What can be in itself more plain and manifest, and easily to be known by us, if it were not for a strange blindness, than we are to ourselves, who are always with, never absent from ourselves; always in our own view, before our own eyes; who have opportunity to look into our own hearts, and see all that passes there? And yet what is there that men are more ignorant of, than they are of themselves! There are many vicious practices, the unlawfulness of which is very plain, the sins are gross, and contrary not only to the Word of God, but to the light of nature. And yet men will often plead, there is no harm in such sins. Such as, many acts of gross uncleanness; and many acts of fraud, injustice and deceitfulness; and many others that might be mentioned.
A Solemn Warning to the Secure World, from the God of Terrible Majesty: Or, the Presumptuous Sinner Detected, His Pleas Consider’d, and His Doom Display’d. : Being an Essay, in which the Strong Proneness of Mankind to Entertain a False Confidence is Proved .
God who sometimes said unto Jerusalem, be instructed lest my Soul depart from thee, and thou become desolate, a Land not inhabited, doth by his solemn Judgements in like manner call from Heaven upon New-England, saying, be thou instructed, lest I depart from thee, and thou become desolate without an English Inhabitant.
Wherefore we are to be exhorted (and Oh that we might be persuaded) since we have been brought into such a bleeding state,
to make a right improvement of this dreadful Dispensation. O let not the Lord complain of New-England as sometimes of Israel, My People know not the Judgement of the Lord.
Cottage Lectures on Pilgrim’s Progress – 1849
Genuine penitents, for the most part, have far more difficulty in applying the promises of the gospel to their own case. They perceive, indeed, that a cold heart and a warm promise may
be brought near to each other by the word ; but they know, they feel that they cannot unite, and the cheerful blaze of hope and love be experienced within, until faith is given from above, and the promise is applied by a hand Divine.
Learn, dear brethren, from all this, first of all, the necessity of decision. How did Christian prevail over the arguments of Obstinate and Pliable when they came upon him, resolved to bring him back to the City of Destruction ? By what means was he enabled to send one of them back ashamed, and to induce the other to change his resolution, and to profess the faith which he came to oppose ?
It was by a bold, firm, and unyielding maintenance of the great truths which he had learned from his book, and which he had felt in his heart.
Charles Overton – 1805-1889
In 1847 appeared the first part, and in 1849 the second part, of the most popular of his works: ‘Cottage Lectures on Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” practically explained.’ These publications were very favourably received by the evangelical party, both in England and America.
A chapter from Bridge’s Lifting Up of the Downcast.
If you be drawn to Christ, is it material whether it be done with a cord of flax or a cord of silk? God hath two arms whereby he draws us unto himself; the arm of his love, and the arm of his anger and justice: the arm of his love is put forth in the promise, the arm of his anger and justice is put forth in the threatening; and with both these he doth lift up the fallen sinner. What if God lift you up with his left arm, so you be lifted up!
Bridge, William. A Lifting Up for the Downcast
A Lifting Up of the Downcast, “Why Art Thou Cast Down Oh My Soul?” Though remaining sin causes grief and humiliation, we are not to despair because of it.