the Second Week of Lent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”
We will continue to read from the wise sayings of Solomon, and complete the chapter which we commenced.
He may expect to be bitten and he is not likely to get any good. He has done a very needless and absurd thing, and he will get nobody’s thanks for his pains. It is honourable to suffer as a Christian, but disgraceful to smart for being a busy-body. Blessed are the peace makers, but very far front blessed are the meddlers.
To sin in jest is often to do mischief in earnest, and it will be punished in earnest at the last great day.
Do not talk about it and it will die out. No hurt ever comes from holding our tongues; silly tattling causes much sorrow. If we will not reply, those who slander us will tire of their dirty work, or will be powerless for mischief Evil speaking seldom injures those who take no notice of it. Do not find fagots for your own burning. Let the talebearers alone, and their fire will go out for want of fuel.
Wherever he is, quarrelling begins, or being already commenced, it is fanned to a fiercer flame. He is a stoker for Satan’s fires. Let us never grow like him.
They are deadly stabs, which have sent many to their graves with broken hearts.
There is a film of fair speech like a coating of silver, but underneath is deceit. They appear to glow with love, but in very truth malice is smouldering in their souls. Lord, save us from lying lips and malicious hearts.
He is brooding mischief, and storing up revenge, yet he speaks fairly. He hangs out the sign of the angel, but the devil keeps his house.
All kinds of evils lurk in a dissembler’s soul. The man’s heart is a hell, full of evil spirits, the forge of Satan, the workshop of all mischief. Whenever any one flatters us, let us fly from him at once, and avoid him for the future. He would not spin so fine a web if he did not wish to catch a fly.
If not in this world, yet certainly in the next, all secrets will be revealed to the shame of those who acted the part of the hypocrite. Even in this life masks are very apt to drop off. Clever counterfeits fail in some point or other, and are found out: dissembling is a difficult game, and the players are sure to be the losers, sooner or later.
Often do we observe the law of providential retaliation at work. If any of us try to injure another, we only hurt ourselves: God will make all our ill thoughts to return to us, like birds which come home to roost. O for a loving spirit which seeks the good of all.
It is the nature of ill will to hate those whom it injures. Hurt another and you will dislike him, benefit him and you will love him. Above all things abhor flattery, for he who uses this detestable art is surely plotting your overthrow. Young people should learn this lesson early, or their ignorance may cost them dear.
Oh, tame my tongue to peace,
And tune my heart to love;
From all reproaches may I cease,
Made harmless as a dove.
Faithful, but meekly kind;
Gentle, yet boldly true;
I would possess the perfect mind
Which in my Lord I view.
“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found.”
With matchless condescension the Lord invites us to come to himself. He presses upon us the calls of his mercy. The gospel provides for all our spiritual needs in the amplest manner, and it gives us everything for nothing. We have but to receive freely what God gives gratis.
Why do men labour after salvation by their own efforts, when Jesus has finished the work? Why do they try to find a heaven in things below when Christ is all? They gather smoke, and hunt after shadows. Why are they so foolish?
By hearing we receive grace, for by it faith comes. A willing ear leads to a converted mind. Salvation is by covenant God enters into covenant with sinners through Christ Jesus; and that covenant is everlasting and sure. What an honour and a favour to be in covenant with God.
Jesus is here set forth as the great witness of divine love, who is able and willing to lead men back to God.
This is doubtless a promise to Jesus, the Messiah. Tens of thousands shall gladly accept him as their Lord.
While mercy may be had, seek for it in prayer.
What a large and free promise! Can any man desire more? Mercy is freely proclaimed for the guilty, and that for the. worst and most glaring of transgressions. Do not let us miss the gracious opportunity, but come at once, and receive pardon as the free gift of God. He speaks to each one of us as much as he did to Israel of old.
Isaiah 55:10 , Isaiah 55:11
So we are invited to trust in an effectual gospel which can by no means fall to the ground. We have no cunningly devised fable put before us, but the infallible truth of God who cannot lie. All things else may fail, but the promise of God will be fulfilled as surely as God is God.
All joy belongs to the pardoned, and all nature is in sympathy with that joy. The outward echoes the inward. When the soul is eased of its burden, and drinks in the bliss of divine love, earth seems a paradise of. sweets, and a temple of rich music. To the wretched the universe is hung in sable, but to the joyous the day is clear and bright, “the bridal of the earth and sky.” Who would not be forgiven? Who would not live by the covenant of grace when such are the joy and peace which he will inherit? The joy is no transient emotion, it is based upon “everlasting” love and faithfulness, and this renders it infinitely precious and desirable.