“If you have to visit infected places, it may help you to ward off disease if you yourself are vigorous and full of health. The best protection against surrounding evil will be the cultivation of a right state of heart and life, a continual growth in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord.” – Charles Spurgeon
“I am glad that there is some trouble in being a Christian, for it has become a very common thing to profess to be one. If I am right, it is going to become a much less common thing for a person to say “I am a Christian.” There will come times when sharp lines will be drawn. Some of us will help draw them if we can. The problem is that people bear the Christian name but act like worldlings and love the amusements and follies of the world. It is time for a division in the house of the Lord in which those for Christ go into one camp and those against Christ go into the other camp. We have been mixed together too long.”
“Natural gifts carry with them a…danger. If you have sound nerves and intelligence and health and popularity and a good upbringing, you are likely to be quite satisfied with your character as it is. “Why drag God into it?” you may ask…Often people who have all these natural kinds of goodness cannot be brought to recognize their need for Christ at all until, one day, the natural goodness lets them down and their self-satisfaction is shattered. In other words, it is hard for those who are “rich” in this sense to enter the Kingdom.
It is very different for the nasty people—the little, low, timid, warped, thin-blooded, lonely people, or the passionate, sensual, unbalanced people. If they make any attempt at goodness at all, they learn, in double quick time, that they need help. It is Christ or nothing for them….
There is either a warning or an encouragement here for every one of us. If you are a nice person—if virtue comes easily to you—beware! Much is expected from those to whom much is given. If you mistake for your own merits what are really God’s gifts to you through nature, and if you are contented with simply being nice, you are still a rebel: and all those gifts will only make your fall more terrible….The Devil was an archangel once; his natural gifts were as far above yours as yours are above those of a chimpanzee.
But if you are a poor creature—poisoned by a wretched up-bringing in some house full of vulgar jealousies and senseless quarrels—saddled, by no choice of your own, with some loathsome sexual perversion—nagged day in and day out by an inferiority complex that makes you snap at your best friends—do not despair. He knows all about it. You are one of the poor whom He blessed. He knows what a wretched machine you are trying to drive. Keep on. Do what you can. One day (perhaps in another world, but perhaps far sooner than that) He will fling it on the scrapheap and give you a new one.”
“The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self— all your wishes and precautions— to Christ. But it is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead. For what we are trying to do is to remain what we call ‘ourselves’, to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life, and yet at the same time be ‘good’. We are all trying to let our mind and heart go their own way– centered on money or pleasure or ambition— and hoping, in spite of this, to behave honestly and chastely and humbly. And that is exactly what Christ warned us you could not do. As He said, a thistle cannot produce figs. If I am a field that contains nothing but grass-seed, I cannot produce wheat. Cutting the grass may keep it short: but I shall still produce grass and no wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be plowed up and re-sown.”
“[Psalm 71] offers fit occasion to say to the young, Behold the wisdom of early piety. Youth may be your only period of life. If you do not improve that, you may be forever undone. But if you live to old age, you will need all the consolations arising from the fact that you early gave your hearts to God. ‘Oh come to God, young people, without delay; or you may never come at all. The world will tempt and court you; but believe it not; it is a wicked flatterer, full of deceit, promising pleasure but ending in ruin,’ Matt. 6:33 ”
“No forms of religion, however solemn or bloody, can do for us sinners the great work we most need. They cannot take away sins [Hebrews 10:1-4]. They never did do it; and no wise man ever rested the weight of his salvation on so rotten a foundation. The very rites themselves declare, Salvation is not in us. The human conscience says the same thing. But Christ is just the Saviour we need. Sprinkled with his blood we are washed and justified once for all. ‘Guilt of sin once taken away doth not trouble the conscience.’ How could it? Sin is dead by the cross of Christ, and the dead speak nothing.” – William S. Plumer
William Plumer excerpts from Psalm 66 from “Psalms” (Banner of Truth):
“Whoever will duly consider the nature and history, the perils and escapes of his own life, will not want [lack] evidence of the constant care of a sleepless and almighty providence.
The whole of life is a test, a trial of what is in us, so arranged by God himself, and it is of great importance that we so regard it. Nothing is more quieting to the pious soul than to remember, ‘It is the Lord.’
However long and sharp the trials of God’s people may be, they shall have a happy issue out of them, and a blessed enlargement, which none but God can give. O yes, the trial of their faith, being more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, shall be found unto praise, and honor, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ.
God’s people should communicate their experiences to each other; we should take all occasion to tell one another of the great and kind things, which God has done for us, especially for our souls.”