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Thomas Boston – The Evidences and Causes of Decay of Religion in the Soul Discovered

Whoso looks on the face of the generation this day, in respect of religion, may behold a lamentable decay in spirituals therein. Great things has God done for us again and again, not only of old, but of late: but alas! amidst all our repeated deliverances, we are like to pine away under spiritual plagues. O that on such solemn occasions we were stirred up to “strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die.”

George Whitefield – The True Way of Keeping Christmas

They cannot be said truly to celebrate this time, who spend their time eating and drinking to excess. This is a season when persons are apt to indulge themselves in all manner of luxury: iniquity now abounds apace; nothing is scarcely to be seen but things of the greatest extravagance imaginable; not only for the necessities of the body, but to pamper it in lust, to feed its vices, to make it go on in sin, to be a means for gratifying our carnal appetite; and this is a means to make us forget the Lord of glory.

The original narration of this was 15 years ago, it was time for a new narration.

The True Way of Keeping Christmas

The Life Character and Writings of Matthew Henry – J B Williams – 1828

1701  Diary: By way of lamentation and humiliation. “ I have reason to lament greatly the strength of my own corruptions, and weakness of my graces. By reason of the former, I am as smoking flax, by reason of the latter as a bruised reed.
I am still full of vain thoughts, and empty of good thoughts; many of my secret prayers are wretchedly disfigured and spoiled, by a multitude of distractions and diversions of mind; the flesh and the things of the flesh still minded, to the prejudice of the Spirit, and the neglect of the things of the Spirit.
“ I have lost a great deal of precious time, and not filled it up, or else I might have gone forwarder in my notes on the Evangelist John“ Sins easily beset me, and I do not the things that I would. “ I have very much reason to bewail my manifold defects in my ministerial work, my coldness in prayer, that I speak not of the things of God with more clearness and concern. 0, how many, how great are the iniquities of my holy things.

The Life and Diary of Matthew Henry

John Cooke of Maidenhead – Letter to a Despairing Backslider. 1792

My dear sir, you form an exception against yourself, fearing that you are not a backslider, as that character you think applies to those, and those only, who are real believers, and suppose from the peculiarity of your sins, that you cannot be a partaker of the grace of God. This is founded in mistake, as the sin of backsliding is charged on the Israelites as a body; and many of them whose hearts were unrenewed, were guilty of backsliding from their principles, their external worship, their moral conduct, and their engagements, even to Idolatry: but they were all commanded “to return.” But even admitting that your profession has been hypocritical, or that, in your best estate, you deceived yourself for years, are you, therefore, bound to despair, as one beyond the reach of mercy?

JohnCooke_Letters_RepentantBackslider

Jonathan Edwards – A Reproof of Those Who Carelessly Neglect the Salvation of Christ

From the History of Redemption

Sinners sometimes are ready to wonder why unbelief should be looked upon as a great sin; but if you consider what you have heard, how can you wonder? If this Saviour is so great, and this work so great, and such great things have been done in order to it; truly there is no cause of wonder that the rejection of this Saviour is so provoking to God.

Reproof of Those Who Reject Christ’s Salvation

John Angell James – Motives to Ministerial Earnestness – 1847

What is the purpose for which this truth, so grand, so awful, so sublime, is revealed by God, and to be preached by us? Not simply to gratify curiosity; not merely to conduct the mind seeking for knowledge, to the fountains where it may slake its thirst; no, but to save the immortal soul from sin, and death, and hell, and conduct it to the abodes of a glorious immortality. The man who can handle such topics, and for such a purpose, in an unimpassioned, careless manner, and an icy heart, is the most astounding instance of guilty lukewarmness in the universe: to his self-contradiction no parallel can be found: and he remains a fearful instance how far it is possible for the human mind to go in the most obvious, palpable, and guilty inconsistency.

Motives to Ministerial Earnestness