O how impotent and poor-spirited is a soul void of this heavenly hope ! What a tame slave has Satan of him! He is the footstool for every base lust to trample upon. He allows the devil to ride him whither be pleases without wincing. No puddle so filthy, but Satan may draw him through with a thread: the poor wretch is well enough contented with his ignoble servitude, because he knows no better master than him he serves, nor better wages than the swill of his sensual pleasures, which his lusts allow him…
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.”
It has been said that hers was emphatically “the life, walk, and triumph of faith.” But be it remembered, that this was not the lesson of a day; before such a blessed life could be attained, self must be brought low. The process was a painful one. Many years of darkness were appointed her, during which time she had to wade through deep waters of heart-exercise, while groaning under the bondage of the law. – From the Life – Dedicated to my friend Jeff from Grace Gems who made this author known to me.
Paul’s complaint against his natural corruption. With the means how to be delivered from the power of the same. William Teelinck. January 4, 1579, April 8, 1629. Teelinck was an influential Dutch pastor during the Further Reformation in the Netherlands. Sermon 2
The one who bows to the solemn and searching teaching of God’s Word, the one who there learns the awful wreckage which sin has wrought in the human constitution, the one who sees the exalted standard of holiness which God has set before us, cannot fail to discover what a vile wretch he is. If he is given to behold how far short he falls of attaining to God’s standard; if, in the light of the divine sanctuary, he discovers how little he resembles the Christ of God; then will he find this language most suited to express his godly sorrow. If God reveals to him the coldness of his love, the pride of his heart, the wanderings of his mind, the evil that defiles his godliest acts, he will cry, “O wretched man that I am.”
“But the men told him to take care of himself, and they would take care of themselves; and as to laws and ordinances they should keep them as conscientiously as he; and as to all his pretense of inward experience, the new birth, repentance and faith, and all that, it might do for such a ragged creature as he had been. All the neighbors knew that he had been a worthless wretch, and it was well indeed that he had got such a coat to cover his nakedness; but they had always gone well dressed, and having never been so bad as he was, needed not so great a change; their laws and ordinances would save them.”
Christian gains assurance soon after leaving the house of the interpreter
I do believe, from soul experience, that one of the greatest, if not the greatest burden and trial to the child of God, is the daily, hourly, minutely, momently workings of sin. The adulterous eye, the roving heart, the defiled imagination, the constant stream of iniquity polluting every word and thought, every feeling and desire, is and must be a burden to the soul, just in proportion as the fear of God lives and works in a man’s conscience.
Narrated hymns of Joseph Hart, and John Berridge.
Who almost makes a diligent search into and trial of his heart and ways with respect unto the procuring causes of the displeasure and judgments of God? Generally, when the tokens and evidences of them do most abound, the world is full of outrageous, provoking sins. These visibly proclaim themselves to be the causes of the “coming of the wrath of God on the children of disobedience.” Hence most men are apt to cast the whole reason of present judgments upon them, and to put it wholly from themselves Hence, commonly, there is never less of self-examination than
when it is called for in a peculiar manner.