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Title: Miscellaneous Pieces
Author: Bunyan, John
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcribed from the 1845 Thomas Nelson “Works of the Puritan Divines
(Bunyan)” edition by David Price, email ccx074@pglaf.org

                  [Picture: Bunyan’s cottage at Elstow]



                           MISCELLANEOUS PIECES


CONTENTS

                                        Page
Of the Trinity and a Christian           245
Of the Law and a Christian               251
Bunyan’s Last Sermon                     257
Bunyan’s Dying Sayings                   267



OF THE
TRINITY AND A CHRISTIAN.


 _How a young or shaken Christian should demean himself under the weighty
  thoughts of the Doctrine of the Trinity or Plurality of Persons in the
                            eternal Godhead_.

THE reason why I say a _young_ or _shaken_ Christian, is, because some
that are not young, but of an ancient standing, may not only be assaulted
with violent temptations concerning gospel-principles, but a second time
may become a child, a babe, a shallow man, in the things of God:
especially, either when by backsliding he hath provoked God to leave him,
or when some new, unexpected, and (as to present strength) over weighty
objection doth fall upon the spirit, by means of which great shakings of
mind do commonly attend such a soul in the most weighty matters of the
concerns of faith, of which this is one that I have supposed in the
above-mentioned question: Wherefore passing other things, I will come
directly to that, and briefly propose some helps to a soul in such a
case.

I.  The first preparative.

_First_, Then, be sure thou keep close to the Word of God for that is the
revelation of the mind and will of God, both as to the truth of what is
either in himself or ways, and also as to what he requireth and expecteth
of thee, either concerning faith in, or obedience to, what he hath so
revealed.  Now for thy better performing of this, I shall give thee in
brief these following directions.

1.  Suffer thyself, by the authority of the Word, to be persuaded that
the Scripture indeed is the Word of God the Scriptures of truth, the
words of the Holy One; and that they therefore must be every one true,
pure, and for ever settled in heaven.

2.  Conclude therefore from the former doctrine, that that God whose
words they are, is able to make a reconciliation and most sweet and
harmonious agreement with all the sayings therein, how obscure, cross,
dark, and contradictory soever they seem to thee.  To understand all
mysteries, to have all knowledge, to be able to comprehend with all
saints, is a great work; enough to crush the spirit, and to stretch the
strings of the most capacious, widened soul that breatheth on this side
glory, be they notwithstanding exceedingly enlarged by revelation.  Paul,
when he was caught up to heaven, saw that which was unlawful, because
impossible, for man to utter.  And saith Christ to the reasoning
Pharisee, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how
shall you believe if I tell you of heavenly things?”  It is great
lewdness, and also insufferable arrogancy, to come to the Word of God, as
conceiting already that whatever thou readest must either by thee be
understood, or of itself fall to the ground as a senseless error.  But
God is wiser than man, wherefore fear thou him, and tremble at his word,
saying still, with godly suspicion of thine own infirmity, What I see
not, teach thou me; and, Thou art God only wise; but as for me, I am as a
beast before thee.

3.  Take heed of taking a part of the Word only, lest thou thereby go
away with the truth as mangled in pieces.  For instance, where thou
readest, “The Lord our God is one Lord,” there take heed that thou dost
not thence conclude, then there are not three persons in the Godhead:
when thou readest of “the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” then
take heed of concluding there must therefore either be three Gods, or
else that Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are not true God, but the
Father only.  Wherefore to help thee here, observe,

II.  The second preparative.

1.  That the Christian religion requireth credit concerning every
doctrine contained in the Word; credit, I say, according to the true
relation of every sentence that the Holy Ghost hath revealed for the
asserting, maintaining, or vindicating that same truth.

2.  And therefore, hence it is that a Christian is not called a doer, a
reasoner, an objector, and perverse disputer, but a believer.  Be thou an
example to “the believers;” and, “believers” were “added to the church,”
&c.

3.  Therefore, know again, that the Word, if it saith and expresseth that
this or that is so and so, as to the matter in hand, thou art bound and
obliged, both by the name, profession, and the truth, unto which thou
hast joined thyself, to assent to, confess, and acknowledge the same,
even then when thy carnal reason will not stoop thereto.  “Righteous art
thou, O God,” saith Jeremiah, “yet let me plead with thee; Wherefore do
the wicked live?”  Mark, first he acknowledgeth that God’s way with the
wicked is just and right, even then when yet he could not see the reason
of his actions and dispensations towards them.  The same reason is good
as to our present case: and hence it is that the apostle saith, the
spiritual armour of Christians should be much exercised against those
high towering and self-exalting imaginations, that within our own bosoms
do exalt themselves against the knowledge of God; that every thought or
carnal reasoning may be not only taken, but brought a captive into
obedience to Christ; that is, be made to stoop to the Word of God, and to
give way and place to the doctrine therein contained, how cross soever
our thoughts and the Word lie to each other.  And it is observable that
he here saith, “they exalt themselves against the knowledge of God;”
which cannot be understood, that our carnal, natural reason doth exalt
itself against an eternal deity, simply considered; for that nature
itself doth gather from the very things that are made, even his eternal
power and Godhead: it must be then that they exalt themselves against
that God as thus and thus revealed in the Word, to wit, against the
knowledge of one God, consisting of three persons, Father, Son, and
Spirit; for this is the doctrine of the Scriptures of truth: and
therefore it is observable these thoughts must be brought captive, and be
made subject in particular to the Lord Jesus Christ, as to the second
person in the Godhead: for the Father is ever acknowledged by all that
profess the least of religion; but the Son is that stumbling-stone and
rock of offence, against which thousands dash themselves in pieces;
though in him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and in
him dwells the fulness of the Godhead bodily.



OF THE
LAW AND A CHRISTIAN.


THE law was given twice upon Mount Sinai, but the appearance of the Lord,
when he gave it the second time, was wonderfully different from that of
his, when at the first he delivered it to Israel.

1.  When he gave it the first time, he caused his terror and severity to
appear before Moses, to the shaking of his soul and the dismaying of
Israel; but when he gave it the second time, he caused all his goodness
to pass before Moses, to the comfort of his conscience and the bowing of
his heart.

2.  When he gave it the first time, it was with thunderings and
lightnings, with blackness and darkness, with flame and smoke, and a
tearing sound of the trumpet; but when he gave it the second time, it was
with a proclamation of his name to be merciful, gracious, long-suffering,
and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands,
forgiving iniquity, transgressions, and sins.

3.  When he gave it the first time, Moses was called to go up to receive
it through the fire, which made him exceedingly fear and quake: but when
he went to receive it the second time, he was laid in a clift of the
rock.

4.  From all which I gather, that, though as to the matter of the law,
both as to its being given the first time and the second, it binds the
unbeliever under the pains of eternal damnation (if he close not with
Christ by faith); yet as to the manner of its giving at these two times,
I think the first doth more principally intend its force as a covenant of
works, not at all respecting the Lord Jesus; but this second time not (at
least in the manner of its being given) respecting such a covenant, but
rather as a rule or directory to those who already are found in the clift
of the rock Christ; for the saint himself, though he be without law to
God, as it is considered the first or old covenant, yet even he is not
without law to him as considered under grace; not without law to God, but
under the law to Christ.

5.  Though, therefore, it be sad with the unbeliever, because he only and
wholly standeth under the law as it is given in fire, in smoke, in
blackness, and darkness, and thunder; all which threaten him with eternal
ruin if he fulfil not the utmost tittle thereof; yet the believer stands
to the law under no such consideration, neither is he so at all to hear
or regard it, for he is now removed from thence to the blessed mountain
of Zion—to grace and forgiveness of sins; he is now, I say, by faith in
the Lord Jesus, shrouded under so perfect and blessed a righteousness,
that this thundering law of Mount Sinai cannot find the least fault or
diminution therein, but rather approveth and alloweth thereof, either
when or wherever it find it.  This is called the righteousness of God
without the law, and also said to be witnessed by both the law and the
prophets; even the righteousness of God, which is by faith in Jesus
Christ unto all and upon all them that believe; for there is no
difference.

6.  Wherefore, whenever thou who believest in Jesus, dost hear the law in
its thundering and lightning fits, as if it would burn up heaven and
earth, then say thou, I am freed from this law, these thunderings have
nothing to do with my soul; nay, even this law, while it thus thunders
and roars, it doth both allow and approve of my righteousness.  I know
that Hagar would sometimes be domineering and high, even in Sarah’s
house, and against her; but this she is not to be suffered to do, nay,
though Sarah herself be barren; wherefore, serve it also as Sarah served
her, and expel her out from thy house.  My meaning is, when this law with
its thundering threatenings doth attempt to lay hold on thy conscience,
shut it out with a promise of grace; cry, The inn is taken up already;
the Lord Jesus is here entertained, and here is no room for the law.
Indeed, if it will be content with being my informer, and so lovingly
leave off to judge me, I will be content, it shall be in my sight, I will
also delight therein; but otherwise, I being now made upright without it,
and that too with that righteousness which this law speaks well of and
approveth, I may not, will not, cannot dare not make it my Saviour and
judge, nor suffer it to set up its government in my conscience; for by so
doing, I fall from grace, and Christ Jesus doth profit me nothing.

7.  Thus, therefore, the soul that is married to him that is raised up
from the dead, both may and ought to deal with this law of God; yea, it
doth greatly dishonour its Lord and refuse its gospel privileges, if it
at any time otherwise doth, whatever it seeth or feels.  “The law hath
power over the wife so long as her husband liveth, but if her husband be
dead she is freed from that law; so that she is no adulteress though she
be married to another man.”  Indeed, so long as thou art alive to sin,
and to thy righteousness which is of the law, so long thou hast them for
thy husband, and they must reign over thee; but when once they are become
dead unto thee—as they then most certainly will when thou closest with
the Lord Jesus Christ—then, I say, thy former husbands have no more to
meddle with thee; thou art freed from their law.  Set the case: A woman
be cast into prison for a debt of hundreds of pounds; if after this she
marry, yea, though while she is in the jailor’s hand, in the same day
that she is joined to her husband, her debt is all become his; yea, and
the law also that arrested and imprisoned this woman, as freely tells
her, go: she is freed, saith Paul, from that; and so saith the law of
this land.

The sum, then, of what hath been said is this—The Christian hath now
nothing to do with the law, as it thundereth and burneth on Sinai, or as
it bindeth the conscience to wrath and the displeasure of God for sin;
for from its thus appearing, it is freed by faith in Christ.  Yet it is
to have regard thereto, and is to count it holy, just, and good; which,
that it may do, it is always, whenever it seeth or regards it, to
remember that he who giveth it to us “is merciful, gracious,
long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,” &c.



BUNYAN’S LAST SERMON:
PREACHED JULY 1688.


     “_Which were born_, _not of blood_, _nor of the will of the flesh_,
             _nor of the will of man_, _but of God_;” John i. 13.

THE words have a dependence on what goes before, and therefore I must
direct you to them for the right understanding of it.  You have it
thus,—“He came to his own, but his own received him not; but as many as
received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to
them which believe on his name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the
will of the flesh, but of God.”  In the words before, you have two
things—

_First_, Some of his own rejecting him when he offered himself to them.

_Secondly_, Others of his own receiving him, and making him welcome.
Those that reject him he also passes by; but those that receive him, he
gives them power to become the sons of God.  Now, lest any one should
look upon it as good luck or fortune, says he, “They were born, not of
blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
They that did not receive him, they were only born of flesh and blood;
but those that receive him, they have God to their father, they receive
the doctrine of Christ with a vehement desire.

_First_, I will shew you what he means by “blood.”  They that believe are
born to it, as an heir is to an inheritance; they are born of God; not of
flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God; not of blood—that is, not by
generation; not born to the kingdom of heaven by the flesh; not because I
am the son of a godly man or woman.  That is meant by blood, Acts xvii.
26, “He has made of one blood all nations.”  But when he says here, “not
of blood,” he rejects all carnal privileges they did boast of.  They
boasted they were Abraham’s seed.  No, no, says he, it is not of blood;
think not to say you have Abraham to your father, you must be born of God
if you go to the kingdom of heaven.

_Secondly_, “Nor of the will of the flesh.”  What must we understand by
that?

It is taken for those vehement inclinations that are in man to all manner
of looseness, fulfilling the desires of the flesh.  That must not be
understood here; men are made the children of God by fulfilling their
lustful desires; it must be understood here in the best sense.  There is
not only in carnal men a will to be vile, but there is in them a will to
be saved also—a will to go to heaven also.  But this it will not do, it
will not privilege a man in the things of the kingdom of God.  Natural
desires after the things of another world, they are not an argument to
prove a man shall go to heaven whenever he dies.  I am not a free willer,
I do abhor it; yet there is not the wickedest man but he desires some
time or other to be saved.  He will read some time or other, or, it may
be, pray; but this will not do—“It is not in him that wills, nor in him
that runs, but in God that shews mercy;” there is willing and running,
and yet to no purpose; Rom. ix. 16, “Israel, which followed after the law
of righteousness, have not obtained it.”  Here I do not understand as if
the apostle had denied a virtuous course of life to be the way to heaven,
but that a man without grace, though he have natural gifts, yet he shall
not obtain privilege to go to heaven, and be the son of God.  Though a
man without grace may have a will to be saved, yet he cannot have that
will God’s way.  Nature, it cannot know anything but the things of
nature; the things of God knows no man but by the Spirit of God; unless
the Spirit of God be in you, it will leave you on this side the gates of
heaven—“Not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of
man, but of God.”  It may be some may have a will, a desire that Ishmael
may be saved; know this, it will not save thy child.  If it were our
will, I would have you all go to heaven.  How many are there in the world
that pray for their children, and cry for them, and ready to die; and
this will not do?  God’s will is the rule of all; it is only through
Jesus Christ, “which were born, not of flesh, nor of the will of man, but
of God.”  Now I come to the doctrine.

Men that believe in Jesus Christ to the effectual receiving of Jesus
Christ, they are born to it.  He does not say they _shall_ be born to it,
but they _are_ born to it; born of God, unto God, and the things of God,
before they receive God to eternal salvation.  “Except a man be born
again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  Now unless he be born of God,
he cannot see it.  Suppose the kingdom of God be what it will, he cannot
see it before he be begotten of God; suppose it be the Gospel, he cannot
see it before he be brought into a state of regeneration; believing is
the consequence of the new birth, “not of blood, nor of the will of man,
but of God.”

_First_, I will give you a clear description of it under one similitude
or two.  A child, before it be born into the world, is in the dark
dungeon of its mother’s womb; so a child of God, before he be born again,
is in the dark dungeon of sin, sees nothing of the kingdom of God,
therefore it is called a new birth; the same soul has love one way in its
carnal condition, another way when it is born again.

_Secondly_, As it is compared to a birth, resembling a child in his
mother’s womb, so it is compared to a man being raised out of the grave;
and to be born again is to be raised out of the grave of sin—“Awake, thou
that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee life.”
To be raised from the grave of sin is to be begotten and born; Rev. i. 5.
There is a famous instance of Christ—“He is the first-begotten from the
dead, he is the first-born from the dead;” unto which our regeneration
alludeth,—that is, if you be born again by seeking those things that are
above, then there is a similitude betwixt Christ’s resurrection and the
new birth; which were born, which were restored out of this dark world,
and translated out of the kingdom of this dark world into the kingdom of
his dear Son, and made us live a new life; this is to be born again; and
he that is delivered from the mother’s womb, it is the help of the
mother; so he that is born of God, it is by the Spirit of God.  I must
give you a few consequences of new birth.

First of all, a child, you know, is incident to cry as soon as it comes
into the world; for if there be no noise, they say it is dead.  You that
are born of God, and Christians, if you be not criers, there is no
spiritual life in you; if you be born of God, you are crying ones; as
soon as he has raised you out of the dark dungeon of sin, you cannot but
cry to God, What must I do to be saved?  As soon as ever God had touched
the jailor, he cries out, “Men and brethren, what must I do to be saved?”
Oh! how many prayerless professors are there in London that never pray?
Coffee-houses will not let you pray, trades will not let you pray,
looking-glasses will not let you pray; but if you were born of God, you
would.

_Secondly_, It is not only natural for a child to cry, but it must crave
the breast, it cannot live without the breast; therefore Peter makes it
the true trial of a new-born babe; the new-born babe desires the sincere
milk of the Word, that he may grow thereby.  If you be born of God, make
it manifest by desiring the breast of God.  Do you long for the milk of
promises?  A man lives one way when he is in the world, another way when
he is brought unto Jesus Christ; Isa. lxvi., “They shall suck, and be
satisfied.”  If you be born again, there is no satisfaction till you get
the milk of God’s word into your souls; Isa. lxvi. 11, “To suck, and be
satisfied with the breasts of consolation.”  O what is a promise to a
carnal man; a whorehouse, it may be, is more sweet to him; but if you be
born again, you cannot live without the milk of God’s word.  What is a
woman’s breast to a horse?  But what is it to a child?  There is its
comfort night and day, there is its succour night and day.  O how loath
is he it should be taken from him.  Minding heavenly things, says a
carnal man, is but vanity; but to a child of God, there is his comfort.

_Thirdly_, A child that is newly born, if it have not other comforts to
keep it warm than it had in its mother’s womb, it dies.  It must have
something got for its succour; so Christ had swaddling clothes prepared
for him; so those that are born again, they must have some promise of
Christ to keep them alive.  Those that are in a carnal state, they warm
themselves with other things; but those that are born again, they cannot
live without some promise of Christ to keep them alive, as he did to the
poor infant in Ezekiel xvii., “I covered thee with embroidered gold.”
And when women are with child, what fine things will they prepare for
their child!  O but what fine things has Christ prepared to wrap all in
that are born again!  O what wrappings of gold has Christ prepared for
all that are born again!  Women will dress their children, that every one
may see them how fine they are; so he in Ezekiel xvi. 11—“I decked thee
also with ornaments, and I also put bracelets upon thine hands, and a
chain on thy neck.  And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and ear-rings in
thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head;” and, says he in the
13th verse, “thou didst prosper to a kingdom.”  This is to set out
nothing in the world but the righteousness of Christ, and the graces of
the Spirit, without which a new-born babe cannot live, unless he have the
golden righteousness of Christ.

_Fourthly_, A child when it is in its mother’s lap, the mother takes
great delight to have that which will he for its comfort; so it is with
God’s children, they shall he kept on his knee; Isaiah lxvi. 11, “They
shall stick and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolation.”  Ver.
13, “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.”  There is
a similitude in these things that nobody knows of but those that are born
again.

_Fifthly_, There is usually some similitude betwixt the father and the
child; it may be the child looks like its father; so those that are born
again, they have a new similitude, they have the image of Jesus Christ
(Gal. iv.), every one that is born of God has something of the features
of heaven upon him.  Men love those children that are likest them most
usually; so does God his children; therefore they are called the children
of God.  But others do not look like him, therefore they are called
Sodomites.  Christ describes children of the devil by their features; the
children of the devil, his works they will do; all works of
unrighteousness, they are the devil’s works.  If you are earthly, you
have borne the image of the earthly; if heavenly, you have borne the
image of the heavenly.

_Sixthly_, When a man has a child, he trains him up to his own liking, he
learns the custom of his father’s house; so are those that are born of
God; they have learned the custom of the true church of God, there they
learn to cry, My Father and my God; they are brought up in God’s house,
they learn the method and form of God’s house for regulating their lives
in this world.

_Seventhly_, Children, it is natural for them to depend upon their father
for what they want.  If they want a pair of shoes, they go and tell him;
if they want bread, they go and tell him; so should the children of God
do.  Do you want spiritual bread? go tell God of it.  Do you want
strength of grace? ask it of God.  Do you want strength against Satan’s
temptations? go and tell God of it.  When the devil tempts you, run home
and tell your heavenly Father; go pour out your complaints to God.  This
is natural to children; if any wrong them, they go and tell their father;
so do those that are born of God, when they meet with temptations, go and
tell God of them.

The first use is this, to make a strict inquiry whether you be born of
God or not.  Examine by those things I laid down before of a child of
nature and a child of grace.  Are you brought out of the dark dungeon of
this world into Christ? have you learned to cry, My Father? Jer. iii. 16,
“And I said, Thou shalt call me thy Father.”  All God’s children are
criers.  Can you be quiet without you have a bellyful of the milk of
God’s word?  Can you be satisfied without you have peace with God?  Pray
you consider it, and be serious with yourselves.  If you have not these
marks, you will fall short of the kingdom of God, you shall never have an
interest there; there is no intruding.  They will say, “Lord, Lord, open
to us; and he will say, I know you not.”  No child of God, no heavenly
inheritance.  We sometimes give something to those that are not our
children, but not our lands.  O do not flatter yourselves with a portion
among the sons, unless you live like sons.  When we see a king’s son play
with a beggar, this is unbecoming; so if you be the king’s children, live
like the king’s children.  If you be risen with Christ, set your
affections on things above, and not on things below.  When you come
together, talk of what your Father promised you; you should all love your
Father’s will, and be content and pleased with the exercises you meet
with in the world.  If you are the children of God, live together
lovingly.  If the world quarrel with you, it is no matter; but it is sad
if you quarrel together.  If this be amongst you, it is a sign of
ill-breeding, it is not according to rules you have in the Word of God.
Dost thou see a soul that has the image of God in him?  Love him, love
him; say, This man and I must go to heaven one day.  Serve one another,
do good for one another; and if any wrong you, pray to God to right you,
and love the brotherhood.

_Lastly_, If you be the children of God, learn that lesson: “Gird up the
loins of your mind as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves
according to your former conversation; but be ye holy in all manner of
conversation.”  Consider that the holy God is your father, and let this
oblige you to live like the children of God, that you may look your
Father in the face with comfort another day.



BUNYAN’S DYING SAYINGS.


OF SIN.


SIN is the great block and bar to our happiness, the procurer of all
miseries to man, both here and hereafter; take away sin, and nothing can
hurt us; for death temporal, spiritual, and eternal, is the wages of it.

Sin, and man for sin, is the object of the wrath of God.  How dreadful
therefore must his case be who continues in sin; for who can bear and
grapple with the wrath of God?

No sin against God can be little, because it is against the great God of
heaven and earth; but if the sinner can find out a _little_ God, it may
be easy to find out little sins.

Sin turns all God’s grace into wantonness: it is the _dare_ of his
justice; the _rape_ of his mercy; the _jeer_ of his patience; the
_slight_ of his power; and the _contempt_ of his love.

Take heed of giving thyself liberty of committing one sin, for that will
lead thee to another; till by an ill custom it become natural.

To begin sin is to lay a foundation for a continuance; this continuance
is the mother of custom, and impudence at last the issue.

The death of Christ giveth us the best discovery of ourselves; in what
condition we were, so that nothing could help us but that; and the most
clear discovery of the dreadful nature of our sins.  For if sin be such a
dreadful thing as to wring the heart of the Son of God, how shall a poor
wretched sinner be able to bear it?



OF AFFLICTION.


Nothing can render affliction so heavy as the load of sin; would you
therefore be fitted for afflictions, be sure to get the burden of your
_sins_ laid aside, and then what afflictions soever you meet with will be
very easy to you.

If thou canst hear and bear the rod of affliction which God shall lay
upon thee, remember this lesson, thou art _beaten_ that thou mayst be
better.

The Lord useth his _flail_ of tribulation to separate the chaff from the
wheat.

The school of the cross is the school of light; it discovers the world’s
vanity, baseness, and wickedness, and lets us see more of God’s mind.
Out of dark affliction comes a spiritual light.

In times of affliction we commonly meet with the sweetest experiences of
the love of God.

Did we heartily renounce the pleasures of this world, we should be very
little troubled for our afflictions; that which renders an afflicted
state so insupportable to many, is because they are too much addicted to
the pleasures of this life; and so cannot endure that which makes a
separation between them.



OF REPENTANCE AND COMING TO CHRIST.


The end of affliction is the discovery of sin; and of _that_ to bring us
to the Saviour; let us therefore, with the prodigal, return unto him, and
we shall find ease and rest.

A returning penitent, though formerly bad as the worst of men, may by
grace become as good as the best.

To be truly sensible of sin, is to sorrow for _displeasing_ of God: to be
afflicted, that he is displeased _by us_ more than that he is displeased
_with_ us.

Your intentions to repentance, and the neglect of that soul-saving duty,
will rise up in judgment against you.

Repentance carries with it a _divine rhetoric_, and persuades Christ to
forgive multitudes of sins committed against him.

Say not to thyself, to-morrow I will repent; for it is thy duty to do it
daily.

The gospel of grace and salvation is above all doctrine the most
dangerous, if it be received in _word_ only by graceless men; if it be
not attended with a sensible need of a Saviour, and bring them to him;
for such men only as have the _notion_ of it, are of all men most
miserable; for by reason of their knowing more than heathens, this shall
only be their final portion, that they shall have greater stripes.



OF PRAYER.


Before you enter into prayer, ask thy soul these questions, 1.  To what
_end_, O my soul! art thou retired into this place?  Art thou come to
converse with the Lord in prayer?  Is he present, will he hear thee?  Is
he merciful, will he help thee?  Is thy business slight, is it not
concerning the welfare of thy soul?  What words wilt thou use to move him
to compassion?

To make thy preparation complete, consider that thou art but _dust_ and
_ashes_; and he the great God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, _that
clothes himself with light as with a garment_; that thou art a vile
sinner, and he a holy God; that thou art but a poor crawling worm, and he
the omnipotent Creator.

In all your prayers, forget not to thank the Lord for his mercies.

When thou prayest, rather let thy heart be without _words_ than thy words
without _heart_.

Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease
from prayer.

The spirit of prayer is more precious than thousands of gold and silver.

Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a
scourge for Satan.



OF THE LORD’S-DAYS, SERMONS, AND WEEK-DAYS.


Have a special care to sanctify the Lord’s-day; for as thou keepest it,
so will it be with thee all the week long.

Make the Lord’s-day the _market_ for thy soul; let the whole day be spent
in prayer, repetitions, or meditations; lay aside the affairs of the
other parts of the week; let the sermon thou hast heard be converted into
_prayer_: shall God allow thee six days, and wilt thou not afford him
one?

In the church, be careful to serve God; for thou art in his eyes, and not
in man’s.

Thou mayst hear sermons often, and do well in practising what thou
hearest; but thou must not expect to be told in a pulpit all that thou
oughtest to do, but be studious in reading the Scriptures, and other good
books; what thou hearest may be forgotten, but what thou readest may
better be retained.

Forsake not the public worship of God, lest God forsake thee; not only in
public, but in private.

On the week-day, when thou risest in the morning, consider, 1.  Thou must
die; 2.  Thou mayst die that minute; 3.  What will become of thy soul.
Pray often.  At night consider, 1.  What sins thou hast committed; 2.
How often thou hast prayed; 3.  What hath thy mind been bent upon; 4.
What hath been thy dealing; 5.  What thy conversation; 6.  If thou
callest to mind the errors of the day, sleep not without a confession to
God, and a hope of pardon.  Thus, every morning and evening make up thy
account with Almighty God, and thy reckoning will be the less at last.



OF THE LOVE OF THE WORLD.


Nothing more hinders a soul from coming to Christ than a vain love of the
_world_; and till a soul is freed from it, it can never have a true love
for God.

What are the honours and riches of this world, when compared to the
glories of a crown of life?

Love not the world, for it is a moth in a Christian’s life.

To despise the world is the way to enjoy heaven; and blessed are they who
delight to converse with God by prayer.

What folly can be greater than to labour for the meat that perisheth, and
neglect the food of eternal life?

God or the world must be neglected at _parting_ time, for then is the
time of trial.

To seek yourself in this life is to be lost; and to be humble is to be
exalted.

The epicure that delighteth in the dainties of this world, little
thinketh that those very creatures will one day witness against him.



ON SUFFERING.


It is not every suffering that makes a man a martyr; but suffering for
the Word of God after a right manner; that is, not only for
_righteousness_, but for righteousness’ sake; not only for _truth_, but
out of love to truth; not only for God’s Word, but according to it: to
wit, in that holy, humble, meek manner, as the Word of God requireth.

It is a rare thing to suffer aright, and to have my spirit in suffering
bent against God’s enemy, sin.  Sin in doctrine, sin in worship, sin in
life, and sin in conversation.

Neither the devil, nor men of the world, can kill thy righteousness, or
love to it, but by thy own hand; or separate that and thee asunder,
without thy own act.  Nor will he that doth indeed suffer for the sake of
it, or out of love he bears thereto, be tempted to _exchange_ it for the
good will of the whole world.

I have often thought that the best of Christians are found in the worst
times: and I have thought again, that one reason why we are not better
is, because God purges us no more.  Noah and Lot, who so _holy_ as they
in the time of their afflictions! and yet, who so _idle_ as they in the
time of their prosperity?



OF DEATH AND JUDGMENT.


As the devil labours by all means to keep out other things that are good,
so to keep out of the heart as much as in him lies, the thoughts of
passing out of this life into another world; for he knows if he can but
keep them from the serious thoughts of _death_, he shall the more easily
keep them in their sins.

Nothing will make us more earnest in working out the work of our
salvation than a frequent meditation of mortality; nothing hath a greater
influence for the taking off our hearts from vanities, and for the
begetting in us desires for holiness.

O! sinner, what a condition wilt thou fall into when thou departest the
world; if thou depart unconverted, thou hadst better have been
_smothered_ the first hour thou wast born; thou hadst better have been
plucked one limb from the other; thou hadst better have been made a dog,
a toad, a serpent, than to die unconverted; and this thou wilt find true
if thou repent not.

A man would be counted a fool to slight a judge before whom he is to have
a trial of his whole estate.  The trial we are to have before God is of
_otherwise_ importance; it concerns our eternal happiness or misery, and
yet dare we affront him.

The only way for us to escape that terrible judgment is to be often
passing a sentence of condemnation upon ourselves here.

When the sound of the trumpet shall be heard, which shall summon the dead
to appear before the tribunal of God, the righteous shall hasten out of
their graves with joy to meet their Redeemer in the clouds; others shall
call to the mountains and hills to fall upon them, to cover them from the
sight of their judge; let us, therefore, in time be _posing_ ourselves
which of the _two_ we shall be.



OF THE JOYS OF HEAVEN.


There is no good in this life but what is mingled with some evil: honours
perplex, riches disquiet, and pleasures ruin health.  But in heaven we
shall find blessings in their purity, without any ingredient to imbitter;
with everything to sweeten it.

O! who is able to conceive the inexpressible, inconceivable joys that are
there!  None but they who have tasted of them.  Lord, help us to put such
a value upon them here, that in order to prepare ourselves for them, we
may be willing to forego the loss of all those deluding pleasures here.

How will the heavens echo for joy, when the bride, the Lamb’s wife, shall
come to dwell with her husband for ever!

Christ is the desire of nations, the joy of angels, the delight of the
Father; what solace then must the soul be filled with, that hath the
possession of him to all eternity!

O! what acclamations of joy will there be, when all the children of God
shall meet together, without fear of being disturbed by the
anti-Christian and Cainish brood.

Is there not a time coming when the godly may ask the wicked, what profit
they have in their pleasure? what comfort in their greatness? and what
fruit in all their labour?

If you would be better satisfied what the beatifical vision means, my
request is, that you would live _holily_ and go and see.



OF THE TORMENTS OF HELL.


Heaven and salvation is not surely _more_ promised to the godly, than
hell and damnation is threatened to, and shall be executed on, the
wicked.

Oh! who knows the power of God’s wrath?  None but damned ones.

Sinners’ company are the devil and his angels, tormented in everlasting
fire with a curse.

Hell would be a kind of paradise, if it were no worse than the _worst_ of
this world.

As different as grief is from joy, as torment from rest, as terror from
peace; so different is the state of sinners from that of _saints_ in the
world to come.





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