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.
Even where there is sufficient light and conviction as to reveal to sinners that they come short of the Divine rule, and where they perceive that what the Word insists is necessary to salvation is not found in them, instead of abandoning their false hopes they persuade themselves that God is more merciful than the Scriptures represent Him to be. It is true, says the sinner, in such a case, that the way to heaven is a narrow one and that God’s kingdom can only be entered “through much tribulation” (Acts 14:22), but God will save me even though I fail here and there and I he lacking in this and that.
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.”
A number of prayers edited and included in the Valley of Vision, by Arthur Bennett, are taken from The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul – Phillip Doddridge. Here are the actual unedited prayers from the book, but in more modern English. Sample, ”
“Blessed Jesus, is it indeed thus? Is it not the fiction of the human mind? Surely it is not! What human mind could have invented or conceived it? It is a plain, a certain fact, that thou didst leave the magnificence and joy of the heavenly world in compassion to such a wretch as I! Oh! hadst thou from that height of dignity and felicity only looked down upon me for one moment, and sent some gracious word to me for my direction and comfort, even by the least of thy servants, justly might I have prostrated myself in grateful admiration, and have kissed ‘the very footsteps’ of him ‘that published the salvation.’
O the purity of that holiness which chose rather to punish the sins of the elect in His only begotten Son, than suffer them to go unpunished! O the abyss of His love to the world, for which He spared not His dearest Son, in order to spare sinners! O the depth of the riches of unsearchable wisdom, by which He exercises mercy towards the penitent guilty, without any stain to the honor of the most impartial Judge! O the treasures of love in Christ, whereby He became a curse for us, in order to deliver us therefrom! How becoming the justified soul, who is ready to dissolve in the sense of this love, with full exultation to sing a new song, a song of mutual return of love to a justifying God.
Pink wrote, “But let it be pointed out at the onset that, any reader who has never seen himself under the white light of God’s holiness, and who has never felt His Word cutting him to the very quick, will be unable to fully enter into the force of what we are about to write. Yea, in all probability, he who is unregenerate is likely to take decided exception unto much of what will be said, denying that any such difficulty exists in the matter of a merciful God pardoning one of His offending creatures. ”
Pink wrote, “There was a time, not so long ago, when the blessed truth of Justification was one of the best known doctrines of the Christian faith, when it was regularly expounded by the preachers, and when the rank and file of church-goers were familiar with its leading aspects. But now, alas, a generation has arisen which is well-nigh totally ignorant of this precious theme.” In 32 years of narrating, attention has been given numerous times to the new birth, the doctrine of regeneration and also sanctification. Because of recent studies on the heresies of the Federal Vision Theology and The New Perspective on Paul, I wanted to finally narrate some chapters on justification by faith.