You Will See the Reason

Boat sterring wheel(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

“What I am doing you do not understand now–but afterward you will understand!” John 13:7

Above all, I would say to the Christian: Never distrust the kindness, the love, the wisdom and faithfulness of your Savior–but confide in Him who has promised that all things shall work together for your good. Though you may not now know what He is doing–you shall know hereafter. You will see the reason for . . .
all the trials and temptations,
all the dark and comfortless hours,
all the distressing doubts and fears,
all the long and tedious conflicts with which you are now exercised.
You will be convinced that not a sigh, not a tear, not a single uneasy thought was ever allotted to you–without some wise and gracious design.

Say not, then, like Jacob of old, “All these things are against me!”
Say not, like David, “I shall one day perish by the hand of Saul!”
For all these things are for your good–and you shall never perish, neither shall any pluck you out of Christ’s hand!

Why should you, who are sons of the King of Heaven–be lean and discontented from day to day? Remember that you are the heir of God and joint heir with Christ–of an incorruptible, eternal, and unfading inheritance!

Go to Jesus, the compassionate Savior of sinners, who heals the broken in heart, who gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart. Go, I say, to Him!
Tell Him all your griefs and sorrows!
Tell Him that your souls cleave to the dust!
Tell Him that iniquities, doubts, and fears prevail against you!
Tell Him that you are poor and miserable and wretched and blind and naked.

Go to His mercy-seat, where He sits as a merciful High Priest. Go and embrace His feet, lay open your whole hearts–and you will find Him infinitely more gracious than you can conceive; infinitely more willing to grant your requests, than you are to make them. He is love itself–it is His very nature to pity.

Have you a hard heart? Carry it to Him–and He will soften it.

Have you a blind mind? Carry it to Him–and He will enlighten it.

Are you oppressed with a load of guilt? Carry it to Him–and He will remove it.

Are you defiled and polluted? He will wash you in His own blood.

Have you backslidden? “Turn unto Me,” says He, “O backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.”

How great are the privileges which result from an ability to say, “Christ is mine!”
If Christ is yours–then all that He possesses is yours!
His power is yours–to defend you!
His wisdom and knowledge are yours–to guide you!
His righteousness is yours–to justify you!
His Spirit and grace are yours–to sanctify you!
His Heaven is yours–to receive you!

You will never live happily or usefully–until you can feel that Christ, and all that He possesses, are yours–and learn to come and take them as your own!

Remembering Your Past

Subway_under_Gabalfa_Interchange,_Cardiff(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

Look to the rock from whence you were hewn, and to the pit from whence you were dug!” Isaiah 51:1

It is profitable for the children of God often to . . .
reflect on what they formerly were,
meditate on their once wretched and helpless condition,
look to the rock whence they were hewn, and to the pit whence they were dug.

Look back, then, Christians, to the time when you were . . .
the enemies of God,
the despisers of His Son,
the willing slaves of the father of lies,
and children of disobedience!

Look back to the time when . . .
your hearts were as hard as the nether millstone;
your understandings were darkened;
you were alienated from the life of God;
your wills were stubborn, perverse and rebellious;
your affections were madly bent on the pleasures of sin;
every imagination of the thoughts of your heart were only evil, and continually evil!

Look back with shame and self-abhorrence to the time when you . . .
lived without God in the world,
drank in iniquity like water,
served various lusts and vanities,
fulfilled the sinful desires of the flesh and mind,
cast God’s holy law behind your backs,
stifled the remonstrances of conscience,
quenched the influences of the Spirit,
neglected the Holy Scriptures, and
mocked God with pretended worship, while your hearts were far from Him.

A rebel against God,
a resister of the Spirit,
a slave of Satan,
a child of wrath,
an heir of Hell–
such, O Christian, was once your character!
Nothing was then before you, but a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation!

Admire the God of free grace–who save you from such a dreadful plight!

Who Needs God? We All Do!

Knight,_Death_and_the_Devil

(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

“O my people, listen to the words of the LORD! Have I been like a desert to Israel? Have I been to them a land of darkness? Why then do my people say: We are lords! We don’t need Him anymore!” Jeremiah 2:31

If men are indeed independent of God–then it may with safety be asserted that He is almost the only being or object in the universe on whom they are not dependent.

From the cradle to the grave, their lives exhibit little else than a continued course of dependence. They are dependent on the earth, on the water, on the air, on each other, on irrational animals, on vegetables, on unorganized substances.

Let but the sun withhold his beams, and the clouds theirshowers for a single year–and the whole race of these mighty, independent beings expires!

Let but a pestilential blast sweep over them–and they are gone!

Let but some imperceptible derangement take place in their frail but complicated mind–and all their boasted intellectual powers sink to the level of an idiot’s mind.

Let a small portion of that food, on which they daily depend for nourishment, pass from its proper course–and they choke and expire in agony.

An insect, a needle, a thorn–has often proved sufficient to subject them to the same fate!

And while they are dependent on so many objects for thecontinuance of their lives–they are dependent on a still greater number for happiness and for the success of their enterprises.

Let but a single spark fall unheeded or be wafted by a breath of air–and a city, which it has cost thousands the labors of many years to erect, may be turned to ashes!

Let the wind but blow from one point rather than from another–and the hopes of the merchant are dashed against a rock.

Let but a little more, or a little less, than the usual quantity of rain descend–and in the latter case the prospects of the gardener are blasted; while, in the other, his anticipated harvest perishes beneath the clods or is swept away by an inundation.

But in vain do we attempt to describe the extent of man’s dependence, or enumerate all the objects and events on which he depends. Yet all these objects and events are under the control of the great Jehovah! Without His superintendence and appointment–not a hair falls from our heads, nor a sparrow to the ground.

O how far is it, then, from being true–that man is not dependent on God!

“For in Him we live and move and have our being!” Acts17:28

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Living as Christ Lived

Footprints_in_the_Sand(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

“He who says he abides in Christ, ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” 1 John 2:6

It was highly important and desirable that the Lord Jesus should not only describe Christianity in His discourses, but exemplify it in His life and conduct. In Him, we see pure and undefiled religion embodied. In Him, Christianity lives and breathes. How convincing, how animating is our Savior’s example! How loudly and persuasively does His conduct preach!

Would you learn submission to parental authority? See Him, notwithstanding His exalted character, cheerfully subjecting Himself to the will of His parents; and laboring with them, as a carpenter, for almost thirty years.

Would you learn contentment with a poor and low condition? See Him destitute of a place where to lay His head.

Would you learn active beneficence? See Him going about doing good.

Would you learn to be fervent and constant in devotional exercises? See Him rising for prayer before the dawn of day.

Would you learn in what manner to treat your brethren? See Him washing His disciples’ feet.

Would you learn filial piety? See Him forgetting His sufferings, while in the agonies of death–to provide another son for His desolate mother.

Would you learn in what manner to pray for relief under afflictions? See Him in the garden of Gethsemane.

Would you learn how to bear insults and injuries? See Him on the cruel cross!

In short, there is no Christian grace or virtue, which is not beautifully exemplified in His life.

There is scarcely any situation, however perplexing, in which the Christian, who is at a loss to know how he ought to act–may not derive sufficient instruction from the example of his divine Master.

“Leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21

Better Than Others Is He!

penitent-woman(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

How is your Beloved better than others?” Song of Songs 5:9

Does not our Friend as far excel all other friends . . .
as Heaven exceeds earth,
as eternity exceeds time,
as the Creator surpasses His creatures?

See all the fullness of the Godhead–dwelling in One who is as meek and mild as a child.
See His countenance beaming with ineffable glories–full of mingled majesty, condescension and love.
Hear the soul-reviving invitations and gracious words which proceed from His lips.
See that hand in which dwells everlasting strength–swaying the scepter of universal empire over all creatures and all worlds.
See His arms expanded to receive and embrace returning sinners.
While His heart, a bottomless, shoreless ocean of benevolence–overflows with tenderness, compassion, and love.

Such, O sinner, is our Beloved–and such is our Friend.

Will you not then embrace Him as your Friend? If you can be persuaded to do this–you will find that half, nay, that the thousandth part has not been told to you!

All the excellency, glory and beauty which is found in men or angels, flows from Christ–as a drop of water from the ocean, or a ray of light from the sun.

If, then, you supremely love the creature–can you wonder that Christians should love the Creator! Can you wonder that those who behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, should be sweetly drawn to Him by the cords of love, and lose their fondness for created glories? All that you love and admire and wish for in creatures, and indeed infinitely more–they find in Him!

Do you wish for a friend possessed of power to protect you?
Our Friend possesses all power in Heaven and earth, and is able to save even to the uttermost!

Do you wish for a wise friend?
In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Do you wish for a tender, compassionate friend?
Christ is tenderness and compassion itself.

Do you wish for a faithful, unchangeable friend?
With Christ there is no variableness nor shadow of turning. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

His unchangeable love will ever prompt Him to make His people happy!

His unerring wisdom will point out the best means to promote their happiness!

His infinite power will enable Him to employ those means.

In all these respects, our Beloved is more than any other beloved!

Slighted, Disobeyed, and Dishonored

1024px-Decomposing_possum(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

I look up to Heaven and there see the blessed and only Potentate, the Creator and Upholder of all things, the infinite and eternal Sovereign of the universe–governing His vast kingdom with uncontrollable power, in a manner perfectly wise and holy and just and good. In this Being, I see my Creator, my Preserver, my unwearied Benefactor–to whom I am indebted for everything which I possess.

And what does this Being see–what has He seen, in me? He sees a frail worm of the dust, who is of yesterday and knows nothing, who cannot take a single step without making mistakes, who is wholly incompetent to guide himself, and who, by his own folly, is self-destroyed. He has seen this frail, blind, erring worm, presumptuously daring to criticize and censure His proceedings, attempting to interfere in His government of the universe; and trying to set up his own perverse will against the will of his Creator, his Sovereign, and his God; his own ignorance–against divine omniscience, and his own folly–against infinite wisdom.

Should an angel who knew nothing of our characters, but who had heard of the blessings which God has bestowed on us, visit this world–would he not expect to find every part of it resounding with the praises of God and His love? Would he not expect to hear old and young, parents and children–all blessing God for the glad tidings of the gospel?

How, then, would he be grieved and disappointed! How astonished would he be to find that Being whom he had ever heard praised in the most rapturous strains by all the bright armies of Heaven–slighted, disobeyed, and dishonored by His creatures on earth!

O, then, let us strive to wipe away this foul stain–this disgrace to our race and our world.

Let not this world be the only place, except Hell–where God is not praised.

Let us not be the only creatures, except devils–who refuse to praise Him!

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We have published Edward Payson‘s “An Address to Seamen!
This is one of the most interesting articles we have read.

 

Why He is Angry?

189972_522616971095985_1573156496_n(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

“God is angry with the wicked every day!” Psalm 7:11

Do you ask why He is angry?

I answer:

He is angry to see rational, immortal and accountable beings–spending twenty, forty, or sixty years in trifling and sin; serving numerous idols, lusts, and vanities, and living as if death were an eternal sleep!

He is angry to see you forgetting your Maker in childhood, in youth, in manhood–and making no returns for all His benefits.

He is angry to see you casting off His fear and rebelling against Him–who has nourished and sustained you.

He is angry to see you laying up treasures on earth–and not in Heaven.

He is angry to see you seeking everything in preference to the one thing needful.

He is angry to see you loving the praise of men more than the praise of God; and fearing those who can only kill the body, more than Him who has power to cast both soul and body into Hell.

He is angry to see that you disregard alike His threatenings and His promises, His judgments and His mercies. 

He is angry that you bury in the earth the talents He has given you, and bring forth no fruit to His glory.

He is angry that you neglect His Word and His Son, and perish in impenitency and unbelief.

These are sins of which every person, in an unconverted state, is guilty. And for these things God is angry–daily angry, greatly and justly angry! And unless His anger is speedily appeased, it will most certainly prove your everlasting destruction!

Worshiping Anything BUT the Creator

Aeneid,_Book_I;_(1886)_(14596916219)(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

The great goddess Diana!” Acts 19:27

“They started shouting again and kept it up for two hours: Great is Diana of the Ephesians! Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” Acts 19:34

So long as they remain in their natural state, the world is, in some form or other, the great goddess Diana–the grand idol of all its inhabitants!

They bow down to it.

They worship it.

They spend and are spent for it.

They educate their children in its service.

Their hearts,
their minds,
their memories,
their imaginations,
are full of the world.

Their tongues speak of it.

Their hands grasp it.

Their feet pursue it.

In a word, it is all in all to them! And all the while, they give scarcely a word, a look, or a thought to Him who made and preserves them–and who really is all in all.

What is it that you wish for?

1530510_807565912603494_357484221_n(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

What is it that you wish for? My unconverted friends, I will tell you what you wish for. You wish to live as you please here on earth, to disobey your Creator, to neglect your Savior, and to fulfill the desires of the flesh and of the mind. And at death, you wish to be admitted into a kind of sensual paradise, where you may taste again the same pleasures which you enjoyed on earth.

You wish that God would break His Word; and stain His justice, purity, and truth.

You wish that God would sacrifice His own rightful authority, and the best interests of the universe–to the gratification of your own sinful propensities!