To mourn most before God for those lusts which appear least before men.Others cannot mourn in secret for public sins but we should mourn in public for our secret sins. That must be sought with repentance, which has been so long lost by disobedience. Outward acts are most scandalous among men but inward lusts are most atrocious before God.Reader! if you would know the heart of your sin then you must know the sins of your heart! "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are the things that defile a man!" These streams of defilement which appear in your life do but show what a fountain of wickedness there is in your heart! Even the "thought of foolishness in sin!" "When sin has conceived, it brings forth death!" There is no sin so little as not to kindle an eternal fire! Sins first-born is death and its last-born is Hell.Though repentance is the act of man yet it is the gift of God. It requires the same power to melt the heart as to make it. As we are deeply fallen from a state of innocence, so we should rise to a state of penitence. Those sins shall never make a Hell for us which are a hell to us. Some people do nothing more than make work for repentance; and yet do nothing less than repent of their works. They have sin enough for all their sorrows but not sorrow enough for all their sins. Their eyes are windows to let in lusts when they should be flood-gates to pour out tears!When godly sorrow takes possession of the house it will quickly shut sin out of doors. There must be a falling out with our lusts before there can be a genuine falling off from our lusts. There must be a sincere loathing of sin in our affections before a true leaving of sin in our actions. It is a hearty mourning for our transgressions, which makes way for a happy funeral of our corruptions!Sinner, you have filled the book of God with your sins and will you not fill the bottle of God with your tears? Remember, that when Christ draws the likeness of the new creature, His first brush is dipped in water: "Unless you repent you shall all likewise perish!" Is it not better to repent without perishing than to perish without repenting? Godly sorrow is such a grace, that without it not a soul shall be saved; and with it not a soul shall be lost! Is it not therefore better to swim in the water-works of godly repentancethan to burn in the fire-works of divine vengeance? Do not think that the tears which are shed in Hell will in the least abate the torments which are suffered in Hell!Repentance is a priceless grace for it is the bestowment of a priceless Savior. "God exalted Him to His own right hand as Prince and Savior that He might give repentance and forgiveness of sins." As a Prince He gives repentance and as a Priest He gives a pardon. Our humiliation is the fruit of His exaltation. As He was abased for the sinners advancement so He was exalted for the sinners abasement! Remember, sinner, if your heart is not broken in you your guilt is not broken from you. If you lay not your sins to heart that you may be humbled; God will lay your sins to your charge that you may be damned. Though repentance is not a pardons obtainer; yet it is a pardons forerunner.He who lives in sin, without repentance shall die in sin, without forgiveness. There is no coming to the fair haven of glory without sailing through the narrow strait of repentance. Christ rejoices over those as blessed who mourn over themselves as cursed. "Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted." Out of the saltiest water God can brew the sweetest cordial. The skillful bee gathers the best honey from the bitterest herbs. When the cloud has been dissolved into a shower there soon follows a glorious sunshine. The more a stone is chiseled by the hand of the engraver the greater the beauty of the gem. By groans unutterable the Lord ushers in joys unspeakable.None do more sing in the possession of Christ, than such as most lament the departure of Christ. Usually their joys are commensurate to their sorrows. A tender heart is like melting wax ah what choice impressions are made upon such soft dispositions!A Christian should mourn more for the lusts of the flesh than for the works of the flesh; for the sin of our nature transcends the nature of all our outward sins. Carnal sins defile the soul by the body but spiritual sins defile the soul in the body. Many people can mourn over a body from which a soul is departed but they cannot mourn over a soul whom God has deserted! Alas! What is the bite of a flee compared to the bite of a lion? What is a spot in the face compared to a stab in the heart? Inward diseases are least visible and yet most fatal. A man may die of an internal cancer although a spot never appears on his body.Sin in the soul, is like Jonah in the ship it turns the smoothest water into a troubled ocean. We must mourn for sin on earth or burn for sin in Hell! It is the coldness of our hearts which kindles the fire of Gods anger. "They will look on Me whom they have pierced and mourn for Him as for an only son. They will grieve bitterly for Him as for a firstborn son who has died!" Christians! the nails which pierced Christs hands should now pierce your hearts! You should now be deeply wounded with godly sorrow, for having so deeply wounded Him with your ungodly sins! It should grieve your spirits to remember how much you have grieved His Spirit.A believer puts on the sackcloth of contrition for having put off the garment of perfection. As the sugar-cube is dissolved, and weeps itself awaywhen dipped in winelikewise do our hearts melt under a sense of divine love. Our language at such a season is, "O that we should be such base children to such a blessed Father!"Man must be convinced of sin before he can truly repent of sin. Unbelief in the heart is like the worm in Jonahs gourd an unseen adversary. Unbelief is least visible but most hurtful. Unbelief is the worst of robbers it both plunders and wounds the soul. Christ may dwell in the heart where unbelief lurks but not where it reigns. If Christ destroys its armor it becomes as weak as other men. The chief strength in which unbelief trusts is ignorance! It is no wonder why men sigh so little for sin when they see so little of sin. They have tears enough for their outward losses but none for their inward lusts! They can mourn for the evil which sin brings but not for sin which brings the evil.Pharaoh more lamented the hard strokes that were upon him, than the hard heart which was within him! Esau did not mourn because he sold the birthright, which was his sin but because he lost the blessing, which was his punishment. This is like weeping over an onion the eye sheds tears because it hurts! When the sailing is smooth, the mariner has his heart set on his costly cargo yet he casts it overboard in a storm. Many complain more of the sorrows to which they are born than of the sins with which they were born! They tremble more at the vengeance of sin than at the venom of sin. The venom of sin delights them the vengeance of sin affrights them!"The sinners in Zion are afraid; trembling seizes the ungodly!" Why what is the matter? "Who among us can dwell with a consuming fire? Who among us can dwell with ever-burning flames?" They feared sin not as it was a black coal which defiled but as it was a fire which burned them!" A stroke from Gods justice broke the heart of Judas into despair; while a look from Christs mercy melted Peters heart into tears!There are two evil things in our sins: the devilishness of them, and the dangerousness of them. Now, take a saint and an unrepentant sinner; the saint says, "What evil have I done?" The sinner says, "What evil must I suffer?" One mourns for the sin the other mourns for the punishment! The saint grieves because his soul is defiled the sinner grieves because his soul is damned. Water may gush from a rock when it is smitten with a rod. But all such streams are lost; for they neither quench the flames of Hell nor fill Gods bottles in Heaven.Our whole life should be a life of repentance and such repentance, as needs not to be repented of. While the vessel is leaking, the pump may be going. Reader, it is an unfavorable symptom, if you can wipe away tears from your eyes before God has washed away guilt from your conscience. It is better traveling to Heaven sadly than to Hell merrily! Give me a sorrowful saint rather than a merry sinner.Did the rocks rend when Christ died for sin? And shall not our hearts rend for having lived in sin? "If we confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin; and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Did ever words like these drop from the lips of any being except God? Here, the sinner is desired only to acknowledge the debt and the mountain of sin shall be canceled. Is it not therefore better to be saved by divine mercy than to be damned by divine justice? As soon as we are oppressed, and groan under our burden of sinwe are sure to be eased by Christs shoulders. If we repent of our offences with sincere grief the offended Lord joyfully forgives and forgets them all.Where misery passes undiscerned there mercy passes undesired. Christ may knock long at such doors before He gains admittance. He only enters into those who enter into themselves. "Behold I stand at the door and knock!" Christ oftener comes to the doorthan He enters the house. As we knock at His door for audience so He does at ours for entrance. If Christ is shut out of our heart our prayers will be shut out of His heart. Why should God show him mercy who never acknowledged himself guilty? A saints tears are better than a sinners triumphs.Bernard says, "The tears of penitents are the wine of angels!" When a sinner repents the angels rejoice! Give me such a mourning on earth as creates music in Heaven. Many are battered as lead by the hammer who were never bettered as gold by the fire. Sometimes, that repentance which begins in the fears of Hell ends in the flames of Hell!William Secker, 1660
Astounding article! Needs to be read by all.We do toy with sin, as though God will 'overlook'it.He will not. Let's not kid ourselves.Thank you.
Wonderful message. All true believers should repent, not just of their sinful acts, but more so of their sinful thoughts. God's standard of holiness will not allow for the sins of the heart.[i]Mt 15:19-20 [color=CC3300][b]For out of the heart come evil thoughts[/b], murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. [b]These are what make a man unclean[/b]; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him unclean. [/color]Jer 17:9 [b]The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure[/b]. Who can understand it?Ecc 7:20 [b]There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.[/b][/i]Sanctification begins with contrition and humility before the holiness of God.
Thank you so much for providing this. The sayings of the wise are like firmly embedded nails. This article really nails it down.
_________________Alan and Dina Martin
I am glad many found it to be up-building, i would encourage all to read the book it is taken from, i have posted a few excerpts from it here on SI, but the whole book is a "unknown" classic, a gem in the dark. I have found every single chapter deeply cuts through and get to the root matter.here is the full book, read it online, print it out but do read it. [url=http://www.gracegems.org/B/consistent_christian.htm]The consistent christian by William Secker 1660[/url]i include the preface here to all can see what much more gracious men then me have said about this short book.[i]by Theodore L. CuylerThis is a wonderful book! At whatever page you open it, your eye lights upon pithy aphorisms, which combine the sententiousness of Benjamin Franklin with the sweet holy savor of Samuel Rutherford. It contains hundreds of bright seed-thoughts like these: "There is one way to keep a man out of Hell but there is no way to get a man out of Hell." "This world is very large in our hopes but very small in our hands." "The water outside the ship may toss it but it is the water inside the ship which sinks it." "God is nearer to us than we are to ourselves." "Moses had more glory by his veil than he had by his face." "A saint is not free from sin that is his burden. A saint is not free to sin that is his blessing. Sin is in him that is his lamentation. His soul is not in sin that is his consolation." Matthew Henry, as rich a writer as he was did not surpass this little volume in gems of condensed and quickening thought.It is a wonder, that such a book should have laid in utter obscurity for fifty years. Another wonder is that Religious encyclopedias make no mention of the name of that genius who produced this unique book.by Alexander McLeodThe Character described in this small volume, is unhappily a very uncommon one the consistent Christian. It is drawn, more from the holy scriptures, than from living examples. Those people however, who are sincerely desirous of knowing and becoming such Christians, will derive advantage from a perusal of Seckers "Consistent Christian." It is written for men and women of plain sense, and is adapted to the taste of no scholarly reader. It is a book of practical godliness. Without that show of learning, which is attractive to the scholar, it explains and applies the Word of God to the heart and life of man. And without formal scholarly discussion, it is replete with sentiments corresponding with the analogy of faith.There is nothing to amuse or gratify the fine scholar; neither is it calculated to comfort the mere religionist, who builds his hope of immortality upon zeal for his denomination, or upon the inward feelings of an indistinct and uncertain experience. Mr. Secker points to Jesus as the rock upon which the soul rests, and insists upon godly works as the only conclusive evidence, that the professor of religion can give of his having the faith of Gods elect. The style is clear and pointed. The attentive reader cannot mistake the meaning of the author. We recommend the book to those who are desirous of being humbled and sanctified, as an excellent help in their endeavors to live to Him who died for them![/i]
He who lives in sin, without repentance shall die in sin, without forgiveness.
Man must be convinced of sin before he can truly repent of sin. Unbelief in the heart is like the worm in Jonahs gourd an unseen adversary. Unbelief is least visible but most hurtful. Unbelief is the worst of robbers it both plunders and wounds the soul. Christ may dwell in the heart where unbelief lurks but not where it reigns. If Christ destroys its armor it becomes as weak as other men. The chief strength in which unbelief trusts is ignorance! It is no wonder why men sigh so little for sin when they see so little of sin. They have tears enough for their outward losses but none for their inward lusts! They can mourn for the evil which sin brings but not for sin which brings the evil.
Can you imagin a Puritan like Banyan or Baxter preaching in our churches today! Or a Wesley and Whitefield! Who will stand their word? Im sure they will be cast out of churches and banished from our midts, who can bear a guilty conscience when the first word of the man of God is repentance.Thats why they hated so much Ravenhill and they do hate Washer and they will hate everyman of God who exposes their darkness and sin.We love our sin, God have mercy and do something about our pitiful condition and save us from compromsing with the wordly religious who are real enemies of the Christ, who pay lip service to God but hate Him deep in their heart.