You may smite another—and never touch him!


You may smite another—and never touch him!

(Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments“)

The tongue which at first was made to be an organ
of God’s praise—has now become an instrument of
unrighteousness. God has set two natural fences to
keep in the tongue—the teeth and lips.

“Not slanderers.” 1 Timothy 3:11

In the Greek it is, “not devils.” The same word signifies
both a slanderer and a devil. Some think it is no great
matter, to misrepresent and slander others; but it is to
act the part of a devil. This is a great sin; and I wish
I could say it is not common.

The heathen, by the light of nature, abhorred the sin
of slandering. Diogenes used to say, “Of all wild beasts,
a slanderer is the worst.” Antonius made a law, that if
a person could not prove the crime he reported another
to be guilty of, he should be put to death.

The Scripture calls slandering, smiting with the tongue.
“Come, and let us smite him with the tongue.” Jer 18:18
You may smite another—and never touch him!

The scorpion carries his poison in his tail;
the slanderer
carries his poison in his tongue!

Job calls slander “the scourge of the tongue.” As a
rod scourges the back, so the slanderer’s tongue
scourges the name.

is commonly blasted by slander.

Holiness itself is no shield from slander. The lamb’s
innocence will not preserve it from the wolf. Christ,
the most innocent upon earth, was reported to be
“a glutton and a drunkard.” Matthew 11:19

“The tongue inflicts greater wounds than the sword.”

No physician can heal the wounds of the tongue!

To pretend friendship to a man, and slander him,
is most odious.

We must not only not raise a false report—but refuse
to hear it. He who raises a slander—carries the devil
in his tongue! He who receives a slander—carries the
devil in his ear!

You may kill a man in his name as well as in his person.
Some are reluctant to take away their neighbor’s goods;
but better take their wares out of their shop—than take
away their good name! This is a sin for which no reparation
can be made; a blot in a man’s name, being like a blot on
white paper, which can never be gotten out.

Surely God will punish this sin. If idle words shall be
accounted for, shall not unjust slanders? Oh therefore,
take heed of this sin!

No Grace, No Sovereignty

Ernst Meissner Schäfer

There can be no grace when there is no sovereignty. Deny God’s right to choose whom He will and you deny His right to save whom He will. Deny His right to save whom He will and you deny that salvation is of grace. If salvation is made to hinge upon any desert or fitness in man, seen or foreseen, grace is at an end.

~ Horatius Bonar

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There is More Evil in the Least Sin than in the Greatest Suffering

Le poeme de lAme-18-Louis Janmot-MBA Lyon-IMG 0483

Thomas Boston, Works, 2:638:

Sinning is more terrible than suffering, in the eyes of the children of God. They pray to be delivered from sin absolutely, at any rate, cost what it will. And they have good reason for it; for there is more evil in the least sin than in the greatest suffering. In sinning we are conformed to the devil, but in suffering to Jesus Christ. Let us then cry earnestly to God, that he may deliver us from evil.

Source:, Comment #1 (Thank You, Reverend Winzer!)

Judged as We Judge

John Linnell - A Finished Study for 'Reaping' - Google Art Project

Judged as We Judge

J. R. Miller, 1899

There are many of our Lord’s teachings which we do not take half seriously enough. For example, there is what Jesus says about judging others: “Do not judge—or you too will be judged.” This is more than a condemnation of uncharitable judging; it is also a revelation to us of the fact that our judgments of others come back into our own bosom. “For in the same way you judge others—you will be judged; and with the measure you use—it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2

The same teaching is found elsewhere in the Scriptures. We get back—what we give out. This is true of our kindly thoughts and feeling towards others, as well as of judgments that are harsh and severe. We gather the harvest of our own sowing. “God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows—he will also reap,” is true in every phase of its application. The merciful—shall obtain mercy, runs the beatitude.

A man who is generous in his opinions of others—receives charitableness of opinion in return. Of course, this does not mean that if we always treat others gently—that others will always treat us gently. Kindest hearted men—are sometimes treated most unkindly. Jesus himself never judged others harshly—and yet he was cruelly slain by those he had come to bless. The statement is general, and in general it is true—that mercifulness in us will make others merciful towards us. What we give—we shall usually receive.

This is true on both the divine and the human side. The unforgiving cannot get God’s forgiveness. It is put in the liturgy of penitence, that we must forgive, before we can even ask for forgiveness. “Forgive us our debts—for we have forgiven.” If we will not show mercy—we cannot even ask to have mercy shown to us. Then, with men, too, sternness finds sternness, and resentment meets with resentment. He who sees no good in others—must not be surprised, and must not complain, if others fail to see any good in him. The man who has only harsh words for his fellows—cannot expect to hear words of love from others concerning himself.

Human lives are like those echoes that we find here and there among the hills—which send back every sound that is heard before them. You speak, and your words are echoed back to your ears. You sing, and your song returns again to you. If one talks loudly and angrily, one hears loud and angry words reverberating in the air. If one speaks gently and sweetly, the echo faithfully reports back not the words only—but the tone as well.

Like echoes are our lives; what they hear—they reflect back to the speaker’s ear and heart. So it is that we may find out, in the way others treat us—just how we really treat them. They echo into our ears in their judgments of us—the very things which our lips have spoken concerning them. Hence our judgments of others are really self-revealings. If we are suspicious and distrustful of men—we are showing the world that in us are causes for suspicion and distrust. If we find selfishness wherever we go—it is evidence that we are selfish ourselves.

This truth has a wide application. A living torch and a dead ember were sent forth into the world to find out what the world was like. The torch returned and reported that there was light everywhere. The ember reported that it was dark everywhere, with not a ray of light shining.

Just so do men find in the world—just what is in themselves? One man says it is a world of sadness. There is nothing in it but sorrow. All its songs are songs of tears. He has not found a bit of blue sky, nor heard a note of gladness in all his rounds. Poor man! It is only the gloom of his own heart that he is reporting. He has in him no capacity for seeing beauty or hearing joy-notes. Another man goes out over precisely the same course, hearing the same sounds, and seeing the same sights, and he reports that he found only music and loveliness everywhere. The world was full of sweet songs. On every spot flowers bloomed; everywhere light was shining.

What made the same world so totally different to the two men? The difference was in the men themselves. In one the lamp of joy was burning, and wherever he went he found light—the light of his own life pouring out on all things. In the other the lamp had gone out, leaving darkness in his soul. Wherever he went, even amid the rarest beauty, he saw nothing lovely, for he was as one blind. Though all about him songs of joy filled the air—he heard no sweet note, for he was as one deaf.

This is a serious teaching, and it has an intensely practical side for everyone of us. It is ourselves that we are discovering all the while—as we go about judging others. If we seem to find all men unjust, unreasonable, proud, vain, deceitful, or false—there is enough in the discovery to startle us. It is the echoes of our own heart—that we are hearing! It is the revelation of our own inner self—that we are seeing reflected. We should seek instantly to find a new heart—and then we shall find ourselves in a new world.

We should also train ourselves to charitable judgments of others. As the faults of our own character are corrected, our eyes will become clearer, and we shall see others in a truer light.

Many of our judgments of others are unjust! And even if the faults our eyes seem to see do exist—we have no right to pronounce sentence. We do not know what reasons there are—for leniency of judgment.

Some day you find a man very disagreeable, irritable, easily vexed, or unsocial, not disposed to be cordial. You are inclined to be impatient with him, perhaps even to regard his unhappy mood so seriously as to allow it to break the friendly relations which heretofore have existed between you and him.

But does not the better self within you say to you that it is not right to make up a final judgment from the mood of any one day? You do not know what may have occurred, to produce in your neighbor the spirit which has given you such annoyance. It may be ill health that has affected him—there are certain physical conditions which make it very hard for the sufferer to keep sweet. Or something may have gone wrong with his business, causing him much anxiety. Anyone ought to be pleasant when all things are prosperous; but it is a much severer test of character to keep pleasant—when there are reverses, when one is losing money, and when one’s affairs are in discouraging condition.

Or there may be other troubles which no neighbor suspects. Not all life’s pains, cause outcry which men hear; not all griefs hang funeral-crape on the door. The bitterest sorrows must ofttimes be borne in silence and in secret—only God knowing of them. We do not know what burdens of personal pain and trial—any life that seems sunny and glad may be bearing. Perhaps this may be the cause of the uncongeniality and the unlovableness which so much offends you in your neighbor.

Of course, we may say that none of these reasons are sufficient to excuse the man for the unpleasant and disagreeable qualities in him which so mar the beauty of his disposition, and give so much pain and discomfort to others. True, he ought to keep loving and gentle and cheerful—no mater what is wrong with him, or has gone wrong with his affairs. Yet we should be charitable, considering ourselves, let we also lose our sweetness some day—when the chill wind is from the north. If only we could lift the veil that covers people’s inner lives, and see all that is going on within, all that makes it hard for them to keep glad hearted and songful—we would be more charitable toward all.

True Christianity Resists Cultural Captivity


Pruned to Grow

Szőlő metszés

Better to be pruned to grow than cut up to burn.

~ John Trapp

Source:, Comment #3 (Thank You, Virginia Huguenot!)

Their Punishment Rests On Their Own Sins

Sheep and goats on a farm in Tarn, France, 29 September 2012Those who are passed over are those who God has not chosen to soften so that they can be inclined to believe the free offer of the Gospel. This group is instead ordained to dishonor and wrath for their sin, for the praise of the glorious justice of God. Repeatedly, we are told that this was is based upon justice.  Sin is the reason why some are judicially punished by God. The non–elect are “ordained to dishonor and wrath for their sins, to the praise of his glorious justice.” (Westminster Confession Faith,” Ch. 3, sec. 3–7; cf.  Larger Catechism, Question 13;Shorter Catechism, Question 20.

Sin, however, is not the reason why God has not chosen them to receive the grace of regeneration. God’s will was not to show them mercy, and He did this by withholding from them saving faith and the grace of conversion. “God elects as sons those whom he pleases, according to the good pleasure of his will, without any regard to merit, while rejecting and reprobating others” (Calvin, Institutes. III.xxiii.10; cf. III.xxii.11; III.23.1).  When we look to the salvation of men, it is must attributed to God alone, but if we are to see the cause of their damnation, it must rest upon their own sin.

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It is the Blind who Cannot See

A.W. Pink, Studies on Saving Faith: A Biblical Response to Easy Believism:

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Parable of the Blind Leading the Blind (detail) - WGA3512He who is really honest with himself and has had his eyes opened in some degree to see the awful sinfulness of self, and who is becoming more and more acquainted with that sink of iniquity, that mass of corruption which still indwells him, often feels that sin more completely rules him now than ever it did before. When he longs to trust God with all his heart, unbelief seems to paralyze him. When he wishes to be completely surrendered to God’s blessed will, murmurings and rebellion surge within him. When he would spend an hour in meditating on the things of God, evil imaginations harass him. When he desires to be more humble, pride seeks to fill him. When he would pray, his mind wanders. The more he fights against these sins, the further off victory seems to be. To him it appears that sin is very much the master of him, and Satan tells him that his profession is vain. What shall we say to such a dear soul who is deeply exercised over this problem?…

The very fact that you are conscious of these sins and are so much concerned over your failure to overcome them, is a healthy sign. It is the blind who cannot see; it is the dead who feel not—true alike naturally and spiritually. Only they who have been quickened into newness of life are capable of real sorrow for sin. Moreover, such experiences as we have mentioned above evidence a spiritual growth: a growth in the knowledge of self. As the wise man tells us, ‘he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow’ (Eccl. 1:18). In God’s light we see light (Ps. 36:9). The more the Holy Spirit reveals to me the high claims of God’s holiness, the more I discover how far short I come of meeting them. Let the midday sun shine into a darkened room, and dust and dirt which before were invisible are now plainly seen. So with the Christian: the more the light of God enters his heart, the more he discovers the spiritual filth which dwells there. Beloved brother, or sister, it is not that you are becoming more sinful, but that God is now giving you a clearer and fuller sight of your sinfulness. Praise Him for it, for the eyes of the vast majority of your fellows (religionists included) are blind, and cannot see what so distresses you!


Small Beginnings: Nuremburg and Euthanasia

Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Cripples - WGA3518Whatever proportions these crimes finally assumed, it became evident to all who investigated them that they started from small beginnings. The beginnings at first were merely a subtle shift in emphasis in the basic attitudes of physicians. It started with the acceptance of the attitude, basic to the euthanasia movement, that there is such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived. This attitude in its early stages concerned itself merely with the severely and chronically sick. Gradually the sphere of those to be included in this category was enlarged to encompass the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, the racially unwanted, and finally all non-Germans.

~ Dr. Leo Alexander, Nuremberg Trials investigator and Nuremberg Code contributor, in a 1949 article published in the New England Journal of Medicine 


What She Really Means

This sounds about right:

Paul Laubmann Der RitterWhen women attempt to communicate their feelings of fear, dismay, or anxiety, they use words, cite facts, or employ a tone that causes a man to imagine he is being attacked. In her mind she is looking for compassion and understanding, but to his ears she is finding fault with him. Unfortunately, when a man feels attacked he responds defensively. He either waits quietly for his wife to finish her tirade, defends himself, counter attacks, or leaves.

Unfortunately for clueless men, when a woman attempts to communicate her concerns for herself or the family, she often does so out of fear or distress, so her words take on what he perceives as an attacking tone. Although a woman thinks she is initiating a discussion that appeals to a man’s innate sense of protectiveness, he hears it as criticism of his faults. She feels she is appealing to her protector to rescue her. He thinks he is the one who needs protection from her.

Instead of recognizing that his wife feels distressed by something, he immediately attempts to quell her stress and shield himself by quietly discrediting her or angrily attacking her facts. This perceived lack of compassion will cause his wife to become more frustrated, which evokes more intense communication.

A woman’s goal in such a conversation is not to win an argument or to flaunt her superior debating skills. Simply put, she is typically crying out for understanding, and wants her husband to respond with empathy and help. She wants not to be corrected, but to be validated in her distress. That is why a woman might make her points citing “facts” that a man believes are inaccurate. Unfortunately, we husbands think we can change our wives’ minds employing logic and reason, and by correcting their misstatements. But women usually aren’t trying to win an argument and don’t want us to tell them that they shouldn’t feel what they know they feel. All they know is that they feel something deeply and want us to understand how they are feeling. Correcting them is a big mistake on our part.

Here are a few examples of how women attempt to share their hearts and how we perceive their words to be attacks:

 What she says What a man hears What she means
Did you take out the kitchen trash?  You’re a loser! You don’t do basic things to take care of me.


I feel so feminine when you rescue me from looking at something so obnoxious.
You’re never home! Facts or accuracy aren’t important! You’re just bad! I’m lonely and insecure when you’re not here, and I’m afraid you don’t want to be with me. Please reassure me you care.
Does this make me look fat?


 Tell me the truth. Does this outfit make me look fat?


 Reassure me that I’m attractive to you.
We need to talk


I need to complain  Understand my fears and stress
I’m having a bad day! If you were a better husband or father, my life wouldn’t be so hard!


Rescue me, please!

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Let His Sovereignty Silence Us

David037Thomas Boston, Works, 2:574:

Submit yourselves contentedly to the disposals of Providence. If God be King over all, is there any fault in the administration; nay, is not all well done, yea, best done? Let his sovereignty silence us; should it be according to thy mind? His infinite wisdom should satisfy us, who knows better than we do what is best for us, and can overrule all things for his glory and our good.

Source:, Comment #1 (Thank You, Reverend Winzer!)

God Delivers the Covenanters out of Their Enemy’s Hands

Covenanters in a Glen

It is Sabbath-day among the mountains…

…and a company of the Persecuted have assembled. Around, is a mighty chasm of cliffs, called the Cartland Crags, where Wallace used to take refuge, through which a river is flowing, at present so low, owing to the heat of summer, that men could walk all but dry-shod up its channel.

A hundred Covenanters “men, women, and children included” have assembled to hear a minister, who stands up in a pulpit stone, and having a birch tree waving over his head. Between him and the congregation is a clear, deep pool, formed by the diminished stream, and there, after the sermon is over, a row of young maidens come gliding over the stream, to consecrate a number of infants who are to be baptized. The baptismal water is lying in the hollow of a large stone beside the brink of the pool.

How beautiful to look down, as you see the boys doing. Look into the clear water and see the whole scene, from the maidens, the parents and the minister, up to the topmost peaks of the sky striking summits, reflected there over the purest of mirrors.

The minister baptizes seven infants in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and gives out a psalm, with the words,

“Lo, children are God’s heritage,
The womb’s fruit his reward,
The sons of youth, like arrows, are
For strongman’s hands prepared.”

The psalm is reverberated like musical thunder from the surrounding crags…

…and all again is silent. Suddenly, a large stone falls from the rock above their heads into the pool; a voice is heard from the summit, and when they look up, there is a shepherd’s plaid waving in the air in the hand of the watchman stationed above.

It is the signal of instant danger, and immediately the whole congregation vanish into caves and hidden recesses, known only to themselves. They vanish almost in a moment; but they have been seen by a party of soldiers who have reached the top of the rock, and who exclaim when they see them, “They are delivered into our hands –they are caught in this nook as in a net; let us down, and they are our own. Halloo, boys! Halloo! Remember Drumclog, and let the blasted Covenanters perish!”

They leave their horses, and rush down a cleft in the crags, and arrive at the spot. But, to their utter astonishment, nothing is to be seen; nothing but a bonnet that had fallen from one of the Covenanters’ heads, and the Bible the minister had been using, and which they spurn into the pool. They are utterly unable to discover where their enemies have fled, and awful are the curses and the threats which they utter.

But hark! Louder than these curses and threats, is a sound like a distant muttering thunder far up the stream. It comes rolling, and warring, and deepening, as it descends. “What can it be?” The crags shake as if to the sound and stamp of earthquake.

“Lord! have mercy on us!” cried the soldiers, falling down on their knees and looking a hundred ways in their consternation, with pale faces and white lips. Meanwhile, the minister comes out of the cave where Wallace had long ago found refuge, and exclaims, “The Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.” It is a powerful voice that comes from the Lord Most High.” What is it? –what can it be? It is a water-spout which has burst among the hills, and there the river raging in flood is coming down in its irresistible power. The whole hollow of the cliffs is filled with the waters.

The army must have been swept away by that raging torrent. The soldiers perish in a few minutes, swept down by the flood; but far up in the cliffs are the Covenanters, now emerged from their hiding places, and, with clasped hands and streaming eyes, uttering prayers to the Almighty, and some of them exclaiming,

“We will sing unto the Lord,
for He hath triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider He hath
cast in the depth of the waters.”

–Exodus 15:1

Taken from “The Religious Anecdotes of Scotland.”


A Red-Hot, Unconventional, Unfettered Devotion

C.T. Studd:

John Everett Millais - The Martyr of the Solway - Google Art Project“Christ’s call is to save the lost, not the stiff-necked; He came not to call scoffers but sinners to repentance; not to build and furnish comfortable chapels, churches, and cathedrals at home in which to rock Christian professors to sleep by means of clever essays, stereotyped prayers, and artistic musical performances, but to capture men from the devil’s clutches and the very jaws of Hell. This can be accomplished only by a red-hot, unconventional, unfettered devotion, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to the Lord Jesus Christ.”


Image: The Martyr of the Solway by John Everett Millais

As One Goes Up, The Other Goes Down

The Christian Martyrs Last Prayer

Thomas Boston, Works, 2:581:

“Every kingdom has its enemies. There is an irreconcilable war betwixt the devil’s kingdom and Christ’s. It was proclaimed in paradise, Gen. 3:15, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.” It never was, nor will be, taken up by a peace; it must end in the ruin of one of the two. As the one goes up, the other goes down; and the perfection of Christ’s kingdom will be the destruction of the other. No wonder, then, that all the King’s children cry, Thy kingdom come.”

Source:, Comment #1 (Thank You, Reverend Winzer!)

Saving Faith Puts You Out Of Yourselves

James Durham, Christ Crucified: Or, the Marrow of the Gospel in Seventy-Two Sermons on the Fifty-Third Chapter of Isaiah (Naphtali Press: 2001; 2007), 91:

 Saving Faith

His_Parables021[4] The fourth sort is saving faith, which goes beyond all the rest, and brings the sick man to the Physician and to make use of the cure. There may be some measure of true saving faith, where there is not much temporary faith or moving of the affections; and there may be a considerable measure of temporary faith, where there is no saving faith at all. Even as a fallen star may seem to glance more than a fixed one that is overclouded, yet it has no solid light. Know then, that faith is called for; but take not every sort of faith for saving faith. It would make tender hearts bleed, to see so many mistaken in the matter of their faith; there are some who say, they had faith all their days. O that you were convinced of the lamentable deceit and delusion that you are under, and that you could distinguish between faith and presumption, between historical and temporary faith, and true saving faith. Though the two former be not delusions; but in so far as you rest on the same, and take them for saving faith, you are deluded; for saving faith puts you out of yourselves, to rest on Jesus Christ.