Showing the state of our nation in the light of God’s Holy Word

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30th August

“As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves
according to the former lusts in your ignorance;
but as he which hath called you is holy,
so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:14-16

Grace lays us under the greatest of all obligations to its free and bountiful Giver, and especially to render a believing obedience to his revealed will and word. It is his free, sovereign, and distinguishing grace alone which makes and manifests us to be his children, and therefore it demands of us, as a feeble and most insufficient tribute of grateful praise, that we should walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called, and glorify him in our body and spirit which are his. He that has never known and felt this knows nothing of the riches of God’s grace in the manifestation of mercy and love to his soul.

Such a one knows, that do what he can, he can never do enough to show forth the praises of him who hath called him out of darkness into his marvelous light, and his grief and burden ever are that, through the power of indwelling sin, he cannot do the things that he would, but is always falling short, always sinning against bleeding, dying love. To such a one, therefore, the precepts of the gospel are as dear as the promises, and he sees that they are set in the word of truth as “a lamp to his feet and a light to his path,” a guiding rule by which, if he could but direct his steps, he would glorify God, walk in peace and love with his people, preserve a good conscience, and adorn the doctrine which he professes in all things. Obedience, therefore, to him is a sweet word, and is viewed by him as a precious portion of that free and everlasting gospel which, in restoring fallen man to God’s favour, restores him also to an obedience acceptable in his sight.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

29th August

“He sent his word, and healed them,
and delivered them from their destructions.”
Psalm 107:20

What an effect a word from God can produce! Be it in reading; in hearing; on the knees; or in secret meditation; when a word drops from the Lord’s mouth with any divine power into the soul, what a change it produces! And nothing but this divine power can ever bring a poor sinner out of his miserable condition. When this comes, it does the work in a moment; it heals all the wounds which sin has made, and repairs all the breaches in the conscience that folly has produced. One word from God heals them all. The Lord does not come as it were with plasters to heal first one sore and then another. He heals now as in the days of his flesh. When he healed then, he healed fully, at once, completely.

The earthly doctor heals by degrees; he puts a plaster on one sore, and a liniment on another; and heals one by one. But when the Lord heals, it is all done in a moment. The balm of Gilead flows over all the wounds, heals them up, and makes them perfectly whole. It is then with the soul as with the woman with the issue of blood; “she felt in her body she was healed of that plague.” And this is healing! Any testimony from God, really from God, does it in a moment. If you can get but one word from God into your soul to make you believe you are a child of God, and interested in his pardoning love and mercy, every wound, though there be a million, yes, every wound will be healed instantaneously. This is the only healing worth having.

To be healed by evidences is like being healed by plasters. You want an evidence here, and an evidence there, as a man that has his body full of sores wants a plaster upon every wound. One word from God is the real panacea, the true, the only “heal-all;” and Jesus (Jehovahrophi, “the Lord my healer”) the only true infallible Physician. Would you be healed completely, you must look to the Lord, and not to man; be a Hezekiah, not an Asa.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

28th August

“And stablish you in every good word and work.”
2 Thessalonians 2:17

The living family of God need to be established in the truth, so as not ever to be “children tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine.” It is not sufficient for a building to be reared: it must be established before we can know whether it will stand. The most anxious moment of the builder is to see how it will settle; how the walls will bear the roof, and every part stand firm and good without bulging or slipping. When the centering is taken away from a newly-built arch, how the architect looks to see whether it will settle well and the extent of the drop, if there be any.

So in grace. It is not merely making a profession that will serve. Many a building stands well as long as the scaffolding remains; many an arch looks firm whilst the centering supports it. So many seem to stand well in early days, when upheld by zeal and earnestness, or strengthened by the support of others. But how will the soul stand when helps are removed? Will it be stablished in the faith, or fall into some error or some gross evil, and thus, like an arch badly built, drop into ruin when the centering is taken away.

How we continually see those who once seemed firm in the truth now greedily drinking down some deadly error presented to their lips under the charm of a plausible novelty; and others fall headlong into some open sin, or get entangled in some delusion. O that the Lord would stablish you, me, and all who desire to fear his name firmly and deeply in his precious truth, that we may never fall a prey to evil or error, but may have a religion of his own maintaining; that the work upon our heart may be the genuine work of God first and last; a building of his own raising and his own establishing, that it may stand firm amidst the storms of time, and endure for all eternity!

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

27th August

“The desire of our soul is to thy Name,
and to the remembrance of thee.”
Isaiah 26:8

How sweet and expressive is the phrase, “The desire of our soul!” How it seems to carry our feelings with it! How it seems to describe the longings and utterings of a soul into which God has breathed the spirit of grace and mercy! “The desire of our soul,”—the breathing of our heart, the longing of our inmost being; the cry, the sigh, the panting of our new nature; the heavings, gaspings, lookings, longings, pantings, hungerings, thirstings, and ventings forth of the new man of grace—all are expressed in those sweet and blessed words, “The desire of our soul!” And what a mercy it is, that there should ever be in us “the desire” of a living soul; that though the righteous dealings of God are painful and severe, running contrary to everything nature loves; yet that with all these, there should be dropped into the heart that mercy, love, and grace, which draw forth the desire of the soul toward the Name of God.

This is expressed in the words that follow, “With my soul have I desired thee in the night!” If you can say no more about the work of grace upon your heart than that—can you really use these words as descriptive of feelings experienced within, “With my soul have I desired thee in the night?” Is your soul longing after the Lord Jesus Christ? Is it ever in the night season panting after the manifestation of his presence? hungering and thirsting after the dropping-in of some word from his lips, some sweet whisper of his love to your soul? These are marks of grace. The carnal, the unregenerate, the ungodly, have no such desires and feelings as these; there is nothing in their heart corresponding with “the desire of the soul” unto the Name of God. But it is the case with all the righteous; for “the desire of the righteous shall be satisfied.”

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

26th August

“If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world,
let him become a fool, that he may be wise.”
1 Corinthians 3:18

The fruit and effect of divine teaching is, to cut in pieces, and root up all our fleshly wisdom, strength, and righteousness. God never means to patch a new piece upon an old garment; he never intends to let our wisdom, our strength, our righteousness have any union with his; it must all be torn to pieces, it must all be plucked up by the roots, that a new wisdom, a new strength, and a new righteousness may arise upon its ruins. But till the Lord is pleased to teach us, we never can part with our own righteousness, never give up our own wisdom, never abandon our own strength. These things are a part and parcel of ourselves, so ingrained within us, so innate in us, so growing with our growth, that we cannot willingly part with an atom of them till the Lord himself breaks them up, and plucks them away.

Then, as he brings into our souls some spiritual knowledge of our own dreadful corruptions and horrible wickedness, our righteousness crumbles away at the divine touch; as he leads us to see and feel our ignorance and folly in a thousand instances, and how unable we are to understand anything aright but by divine teaching, our wisdom fades away; and as he shews us our inability to resist temptation and overcome sin, by any exertion of our own, our strength gradually departs, and we become like Samson, when his locks were cut off.

Upon the ruins, then, of our own wisdom, righteousness, and strength, does God build up Christ’s wisdom, Christ’s righteousness, and Christ’s strength: as Jesus said to his servant Paul, “My strength is made perfect in weakness;” and this brought him to that wonderful conclusion, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Cor. 12:9). But only so far as we are favoured with this special teaching are we brought to pass a solemn sentence of condemnation upon our own wisdom, strength, and righteousness, and feelingly seek after the Lord’s.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

25th August

“Receiving the end of your faith,
even the salvation of your souls.”
1 Peter 1:9

What a blessed, what a glorious end is this; what a prize to win, what a victory to gain, what a crowning consummation of all that faith has believed, hope expected or love embraced! Whatever doubts and fears may have harassed the mind, whatever sore temptations may have distressed the soul, whatever deep afflictions, painful trials, heavy guilt, and hard bondage may have sunk it low, so low sometimes, as if it never would get over them or rise out of them, still that faith, which is God’s gift and work, lives through all, and there is a blessed end in store for it—the salvation of the soul.

And O, what does this not comprehend and imply? Think of what salvation is from; think of what salvation is unto. Neither the one nor the other can be fully known on this side of eternity. You may have had some glimpses of hell, you may have had some glimpses of heaven; some taste of the wrath to come, some taste of the glory that shall be revealed. But you have had only a small taste of either. The wrath of God, the horrors of a guilty conscience, the terrors of despair, the falling into his hands who is a consuming fire you may have, in some small measure, felt or feared; but you have never known, for nature could not bear it, the full and terrible extent of those dreadful realities.

And so you may have had glimpses and glances, earnests and foretastes of the glory that shall be revealed; but you have never enjoyed, for nature could not bear it, what saints enjoy in the immediate presence of God. But if you have seen, tasted, handled, felt, and enjoyed a little of what you are saved from, and a little of what you are saved unto, it will make you bless God for having given you even a grain of that true and living faith, the end of which will be the salvation of your soul.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

24th August

“If thou knewest the gift of God,
and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink;
thou wouldest have asked of him,
and he would have given thee living water.”
John 4:10

We cannot know the nature, though we may know the necessity, of the gift of God, till we experience its power as revealed and shed abroad in our soul. Then we know some measure of the gift of God when we feel eternal life flowing through our spiritual veins. How do I know I live naturally? Is not my participation of natural life known to me by an internal consciousness that I possess it? I know I live, because I feel that I live. And so, if we have spiritual life, there will be, at times and seasons, an internal consciousness that we have it; we shall feel the spiritual heart beat, and the spiritual lungs breathe, and the spiritual eyes see, and the spiritual ears hear: in a word, we shall be internally conscious of those emotions and sensations which are peculiar to the life of God in the soul. Spiritual life will be seen in its own light, felt in its own power, and shine forth in its own testimony.

The little that we do know (and it is indeed for the most part but a little) makes us long for more of it. If ever we have received “the gift of God” into our conscience; if ever we have felt the mysterious operation of divine life in our hearts; if ever we have known the sweet emotions and peculiar sensations by which it manifests itself, it has killed us to all other religions; and as a measure of divine life has flowed into the heart out of the fulness of the Son of God, we want no other religion but that which stands in the power of God; by that alone we can live, and by that alone we feel that we can die.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

23rd August

“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you,
brethren beloved of the Lord,
because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation
through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
whereunto he called you by our gospel,
to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Thessalonians 2:13, 14

The first work of grace is to kill rather than to make alive; to wound rather than to heal; to bring down rather than to lift up; to reveal the law rather than the gospel. For “balm is useless to the unfeeling.” Salvation with all its superabounding grace is but an empty sound to those who have never felt themselves cut off from all help or all hope. So, in a sense, there is a calling under and through, if not by the law, in the first teaching and operations of the Spirit of God, bringing the soul under its condemnation as a ministration of death. But when the law has done its office, and the sinner is slain by its killing power, then there comes to his aid and deliverance, what the Apostle speaks of here, the calling by the gospel.

When the gospel utters its melodious voice; when pardon is proclaimed through the sacrifice of Jesus; when peace reaches the heart through atoning blood revealed to the conscience; when the glad tidings of salvation by grace are no longer a mere sound in the letter, but are made the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; when heavenly light shines into the mind; when divine power attends the word to the soul; when faith is raised up, hope casts its anchor within the veil, and the love of God is shed abroad, then and there is the calling of which the Apostle here speaks—a calling by the gospel.

The sound of the gospel trumpet, like the silver trumpet on the great day of jubilee, reaches the ear and heart of the captive exile and he hasteneth that he may be loosed (Isa. 51:14). The scene now changes; the storms of God’s wrath blow over; the day-star appears in the dawning morn of the gospel day, “a morning without clouds” (2 Sam. 23:4), until the Sun of righteousness in due time rises with healing in his wings. As, then, the gospel is thus made the power of God unto salvation, the soul is enabled to listen to, and embrace it as a joyful sound. Now just in proportion as faith receives it, hope anchors in it, and love embraces it, is evidence given of our being from the beginning chosen unto salvation.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

22nd August

“”Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned
and hast been assured of.”
2 Timothy 3:14

Various hindrances meet the child of God in his path heavenwards. And their tendency is such, that but for the grace of God, they would effectually succeed in driving him from the faith. When, then, he has to meet a head wind blowing right in his teeth, when the storm and hail beat roughly upon him, when the waves rise high and the stream runs strong, there seems no getting on; and he fears that he shall be like “the children of Ephraim, who, being armed, and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle.” And yet there is that grace implanted in his heart, there is that faith which God the Spirit first created and still keeps alive in his soul, that though he may for a moment be driven aside, he yet never turns his back upon the truth; though retarded for a moment, his face is still Zionwards.

I can say for myself, that all the trials I have passed through, all the temptations I have been in, and all the persecutions I have had to endure, from sinner and from saint, have only served to rivet the truth of God more firmly in my heart. I find the trials, sufferings, exercises from without and from within, instead of driving faith out of the soul, having that effect which Satan would produce by them, and driving the heart from truth into error, from the Church of God into the world,—I can say, from feeling experience, that these inward and outward trials only rivet the truth, and the love of the truth, more deeply in my heart; and instead of driving out faith, they have only tended to strengthen, encourage, and confirm it.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869

21st August

“O Lord, by these things men live;
and in all these things is the life of my spirit.”
Isaiah 38:16

When Hezekiah said, “By these things men live,” he meant that by these trials and deliverances, by these sinkings and risings, strippings and clothings, emptyings and fillings, “by these things men,” that is, spiritual men, “live.” It is a mystery, but a great truth, that just in proportion as we die to the world, to self, to sense, to nature, and to false religion, the more the life of God is strengthened in our conscience. The Lord, perhaps, has taught some of you this truth through great afflictions. But when these trials came upon you at the first, it seemed as though they would entirely overwhelm you; they took away your standing, and it appeared as though they had destroyed your faith and hope.

But though these floods of temptation passed over the soul, they swept away nothing but rubbish, which till then was mistaken for the inward teachings of God the Spirit. So far then from these afflictions overwhelming your faith, you found that faith was secretly strengthened by the very flood that threatened at first to drown it. True faith is no more destroyed by sharp trials, than the oak is destroyed by cutting away the ivy, or by a storm blowing down some of its rotten branches. And thus, as the oak, the more the winds blow upon it, takes a firmer root in the soil; so the storms and tempests that blow upon the soul, only cause it to take a firmer hold of the truth, and to strike its fibres more deeply into the Person, love, work, and blood of Jesus. So that, “by these things men live,” for through them, the life of God is maintained and kept up in the soul, the Holy Ghost secretly strengthening it by the very things that seemed to threaten it with destruction.

J. C. Philpot 1802-1869