All posts by The Narrator

William Reid _ Authentic Records of Revival – Ireland 1859 – Straid

As many of the converts come from a distance and desire to remain all day, they sometimes receive refreshments, to help them in their spiritual desire for the means of grace. At last Sabbath morning’s service, the house was crowded, being communion Sabbath. Most of the recent converts sat down for the first time with us at the Lord’s table. In all, twenty-seven have been added to our fellowship. May the Divine Head make them faithful to His truth. The service in the evening, being very large, was held on the green. Some of the converts told us of their conversion, while other friends prayed. I gave two addresses and prayed, during which the whole assembly seemed to be filled by one intense feeling of anxiety. Numbers cried for mercy. None would consent to depart until the morning, when they retired in their usual way, singing songs of praise, many accompanying, full of the joys of salvation, having found peace with God. And not a few were converted on their way home, having carried the arrows of conviction from the meeting.

John Owen – Makes Straight Paths For Your Feet

Commentary on Hebrews 12:13

To make halts or balks in our way of profession, or crooked paths, in neglect of duty or compliances with the world, in time of trial and persecution, is an evidence of an evil frame of heart, and of a dangerous state or condition. When we see persons in such a state, it is our duty to be very careful so to behave ourselves as not to give any occasion to their further miscarriages, but rather to endeavor their healing.

Edward Payson – His Diary – 1806

March 12. Never appeared so exceedingly vile and loathsome to myself as I did this day. It seemed as if I could not endure being near myself. No words could express anything like the sense I had of my unworthiness. It seemed as if I could not, for shame, ask God to save me. I felt like sinking into the dust, in the idea that his pure eye was fixed upon me, and that saints and angels saw how vile I was. ” March 15. Sabbath. Rose very early, and was favored with sweet fervency and communion with God in prayer. Went to bed, and lay till morning. Enjoyed great liberty in prayer several times before meeting.

Phillip Doddridge – Prayers for Assistance to Live the Christian Life – 1745

From the Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul

Surely, if ever I knew the appetite of hunger, my soul hungers after righteousness, (Matt. 5:6) and longs for a greater conformity to thy blessed nature and holy will. If ever my palate felt thirst, ‘my soul thirsteth for God, even for the living God,’ (Psa. 42:2) and panteth for the more abundant communication of his favor. If ever this body, when wearied with labor or journeys, knew what it was to wish for the refreshment of my bed, and rejoice to rest there, my soul, with sweet acquiescence, rests upon thy gracious bosom, O my heavenly Father, and returns to its repose in the embraces of its God, ‘who hath dealt so bountifully with it.’

James Janeway – A Token For Children – 1 – 1671

From the British Library, ” 13 children die within the pages of this children’s book. It’s perhaps hard to imagine the appeal for children of accounts of other children dying, but when this book was first published, in 1671-72, attitudes to death were very different. Child mortality was high, attendance at church was governed by law, and belief in heaven and hell as real places rather than imaginary concepts was the norm. James Janeway wrote this book to provide examples from the lives and ‘joyful deaths’ of children so that the reader could learn how to avoid Hell and attain Heaven.

Andrew Fuller – The Dangerous Effects of Backsliding`

Andrew Fuller states: “I shall describe the nature and different species of backsliding from God–notice the symptoms of it–trace its injurious and dangerous effects–and point out the means of recovery.” When backsliding is identified: “The same way in which, if we are true Christians, we first found rest to our souls must be pursued in order to re-recover it; namely, by repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ.” Andrew Fuller describes the many mindsets and rationalizing of unrepentant sinful behavior and how to overcome it, which is sure to help any earnest believer.

Edward Reynolds – The Woeful and Desperate Case of the Physician’s Patient.

From the sermons of Reynolds on Hosea 14 ” I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them.”

The poor woman in the gospel, which had an issue of blood, “spent all that she had, on physicians, and was never the better:” —so poor sinners empty all the powers of soul, of body, of time, of estate, everything within their reach, upon their lusts; and are as unsatisfied at last as at the first. Like a silk-worm, which works out his own bowels into such a mass, herein
himself is buried; it weareth them out, and sucketh away the radical strength in the service of it; and yet never giveth them over, but, as Pharaoh’s task-masters exacted the brick when they had taken away the straw, so lust doth consume and weaken natural strength, in the obedience of it; and yet when nature is exhausted, the strength of lust is as great, and the commands as tyrannous as ever before. We are to distinguish between the vital force of the faculties, and the activity of lust which sets them on work: that decays and hastens to death, but sin retains its strength and vigour still: nothing kills that but the blood of Christ and the decay of nature ariseth out of the strength of sin. The more any man, in any lust whatsoever, makes himself a servant of sin, and the more busy and active he is in that service,—the more will it eat into him, and consume him: as the hotter the fever is, the sooner is the body wasted and dried up by it.

Joseph Caryl – The Light of the Wicked Shall Be Put Out 1655

Job 18:5…

Who can pretend to biblical learning who has not made himself familiar with the great writers who spent a life in explaining someone sacred book?  Caryl on Job will not exhaust the patience of a student who loves every letter of the Word.’  ‘Caryl must have inherited the patience of Job to have completed his stupendous task.  It would be a mistake to suppose that he is at all prolix or redundant; he is only full.  In the course of his expounding, he has illustrated a very large portion of the whole Bible with great clearness and power.  He is deeply devotional and spiritual.  He gives us much, but none too much.  His work can scarcely be superseded or surpassed.’ – Spurgeon

John Owen – Treatise Of Temptation – Chapter 5

It is a woeful thing to consider what slight thoughts the most have of this thing. So men can keep themselves from sin itself in open action, they are content, they scarce aim at more; on any temptation in the world, all sorts of men will venture at any time. How will young men put themselves on the company, any society; at first, being delighted with evil company, then with the evil of the company! How vain are all admonitions and exhortations to them to take heed of such persons, debauched in themselves, corrupters of others, destroyers of souls! At first, they will venture on the company, abhorring the thoughts of practicing their lewdness; but what is the issue? Unless it is here or there one, whom God snatches with a mighty hand from the jaws of destruction, they are all lost and become after a while in love with the evil which at first they abhorred. This open door to the ruin of souls is too evident; and woeful experience makes it no less evident that it is almost impossible to fasten upon many poor creatures any fear or dread of temptation, who yet will profess a fear and abhorrence of sin.