Men may have a multitude of thoughts about the affairs of their callings and the occasions of life, which yet may give no due measure of the inward frame of their hearts. So men whose calling and work it is to study the Scripture, or the things revealed therein, and to preach them unto others, cannot but have many thoughts about spiritual things, and yet may be, and oftentimes are, most remote from being spiritually minded.
Counsel to those who say they know they must believe but admit their inability to trust and believe the Gospel. The Want of Power to Believe
This is the famous Nottingham sermon that Tennant preached that caused a lot of controversy, nothing is held back.
Men walk and talk as if the world were all, when comparatively it is nothing. And when men come with their warmed affections, reeking with thoughts of these things, unto the performance of or attendance unto any spiritual duty, it is very difficult for them, if not impossible, to stir up any grace unto a due and vigorous exercise. Unless this plausible advantage which the world hath obtained of insinuating itself and its occasions into the minds of men, so as to fill them and possess them, be watched against and obviated,
so far, at least, as that it may not transform the mind into its own image and likeness, this grace of being spiritually minded, which is life and peace,
cannot be attained nor kept unto its due exercise. Owen
This narration is of a few choice paragraphs in Alleine’s book. The book also went under the title, A Sure Guide to Heaven.
Though regeneration is monergistic, what does God do prior to regeneration to prepare the sinner to see his need for grace?
From the writing of William Perkins, to John Angell James, Pilgrims Progress, and a look at the great revivals in our country, an examination of the evangelism and the counsels given to the awakened.
From the website, International Outreach, “The proper method of seeking involves man’s doing all that is in his natural power to seek God. One of the most common expressions in Puritan writings is “use the means.” Today this expression is almost unknown in Christianity and in books on evangelism. If it were used, most people, even Reformed people, would not know what was meant by it. It is, however, an encouragement to seek God using the means which God had provided for men to come to know Him. Although it is not in man’s moral ability to find God, it is in his natural ability to do certain things which might increase the possibility of his being saved or put him in a way of salvation. The Puritans constantly urged upon men the necessity of doing all they could. ”
These three podcasts examine in detail the charge that the Puritans taught that a person who is under awakening must prepare himself, or go through a necessary time of conviction of sin before he is ready to come to Christ. Puritans and Preparationism 1 of 3
The following narration is dedicated to my friend Karl who has found this book very helpful to him. The Lord sweetly calms the heart, and persuades it that his sins are pardonable, and that the good he wants may be supplied, this is a great support to the soul. Hope is always expectation of a good to come. Now when a poor sinner sees his sins, the number of them, the nature of them, the vileness of them, the cursedness of hissoul, that he can take no rest, he sees no rest in the creature, nor in himself. – from the book The Poor Doubting Christian Drawn to Christ chapter 1