A Commentary on the Westminster Larger Catechism Question 80 on Assurance.
We can have no greater evidence of a change in us from this state and condition, than a change wrought in the course of our thoughts. A relinquishment of this or that particular sin is not an evidence of a translation from this state; for, as was said, such particular sins proceed from particular lusts and temptations, and are not the immediate universal consequence of that depravation of nature which is equal in all. Such alone
are the vanity and wickedness of the thoughts and imaginations of the heart.
Where prayers are effectual, they will bring in spiritual strength. But the prayers of many seem to be very spiritual, and to express all conceivable supplies of grace, and they are persisted in with constancy, — and God forbid we should judge them to be hypocritical and wholly insincere, — yet there is a defect somewhere, which should be inquired after, for they
are not so answered as that they who pray them are strengthened with strength in their souls. There is not that spiritual thriving, that growth in grace, which might be expected to accompany such supplications.
A Continuation of the reading of The Broken Home. The following pages are committed to the Press, after no little mental conflict. The stricken deer, says Cowper, withdraws To seek a tranquil death in distant shades :and so the mourner should hide his wound beneath his mantle. But the Free-M asonry of those in sorrow would pour the balm into other hearts which the Spirit of Consolation may have given to each. From the simple desire of comforting those who mourn, this story of repeated bereavements is here told. It is proper to add, that the conversations reported in these sketches are copied verbatim from notes taken at the time. They are recited without enlargement or embellishment, that they may be the more touching from their simplicity. Long-treasured memories are now scattered upon the winds, with the prayer that they may help to bind up the brokenhearted.
The biography of a Southern Presbyterian pastor as he deals with the deaths of one boy, four girls, and his wife. The Broken Home Chapter 1
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
Taken from the Rise and Progress of Religion -THERE is a case which often occurs in the Christian life, which they who accustom themselves much to the exercise of devotion have been used to call the “hiding of God’s face.” It is a phrase borrowed from the word of God, which I hope may shelter it from contempt at the first hearing. It will be my business in this chapter to state it as plainly as I can, and then to give some advice as to your own conduct when you fall into it, as it is very probable you may before you have finished your journey through this wilderness.