This is the 1st of two lessons on Christian and Faithful in Vanity Fair. Such things are discussed such as the error of holiness in Fundamental Baptist churches compared to true sanctification as taught in our confessions. The lesson contains a quote from Increase Mather, Samuel Pike and Samuel Hayward Cases of Conscience, and the introduction to John Owen’s Grace and Duty of Being Spiritually Minded to check if Vanity Fair, with its allurements, has entered into our affections.
The young pastor, Thomas Lister, died when he was just 27. He died as pastor in the same city that Robert M McCheyne died when he was just 29. In the first dialogue, the pastor – Robert Shirra, 1724-1803, discovers that the young pastor is completely without assurance of salvation and is convinced that he is but a hypocrite. By the end of the 7th dialogue, he died in the full assurance of his faith, but anxious for his church that he only lived to pastor for 4 years. The counsel of Robert Shirra is so encouraging, edifying, and theologically sound.
The biography and remains of Robert Shirra can be found online.
This is a sermon on the seed that fell into the stony ground, the plant has no root and soon withers away. It is a more complete narration than the previous narration done on this text. That narration dealt with the seed among thorns, this the seed that has feel into stony ground.
In this lesson the conversation is continued between Faithful and Christian. Faithful recounts his interaction with Adam the First, Moses, Discontent, and then they both encounter Talkative. It includes an introduction to Jonathan Edwards on The Religious Affections, what are NOT signs that a person has holy affections.
SHOWING WHAT ARE NO CERTAIN SIGNS THAT RELIGIOUS AFFECTIONS ARE GRACIOUS, OR THAT THEY ARE NOT.
That religious affections are very great, or raised very high, is no sign
- That they have great effects on the body, is no sign
III. That they cause those who have them to be fluent, fervent, and abundant, in talking of the things of religion, is no sign
- That persons did not excite them of their own contrivance and by their own strength, is no sign
- That they come with texts of Scripture, remarkably brought to the mind, is no sign
- That there is an appearance of love in them, is no sign
VII. Persons having religious affections of many kinds, accompanying one another, is no sign
VIII. That comforts and joys seem to follow awakenings and convictions of conscience, in a certain order, is no sign
- That they dispose persons to spend much time in religion, and to be zealously engaged in the external duties of worship, is no sign
- That they much dispose persons with their mouths to praise and glorify God, is no sign
- That they make persons that have them exceeding confident that what they experience is divine, and that they are in a good estate, is no sign
XII. That the outward manifestations of them, and the relation persons give of them, are very affecting and pleasing to the godly, is no sign
I do not only want the assurance of God’s love, and of mine own salvation; but I have wanted assurance this two, this four, this six, this eight, this ten years: and I have continued so long doubting in unbelief, and my heart is so hardened with it, that I am afraid I shall never be healed or saved. Oh, I have sat under such and such precious gospel means, and if ever I should have had assurance of God’s love, I should have had it before this. I have sat under many a comfortable sermon, and under the gospel preached many years, and yet have no assurance of my salvation; surely if the Lord would ever have bestowed assurance upon me, I should have had it ere this: but still unbelieving, and still do I want assurance, and my heart hardened under unbelief, and therefore I am thus discouraged. Have I not cause and reason now?
Answered in this reading.
From the Puritan Fast Day Sermons, preached after the death of Charles I. The subject is that the sins of previous monarchs may still be visited on a present generation though a godly ruler is in place. So in the case of the days of Josiah, because of Manasseh. In our own nation, the previous administration.
From The Digital Puritan site: Patrick Gillespie (1617–1675) was born 2 March 1617, and educated at St. Andrews University, where he graduated in 1635. In 1642, he became minister of the second charge of Kirkcaldy, and of the High Church of Glasgow in 1648.
In this Sunday School, we discuss the story of Pope and Pagan, the pilgrimmage of Christian and differences in Christian Experience. The class ended with a solemn warning to avoid the temptation of the seductress woman, Wanton.
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