Quotes by Octavius Winslow
Pray against a thirst for light and trifling reading, that strange and sinful inconsistency of so many, the certain tendency of which is to starve the life of God in the soul, to engender a distaste for spiritual nourishment, for the Word of God, for holy meditation, and for Divine communion and fellowship.
Apart from the Spirit, [the Bible] cannot quicken, nor sanctify, nor comfort. It may be read constantly, and searched deeply, and known accurately, and understood partially, and quoted appropriately. Yet, left to its own unassisted power, “it comes but in word only” (1 Thes. 1:5), producing no hallowing, no abiding, no saving results.
Unaccompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Bible is inactive, inoperative; a mere dead letter!
When we take the history of a child of God, compressed within the short period of a single day — mark what flaws, what imperfections, what fickleness, what dereliction in principle, what flaws in practice, what errors in judgment and what wanderings of heart make up that brief history — how we are led to thank God for the stability of the covenant, that covenant which provides for the full redemption of all believers, which from eternity secures the effectual calling, the perfect keeping and certain salvation of every chosen vessel of mercy!
The cross of Jesus displays the most awful exhibition of God’s hatred of sin and at the same time the most august manifestation of His readiness to pardon it. Pardon, full and free, is written out in every drop of blood that is seen, is proclaimed in every groan that is heard, and shines in the very prodigy of mercy that closes the solemn scene upon the cross. O blessed door of return, open and never shut, to the wanderer from God! How glorious, how free, how accessible! Here the sinful, the vile, the guilty, the unworthy, the poor, the penniless, may come. Here too the weary spirit may bring its burden, the broken spirit its sorrow, the guilty spirit its sin, the backsliding spirit its wandering. All are welcome here.
Beware of that practical atheism which excludes God from His own world; which excludes Him from your individual history. He is not only present in His created universe, but He is as much in personal events of life, shaping, guiding, overruling each and all.
All that we spiritually know of ourselves, all that we know of God, and of Jesus, and His Word, we owe to the teaching of the Holy Spirit; and all the real light, sanctification, strength and comfort we are made to possess on our way to glory, we must ascribe to Him… Where He is honoured, and adoring thoughts of His person, and tender, loving views of His work are cherished, then are experienced, in an enlarged degree, His quickening, enlightening, sanctifying and comforting influence.
Pray against the love of dress, that sin that diverts the mind of so many professors from the simplicity of Christ, and takes the eye off from the true adornment!
The religion of Christ is the religion of joy. Christ came to take away our sins, to roll off our curse, to unbind our chains, to open our prison house, to cancel our debt; in a word, to give us the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Is not this joy? Where can we find a joy so real, so deep, so pure, so lasting? There is every element of joy – deep, ecstatic, satisfying, sanctifying joy – in the gospel of Christ. The believer in Jesus is essentially a happy man. The child of God is, from necessity, a joyful man. His sins are forgiven, his soul is justified, his person is adopted, his trials are blessings, his conflicts are victories, his death is immortality, his future is a heaven of inconceivable, unthought-of, untold, and endless blessedness. With such a God, such a Savior, and such a hope, is he not, ought he not, to be a joyful man?
Christ took your cup of grief, your cup of the curse, pressed it to his lips, drank it to its dregs, then filled it with His sweet, pardoning, sympathizing love, and gave it back for you to drink, and to drink forever!
Alas! how we forget that we are but strangers and pilgrims on the earth; that we are journeying to our eternal home, and will soon be there!
There is not a more God honouring grace of the Christian character than patience – a patient waiting on and for the Lord. It is that Christian grace, the fruit of the Spirit, which will enable you to bear with dignity, calmness, and submission the afflictive dealings of your Heavenly Father, the rebuke of the world, and the wounding of the saints.
Throughout eternity the lost soul will be testifying to this truth: “God is holy; I was a sinner; I rejected His salvation, I turned my back upon His gospel, I despised His Son, I hated God Himself, I lived in my sins, I loved my sins, I died in my sins, and now I am lost to all eternity! And God is righteous in my condemnation!”
It is…incredible, and certainly inexplicable…that all manner of blasphemy against the whole character of God, particularly against His moral character, should be forgiven; and yet that blasphemy against a single natural attribute should never be forgiven. And what shall be thought of a doctrine that teaches that blasphemy committed against the Divine attribute of power is more heinous and unpardonable than blasphemy committed against God Himself?
Hell is full of the Divine holiness; holiness in the manifestation of justice; holiness in its most glorious exercise. How fearfully are the lost now learning this truth! Think it not a trifling matter, unconverted reader, to look into the bottomless pit, and to know that there is but a step and you are there! You walk to the end of the treacherous plank, and you are gone! O solemn thought! but one step between you and the quenchless flame! but one step between you and endless torment! Throughout eternity the lost soul will be testifying to this truth: “God is holy; I was a sinner; I rejected His salvation, I turned my back upon His gospel, I despised His Son, I hated God Himself, I lived in my sins, I loved my sins, I died in my sins, and now I am lost! to all eternity lost! And God is righteous in my condemnation!”
Our desire is that the Holy Spirit, who is the Divine Revealer and Interpreter of Christ and His truth, may impart to your hearts a sober, spiritual and sanctifying receptivity of His Word – abasing self, and exalting Christ! Our intention is to unfold and illustrate the Lord Jesus Christ in the relation in which He stands to His people – to unveil His glory, beauty, and fullness – to define the close bond of union that unites to Him all His people – and to bring you into a more personal realization of what Christ is to you, and of what you are to Christ.
Who delivered up Jesus to die? Not Judas, for money; not Pilate, for fear; not the Jews, for envy; but the Father, for love (see Romans 8:32)!
What are you to yourself? Worthless? Vile? Empty? What is Jesus to you? Precious? Lovely? All your salvation? All your desire? What is sin to you? The most hateful thing in the world? What is holiness to you? Most lovely? Most longed for? What is the throne of grace to you? The most attractive spot? What is the cross to you? The sweetest resting place in the universe? What is God to you? Your God? Your Father? The spring of all your joys? The fountainhead of all your bliss? The center where your affections meet? Is it so? Then you are a child of God! Those low views of yourself…that brokenness, that inward mourning, that secret confession, that longing for…more spirituality, more grace, more devotedness, more love, does but prove the existence, reality, and growth of God’s work within you. Cheer up, precious soul! That soul never perished, that felt itself to be vile, and Jesus to be precious!
All is shadow here below! The world is a shadow; and it passes away! The creature is a shadow; and the loveliest and the fondest may be the first to die! Health is a shadow; fading, and in a moment gone! Wealth is a shadow; today upon the summit of affluence, tomorrow at its base, plunged into poverty and dependence! Human friendships and creature affections are but shadows; sweet and pleasant while they last, but, with a worm feeding at the root of all created good, the sheltering gourd soon withers, exposing us to the sun’s burning heat by day, and to the frost’s cold chill by night! Oh, yes! “Passing Away” is indelibly inscribed upon everything here below! Yet how slow are we to realize the solemn lesson: “What shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue!” Unconverted reader, what is your life but a vapor that passes away?and what are its pursuits but shadows; unreal, unsatisfying, evanescent? Your rank, your wealth, your honors, your pleasures, are but phantoms which appear but for a little while, and then are lost in the deeper shadow of the grave, and the still deeper and longer shadow of eternity! Oh, turn from these dreams and hallucinations, and, as a rational, accountable, immortal being, on your way to judgment, fix your mind upon your solemn, endless future! You are going to die! And, oh, when that dread hour comes, so real and appalling, how will your past life appear?