A section from the Nature and Causes of Apostasy. Very searching, very humbling. God be merciful to me, a sinner. ”
“This evangelical holiness will not allow of nor will consist with the constant, habitual omission of any one duty, or the satisfaction of any one lust of the mind or of the flesh. As we are, in all instances of duty, to be “perfecting holiness in the fear of God,” 2 Corinthians 7: 1, so “no provision is to be made for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof,” Romans 13: 14. This is that which loseth it so many friends in the world. Would it barter with the flesh, would it give and take allowances in any kind, or grant indulgence unto any one sin, multitudes would have a kindness for it which now bid it defiance. Every one would have an exemption for that sin which he likes best, and which is most suited to his inclinations and carnal interests.”
In this lesson we overview the entire book of Pilgrim’s Progress to know most of its contents and then focus in on the cowardice of Timorous and Mistrust as well as learn lessons in The Palace Beautiful.
Though it be a dark day, yet let us wait upon God all the day. Though, while we are kept waiting for what God will do, we are kept in the dark concerning what is doing, and what is best for us to do; yet let us be content to wait in the dark. Though we see not our signs, though there is none to tell us how long; yet let us resolve to wait, how long so ever it be; for though what God doth, we know not now, yet we shall know hereafter, when the mystery of God shall be finished.
Having ascribed glory to God, which is his due, Psalm 29:2 we must next take shame to ourselves, which is our due, and humble ourselves before him in the sense of our own sinfulness and vileness; and herein also we must give glory to him, Joshua 7:19 as our Judge, by whom we deserve to be condemned, and yet hope, through Christ, to be acquitted and absolved.
In this part of our work: We must acknowledge the great reason we have to lie very low before God and to be ashamed of ourselves when we come into his presence and to be afraid of his wrath, having made ourselves both odious to his holiness and obnoxious to his justice.
In this discussion we cover the characters of Simple, Sloth, and Presumption, then Formalist and Hypocrisy. We also discuss at length the temporary loss of assurance of salvation and distinguish it from God’s hiding of His face from His children to teach them to not live on their frames and feelings.
This sermon was published in the magazine called The National Preacher, for the year 1832. It hardly has its equal, in my humble opinion, for searching the profession and thinking forward to the great sifting on judgment day. “It is not this withering passion alone that will be tested by the gospel. It is adapted to try the hypocrite and all his subterfuges, and all his mental reservations; in all his evasions to escape the simple and decided duties of Christian piety. Every demand of truth or duty brings his character out. The doctrines of the gospel disturb or discuss him. Those solemn and awful, and yet tender truths, which go beyond the coldest moral sentiments, and which speak of the just government of God, of sovereignty, of election, of hell, of holiness, and prayer, trouble him. Those expressions of pure and advanced piety which speak of the higher joys of the Christian and tell of communion with God, disquiet him. Those sentiments which speak of active piety, which call on him for decided zeal in the cause of God, irritate him. Those assaults which religion makes on his corrupted feelings, those reproofs what she administers when he conforms to the world, those denunciations which thunder along his path when he lives just like other men, and is ashamed of the religion which he professes to love, provoke him. His mind is ruffled by the demands of a life of sincere and prayerful piety. So Job asks, respecting the hypocrite, “will he always call upon God?”
From the sermon, “Now there are but few, comparatively speaking, who have any clear sight or any deep feeling of what sin really is; and the reason, for the most part, is because they have such a slight, shallow, superficial knowledge of who and what God is. But let them once see the purity of God by the eye of faith, let them once have a manifestation of His justice and holiness, majesty and greatness to their soul, and let them, seeing light in His light, have a corresponding sight and sense of the deep and desperate state in which they are as fallen children of a fallen parent, then will they no longer have slight, superficial feelings of the nature and evil of sin, but will so see and feel its hideous and damnable character as to make them cry out with Isaiah in the temple, “Woe to me! I am ruined!
In this lesson, we continue to discuss the pilgrimmage of Christian as he meets Evangelist, goes to Wicket Gate, talks to Goodwill and then goes to the House of the Interpreter. Due to time constraints, we only deal more fully with two of the first 5 pictorial instructions, the dust, the swept floor and the maiden with a pitcher of water. (2) The wall with the fire, the casting of water on the one side of the fire, but it’s burning hotter. The last two pictures in the Interpreter’s House will be addressed, D V, next week.
This is the first of a number of Sunday School lessons taught at The Reformed Baptist Church in Grand Rapids, MI. This first lesson deals with the historical background, some biographical information. Then we transitioned to reading the first paragraphs of the book and commenting.