here, I’m so glad to see ye.’” So the elder went
down to the minister’s house to beg his pardon, and found in very truth that he was
dead. He was so smitten by the blow, that within two weeks he followed his pastor to
the skies; and I should not wonder but what his minister did meet him, and say,
“Come along, Jan, there’s nae strife up here.” Brethren, why should there be strife
below? 887.477

Until seventy times seven, said Christ to Peter; we have not yet reached that, and if
we have, let us begin another seventy times seven, for God has forgiven us countless
numbers of offences. 940.389

When one of the martyrs was being tortured and tormented in a horrible way, the
tyrant who had caused his sufferings said to him, “And what has your Christ ever
done for you that you should bear this?” He replied, “He has done this for me, that in
the midst of all my pain, I do nothing else but pray for you.” Ah, Lord Jesus, thou
hast taught us how to conquer, for thou hast conquered. 1317.563

God will pardon us in proportion as we are prepared to pardon. If you have a trespass
which you cannot pardon, God also has an unpardonable sin written is his book
against you: unpardonable, I mean, as long as you are unforgiving. If you will only
pardon slowly, and after a niggardly fashion, you shall not for many a day enjoy the
freeness and the bounty of the unlimited mercy of God. 1318.568

You must forgive them that trespass against you, or you will go from your pews to
perdition. 1732.417

Many forgive because they cannot revenge; their virtue is the result of their inability
to be vicious. 1833.189

He loved his enemies; he lived for his enemies; he died for his enemies. 1841.278
Some men pardon because they cannot punish; they are too weak to execute
vengeance, and therefore they refrain from it. Half the forgiveness in the world
comes rather from a feeble hand than from a forgiving heart; but the Christ could
have crushed his adversaries in a moment if he had willed it, and yet he freely
forgave. 1841.280

I have heard of two friends who differed greatly, and spoken very bitterly; and the
sun was just going down, so one of them said, “I must not let the sun go down on my
wrath; I will go, and try to be reconciled to my friend, and half-way to his friends
house he met his friend coming to him, on the same errand, and they met joyfully to
forgive each other. May it be so with all true Christians! 2276.475

Do you find it difficult to forgive one who has wronged you? Then you will find it
difficult to get to heaven. 2501.42

Well may we forget our enmities against men when we begin to repent of our
enmities against God. 2566.182

I heard one man say of his fellow, the other day, when the two had disagreed, and I
had tried to make it right, “Yes, I forgive him, but—” That is not how God puts it. He
has no “buts” in his forgiveness. 2972.54

I won’t give you a penny for your religion if you are at enmity with anybody—if you
can say of anyone of your kith and kin, “I will never speak to them again.” Mind, in
that day when you appear before God, how can you expect mercy? 3515.273

FORMALISM read more quotes relating to religions and cults

Ungodly persons and mere professors never look upon religion as a joyful thing; to
them it is service, duty, or necessity, but never pleasure or delight. If they attend to
religion at all, it is either that they may gain thereby, or else because they dare not
do otherwise. ME332

If you have a religion that suits your constitutional fondness for ceremonies, your
æsthetic taste for culture, your habitual passion for music, beware of it. 2859.572

Repentance and faith are distasteful to the unregenerate; they would sooner repeat
a thousand prayers than shed a solitary tear of true repentance. 3121.581

FREE AGENCY read more quotes relating to doctrine

They who think that predestination and the fulfilment of the divine purpose is
contrary to the free-agency of man, know not what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
It were no miracle for God to effect his own purpose, if he were dealing with stocks
and stones, with granite and with trees; but this is the miracle of miracles, that the
creatures are free, absolutely free, and the divine purpose stands! Herein is wisdom!

Every creature free and doing as it wills, yet God more free still and doing as he wills,
not only in heaven but among the inhabitants of this lower earth. 406.469

Certain of my brethren are much taken up with the fact of man’s free agency. I
believe that he is a free agent, but it is only by his free agency that he is lost. 1437.559

It would be preposterous to say that man is not a free agent. There are some who, in
order to glorify the grace of God, have sought to deny the free agency of man;—I do
not mean that they have done it in so many words; but, practically, the effect of their
language has been to deny it. But man is perfectly free, and God violates not the
human will; yet, I cannot explain to you how it is, he is as much able to rule perfectly
free agents as he is to control the atoms of inert matter. 2743.421

Any man who should deny that man is a free agent might well be thought
unreasonable, but free-will is a different thing from free-agency. 2920.50

The fact is, brethren, there is a predestination, and the doctrines of election and
effectual grace are true, nor may we deny them; but yet the Lord deals with men as
responsible beings, and bids them “strive to enter in at the strait gate,” and to “lay
hold on eternal life.” Such exhortations are evidently intended for free agents, and
indicate that our salvation requires energetic action. 3149.294

FREEDOM, POLITICAL read more quotes relating to societal issues

Political slavery is an intolerable evil. To live, to think, to act, to speak, at the
permission of another! Better have no life at all! To depend for my existence upon a
despot’s will is death itself. Craven spirits may wear the dog-collar which their
master puts upon them, and fawn at his feet for the bones of his table, but men who
are worthy of the name, had rather feed the vultures on the battlefield. 565.217

If for a few years we could feel the yoke of despotism we should better appreciate the
joys of freedom. 1243.385

FREEDOM, SPIRITUAL read more quotes relating to compassion/consolation

O what a “freedom” is thine! freedom from condemnation, freedom to the promises,
freedom to the throne of grace, and at last freedom to enter heaven! ME526

The liberty of the man of the world is liberty to commit evil without restraint; the
liberty of a child of God is to walk in holiness without hindrance. 763.430

One might be willing to wear Paul’s chain on the wrist to enjoy Paul’s liberty of mind.

FREE WILL read more quotes relating to doctrine

When we shall see the dead rise from the grave by their own power, then may we
expect to see ungodly sinners of their own free will turning to Christ. ME505

Despite all the doctrines which proud free-will has manufactured, there has never
been found from Adam’s day until now a single instance in which the sinner first
sought his God. God must first seek him. TN10

According to the freewill scheme the Lord intends good, but he must wait like a
lackey on his own creature to know what his intention is; God willeth good and
would do it, but he cannot, because he has an unwilling man who will not have God’s
good thing carried into effect. What do ye, sirs, but drag the eternal from his throne,
and lift up into it that fallen creature, man; for man, according to that theory, nods,
and his nod is destiny. 442.185

Free-will doctrine—what does it? It magnifies man into God; it declares God’s
purposes a nullity, since they cannot be carried out unless men are willing. It makes
God’s will a waiting servant to the will of man, and the whole covenant of grace
dependent upon human action. Denying election on the ground of injustice it holds
God to be a debtor to sinners, so that if he gives grace to one he is bound to do so to
all. It teaches that the blood of Christ was shed equally for all men, and since some
are lost, this doctrine ascribes the difference to man’s own will, thus making the
atonement itself a powerless thing until the will of man gives it efficacy. 502.187

It seems inexplicable to me that those who claim free will so very boldly for man,
should not also allow some free will to God. 762.412

Whatever may be said about freewill as a theory, it is never found as a matter of fact
that any man, left to himself, ever woos his God, or pines after friendship with his
Maker. 1707.111

“Oh,” says one, “but men are free agents.” I never thought that they were not,
although I am not sure that it is much to their gain that they are. The glorious
privilege of the freedom of the will has been terribly overrated: it is a dangerous
heritage which has already lost us Paradise, and will lose us all hope of heaven
unless the mighty grace of God shall interpose. 1805.565

“Well,” saith one, “have not men a free-will?” Certainly, and the wonder is that free
grace does not violate it, and yet the purpose of God is accomplished. Free-will alone
ruins men; but free-will guided by free grace is another matter. 1919.503

I never yet knew anybody repent who gloried in his power to repent; I never yet knew
a man heart-broken for sin who boasted that he could break his own heart when
and where he pleased. 2050.591

That is the sternest blow against free-will of which I know; what a free-willer can
make out of that text, I cannot tell. He says that any man can come to Christ, yet
Christ said to some, “Ye will not come to me;” and both observation and experience
prove that this is still true. Never yet did a soul come to Christ till first Christ came
to it. 2880.197

There is no greater mockery than to call a sinner a free man. Show me a convict
toiling in the chain gang, and call him a free man if you will; point out to me the
galley slave chained to the oar, and smarting under the taskmaster’s lash whenever
he pauses to draw breath, and call him a free man if you will; but never call a sinner
a free man, even in his will, so long as he is the slave of his own corruptions. In our
natural state, we wore chains, not upon our limbs, but upon our hearts, fetters that
bound us, and kept us from God, from rest, from peace, from holiness, from anything
like freedom of heart and conscience and will. The iron entered into our soul; and
there is no slavery as terrible as that. As there is no freedom like the freedom of the
spirit, so is there no slavery that is at all comparable to the bondage of the heart. 3240.110

FRIENDS, BAD read more quotes relating to friends and friendship

Besides, bad company does a man real harm, for, as the old proverb has it, if you lie
down with dogs you will get up with fleas. PP103

People whom we esteem, but whom the Lord does not esteem, are a great snare. It is
very perilous to love those who love not God. He shall not be my bosom friend who is
not God’s friend, for I shall probably do him but little service, and he will do me much
harm. 1526.153

So, you who wish to have an exemplary character before God and before men,
remember that, if ill company does not burn you to your hurt, it is sure to blacken
you by damaging your reputation. 3079.78

FRIENDS, CHOICE OF read more quotes relating to friends and friendship

Depend upon it, a great deal depends upon whom we choose for our companions when
we begin life. CC121

It is true I may be an apparent loser by declining evil company, but I had better leave
my cloak than lose my character; it is not needful that I should be rich, but it is
imperative upon me to be pure. ME414

It is foolish to turn off a tried friend because of a failing or two, for you may get rid of
a one-eyed nag and buy a blind one. PT67

Be friendly to all, but make none your friends until they know you, and you know
them. 120.109

I think you may judge of a man’s character by the persons whose affection he seeks.
If you find a man seeking only the affection of those who are great, depend upon it he
is ambitious and self-seeking; but when you observe that a man seeks the affection of
those who can do nothing for him, but for whom he must do everything, you know
that he is not seeking himself, but that pure benevolence sways his heart. 1302.373

We would have as our associates people who are stablished by principle rather than
moved by passion. 2113.601

FRIENDSHIP read more quotes relating to friends and friendship

The vanity of all friendship which is not found in true principle, was never more
plainly expressed than in an honest, but heartless, sentence of one of Horace
Walpole’s letters. “If one of my friends happens to die, I drive down to St. Jame’s
Coffee-house, and bring home a new one.” The name of “friend” is desecrated in a
worldling’s mouth—but there is a friend. FA85

A friend to everybody is often a friend to nobody. PT34

If we would always recollect that we live among men who are imperfect, we should
not be in such a fever when we find out our friend’s failings. PT66

Anger against enemies must not make us forget our friends, for it is better to
preserve a single citizen of Zion, than to kill a thousand enemies. TD70:4

One heart in two bodies is the realization of true brotherhood. TN123

The friendship of bare compliment is the fashion of this age, because this age is the
age of deceit. 120.109

We are one in Christ; let us be friends with one another; but let us never be friends
with one another’s error. If I be wrong, rebuke me sternly; I can bear it, and bear it
cheerfully; and if ye be wrong, expect the like measure from me, and neither peace
nor parley with your mistakes. 250.204

And first let us learn to set loose by our dearest friends that we have on earth. Let us
love them—love them we may, love them we should—but let us always learn to love
them as dying things. 349.10

There is one thing about the usefulness of which all men are agreed, namely,
friendship; but most men are soon aware that counterfeits of friendship are common
as autumn leaves. 899.613

Lip-love, proverbially, is a thing to be questioned; too often it is a counterfeit. Love
which speaks can use hyperbolical expressions at its will, but when you have heard
all you can hear of love’s speech, you are not sure that it is love; for all are not
hunters that blow the horn, and all are not friends who cry up friendship. 1128.470
Men in going through the world make many acquaintances, but out of these they
have few special objects of esteem, whom they call friends. If they think to have
many friends, they are, probably, misusing the name. 2091.339

Any man can selfishly desire to have a Jonathan; but he is on the right tack who
desires to find out a David to whom he can be a Jonathan. 2336.567

It is no friendship that flatters; it is small friendship that holds its tongue when it
ought to speak; but it is true friendship that can speak a word at the right time, and,
if need be, even speak so sharply as to cause a wound. 2627.289

-WITH GOD read more quotes relating to friends and friendship

Faith is to credit contradictions, and to believe impossibilities, when Jehovah’s word
is to the front. If you and I can do this, then we can enter into friendship with God,
but not else; for distrust is the death of friendship. 1962.272

FRUGALITY read more quotes relating to finances/possessions

Economy is half the battle in life; it is not so hard to earn money as it is to spend it
well. Hundreds would never have known want if they had not first known waste. PT79

Men do not become rich by what they get, but by what they save. PT110

Some buy things they don’t want, because they are great bargains; let me tell them
that what they do not want is dear at a farthing. PT115

A thrifty housewife is better than a great income. A good wife and health are a man’s
best wealth. PT116

Money has wings of its own, and if you find it another pair of wings, wonder not if it
flies fast. PT146

FRUIT BEARING read more quotes relating to spiritual disciplines

The absence of positive fruit was that which condemned the lost. “Every tree,” says
John, “that beareth not fruit shall be hewn down and cast into the fire.” He does not
say, “Every tree that bears bitter fruit, or sour grapes,” but “Every tree that bringeth
forth no fruit.” Fruitless professors, tremble! 774.559

The first Adam came to the fig tree for leaves, but the Second Adam looks for figs.

The vine is of all trees the most useless unless it bears fruit. You cannot make hardly
anything of it; you would scarcely be able to cut enough wood out of a vine to hang a
pot upon; you cannot turn it into furniture, and barely could you use it in the least
degree for building purposes. It must either bear fruit, or else it must be consumed in
the fire. 2480.409

The true worker is not to be blamed that as yet there are no fruits, but he is to be
blamed if he is content always to be without fruits. 3315.391

FULFILLMENT read more quotes relating to compassion/consolation

The man who has a God also has the explanation of a great many things which
puzzle other people, and he has something better still, for he has his God to fall back
upon when he cannot explain anything. 2396.30

FUTURE, THE read more quotes relating to knowledge and wisdom

Whether it be for hope, for joy, for consolation, or for the inspiring of our love, the
future must, after all, be the grand object of the eye of faith. Looking into the future
we see sin cast out, the body of sin and death destroyed, the soul made perfect, and
fit to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light. ME58

There are two great certainties about things that shall come to pass—one is that God
knows, and the other is that we do not know. 2242.64

Dear brethren, this is exactly what we have to do, we have to pawn the present for
the future. We must be satisfied to give up anything which Christ may require of us
for the sake of that which is to come. Our inheritance is not on this side of Jordan.
Our joy is yet to be revealed. I grant you that we have much thrown in, for the Lord
is a good paymaster; but on the road to heaven he gives us only our spending money.

It is the glory of God, we are told, to conceal a thing, and it most certainly is for the
happiness of mankind that he should conceal their future. Supposing that bright
lines were written for us in the book of destiny, and that we could read those bright
lines now, and be sure of them, we should probably loiter away our time until we
arrived at them, and should have no heart for the present. If, on the other hand, we
knew that there were dark days of trouble in store for us, and had a presentiment
and full conviction as to when they would come, probably the thought of them would
overshadow the present, so that the joys which we now drink would be left untasted
by reason of our nervous fears as to the distant future. To know the good might lead
us to presumption, to know the evil might tempt us to despair. 3183.61

Failure ~ Financial Speculation | Flattery ~ Future, The

© 2005 Pre-Evangelism Ministries
& Fox River Press