Robert Haldane _ That Which I Would, I Do Not! Romans 7:14-25

“Paul, notwithstanding all the grace with which he was favored, found a principle of evil operating so strongly in his heart, that he denominates it a law always present and always active to retard him in his course. He was not, however, under its dominion. He was in Christ Jesus a new creature, born of God, renewed in the spirit of his mind. He delighted in the holy law of God in all its extent and spirituality, while at the same time he felt the influence of the other hateful principle — that tendency to evil which characterizes the old man, — which waged perpetual war against the work of grace in his soul, impelling him to the commission of sin, and constantly striving to bring him under its power. Nothing can more clearly demonstrate the fallen state of man, and the entire corruption of his nature, then the perpetual and irreconcilable warfare which that corruption maintains in the hearts of all believers against ‘the Divine nature’ of which they are made partakers; and nothing can more forcibly enhance the value of the Gospel, and prove its necessity in order to salvation, or more fully illustrate the great truth which Paul had been illustrating, that by the deeds of the law no flesh shall be justified in the sight of God.”

John Owen – That Which Bears Thorns and Briers…Whose End Is To Be Burned. Hebrews 6:8

An examination of the signs that a professing Christian, who bears no fruit, is being given up of God to final induration, or hardness of heart.

Barrenness under the dispensation of the gospel is always accompanied by an increase of sin. The ground which brings not forth “herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed,” thrusts forth “thorns and briers.” Let it be observed, that spiritual barrenness never goes alone. Abounding in sin will accompany it, and does so. How doth God thus judicially give up persons despising the gospel unto their own hearts’lusts, to do the things that are not convenient?’ I answer He doth it, by leaving them wholly to themselves, taking off all effectual restraint from them.

Ordinarily, God proceeds to the rejection and destruction of barren professors by degrees, although they are seldom sensible of it until they fall irrecoverably into ruin. This ground here is first “disapproved” or “rejected;” then it is “nigh to cursing;” — the curse ensues; after which it is “burned.” And God thus proceeds with them,

Robert Walker – The Awful Destiny of the Wicked – 1760

Joel Hawes, in 1854, wrote ” The sermons of Rev. Robert Walker, in two volumes, I regard as among the best in the language. Thoroughly evangelical in doctrine; deeply imbued with the spirit and phraseology of the scriptures; logical in arrangement; perspicuous in style, and faithful in application,—they may be recommended as models of correct sermonizing to young ministers, and to all as replete with Biblical instruction, and of excellent use for general religious reading.”

The eminent author of the following discourses was at the time of his death and had been for near thirty years, pastor over the High Church of Edinburgh. For nearly twenty-five years he was a colleague with the celebrated Dr. Blair. He died on the 4th of April, 1783, immediately after
preaching in the morning, in apparently his usual health.

Walker, ” This, it must be confessed, is a gloomy subject ; but gloomy as it is, we must not forbear to press it on your attention. The same God who commands us to say to the righteous, It shall be well with him, commands us likewise to deliver this awful warning : ” It shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow ; because he feareth not before God.”

Obadiah Sedgewick – Christ’s Counsel to His Languishing Church of Sardis – 1640

These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

This book was very rare, but now it is available to many.

Diary of Cotton Mather for 1691

Mather very early in his life cultivated the habit of daily communion with God. Whilst still a school-boy he encouraged his friends to pray, composing prayers for them to use. He read his Bible diligently, and when fourteen years old began to keep days of secret fasting and prayer. Before he came to the Lord’s Table for the first time, he examined himself concerning his faith, his repentance and his love for God, setting down in his diary his thoughts on these things. Indeed his diary records many of the thoughts and prayers which arose in his heart day by day. Following his ordination he wrote of his fear that he might succumb to pride, analysing the nature and workings of pride and the steps he should take with God’s help to overcome it. At about the same time he laid down guidelines for his own ministry in respect of preaching and pastoral work. Each day he would ask himself “What good may I do this day?” seeking out every opportunity to be of service for the Lord.

Jonathan Edwards – Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God. Section 1

There was scarcely a single person in the town, old or young, left unconcerned about the great things of the eternal world. Those who were wont to be the vainest and loosest, and those who had been disposed to think and speak lightly of vital and experimental religion, were now generally subject to great awakenings. And the work of conversion was carried on in a most astonishing manner, and increased more and more; souls did as it were come by flocks to Jesus Christ.

Jonathan Edwards – Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God. Section 2 B

When awakenings first begin, their consciences are commonly most exercised about their outward vicious course, or other acts of sin; but afterwards are much more burdened with a sense of heart-sins, the dreadful corruption of their nature, their enmity against God, the pride of their hearts, their unbelief, their rejection of Christ, the stubbornness and obstinacy of their wills; and the like. In many, God makes much use of their own experience, in the course of their awakenings and endeavors after saving good, to convince them of their own vile emptiness and universal depravity.

Andrew Fuller – Symptoms of a Backsliding Spirit – 1801

Every departure from God must not be reckoned a mere imperfection
which is common to good men. We are extremely apt, in certain cases, to flatter our selves that our spots are only the spots of God’s children, or such as the best of men are subject to, and therefore to conclude that there is nothing very dangerous about them. If, after having been repeatedly drawn into sin by associating in certain companies, or engaging in certain pursuits, we can nevertheless run into them again without fear, we cannot possibly have repented of our deeds. Nay more, though we should fear to plunge ourselves into temptation, yet if when providence brings us into such situations and companies, our hearts secretly rejoice in it, this is no less an evidence of our impenitent state than the other. True repentance will not only teach us to shun the way of evil, but to be averse to every avenue that leads to it. If therefore, we either run into temptation or are glad when we are led into it, we are beyond all doubt under the power of it.

Robert Bolton – False Preachers Laying Pillows Under the Elbows of Hypocrites. 1620

Say unto them which daub it with untempered morter, that it shall fall:  Ezekiel 13:11

Hear how they (false prophets) are branded in the Book of God, calling
them, “pillow-sewers” under men’s elbows (Ezek.xiii, 18); that being laid soft and locked fast in the cradle of security, they may sink suddenly into the pit of destruction before they are aware. “Criers of Peace, peace, when there is
no peace” (, 14) Healers of the hurt of their hearers with sweet words (Jer. vi, 14), while their souls are bleeding by the wounds of sin unto eternal death. Preachers of smooth things (Isa. xxx, 10); which kind of men, the greatest part, and all worldlings, wonderfully affect and applaud, though
to their own everlasting undoing.”

“Daubers with untempered mortar” (Ezek.xiii, 11), who erect in the conceits of those who are willing to be deluded by them (Pharisees ai the best) a rotten building of false hope, like a ” mud-wall without straw, or mortar made only of sand without lime to bind it,” which in fair weather
makes a fair show for a while; but when an abundance of rainfalls and winter comes, it molders away and turns to mire in the streets.