Use or Application of: our Need for Perseverance

                           

Here we may take up a sad lamentation, in respect of the many apostate professors of our days. Never was this spiritual falling sickness more rife.  O how many are sick of it at present, and not a few fallen asleep by it?  These times of war and confusion have not made so many broken merchants as broken professors.  Where is the congregation that cannot show some who have out-lived their profession? [They are] not unlike the silk-worm, which, they say, after all her spinning, works herself out of her bottom, and becomes at last a common fly.  Are there not many, whose forwardness in religion we have stood gazing on with admiration, as the disciples on the temple, ready to say one to another, as they to Christ, See what manner of stones these are! what polished gifts and shining graces are here! and now not one stone left upon another.  O did you ever think, that they who went in so goodly array towards heaven in communion with you, would after that, face about, and running over to the devil’s side, turn blasphemers, worldlings, and atheists, as some have done?  O what a sad change is here!  ‘It had been better for them not to have known the way of righ­teousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them, II Peter 2:21.  Better never to have walked a step towards heaven, than to put such a scorn and reproach upon the ways of God.  Such a one who hath known both what a service Satan’s is, and what God’s is, then to revolt from God to the devil, seems to have compared one with the other, and as a result of his mature thoughts, to pronounce the devil’s which he chooseth, better than God’s which he leaveth.  And how is it possible that any can sin upon a higher guilt, and go to hell under a greater load of wrath?  These are they which God loathes.  He that hates putting away, disdains much more to be himself thus put away.  ‘If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him,’ Heb. 10:38.  The apostate is said to tread upon ‘the Son of God,’ Heb. 10.29, as if he were no better than the dirt under his feet.  Well, he shall have treading for treading, God himself will set his foot upon him, ‘Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes,’ Ps. 119:118; and who, think you, will be weary soonest?  He that is under foot bears the weight of the whole man upon him.  To be under the foot of God, is to lie under the whole weight of God’s wrath.  O pity and pray for such forlorn souls.  They are objects of the one, and subjects of the other; though they are fallen low, yet [they are] not into hell.  Now and then we see a Eutychus raised, that hath fallen from such a height; and you that stand, take heed lest you fall.

 

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