Do not Deceive your Own Hearts

Beloved, do not be your own betrayers. Do not deceive your own hearts, nor set your hands to your own ruin by a willful blinding of yourselves. Set up a tribunal in your own breasts. Bring the Word and conscience together. ‘To the law and to the testimony.’ [Isa 8:20] Hear what the Word concludes of your state. Oh follow the search until you find how the case stands. Make a mistake here—and you perish! And, such is the treachery of the heart, the subtlety of the temper, and the deceitfulness of sin—all conspiring to flatter and deceive the poor soul; and so common and easy it is to make a mistake, that it is a thousand to one that you will be deceived, unless you are very careful and thorough and impartial in the inquiry into your spiritual condition. ~ A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine

Idiots Prefer Husks before Manna

How is a fool tested but by showing him an apple and a piece of gold? If he chooses the apple before the gold, he is judged to be a fool and his estate is beggared. How many such idiots there are who prefer husks before manna, the gaudy, empty things of this life before the Prince of Glory! Will not Satan beggar them at last for fools? “The Godly Man’s Picture” pgs. 54-55

Never Fear to Go to God

Shall our sins discourage us, when he appears there only for sinners? Are you bruised? Be of good comfort, he calls you. Conceal not your wounds, open all before him and take not Satan’s counsel. Go to Christ, although trembling, as the poor woman who said, ‘If I may but touch his garment’ (Matt. 9:21). We shall be healed and have a gracious answer. Go boldly to God in our flesh; he is flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone for this reason, that we might go boldly to him. Never fear to go to God, since we have such a Mediator with him, who is not only our friend but our brother and husband.  ~ The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes

Christ’s Way is First to Wound, Then to Heal

Let this support us when we feel ourselves bruised. Christ’s way is first to wound, then to heal. No sound, whole soul shall ever enter into heaven. Think when in temptation, Christ was tempted for me; according to my trials will be my graces and comforts. If Christ be so merciful as not to break me, I will not break myself by despair, nor yield myself over to the roaring lion, Satan, to break me in pieces. ~ The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes

Christ Most Mercifully Inclines to the Weakest Saint

See the contrary disposition of Christ on the one hand and Satan and his instruments on the other. Satan sets upon us when we are weakest, as Simeon and Levi upon the Shechemites, `when they were sore’ (Gen. 34:25), but Christ will make up in us all the breaches which sin and Satan have made. He `binds up the broken hearted’ (Isa. 61:1). As a mother is tenderest to the most diseased and weakest child, so does Christ most mercifully incline to the weakest. Likewise he puts an instinct into the weakest things to rely upon something stronger than themselves for support. The vine stays itself upon the elm, and the weakest creatures often have the strongest shelters. The consciousness of the church’s weakness makes her willing to lean on her beloved, and to hide herself under his wing. ~ The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes

The Wisdom of God Works for Good

The wisdom of God works for good. God’s wisdom is our oracle to instruct us. As He is the mighty God, so also the Counsellor (Isa. ix. 6). We are oftentimes in the dark, and, in matters intricate and doubtful know not which way to take; here God comes in with light. ” I will guide thee with mine eye ” (Psa. xxxxii. 8). ” Eye, ” there, is put for God’s wisdom. Why is it the saints can see further than the most quick-sighted politicians? They foresee the evil, and hide themselves; they see Satan’s sophisms. God’s wisdom is the pillar of fire to go before, and guide them. “All Things for Good

A Hard Heart is a Receptacle for Satan

The justice of God, like the angel, stands with a drawn sword in its hand ready to strike, but sinners have not eyes as good as those of Balaam’s ass to see the sword. God smites on men’s backs, but they do not, as Ephraim did, smite upon their thigh (Jer. 31:19). It was a sad complaint the prophet took up: ‘thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved’ (Jer. 5:3). That is surely reprobate silver which contracts hardness in the furnace. ‘In the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the Lord: this is that king Ahaz’ (II Chron. 28:22). A hard heart is a receptacle for Satan. As God has two place He dwells in, heaven and a humble heart, so the devil has two places he dwells in, hell and a hard heart. It is not falling into water that drowns, but lying in it. It is not falling into sin that damns, but lying in it without repentance: ‘having their conscience seared with a hot iron’ (I Tim. 4:2). “Doctrine of Repentance”  pg 62

An Idle Person is the Devil’s Tennis Ball

An idle person is the devil’s tennis ball, which he bandies up and down with temptation till at last the ball goes out of play. “The Godly Man’s Picture” pg. 169

The Schemes of the Devil to Hinder Us

The devil, if he cannot hinder us from duty, will hinder us in duty. When we come before the Lord, he is at our right hand to resist us (Zech. 3:1). Like when a man is going to write, and another stands at his elbow and jogs him, so that he cannot write evenly. Satan will set vain objects before the fancy to cause a diversion. The devil does not oppose formality but fervency. If he sees that we are setting ourselves in good earnest to seek God, he will be whispering things in our ears, so that we can scarcely attend to what we are doing. “The Godly Man’s Picture”  pgs. 162-163

To Be Learned and Ungodly is like an Angel of Light

To be learned and ungodly is like a devil transformed into an angel of light; to be beautiful and ungodly is like a lovely picture hung in an infected room; to be honorable in the world and ungodly is like an ape in purple, or like that image which had a head of gold on feet of clay (Dan. 2:32-33). It is godliness that ennobles and consecrates the heart, making God and angels fall in love with it. “The Godly Man’s Picture” pg. 191