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    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Spurgeon On Christians Who Are Satisfied With Their Spiritual Condition

Charles H. Spurgeon

From the works of Charles H. Spurgeon

There are some whose conduct is all that we could wish, whose conversation is for the most part unctuous with the gospel, mid savory of truth ; but even they will confess to a . . . charge, which I must now sorrowfully bring against them and against myself; namely, that there is too little real communion with Jesus Christ. If thanks to divine grace, we are enabled to keep our conduct tolerably consistent, and our lives unblemished, yet how much have we to cry out against ourselves, from a lack of that holy fellowship with Jesus which is the high mark of the true child of God Brethren, let me ask some of you how long it is since you have had a love-visit from Jesus Christ—how long since you could say, “My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies?” How long is it since “he brought you into his banqueting house, and his banner over you was love?” Perhaps some of you will be able to say, “It was but this morning that I saw him; I beheld his face with joy, and was ravished with his countenance.” But I fear the greatest part of you will have to say, “Ah, sir, for months I have been without the shinings of his countenance.” What have you been doing, then, and what has been your way of life? Have you been groaning every day? Have you been weeping every minute? “No!” Then you ought to have been. I can not understand how your piety can be of any very brilliant order, if you can live without the sunlight of Christ, and yet be happy. Christians will lose sometimes the society of Jesus; the connection between themselves and Christ will be at times severed, as to their own feeling of it; but they will always groan and cry when they lose their Jesus. What! is Christ thy Brother, and does he live in thine house, and yet thou hast not spoken to him for a month? I fear there is little love between thee and thy Brother, for thou hast had no conversation with him for so long. What! is Christ the Husband of his church, and has she had no fellowship with him for all this time? Brethren, let me not condemn you, let me not even judge you, but let your conscience speak. Mine shall, and so shall yours. Have we not too much forgotten Christ? Have we not lived too much without him? Have we not been contented with the world, instead of desiring Christ? Have we been, all of us, like that little ewe lamb that did drink out of the master’s cup, and feed from his table? Have we not rather been content to stray upon the mountains, feeding anywhere but at home? I fear many of the troubles of our heart spring from want of communion with Jesus. Not many of us are the kind of men who, living with Jesus, his secrets must know. O! no; we live too much without the light of his countenance; and are too happy when he is gone from us. Let us, each of us, then, for I am sure we have each of us need, in some measure, put up the prayer, “O Lord, revive thy work!” Ah! methinks I hear one professor saying, “Sir, I need no revival in my heart; I am everything I wish to be.” Down on your knees, my brethren! down on your knees for him! He is the man that most needs to be prayed for. He says that he needs no revival in his soul; but he needs a revival of his humility, at any rate. If he supposes that he is all that he ought to be, and if he knows that he is all he wishes to be, he has very mean notions of what a Christian is, or of what a Christian should be, and very unjust ideas of himself. Those are in the best condition who, while they know they want reviving, yet feel their condition and groan under it. (The True Essence of Revival)

Matthew Henry On Repentance

Matthew Henry

Quoting Matthew Henry:

Some people do not like to hear much of repentance; but I think it is so necessary that if I should die in the pulpit, I would desire to die preaching repentance, and if out of the pulpit I would desire to die practicing it.

Ayn Rand On Consequences

Quoting philosopher and writer Ayn Rand:

“We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.”

Thomas Brooks On Christ’s Love For Us

Thomas Brooks

From the pen of Thomas Brooks:

Let us stand still, and admire and wonder at the love of Jesus Christ to poor sinners; that Christ should rather die for us, than for the angels. They were creatures of a more noble extract, and in all probability might have brought greater revenues of glory to God: yet that Christ should pass by those golden vessels, and make us vessels of glory, Oh, what amazing and astonishing love is this! This is the envy of devils and the admiration of angels and saints.

The apostle, being in a holy admiration of Christ’s love, affirms it to pass knowledge, Eph. iii. 18, 19; that God, who is the eternal Being, should love man when he had scarce a being, Prov. viii. 30, 31, that he should be enamored with deformity, that he should love us when in our blood, Ezek. xvi., that he should pity us when no eye pitied us, no, not our own. Oh, such was Christ’s transcendent love, that man’s extreme misery could not abate it. The deploredness of man’s condition did but heighten the holy flame of Christ’s love. It is as high as heaven, who can reach it? It is as low as hell, who can understand it? Heaven, through its glory, could not contain him, man being miserable, nor hell’s torments make him refrain, such was his perfect matchless love to fallen man. That Christ’s love should extend to the ungodly, to sinners, to enemies that were in arms of rebellion against him, Rom. v. 6, 8, 10; yes, not only so, but that he should hug them in his arms, lodge them in his bosom, dandle them upon his knees, and lay them to his breasts, that they may suck and be satisfied, is the highest improvement of love, Isa lxvi. 11-13.

That Christ should come from the eternal bosom of his Father, to a region of sorrow and death, John i. 18; that God should be manifested in the flesh, the Creator made a creature, Isa. liii. 4; that he that was clothed with glory, should be wrapped with rags of flesh, 1 Tim. iii. 16; that he that filled heaven, should be cradled in a manger, John xvii. 5; that the God of Israel should fly into Egypt, Mat. ii. 14; that the God of strength should be weary; that the judge of all flesh should be condemned; that the God of life should be put to death, John xix. 41; that he that is one with his Father, should cry out of misery, ‘O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me!’ Mat. xxvi. 39: that he that had the keys of hell and death, Rev. i. 18, should lie imprisoned in the sepulcher of another, having, in his lifetime, nowhere to lay his head; nor after death, to lay his body, John xix. 41, 42; and all this for man, for fallen man, for miserable man, for worthless man, is beyond the thoughts of created natures. The sharp, the universal and continual sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ, from the cradle to the cross, does above all other things speak out the transcendent love of Jesus Christ to poor sinners. That wrath, that great wrath, that fierce wrath, that pure wrath, that infinite wrath, that matchless wrath of an angry God, that was so terribly impressed upon the soul of Christ, quickly spent his natural strength, and turned his moisture into the drought of summer, Ps. xxxii. 4; and yet all this wrath he patiently underwent, that sinners might be saved, and that ‘he might bring many sons unto glory,’ Heb. ii. 10.

Oh, wonder of love! Love enables Jesus to suffer. It was love that made our dear Lord Jesus lay down his life, to save us from hell and to bring us to heaven.

Enlightened Self Interest Vs. Big Government

John Stossel

From the desk of columnist John Stossel:

“I reread [‘Atlas Shrugged’] recently and was stunned. It was as if [Ayn] Rand had seen the future. Writing half a century ago, she predicted today’s explosion of big government in shockingly accurate detail. The ‘Preservation of Livelihood Law.’ The ‘Equalization of Opportunity Law.’ The ‘Steel Unification Plan.’ Don’t these sound like laws passed by the current Congress? All were creations of Rand’s villain, Wesley Mouch, the evil bureaucrat who regulates business and eventually drives the productive people out of business. Who is today’s Wesley Mouch? Barney Frank? Chris Dodd. Tim Geithner? … ‘Atlas’ is still a big bestseller today. This year, it reached as high as NO. 15 on Amazon’s bestseller list. Pretty amazing. Clearly there’s some magic in ‘Atlas Shrugged.’ The Library of Congress once asked readers which books made the biggest difference in their lives. ‘Atlas’ came in second, after the Bible. … The embrace of freer markets has lifted more people out of the misery of poverty than any other system — ever. The World Bank says that in just the last 30 years, half a billion people who once lived on less than $1.25 a day have moved out of poverty. But now, Wesley Mouch — I mean, Congress and the bureaucrats — tell us they are going to ‘fix’ capitalism, as if their previous ‘fixes’ didn’t hamstring the free market and create the problems they propose to solve. Who are they kidding? Rand had it right. She learned it the hard way in Soviet Russia. What makes a country work is leaving people free — free to take risks, to invent things — and to keep the rewards of their work. Critics say Ayn Rand promotes selfishness. I call it ‘enlightened self interest.’ When free people act in their own self-interest, society prospers.”

Read more here. . . .

Martin Luther On Christ

Quoting Martin Luther:

“Christ took our sins and the sins of the whole world as well as the Father’s wrath on his shoulders, and he has drowned them both in himself so that we are thereby reconciled to God and become completely righteous.”

Benjamin Franklin On Providence

Benjamin Franklin

Quoting Benjamin Franklin:

“All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of superintending providence in our favor. … Have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need His assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the Ground without His notice, is it probable that an Empire can rise without his Aid?”

Another False Prophet Announces When Jesus Will Return

36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24)

Gary DeMar writes this interesting article on the continuing end-times prediction game:

Harold Camping is at it again. He is predicting that an eschatological “end” will take place in 2011. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that “Camping, 88, has scrutinized the Bible for almost 70 years and says he has developed a mathematical system to interpret prophecies hidden within the Good Book. One night a few years ago, Camping, a civil engineer by trade, crunched the numbers and was stunned at what he’d found: The world will end May 21, 2011.”

Camping sounds a lot like Edgar Whisenant who predicted that the rapture would take place in September 1988, a certainty that he backed up with his booklet 88 Reasons Why the Rapture is in 1988 and the claim “Only if the Bible is in error am I wrong; and I say that to every preacher in town.” When the certainty of his prediction failed with the passing of September 1988, Whisenant, who worked as an engineer with NASA, claimed he had “made a slight miscalculation of one year because of a fluke in the Gregorian calendar. Jesus was actually going to return during Rosh Hashanah of 1989! Whisenant published his discovery in The Final Shout—Rapture Report 1989. ‘The time is short,’ he said. ‘Everything points to it.’ This publication was subsequently retitled The Final Shout—Rapture Report 1990 and has since been re-titled yearly as The Final Shout—Rapture Report 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 and so on.” In case you don’t know, it’s now 2010.

The failure of Whisenant did not stop Camping from plunging into the prediction game, and it didn’t stop people from following his nonsense. Camping sold tens of thousands of copies of 1994? He followed this book with Are You Ready?: Much More Evidence that 1994 Could be the End of the World. The media give Camping’s view front-page coverage every time he opens his mouth because of his calculated prediction that Jesus will return on a specific date. They know he’ll be wrong. Their goal is to discredit the Bible. That’s why the San Francisco Chronicle describes Camping as a “Biblical scholar.” If a “scholar,” even a self-proclaimed one, makes a prediction about the Bible and is wrong, then the Bible must be wrong.

Continue reading. . . .

The Left: It’s All About Power And Control

From the pen of Michael Ledeen:

For most of the past two hundred-plus years there were deep, fundamental differences between European and American leftists. The Europeans were more doctrinaire, the Americans more pragmatic. The Euros insisted on translating Marx into political and social parties and unions, the Americans never had a serious socialist labor movement. And the Euros were suckers for Communism in a way the Americans never were. The Euros fell for “state socialism,” while the American Dream inspired most Americans.

The American Left went half way to statism during the New Deal, which rested on the arrogant conviction that smart people were more reliable than free markets and, ultimately, free people. . . .

Their ideas were rightly rejected: Marxism and its various offspring had failed. Nobody believed in “from each according to his ability (or work), to each according to his needs.” What was left? The desire for power, legitimized by the conviction that the New Class should make the decisions for the rest of us. They realized that, since their ideology was rejected, the best way–perhaps the only way–to win was to demonize their opponents and run as the Party of Virtue. . . .

Just vote for us because we’re superior people. We’ll do it better. It is now all about power and control, not about some new version of “socialism”. . . . It is not so much an ideological campaign as the appropriation of wealth and arbitrary power to fund themselves and consolidate their hegemony.

As Tocqueville forecast, liberty gets tied down by an endless network of regulation, and we become enslaved without ever seeing it happen. That is because we get to vote, and console ourselves with the thought that our rulers serve US. Meanwhile, the Left has legislated (or, when that is impossible, simply ordered) the big State, and staffed it with their own.

Continue reading. . . .

Jonathan Edwards On Grace

Quoting Jonathan Edwards:

“Grace is but Glory begun, and Glory is but Grace perfected.”

The Greatest Man In The World

Quoting columnist Burt Prelutsky:

“Two centuries ago, King George III was told that President George Washington, who had eight years earlier turned down the opportunity to be the king of the United States, was planning to give up the presidency at the conclusion of his second term and return to his farm in Mount Vernon. The astonished monarch, who had lost a war to General Washington, said, ‘If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.’ Washington did, and he was. Does anything more clearly illustrate how far we have fallen in 210 years?”

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE FATHER OF OUR COUNTRY!

The Real Destroyer Of Liberty

Quoting Ronald Reagan:

“You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream — the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order — or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, ‘The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.”

Spirit, Worship, And Music

John MacArthur

From the desk of John MacArthur:

Truthfully, music is a gift from God. It’s part of His creation. And what a wonderful gift it is. It is a common grace. That’s an expression that theologians have used for centuries to describe things that are good gift from God given to everybody, common grace is like the rain falling on the just and the unjust. Music is a common grace. It is a gift from God for everyone to enjoy. It is a benefit to mankind. It is a ready means to quite the troubled soul, to settle the anxious heart, to give expression to strong feelings when words are not enough. . . .

It can be high and noble. It can be beautiful and majestic. Music can elevate the soul and emotions that are honorable and pure and lofty and good. Or it can be base and crass, ugly, degrading, catapulting the soul downward into feelings that are dishonorable and impure, and just about anything in between.

But as the world gets worse, as evil men grow worse and worse, the world carries its music with it. . . . Therefore, music in our day is dominated by a more degenerate kind of society than years ago. The degenerate, in fact, seemingly, the more degenerate people are the more impact they have in music. Music has become a settling ground for degenerate people. Not just music, just about all the arts, but certainly music has degenerated in our culture both in its composition and its performance and its personnel. And it seems that in most cases if you want music that is beautiful and noble and lofty and pure and good and intelligent and magnificent, you have to go back in time to a less sensual era, a less blatantly corrupt era. . . .

And I submit to you that nothing that you do is more serious than worship…nothing. Worship is the highest expression of a believer’s life and therefore the music that accompanies your worship should be the highest and the noblest and the loftiest and the best. In all cases with secular music, it reflects the attitude of the society in the time it was produced. But that’s not true with our music. The music of the redeemed expresses the unchanging truth of the Word of God, that transcends culture. We don’t succumb to the ever-increasing corruption of a fallen world displayed in its music. The music of the redeemed is different. It is reflective of the truth of God that never changes and I think it displays the elements that are true of God…order, design, intelligence. The music that is reflective of God is systematic, sequential, poetic, harmonic, rhythmic, possesses resolution. It expresses the unchangeable reality of God and His truth. . . .

Now before we look at the verses that are the text for today, I just would like to comment on some misconceptions…maybe correct them. First of all, there is the misconception that music is worship. For a lot of people, the way we’re going to worship, automatically that means music. But music is not worship. . . . Music is a means to express worship. It’s not the only means, it’s not even the most important means. The most important means to express worship is obedience. And even connected to that obedience is love. But music is a way to express worship. It gives wings to us. It elevates us. It lifts us when words are not enough. And it allows us to borrow somebody else’s words when our own are not as prosaic as our hearts wish they were.

Another misconception is that music produces worship, motivates worship, induces worship. That is to say that worship is an emotional experience and the right kind of music will whip up that emotion. That is true. Music will play on your emotion. Music will stir your emotion. But that is not necessarily worship. Music will give expression to love, it will give expression to adoration, it will give expression to honor, it will give expression to worship, but it doesn’t produce it. What produces it is the truth in the heart and the work of the Spirit of God.

People sometimes ask me about musical preferences and I will just tell you this, I don’t need music that whips up my emotions. I am content with any kind of music that allows me to give expression to the truth that I believe. I want to think about what I’m singing. . . .

Another misconception is that music must appeal to the non-believer, or they’re going to get bored with our worship. That also is a misconception. I want to say this in a gracious way, but the music that you hear among the people of God is not designed for the unbeliever…not designed for the unbeliever. We’re glad you’re here, glad you’re listening, don’t expect you to like it particularly, we would assume that it’s not your favorite kind of music and that you’re probably fairly bored with it and if certainly you’re not bored with the music, by now you’re bored with me. I understand that. The songs of the redeemed belong to the redeemed. I don’t say that in an unkind way, but you’re on the outside looking in. The songs of the redeemed never in Scripture are said to be for any direct evangelistic purpose. There’s an indirect effect, when you see a worshiping group of people who with all their heart love their God and love their Savior and are pouring out their hearts in praise, that has an impact, but it’s the truth of the transformation demonstrated in the worship that has the impact. There’s no mandate for the church to make its music appealing to the sons of Satan. It’s our music.

So, music is not worship. Music does not induce worship. Music is never intended for the satisfaction of non-worshipers. It is the gift of God to believers to give expression to their love and their gratitude to the God of their salvation. That’s why the Bible calls it a new song…a new song. The world, as I said, is filled with music, it’s common grace. But we have a new song. In fact, if you go back to the Psalms, we talked about the Psalms being Israel’s hymn book, the word “new” appears many times in the Psalms. More with the word “song” than any other substantive. As a new people, we have a new song. Our music has dramatically changed from the music of the world. . . .

We sing a new song because we are new creations. Our music is not like the old song. It’s not like the songs that are the common grace songs. It’s the song of joy and praise and thanks for the gift of salvation, the forgiveness of sin, and the promise of eternal life.

Read more. . . .

The Mount Vernon Statement

More than 80 respected conservative leaders took part in the release on Wednesday, February 17th of “The Mount Vernon Statement,” which outlines core conservative beliefs. Heritage Foundation President Edwin Feulner, who chaired the committee that drafted the document, said, “It is the culmination of a thoughtful deliberation about our nation’s principles.” Indeed, the Statement articulates in a nutshell what conservatives should be advocating: Constitutional Rule of Law.

Some of those present to sign the Statement included former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, Concerned Women for America President Wendy Wright, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, Media Research Center President L. Brent Bozell III, American Spectator Publisher Alfred Regnery, and American Conservative Union President David Keene. The purpose of the Mount Vernon Statement is to stop our country’s descent into secular progressive socialism and moral relativism by uniting conservatives around common concerns.

The Mount Vernon Statement

Conservative Beliefs, Values and Principles

We recommit ourselves to the ideas of the American Founding. Through the Constitution, the Founders created an enduring framework of limited government based on the rule of law. They sought to secure national independence, provide for economic opportunity, establish true religious liberty and maintain a flourishing society of republican self-government.

These principles define us as a country and inspire us as a people. They are responsible for a prosperous, just nation unlike any other in the world. They are our highest achievements, serving not only as powerful beacons to all who strive for freedom and seek self-government, but as warnings to tyrants and despots everywhere.

Each one of these founding ideas is presently under sustained attack. In recent decades, America’s principles have been undermined and redefined in our culture, our universities and our politics. The self-evident truths of 1776 have been supplanted by the notion that no such truths exist. The federal government today ignores the limits of the Constitution, which is increasingly dismissed as obsolete and irrelevant.

Some insist that America must change, cast off the old and put on the new. But where would this lead — forward or backward, up or down? Isn’t this idea of change an empty promise or even a dangerous deception?

The change we urgently need, a change consistent with the American ideal, is not movement away from but toward our founding principles. At this important time, we need a restatement of Constitutional conservatism grounded in the priceless principle of ordered liberty articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

The conservatism of the Declaration asserts self-evident truths based on the laws of nature and nature’s God. It defends life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It traces authority to the consent of the governed. It recognizes man’s self-interest but also his capacity for virtue.

The conservatism of the Constitution limits government’s powers but ensures that government performs its proper job effectively. It refines popular will through the filter of representation. It provides checks and balances through the several branches of government and a federal republic.

A Constitutional conservatism unites all conservatives through the natural fusion provided by American principles. It reminds economic conservatives that morality is essential to limited government, social conservatives that unlimited government is a threat to moral self-government, and national security conservatives that energetic but responsible government is the key to America’s safety and leadership role in the world.

A Constitutional conservatism based on first principles provides the framework for a consistent and meaningful policy agenda.

• It applies the principle of limited government based on the rule of law to every proposal.

• It honors the central place of individual liberty in American politics and life.

• It encourages free enterprise, the individual entrepreneur, and economic reforms grounded in market solutions.

• It supports America’s national interest in advancing freedom and opposing tyranny in the world and prudently considers what we can and should do to that end.

• It informs conservatism’s firm defense of family, neighborhood, community, and faith.

If we are to succeed in the critical political and policy battles ahead, we must be certain of our purpose. We must begin by retaking and resolutely defending the high ground of America’s founding principles.

February, 2010

The Men In This Age Need A Revival

Charles H. Spurgeon

Charles Haddon Spurgeon writes:

We too often flog the church, when the whip should be laid on our own shoulders. We drag the church, like a colossal culprit, to the altar; we bind her, and try to execute her at once; we bind her hands fast, and tear off thongfull after thongfull of her quivering flesh—finding fault with her where there is none, and magnifying her little errors; while we too often forget ourselves. Let us, therefore, commence with ourselves, remembering that we are part of the church, and that our own want of revival is in some measure the cause of that want in the church at large.

Now, I directly charge the great majority of professing Christians—and I take the charge to myself also—with a need of a revival of piety in these days. I shall lay the charge before you very peremptorily, because I think I have abundant grounds to prove it. I believe that the mass of Christian men in this age need a revival, and my reasons are these:

In the first place, look at the conduct and conversation of too many who profess to be the children of God. It ill becomes any man who occupies the sacred place of a pulpit to flatter his hearers, and I shall not attempt to do so. The evidence lies with too many of you who unite yourselves with Christian churches, and in practically protesting against your profession.

It has become very common now-a-days to join a church; go where you may you find professing Christians who sit down at some Lord’s table or another; but are there fewer cheats than there used to be? Are there less frauds committed? Do we find morality more extensive? Do we find vice entirely at an end? No, we do not. . . . My brethren, it is well known and who dares deny it that is not too partial, and who will not speak willful falsehood ?—it is well known that it is not these days a sufficient guaranty even of a man’s honesty, that he is a member of a church. It is a hard thing for Christian ministers to say, but we must say it, and if friends say it not, enemies will; and better that the truth should be spoken in our midst, that men may see that we are ashamed of it, than that they should hear us impudently deny what we must confess to be true!

O sirs, the lives of too many members of’ Christian churches give us grave cause to suspect that there is none of the life of godliness in them at all. . . . God in heaven knows that what I speak is true, and too many here know it themselves. If they be Christians, at least they want revival; if there be life in them, it is but a spark that is covered up with heaps of ashes; it needs to be fanned, ay, and it needs to be stirred also, that, haply, some of the ashes may be removed and the spark may have place to live. The church wants revival in the persons of its members. The members of Christian churches are not what once they were. It is fashionable to be religious now; persecution is taken away; and ah! I had almost said, the gates of the church were taken away with it. The church has, with few exceptions, no gates now; her sons come in, and go out of it, just as they would march through St. Paul’s cathedral, and make it a very place of traffic, instead of regarding it as a select and sacred spot, to be apportioned to the holy of the Lord, and to the excellent of the earth, in whom is God’s delight. If this be not true, you know how to treat it; you need not confess to sin you have not committed; but if it be true, and true in your case, O humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God; ask him to search and try you, that if you be not his child you may be helped to renounce your profession, lest it should be to you but the gaudy pageantry of death, and mere tinsel and gew-gaw in which to go to hell. If you be his, ask that he may give you more grace, that you may renounce these faults and follies, and turn unto him with full purpose of heart, as the effect of a revived godliness in your soul. (“The True Essence of Revival”)

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