A Sure Guide to Heaven
Puritan Book Reviews
A Puritan's guide to true conversion.
A Sure Guide to Heaven
by Joseph Alleine
Banner of Truth Trust, Carlisle, PA: 1989.
148 Pages, Paperback
It is unfortunate in my estimation that Banner of Truth changed the title of the book from An Alarm to the Unconverted to A Sure Guide to Heaven. I believe this is an injustice to Alleine in that his entire book as a spiritual alarm clock designed to awaken the unconverted from the state of spiritual slumber and death to see their need of Christ the Savior. In changing the title, no doubt, more people would rather pick up a book helping them obtain heaven, that being called an unconverted sinner. Though the title was changed, this does not do an injustice to the book itself and message contain therein.
Alleines alarm is just that an alarm. Its method and style is that of a frantic, but level headed herald running through the streets of colonial Boston with a musket in hand firing it into the sky and shouting The British are Coming, The British are Coming! Here Alleine is not interested in redcoats, but rather spiritual enemies. The wicked are dead in sin and they need to be awaken to their spiritual plight which is eternal hell if they are not repentant. Page after page Alleine sounds his alarm explaining the call of the Gospel and the plight of the sinner.
This is a book to buy 20 copies and hand out to everyone that would read it. I take pleasure in rereading this wonderful little volume and everyone would do well to obtain a few copies for times where the real inquirer, or as Jonathan Edwards said the seeker, desires to truly know the Lord Jesus Christ. As it is said that John Bunyan bled the Bible when pricked, (and that was true), here we find Joseph Alleine bleeding Christ in a gushing torrent from his heart through all these pages. It is a puritan favorite.
But from where shall I fetch my argument? With what shall I win them? O that I could tell! I would write to them in tears, I would weep out every argument, I would empty my veins for ink, I would petition them on my knees. O how thankful should I be if they would be prevailed with to repent and turn.
There is no entering heaven but by the strait passage of the second birth; without holiness you shall never see God (Heb. 12:14).
Conversion is not the taking upon us the profession of Christianity. Christianity is more than a name.
Here the hypocrites rottenness may be discovered. He desires holiness, as one well said, only as a bridge to heaven, and inquires earnestly what is the least that will serve his turn; and if he can get but so much as may bring him to heaven, this is all he cares for. But the sound convert desires holiness for holiness sake, and not merely for heavens sake.
So unspeakingly dreadful is the case of every unconverted soul, that I have sometimes thought it I could only convince men that they are still unregenerate, the work were more than half done.
Strive to affect your heart with a deep sense of your present misery. Read over the previous chapter again and again, and get it out of the book and into your heart. Remember when you lie down, that for all you know, you may awake in flames; and when you rise up, that by the next night you may make your bed in hell.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon