A True Physician Only Makes Incisions to Cure

If our hearers will weep over their sins, and after Jesus, let their tears flow in rivers; but if the object of their sorrow is merely natural, and not at all spiritual, what good is done by setting them weeping? There might be some virtue in making people joyful, for there is sorrow enough in the world, and the more we can promote cheerfulness, the better; but what is the use of creating needless misery? What right have you to go through the world pricking everybody with your lancet just to show your skill in surgery?

A true physician only makes incisions in order to effect cures, and a wise minister only excites painful emotions in men’s minds with the distinct object of blessing their souls. You and I must continue to drive at men’s hearts till they are broken; and then we must keep on preaching Christ crucified till their hearts are bound up; and when this is accomplished, we must continue to proclaim the gospel till their whole nature is brought into subjection to the gospel of Christ. Even in these preliminaries you will be made to feel the need of the Holy Ghost to work with you, and by you; but this need will be still more evident when we advance a step further, and speak of the new birth itself in which the Holy Spirit works in a style and manner most divine.

Adapted from Charles Spurgeon, The Soul-Winner

Links I Like (Weekend Edition)

Our Disturbing Contemporary Culture

John Johnson:

A few weeks ago, at the Q Conference I attended in Washington, DC, we were greeted by the US President (via video). I initially found it remarkable and assuring that we have a President who affirms his stance with us in the cause of Christ. In fact, he wanted us to know he had just come from an Easter prayer breakfast, which reinforced his message of solidarity with the 7-800 Christian leaders in the audience, and how meaningful is the resurrection of Christ for us. But I was sitting next to a member of a conservative think tank in DC, and I couldn’t help but ask him how genuine the remarks were. His assessment, given the ongoing actions of the administration, was somewhat skeptical (and cynical). He reminded me that this is the same administration that recently signed off on withholding any government funding to those in the medical field who withhold surgeries due to conscience (e.g. performing an abortion). And then there was yesterday’s ABC interview, and his statement affirming gay marriage.

Hindus want to take back yoga

Rheana Murray:

A Hindu organization is fighting to take back yoga, saying that America’s version of the practice has lost its meaningful roots.

The Hindu American Foundation launched the “Take Back Yoga” campaign not to convert Westerners to Hinduism or urge them to cease practicing it altogether, but to remind people that yoga is rooted in Hindu philosophy.

Law Begets Resistance

Tullian Tchividjian:

Suppose a woman marries someone who really loves her. But he has a couple of personal sensitivities. He does not like a mess. In fact, he is a little obsessive about order. He is always picking up after her and implying, by doing so, that she is a slob. This sensitivity of his did not seem very important at first. Other aspects of their life together were good. But the older he gets, the more anxious he becomes when she is just being herself.

6 Bullet Points on Preaching

Tim Challies:

The Apostle Paul had a lot to say about preaching, but I think the majority of it can be grouped under six main headings or ideas. You could, of course, extract specific teaching points from each one, but I think there’s value in looking at them in a broad sense. Here is what Paul says about the preaching of God’s Word.

Division, Contending and Speaking the Truth in Love

The recent vote in North Carolina and this week’s generally unsurprising announcement from President Obama in support of same-sex marriage have Christians all abuzz. Some, lament the North Carolina decision saying they’re tired of the culture wars. Others have reminded us that there are good reasons that believers ought to continue to oppose gay marriage.

Younger Christians (and non-Christians) struggle to understand the uproar from their conservative forebearers. Rachel Held Evans is right to point this out. But just because homosexuality seems “normal” to the 30 and under crowd, it doesn’t mean that our response ought to be to throw their hands up in the air and sigh, “Can’t we all just get along?”

As Christians, we have an obligation to, as Jude calls it, “contend the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). So whether it’s a matter like gay marriage, the prosperity “gospel”, or the perpetual Calvinism vs. Arminianism debate, to name but a few examples, we need to remember a few important truths that ought to guide our behavior as we contend for the faith:

1. Doctrine is intended to divide

There is a sense in which doctrine does divide. It can’t not by its very nature. Jesus himself—the Word of God made flesh—was and is the most divisive person to ever live. The people of his day were divided over his identity. They either didn’t know or refused to recognize him as the promised Messiah. Indeed, he himself said of his divisive nature, “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division,” (Luke 12:51) and, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Because Jesus caused division and because he was uncompromising in his exclusivity as “the truth,” doctrine that aligns with Jesus will cause division. This necessarily means that we will be at odds with others—friends, relatives, perhaps even other believers.

2. Contending does not mean being contentious

Christians are never to be a quarrelsome people with “an unhealthy craving for controversy” (1 Tim. 6:4; 2 Tim. 2:24). Instead, we are “to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people” (Titus 3:1-2). The one who is contentious is looking for a fight; he loves controversy and debate. He builds men of straw simply to tear them down. But this person is one “who stirs up division . . . is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned,” wrote Paul. We are to have nothing to do with him—which also means that we must not be like him (Titus 3:10-11).

3. Don’t make doctrine more (or less) important than people

We are to speak the truth in love, not the truth or love. The Ephesian church deeply loved the truth of the gospel and that love overflowed toward “all the saints,” giving the apostle Paul cause to rejoice (Eph. 1:15). Yet, as we read in Revelation 2:2-5, it seems that, despite their rock-solid doctrine and their wealth of love for one another, their hearts had become cold to the things that had once burned so warm within them. Sam Storms writes:

What we see in the church at Ephesus, therefore, was how their desire for orthodoxy and the exclusion of error had created a climate of suspicion and mistrust in which brotherly love could no longer flourish. Their eager pursuit of truth had to some degree soured their affections one for another. It’s one thing not to “bear with those who are evil” (Rev. 2:2), but it’s another thing altogether when that intolerance carries over to your relationship with other Christ-loving Christians!1

We must not forget that there are people involved in every debate, both “those who are evil” and those who are, as Storms puts it, “Christ-loving Christians.” We must remember contending is an act of mercy on those who doubt and those who have been deceived. It’s much easier to view those with whom we disagree as being demons when they’ve more likely just been duped. But in doing so, we do them a great disservice and dishonor Christ in the process. There is a tension in contending that requires us to uphold both people and doctrine. We cannot contend without compassion anymore than we can contend without a love for the truth. “Doctrinal precision is absolutely necessary. But it isn’t enough. May God grant us grace to love others with no less fervor than we love the truth.”

I realize that the fight is exhausting—but we dare not give in and we dare not sit on the sidelines.

If we truly love Jesus and if we truly care about the well being of the Church then we must contend. “People’s eternal fate is at stake,” writes Robert Gundry. “With might and main [we] are to join in the fight.”2

Links I Like

Grief — A Forgotten Apologetic

Nathan W. Bingham:

Whether that’s from seeing “prosperity gospel” false teachers on television, or observing conservative Christians leaving their homes on Sunday morning wearing their “happy clothes” and “happy face.” Either way, we’re good at giving the world the impression that life’s hard for the heathen and roses for the righteous. But that’s not true.

Who Are You Calling a Culture Warrior?

Daniel Darling:

Our generation is in the midst of a good discussion on the connection between faith and politics. We’re a bit weary of a previous generation’s highly partisan nature. We feel the Christian brand has been badly damaged. We’re not culture warriors. Or so we think.

What is Better?

Jared C. Wilson:

Don’t believe the lie that struggling always to obey God is a worse lot in life than disobeying him with peace. God did not make us to “feel good inside” (or outside) all the time this side of heaven; he made us to share in the sufferings of Christ, that we might share in his resurrection. And the reality is, for many, the resurrection kind of life in these areas of death isn’t always postponed to the life to come. But you won’t know that until you’re willing to go to the cross for as long as it takes to die.

12 Ways to Guarantee You’ll Never Be Called a “Fundy”

Carrie Hunter:

We Evangelicals have a reputation to uphold. We cannot, under any circumstance, be confused with Them. Them of course being those crazy, unsophisticated, hard-line, uncharitable, literalistic, mean-spirited, dogmatic, absolute-certainty-possessing, Fundamentalists.

3 Words To Aid in Forgiveness

If anyone here who is a Christian finds a difficulty in forgiveness, I am going to give him three words which will help him wonderfully. I would put them into the good man’s mouth. I gave them to you just now, and prayed you to get the sweetness of them; here they are again!

“For Christ’s sake.”

Cannot you forgive an offender on that ground? Ah, the girl has acted very shamefully, and you, her father, have said some strong things, but I beg you to forgive her for Christ’s sake. Cannot you do it with that motive? It is true your son has behaved very wrongly, and nothing hurts a father’s heart more than the wicked conduct of a son. You did in a fit of anger say a very stern thing, and deny him your house for ever. I entreat you to eat your words up for Christ’s sake.

Sometimes when I have been pleading a case like that, the person I have been persuading has kindly said, “I will do it for you, sir.” I have said, “I will thank you if you will do it at all, but I would rather you would have said you would do it for my Master, for what a blessed Master he has been to you! Do it for his sake.” I may be speaking very plainly home to some of you. I hope I am. If there be any of you who have got into a bad state of heart and have said you never will forgive a rebellious son, do not say so again till you have looked at the matter, for Christ’s sake. Not for the boy’s sake, not for your neighbour’s sake who has offended you, not for any other reason do I urge you to mercy, but for Christ’s sake. Come, you two brothers, who have fallen out, love each other for Christ’s sake; come, you two sisters, come you two friends who have been alienated, get together directly, and end all your ill feeling for Christ’s sake. You must not keep a drop of malice in your soul, for Christ’s sake. Oh charming word, how it melts us, and as it melts it seems to leave no trace of anger behind it: for Christ’s sake our love suffers long and never fails.

Adapted from “Forgiveness Made Easy,” as published in The Sermons of Charles Spurgeon: Sermons 201-400 (Vol 2 of 4) (Kindle Edition)

Links I Like

How to Win the Public on Homosexuality

Collin Hansen:

…there’s another reason much of the country has shrugged off no-news headlines about the culmination of President Obama’s “evolution”: 50 percent of Americans now agree with him. In the last 16 years, support for same-sex marriage has nearly doubled. Gallup shows an increase in support from just 27 percent in 1996 to a high of 53 percent in 2011 and now 50 percent in 2012. Since 1996, Christians have debated homosexuality almost non-stop, and several Protestant denominations have reached the same conclusion as Obama.

Sins, Failures, Regrets And A Sovereign God

Mark Altrogge:

Ever done something without praying or seeking counsel only to have it backfire on you?  And now years later you continue to pay the price.  Or worse yet, maybe others now suffer because of your sins or failures.  Your children or spouse.  It’s so easy to be filled with regret when you think about it.

Love your enemies

Ray Ortlund:

But love your enemies.  If we stand up for what’s right, we will have enemies.  They feel justified in their hostility.  But Jesus says, love them anyway.  Hostile people expect hostility in return.  Jesus says, surprise them.

10 Attributes of a Humble Leader

Ron Edmonson:

Humility is a desired, but often neglected characteristic of good, servant leadership. The more we promote ourselves online, the more I’m afraid humility is being forgotten. As one who has an online presence, I consistently sense God reminding me that I’ve been on the bottom and I can return there.

4 Reasons to Preach Through Whole Books of the Bible

Preaching methods are a big topic right now in certain corners of evangelicalism. Should we preach through books of the Bible? Is topical okay? How should we approach topical sermons if we do them at all? These are questions that many of us have to deal wrestle with.

Mark Dever and Greg Gilbert are both strong advocates for the practice of preaching through entire books of the Bible. In their new book, Preach: Theology Meets Practicethey offer a number of practical considerations as to why our preaching ministries would benefit from taking up this practice. Here are four that I found particularly helpful:

1. Preaching through books helps you see the beauty of Scripture.

Many Christians—and those who preach to them—treat the Bible as if it’s a collection of wise sayings, the order of which doesn’t matter very much. It’s as if all of Scripture is the book of Proverbs or the sayings of Confucius. But most of the Bible isn’t like that at all. God inspired each of the books of the Bible with a certain internal logic and order. He inspired narrative and argumentation and prophetic cases against His people. The books build to climaxes, and they have elegant twists embedded here and there within them. Part of our job as preachers, therefore, is to help our people see the beauty of Scripture. We’re not just looking for “nuggets of wisdom” buried in useless iron ore; we want our people to see the majesty of the whole, and preaching through entire books helps us open their eyes to Scripture’s beauty. (Kindle location 1032)

2. Preaching through books forces you to preach uncomfortable portions of Scripture.

Few of us relish the thought of preaching on the Bible’s texts about divorce. It’s a touchy subject with multiple twists and turns in the teaching that are hard to get skeptical listeners to follow, and it’s frankly easier just to go to John 3:16 again than to plant yourself for a few weeks in Matthew 19! And yet it is in Scripture, and we are called to preach the whole counsel of God to our people. That’s where preaching entire books helps. After Matthew 18 comes Matthew 19. After 1 Corinthians 5 comes 1 Corinthians 6, and if you’ve established a pattern of preaching straight through books, you can’t avoid them. (Kindle location 1054)

3. Preaching through books confronts our fear of saying hard things.

One of the most crippling diseases for a preacher of God’s Word is a fear of saying hard things from the pulpit—a blanching at the thought of preaching something that might offend and a resulting tendency to stay away from hard passages of the Bible. Preaching through entire books works against that fear and tendency because it forces us to preach those hard passages when they appear. In fact, it can help turn our sinful fear of man against itself—think ju jitsu!—because we won’t want to face questions about our lack of courage if we skip from Matthew 18 to Matthew 20! . . . [P]reaching through those books also protects us from being “blamed” for preaching hard passages at particular times. (Kindle locations 1062, 1066)

4. Preaching through books encourages your growth as a preacher and a Christian.

Preaching through books forces you as a preacher—and therefore your church as well—to grapple with passages of Scripture with which you’re not already familiar. As a result, you learn new things; you grow in your knowledge of God and His Word; and you mature as a Christian and as a pastor. If you skip around the Bible in your preaching, you will likely gravitate toward passages you already have thought long and hard about, passages you know a lot about already. . . . Preaching our favorite passages, or the texts with which we’re most familiar, means that our growth as preachers and even as Christians will be stunted. There are treasures unknown in the text we encounter as we preach through books. (Kindle locations 1074, 1080)

Links I Like

The Story of Ian and Larissa

[tentblogger-vimeo 38033654]

Freedom to Fail

Darryl Dash:

I want to say that I’m driven by the desire to establish a work that will bring God glory and to spread his fame, and this would be true. But if I’m honest, I’m also driven by a desire not to fail at something that is tougher than anything I’ve ever done to this point. I don’t want to fall flat on my face and embarrass myself — a very real possibility given the number of church plants that fail!

3 Reasons to Pursue Life-Giving Rest

Chris Vacher:

Busy is a badge of honour in our culture and many of us wear it to display significance, importance and to appear needed. There’s nothing wrong in living a life of significance and making important contributions to society. There is no shame in working hard and we need to continue to be devoted to the work God has called us to.

When Paul Sent the Celebrity Pastor

Kevin DeYoung:

Here is a verse that caught my attention yesterday: “With him we are sending the brother who is famous among all the churches for his preaching of the gospel” (2 Cor. 8:18). There are many things we’d like to know, but don’t know about this verse.

Book Review: What is the Mission of the Church by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert

If you want to cause a ruckus at Thanksgiving dinner, bring up politics. If you want to cause a ruckus at a church get together, bring up social justice. There’s so much confusion and debate over the church’s role in social justice issues that it doesn’t seem like more discussion is going to help resolve the tension. Nevertheless, Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert enter the fray with What Is the Mission of the Church?: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission. In this book, readers will find a careful, albeit almost too cautious, look at the mission of the church how to approach social justice faithfully.

Distinguishing Between Missions

DeYoung and Gilbert took a lot of heat over this book largely because of an important distinction they make in the book—that there is a difference between the work of God and the work of the Church. These missions are connected, obviously, but they’re not identical. The work of “salvation, restoration and re-creation” is the work of God alone—they are “divine gifts to which we bear witness, rather than works in which we collaborate” (p. 42). As they write elsewhere, “The story [of Scripture] is not about us working with God to make the world right again. It’s about God’s work to make us right so we can live with Him again” (p. 89).

Over and over again, the distinction appears and informs everything else in the book. God’s work and God’s people’s work are related, but different. We are not God’s partners in redeeming the world—we are witness to His redeeming work. God is the primary agent—He is building His kingdom; He is seeking and saving the lost; He will finally restore creation when Christ returns in glory. We are to proclaim the good news of what God is doing.

We are not called to bring a broken planet back to its created glory. But we are to call broken people back to their Creator. (p. 248)

This distinction leads to another necessary one, this time between individual Christians and the local church. Because there is a difference between the two, one cannot simply “say that whatever we see commanded of the individual Christian is also commanded of the local church” (p. 233). The mission of the church is far narrower than that of the individual believer (although, again, there is crossover). “[B]earing witness to Christ is the church’s unique responsibility in a way that film making or auto repair or tree planting is not, though all of these may be examples of ways in which an individual Christian follows Jesus.” It’s not that an individual’s calling is illegitimate by any means—it’s  just not the mission of the church. The church’s mission is to proclaim, witness and make disciples (who are taught to obey all that Jesus has commanded).

Context Prevents Pretext

Where the book is really shines is in its careful biblical exposition. The authors handle the Scriptures with great care and reverence, and they provide much-needed depth to many of the more simplistic arguments made by some who would hold a different view than the one they advocate. One example comes from their explanation of the Greek word used in Luke 4:18 for “poor.” This word, they explain, almost certainly has reference to material poverty, but “has broader connotations and significance” (p. 38). Because the word is used in both figurative and literal terms, we have to be careful in evaluating the context. [Read more...]

Links I Like

Forgive Us Our Student Debts

Collin Hansen:

So you want to go to college. Good decision! There’s a good chance followers of Jesus played a key role in starting your school, even if you don’t attend a Christian college. These heroes showed us how to glorify God by exercising his gift of thinking. Following in their steps, you will be one of the relatively few around the world with the intellectual and financial means to attend college. You have been given this rare gift so you can bless others, not merely enrich yourself. That perspective will help you study harder even as you look for ways to serve the community and share the gospel of Jesus Christ during these life-changing years.

Averagé – America’s Most Popular Clothing Line

Tripp & Tyler:

[tentblogger-youtube MsgR7uUxyhQ]

Leave it to The Imagination

Barnabas Piper:

One of the values of the written word is that, when done well, it leaves much up to the imagination. It creates a framework for a character or story or event which the imagination then fills with detail, both good and evil. Even the descriptions in the best literature allow for maximized imagination; they lead the brushes of the mind to paint a picture with whatever color palette and skill the mind has available.

Honour the Vanilla Men

Carl Trueman:

One of the striking things about modern society is the lack of respect it shows for hierarchies and institutions.  I do not see this, as some appear to do, as a unique contribution of this age.  For all the trumpeting of the disillusion of contemporary youth with institutions, today’s young people on the whole seem merely more indifferent and less active in their disillusion than the generation which protested Vietnam.  Yet it does raise a cultural challenge for the church.

Be Careful Offering Criticism To Your Pastor

Mondays are probably the worst day of the week for pastors and preachers. I don’t even do it full time, and I’ve experienced the roughness of Monday. Whenever I’m in the pulpit, I tend to experience an interesting combination of being energized and completely exhausted. Preaching the Word and seeing people “get” it is awesome—but by the time I get home, I’m ready for a roughly 100 hour nap. For me, it usually takes until mid-day Tuesday before I’m feeling back to normal.

Because I’m not in vocational pastoral ministry, one of the things I don’t have to deal too much with is criticism. I parachute in and out, so I don’t get criticized (at least, I don’t get to hear it in my inbox). But I’ve no doubt that many pastors dread looking at theirs on Monday.

It’s easy for us when we leave on Sunday morning to start picking apart the message. As we consider, it and weigh the pros and cons, sometimes the things that stick out as a negative start eating at us. And so maybe we fire off an email and feel a lot better, having got it off our chests.

Now, I’m not against criticism, obviously, but I’d be careful sending that email. As Mark Dever & Greg Gilbert point out in their book, Preach, your criticism of your pastor’s message “should always be gentle, even if they are firm.” Speak well, speak clearly if there’s something legitimate, but don’t fire off a long list of problems and fail to leave any room for encouragement.

Your pastor doesn’t need to hear how you don’t care for the Bible translation he used; he probably doesn’t need to be engaged on a lengthy debate on a nuance of a difficult to interpret text. You can probably cut him some slack if he preached a right message but made an unusual choice of text for his launch point.

If you must offer critique (and it is an “if”—many churches have an established sermon review process in place, so you may not need to worry about it), do so carefully, charitably and out of a desire to see your pastor improve. Tell him what you appreciated about the message, what God is teaching you through it and, if there’s something that is bothering you, ask about it in an open-ended way.

And… maybe wait until Tuesday to send that email. It might make Monday a little easier to get through.

Links I Like

The Tablet Really Is Killing The E-Reader

Kit Eaton:

Because what we think is happening is that the era of the e-reader as a must-have device is drawing to a close. Back in March some research suggested that expectations for e-reader sales for the quarter were way down on the previous year’s, and those predictions now look to have been right on target.

Rescuing Church from a Facebook Culture

Michael J. Kruger:

What affect does “social media” technology have on the way we view church?  What affect does it have on the way we conceive of life in the body of Christ? Of course, much of social media is positive.  And the church has used this technology to advance the cause of Christ.  Moreover, I cannot miss the irony of writing about the affects of technological forms of communication on my own website! Nevertheless, I do have some concerns—and so should you.

Stop Trying to be Like Jesus

Jeff Vanderstelt:

[tentblogger-youtube 7_Jpd_zI7g0]

Hiding Above the Fray

Kevin DeYoung:

I’m not saying their positions are always wrong, but their position on their positions makes me nervous. I’m talking about those pastors, politicians, pundits, and publications which, at the first sign of firefight, always scramble for the cleanest spot above the fray.

The Image of God In A Gender Neutral World

Stephen Altrogge:

Kathy Witterick and David Stocker have decided to raise their child, named “Storm”, in a gender free environment. . . . They want Storm to have the freedom to create his/her own gender identity apart from all the cultural ideas of what gender really means. They are taking a bold stand for freedom in an age of gender restriction.

Is this a problem, and if so, why? After all, even most Christians would agree that our culture has unbiblical standards of what it means to be a man or a woman. I don’t want our culture instructing my daughters on the meaning of femininity. So is it really such a bad idea to raise a child in a gender free environment?

My End in Preaching

Blessed Spirit of God,

My end in preaching is to know Christ, and impart his truth.

My principle in preaching is Christ himself, whom I trust.

For in him is fullness of spirit and strength; my comfort in preaching is to do all for him.

Help me in my work to grow more humble, to pick something out of all providences to that end,
to joy in thee and loathe myself, to keep my life, being, soul, and body only for thee,
to carry my heart to thee in love and delight, to see all my grace in thee, coming from thee,
to walk with thee in endearment.

Then, whether I succeed or fail, nought matters but thee alone.

Adapted from “A Minister’s Evils,” Puritan Prayers & Devotions (Kindle Edition)

Don’t Play Upon the Mind by Exciting Unspiritual Feelings

Do not play upon the mind by exciting feelings which are not spiritual. Some preachers are very fond of introducing funerals and dying children into their discourses, and they make the people weep through sheer natural affection. This may lead up to something better, but in itself what is its value? What is the good of opening up a mother’s griefs or a widow’s sorrows? I do not believe that our merciful Lord has sent us to make men weep over their departed relatives by digging anew their graves, and rehearsing past scenes of bereavement and woe. Why should He? It is granted that you may profitably employ the death-bed of a departing Christian, or of a dying sinner, for proof of the rest of faith in the one case, and the terror of conscience in the other; but it is out of the fact proved, and not out of the illustration itself, that the good must arise.

Natural grief is of no service in itself; indeed, we look upon it as a distraction from higher thoughts, and as a price too great to exact from tender hearts, unless we can repay them by engrafting lasting spiritual impressions upon the stock of natural affection. “It was a very splendid oration, full of pathos,” says one who heard it. Yes, but what is the practical outcome of this pathos? A young preacher once remarked, “Were you not greatly struck to see so large a congregation weeping?” “Yes,” said his judicious friend, “but I was more struck with the reflection that they would probably have wept more at a play.” Exactly so; and the weeping in both cases may be equally valueless. I saw a girl on board a steamboat reading a book, and crying as if her heart would break; but when I glanced at the volume, I saw that it was only one of those silly yellow-covered novels which load our railway bookstalls. Her tears were a sheer waste of moisture, and so are those which are produced by mere pulpit tale-telling and death-bed painting.

Adapted from Charles Spurgeon, The Soul-Winner