This volume owns its origin to a season of calamity. While the cholera was raging in the city of New York during the summer of 1849, the author was called to witness a great variety of ” death-bed scenes.” At the same time his own health was too much shaken to admit of any severe literary pursuit. Under those circumstance the work was suggested to his mind as one likely to subserve a useful purpose; and during that season most of the material for the work was collected and arranged. Since then, it has occupied the hours of respite from more imperious duties, in revision and preparation for the press. In now presenting it to the public, the author would express the hope that it may promote the great interests of true religion. Under each of these heads the most striking and instructive examples that have occurred are presented ; the whole forming the most complete array of facts ever embodied in any one work, on a subject of universal and most weighty concern.
This section hardly has an equal in Puritan writings for experimental theology, an example….”
“I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” “What a vile, wretched creature have I been!” saith the soul “I blush and am ashamed to think of my folly, baseness, and ingratitude. Is it possible that I should deal thus with the Lord? I abhor, I loathe myself; I would fly anywhere from myself, I am so vile and loathsome, —a thing to be despised of God, angels, and men.”The soul brings not only its sin but itself also to the law. It puts itself, as to merit and desert, under the stroke and severity of it. Hence ariseth a full justification of God in what sentences soever he shall be pleased to pronounce in the case before him.”
The danger of neglecting duty and resisting the Spirit. The frightening death bed scene of Louisa who wished to live a cheerful young life and put off repentance until later. The Almost Christian (1) procrastination, (2) the love of the world (3) the fear of man.
The Young Christian was one of the earliest and certainly one of the most popular of all of Abbott’s books. Abbott stated in the preface “This book is intended to explain and illustrate, in a simple manner, the principles of Christian duty… This book was “designed as a children’s guide to religion and morality”. This title made Jacob Abbott one of the popular authors in America.
The first edition was published in 1832 from www.jacobabbot.com
This section of the book, pages 107 to 120 answers objections from the poor doubting Christian who supposes he is just a self-deceived hypocrite that has no right to the comforts previously expounded. Or another objection that the comforts produce no fruit or exert their power on my heart.
From an article by Mark Herzer: Thomas Goodwin masterfully and almost exhaustively argues that Christ’s disposition, love, tenderness, etc. has not changed in heaven. If He loved while on earth, then He surely loves in heaven. Remember, Jesus beckoned us to come to Him because He is meek and lowly of heart (Mt. 11:28). We must not think that Christ is less concerned and less meek because He has been exalted and removed from us. His nature has not changed even though His estate has.
From the Geneva Series of Commentaries. Spurgeon said of this commentary, “We always get something out of Greenhill whenever we refer to him. He had not, of course, the critical skill of the present day, but his spiritual insight was keen. He rather commented on a passage than expounded it.” I think this commendation is not strong enough. It is one of the best Puritan commentaries for application I have read.
From Chapel Library:
Honey Out of the Rock is mentioned in 1740 by Thomas Crosby in his History of the English Baptists, where he wrote of Willcox: “He writ a small piece, which was printed before the Fire of London, entitled: A Drop of Honey from the Rock Christ, a piece that was very well esteemed, and has done much good and been oft reprinted.” It was also translated into numerous languages. Now entitled Honey Out of the Rock, it continues to encourage God’s people wherever Christ is served.
Thomas Wilcox was born in August, 1621 at Lyndon, Rutland, and probably was well educated. He was a Particular Baptist elder of a small congregation, which met at his house in London before the Plague. In those days of persecution, he was known for moderation, and preached frequently among the Presbyterians and independents. He was imprisoned in Newgate more than once, and suffered much for the sake of Nonconformity. After 1665, he pastored a Particular Baptist church, whose meeting-house was a small wooden building in Three Cranes Alley, Tooley Street in the Borough of Southwark. He labored lovingly, with pen as well as tongue, until his death onMay 17, 1687 at the age of 65, leaving a widow and three children..
In this chapter, the author describes the hinderances of salvation that, without God’s grace, would make perserverance to the end impossible.
Directions for a comfortable walk with God, from the 1838 text, but narrated in even more modern English. Warning, this work is very hard hitting. Are there few that be saved?
In the continuation of this chapter, Hoornbeeck examines some real life cases of despair including Francis Spira, John Glover – about 1555, Thomas Witte, and others who concluded against themselves that they were forever cast off by God. the case of John Glover is mentioned in Archibald Alexander’s Thoughts on Religious Experience, chapter 4, Melancholy.