The title I have given this chapter is one of a number of chapters in a book from 1850 called God Speaking by Facts. This chapter is from a book called Persuasives to Early Piety, John Gregory Pike – 1829. But the other tracts in this collection are also very moving. Especially “The Praying Mother” and “The Danger of a Death Bed Repentance.” This was the first book that I gave to my wife the year we got married. Now, 22 years later, I drew her attention to it again as the Praying Mother chapter will give her hope. – The Narrator.
This aversion and loathing will oftentimes discover itself in the affections. A secret striving will be in them about close and cordial dealing with God, unless the hand of God in his Spirit be high and strong upon his soul.
let men examine themselves what number of these vain, useless thoughts night and day do rove up and down in their minds. If now it be apprehended too severe, that men’s thoughts of spiritual things should exceed them that are employed about their lawful callings, let them consider what proportion they bear unto those that are vain and useless. Do not many give more time unto them than they do unto holy meditations, without an endeavor to mortify the one or to stir up and enliven the other? are they not more wonted to their seasons than holy thoughts are? And shall we suppose that those with whom it is so are spiritually minded?”
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?”