John Cooke of Maidenhead – Letter to a Despairing Backslider. 1792

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?