This is a booklet at the end of their famed book, Cases of Conscience
Many men who live in ways which are not agreeable to the rules of God’s word, yet are not sensible of it; and it is a difficult thing to make them so; because the same lust that leads them into that evil way, blinds them in it.—
This discovery of forgiveness in God is great, holy, and mysterious, and which very few on gospel grounds do attain unto.
One way of sin is exception enough against the man’s salvation. Though the sin that he lives in be but small: such persons will not be guilty of perjury. stealing, drunkenness, fornication; they look upon them to be heinous things, and they are afraid of them; but they do not much matter it, if they oppress a little in a bargain, if they commend a thing too much when they are about to sell it, if they break a promise, if they spend the Sabbath unprofitably, if they neglect secret prayer, if they talk rudely and reproach others; they think these are but small things, if they can keep clear of great transgressions, they hope that God will not insist upon small things. — But indeed all the commands of God are established by divine authority: a small shot may kill a man, as well as a cannon bullet: a small leak may sink a ship.
The Way to Know Sincerity Hypocrisy Cleared Up
His example is attended with a great variety of circumstances tending to engage the attention of religious people, especially in these parts of the world. He was one of distinguished natural abilities; as all are sensible, who had acquaintance with him. As a minister of the gospel, he was called to unusual services in that work; and his ministry was attended with very remarkable and unusual events.
The will, that commanding faculty, which at first was faithful and ruled with God, is now turned traitor, and rules with and for the devil. God planted it in man, “wholly a holy seed;” but now it is “turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine.” It was originally placed in due subordination to the will of God, as was shown before; but now it is wholly gone aside.
That which is transacted within the mind is called the thoughts. Whatever manifests themselves, breaking out into actions, are called works. So we see in Genesis 6:5, “Every imagination of the thoughts,”— that is, all that which the mind frames within itself, the purposes, desires, etc.—are “only evil continuously.
There was a time, if “time” is could be called, when God, in the unity of His nature (though subsisting equally in three Divine Persons), dwelt all alone. “In the beginning, God.” There was no heaven, where His glory is now particularly manifested.
When the Holy Spirit has convinced a sinner of his being in this unrighteous state, then it becomes an important inquiry — how can the Judge of all the earth ever look upon and treat a sinner, as if he was a righteous person ? To which the gospel answers direct- ly — " God hath made Christ to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
THE WANT OF A DIVINE CALL A MAIN CAUSE OF FAILURE IN THE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY.
We may sometimes trace Ministerial failure to the very threshold of the entrance into the work. Was the call to thesacred office clear in the order of the church, and according to the will of God? This question bears with vast importance upon the subject. Where the call is manifest, the promise is assured.1 But if we run unsent, our labours must prove unblest. Many, we fear, have never exercised their minds upon this inquiry. But do not we see thestanding ordinance of the church written upon their unfruitful Ministrations—” I sent them not, nor commanded them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the lord?”‘ The blast was not, that their doctrine was unsound, but that they preached unsent.