It will thus be seen that there are two chief dangers concerning which the preacher must be on his guard while endeavoring to expound this doctrine. First, while pressing the utter inability of the natural man to meet the just claims of God or even so much as perform a single spiritual duty, he must not overthrow or even weaken the equally evident fact of man’s moral responsibility. Second, in his zeal to leave unimpaired the moral agency and personal accountability of the sinner, he must not repudiate his total depravity and death in trespasses and sins. This is no easy task, and here as everywhere, the minister is made to feel his need of seeking wisdom from above.
Man’s Total Inability – A Word To Preachers
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!
This Year Thou Shalt Die
One midnight ” (towards the end of his life, too) Shepard was found lying on his face in ” a swoon of sweat and tears,” with a copy of the New England Gazette crushed together in his hands. He had just been reading an “especially beautiful sermon of Mr. Thomas Hooker’s! ” And Principal Whyte says that until I see myself to be ” the most to be abhorred, the most malicious, the most wolf-like, the most inwardly rent and distorted, the most hateful and the most hating, the most self-tormenting and the most Shepard-Iike sinner
on this side hell,” I must not pass judgment on Mr. T. S. for
his jealousy of Mr. T. H. Agreed. ” O my ransomed soul! ” Shepard cried on his death-bed, ” one hour in heaven will make me forget all my hell upon earth! ”
I Abhor Myself
“I have greatly longed of late for a broken heart, and to lie low before God; and, when I ask for humility, I cannot bear the thoughts of being no more humble than other Christians. It seems to me, that though their degrees of humility may be suitable for them, yet it would be a vile self-exaltation in me, not to be the lowest in humility of all mankind. Others speak of their longing to be ‘humbled to the dust;’ that may be a proper expression for them, but I always think of myself, that I ought, and it is an expression that has long been natural for me to use in prayer, ‘to lie infinitely low before God.’
The Diary and Reflections of Jonathan Edwards
Commentary on Ezekiel 36:31 and following
God’s loving-kindnesses and mercies work more with sinners than His judgments do. God’s favor sooner melt’s hard hearts than the fire of His indignation. His kindness is very penetrative, it gets into the hearts of sinners sooner than His threats and frowns. The milk and honey of the gospel affect the hearts of sinners more than the gall and wormwood of the law; Christ on Mount Zion brings more to repentance than Moses on Mount Sinai.
You Shall Loathe Yourselves in Your Own Sight
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.
He That Chastises the Heathen, Shall Not He Correct His People?
I had been long vexed with this fear, and was scarce able to take one step more, just about the same place where I received my other encouragement, these words broke in upon my mind, “Compel them to come in, that my house may be filled”; “and yet there is room” (Luke 14:22,23). These words, but especially them, “And yet there is room” were sweet words to me; for, truly, I thought that by them I saw there was place enough in heaven for me; and, moreover, that when the Lord Jesus did speak these words, he then did think of me; and that he knowing that the time would come that I should be afflicted with fear that there was no place left for me in his bosom, did before speak this word, and leave it upon record, that I might find help thereby against this vile temptations. ‘This, I then verily believed.’
The Conversion Testimony of John Bunyan
The Right Method for a Settled Peace of Conscience and Spiritual Comfort. ” God hath sent me to you, with that joyful message, which needs no more but your believing entertainment, to make it sufficient to raise you from the dust, and banish those terrors and troubles from your hearts, and help you to live like the sons of God. He commandeth me to tell you, that he takes notice of your sorrows. He stands by when you see him not, and say, he hath forsaken you. He minds you with greatest tenderness, when you say, he hath forgotten you.”
The Right Method for a Settled Peace of Conscience 1
This narration is from two sermons (1) Divine Correction and (2) The Unbelief of Thomas, from Collected Works of William Jay Volume 2. Spurgeon wrote in his autobiography, ”
While I was living at Cambridge, I once heard Mr. Jay, of Bath, preach. His text was, “Let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ.” I remember with what dignity he preached, and yet how simply. He made one remark which deeply impressed my youthful mind, and which I have never forgotten; it was this, “You do need a Mediator between yourselves and God, but you do not need a Mediator between yourselves and Christ; you may come to Him just as you are.”
Divine Correction / The Unbelief of Thomas
From Isaiah 29:10 The Lord has poured out upon you a spirit of a deep sleep. Preached January 27th, 1647 on a day appointed for their solemn and public humiliation.
A Sleeping Sickness – The Distemper of the Times