There is oftentimes a great deal of knowledge where there is but little wisdom to improve that knowledge. It is not the most knowing Christian but the most wise Christian that sees, avoids, and escapes Satan's snares. Knowledge without wisdom is like mettle in a blind horse, which is often an occasion of the rider's fall.
It is our wisest and our safest course to stand at the farthest distance from sin; not to go near the house of the harlot, but to fly from all appearance of evil (Prov. 5:8, I Thess. 5:22). The best course to prevent falling into the pit is to keep at the greatest distance; he that will be so bold as to attempt to dance upon the brink of the pit, may find by woeful experience that it is a righteous thing with God that he should fall into the pit.
Christ choosing solitude for private prayer, doth not only hint to us the danger of distraction and deviation of thoughts in prayer, but how necessary it is for us to choose the most convenient places we can for private prayer. Our own fickleness and Satan's restlessness call upon us to get into such places where we may freely pour out our soul into the bosom of God [Mark 1.35].
Ah! sinner, remember this, there is no way on earth effectually to be rid of the guilt, filth, and power of sin, but by believing in a Saviour. It is not resolving, it is not complaining, it is not mourning, but believing, that will make thee divinely victorious over that body of sin that to this day is too strong for thee, and that will certainly be thy ruin, if it be not ruined by a hand of faith.
There is no such way to get much grace, as to be thankful for a little grace. He who opens his mouth wide in praise, shall have his heart lled with graces. Ingratitude stops the ear of God, and shuts the hand of God, and turns away the heart of the God of grace; and therefore we had need to be thankful for a little grace.
Little sins carry with them but little temptations to sin, and then a man shews most viciousness and unkindness, when he sins on a little temptation. It is devilish to sin without a temptation; it is little less than devilish to sin on a little occasion. The less the temptation is to sin, the greater is that sin.
He who lives up to a little light shall have more light; he who lives up to a little knowledge shall have more knowledge; he who lives up to a little faith shall have more faith, and he who lives up to a little love shall have more love. Verily the main reason why men are such babes and shrubs in grace is because they do not live up their attainments.
The root-trouble of the present distress is that the Church has more faith in the world and the flesh than in the Holy Ghost, and things will get no better till we get back to His realized presence and power. Samuel Chadwick Prayer is nothing but the breathing that out before the Lord, that was first breathed into us by the Spirit of the Lord.
God looks not at the oratory of your prayers, how elegant they may be; nor at the geometry of your prayers, how long they may be; nor at the arithmetic of your prayers, how many they may be; not at logic of your prayers, how methodical they may be; but the sincerity of them he looks at.