Archive for the ‘Joseph Alleine’ Category

A Mark of the Unconverted – love of the praise of men

November 10, 2008

A Mark of the Unconverted

Unmortified pride. When men love the praise of men more than the praise of God, and set their hearts upon men’s esteem, applause, and approbation-it is most certain that they are yet in their sins, and strangers to true conversion (John 12:43; Gal 1:10). When men do not see, nor complain, nor groan under the pride of their own hearts-it is a sign they are stark dead in sin! Oh how secretly does this pride live and reign in many hearts, and they know it not-but are total strangers to themselves (John 9:40).

Alarm to the Unconverted
Joseph Alleine, 1671

A Mark of the Unconverted – love of the world

November 10, 2008

A Mark of the Unconverted

The predominant love of the world. This is the sure evidence of an unsanctified heart. ‘If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him’ (1 John 2:15). But how often does this sin lurk under the fair cover of profession. Yes, such a power of deceit is there in this sin that many times, when everybody else can see the man’s worldliness and covetousness, he cannot see it himself-but has so many excuses and pretenses for his eagerness after the world, that he blinds his own eyes and perishes in his self-deceit! How many professing Christians are there, with whom the world has more of their hearts and affections than Christ, ‘who mind earthly things’, and thereby are evidently after the flesh, and likely to end in destruction (Rom 8:5; Phil 3:19). Yet ask these men, and they will tell you confidently they prize Christ above all; for they do not see their own earthly-mindedness for lack of a strict observance of the workings of their own hearts. Did they but carefully search, they would quickly see that their greatest satisfaction is in the world, and that their greatest care and main endeavor are to get and secure the world-which are the certain signs of an unconverted sinner. May the professing part of the world take earnest heed lest they perish by the hand of this sin unobserved. Men may be, and often are, kept off from Christ as effectually by the inordinate love of lawful comforts, as by the most wicked lives.

Alarm to the Unconverted
Joseph Alleine, 1671

“Turn or Burn” – and old saying

November 10, 2008

Arise then! What do you mean, O sleeper? Awake, O secure sinner, lest you be consumed in your iniquities! Say, as the lepers, ‘If we sit here, we shall die!’ (2 Kings 7:3-4). Truly, it is not more certain that you are now out of hell, than that you shall speedily be in it-unless you repent and be converted. There is but this one door for you to escape by. Arise then, O sluggard, and shake off your excuses; how long will you slumber and fold your hands to sleep? Will you lie down in the midst of the sea, or sleep on the top of a mast? (Prov 23:34). There is no remedy-but you must either turn or burn! There is an unchangeable necessity of the change of your condition, unless you have resolved to abide the worst of it, and fight it out with the Almighty. If you love your life, O man, arise and come away. I think I see the Lord Jesus laying the merciful hands of a holy violence upon you; I think He acts like the angels to Lot: “Hurry,” they said to Lot. “Take your wife and your two daughters who are here. Get out of here right now, or you will be caught in the destruction of the city.” When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the Lord was merciful. “Run for your lives!” the angels warned. “Do not stop anywhere in the valley. And don’t look back! Escape to the mountains, or you will die.” Genesis 19:15-17 (Gen 19:15-17).

Alarm to the Unconverted
Joseph Alleine, 1671

Don’t put off repentance by a single minute.

Why unbelief denigrates the Creator

November 8, 2008

God has made all the visible creatures in heaven and earth for the service of man, and man only is the spokesman for all the rest. Man is, in the world, like the tongue to the body, which speaks for all the members. The other creatures cannot praise their Maker, except by dumb signs and hints to man that he should speak for them. Man is, as it were, the high priest of God’s creation, to offer the sacrifice of praise for all his fellow-creatures. The Lord God expects a tribute of praise from all His works. Now, all the rest do bring in their tribute to man, and pay it by his hand. So then, if a man is false, and faithless, and selfish—God is robbed of all, and has no active glory from His works.

O dreadful thought! that God should build such a world as this, and lay out such infinite power, and wisdom, and goodness thereupon, and all in vain! And that man should be guilty, at last, of robbing and spoiling Him of the glory of all! O think of this. While you are unconverted, all the offices of the creatures are in vain to you. Your food nourishes you in vain. The sun holds forth its light to you in vain. Your clothes warm you in vain. Your horse carries you in vain. In a word, the unwearied labor and continued travail of the whole creation—so far as you are concerned—are in vain. The service of all the creatures which drudge for you, and yield forth their strength unto you, with which you should serve their Maker—is all but lost labor. Hence, ‘the whole creation groans’ (Rom 8:22) under the abuse of unsanctified men who pervert all things to the service of their lusts, quite contrary to the very end of their being.

Alarm to the Unconverted

Joseph Alleine, 1671

False Converts

November 5, 2008

The unsound convert takes Christ by halves. He is all for the salvation of Christ—but he is not for sanctification. He is for the privileges—but does not appropriate the person of Christ. He divides the offices and benefits of Christ. This is an error in the foundation. Whoever loves life, let him beware here. It is an undoing mistake, of which you have been often warned, and yet none is more common. Jesus is a sweet Name—but men do not love the Lord Jesus in sincerity. They will not have Him as God offers, ‘to be a Prince and a Savior’ (Acts 5:31). They divide what God has joined, the King who rules—and the Priest who saves. They will not accept the salvation of Christ as He intends it; they divide it here. Every man’s vote is for salvation from suffering—but they do not desire to be saved from sinning. They would have their lives saved—but still would have their lusts. Indeed, many divide here again; they would be content to have some of their sins destroyed—but they cannot leave the lap of Delilah, or divorce the beloved Herodias. They cannot be cruel to the right eye or right hand.

O be infinitely careful here; your soul depends upon it. The sound convert takes a whole Christ, and takes Him for all intents and purposes, without exceptions, without limitations, without reserve. He is willing to have Christ upon any terms; he is willing to have the dominion of Christ as well as deliverance by Christ. He says with Paul, ‘Lord, what will you have me to do?’ [Acts 9:6] Anything, Lord! He gives Christ the blank page—to write down His own conditions.

Joseph Alleine, Alarm to the Unconverted, 1671

Conversion means turning from self-righteousness

November 5, 2008

We turn from our own RIGHTEOUSNESS. Before conversion, man seeks to cover himself with his own fig-leaves, and to make himself acceptable with God, by his own duties. He is apt to trust in himself, and set up his own righteousness, and to reckon his pennies for gold, and not to submit to the righteousness of God. But conversion changes his mind; now he counts his own righteousness as filthy rags. He casts it off, as a man would the verminous tatters of a nasty beggar. Now he is brought to poverty of spirit, complains of and condemns himself; and all his inventory is, ‘I am poor, and miserable, and wretched, and blind, and naked!’ [Rev 3:17]. He sees a world of iniquity in his holy things, and calls his once-idolized righteousness but filth and loss; and would not for a thousand worlds be found in it!

Now he begins to set a high price upon Christ’s righteousness. He sees the need of Christ in every duty, to justify his person and sanctify his performances; he cannot live without Him; he cannot pray without Him. Christ must go with him, or else he cannot come into the presence of God; he leans upon Christ, and so bows himself in the house of his God. He sets himself down for a lost undone man without Him; his life is hid in Christ, as the root of a tree spreads in the earth for stability and nourishment. Before, the gospel of Christ was a stale and tasteless thing; but now—how sweet is Christ! Augustine could not relish his once-admired Cicero, because he could not find in his writings the name of Christ. How emphatically he cries, ‘O most sweet, most loving, most kind, most dear, most precious, most desired, most lovely, most fair!’ all in a breath, when he speaks of and to Christ. In a word, the voice of the convert is, with the martyr, ‘None but Christ!’

Joseph Alleine, Alarm to the Unconverted, 1671

The Battle Against Sin

November 5, 2008

The sound convert is heartily engaged against sin. He struggles with it, he wars against it; he is too often foiled—but he will never yield the cause, nor lay down the weapons, while he has breath in his body. He will make no peace; he will give no quarter. He can forgive his other enemies, he can pity them and pray for them; but here he is implacable, here he is set upon their extermination. He hunts as it were for the precious life; his eye shall not pity, his hand shall not spare, though it be a right hand or a right eye. Be it a gainful sin, most delightful to his nature or the support of his esteem with worldly friends—yet he will rather throw his gain down into the gutter, see his credit fail, or the flower of his pleasure wither in his hand—than he will allow himself in any known way of sin. He will grant no indulgence, he will give no toleration. He draws upon sin wherever he meets it, and frowns upon it with this unwelcome salute, ‘Have I found you, O my enemy!’

Joseph Alleine, Alarm to the Unconverted, 1671

Don’t dispute about your election

November 5, 2008

You begin at the wrong end if you first dispute about your election. Prove your conversion, and then never doubt your election. If you cannot yet prove it, set upon a present and thorough turning. Whatever God’s purposes be, which are secret, I am sure His promises are plain. How desperately do rebels argue! ‘If I am elected I shall be saved, do what I will. If not, I shall be damned, do what I can.’ Perverse sinner, will you begin where you should end? Is not the word before you? What says it? ‘Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.’ ‘If you mortify the deeds of the body you shall live.’ ‘Believe and be saved’ (Acts 3:19; Rom 8:13; Acts 16:31). What can be plainer? Do not stand still disputing about your election—but set to repenting and believing. Cry to God for converting grace. Revealed things belong to you; in these busy yourself. It is just, as one well said, that they who will not feed on the plain food of the Word should be choked with the bones. Whatever God’s purposes may be, I am sure His promises are true. Whatever the decrees of heaven may be, I am sure that if I repent and believe, I shall be saved; and that if I do not repent, I shall be damned. Is not this plain ground for you; and will you yet run upon the rocks?

Joseph Alleine, Alarm to the Unconverted, 1671

Conversion is a supernatural work

November 5, 2008

So then, conversion is a work above man’s power. We are ‘born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man—but of God’ (John 1:13). Never think you can convert yourself. If ever you would be savingly converted, you must despair of doing it in your own strength. It is a resurrection from the dead (Eph 2:1), a new creation (Gal 6:15; Eph 2:10), a work of absolute omnipotence (Eph 1:19). Are not these out of the reach of human power? If you have no more than you had by your first birth—a good nature, a meek and chaste temper etc.—you are a stranger to true conversion. Conversion is a supernatural work.

Joseph Alleine, Alarm to the Unconverted, 1671