Bulletin Edition July 2020

One perfect sweet!

(The following is by Spurgeon)

“You are fairer than the children of men.” Psalm 45:2

The entire person of Jesus is but as one gem, and

his life is all along but one impression of the seal.

He is altogether complete; not only in his several parts,

but as a gracious all-glorious whole. His character is not

a mass of fair colors mixed confusedly, nor a heap of

precious stones laid carelessly one upon another; he

is a picture of beauty and a breastplate of glory.

In him, all traits are in their proper places, and assist

in adorning each other. Not one feature in his glorious

person attracts attention at the expense of others; but

he is perfectly and altogether lovely.

Oh, Jesus! your power, your grace, your justice, your

tenderness, your truth, your majesty, and your immutability

make up such a man, or rather such a God-man, as neither

heaven nor earth has seen elsewhere!

Your infancy, your eternity, your sufferings, your

triumphs, your death, and your immortality, are all

woven in one gorgeous tapestry, without seam or rent.

You are music without discord.

As all the colors blend into one resplendent rainbow,

so all the glories of heaven and earth meet in you,

and unite so wondrously, that there is none like you

in all things; nay, if all the virtues of the most excellent

were bound in one bundle, they could not rival you!

You are mirror of all perfection.

You have been anointed with the holy oil of myrrh and

cassia, which your God has reserved for you alone.

And as for your fragrance, it is as the holy perfume,

the like of which none other can ever mix, even with

the art of the apothecary. Your every spice is fragrant,

and the compound is divine.

“Oh, sacred symmetry! oh, rare combination,

Of many perfects, to make one perfection!

Oh, heavenly music, where all parts do meet

In one sweet strain, to make one perfect sweet!”

“O you afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted.” Isaiah 54:11


The Lord here compares his suffering Church to a ship at sea, laboring in a heavy storm, driven out of her course by contrary winds, as was Paul’s case in the Adriatic, and doubtful whether she will ever reach the harbor; as the hymn says, “Half a wreck by tempests driven.”

What a picture of a tempest-tossed soul! Sun and stars beclouded, compass lost, chart useless, pilot absent, and breakers ahead! Many, very many of the Lord’s dear family are thus “tossed with tempest;” some with a tempest of doubts and fears; others with a tempest of lust and corruptions; some with a tempest of rebellion and fretfulness; others with a storm of guilt and despondency, or with gloomy forebodings and dismal apprehensions. Thus they are driven from their course, their sun and stars all obscured; no clear evidences, no bright manifestations; darkness above, and a raging sea beneath; no harbor in sight, and hope of reaching the desired haven almost gone.

But it is further said of Zion, that she is “not comforted;” that is, not comforted by, nor capable of comfort from, any other than God. This I look upon as a very decisive mark of a work of grace upon the soul. When a man is so distressed in his feelings, so cast down in his mind, and so troubled in his conscience, that none but God can comfort him, we seem to be at once on the footsteps of the Spirit. We do not find hypocrites on this ground. False professors can easily take comfort; they can steal what God does not give, and appropriate what he does not apply. But Zion’s special mark is that she is “not comforted,” that her wounds are too deep for human balms, her sickness too sore for creature medicines. God has reserved her comfort in his own hands; from his lips alone can consolation be spoken into her soul.


Octavius Winslow

“They shall be Mine, says the Lord, in that day when I make up my jewels.”–Mal. 3:17

That which the merchant regards as most costly, and the bride as most ornamental, Jehovah condescends to employ to illustrate the character and relation of His saints–“My Jewels.” My soul, if, through sovereign grace, you have been quarried from your dead and sinful nature, and have been made a living and polished stone in the house of your God, sit down a while and meditate upon the precious, soul-quickening truths taught you by this beautiful and expressive similitude.

It speaks, first, touchingly of the love the Lord has for you, as one of His jewels. How much His saints have to learn of the greatness of His marvelous love! And, although it has depths we cannot sound, heights we cannot reach, dimensions we cannot measure, yet, as a little child may dip its tiny shell into the ocean rolling in its immensity at its feet, so may we be able to comprehend in some measure the love of Christ, which passes knowledge. And apart from a personal and spiritual experience of Christ’s love, what avails it to us?

It speaks, also, of the rarity of the Lord’s people. Jewels are not common, every-day things. How rare are real Christians, true believers in Christ! How many can talk about religion, and about churches, and about ministers, and about societies, and about sacraments, who have not been converted, are not born again, who know nothing experimentally and spiritually of the Lord Jesus Christ–nothing of the blessedness of a broken heart for sin, nothing of the healing application of atoning blood! Oh how few among those who crowd the sanctuary and encircle the communion-table, are safe for eternity! Lord, are Your jewels so rare? Oh may I make full proof of being one of them!

Jewels are precious. Who can fully estimate the preciousness to Jesus of His saints? Their persons are precious, their faith is precious, their love is precious, their sacrifices are precious, their petitions in prayer and ascriptions of praise are unutterably precious, to the heart of Christ, upon whose breast-plate they are set as stones of light and glory. They must be precious for whom a precious Christ poured out His most precious blood!

Jewels are polished stones. Taken from the quarry of nature, they need the chiseling of the Jeweler, and the purifying of the Refiner, before they prove their genuineness, and emit their luster. “The Lord tries the righteous.” And oh, the untold blessings that spring from the discipline of His hand! “Not joyous, but grievous now, yet afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are exercised thereby.”

How beautiful, also, are these precious jewels! Washed in the blood of the Lamb, clothed with the righteousness of God, adorned with the graces of the Spirit, complete in Christ, and lovely through His loveliness put upon them, no marvel that He should thus commend their beauty and completeness–“You are all fair, my love; I see no spot upon you.”

Jewels are guarded with vigilance and care. Is there a being in the universe more vigilantly watched, incessantly upheld, or divinely kept, than the believer in Jesus? Destined to deck His brow when the Savior comes in His glory, wearing His many crowns, none of these shall perish; but all shall constitute a “crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of our God.”

Dear Savior, set me as a seal upon Your heart, as a seal upon Your arm, and when You come in Your kingdom, may I be found among those redeemed and precious ones of whom thus it is written, “They shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels.”

O you vainglorious churches!

Spurgeon, “A Most Needful Prayer Concerning the Holy Spirit”

‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’

says the Lord Almighty. Zech. 4:6

Everybody may be saying, “How wondrously that church

flourishes! What power! What influence! What numbers!”

And suddenly some radical evil which had been eating

out the very soul of the church may come to its issue,

and then in a moment all the apparent prosperity will

subside, and the Philistines will rejoice.

When the Spirit of God departs from a church,

what remains is but its old records, ancient creeds,

title deeds, traditions, histories and memories.

The great power of the church does not lie in the

power of her organizations. You may have good

schemes for work, wisely arranged and managed,

but they will be a failure without the divine energy.

Too often excellent methods are rigidly adhered

to, and confidently relied upon, and yet without

the Holy Spirit they are sheer folly.

Formal routine satisfies many.

Souls are not saved by systems, but by the Spirit.

Organizations without the Holy Spirit are windmills without wind.

Methods and arrangements without grace are lamps without oil.

Even the most scriptural forms of church government and

effort, are null and void without the “power from on high.”

Nor does the strength of a church lie in her wealth.

Money avails nothing to a church devoid of grace; it

does but increase the evil which is corrupting within.

O you vainglorious churches, you may gild your domes,

you may make your pillars of alabaster, and cover your

altars with precious stones, you may clothe your priests

in scarlet and in fair white linen, you may make your

ceremonies imposing, your processions gorgeous, and

your music enchanting, but all this avails nothing if

the Spirit of God is gone; all that remains to you is

as sounding brass, and a tinkling cymbal.

Nor does the strength of a church lie in her numbers.

What is a large church without the Lord’s presence,

but a mass of chaff to be scattered with a whirlwind,

or to rot on the threshing floor?

Nor does the strength of a church lie in her doctrines.

The Laodicea church did not hold false doctrines, yet

she was nauseous to the Lord.

Truth may be held in unrighteousness.

Orthodox churches may become lifeless corpses.

‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’

says the Lord Almighty. Zech. 4:6

Trust His heart — even when you can’t trace His hand!

(John MacDuff, “The Promised Land!” 1859)

“And He led them forth by the right way — that they might go to a city of habitation.” Psalm 107:7

God’s thoughts are not as our thoughts — neither are His ways as our ways! This truth is strikingly exemplified in the manner in which He led the Israelites from Egypt to the promised land. We would have chosen the way that was nearest and most direct — but God decided otherwise. He led them round about through the wilderness, and that for the space of forty years! And not merely was it the most distant way — but it was the most dangerous way as well. It was a land of deserts and of pits — a land of drought and death — a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt.

But, as strange as it appeared, we are fully justified in saying that it was wisely arranged.

Their long detainments;

their tiresome and circuitous wanderings;

their fierce conflicts with the Moabites and the Amalekites;

the bitter waters which they had to drink; and

the fiery serpents with which they were stung —

all fulfilled the high purposes of Him who is excellent in counsel, as well as wonderful in working. However contrary His way might have been to theirs — yet “He led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.”

And His dealings with His people now, are still as unusual, and as much opposed to all their preconceived plans — as were His dealings with the Israelites! He has crossed their own schemes, and thwarted their most fondly-cherished purposes! He always effects His own ends — in His own way!

Christian, what is your duty?

It is to cherish high thoughts of God in all His inscrutable dealings towards you.

It is to trust His heart — even when you can’t trace His hand; believing that “all the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.”

It is to follow His guidance continually; for as He led His people of old with “the cloud by day, the pillared fire by night” — so He has promised to direct all your steps, and preserve all your goings.

It is to wait His time; for although the way may appear long and tedious — yet remember, “all is well, that ends well.” And what will the end be? “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads! They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away!”

“I will lay your foundations with sapphires.” Isaiah 54:11


Before we can stand firmly in the things of God we must have a good foundation, something solid for our faith, our hope, our love, our all, to rest upon. This God promises to lay for his afflicted Zion–“I will lay your foundations with sapphires.” “A gift,” we read, “is a precious stone in the eyes of him that has it.” Every testimony, then, that God gives to the soul, every promise brought into the heart, every manifestation of mercy, every visit of love, or application of truth, we may call, in a spiritual sense, a sapphire; for it is indeed a precious stone, radiant with heaven’s own hue. When God thus lays his sapphires in the soul, they afford a solid foundation for faith. And as they are laid by the hand of God himself, they must be firm; as they are sapphires, they must be indestructible. These sapphires, it is true, may every one of them be buried in the dust of carnality and worldly-mindedness; the filth and sewage, the mud and slush, of our fallen nature may roll over them flood after flood. But are they injured thereby? is their nature changed, their value impaired, their hue tarnished, their luster faded and gone? They may be hidden from view, their setting be obscured, and their faces for a while be dimmed, but one ray from the Sun of righteousness will bring them again to light; one touch of the Polisher’s hand will restore all their beauty. Grace has no more communion with sin than a diamond with an ash-heap.

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