The efficacy of the fear of Hell, to restrain men from sin. Shewed in a sermon before the inferior court in Northampton, December 3rd, 1712. : Together with the benefit of the Gospel, to those that are wounded in spirit. Shewed in several sermons, from Luke 4th. 18, 19. On the occasion of a more than ordinary pouring out of the spirit of God. / By Solomon Stoddard, Pastor of Northampton.
The third part of this lengthy treatise – The Grace and Duty of Being Spiritually Minded – has never been narrated before, but must be included in the best of Owen’s works on Christian practice. Owen wrote, “The great contest of heaven and earth is about the affections of the poor worm which we call man. That the world should contend for them is no wonder; it is the best that it can pretend unto. But that the holy God should as it were engage in the contest and strive for the affections of man, is an effect of infinite condescension and grace.” Works Vol. 7 p. 484. If any Christian wants to know what it is to “love the world” and to “be crucified” to it, this is the book he should read, and now listen to.
The last awful hours of a young gentleman who departed from the principles of Christianity and turned Deist. ‘That there is a God I know because I continually feel the effects of His wrath. That there is a hell I am equally certain having received an earnest of my inheritance there already in my bosom.’ narrated by Thomas Sullivan
How we may know when any temptation is come to its high noon, and is in its hour.1st. It doth the first by several ways: — (1st.) By long solicitations, causing the mind frequently to converse with the evil solicited unto, it begets extenuating thoughts of it.
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
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
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.
From the Sermon: Every crime or fault deserves a greater or less punishment, in proportion as the crime itself is greater or less. If any fault deserves punishment, then so much the greater the fault, so much the greater is the punishment deserved. The faulty nature of any thing is the formal ground and reason of its desert of punishment; and therefore the more any thing hath of this nature, the more punishment it deserves. And therefore the terribleness of the degree of punishment, let it be never be so terrible, is no argument against the justice of it, if the proportion does but hold between the heinousness of the crime and the dreadfulness of the punishment; so that if there be any such thing as a fault infinitely heinous, it will follow that it is just to inflict a punishment for it that is infinitely dreadful. Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners
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