The book, The Church in Earnest, was a followup book to An Earnest Ministry. It was published in 1850. This chapter is the first part of his exhortations to the churches in Revelation through Thyatira.
In this solemn lesson, the story of the casting out of Ignorance from the gate of heaven is explained. Quotes are given from Jonathan Edwards’s sermon Sinners in Zion Tenderly Warned, John Bunyan’s Barren Fig Tree, or the Downfall of the Fruitless Professor, and Samuel Davies, The Resurrection of the Dead. So as to not leave the hearers in despair, the lesson is finished off with a reading of The Holy War, Emmanuel Addresses the Inhabitants of Mansoul.
In this discussion we cover the characters of Simple, Sloth, and Presumption, then Formalist and Hypocrisy. We also discuss at length the temporary loss of assurance of salvation and distinguish it from God’s hiding of His face from His children to teach them to not live on their frames and feelings.
This sermon was published in the magazine called The National Preacher, for the year 1832. It hardly has its equal, in my humble opinion, for searching the profession and thinking forward to the great sifting on judgment day. “It is not this withering passion alone that will be tested by the gospel. It is adapted to try the hypocrite and all his subterfuges, and all his mental reservations; in all his evasions to escape the simple and decided duties of Christian piety. Every demand of truth or duty brings his character out. The doctrines of the gospel disturb or discuss him. Those solemn and awful, and yet tender truths, which go beyond the coldest moral sentiments, and which speak of the just government of God, of sovereignty, of election, of hell, of holiness, and prayer, trouble him. Those expressions of pure and advanced piety which speak of the higher joys of the Christian and tell of communion with God, disquiet him. Those sentiments which speak of active piety, which call on him for decided zeal in the cause of God, irritate him. Those assaults which religion makes on his corrupted feelings, those reproofs what she administers when he conforms to the world, those denunciations which thunder along his path when he lives just like other men, and is ashamed of the religion which he professes to love, provoke him. His mind is ruffled by the demands of a life of sincere and prayerful piety. So Job asks, respecting the hypocrite, “will he always call upon God?”
Ye men of business and of might, in the high meridian of your
course. What is your life ? Were we to make up an estimate from your daily conversation, from the eagerness of your worldly pursuits, from your extensive plans, and far-reaching expectations,we must suppose you exempted from the common lot of mortality. But no estimate can be more delusive. Strip your life then of these fictitious and imposing circumstances, and what is it but a vapor ? What obstacle does your fine constitution oppose to the ravages of disease ?—to the stroke of death? How many firmer have fallen in a few days, or hours?
This reading is from Richard Baxter’s (1615-1691) The Christian Directory.
It is a woeful thing to consider what slight thoughts the most have of this thing. So men can keep themselves from sin itself in open action, they are content, they scarce aim at more; on any temptation in the world, all sorts of men will venture at any time. How will young men put themselves on company, any society; at first, being delighted with evil company, then with the evil of the company! How vain are all admonitions and exhortations to them to take heed of such persons, debauched in themselves, corrupters of others, destroyers of souls!
The question very naturally arises: How comes it to pass that this knowledge which Divine inspiration postulates, and affirms to be innate and constitutional to the human mind, should become so vitiated? The majority of mankind are idolaters and polytheists, and have been for thousands of years. Can it be that the truth that there is only one God is native to the human spirit, and that the pagan “knows” this God?
By applying grace and mercy to an unmortified sin, or one not sincerely endeavored to be mortified, is this deceit carried on. This is a sign of a heart greatly entangled with the love of sin. Also, added to this narration, is the chapter “A Heart of Flesh – Richard Alleine.
The life & death of Mr. Joseph Alleine, late teacher of the church at Taunton, in Somersetshire, assistant to Mr. Newton whereunto are annexed diverse Christian letters of his, full of spiritual instructions tending to the promoting of the power of Godliness, both in persons and families, and his funeral sermon, preached by Mr. George Newton. – His letters, dedicated to Pastor Mike Waters, a dear friend, who loves these letters and read them to his children.