“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.’
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.
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.
You see multitudes lying in a deep sleep in sin all around us! You see them eager in the pursuits of the vanities of time—but stupidly unconcerned about the important realities of the eternal world just before them! So few are concerned what shall become of them—when all their connections with earth and flesh must be broken, and they must take their flight into strange, unknown regions! So few lamenting their sins! So few crying for mercy and a new heart! So few flying to Jesus, or even sensible of the importance of a Mediator, in a religion for sinners!
And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the Lord, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the Lord. 1 Samuel 7:6
“If those defamed servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, will be a little patient, He will at last give an honorable resurrection to their names that had so much dirt cast upon them. When the names of their envious accusers will either lie buried in oblivion or be mentioned no otherwise than Judas in the Gospel, or Pilate in the Apostle’s Creed. ”
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. ”
Readings from the book, Dying Testimonies of the Saved and Unsaved, Solomon B Shaw 1898.
From the sermon, “consider whether you do not horribly defile and profane the public prayers and other ordinances. Notwithstanding all your pretenses, and what you seem to hold forth by your attendance on them, do you not all the while live in known wickedness against God? For all your pretenses of respect to God, of humiliation for sin, and desires to avoid it, have you not come directly from the allowed practice of known sin to God’s ordinances, and did not at all repent of what you had done, nor at all sorry for it at the very time when you stood before God, making these pretenses, and even had no design of reformation, but intended to return to the same practice again after your departure from the presence of God?”
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.