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Spurgeon's Maxims for Living
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SINCERITY* read more quotes relating to truth

Shall saints be shams, when sinners are so real? Shall Baal have worshippers that
cut themselves with knives and leap upon his altar in the frenzy of their lust; and
shall Jehovah have only a faithless company who as yet are halting between two
opinions, and do not know whether he is God or not? Oh for a church of God that shall
shake itself loose from the world! 1854.444

If you sincerely drink poison, it will kill you: if you sincerely cut your throat, you will
die. If you sincerely believe a lie, you will suffer the consequences. You must not only
be sincere, but you must be right. 1912.418

SINFUL COMPLICITY read more quotes relating to sin

According to an old writer, no Capuchin among the Papists may take or touch silver.
This metal is as great an anathema to them as the wedge of gold to Achan, at the
offer whereof they start back as Moses from the serpent; yet the monk has a boy
behind him who will receive and carry home any quantity, and neither complain of
metal nor measure. Such are those who are great sticklers themselves for outward
observance in religion, but at the same time compel their servants to sin on their
account. They who sin by substitute shall be damned in person. FA222

Mind! mind! mind, professor, if thine heart begins to suck in the sweets of another
man’s sin, it is unsound in the sight of God; if thou canst even wink at another man’s
lust, depend upon it that thou wilt soon shut thine eye on thine own, for we are
always more severe with other men than we are with ourselves. 2902.464

SINFUL HABITS read more quotes relating to sin

In preparing places for planting new trees, the diggers found it needful in certain
spots to lay aside the spade and use the pick-axe. In those positions there had been a
well-gravelled carriage road, and hence it was hard to deal with it. How often, when
we are under sanctifying influences, do we find certain hard points of our character
which are not touched by ordinary influences; these are most probably sins in which
we have become hardened, tracks worn by habitual transgression. We must not
wonder if the severest processes of affliction should be tried upon us, if the pick-axe
is used instead of the spade, that our stony places may yet yield soil for the plants of
grace and holiness. FA49

Our sins have left a second defilement upon us, by creating the tendency to do the
like again. 1590.176

There is no man who ever sins without having some trace of it left upon his mind and
heart. For one thing, it is more easy for him to sin the next time. An impulse has
been given, and a habit begun, which will make it almost inevitable that he shall fall
into that particular sin again. 3037.207

SINFUL IMAGINATION read more quotes relating to sin

The law of God not only deals with the overt acts, but also with desires, in which a
man pictures the sin, and feels a pleasure in the picture, though he has not actually
committed the sin. 3039.230

SINFUL INFLUENCE read more quotes relating to sin

An ill example may kindle a flame which years of amended character cannot quench.

We ought never to do anything that we judge to be wrong, but we ought also to be
willing to abstain from things which might not be wrong in themselves, but which
might be an occasion of stumbling to others. SW81

“Oh,” saith one, “if I sin I sin to myself.” Impossible! As well might the miasma say,
“I am deadly to myself alone;” as well might the cholera say, “My deadly breath is for
myself only.” Your example spreads; you, like the leper, leave uncleanness on
everything you touch. The very atmosphere which surrounds you breeds contagion.
What others see you do, they learn to do. WWa102

Every relationship which we sustain involves duty, and consequently, may be
perverted into an occasion for sin. We are no sooner in this world than, as children,
we sin against our parents; as members of a family we sin against brothers and
sisters; and against playmates and acquaintances. We launch into the outside world,
and around our barque sins dash like raging billows. As our various relations are
multiplied, our sins increase also; we sin against a husband or against a wife, against
a servant or against a master, against a buyer or a seller. On all sides the roots of our
souls suck up sin from the earth in which they spread. We sin in public and sin in
private, sin against our poverty and against our wealth. Our evil nature, like the
deadly upas tree, distils its venom—the poison of sin, drops on all who come under
our shadow. As the sea surrounds all shores, so sin beats with deadly waves upon all
connected with our life. Our hundred-handed sin assails both heaven and earth, time
and eternity, great and small, old men and children. 840.625

Depend upon it, if we are not serving the Lord our God, we are committing the sin of
discouraging our fellow-men. They are more likely to imitate our lethargy than our
energy. 1916.464

Friend, if you choose to ruin your own soul, why should you try to ruin others? 1925.566

It will require great care, and some self-denial, so to act towards others that we can
say when we go to bed at night, “If any man has done a wrong thing to-day, it is not
because I have set him the example.” Oh, that we might all repent of other people’s
sins! Did you ever repent of them? 2401.89

Better that I deny myself a thousand things which I might take than that I should
mislead one person, and lead him into sin. 2571.247

If we sin alone, it is bad enough; but if we sin in company, we have not only to answer
for our own sins, but also for the sins of others, at least in part. If hand joins with
hand in sin, there is a multiplication of its guilt; for each man who has helped to lead
a fellow-creature into iniquity will have his own transgression increased by the
transgression of that other sinner. 3055.423

Oh! it is a crying sin that men will not only go to hell themselves, but they must
needs drag their children with them. 3505.149

SINFUL PRESUMPTION read more quotes relating to sin

When men believe that the eyes of God are dim, there is no reason to wonder that
they give full licence to their brutal passions. TD94:7

SINGING read more quotes relating to mouth issues

Never comes a revival of religion without a revival of singing. 1150.10

SINNERS, AGING read more quotes relating to sin

When a wicked man gets old, he may say, “I do not sin like those young people.” No,
because you cannot; it has been well said that there is many an old man who, if you
could put young eyes in him, would look the same way as he used to. 2432.463

Certain sins may decline through the weakening of the flesh, but the sins of the
heart do not; the power to sin may grow less, but the will to sin continues to increase
as the sinner grows older. 2768.100

SKEPTICISM* read more quotes relating to unbelief

Is there any man so credulous as the man who will not believe in the Bible? He
swallows a ton of difficulties, and yet complains that we have swallowed an ounce of
them. He has much more need of faith of a certain sort than we have, for scepticism
has far harder problems than faith. GS68

You have set up in your mind the idea that you must understand everything before
you will believe it—an idea, let me tell you, which you will never be able to carry out,
for you cannot understand your own existence; and there are ten thousand other
things around you which you can never comprehend, but which you must believe or
remain for ever a gigantic fool. 742.171

The faith which accepts Christ has but a small throat indeed compared with that
credulity which believes for instance in the development of man from a protoplasm—
that creed requires the swallow of the great fish which swallowed Jonah entire. 1207.688

It is of no use your trying to stagger us, for we are already familiar with everything
you suggest; our own native unbelief has outstripped you. We have had doubts of a
kind which even you would not dare to utter if you knew them; for there is enough
infidelity and devilry in our own nature to make us no strangers to Satan’s devices.
We have fought most of your suggested battles over and over again in the secret
chamber of our meditation, and have conquered. 1332.23

Ah, ye pretended doubters, if you were stretched on a dying bed you would believe
the old revelation fast enough, and begin to cry out for mercy in the scare which the
approach of death would bring upon you. 1346.187

Alas! there are thousands who are always discussing knotty points, not because they
have a wish to understand the gospel, but because they do not care to come to serious
dealings. 1726.344

How can he believe who must have everything explained? 1821.64

Unregenerate men cannot and will not believe their God. This is also caused by the
love of sin. Those who do not wish to give up their favourite sins pretend the gospel is
very difficult to understand, or quite impossible to accept, and so they excuse
themselves for going on in their iniquity. 1967.333

You do not understand: do you wish to understand? Nothing is so incomprehensible
as that which we do not want to comprehend. 1967.333

The moderns are able to believe anything except their Bibles. They credulously
receive any statement, as long as it is not in the Scriptures; but if it is founded on
Scripture, they are, of course, prepared to doubt and quibble and cavil straight away.

Whenever a man gets away from communion with Christ, he begins to ask a host of
questions. Persons who have no religion have always a selection of religious
questions, varying from the stupidity of “Who was Cain’s wife?” onward to, “What
will man become by evolution?” When a soul has drawn near to Jesus, and has been
fed by him, it is no more troubled with doubts than a man at the equator is bitten by
frost. 2072.118

No fact, however certain, is beyond a critic’s questioning. 2112.598

Some have fallen into such a condition that they believe nothing, unless, indeed, it
should not happen to be in the Bible, and then they will believe it; but if it is in God’s
Word, then, of course, they feel it necessary to doubt it. 2298.110

Now, I have noticed that, whenever a person gives up his belief in the Word of God
because it requires that he should believe a good deal, his unbelief requires him to
believe a great deal more. 2306.208

If nobody is to go to heaven until he can explain all the difficulties that anybody can
suggest to him, who will ever go there? 2844.391

I know certain individuals, who say that they will never believe what they cannot
understand. If they adhere to that determination, they will never believe in their own
existence, for they certainly cannot understand that. 2978.122

You may remember the story of the City Missionary, who was arguing with a
cobbler,—a man who thought himself a very wise sceptic although he had never read
the Bible; he said he never would do so, yet he knew it was a very bad book! So the
missionary said to him, “I bought a pair of boots yesterday, which cost me twelve and
sixpence; do you think they were worth the money?” He replied, “Possibly they were,
but I can’t say positively without seeing them.” The missionary said, “But, if you are
a cobbler, and understand your business, you can certainly tell me their value
without seeing them.” “Why! you must consider me a fool to think that I can judge of
a thing I never saw.” “Yes,” said the missionary, “I did think you were a fool, because
you have been judging and condemning the Bible which you have never studied.” 3053.401

I do not believe it to be essential to roll in a ditch every day for the sake of proving the
efficacy of the clothes brush, neither is it worth while to seek out infidel doubts in
order to try our logical powers upon them. 3181.43

SLANDER read more quotes relating to mouth issues

Some person reported to the amiable poet Tasso that a malicious enemy spoke ill of
him to all the world. “Let him persevere,” said Tasso, “his rancour gives me no pain.
How much better is it that he should speak ill of me to all the world, than that all the
world should speak ill of me to him.” FA230

The Rev. B. Jacobs, of Cambridgeport, could, when necessary, administer reproof
very forcibly, though the gentleness of his character was always seen in the manner
in which it was done. Some young ladies at his house were one day talking about one
of their female friends. As he entered the room, he heard the epithets “odd,”
“singular,” &c. applied. He asked and was told the name of the young lady in
question, and then said, very gravely, “Yes, she is an odd young lady; I consider her
extremely singular.” He then added very impressively, “She was never heard to
speak ill of an absent friend.” The rebuke was not forgotten by those who heard it. FA230

We can commit murder with the tongue as well as with the hand. The worst evil you
can do to a man is to injure his character. PT48

If all men’s sins were divided into two bundles, half of them would be sins of the
tongue. PT48

Evil tongues are busy tongues, and never deal in truth. TD41:5

One way in which sinners frequently excuse themselves is by endeavouring to get
some apology for their own iniquities from the inconsistencies of God’s people. This is
the reason why there is much slander in the world. 264.312

Rest assured that the most strict walking will never preserve you from the envenomed
tongue of slander; if your life should be as pure as the crystal river that springs
from beneath the throne of the Most High, there will be found some that will
bedabble that stream, and mire it with their feet. 688.252

Are you the victim of slander? The Lord knows the truth. Though you have been
sadly misunderstood, if not wilfully misrepresented by ungenerous persons, yet God
knows all about you; and his knowledge is of more importance than the opinions of
dying men. 2098.427

If men blow out the candle of a Christian’s reputation, God will light it again; if he
does not do so in this life, remember that at the resurrection there will be a
resurrection of reputations as well as of bodies: “Then shall the righteous shine forth
as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” 2432.457

Do not be ready to receive such reports; there is as much wickedness in believing a lie
as in telling it, if we are always ready to believe it. There would be no slanderers if
there were no receivers and believers of slander; for when there is no demand for an
article, there are no producers of it; and if we will not believe evil reports, the
tale-bearer will be discouraged, and leave off his evil trade. 3158.405

“It is an ill bird that fouls its own nest,” and it is an ill professor who uses his tongue
to tell the faults and failures of his brethren. 3158.405

I do not know how, but somehow the falseness of an accusation does put a degree of
sting into it. 3164.472

Slander shoots her poisoned arrows, not at the vicious, but at the virtuous. 3285.27

SLAVERY read more quotes relating to societal issues

The slavery which existed among the ancient Jews was a very different thing from
that which has disgraced humanity in modern times; and it ought also to be
remembered that Moses did not institute slavery in any shape; the laws concerning
it were made on purpose to repress it, to confine it within very narrow bounds, and
ultimately to put an end to it. 1174.289

I do not know how some professing Christians will be able to join in the supplication
that slavery may be abolished (1864), but we can unite in it with a pure heart
fervently. May the Lord graciously hear that prayer; and if he shall hear it from the
battlefields of America, we shall bless his name even for the scourge of war if that
accursed slavery can be ended. 3282.615

SLEEP read more quotes relating to body issues

Sleep is the gift of God; and not a man would close his eyes, did not God put his
fingers on his eyelids—did not the Almighty send a soft and balmy influence over his
frame which lulled his thoughts into quiescence, making him enter into that blissful
state of rest which we call sleep. WWi63

Sleep is the best physician that I know of. Sleep hath healed more pains of wearied
heads, and hearts, and bones than the most eminent physicians upon earth. WWi64

It is astonishing what a difference a night’s rest makes with our troubles. 3330.572

SOCIAL STATUS read more quotes relating to holiness

From what little I do know of this wonderful thing called “society,” I have felt no
ambition to partake in its felicities; and yet to get into society I have seen men fling
away their principles, forsake their friends, stifle their consciences, abandon their
church fellowship, and become traitors to their God. 1531.214

SOCIETAL ILLS read more quotes relating to societal issues

The gospel, if it were fully received through the whole earth, would purge away all
slavery and all war, and put down all drunkenness and all social evils; in fact, you
cannot conceive a moral curse which it would not remove; and even physical evils,
since many of them arise incidentally from sin, would be greatly mitigated, and some
of them for ever abolished. AM105

Professed ministers of the gospel have taught the German mind to doubt everything,
and now the basis of society is shaken, and law and order are undermined. What
could they expect otherwise? He who does not fear God is not likely to honour the
king. 1418.332

The gospel is to precede and produce civilization. 1907.357

Swelling words have been spoken and great attempts taken in hand to renovate
society, but you can never renovate society till you have renovated the individual
members who compose society. 3467.329

SOLITUDE read more quotes relating to spiritual disciplines

As I rode along in the South of France, the driver, turning to me, exclaimed, “See,
there are eagles!” “No,” I said, “not eagles, for eagles fly alone.” Seven or eight large
birds together, might be hawks or falcons, or kites, but not true eagles. A royal eagle
soars alone into the blue; his mate may bear him company, but he has no crew of
comrades around him. The child of God, the true eagle of the skies, when he rises into
the diviner ranges of his spiritual life, is, and must be alone. BA33

Solitude has its charms and its benefits, and may be useful in checking the lust of the
eye and the pride of life; but the devil will follow us into the most lovely retreats. ME103

Much alone, and you will have much assurance; little alone with Jesus, your religion
will be shallow, polluted with many doubts and fears, and not sparkling with the joy
of the Lord. ME584

I do not know how a man’s spiritual life is to be maintained constantly in a crowd; he
must often be alone. 2590.475

SONG OF SOLOMON read more quotes relating to the Bible

I do not wonder that some people cannot read Solomon’s Song. We do not expect that
they should. If I put a book of algebra or a table of logarithms into the hand of a child
who has just learned the multiplication table, I do not marvel that he should not
understand it. The fact is, that the Song is to the whole Bible what the holy of holies
was to the temple. You may walk into the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospels and
say, “Here I am in the outer court of the temple;” you may go to the Psalms and the
Epistles, and say, “Here I am in the court of the priests;” but the Canticles are the
holy of holies; and he that has not learned to enter with the high priest into that
which is within the vail, will never be able to read Solomon’s Song. 506.233

SORROW read more quotes relating to emotional issues

A smothered grief is hard to endure. TD73:16

Brethren, we sin when we either laugh or weep behind God’s back. Absence from God
is the element of sin. When you cannot smile nor weep except by forgetting God and
his law, then are you offending; but if you can get up to your great Father’s bosom,
and bury your head there, you may sob away without stint; for that which he permits
is evidently no offence. “Jesus wept,” but he never murmured. “Jesus wept,” but he
never found fault with God’s dispensations. “Jesus wept,” sweetly in submission, not
bitterly in rebellion. 2091.345

O dear friend, when thy grief presses thee to the very dust, worship there! 2457.134

SOUL, VALUE OF A read more quotes relating to evangelism

So if you earn but one soul you must reckon what that one is; it is one for
numeration, but for value it exceeds all that earth could show. WCo9

If there existed only one man or woman who did not love the Saviour, and if that
person lived amongst the wilds of Siberia, and if it were necessary that all the
millions of believers on the face of the earth should journey thither, and every one of
them plead with him to come to Jesus, before he could be converted; it would be well
worth all the zeal, and labour, and expense of all that effort. One soul would repay
the travail in birth of myriads of zealous Christians. 2051.610

We have not yet sufficiently learned the value of an immortal soul if we do not feel
that we would be willing to live, say seventy years, to be the means of saving one
soul, and be willing to compass the whole globe, and preach in every city, and town,
and village, if we might only be rewarded at the last with just one convert. 2481.422

My daily business and calling is that of a jewel-hunter, and this pulpit is the place
where I try to separate the precious from the vile. Sunday-school teachers and other
workers are diamond-hunters too; they deal with gems far more precious than
millions of gold and silver. 2970.30

If one should spend one’s whole life for God, and win only one soul by the most
earnest and devoted efforts, it would be a rich reward to see that one star shining for
ever in the firmament of heaven, to see that one gem glistening for ever in the
diadem of Christ, to see that one sheep feeding for ever in the pastures of eternal life.

SOUL WINNING* read more quotes relating to evangelism

I cannot believe that you will ever pluck a brand from the burning, without putting
your hand near enough to feel the heat of the fire. You must have, more or less, a
distinct sense of the dreadful wrath of God, and of the terrors of the judgment to
come, or you will lack energy in your work, and so lack one of the essentials of
success. CC156

A sinner has a heart as well as a head; a sinner has emotions as well as thoughts;
and we must appeal to both. A sinner will never be converted until his emotions are
stirred. SW22

You must go into the fire if you are to pull others out of it, and you will have to dive
into the floods if you are to draw others out of the water. SW200

Even if the souls we seek should all persist in unbelief, if they all despise and reject
and ridicule us, yet still it will be a divine work to have at least made the attempt. SW208

If you really long to save men’s souls, you must tell them a great deal of disagreeable
truth. WCo15

If we flatter our fellows into fond dreams as to the littleness of future punishment,
they will eternally detest us for so deluding them, and in the world of woe they will
invoke perpetual curses upon us for having prophesied smooth things, and having
withheld from them the awful truth. WCo16

“Oh!” says one, I am not my brother’s keeper.” No, I will tell you your name; it is
Cain. You are your brother’s murderer; for every professing Christian, who is not his
brother’s keeper, is his brother’s killer; and be you sure that it is so; for you may kill
by neglect quite as surely as you may kill by the bow or by the dagger. WE67

The saving of souls, if a man has once gained love to perishing sinners, and love to
his blessed Master, will be an all-absorbing passion to him. It will so carry him away,
that he will almost forget himself in the saving of others. He will be like the stout,
brave fireman, who careth not for the scorch or for the heat, so that he may rescue
the poor creature on whom true humanity hath set his heart. He must, he will pluck
such a one from the burning, at any cost and expense to himself. 284.474

Oh, my brothers and sisters in Christ, if sinners will be damned, at least let them
leap to hell over our bodies; and if they will perish, let them perish with our arms
about their knees, imploring them to stay, and not madly to destroy themselves. If
hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one
go there unwarned and unprayed for. 349.11

If we had to preach to thousands year after year, and never rescued but one soul,
that one soul would be a full reward for all our labour, for a soul is of countless price.

I think it was Michael Angelo who once carved certain magnificent statues in snow.
They are gone; the material readily compacted by the frost as readily melted in the
heat. Far wiser was he when he fashioned the enduring marble, and produced works
which will last all down the ages. But even marble itself is consumed and fretted by
the tooth of time; and he is wise who selects for his raw material immortal souls,
whose existence shall outlast the stars. 850.26

It were worthwhile to preach every Sabbath for a million years, if but one soul were
brought in at last. 1025.691

Soul-winning keeps the heart lively, and preserves our warm youth to us; it is a
mighty refresher to decaying love. 1170.246

All men are not to be reached in the same way, we must be wise to win souls, wise
with wisdom from above. We desire to see them conquered for Christ, but no warrior
uses always the same strategy; there is one for open assault, for another a siege, for
a third an ambush, for a fourth a long campaign. 1170.249

He who never seeks the conversion of another is in imminent danger of being damned
himself. 1282.141

We cannot be fishers of men if we remain among men in the same element with
them. Fish will not be fishers. The sinner will not convert the sinner. The ungodly
man will not convert the ungodly man; and, what is more to the point, the worldly
Christian will not convert the world. 1906.339

Rome was not built in a day, nor will a parish be saved in a week. Men do not always
receive all the gospel the first time they hear it. To break hearts for Jesus is
something like splitting wood: we need to work with wedges that are very small at
one end, but increase in size as they are driven in. 1999.704

Do you want to go to heaven alone? I fear you will never go there. Have you no wish
for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that. 2019.222

There is somebody in the world whom you have to bring to Christ. I do not know
where he is, or who he is; but you had better look out for him. 2315.319

Brethren, if you were to go to heaven now, perhaps you would go almost alone; but
you must stop till there is a companion to go with you. 2780.246

You will win as many souls as God gives you, but no one will be converted by your
own power. 3149.292

You don’t know what converts God has given to you. There are scattered up and
down the world—perhaps some precious ones who owe their salvation instrumentally
to you, and could they all stand before you you would blush with shame at the
thought of leaving a harvest field that has really been so prolific though not in your
sight. Go back again to thy work, for the Lord has blessed thee. Play not the fool by
deserting the post where he will give thee honour yet. 3498.62

-JOY OF read more quotes relating to evangelism

Well, this joy, overwhelming as it is, is a hungry sort of joy—you want more of it: for
the more you have of spiritual children, the more your soul desires to see them
multiplied. Let me tell you, that to be a soul-winner is the happiest thing in this
world, and with every soul you bring to Jesus Christ, you seem to get a new heaven
here upon earth. But what will be the joy of soul-winning when we get up above! 642.431

Even if I were utterly selfish, and had no care for anything but my own happiness, I
would choose, if I might, under God, to be a soul-winner, for never did I know perfect,
overflowing, unutterable happiness of the purest and most ennobling order, till I
first heard of one who had sought and found a Saviour through my means. 850.27

It must be no small bliss to hear, as one wings his flight up to the eternal throne, the
wings of others fluttering at one’s side towards the same glory, and turning round
and questioning them, to hear them say, “We are entering with you through the
gates of pearl; you brought us to the Saviour.” 850.27

You would think that all the happiness you ever knew before was less than nothing
compared with the joy of saving a soul from death, and rescuing a sinner from going
down into the pit. The bliss of speaking a word that should affect three worlds,
making a change in heaven, and earth, and hell, as devils grind their teeth in wrath
because one of their victims is snatched out of their jaws; as men on earth wonder
and admire the change that grace has wrought; and as angels rejoice when they hear
of sinners saved. 3543.610

SOWING read more quotes relating to evangelism

Husbandman, your Great Employer sent you out to sow the seed, but if no grain of it
should ever come up, if you have sowed the seed as he told you, and where he told
you, he will never lay the blame of a defective harvest to you. 428.22

I believe in God’s blessing the actual work of our hand; he waters not the seed which
we talk of sowing, but that which we actually scatter. 1179.355

When you are doing anything that is right, you cannot tell how much blessing you
are scattering. 2731.281

But if you should not live to see it on earth, remember you are only accountable for
your labour, and not for your success. 2896.389

You shall have a harvest, whatever you are doing. I trust you are all doing
something. If I cannot mention what your peculiar engagement is, I trust you are all
serving God in some way; and you shall assuredly have a harvest wherever you are
scattering your seed. But suppose the worst,—if you should never live to see the
harvest in this world, you shall have a harvest when you get to heaven. If you live
and die a disappointed man in this world, you shall not be disappointed in the next.

SPEECH read more quotes relating to mouth issues

More of a man is seen in his words than in anything else belonging to him; you may
look into his face and be mistaken, you may visit his house and not discover him, you
may scan his business and misunderstand him; but if you hear his daily conversation
you shall soon know him. The heart babbles out its secret when the tongue is in
motion. 1607.377

A saint will often be discovered by his conversation. 2695.469

SPIRITUAL GROWTH* read more quotes relating to spiritual disciplines

He who does not long to know more of Christ, knows nothing of Him yet. ME8

It is needful to dwell on this head, because many Christians appear to think that if
they are just believers, it is enough. We do not in business think it is enough if we
barely escape bankruptcy. A man does not say, if his dear child has been ill in bed for
years, that it is quite enough so long as the child is alive. We do not think that of our
own bodies, that so long as we can breathe it is enough. 945.452

Those who are never tried usually possess a poor, tottering faith but trial, especially
persecution, is like the rough March wind which goes howling through the forest, and
while the young oaks are almost torn up by the roots at first, it loosens the soil for
them, and they send out more rootlets, till they get such a firm grip that they defy
the hurricane. That which shakes them at first strengthens them afterwards. 1188.463

Napoleon used to say, “Conquest has made me what I am, and conquest must
maintain me.” O Christians, remember that you must advance or backslide; you
must build higher and higher, love must become more and more supreme in your
souls, or you will decline. 1286.189

It is one mark of advanced grace that the sublime truths which concern eternity are
increasingly valued. 1751.645

I wish, dear friends, that half the time we spend in trying to better our circumstances
were spent in bettering ourselves after the right fashion; and that even a tenth of the
trouble we take to fit our circumstances to our desires were used in fitting our desires
to our circumstances. 2871.85

I believe that we make more real advance in the divine life in an hour of prayer than
we do in a month of sermon-hearing. 3178.6

There are some that seem to be born with knowledge—Christians that come to a
height in Christ very rapidly. But these are only here and there. Israel did not
produce a Samson every day. 3489.578

Brethren, let us never sit down content with small degrees of sanctification. 3537.532

SPIRITUAL HUNGER read more quotes relating to spiritual disciplines

Preaching would not so often be submitted to silly remarks if men were really hungry
after the truth. 2103.485

SPIRITUAL IMMATURITY read more quotes relating to bad character

It is sad to see how some professing Christians are led astray by any error which is
plausibly put before them. 1150.6

Hot spirits think that they are not serving God when they are learning; but in this
they err. Beloved, Mary at Jesus’ feet was commended rather than Martha,
cumbered with much service. “But,” says one, “we ought not to be always hearing
sermons.” No, I do not know that any of you are. “We ought to get to work at once,”
cries another. Certainly you ought, after you have first learned what the work is: but
if everybody that is converted begins to teach we shall soon have a mess of heresies,
and many raw and undigested dogmas taught which will rather do damage than
good. Run, messenger, run! The King’s business requireth haste. Nay, rather stop a
little. Have you any tidings to tell? First learn your message, and then run as fast as
you please. There must be time for learning the message. If our blessed Lord waited
thirty years, he is an example to eager persons who can scarce wait thirty minutes.
See how fast light things will travel! How eager are those to speak who know
nothing! 1666.356

In our raw state as young Christians, it may not be injurious to receive truth from
pastors and parents, and so on; but if we are to become men in Christ Jesus, and
teachers of others, we must quit the childish habit of dependence on others, and
search for our selves. 2185.40

Suppose that one of the bones of your leg had said to itself, “I am in the body, and
that is enough for me; I do not mean to grow any more.” You would have had to go
hopping through the world, with one short leg, all your life long, and that would have
been a very uncomfortable thing for you, and you would probably have had great
pain as well as inconvenience. So, if one Christian in the Church does not grow, he
will give trouble to others, for the next brother to him is growing, and it makes
matters very awkward when some advance and others do not. I should like to have a
church composed of effective soldiers alone; I suppose that I never shall have that. 2653.608

SPIRITUAL INSANITY read more quotes relating to sin

All men are negligent of their souls till grace gives them reason, then they leave their
madness and act like rational beings, but not till then. ME613

SPIRITUAL MATURITY read more quotes relating to spiritual disciplines

Maturity in grace makes us willing to part with worldly goods; the green apple needs
a sharp twist to separate it from the bough; but the ripe fruit parts readily from the
wood. Maturity in grace makes it easier to part with life itself; the unripe pear is
scarcely beaten down with much labour, while its mellow companion drops readily
into the hand with the slightest shake. Rest assured that love to the things of this
life, and cleaving to this present state, are sure indications of immaturity in the
divine life. FA95

Lettuces, radishes, and such like garden crops, are soon out of the ground and ready
for the table, a month almost suffices to perfect them; but an oak requires long
centuries to come to the fulness of its growth. Those graces which are most precious
and durable will cost us longest to produce; those good things which spring up hastily
may have some transient worth about them, but we cannot look for permanence and
value in them. There is no need to deplore the slowness of our spiritual growth, if
that which comes of it be of a solid character. FA97

SPIRITUAL PACIFISM read more quotes relating to unbelief

Those who regard a sort of effeminate benevolence to all creatures alike as the acme
of virtue are very much in favour with this degenerate age; these look for the
salvation of the damned, and even pray for the restoration of the devil. TD109:9

SPIRITUAL WARFARE read more quotes relating to spiritual disciplines

As soon as you are washed in Christ’s blood and clothed in His righteousness, you
must begin to hew your way through a lane of enemies, right up to the eternal
throne. Every foot of the way will be disputed; not an inch will Satan yield to you. WCo48

But do not vainly dream that the life which you admire in others will readily be
reproduced in yourself. Excellence comes of effort; they laboured and watched, and
prayed, and trusted in the Lord, or they never would have become what they were,
and be assured there is no royal road for you, you too must wrestle hard ere victory
will be won. 1193.520

You must either be overcome of evil, or you must yourself overcome evil: one of the
two. You cannot let evil alone and evil will not let you alone. You must fight, and in
the battle you must either conquer or be conquered. The words before us remind me
of the saying of the Scotch officer to the Highland regiment when he brought them up
in front of the enemy and said, “Lads, there they are: if ye dinna kill them, they’ll kill
you.” So does Paul marshal us in front of evil, and like a wise general he puts us on
our mettle by saying, “Overcome, or be overcome.” 1317.553

The flesh is striving against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; and though
the lion shall one day lie down with the lamb, the flesh will never agree with the
spirit. As the Lord hath war with Amalek for ever and ever, so there is war between
the spirit and the flesh so long as the two are in the same man. 1456.69

Victory needs conflict as its preface. 1701.42

SPORTS read more quotes relating to body issues

But Esau was not trainable. He was a wild man, and took his own way, and became
a follower of rough sports, “a cunning hunter, a man of the field,” and soon he became
profane, as often happens to those whose chief pursuits are sporting. 1718.248

Come, ye children of God, you must stand out with your Lord outside the camp. Jesus
calls to you to-day, and says, “Follow me.” Was Jesus found at the theatre? Did he
frequent the sports of the racecourse? Was Jesus seen, think you, in any of the
amusements of the Herodian court? Not he. He was “holy, harmless, undefiled, and
separate from sinners.”

In the more sober years of our fathers, men had something better to live for than silly
sports. 2040.476

STANDARDS read more quotes relating to holiness

Now, there are a thousand things which may be right in worldlings which are wrong
in Christians. 3208.365

George the Third in his older days did some very curious things, and very frequently
made them think him insane, but there was a kind of method in all his madness. One
day he met a Quaker gentleman, and accosted him, and was introduced to his wife.
George said, “And are you one of the Society of Friends, madam?” She said she was.
“Isn’t there a little too much lace there?” he said, putting his hand on some portion of
her dress. She said, “Well, I have a little deviated from strictness, I am sorry to say.”
“And I am sorry to see it, madam,” he said, “for when people once get away from their
strictness they generally go a very long way from it,” and there is very great truth in
that. 3535.509

STATE RELIGION read more quotes relating to societal issues

Would any believers seek state endowments for their Church, if they remembered
that the Lord is dishonoured by their asking Cæsar’s aid? As if the Lord should not
supply the needs of His own cause! ME536

How can national religion content private conscience any more than national wealth
can console private poverty? 669.17

STEALING read more quotes relating to sin

It is very astonishing to read in the newspapers of crimes that persons will
sometimes fall into, who appear to have had no inducement to do so at all—persons
in good circumstances, who might have purchased readily enough the very things
they steal. This increases guilt, and makes sin by far the more heinous, if we do it in
sheer wilfulness. 1195.546

“Thou shalt not steal,” not under any circumstances. Circumstances are not taken
into account, the law sweeps that excuse away, and makes men speechless before the
judgment-seat. 1196.556

Satan puts things very prettily when he means to ruin us. You have someone else’s
money entrusted to you. Of course, you would not steal it: but you can use it for a
little, and the replace it. 1696.705

Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour,—for laziness is generally
the cause of theft. If a man would work for what he wanted, he would not be tempted
to steal it. 2763.47

STEWARDSHIP read more quotes relating to spiritual disciplines

A man who does not look well to his own concerns is not fit to be trusted with other
people’s. PP47

As sure as ever there is any intimate love between Jesus and any soul, he trusts that
soul with something to be done, to be endured, to be guarded, to be mourned over, or
in some way to become a sacred trust. 2052.616

STUBBORNNESS read more quotes relating to ego

There is a deal of difference between being pig-headed and being steadfast. 1832.177

STUDY* read more quotes relating to knowledge and wisdom

You will never get comfort to your soul out of what you do not understand, nor find
guidance for your life out of what you do not comprehend; nor can any practical
bearing upon your character come out of that which is not understood by you. WCo108

Many of the veils which are cast over Scripture are not meant to hide the meaning
from the diligent, but to compel the mind to be active, for oftentimes the diligence of
the heart in seeking to know the divine mind does the heart more good than the
knowledge itself. WCo110

It took our Lord but a moment to speak some of its (the Bible’s) sentences; it will take
us a lifetime fully to understand them. 1994.649

SUBMISSION read more quotes relating to spiritual disciplines

Our selfhood is the root of our sorrow. If self were perfectly conquered, it would be
equal to us whether love ordained our pain or ease, appointed us wealth or poverty.
If our will were completely God’s will, then pain itself would be attended with
pleasure, and sorrow would yield us joy for Christ’s sake. 643.437

When we know “it is the Lord,” we readily cry, “let him do what seemeth him good.”
As long as I trace my pain to accident, my bereavement to mistake, my loss to
another’s wrong, my discomfort to an enemy, and so on, I am of the earth earthy, and
shall break my teeth with gravel stones; but when I rise to my God and see his hand
at work, I grow calm, I have not a word of repining, “I open not my mouth because
thou didst it.” 1090.17

The proverb is, “Boys will be boys,” but I do not think so,—they will be men if we let
them have time, and unless they learn self-restraint and habits of obedience while
they are boys, they are not likely to make good men. He who cannot obey is not fit to
rule: he who has never learned to submit will make a tyrant when he obtains the
power. It is good that every child should be broken in, delivered from his foolish
self-will, and made to feel that he has superiors, masters, and governors, and, then,
when it shall come to his turn to be a leader and a master he will have the more
kindly fellow-feeling to those who are under him. 1291.242

That which will not bend shall break; that which cannot be mended must be thrown
away. 2104.497

Human nature likes rule; but the Spirit of God works submissiveness of mind.
Instead of wanting to be first, the truly spiritual man will be satisfied to be last, if he
can thus glorify God. The man who must be always king of the castle, is not filled
with the Spirit of God; but he that is willing to be a door-mat, on which the saints
may wipe their feet, is great in the kingdom of heaven. 2111.585

SUCCESS* read more quotes relating to drive and motivation

My brethren, we are not half-Christians; that is the reason why we have not
half-success. 76.183

Great success is like a full cup, it is hard to hold it with a steady hand. It is
swimming in deep waters, and there is always a fear of being drowned there. It is
standing on the top of the pinnacle of the temple, and Satan often says, “Cast thyself
down.” 365.141

Lend me a spiritual thermometer by which I may try the heat of your heart, and I
will tell you the amount of your success. 433.74

I think we are no judges of how we do our work—that the Master knows better than
we do the success of our enterprises. Beside, dear friends, you do not expect to see
fruit at once, do you? “Cast thy bread upon the waters, and thou shalt find it after
many days.” You have not had the “many days” to wait yet. 649.515

SUFFERING read more quotes relating to trials and suffering

Every sufferer who bears pain, or slander, or loss, or personal unkindness for Christ’s
sake, is filling up that amount of suffering which is necessary to the bringing
together of the whole body of Christ, and the upbuilding of His elect Church. AM383

Mark then, Christian, Jesus does not suffer so as to exclude your suffering. He bears
a cross, not that you may escape it, but that you may endure it. Christ exempts you
from sin, but not from sorrow. Remember that, and expect to suffer. ME192

SUICIDE read more quotes relating to societal issues

This body loves not death, nor is it right that it should, for the law of self-
preservation is stamped upon us, and a natural fear of the mortal stroke hangs over
us, lest in some evil hour we should be tempted to suicide. GS27

He that commits suicide to get out of trouble leaps into the gulf to escape from the
water; drowns himself to prevent himself from getting wet; leaps into the fire because
he is scorched. Do it not; do it not. He that kills himself goes with his hands red with
blood before his Maker, and goes thence to his own damnation. 413.528

It is a first law of our nature that skin for skin, all that a man hath will he give for
his life, and thus we are nerved to struggle for existence, and to avoid that which
would destroy us. This useful instinct renders death an enemy, but it also aids in
keeping us from that crime of all crimes the most sure of damnation if a man commit
it willfully and in his sound mind; I mean the crime of self-murder. 1329.701
Self-destruction, if done by a man in his senses, is a daring defiance of God, and the
sealing of damnation. 1419.347

I am deeply grieved when I hear of persons committing suicide because they were in
difficulties: it is a dreadful thing thus to rush before one’s Creator unbidden. 1599.290

Strange incongruity, he (Ahithophel) makes his will, and then, because he cannot
have his will, he wills to die. 2995.326

But to end his life by his own hand would be a dreadful deed; it would prove that he
was not the child of God, for “ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in
him.” I mean, of course, if such a deed were done by anyone in possession of his
senses; I am not giving any judgment on those who are not in the possession of
reason, and who are not accountable for what they do. If any man in his sober senses
were to commit suicide, we could entertain no hope of eternal life for him. 3125.1

SUSPICION* read more quotes relating to relationship issues

No one ought to be made an offender for a word; but, when suspicion rules, even
silence becomes a crime. 2LS171

How easily each of us can play the detective upon our fellows! WE54

Many men use their own names when they are applying names to other persons;
they are so well acquainted with their own characters, and so suspicious of
themselves, that they think it best, before another can express the suspicion, to
attach the very same accusation to someone else. 395.380

Once imagine that you are badly treated, and then you will think that everything is
done out of spite to you, and the next thing is to think spitefully of others. 1601.308

Persons who are remarkably suspicious and constantly incredulous, are seldom very
truthful themselves. If you follow them home, you will discover that they are
suspicious of others because they are not true themselves, and their difficulty in
believing others arises from the fact that they measure other people’s corn with their
own bushel. They imagine that other people are as big liars as they are themselves.

Though there is much folly in being over-credulous, I question if there is not far more
in being over-suspicious. He who believes every man will soon be bitten, but he who
suspects every man will not only be bitten, but devoured. He who lives in perpetual
distrust of his fellow-creatures cannot be happy; he has defrauded himself of peace
and happiness, and assumed a position in which he cannot enjoy the sweets of
friendship or affection. 3036.194

Suspicion is the death of fellowship. The moment one Christian imagines that
another thinks hardly of him, though there may not be the slightest truth in that
thought, yet straightway the root of bitterness is planted. Let us believe in one
another’s sincerity, for we may rest assured that each of our brethren deserves to be
trusted more than we do. 3107.413

© 2005 Pre-Evangelism Ministries
& Fox River Press