I would by no means flatter you concerning this work, or go about to make you believe, that you shall find an easy light business of it: no, I would not have you expect any such thing. I would have you sit down and count the cost; and if you cannot find it in your hearts to engage in a great, hard, laborious, and expensive undertaking, and to persevere in it to the end of life, pretend not to be religious. Indulge yourselves in your ease; follow your pleasures; eat, drink, and be merry; even conclude to go to hell in that way, and never make any more pretenses of seeking your salvation.
I have been just a dying now for more than a week; and all around me have thought me so. I have had clear views of eternity; … oh, what anguish is raised in my mind, to think of an eternity for those who are Christless, for those who are mistaken, and who bring their false hopes to the grave with them! The sight was so dreadful I could by no means bear it: my thoughts recoiled, and I said, (under a more affecting sense than ever before,) “Who can dwell with everlasting burnings?” Oh, methought, could I now see my friends, that I might warn them to see to it, that they lay their foundation for eternity sure.
Temptations – Introspection: We speak of a continual peering inward
on their thoughts, emotions, affections, convictions of sin, and various exercises of mind, instead of looking away from them all to
Christ. It is the natural proneness of a doubting and fearful mind, which it is often hard to resist.
A Continuation of the Warning Passages of Hebrews _ William Gouge commentary
Now the question we have to put upon all this is, whether the righteous of our day, or those who deem themselves to be so, are really comporting themselves in a way answerable to such a representation? Are they running, so as that they may obtain ? Are they fighting, so as that they may gain a hard-won victory? Are they striving, so as that they may force an entrance of great obstruction and difficulty?
A continuation of the warning passages in Gouge’s massive commentary on Hebrews. Hebrews 3:7-8
How may a professor, who fears lest his experiences are counterfeit and not genuine graces, come to such a satisfaction concerning his state, as shall encourage his continued reception of the
From Cases of Conscience, Case 23 “How may a professor, who fears lest his experiences are counterfeit and not genuine graces, come to such a satisfaction concerning his state, as shall encourage his continued reception of the Lord’s Supper?”
Besides, therefore, these advantages and ways of knowledge, somewhat common to us men, each of other, devils have a farther and more near way of knowing the acts of the reasonable powers, the understanding and will, than we men can have; even as they have also a way of communicating their thoughts to us in a more intimate, close, secret manner, yet still such as falls short of an intuitive knowledge of them. They can go into a room further then we;
and into a room which is next the privy chamber, which yet re
mains fast locked up unto them. As their power in all other things reacheth a degree higher than ours, so in this also.
By trouble and distress, and by a sense of a heavy load of guilt, God brings men down into the dust. God brings souls thus into the wilderness to show them their own helplessness, to let them see that they have nothing to which they can turn for help, to make them sensible that they are not rich and increased with goods, but wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked; to show them that they are utterly undone and ruined, to make them sensible of their exceeding wickedness, and to bring them to be sensible how justly God might cast them off forever.