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Andrew Bonar – Man Lying With Man – An Abomination 1861

Andrew Bonar Commentary – Leviticus 18

And such is the human heart that all these forms of depravity were not too bad to be anticipated by the Lord, who knew the heart. He knows the virulence of the poisoned spring. The Syrian Hazael wonders that any should fancy, far less say, that he could be capable of a murderous deed; but the Lord Jehovah, looking on the unrenewed heart, forms this estimate of it, even in the case of his own Israel, viz. they might be tempted not only to adultery (ver. 20), and to present† their children to Molech, in reckless inhumanity, and perhaps in order to be quit of them (ver. 21). By all this they brought public reproach on the name of Jehovah (“profaning his name”); yet even beyond this would they go. Some might be led (ver. 22) to the grossest and most shocking lust man with man, and (ver. 23) man or woman with beasts. How awful is the Lord’s judgment of the human heart! He believes that an Israelite, though surrounded –as an Israelite, of course, was, with everything that could fence in his morality–might nevertheless have a heart so foul as to burst all bounds, and transgress all limits, and
overflow all banks.

The land was to be cleared of its inhabitants, who had committed these sins. Iniquity done in its secret places was crying to God for vengeance, and the land itself was loathing the foul sins it was compelled to bear–the land
itself was ” spewing out”* the people. Again we see, as at the beginning of the chapter, that these precepts have all of them a place in the conscience.
The law is written on the heart even of these Canaanites, and for resisting that law they are punished.

Lewis Bayly – The Miseries of the Soul and Body at Death 1611

One of two books that the wife of John Bunyan brought to their marriage given as a dowry from her father. At the time Bunyan was yet uncoverted.

After that the aged man has battled with long sickness, and having endured the brunt of pain, and now expect some ease—in comes death, nature’s slaughter-man, God’s curse, and hell’s supplier —and looks the old man grim and black in the face; and neither pitying his age, nor regarding his long-endured dolours, will not be hired to refrain either for silver or gold; nay, he will not take to spare his life, skin for skin (Job 1), and all that the old man has! But death batters all the principal parts of his body, and arrests him to appear before the dreadful Judge. And as thinking that the old man will not despatch to go with him fast enough, Lord!—how many darts of calamities does he shoot through him—pains, aches, cramps, fevers, obstructions, weak heart, shortness of breath, colic, stone, etc. Oh, what a ghastly sight it is, to see him then in his bed, when death has given him his mortal wound! What a cold sweat over-runs all his body—what a trembling possesses all his members! The head hangs limp, the face waxes pale, the nose purples, the jaw-bone hangs down, the eye-strings break, the tongue falters, the breath shortens and smells foul, and at every gasp the heart-strings are ready to break asunder!

While he is thus summoned to appear at the great assizes of God’s judgment, behold, a quartersessions and jail-delivery is held within himself; where reason sits as judge, the devil puts in a bill of indictment, wherein is alleged all your evil deeds that ever you have committed, and all the good deeds that ever you have omitted, and all the curses and judgments that are due to every sin. Your own conscience shall accuse you, and your memory shall give bitter evidence, and death stands at the bar ready, as a cruel executioner, to dispatch you.

William Arnot – The Pleasures of Sin – 1858

From Illustrations From the Book of Proverbs

The plague is as rampant in our streets as it is represented to be in the Proverbs. Mankind has sat for the picture: there is no mistake in the outline; there is no exaggeration in the coloring. It is a mirror held up for the world to see itself in. Dark as the lines are in which the importunate, shameless solicitations of a wanton woman are drawn on this page, they are not darker than the reality, as seen in our crowded thoroughfares by day and by night. The vulture, with unerring instinct, scents the carrion and flutters around the place where it lies until an opportunity occurs of alighting upon it and satiating her appetite on the loathsome food. The power of sin lies in its pleasure. If stolen waters were not sweet, no one would steal the waters. This is part of the mystery in which our being is involved by the fall, and it is one of the most fearful features of our case. Our appetite is diseased. If our bodily appetite were so perverted that it should crave for what is poisonous and loathe wholesome food, we would not give ourselves up to each random inclination: the risk of death would be great and valuing life, we would set a guard on the side of danger. But in man fallen there is a diseased relish for that which destroys. Sin, which is the death of a man’s soul, is yet sweet to the man’s taste.

William McCulloch: Conversion Stories Revival in Scotland 1742

In early 1741, McCulloch began to preach a series of sermons on the subject of spiritual regeneration, including within his addresses selected excerpts from published reports of the revival then occurring in the American colonies through the ministries of Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield. During this same year, in July, evangelist George Whitefield conducted his first preaching tour of Scotland, ‘where he abode some time, and preached many awakening sermons in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and other places’. Some members of the Cambuslang parish, including two prominent elders, Ingram, More, and Robert Bowman, were strongly impressed by the preaching of Whitefield at meetings they attended at the High churchyard in Glasgow. More and Bowman subsequently ‘went through the Parish, and procured about a hundred Subscriptions to a petition desiring the Minister [McCulloch] to preach to them every Thursday, which he, at their Request, complied with’.

About the beginning of March 1742, I came to Cambuslang & heard a minister on that text, what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world & loses his own Soul, or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul at the hearing of which I began to turn thoughtful and concerned, about my soul & my eternal salvation, and thought that I had all along before that, lived without any thought or concern about it: And for a long time after, when I was at home, that word, what shall a man give in exchange for his soul, came every now & then into my mind, & made me look on all worldly concerns as nothing compared to soul-concerns. I came frequently to Cambuslang but nothing I heard there further touched me, till toward the End of April 1742, when hearing a minister on a Thursday preach on that text, They shall look on him whom they pierced & mourn, at which I was made to see that I had been along my life piercing and wounding Christ by my sins, and was made to weep and mourn and melt on that account.

James Robe – Counseling the Awakened and Fearful During a Revival – 1742

Several of the awakened told me, that they were brought to a concern about their souls by such a reasoning as this within themselves:—These people under so much distress are far from being so great sinners as I have been and am: how stupid and hard-hearted then am I who am altogether unconcerned. And if they are afraid of the wrath of God, I have far greater reason to be so. There appeared to me nothing more unreasonable in making use of the example of the distressed, to make other secure sinners afraid of sin and the wrath of God than there is in the law
punishing crimes publicly to make others afraid to commit them. I was also convinced that it was sinful in me to wish or desire that the infinitely wise and sovereign Lord should order his own work in another way than what pleased himself. There were also some brethren who did not think the way 1 had taken, to remove the distressed, to be the best: and therefore, after some weeks’ trial, I altered it: I am now of opinion, after all, that I have seen and experienced relating to this work, that it is best to leave the distressed to their liberty, and in the congregation, if they incline, until it be dismissed. No means that Providence puts in our hands is to be omitted that hath a tendency to awaken secure sinners.

Thomas Manton – Without Faith, it is Impossible To Please Him! Heb. 11:6

This act is put forth with much difficulty and struggling. It is a hard matter to bring Christ and the soul together. There is a great deal of struggle ere we can cast our souls upon Christ. We must reason with our own fears, plead and dispute with ourselves and with God, and cry long and loud many times at the throne of grace. As when the prodigal began to be in want, then he deliberates with himself—In my father’s house there is bread enough and to spare. The case of a soul in coming to Christ is much like the case of Peter in coming to Christ upon the waves: Mat. xiv. 28-30, Peter, when he saw Christ, he acknowledged him for his lord and saviour ‘Peter said unto him. Lord, if it be thou, bid me to come on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked upon the water to go to Jesus; but when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.’ Peter left his ship, and resolved to venture on Christ’s call; but he found difficulty. So it is in our coming to Christ, when by an undoubted assent to the truth of the word we are convinced in con science that Christ is the alone saviour, that he is a rock for shelter in the midst of waves; by the impulses of grace the soul begins to make out to Christ. Christ saith, Come, come, and the soul is even overwhelmed with the tempests of wrath and waves of divine displeasure; therefore we had need encourage our hearts in God, and cry, Lord, arise and save us.

Jeremiah Burroughs: It is the Lord: Let Him Do What Seems Good to Him. (1 Samuel 3:18) – 1677

It is the Lord, that has the absolute Right to us, and all that we have; more than we have to ourselves, or anything that we enjoy. It is the Lord, that hath the absolute Authority over us, to do with us what He will; you have not so much authority over a Worm under your feet, as God hath over you, and over all your Comforts; you have not so much right to kill a Fly, as the Lord hath to take away your Lives: He hath more Right a thousand times over your Lives, Family, Comforts, and all you have, than you have over the meanest Creature, He hath the absolute Right over you all.

Thomas Brooks – Arguments for Secret Prayer – 1665

Originally Titled The Privy Key of Heaven

There is no service wherein Christians have such a near and familiar intercourse with God, as in this of private prayer: neither is there any service wherein. God doth more delight to make known his truth and faithfulness, grace, goodness, mercy and bounty, his beauty, and glory to poor souls, than this of private prayer. Luther professeth, ” That he profited more in the knowledge of the scripture by private prayer. in a short time, then he did by study in a longer space.” As John, by weeping in private got the sealed book opened. Private prayer crowns God with the honor and
the glory that is due to his name, and God crowns private prayer with a discovery of those blessed and weighty. truths to his servants, that are a sealed book to others. Certainly, the soul usually enjoys most communion with God in secret.

John Flavel – The Hearts of Sinners Bolted Against Christ 1689

From the book, England’s Duty, or Christ Knocking at the Door of Sinner’s Hearts.

That all hearts are naturally shut and made fast against Christ, is a sad but certain truth; we read, John 1:11, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” He came unto his own people, from whose stock he sprung—a people to whom he had been prefigured in all thesacrifices and types of the law, and who might in him clearly discern”the accomplishment of them all. His doctrines and his miracles plainly told them who he was, and whence he came ; yet few discerned and received him as the Son of
God. Christ found the doors of men’s hearts generally shut against him, save only a few whose hearts were opened by the almighty power of God, in the way of faith. John 1:12.