SHEWING THAT COMMON AND SAVING GRACE DIFFER, NOT ONLY IN DEGREE, BUT IN NATURE AND KIND.
It is by the mixture of counterfeit religion with true, not discerned and distinguished, that the devil has had his greatest advantage against the cause and kingdom of Christ. It is plainly by this means, principally, that he has prevailed against all revivals of religion, since the first founding of the christian church.
I much question what assistance he will have from God in his temptation who willingly enters into it, because he supposes God hath promised to deliver him out of it. The Lord knows that, through the craft of Satan, the subtlety and malice of the world, the deceitfulness of sin, that doth so easily beset us, when we have done our utmost, yet we shall enter into divers temptations. In his love, care, tenderness, and faithfulness, he hath provided such a sufficiency of grace for us, that they shall not utterly prevail to make an everlasting separation between him and our souls.
The highest degree to which a temporary believer can possibly attain, described by the apostle Paul, Heb. 6, which yet falls short of that saving work, wrought in a sincere believer, there spoken of by him. Apostacy and the Temporary Believer
Christian gains assurance soon after leaving the house of the interpreter
This is the testimony of a young friend that may be found useful for those who have been under awakening and have struggled with assurance.
Men may have a multitude of thoughts about the affairs of their callings and the occasions of life, which yet may give no due measure of the inward frame of their hearts. So men whose calling and work it is to study the Scripture, or the things revealed therein, and to preach them unto others, cannot but have many thoughts about spiritual things, and yet may be, and oftentimes are, most remote from being spiritually minded.
And when the last trial is closed and their incorrigible barrenness is evinced, why should they not be cut down and cast into the fire? They never will bear fruit. They will only remain cumberersof the ground. Why should they be spared? It is reasonable that barren figtrees, after all hope of their fruitfulness is gone, should be removed out of the way, and, since they can be of no other use, should be made fuel for the fire. And if fruitless men had any ingenuousness in them, they would not desire to be left to cumber God’s ground. If they will not do any good, they ought not to wish to do hurt.
This narration is of a few choice paragraphs in Alleine’s book. The book also went under the title, A Sure Guide to Heaven.
Though regeneration is monergistic, what does God do prior to regeneration to prepare the sinner to see his need for grace?