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?
Samuel Davies died 35 days after preaching this sermon at the age of just 37. ” Jeremiah 28:16
You must learn to think, to think seriously and solemnly upon your danger, and the necessity of a speedy escape. You must retire from the crowd, from talk, business, and amusement, and converse with yourselves alone in pensive solitude. You must learn to think seriously upon the most melancholy and alarming subjects: your present guilt and depravity, and your dreadful doom so near at hand, if you continue in your present condition.
The mind, fond of ease, and impatient of such mortifying and painful thoughts, will recoil, and fly off, and seek for refuge in every trifle! But you must arrest and confine it to these disagreeable subjects; you must force upon it this necessary discomfort—just as you may sometimes take bitter medicines when your health requires it. There is not any moroseness in this advice; no ill-natured design upon your pleasure and happiness. On the other hand, it is intended to procure you more pleasure and happiness than you can possibly obtain any other way! It is intended to prevent many sorrowful days and years, nay, a complete eternity of misery!
In this frightening exposition, the Puritan Thomas Goodwin – 1600-1680 discusses the profession that only results in bearing thorns. A comparison is made between Hebrews 6:7:8 and the Parable of the Sower – the seed falling among the thorns and never bringing forth fruit to perfection, but only thorns. This exposition is in The Work of the Holy Spirit, collected works volume 6.
She was much weaker from the loss of blood, and her countenance bespoke the dreadful horror of her mind, which no doubt hastened her speedy dissolution. Oh asking her how she felt, she answered, ‘Miserable! miserable!’ I then repeated some encouraging passages of Scripture to backsliders, but alas! all in vain; her soul labored under the greatest agonies: she exclaimed, ‘ O! how I have been deceived! When I was in health I delayed repentance from time to time; O ! that 1 had my time to live over again. O! that I had obeyed the Gospel; but now I must burn in hell forever. O! I cannot bear it, I can not bear it.’ ” In this manner, she continued breathing outmost horrible expressions.
The people of Judah and Jerusalem were followed with the most terrible judgments. They were beset by their enemies, the Chaldeans. They were besieged in their cities and there were to suffer the utmost difficulties so as to be brought to kill and eat the flesh of their own children, and many perished with famine. The tongues of the sucking children stuck to the roof of their mouth for thirst. The young children asked for bread and no man gave it to them. Their flesh became black like an oven because of the terrible famine.
Discovering the Soundness or Corruption of Men’s Hearts by the Manner in Which They Regard Indwelling Sin – From the Book, The Touchstone of Sincerity … 1698
They undoubtedly have graceless hearts who are distressed at the discovery of their sins by others, but who are not troubled on account of their guilt. Multitudes there are of this class: they are not awed by the consideration that God sees them; they are concerned chiefly that their appearance before men may be reputable; they scruple not to commit ten sins against God in order to hide one from the eyes of men.
He feeds on ashes: a deceived heart has turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?”
We have another class of persons, living in our midst, who pretend to have no religion at all, but who, in fact, have a superstition of their own—I mean the men who generally class themselves amongst Freethinkers, the people who will not believe the Bible, and who cannot walk in the narrow way in which their grandmothers walked, because it would imply a sort of slavery if they were to walk in the way of the truth. They think they are bold and brave men, who glory in dashing away the fetters of right, and doing wrong, because of the freedom of it.
You never did an action, however private — but Jesus saw it. You never spoke a word, no, not even in a whisper — but Jesus heard it. You never wrote a letter, even to your dearest friend — but Jesus read it. You never thought a thought, however secret — but Jesus was familiar with it. His eyes are as a flaming fire. The darkness is no darkness with Him. All things are open and manifest before Him. He says to every one, ‘I know your works’.
Those whom the Lord has sent into his vineyard, and fitted for that great work, they cannot be satisfied with their wages; no, not that great ‘recompense of reward’ which he has promised them, unless they see the success of their labors. If their hearts be upright before God, and of a temper answerable to their calling, they value nothing like the fruits of their ministry, how much approbation, how much love soever they have, how free and liberal encouragements and supports soever they meet with. ”
The false convert’s resolutions against sin are defective. In their rise. They issue not from a renewed heart, from a principle of holiness and love to Christ, but from apprehensions of unpleasant effects and future damnation. Or from the restraining power of God, which keeps them from purposing to sin rather than moves them to full resolution against it: so that their resolutions are negative rather than positive. Thus it was with Balaam, who said not “I will not” but “I cannot” (Num. 22;18, 38)-he had a mind to, but the Lord prevented him.