I will tell you another thing. Many years ago, there lived a schoolmaster in the Netherlands. It was at the time that a very wicked persecution was going on against the Protestants, when they had “The Inquisition.” It was a very cruel thing. The inquisitors, as they were called, put this poor man to the torture of the rack. They pulled his limbs almost asunder. This rack was a horrible instrument! have you ever seen one? You may see them in some museums. These inquisitors put men on the rack, and then pulled their joints out, thus putting them to horrible pain! When on the rack, the inquisitor said to this poor schoolmaster, “Do you love your wife and children? Won’t you, for the sake of your wife and children, give up this religion of yours? Won’t you give it up?” The poor old schoolmaster said, “If this earth were all gold, if all the stars were pearls, and if that golden globe and those pearly stars were all mine, I would give them all up to have my wife and children with me. I would rather stay in this prison, and live on bread and water with my wife and children, than live like a king without them. But I will not for the sake of pearls, or gold, or wife, or children, give up my religion, for I love my God more than wife, or child, or gold, or pearls.” But the inquisitors’ hearts did not soften a bit; they went on inflicting more tortures, till the man died on the rack. He loved God with “all his mind, and soul, and heart, and strength.” Do you think we could go to the death for Him? If we love Him, we shall every day do something for Him. What have you done this day to show your love to God?J. Vaughan, M. A.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon November 8, 1857
Scripture: Mark 12:30 – From: New Park Street Pulpit Volume 3
Our Saviour said, “This is the first and great commandment.” It is “the first” commandment—the first for antiquity, for this is older than even the ten commandments of the written law. Before God said, “Thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal,” this law was one of the commands of his universe; for this was binding upon the angels when man was not created. It was not necessary for God to say to the angels, “Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not steal;” for such things to them were very probably impossible; but he did doubtless say to them, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart;” and when first Gabriel sprang out of his native nothingness at the fiat of God, this command was binding on him. This is “the first commandment,” then, for antiquity. It was binding upon Adam in the garden; even before the creation of Eve, his wife, God had commanded this; before there was a necessity for any other command this was written upon the very tablets of his heart—“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God.” […]