Clean Vessels for Choice Wines

“As precious liquors are best kept in clean vessels, so is the mys-
tery of faith in a pure conscience.”

Who, indeed, would knowingly pour a choice wine into a tainted cask ? It would
be no instance of his wisdom if he did so. When we hear of men living in sin
and yet claiming to be the ministers of God, we are disgusted with their
pretences, but we are not deceived by their professions. In the same manner,
we care little for those who are orthodox Christians in creed if it it clear
that they are heterodox in life. He who believes the truth should himself be
true. How can we expect others to receive our religion if it leaves us foul,
false, malicious, and selfish ? We sicken at the sight of a dirty dish, and
refuse even good meat when it is placed thereon. So pure and holy is the doctrine
of the cross that he who hears it aright will have his ear cleansed, he who
believes it will have his heart purged, and he who preaches it should have
his tongue purified. Woe unto that man who hrings reproach upon the gospel by
an unhallowed walk and conversation.

Lord, evermore make us vessels fit for thine own use, and then fill us with
the pure blood of the grapes of sound doctrine and wholesome instruction. Suffer
us not to be such foul cups as to be only fit for the wine of Sodom.

Charles Spurgeon, “Illustrations and Meditations”

Unto thee will I cry, O Lord my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit. Psalm 28:1

Unto thee will I cry, O Lord my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.
Psalm 28:1

A cry is the natural expression of sorrow, and a suitable utterance when all other modes of appeal fail us; but the cry must be alone directed to the Lord, for to cry to man is to waste our entreaties upon the air. When we consider the readiness of the Lord to hear, and his ability to aid, we shall see good reason for directing all our appeals at once to the God of our salvation. It will be in vain to call to the rocks in the day of judgment, but our Rock attends to our cries.

“Be not silent to me.” Mere formalists may be content without answers to their prayers, but genuine suppliants cannot; they are not satisfied with the results of prayer itself in calming the mind and subduing the will–they must go further, and obtain actual replies from heaven, or they cannot rest; and those replies they long to receive at once, they dread even a little of God’s silence. God’s voice is often so terrible that it shakes the wilderness; but his silence is equally full of awe to
an eager suppliant. When God seems to close his ear, we must not therefore close our mouths, but rather cry with more earnestness; for when our note grows shrill with eagerness and grief, he will not long deny us a hearing. What a dreadful case should we be in if the Lord should become forever silent to our prayers? “Lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit.” Deprived of the God who answers prayer, we should be in a more pitiable plight than the dead in the grave, and should soon sink to the same level as the lost in hell. We must have answers to prayer: ours is an urgent case of dire necessity; surely the Lord will speak peace to our agitated minds, for he never can find it in his heart to permit his own elect to perish.

Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

The voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. Genesis 3:8

The voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.
Genesis 3:8

My soul, now that the cool of the day has come, retire awhile and hearken to the voice of thy God. He is always ready to speak with thee when thou art prepared to hear. If there be any slowness to commune it is not on his part, but altogether on thine own, for he stands at the door and knocks, and if his people will but open he rejoices to enter. But in what state is my heart, which is my Lord’s garden? May I venture to hope that it is well trimmed and watered, and is bringing forth fruit fit for him? If not, he will have much to reprove, but still I pray him to come unto me, for nothing can so certainly bring my heart into a right condition as the presence of the Sun of Righteousness, who brings healing in his wings. Come, therefore, O Lord, my God, my soul invites thee earnestly, and waits for thee eagerly. Come to me, O Jesus, my well-beloved, and plant fresh flowers in my garden, such as I see blooming in such perfection in thy matchless character! Come, O my Father, who
art the Husbandman, and deal with me in thy tenderness and prudence! Come, O Holy Spirit, and bedew my whole nature, as the herbs are now moistened with the evening dews. O that God would speak to me. Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth! O that he would walk with me; I am ready to give up my whole heart and mind to him, and every other thought is hushed. I am only asking what he delights to give. I am sure that he will condescend to have fellowship with me, for he has given me his Holy Spirit to abide with me forever. Sweet is the cool twilight, when every star seems like the eye of heaven, and the cool wind is as the breath of celestial love. My Father, my elder Brother, my sweet Comforter, speak now in lovingkindness, for thou hast opened mine ear and I am not rebellious.

Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening