Octavius Winslow – Go and Tell Jesus

“And his disciples came and took up the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus.” Matthew 14:12

As if to illustrate the nature and test the efficacy of His great and gracious expedient of saving sinners, it pleased the redeeming God that the first subject of death should be a believer in the Lord Jesus. Scarcely had the righteous Abel laid his bleeding lamb upon the altar — that altar and that lamb all expressive of the truth, and radiant with the glory of the person and work of the coming Savior — ere he was called to seal with his blood the faith in Christ he had professed. But if the first victim, he was also the first victor. He fell by death, but he fell a conqueror of death. He lost the victory, but he won the battle. Thus was the “last enemy” foiled in his very first assault upon our race. The point of his lance was then turned, the venom of his sting was then impaired, and, robbed of his prey, he saw in the pale and gory form his shaft had laid low the first one of that glorious race of confessors, that “noble army of martyrs,” who in all succeeding ages should overcome sin, hell, and death, by the blood of the Lamb.

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Octavius Winslow – The Preciousness of Christ

“Unto you therefore who believe He is precious.” 1 Peter 2:7

A felt conviction of the preciousness of the Savior has ever been regarded by enlightened ministers of the gospel as constituting a scriptural and unmistakable evidence of the existence of divine life in the soul; and in moments when neither time nor circumstance would admit of the close scrutiny of a theological creed, or a nice analysis of spiritual feelings and emotions, the one and simple inquiry upon which the whole matter is made to hinge has been- “What is your experience of the worth of the Savior? Is Christ precious to your heart?” And the answer to this question has been to the examiner, the test and the measure of the soul’s spiritual and vital change. And how proper that it should be so. In proportion as the Holy Spirit imparts a real, intelligent sense of personal sinfulness, there will be the heart’s appreciation of the value, sufficiency, and preciousness of the Lord Jesus. An enlightened and thorough conviction of the nature and aggravation of the disease, will enable a physician to form a just conception of the remedial process by which it may be arrested and cured. We estimate the force of a motive power by the strength of the body it propels. Thus, as the conviction of our lost and undone condition deepens, as sin’s “exceeding sinfulness ” unveils, as the purity and extent of God’s law opens, as the utter helplessness and impotence of self is forced upon the mind, the glory, the worth, the suitableness, and the preciousness of Jesus will, through the teaching of the Spirit, present itself vividly to the mind and heart, as constituting the one only foundation and hope of the soul!

The Bible recognizes but two specific and distinctive characters- the SINNER- the SAVIOR; and all others are but modifications of these. The saint is but the sinner converted, justified, pardoned, adopted, sanctified, saved, glorified. And all the official relations sustained by Christ in the economy of salvation are but so many varied and beautiful forms of the one Savior, of whom it is said, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” Thus, then, as you feel your sinfulness, you will estimate the fitness and suitableness of the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior. There will be a perfect agreement between your consciousness of guilt and your believing apprehension of the excellence of the Atonement to meet your case. Your sinnership and Christ’s Saviorship will harmonize and dovetail in exact and beautiful fitness and proportion.

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Octavius Winslow – The Preciousness of God’s Word

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“The word of the Lord was precious in those days.” I Samuel 3:1.

Among the precious things of God the saints of the Most High will ever regard as transcendently precious His revealed Word. But for this revelation we had known nothing of those precious things upon which this volume is designed to engage the reader’s thoughts. The works of creation, varied and rich in their forms of beauty, while they testify to ” His power and Godhead,” -thus leaving man inexcusable for his atheism, -nowhere supply an answer to the momentous question, “What must I do to be saved?” They bear a palpable and solemn witness to man’s apostasy, but they testify nothing to his recovery. They tell of a fallen, but not of a restored humanity. They speak not of a Savior of a salvation of hope of heaven. I may wander in sad and pensive thought upon the sunny banks of its flowing rivers, I may tread its carpeted vales, or climb its cloud-capped mountains, reveling amid its beauty, its grandeur, and sublimity, and yet find no repose for this restless mind, no peace for this troubled heart, no hope for this sinful and lost soul. Not a flower below, not a star above, tells me of JESUS, a Savior!

I turn to the “GLORIOUS GOSPEL of the blessed God,” and my case as a ruined, self-destroyed, condemned sinner, is met by that single, but comprehensive and sublime announcement- “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” Beloved reader, the kingdom of nature, replete as it is with the wisdom, power, and benevolence of Jehovah, every spire of grass, every lowly flower, every towering mountain, every glimmering star, rebuking the “fool’s” denial of a God, can never disclose how you may be pardoned, justified, and saved. No solution can it supply to the great moral problem of the universe how God can be just, and yet the justifier of the ungodly.

The “gospel of the grace of God,” which these pages propose to unfold, meets to the utmost your case as a sinner, bringing life and immortality to light, and thus revealing to you a hope, resplendent and eternal, beyond the gloom and corruption of the grave.

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Octavius Winslow – Take Your Sorrow to the Word of God

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As a system of ‘consolation’ Christianity has no equal. No other religion in the wide world touches the hidden springs of the soul, or reaches the lowest depths of human sorrow, but the religion of Christ.

When your hearts have been overwhelmed, when adversity has wrapped you within its gloomy pall, when the broken billows of grief have swollen and surged around your soul, how have you fled to the Scriptures of truth for succor and support, for guidance and comfort! Nor have you repaired to them in vain. “The God of all comfort” is He who speaks in this Word, and there is no word of comfort like that which He speaks.

The adaptation of His truth to the varied, the peculiar and personal trials and sorrows of His Church, is one of the strongest proofs of its divinity. Take to the Word of God whatever sorrow you may, go with whatever mental beclouding, with whatever spirit sadness, with whatever heart grief; whatever be its character, its complexion, its depth unsurpassed in the history of human sorrow, there is consolation and support in the Word of God for your
mind.

God will not leave you in trouble, but will sustain you in it, will bring you out of, and sanctify you by it, to the endless glory and praise of His great and precious name!

Christian mourner, let me once more direct your eye too dimmed perhaps by tears to behold this divine source of true, unfailing comfort. God’s Word is the book of the afflicted. Written to unfold the wondrous history of the “Man of Sorrows,” it would seem to have been equally written for you, 0 child of grief! God speaks to your sad and sorrowing heart from every page of this sacred volume, with words of comfort, loving, gentle, and persuasive as a mother’s. “As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you.”

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Octavius Winslow – The Incense of Prayer

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“Let my prayer be set before you as incense” Psalm 141:2

God has a temple outside of heaven. Not all the worship, nor all the worshipers, are confined to that blissful world where he immediately dwells. He has another sanctuary upon earth―other worshipers and other services, where, with whom, and with which, the beams of his presence are as strictly promised and as truly shine as in the general assembly of the church gathered around him in glory. It is not the magnificent structure made with hands, with its splendid ritual and its ponderous ceremonial, flattering to the pride and captivating to the sense of man, but a temple and a temple-service far more beautiful in God’s eye is that of which we speak. “Thus says the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all these things has my hand made, and all these things have been, says the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word.” “Thus says the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite one.” This is God’s temple upon earth, this his worshiper, and this his worship. The material structure is nothing, the magnificent service is nothing, the formal worshiper is nothing, “but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and that trembles at my word.” Oh most solemn truth! Oh most precious words! “Lord! engrave them upon my heart by your blessed Spirit. Be my body your temple, my heart your sanctuary, your presence my life, my life your service.”

The believer in Jesus is a royal priest, ordained to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God. He is called and consecrated, clothed and anointed, to a high and holy service. His calling is divine, his consecration is holy, his clothing is costly, his anointing is fragrant. Before the standing and the glory and the service of one of the royal priesthood, all the pomp and gorgeousness of Aaron’s priesthood fade into nothing. Called according to God’s purpose, consecrated and set apart by sovereign grace, invested with the righteousness of Christ, anointed with the Holy Spirit, and offering up the spiritual sacrifice of a “broken and a contrite heart,”―is it surprising that God should look with an eye of ineffable delight upon such a worshiper? But of a single one only of these many interesting points must we allow ourselves at present to speak. We refer to the incense which every true believer in Jesus, in his character of a royal priest, offers to the Lord.

The subject presents the Christian to our view in his holiest and most solemn feature―drawing near to God, and presenting before the altar of his grace the incense of prayer. The typical reference to this is strikingly beautiful. “You shall make an altar to burn incense upon?and Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning; when he dresses the lamps he shall burn incense upon it. And when Aaron lights the lamps at even he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations.” That this incense was typical of prayer would appear from Luke 1:10, “And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the time of incense.” And David, though dwelling in the more shadowy age of the church, thus correctly and beautifully interprets this type: “Let my prayer be set before you as incense.” It is an appropriate and an impressive figure. And thankful, dear reader, should we be to avail ourselves whatever in the Divine Word tends to teach us the nature, to illustrate the blessedness, to deepen the solemnity, and to engage our heats in the holy duty and sweet privilege of―PRAYER. Interesting and important as are the topics upon which we have previously addressed you, all must yield to the interest and importance of this one. Prayer is the vital breath of the living soul; prayer is the mode of our approach to God; prayer is the appointed channel of all blessing. The season contemplated throughout this little volume is especially the season in which prayer is found the most soothing and sanctifying.

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Octavius Winslow – Jesus: the All-Encompassing Theme of Scripture

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The Word of God must ever be transcendently precious to the believer. The Bible is, from its commencement to its close, a record of the Lord Jesus. Around Him the divine and glorious Word centers; all its wondrous types, prophecies, and facts gather. His Promise and Foreshadowing, His holy Incarnation, Nativity, and Baptism, His Obedience and Passion, His Death, Burial, and Resurrection, His Ascension to heaven, His Second Coming to judge the world, are the grand and touching, the sublime and tender, the priceless and precious truths interwoven with the whole texture of the Bible, to which the Two Witnesses of Revelation, the Old and the New Testaments bear their harmonious and solemn testimony.

Beloved, let this be the one and chief object in your study of the Bible- the knowledge of Jesus.

The Bible is not a history, a book of science, or a poem; it is a record of Christ. Study it to know more of Him, His nature, His love, His work. With the magnanimous Paul, “count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus your Lord.”

Then will God’s Word become increasingly precious to your soul, and its truths unfold.

In every page you will, trace the history of Jesus, see the glory of Jesus, admire the work of Jesus, learn the love of Jesus, and hear the voice of Jesus.

The whole volume will be redolent of His name, and luminous with His beauty.

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Octavius Winslow – A Soul Prostrate Before the Majesty and Holiness of God

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“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” Isaiah 6:5

What prostrated his soul thus low in the dust?

What filled him with this self abasement?

What overwhelmed him with this keen sense of his vileness?

Oh, it was the unclouded view he had of the essential glory of the Son of God! And thus will it ever be. The beaming forth of Christ’s glory in the soul reveals its hidden evil; the knowledge of this evil lays the believer low before God with the confession, “I abhor myself. Woe is me! for I am undone.”

Beloved, let this truth be ever present to your mind, that as we increasingly see glory in Christ, we shall increasingly see that there is no glory in ourselves.

Jesus is the Sun which reveals the pollutions and defilements which are within. The chambers of abomination are all closed until Christ shines in upon the soul. Oh, then it is these deep seated and long veiled deformities are revealed; and we, no longer gazing with a complacent eye upon self, sink in the dust before God, overwhelmed with shame, and covered with confusion of face.

Holy posture!

Blessed spectacle!

A soul prostrate before the glory of the incarnate God!

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