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
Philip Henry, the father of Matthew, was a close friend of Richard Baxter who was imprisoned by the infamous Judge Jeffries. Matthew was attending school and these are some of the letters from 1685 and 1686.
Some Letters of Matthew Henry
“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
1701 Diary: By way of lamentation and humiliation. “ I have reason to lament greatly the strength of my own corruptions, and weakness of my graces. By reason of the former, I am as smoking flax, by reason of the latter as a bruised reed.
I am still full of vain thoughts, and empty of good thoughts; many of my secret prayers are wretchedly disfigured and spoiled, by a multitude of distractions and diversions of mind; the flesh and the things of the flesh still minded, to the prejudice of the Spirit, and the neglect of the things of the Spirit.
“ I have lost a great deal of precious time, and not filled it up, or else I might have gone forwarder in my notes on the Evangelist John“ Sins easily beset me, and I do not the things that I would. “ I have very much reason to bewail my manifold defects in my ministerial work, my coldness in prayer, that I speak not of the things of God with more clearness and concern. 0, how many, how great are the iniquities of my holy things.
The Life and Diary of Matthew Henry
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.
That Which Bears Thorns is Rejected
My dear sir, you form an exception against yourself, fearing that you are not a backslider, as that character you think applies to those, and those only, who are real believers, and suppose from the peculiarity of your sins, that you cannot be a partaker of the grace of God. This is founded in mistake, as the sin of backsliding is charged on the Israelites as a body; and many of them whose hearts were unrenewed, were guilty of backsliding from their principles, their external worship, their moral conduct, and their engagements, even to Idolatry: but they were all commanded “to return.” But even admitting that your profession has been hypocritical, or that, in your best estate, you deceived yourself for years, are you, therefore, bound to despair, as one beyond the reach of mercy?
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
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 Horrors of Unpardoned Sin
From the History of Redemption
Sinners sometimes are ready to wonder why unbelief should be looked upon as a great sin; but if you consider what you have heard, how can you wonder? If this Saviour is so great, and this work so great, and such great things have been done in order to it; truly there is no cause of wonder that the rejection of this Saviour is so provoking to God.
Reproof of Those Who Reject Christ’s Salvation