Bulletin Edition December 2021

Come my friend, let us go to the throne of grace, and put up such petitions as may show that we have honourable views of the riches and bounty of our king.

I am but a poor man in the trade of grace; I live from hand to mouth, and procure just enough, as we say, to keep the wolf from the door.

It is a happy and most desirable frame to be ready and willing either to live or to die, and to be enabled so absolutely to give ourselves up to the Lord’s disposal as to have no choice of our own either way, but only intent upon improving today and cheerfully to leave tomorrow and all beyond it in his hands who does all things well.

John Newton

Oh lovely posture!

(adapted from Octavius Winslow’s “Morning Thoughts”)

“But if we judged ourselves, we would

 not come under judgment.” 1 Cor. 11:31

Self condemnation averts God’s condemnation.

When a penitent sinner truly, humbly, graciously

sits in judgment upon himself, the Lord will never

sit in judgment upon him.

The penitent publican, who stood afar off, wrapped

in the spirit of self condemnation, retired from His

presence a justified man.

The proud, self righteous Pharisee, who marched

boldly to the altar and justified himself, went forth

from God’s presence a condemned man.

When God sees a penitent sinner arraigning, judging,

condemning, loathing himself, He exclaims, “I do not

condemn you; go and sin no more.” He who judges

and condemns himself upon God’s footstool, shall be

acquitted and absolved from God’s throne.

The Lord give unto us this secret spirit of self judgment.

Such was Job’s, when in deep contrition he declared,

“I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

Such was David’s, when he penitentially confessed,

“Against You, You only have I sinned, and done this

evil in Your sight.”

Such was Peter’s, when he vehemently exclaimed,

“Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”

Such was Isaiah’s, when he plaintively cried, “Woe is me,

for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips.”

Such was the publican’s, when he humbly

prayed, “God be merciful to me a sinner.”

Oh lovely posture!

Oh sacred spirit of self abhorrence, of self condemnation!

The Holy Spirit works it in the heart, and this stamps

it as so precious, so salutary, and so safe. The great

day of the Lord will unveil blessings passing all thought,

and glories passing all imagination, to the soul who

beneath the cross lies prostrate, in the spirit of self


The judgment day of the self condemning soul is on

this side of eternity! While the judgment day of the

self justifying soul is on the other side of eternity!

And oh, how terrible will that judgment be!

A damnable sin!


It is my firm conviction, that to doubt the kindness, the

faithfulness, and the love of God, is a very heinous offence.

Unbelief is akin to Atheism–

Atheism denies God’s existence.

Unbelief denies God’s goodness.

And since goodness is essential to God, these

doubts do, in reality, stab at his very being.

That can be no light sin which makes God a liar; and yet

unbelief does in effect, cast foul and slanderous suspicion

upon the veracity of the Holy One of Israel.

Unbelief of God is the fountain of innumerable sins–

as the black cloud is the mother of many rain-drops,

so dark unbelief is the parent of many crimes.

Unbelief concentrates the vice of ages into a moment,

and gathers up the virus of all the offences of the

race in one transgression.

Unbelief is a damnable sin, that it should be condemned

by every believer, should be struggled against, should if

possible be subdued, and certainly should be the object

of our deep repentance and abhorrence.

A fleshly religion


“Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:13

The flesh, however high it may rise, can never rise above itself. It begins in hypocrisy—it goes on in hypocrisy—and it never can end but in hypocrisy. Whatever various shapes it puts on—a fleshly religion never can rise above itself. There is—no brokenness of heart—no contrition of spirit—no godly sorrow—no genuine humility—no living faith—no spiritual hope—no heavenly love shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Spirit—in those that are “born after the will of the flesh.” No abasing views of self—no tender feelings of reverence towards God—no filial fear of His great name—no melting of heart—no softening of spirit—no deadness to the world—no sweet communion with the Lord of life and glory—ever dwelt in their bosoms!

The flesh, with all its workings, and all its subtle deceit and hypocrisy—never sank so low as self abhorrence and godly sorrow—and never mounted so high as into communion with God. The depth of the one is too deep—and the height of the other too high for any but those who are “born of God.” This birth by “the will of the flesh,” leaves a man just where it found him—dead in sin—destitute of the fear of God—and utterly ignorant of that divine teaching, which alone can save his soul from eternal wrath.

All true sanctification

(Octavius Winslow)

“Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us

 from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar

 people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:14

There is no victory over the indwelling power of sin, and

there is no pardon for the guilt of sin, but as the soul deals

with the blood of Christ. The great end of our dear Lord’s

death was to destroy the works of the devil. Sin is the great

work of Satan. To overcome this, to break its power, subdue

its dominion, repair its ruins, and release from its condemnation,

the blessed Son of God suffered the ignominious death of the

cross. All that bitter agony which He endured, all that mental

suffering, the sorrow of His soul in the garden, the sufferings

of His body on the cross–all was for sin.

See, then, the close and beautiful connection between the death

of Christ–and the death of sin. All true sanctification comes

through the cross! Seek it there. The cross brought into your

soul by the eternal Spirit will be the death of your sins. Go to the

cross! Oh, go to the cross of Jesus! In simplicity of faith, go with

the strong corruption; go with the burden of guilt; go to the cross!

You will find nothing but love there, nothing but welcome there,

nothing but purity there. The precious blood of Jesus “cleanses us

from all sin.” And while you are kept low beneath the cross, your

enemy dares not approach you, sin shall not have dominion over

you, nor shall Satan, your accuser, condemn you!

We pity the poor wretch who can dance under the gallows!

(Charles Spurgeon, “Flowers from a Puritan’s Garden” 1883)

“Do you account him a happy man, who is condemned to die — because he has a plentiful allowance until his execution? Do you account him a happy man, who makes a fair show abroad — while at home he is pinched with poverty and misery? Do you account him a happy man, who revels in all kinds of pleasures today — but is to die this night?”

If we view unpardoned sinners aright, we shall heartily pity them! Let their temporal condition be as good as it may at this present time — the wrath of God abides on them, and they are “condemned already!” And as for the future, it is black with certain doom!

Alas for the unhappy man against whom God sets His face! What misery can be greater, than to be reserved for damnation in the great day of the wrath of God? We wonder at the mirth of men who are condemned to Hell — their fantasy is terrible to behold!

Hence we cannot join with them in their carnal mirth. Sinners may dance — but it will not be to our music. They may revel and riot — but we dare not endorse them in their jollity, for we know that their day is coming!

If you are indeed a child of God — let no desire to share their carnal delights lurk in your mind! Do not be envious of the prosperity of the wicked! Who would envy a criminal about to be executed, of his last cup of wine? Do not let their frivolities attract you. We pity the poor wretch who can dance under the gallows which he will shortly hang on! Just so, sinners who are on the road to Hell sporting and jesting, are worse than mad! Their singing will soon turn to sighing!

Psa. 73:2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.

Psa. 73:3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Psa. 73:4 For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm.

Psa. 73:5 They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.

Psa. 73:6 Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.

Psa. 73:7 Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.

Psa. 73:12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.

Psa. 73:16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;

Psa. 73:17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.

A mother sin


Unbelief is a mother sin—a breeding sin. It does not remain in the heart alone, but gives birth to thousands of sins, all springing up out of its prolific womb—like the fabled sea monsters. We see in the wilderness how all through all their journeyings the crying sin of the people of Israel was unbelief. It was the parent of all their fretfulness, murmuring, and rebellion—it lay at the root of everything done by them displeasing to God—gave birth to all their idolatry and all their other sins—and eventually shut out all but Caleb and Joshua from the promised land. Their carcasses fell in the wilderness through unbelief

“Do you believe on the Son of God?” John 9:35

Octavius Winslow

The application of this question, reader, must be to your conscience. Have you “like precious faith” with that which we have attempted to describe? Alas! it may be that you are that tree which brings not forth this good fruit. Yours may be a species of fruit somewhat resembling it; but do not be deceived in a matter so momentous as this. “You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” That is, you assent to the first proposition of true religion- the being of God; this is well, because your judgment assents to that which is true. And still you have not gone beyond the faith of demons! They believe, and yet horror inconceivable is but the effect of the forced assent of their minds to the truth- they “tremble.” Oh, look well to your faith! There must be, in true faith, not only an assent, but also a consent. In believing to the saving of the soul, we not only assent to the truth of the word, but we also consent to take Christ as He is there set forth- the sinner’s reconciliation with God. A mere intellectual illumination, or a historical belief of the facts of the Bible, will never place the soul beyond the reach of hell, nor within the region of heaven. There is a “form of knowledge,” as well as a “form of godliness;” and both existing apart from vital religion in the soul constitute a “vain religion.” Again we press upon you the important inquiry, Have you the “faith of God’s elect”? Is it a faith that has stained the glory of self-merit, and laid the pride of intellect in the dust? Is it rooted in Christ? Has it transformed you, in some degree, into the opposite of what you once were? Are any of the “precious fruits” of the Spirit put forth in your life? Is Jesus precious to your soul? And to walk in all circumstances humbly with God- is it the earnest desire of your heart? If there is no sorrow for sin, no going out of yourself to Jesus, no fruits of holiness, in some degree, appearing, then is yours but a “dead faith,”- dead, because it is a part and parcel of a nature “dead in trespasses and in sins,”- dead, because it is not the fruit of the quickening Spirit- dead, because it is inoperative, even as the lifeless root transmits no vitality and moisture to the tree- dead, because it never can bring you to eternal life. Of what value, then, is it? Cut it down! why should it use up the ground? If, then, you have never brought forth the good fruit of prayer, and repentance, and Faith, you are yet in the old nature of sin of rebellion, and of death.

“Therefore, as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin; and so death passed to all men, because all sinned.” Romans 5:12


What an amount of sorrow and misery beyond all calculation, and indeed beyond all conception, there is in this wretched world—this valley of tears, in which our present earthly lot is cast! Sin is the source of all the evil which, is now, or ever has been in the world, for that one sin introduced every other sin with it. Sin brought in its train every iniquity that has ever been—conceived by the imagination—uttered by the lips—or perpetrated by the hands of man. In a moment man’s whole nature underwent a change—stricken down by sin as by palsy or leprosy. His understanding became darkened—his judgment corrupted—his conscience deadened—his affections alienated—and all that warm current of purity and innocency which once flowed in a clear stream towards God, became thickened and fouled with the sin that was poured into it from the mouth of Satan—and was thus diverted from its course of light, love, and life—to run into a channel of darkness, enmity, and death!

Thus the fountain was corrupted at its very source—and from this spring-head have all the streams of evil flowed which have made the world a very Aceldama—a field of blood. This is the fountain—whence have issued all that misery and wretchedness which in all ages and in all climates have pursued man from the cradle to the grave—which have wrung millions of hot tears from human eyes—which have broken, literally broken, thousands of human hearts—which have desolated home after home—and struck grief and sadness into countless breasts!

But, Oh! this fountain of sin in the heart of man has done worse than this! It has peopled hell! It has swept and is still sweeping thousands and tens of thousands into eternal perdition!

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