Ponder the great advantages attending the people of God in an afflicted condition. — If a low and an afflicted state in the world be really best for the church, then your dejections are not only irrational, but ungrateful.
We may also fancy, that the spirits of just men made perfect, are now looking at those warriors which are yet on the bloody field of battle, in close combat with the enemy, and take deep interest in their safety and success. We can suppose, that they are now addressing the combatants in some such language as this: “Though your conflict be severe, it cannot be long; the God that gave us the victory over the very same enemies as you now encounter, will assuredly crown you also with victory. Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might, and you shall soon arrive where we now are, praising him who brought us safely through, and crowned us with final victory.”
Sample letters from his pen.
What is it that causes spiritual declension? Sudden conversions are often counterfeit conversions.
When men enter into a course of sin, they have no intention to be damned. They intend only to indulge the selves in the pleasures of sin for a time, and then to return to the paths of life. Millions of souls have been seduced to everlasting destruction by this one temptation of the old serpent,— “Ye shall not die although you eat; grace is free, and there is abundance of time to repent.” The wise man gives what may repel is temptation, by letting us know how foolish it is for men to flatter themselves with the hope, that they shall be truly disposed and enabled to repent of their sin.
The security of all flesh is wondrous great, for there is a fearful sleep fallen both upon the good and the evil. The foolish virgins are sound asleep, and the wise are asleep also. And suppose the Lord be at the door, and the hour of judgment at hand, and the seventh angel ready to blow the last trumpet, when time shall be no more; yet it is scarcely one of a thousand, yea, one of ten thousand, is to be found that is prepared, and busying themselves to meet the Lord, who is making speed to come in the clouds: and how soon that fire shall break forth, which shall kindle the heavens above your head, and the earth under your feet, and shall set all on fire; how soon the trumpet shall blow, and the shout shall cry, “Rise, Dead, and come to judgment,” is only known to God, and to no mortal man. Will ye not then be wakened till this trumpet waken you?
The first thing which I would observe unto this end is, the present
importunity of the world to impose itself on the minds of men, and the various ways of insinuation whereby it possesseth and filleth them. If it attain hereunto, — if it can fill the minds, the thoughts, and affections of men, with itself, — it will in some fortify the soul against faith and obedience, and in others weaken all grace, and endanger eternal ruin. For “if we love the world, the love of the Father is not in us;” and when the world fills our thoughts, it will entangle our affections. And, first, the present state of all public affairs in it, with an apprehended concernment of private persons therein, continually exerciseth the thoughts of many, and is almost
the only subject of their mutual converse; for the world is at present in a mighty hurry, and being in many places cast off from all foundations of steadfastness, it makes the minds of men giddy with its revolutions, or disorderly in the expectations of them.
Also called the Saint’s Pocket Book of Promises and is included in Richard Alleine’s work Heaven Opened.
From the Scottish Free Church Magazine of 1853