Devilish Devices (from William Gurnall)
“In carrying out his tempting designs, Satan often chooses those, who by relationship or affection, have a deep interest in the person he would tempt. Some will kiss the child for the sake of the nurse, or accept the present on account of the hand that offers it. Thus, Satan sent the apple by Eve's hand to Adam, and Delilah did more with Samson than all the Philistine armies. It is Job's wife that brings him the poison, “Curse God and die,” and it is Peter that Satan employs, a disciple, to tempt Christ. Some martyrs have confessed, the hardest work they met with was to overcome the prayers and tears of their friends and relations, and Paul himself could not get out of this snare without a heartbreaking time - “What mean you to weep and to break mine heart, for I am ready not only to suffer, but to die at Jerusalem for the Lord Jesus?” (Acts 21:13)
Dying in faith? (John Willison)
“Would you be so happy as to die in faith? Take the following advice: Be careful to get faith beforehand; for death is the time to use faith, not to seek it.”
Hearers and Doers. (Bishop Hall)
“I remember our countryman, Bromeard, tells us of one, meeting when his neighbour coming out of the church, asked him 'What! Is the sermon done?' 'Done!' said the other, 'no: we could say it is ended, but it is not so readily done.' And surely, so it is with us: we have a good store of sermons said, but we have only a few that are done. Yet, one sermon done is worth a thousand only said and heard; for 'not the hearers of the law, but the doers of it are justified.' And 'if ye know these things happy are ye if ye do them.'”
Doctrinal Religion. (J. C. Ryle)
“Mark what I say. If you want to do good in these times, you must throw aside indecision, and take up a distinct, sharply-cut, doctrinal religion. If you believe little, those to whom you try to do good will believe nothing. The victories of Christianity, wherever they have been won, have been won by distinct doctrinal theology; by telling men roundly of Christ's vicarious death and sacrifice; by showing them Christ's substitution on the cross; and his precious blood; by teaching them justification by faith, and bidding them believe in a crucified Saviour; by preaching ruin by sin, redemption by Christ, regeneration by the Spirit; by lifting up the brazen serpent; by telling men to look and live – to believe, repent, and be converted. This – this is the only teaching which for centuries God has honoured with success, and it is honouring at the present day both at home and abroad.