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Have you experienced this work of God?

Can you just imagine sitting in a pew and hearing this being heralded from the pulpit today! How God’s Spirit would move among the people. I can almost hear the “hush” and stillness that would come over the sanctuary.

Thank you Lord for the “dead men” who you have used as vessels, throughout the history of the church, to proclaim Your Word and Your Glory! Their sermons are like cool pure water to this parched and thirsty soul.

Preached at Zoar Chapel, London, on Thursday Evening, July 8th, 1841, by J. C. Philpot.

"A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance."
Ecclesiastes 3:3,4.

O cursed pride, that is ever lifting up its head in our hearts! Pride, that would even pull down God that it might sit upon His throne. Pride, that would trample under foot the holiest things to exalt itself! Pride, that can feed upon the letter of truth as well as upon garbage! Pride, that can wrap up itself in the monk's cowl and flaunt abroad in the attire of the harlot! Pride, that can soar aloft to the heights of creature-holiness, and wallow in the filthy kennel of impurity! That monstrous creature within us, of such ravenous and indiscriminate gluttony, that the more it devours, the more it craves, and "enlarges its desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied" Hab 2:5. Pride, that chameleon which assumes every color, that actor which can play every part, and yet which is constant to no one object or purpose but to exalt and glorify self!

There is, then, "a time to kill" pride. And oh, what cutting weapons the Lord will sometimes make use of to kill a man's pride! How He will bring him sometimes into the depths of temporal poverty, that He may make a stab at his worldly pride! How He will bring to light the iniquities of his youth, that He may mortify his self-righteous pride! How He will allow sin to break forth, if not openly, yet so powerfully within, that piercing convictions shall kill his spiritual pride! And what deep discoveries of internal corruption, what a breaking up of "the fountains of the great deep," what a leading into the chambers of imagery will the Lord sometimes employ to dig down to the root, and cut off the core of that poisonous tree– pride!

The Searcher of hearts dissects and anatomizes this inbred evil, cuts down to it through the quivering and bleeding flesh, and pursues with His keen knife its multiplied windings and ramifications.

But there is "a time to kill" not only a man's pride, but also his WISDOM; to slaughter it, and, as it were, drain away the life-blood from it. How delusively does this fleshly wisdom of ours act, in endeavoring to substitute the 'mere knowledge of truth in the letter', for the teachings of God in the soul! And how many are deceived in various ways by leaning to their own wisdom, instead of feeling as fools before God, and looking up to Him for His blessed instruction! But the Lord will effectually kill creature-wisdom in the hearts of His people, by bringing them into those straits and difficulties, into those sharp and severe exercises, into those bitter and distressing temptations; where all human reasoning gives up the spirit, where knowledge and understanding are baffled and confounded, and the arm of the creature is so palsy-stricken that it cannot take any one promise out of the Word of God, to administer comfort to the troubled soul.

"I will destroy," says the Lord, "the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" 1Cor 1:19,20; The wise man is not to "glory in his wisdom" Jer 9:23, but glory in it he will until it is killed, and he learns, at the knife's point, that the Lord "turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolish" Isaiah 44:25. The best lessons are learned in affliction. A man never learns anything to profit while standing upon a lofty mountain. It is in the valley of humiliation, it is in seasons of distress, trouble, anxiety, perplexity, and temptation, that a man learns the secrets of heavenly wisdom, for in them he learns his own folly, and that "the Lord gives wisdom– out of His mouth comes knowledge and understanding" Pr 2:6.

But it is not all killing work. If God kills His people, it is to make them alive 1Sa 2:6; if He wounds them, it is that He may heal; if He brings down, it is that He may lift up.

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