Tuesday, May 24, 2016

It is the Lord—enthron'd in light,
Whose claims are all divine;
Who has an undisputed right
To govern me and mine.

It is the Lord—should I distrust,
Or contradict his will,
Who cannot do but what is just,
And must be righteous still?

It is the Lord—who gives me all
My wealth, my friends, my ease;
And, of his bounties, may recall
Whatever part he please.

It is the Lord—who can sustain
Beneath the heaviest load—
From whom assistance I obtain
To tread the thorny road.

It is the Lord—-whose matchless skill
Can from afflictions raise
Matter eternity to fill
With ever-growing praise.

It is the Lord—my cov'nant God,
Thrice blessed be his name!
Whose gracious promise, seal'd with blood,
Must ever be the same.

His cov'nant will my soul defend,
Should nature's self expire,
And the great Judge of all descend
In awful flames of fire!

And can my soul, with hopes like these,
Be sullen, or repine?
No, gracious God! take what thou please,
To thee I all resign.
                      T. Greene

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  Phil. 4:11

.....by precept, and example, and experience, ye see we are taught to be content with our estate, whatsoever it is, the meaning is, that the present estate wherein God hath set us, whatsoever it is, and whosoever we be, ought so to suffice and satisfy us, that though in it we want many things, yet with it we should be content.  The reason is, first, because it is the state, be it poor or rich, wherein the Lord hath set us, and therefore not to be content with it were to resist his will, and to become fighters against the Almighty.  Secondly, because howsoever we may seem to want things that are needful for us, yet are we not forsaken of the Lord; and indeed howsoever the world seeth it not, nor cannot, yet do we want no manner of thing that is good; for that of the prophet, Ps. 34:10, is always true, 'The lions lack and suffer hunger, but they which seek the Lord shall want nothing that is good;' good for them, and good for his glory.  Want we may many temporal blessings, and yet we want nothing that is good, be-cause the Lord knoweth it to be good that we want them.  Wanting, then, nothing that is good, what reason but we should be content?..... 
.....If he see it good to lift up our heads when we are low, he will; and again, if he bring us down from on high, he doth it because he seeth it good.  Howsoever, therefore, it be with us, let us be content.  'Your heavenly Father,' saith our blessed Saviour, Mat. 6:32, 'knoweth that ye have need of these things:' and again, chap. 7:11, 'If ye, which are evil, can give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good gifts to them that ask him?'  Doth our heavenly Father know what we have need of, and will he give us the things which we need?  If, then, we need health, he will send it if  it be good for us; if we need wealth, he will send it if it be good for us; if we need liberty, be will send it if it be good for us; if we need peace or love in the world, he will give it if it be good for us; and generally, whatsoever we need we shall have, if he see it to be good for us.  Let us not, therefore, with the covetous worldling, never think we have enough, nor, with the malcontented person, always mislike our present state, whatsoever it is.  He that openeth his hand, and filleth all things living with plenteousness, hath enough for us always in store, liberty enough, health enough, wealth enough, etc., to reach unto us if he see it good for us.  Let our eyes, therefore, always  wait upon him, and let us learn, in whatsoever state we are, therewith to be content.                               
                                                                                                                                              Henry Airay

Monday, May 23, 2016


.....Beloved, I would that you should remember whither you are going.  If a man be after a few months to be Transported into another Country, never to return, he will send over whatever he can, and make the best Provision he may.....Brethren, you are Strangers and Pilgrims, here, and have but a few months stay in this Country; see that you Traffic much with Heaven.  Christ, is our Common Factor.  O send over to him what possible you can.  Give Alms plentifully, pray continually, be much in Meditation and Consideration, Reckon with yourselves daily, Walk with God in your Callings, Do all the duties of your Relations as unto God, Live not one day to yourselves, but unto Christ, So shall you be continually Transporting into another World, and laying up Treasure in Heaven.....
                                                                                               Joseph Alleine
                                                                                                        from a letter to the
                                                                                                                Servants of God in Taunton

.....These are the little Flock to whom it is his good pleasure to give the Kingdom:  Great are the preparations for them.  The Father hath prepared the Kingdom for them from the foundations of the World:  The Son is gone to Heaven on purpose to prepare a place for them:  The Spirit is preparing them, and making them meet to be partakers of the Inheritance of the Saints in Light:  And should these Brethren, be like other People?
     Brethren, God and Men expect you should do more than others, see that you be indeed singular.....
.....See that you be shining Christians....
                                                                                                                               Joseph Alleine

Sunday, May 22, 2016


     Yea, hath God said, I will be a God unto thee?  Is it true indeed?  Will the Lord be mine?  Will he lay aside the controversy, and conclude a peace?  Will he receive the rebel to mercy, and open his doors to his prodigal?  I will surely go unto my Father; I will take unto me words, and bow myself before his footstool, and say, Lord, I have heard thy words, and do here lay hold on thy covenant.  I accept the kindness of God, and will adventure myself upon thy fidelity, and trust my whole happiness here and hereafter upon these thy promises.
     Farewell, deceitful world, get thee under my feet.  Too long have I feared thy vain threats; too long have I been deluded with thy flattering promises.  Canst thou promise me, or deny me such things as God hath covenanted to give me?  I know thou canst not, and therefore I renounce thee for ever from being the object of my faith, or fear.  No longer will I lean to this rotten reed, no longer will I trust to this broken idol.  Away, Satan, with thy tempting baits.  In vain dost thou dress the harlot in her paint and bravery; and tell me, All this will I give thee.  Canst thou show me such a crown, such a kingdom as God has promised to settle upon me; or that which will balance the loss of an infinite God, who here gives himself unto me?  Away, deceitful lusts and pleasures, get you hence; I have enough in Christ and his promise to give my soul full content; these have I lodged in my heart, and there is no longer room for such guests as you.  Never shall you have quiet entertainment more within these doors.
     Thou God of truth, I here take thee at thy word; thou requirest but my acceptance and consent, and here thou hast it.  Good is the word of the Lord which he hath spoken, and as my Lord hath said, so will thy servant do.  My soul catcheth hold of thy promises.  These have I taken as my heritage for ever.  Let others gain the preferments and possessions of this world, it shall be enough for me to be an heir of thy promises.
     O happy soul, how rich art thou!  What a booty have I gotten!  It is all mine own.  I have the promises of this life and of that which is to come.  O what can I wish more?  How full a charter is here!  Now my doubting soul may boldly and believingly say with Thomas, My Lord, and my God.  What need we any further witness?  We have heard his words.  He hath sworn by his holiness that his decree may not be changed, and hath signed it with his own signet.
     Rejoice, ye heavens; strike up, ye celestial choirs.  Help, heaven and earth.  Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his.  Bless the Lord, my soul.  O had I the tongues of men and angels, all were too little for me.  Had I ten thousand tongues, the whole were no sufficient to utter my Creator's praises.
     My Beloved is mine, and I am his.  The grant is clear, and my claim is firm.  Who durst deny it, when God himself doth own it?  Is it a hard adventure to speak after Christ himself?  Why, this is the message that he hath sent me:  I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.  He hath put words into my mouth, and bid me say, Our Father.    
     I believe; Lord, help my unbelief.  O my God, and my Father, I accept thee with all humble thankfulness, and am bold to take hold of thee.  O my King and my God, I subject my soul and all its powers to thee.  O my glory, in thee will I boast all the day.  O my rock, on thee will I build all my confidence and my hopes.  O staff of my life, and strength of my heart, the life of my joys and joy of my life, I will sit and sing under thy shadow, and glory in thy holy name.
     O my soul, arise and take possession.  Inherit thy blessedness, and cast up thy riches.  Thine is the kingdom, thine is the glory, and thine is the victory.  The whole Trinity is thine.   All the persons in the Godhead, all the attributes in the Godhead are thine.  And behold, here is the evidence, and these are the writings, by which all is made sure to thee for ever.
     And now, Return to thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.  Say if thy lines be not fallen to thee in a pleasant place, and if this be not a goodly heritage.  O blasphemous discontent, how absurd and unreasonable an evil art thou, whom all the fulness of the Godhead cannot satisfy, because thou art denied in a petty comfort, or crossed in thy vain expectations from the world!  O my unthankful soul, shall not a Trinity content thee; shall not all-sufficiency suffice thee?  Silence, ye murmuring thoughts, for ever.  I have enough, I abound, and am full.  Infiniteness and eternity are mine, and what more can I ask?
     But methinks I feel some secret damps upon my joy, and when I would soar aloft and triumph in the riches of my portion, a secret diffidence plucks me back, as the string doth the bird, and unbelief whispers in my ear,
     1.  "Surely this is too good to be true."  But who art thou that disputest against God?  The Lord hath spoken it, and shall not I believe him?  Will he be angry if I give my assent, and speak it confidently upon the credit of his words?  O my Lord, suffer me to spread the writing before thee.  Hast thou not said, Thy Maker is thy husband, Isa. 54:5; I will betroth thee unto me, Hosea 2:19; Thou shalt call me, my Father? Jer. 3:19.  I pray thee, Lord, was not this thy saying:  I am God, even thy God, Psalm 50:7; I will be a Father unto you, and ye my sons and daughters? 2 Cor. 6:18.  Why then should I doubt?  Is not the truth of the living God sure footing for my faith?
     Silence then, quarrelling unbelief.  I know in whom I have believed.  Not in friends, though numerous and potent; for they are men, and not God.  Not in riches; for they make themselves wings.  Not in princes; for their breath is in their nostrils.  But let God be true, and every man a liar.  In God have I put my trust, in his word do I hope.  O sure word!  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but not one jot or tittle of this:  I have not built upon the sand of mortality.  Let the rain descend, and the floods come, and the winds blow, nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure.  His everlasting counsel and everlasting covenant are my stay.  I am built upon his promises, and let hell and earth do their worst to blow up this foundation.
     Now shall my faith triumph, and my heart be glad, and my glory rejoice.  I will shout with the exulting multitude.  The Lord he is the God, and he is not ashamed to be called my God.  He is not ashamed of my rags or poverty, of my parentage or pedigree; and since his infinite condescension will own me, will he take it ill if I own him?  Though I have nothing of my own to glory in, unless I should glory in my shame, yet I will glory in the Lord, and bless myself in him.
     For who is like unto the God of Jeshurun?  Bring forth your gods, O ye nations.  Lift up your eyes, and behold who hath created all these things.  Can any do for their friends as the Lord can?  Or if he be angry, who is the god that shall deliver out of his hands?  Will you set Dagon before the ark?  Or shall mammon contend with the holy One?  O ambitious Haman, where is now thine idol honor?  O rich glutton, that madest a god of pleasure, where is now the god whom thou hast served?  O sensual worldling, that knewest not where or how to bestow thy goods, do riches profit thee?  Could mammon save thee?  Deceived souls, go now to the gods that you have chosen.  Alas, they cannot administer a drop of water to cool your tongues.
     But the Portion of Jacob is not like them.  From everlasting to everlasting he is God.  His power is my confidence, his goodness is my maintenance, his truth is my shield and my buckler.  But,     
     2.  "My clamorous unbelief hath many wiles, and afresh assaults me with the difficulty of the things promised, and labors to nonplus and confound me with their amazing greatness."  But why should I stagger at the promise through unbelief, robbing at once my Master of his glory, and my soul of her comfort?  It is my great sin to doubt and dispute, and shall I be afraid to believe?  O my soul, it is the highest honor thou canst put upon thy Lord, to believe against difficulties, and to look for and reckon upon great things and wonderful, passing all created power and human faith.
     Let not the greatness nor the strangeness of the benefits bequeathed unto thee, put thee to a stand.  It is with a God thou hast to do, and therefore thou must not look for little things; that were to darken the glory of his munificence, and the infiniteness of his power and goodness.  Knowest thou not that it is his design to make his name glorious; and to make thee know he is able to do for thee above all thou canst ask or think?  Surely they cannot be any small or ordinary things that shall be done for thee, when the Lord shall show in thee what a God can do, and shall carry thee in triumph before the world, and make proclamation before thee, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the Lord delighteth to honor.  What wonder if thou canst not comprehend these things—if they exceed all thy apprehensions and conceptions?  This is a good argument for thy faith; for this is that which the Lord hath said, that it hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive what things he hath prepared for them that love him.  Now if thou couldst conceive and comprehend them, how should his word be made good?  It is enough for thee that the Lord hath spoken it.  Is not the word nigh thee?  Hath God said, I will receive you; you shall be kings and priests unto God, and inherit all things; and shall sit on thrones, and judge angels, and be ever with the Lord:  and shall I dare to say him nay?  Unreasonable unbelief!  What, never satisfied; still contradicting and blaspheming?  False whisperer, no more of thy tales.  I believe God, that it shall be as he hath told me.
     And now, thanks be to God, who always causest us to triumph in Christ; therefore my lips shall praise thee, and my soul which thou hast redeemed.  For thou hast made me glad through thy word, and I will triumph in the works of thy hands.  I will praise the Lord while I live.  I will sing praises to my God while I have any being.  O my soul, if thou couldst wear out thy fingers upon the harp, and wear thy tongue to the roots, thou couldst yet never sufficiently praise thy Redeemer.
     O my enemies, where is now your confidence, and where is your armor wherein you trusted?  I will set Christ alone against all your multitudes, and all the power and malice and policy wherewith they are armed.  The field is already won, and the Captain of our salvation returned with the spoils of his enemies, having made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in his cross.  And thanks be to God who hath given us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
     Of whom, then, should I be afraid?  Behold he is near that justifieth me; who shall plead with me?
     O ye powers of hell, you are but chained captives, and we have a sure word, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against us.  Though the world be in arms against us, and the devil at the head of them as their champion, yet who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?  Behold, I am come out to thee, as the stripling against Goliath; not with sword, and with spear, but in the name of the Lord of hosts, in whose strength I am more than a conqueror.
     O grave, where is now thy victory?  Christ is risen, and hath broken up thy prison, and rolled away the stone, so that all thy prisoners have made an escape.  Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; though I fall, I shall rise again; though I lie in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.  Enlarge not thy desires, O, Tophet, but shut up thy flaming mouth; for there is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.
     O deceitful world, thou art already overcome, and the conquered enemy is become my servant, and I am fed with the honey taken out of the carcass of the slain lion.  I fear not thy threats, nor the enchantments of thy syren songs, being kept by the power of God, through a victorious faith unto salvation.
     O my sins, you are already buried, never to have any resurrection, and the remembrance of you shall be no more.  I see my sins nailed to the cross, and their dominion is taken away, though their lives be prolonged yet for a little season.  Awake, therefore, O my glory; awake, psaltery and harp, and meet the Deliverer with triumph; for his right hand and his holy arm have gotten us the victory, and all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
     3.  "Yet methinks my unworthiness flies in my face, and I hear my cavilling unbelief thus upbraiding me, and crying out, 'O proud presumption, that thou who art conscious to thyself of thy great unworthiness, shouldst pretend a claim to God and glory!  Shall daring dust think to share with the  Almighty, and say of his endless perfections, They are my right?  Bold sinner, stand off, and tremble at thy presumptuous arrogance.'"
     O my God, I lay my hand upon my mouth.  I confess the charge of mine unworthiness.  My guilt and shame is such as I cannot cover, but thou canst,and dost.  Thou hast cast a mantle upon my nakedness, and hast promised my transgressions shall not be mentioned, and that thou wilt multiply pardons.  And shall I take up what thou hast buried, and then affright myself with the ghosts that unbelief has raised?  Is it presumption to take the pardon that thou dost offer, or to receive and claim thee as mine, when it is but what thou hast promised?  I durst not have approached thee, but upon thy call; nor have claimed a title, but upon thy grant.  I should have thought it diabolical pride, to have pleaded an interest in thee, and claimed kindred to thee, but that thou hast showed me the way.
     And thou, my soul, art thou ignorant of God's great design?  Knowest thou not that it is his purpose to glorify free grace?  And how should grace appear to be grace indeed, were there any worthiness in the subject?  Thine unworthiness is but a foil to set off the beauty and riches of free grace and mercy.
     4.  "But I cannot shake off this brier:  alas, what a cavilling sophister is unbelief, and will never be answered.  Now is it ready to tell me, what if the promise should be a sure foundation, yet thou mayest not build upon another man's ground.  What though the grace and mercies of God are infinite, yet dogs may not catch at the children's bread.  Thou hast no right nor title to the promise, therefore cease thy pretended claim."
     But, O my soul, wherefore shouldst thou doubt?  Whose image and superscription is this?  Dost thou not bear upon thee the marks of the Lord Jesus?  I have given up my name to him, and taken hold of his covenant, and therefore may claim an interest.  I have accepted the matter, and closed with the Mediator, and subscribed to the conditions of the covenant, and therefore cannot question but it is mine.  The Lord hath offered to be my God, and I have taken hold of his offer.  I have taken him as God, and given him the supremacy.  O my soul, look round about thee, in heaven and in earth; is there any thou dost esteem or value in comparison with God?  Is there any thou dost love like him, or take that content or felicity in, that thou dost in him?  Are not thy chief desires and designs to glorify and enjoy him?  Thou canst not deny but it is truly thus.  I am sure nothing but God will content me.  I am never so well in all the world as in his company. My soul seeketh him above all, and rests in him alone as my satisfactory portion.  He offereth to take me as one of his people, and I have resigned myself accordingly to him as his, and have put both my inward and outward man under his government, and given up all to his disposal, and am resolved to be content with him, as my all-sufficient happiness.
     Besides, I have taken him in his own way through Christ, whom he hath tendered to me as my head and husband, and I have accordingly solemnly and deliberately taken him.  O my soul, dost not thou remember thy many debates?  Hast thou not put Christ and all the world into the balance?  Hast thou not cast up the cost, and reckoned upon the cross, and willingly put thy neck under Christ's yoke, and ventured thy salvation upon Christ alone, and trusted him with all thy happiness and all thy hopes?  Hast thou not over and over resolved to take him with what comes, and that he shall be enough, though in the loss of all things?  Thou canst not but know that these have been the transactions between Christ and thee; and therefore he is thine, and all the promises are yea and amen to thee through him.
     And for the terms of the covenant, I love and like them; my soul embraceth them; neither do I desire to be saved in any other way, than by repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ, and sincere obedience to his gospel.  I am willing to go out of my flesh, and do look unto Jesus for righteousness and strength, and trust my salvation wholly on this foundation.  I am content to deal upon trust, and venture all in the hope of what is to come, and to tarry till the next world for my preferment.  I am willing to wait till the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and have laid up my happiness on the other side the grave.
     And though my sins be many, yet I should belie my own knowledge if I should say they were not my constant trouble and burden, and the enemies against which I daily watch, and with whom my soul hath no peace.  My own heart knoweth that I hate them, and desire and endeavor their utter destruction, and do resolve against them all, and am willing to use all God's means to mortify them.  It is too true that I often fall and fail; yet my conscience beareth me witness that I confess and bewail it, and do not ordinarily and deliberately allow myself in any sin whatsover against my knowledge.  And though my obedience be miserably lame, yet, O Lord, thou knowest that I have respect unto all thy commandments, and do strive to come up to what thou requirest.  The Holy Ghost is witness, and my conscience also, that I first seek the kingdom of God and the righteousness thereof, and that it is my chief care to please God, and keep from sin.  Speak, O my soul, is not holiness thy design?  Dost thou not thirst for it, and follow after it?  Dost thou not in thy settled choice prefer the holy ways of God before all the pleasures  and delights of sin?  Thou knowest it is thus, and therefore no more disputing; thou hast sincerely taken hold of God's covenant, and without controversy it must be thine.
     O my God, I see thou hast been at work with my soul.  I find the prints, I see the footsteps.  Surely this is the finger of God.  I am thy servant, O Lord, truly I am thy servant, and my soul hath said unto the Lord, Thou art my Lord.  It must be so.  Wouldst thou ever set thy mark upon another's goods?  Or shall God disown his own workmanship?  My name is written in heaven.  Thou hast written thy name upon my heart, and therefore I cannot question but thou hast my name on thy heart.  I have chosen thee, O Lord, as my happiness and heritage, and therefore I am sure thou hast chosen me; for I could not have loved thee, except thou hadst loved me first.  O my Lord, discern, I pray thee, whose are these, the signet, the bracelets, and the staff.  I know thou wilt acknowledge them.
     And now blessed be God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who of his abundant mercy HATH BEGOTTEN ME AGAIN TO A LIVELY HOPE.
     And thou, my soul, believe and wait, look through the window, and cry through the lattice, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  The vision is for an appointed time; wait for it.  It will come in the end, and will not tarry. Hab. 2:3.  Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruits of the earth.  Be thou also patient.  He hath long patience, and wilt not thou have a little patience?  He, for the fruits of the earth; but thou, for the joys of  heaven.  He, upon mere probabilities; but thou, upon infallible certainties.  He, for a crop of corn; but thou, for a crown of glory.  Were he but sure that every corn would bear a crown, how plentifully would he sow, how joyfully would he wait!  Why, such is thy harvest.  As sure as the summer's delights do follow the winter's severities—as sure as the wished-for harvest doth follow the toilsome and costly seed-time, so sure shall thy Lord return, and bring thy reward with him.  Therefore, my soul, love and long for the approaching jubilee, and wait all the days of my appointed time, until my change shall come.
     O blessed state that my Lord hath translated me into; O happy change that he hath made!  I was a stranger, and he took me in and made me an heir, and preferred me from the dunghill to the throne, and from a hewer of wood and drawer of water to attend his court, and know his counsels, and do his pleasure.  Happy am I that ever I was born to partake of this endless dignity.
     O my Lord, it is no little thing thou hast given me in hand.  I am already come to mount Zion, and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the first-born, and to God the Judge of all, and unto the spirits of just men made perfect, and unto Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and unto the blood of sprinkling.  My heart reviveth as Jacob's, when I behold the tokens which thou hast sent me, the spirit of adoption, the pardon of my sins, my patent for heaven, the chain of thy graces, the Son of thy bosom, the new testament in his blood, and the letters of his love.  My Lord hath said that he will love me, and manifest himself unto me; and that the Father will love me, and both will come unto me, and make their abode in me.  But is it true indeed?  Will the Lord dwell on earth?  Or if he will, shall so foul a stable, so unclean a place as my heart hath been, shall this be the place that the Lord of life will take up his lodging and keep his court in?  Will he indeed come with all his train of graces, and live and walk in me?  How can these things be?  But he hath said it, and I do, and I will believe it.
     Yet all this is but the earnest of what is to come.  O how great is thy goodness laid up for them that fear thee!  Yet a little, and my warfare shall be accomplished, and the heavens must receive me till the time of the restitution of all things.  It is but for a short term that I shall dwell in this flesh, in an earthen tabernacle.  My Lord hath showed me, that where he is, there shall his servant be.  Now the living is tied to the dead, and my soul is a stage of strife and a field of war.  Yet, it is but a little moment, and that which is perfect shall come:  perfect holiness and perfect peace, eternal serenity and a serene eternity.
     O my sins, I am going where you cannot come—where no unclean thing shall enter, nor any thing that defileth.  Methinks I see all my afflictions and and temptations, all my infirmities and corruptions, falling off me, as Elijah's mantle at his translation.
     O my soul, dost thou not see the chariots of fire, and the horses of fire, come to take thee up?  Be thou as poor as Lazarus, yet God will not disdain to send a party of angels to conduct thee home.  How canst thou doubt of a ready reception, that hast such a Friend in court, who will lead thee with boldness into his Father's presence?  If there was joy in Pharaoh's court when it was said, Joseph's brethren are come, surely it will be welcome news in heaven, when it is told, Jesus' brethren are come.
     My soul, fear not to enter, though the Lord be clothed with terror and majesty; for thy Redeemer will procure thee favor, and plead thy right.  I am sure of welcome, for the Father himself loveth me.  I have tasted and tried his love; and when I had played the wicked prodigal, yet he despised not my rags, but fell on my neck and kissed me, and heaven itself rejoiced over me.  Much more will he receive me gladly, and let out his love upon me, when presented to him by his Son, in his perfect likeness, as a fit object for his everlasting delight.  Fear not, O my soul, as if thou wert going to a strange place.  Why, heaven is thy country and thy home:  wilt thou doubt of admission, or fear of welcome, when it is thine own home?  Why, my soul, thou wast born from above, and here is thy kindred and thy Father's house, and therefore thou shalt surely be admitted.  And then shall I see the glorious preparations of eternal love, and the blissful mansions of the heavenly inhabitants.
     Doubtless it will be thus.  These are not sick men's dreams, nor children's hopes.  The living God cannot deceive me:  and may not I certainly promise myself what the Lord hath promised me?  I will sooner think that all my senses are deluded, and what I see and feel and taste is but a fancy, than think that the living God will deceive me, or that his unchangeable covenant will fail.  Now I am a son of God, and it doth not  yet appear what I shall be; but this I know, I shall be like him, and see him as he is.
     I know it shall be thus.  Why, what security should I ask of God?  He hath given me all assurance in his word.  And though the word of God be enough, yet he, willing to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath; that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, I might have strong consolation.  O unreasonable unbelief!  What, shall not the oath of God put an end to thy strife?  O my God, I am satisfied; it is enough.  Now I may be bold without presumption, and boast without pride; and will no more call my duty arrogance, nor my faith a fancy.
     O my soul, there is but a short life between thee and glory, where holy angels and glorified saints shall be my associates, and love and praise my only employment.  Methinks I hear already how the morning stars sing together, and all the sons of God shout for joy.  O that I could come in!  But it was said unto me, that I should rest yet for a little season, and I shall stand in my lot at the end of the days.  It is well; Lord, thy word is enough; thy bond is as good as ready payment.  The Holy Ghost tells me, that life and glory abide me; that what day I loose from the body, the same day I shall be landed in paradise.  Amen.  It is as I would have it.
     But this is not all.  When my body hath slept a short nap in the dust, Christ will call to it, Come up hither.  Ah, true yoke-fellow, it will be a hard parting, but a welcome meeting.  I could not leave thee, but to live with Christ.  But he will raise thee a glorious temple; and when he shall appear, will bring me with himself in glory; and then I shall re-enter thee as a royal mansion, wherein I shall abide with the Lord for ever.  For as we have served our Redeemer together, so we must be glorified together with him.  And when the Lord hath married us together again, then will he marry us both unto himself.  For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the last day upon the earth.  And though after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh I shall see God; whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another, though my reins be consumed within me.  My Lord hath already told me how it shall be.  He hath set down the time, and showed me the robes of immortality, and the crown of life, that I must put on; and the throne of glory, and the seat of judgment that I must sit in.  He hath told me the manner in which I shall be presented to him, and espoused by him.  He hath told me where he will set me, and what he will say to me, and how he will acknowledge my mean vices, and remember what I have forgotten; how he will praise the works that I have been ashamed of, and reward me openly for what I have buried in secrecy, and not forget the poorest alms that I have given for his name.  Then will he confess me before his Father, and before the angels of God. Thus saith the true and faithful Witness, and we know that his testimony is true.
     Ah, my soul, see that thou make not God a liar. 1 John 5:10.  O my God, I have believed thy report, and do look for all these things, according to thy promise.  I know thou intendest me but for a very little while in this lower region.  This world is but the house of my pilgrimage, and my soul now is but like a bird in the shell; but when the shell is cracked, then shall she take wings like a dove, and soar aloft to thee, and fly away and be at rest.  Yet I doubt not thy care for my despicable dust.  I know that nothing will be lost:  I know not where they will lay me; but thy wakeful eye observeth, and will not have to seek at what door to knock, nor at what grave to call for me.  I believe, and am sure that I shall come a glorious work out of thy hands, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, crowned with honor and glory.  And when my absolution is read, and sentence passed upon the world, then must I be taken up to dwell with thee.
     Let not my Lord be angry, that thy dust and ashes speaketh thus unto thee.  Thou, Lord, hast raised my expectations, and hast made me look for all these great things from thee.  In vain hast thou written all these things unto me, if I should not believe them; and a distrustful diffidence would put a high dishonor upon thy truth.
     O Lord, it repenteth me—it repenteth me of my jealousies, and my doubtful thoughts about thee.  I know thou lovest an humble confidence, and delightest in nothing more than to see thy children trust thee.  I know the building of my hopes reaches not a hair's breadth beyond the foundation of thy promises; yea, it is sure, my expectations are infinitely short of what I shall find.  O my God, my heart trusteth safely in thee, and I here set to my seal that thou art true.  Christ is the corner-stone on which I build, and therefore my building will challenge the winds and floods.
     And now, O Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.  O my Blessedness, let me enjoy thee.  O my Life, let me possess thee.  O Desire of mine eyes, let me see thy face and hear thy voice; for thy voice is sweet, and thy countenance is comely.  I ask but what thou hast promised; for thou hast told me that I shall see God, and thou wilt speak to me mouth to mouth, even apparently and not in dark speeches, and the similitude of God shall I behold.  So shall my knowledge be perfected, and I shall see the inaccessible light, and my tender eye shall not water, nor my sight dazzle; but I shall with open face look steadfastly on the Sun of righteousness, and behold his glory.  Then shall faith be turned into fruition, and hope into possession, and love shall arise like the full moon in her brightness, and never wax nor wane more.
     O thou God of my hopes, I look for a new body, and a new soul—for new heavens, and for a new earth, according to thy promise, when my whole soul shall be wholly taken up with thee, and all my affections strained to the highest pitch, and all the wheels of my raised powers set in most vigorous and perpetual motion towards thee, still letting in, and still laying out; and thus shall there be an everlasting communication of joy and glory from thee, and of love and praise from me.
     O my soul, thou art rich indeed, and increased in goods.  Thou hast no reason to envy the glory or grandeur of the mightiest on earth; for their glory shall not descend after them:  like sheep shall they be laid in their graves, and death shall feed upon them, and there is an eternal end of all their pomp and excellency.  But my kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.  My robes shall never wear, my crown shall never totter, my throne shall never be vacant, my bread shall never decay, my garland shall never wither, my house shall never moulder, my wine shall never sour, but everlasting joy shall be upon my head, and sorrow and sighing shall fly away.
     O my God, how happy hast thou made me!  It is better than I could have wished.  Thou hast done all things well.  Thou hast settled them for ever.  The whole earth cannot show any such heritage or tenure.  The world can deed out her possessions only for years, nor can she make a good title for that; but my inheritance is for ever, and none can put me out of possession.  The thing is established in heaven, and in the volume of the book it is written of me.  My evidence cannot be lost; it is recorded in the court above, and enrolled in the sacred leaves of the word, and entered upon the book of my conscience, and herein I do and will rejoice.
     Now, my soul, wipe thine eyes, and go away like Hannah, and be no more sad.  What though my house be not so with God; so happy, so prosperous as I could wish?  What though they be increased that trouble me, and my temptations and afflictions are like the rolling billows, riding on one another's backs for haste, yet shall my soul be as a rock unmoved, and sit down satisfied in the security and amplitude of my portion.  For God hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure; and herein is all my salvation, and all my desire.
     And now, what remaineth, O Lord, but that I should spend the remainder of my days in loving, praising, and admiring thee?  But wherewithal shall I come before the Lord, or bow myself before the most high God?  What shall I give thee, to express my thankfulness, though not to requite thy bounty?  Alas, my poor little soul; alas that thou art so little!  How narrow are thy capacities; how disproportionate are thy powers!  Alas that my voice can reach to no higher a note!  But shall I do nothing, because I cannot do all?
     Lord, I resign my all to thee.  With the poor widow, I cast my two mites, my soul and body, into thy treasury.  All my powers shall love and serve thee.  All my members shall be weapons of righteousness for thee.  Here is my good will.  Behold, my substance is thy stock, mine interest is for thy service.  I lay all at thy feet:  there, thou hast them, they are thine.  My children I enter as thy servants.  My possessions I resign as thy right.  I will call nothing mine but thee.  All mine are thine.  I can say, My Lord and my God, and that is enough; I thankfully quit my claim to all things else.  I will no more say, My house is mine, or my estate mine; I myself am not mine own.  Yet it is infinitely better for me to be thine, than if I were mine own.  This is my happiness, that I can say, My own God, my own Father.  And O what a blessed exchange hast thou made with me:  to give me thyself, who art an infinite sum, for myself, who am but an insignificant cipher!
     And now, Lord, do thou accept and own my claim.  I am not worthy of any thing of thine, much less of thee.  But since I have a deed to show, I bring thy word in my hand, and am bold to take possession.  Dost thou not know this hand? wilt thou not own this name? wilt thou not confirm thine own grant?  It were infidelity to doubt it.  I will not disparage the faithfulness of my Lord, nor be afraid to aver and stand to what he hath said and sworn.  Hast thou said thou art my God, and shall I fear thou art my enemy?  Hast thou told me thou art my Father, and shall I stand aloof, as if I were a stranger?  I will believe.  Lord, silence my fears; and as thou hast given me the claim and title of a child, so give me the confidence of a child.  Let my heart be daily kept alive by thy promises, and with this staff let me pass over Jordan.  May these be my undivided companions and comforters.  When I go, let them lead me; when I sleep, let them keep me; when I awake, let them talk with me.  And do thou keep these things for ever upon the imaginations of the thoughts of the hearts of thy people, and prepare their hearts unto thee.  And let the heart of thy servant be the ark of thy testament, wherein the sacred records of what hath passed between thee and my soul may for ever be preserved.  Amen.
     Thus far my friend.  So may it be.
                                                                                                                                       Joseph Alleine

Saturday, May 21, 2016


Rejoice, angels; shout, seraphim; O, all ye friends of the Bridegroom,.....be ready with the marriage-song.  Lo, here is the wonder of wonders; for Jehovah hath betrothed himself for ever to his hopeless captives, and owns the marriage before all the world, and is become one with us and we with him.  He hath bequeathed to us the precious things of heaven above, and the precious things of the earth beneath, with the fulness thereof, and hath kept back nothing from us.
                                                                                                                                          Joseph Alleine

Friday, May 20, 2016


.....'Tis our disgrace, that there is so little difference to be seen in the ordinary conversation of Believers from other men:  Is it not a shame, that when we are in company with others, this should be all the difference that is to be seen, that we will not curse and swear, if you will honour the Gospel, bring forth your Religion out of your Closets into your Shops, Trades, Visits, and exemplify the rules of Religion in the management of all your Relations, and in your ordinary converse.  Let there be no place or company that you come into, in which you do not drop something of God:  this will be the glory of Religion, and we shall never convince the world till we come to this.  May you come my Brethren, out of your Prisons with your faces shining, having your minds seasoned, and your tongues tipped with holiness:  May your mouths be as a Well of Life, from whence may flow the holy Streams of edifying discourse:  may you ever remember, as you are sitting in your houses, going by the way, lying down, rising up, what the Lord doth then require of you.
                                                                                                 Joseph Alleine, from a letter written
                                                                                                      January 10, 1664, to a minister in prison

Thursday, May 19, 2016


It was a saying of the noble Roman, when he was hasting with corn to the city in the famine, and the mariners were loth to set sail in foul weather, It is necessary for us to sail—it is not necessary for us to live.  What is it that thou dost count necessary?  Is thy bread necessary?  Is thy breath necessary?  Then thy conversion is much more necessary.  Indeed, this is the one thing necessary.  Thine estate is not necessary; thou mayest sell all for the pearl of great price, and yet be a gainer by the purchase.  Thy life is not necessary; thou mayest part with it for Christ, to infinite advantage.  Thy reputation is not necessary; thou mayest be reproached for the name of Christ, and yet be happy; yea, much more happy in reproach than in repute.  But thy conversion is necessary; thy salvation depends upon it; and is it not needful, in so important a case, to look about thee?  On this one point depends thy making or marring to all eternity.....
.....Man, unconverted, is like a choice instrument that hath every string broken or out of tune.....
     An unsanctified man cannot work the work of God.....He hath neither due instruments nor materials for it.  A man may as well hew the marble without tools, or paint without colors or instruments, or build without materials, as perform any acceptable service, without the graces of the Spirit, which are both the materials and instruments in the work.....
.....Suppose a man were to travel through some perilous wood or wilderness, having but one jewel in all the world, in which his all was bound up, and should see some stand on one hand and some on the other, and hear one company in this place and another in that cry out under the hands of some cruel robbers; O, in what fear would this traveler go lest he should lose this jewel, and be robbed of all at once!  Why, thou art the man; this traveler is thyself; this jewel is thy soul; this wilderness or wood is this world thou art to travel through:  swarms of sins, legions of devils, and a whole world of temptations—these are the robbers that lie in wait for thy soul; and if all that these can do can keep thee out of heaven, thou shalt never enter there.  O! what if thy pride or worldliness, thy delays and triflings in religion should at last betray thy soul into the robbers' hands?  Other losses may be repaired; but thy soul being once lost, God is lost, Christ is lost, heaven is lost, all lost for evermore.
                                                                                                                                         Joseph Alleine

Wednesday, May 18, 2016



Joseph Alleine:  His Companions & Times; A Memorial of "Black Bartholomew,"1662

     After an imprisonment of twelve months, Mr. Alleine was set free on the 20th of May, 1664.....    
     On the 1st of July, 1664.....the Conventicle Act came into operation.  Hitherto the law had only punished the pastors, now its penalties lighted on the flocks.  It was enacted that if any person above the age of sixteen attended any meeting under colour of a religious exercise not allowed by the liturgy or practice of the Church of England, where five or more persons were present besides the household, he should for the first offence suffer three months' imprisonment, or pay a sum not exceeding 5 pounds; for the second, six months' imprisonment, or pay 10; for the third, to be banished to certain specified plantations for seven years.  "With refined cruelty it was provided, that the offender should not be transported to New England, where he was likely to meet with sympathising friends." (Macaulay).   If he returned to his own country before the expiration of his term of exile, he was liable to capital punishment.  A jury was unnecessary.  A single justice of the peace, and the oath of an informer were sufficient, and this Act was to continue in force for three years after the next session of Parliament.....
     Try to picture the effect; on any modern congregation of such penalties as these, softened as they were by the ministries of Christian pity.....If such agencies serve to thin our churches, how many worshippers would be there, if they anticipated as the probable consequence, the payment of a fine, suffering in a prison, or the chance of slavery and death beneath the blaze of a tropical day?
     Even Mr. Alleine's brave people were so far dispersed by these terrors, that he deemed it sufficient to hold henceforth two Sunday services instead of four; still continuing, however, his various other labours in the week, both at home and in the villages.
     His own languid health yet more imperatively required him thus to lessen his usual amount of work.  The prison had made him an old and weary man.  It had made his life wither as a flower will wither if the fire has once passed over it.  His iron power of endurance, his elastic spring of recovery had gone for ever.  He could hardly hold on his way, and at last he broke down utterly.  At the close of August, having travelled sixteen miles to visit a church which had been deprived of its pastor, he sank into such utter exhaustion after preaching, that he could not be removed for three or four days, and then was with great difficulty borne back to Taunton.  (Taunton was a city in England where Joseph Alleine preached.)  For many weeks his strength consumed away so fast, that his friends thought he would soon die.  In October he began to revive, but even then his disorder so affected him, that he could not use his arms so as to write letters, or put off and on his clothes.....
     In his accustomed rounds, then, this servant of the Lord still determined to toil on—his strength strained to the utmost, and his life beset with perils; but though many threats were uttered against him by the magistrates, and many warrants out for him, nothing ruffled his placid courage, or shook his firm resolve.  He would say, when his enemies were plotting to get him into prison, "They could not do me a greater kindness.  I can do but little because of my distempers; but if I cannot work for God, I can suffer for Him, if He would so far honour me."  But the time was not yet come for this, and, till then, he seemed to lead "a charmed life."
     All this while the Plague was raging in London.  The old Gothic city, with its foul nests of narrow streets, each having in its centre a black rivulet trickling along to the river, seemed marked for such a doom.  The avenger had often sent warning of his approach, and now he had come, walking in darkness, wasting at noonday, and filling the whole scene with horrors which the tongue trembles to utter, and the pen refuses to record.  In the month of September, the terrific number of ten thousand at least, was the weekly average of the bills of mortality.  In one night—a night long to be remembered—it is said that four thousand died.  Shop after shop was closed, door after door was inscribed with a long red cross, having over it the words, "The Lord have mercy upon us," and street after street became still, with the awful peace of death—the doors left open, the casements clapping in the wind, the rooms empty, the inmates gone.....
     The pestilence travelled on until nearly a hundred thousand souls had been swept away before it.
.....Survivors thronged to the churches, but with a few honour- able exceptions the clergy had fled.  Handbills were thrown about the streets, bearing the title, "A Pulpit to Let," on which were printed the following lines:—

    "They that should stay, and teach us to reform,
    Gird up their loins, and run to 'scape the storm;
    They dread the plague, and dare not stand its shock,
    Let wolves or lions feed the fainting flock.
    Think you these men believe with holy Paul,
    For them to be dissolved is best of all;
    Then, their own bodies they would never mind,
    More than the souls of those they left behind.
    Who now, those sons of Aaron being fled,
    Shall stand between the living and the dead?
    We have at home the plague, abroad the sword,
    And will they add the famine of the word?"
                          from Vincent's "God's Terrible Voice
                                     in the City."

     An eye-witness declares, that seeing these pamphlets of  "A Pulpit to Let" scattered over the thoroughfares, and finding the churches open, many of the Nonconformist ministers ventured to accept the challenge, and fill the pulpits,—secure in a toleration decried by law, but allowed by the exigencies of the hour.....(Note:  the plague was from 1665-66.)
     We naturally ask what their old foes were doing through all this dreary season?  Most of them were too absorbed in their own affairs to care for those of others.....Others, and this is our present point, were absorbed in plans of new persecution; the self-devoting labour of the Nonconformists, instead of making them relent, only seeming to lash up emotions of more pitiless vengeance.....in forging the infamous Five-Mile Act, which received the royal assent on October 31, 1665.  This Act set forth a certain oath, which every Nonconformist minister was to take, declaring his conviction that it was unlawful, under any pretence whatever, to take up arms against the sovereign, and promising not to attempt any alteration of the Government, either in Church or State.  It also provided, that those who refused to take such an oath, should not come within five miles of any corporate city or town, or within five miles of any place in which they had heretofore been settled, or in which they had preached, under enormous penalties.....
.....The ministers therefore refused the oath, as was anticipated, and were a second time driven from their homes.  While they kept in their old haunts, the most persecuted could preach occasionally; however poor they were, however scorned by the world, they could always be comforted by the presence of a few who held them in unspeakable reverence,—who were ready to give away their last crust to keep them from starvation,—and who, in the most evil day, would have found for them the safest nooks of concealment, or have risked life itself to cover their escape from the troopers.  But from this time, their lot was to be cast among strangers, and their final possibility of preaching the Gospel seemed to be taken away.....
.....Some degree of gloom was natural, and it hung heavily over the spirits of many—not, however, as it seems, over the spirits of Mr. Alleine.  You are eager to know how the new Act affected his proceedings.  He resolved to take up his abode at Wellington, a town more than five miles away; but, a few nights before doing so, he obtained the largest room that could be found, probably one at Fullands,—called his people together, and held a service of solemn thanksgiving!  The rough notes of his address on this occasion have been preserved, and we must spare space for a few sentences here:—
      Most dearly beloved brethren, with no little joy and thankfulness have I thought of this time, when I should once more see your faces together; and be so truly glad, with so heart-contenting a mercy, as to 'rejoice with the joy of God's people, and to glory with His inheritance.'    
     "It is a time that, to some, may seem unseasonable to set up thanksgivings, when our calamities are so near approaching.  But surely, if I had never hopes to enjoy one day with you more, the last day should be a day of praise.  And if I were sure that we were now to take our farewell of Christians and ministers, and of all our former liberties, I should exhort you that we might join once more in lifting up hearts and hands in blessing God for all the mercies that we have met with together.  Your condition is never such but your mercies are infinitely greater, and more than your afflictions.  Neither may the sense of misery at any time surprise you, so as to drown the thankful acknowledgment of God's mercies.  God, that hath been always good to you, hath never been better than since you have had affliction.  Elijah was never so happily fed at a full table as when it was a time of great famine; when God sent every bit of bread and flesh by the mouth of a raven.  O how sweetly, do you think, that every bit of this bread did relish with the man of God, when he saw that he received it immediately out of God's own hand?
     "Brethren, though it hath been a time of great calamity, yet God hath herein heightened His mercy to you;—you have seen the bush burning, and yet not consumed.  The portion of God's children hath been taken away, and yet our cheeks have been fat.  We have been cast with Daniel into the lion's den; but God hath sent His angel and shut the lion's mouth, and we have not been destroyed, but are here together to praise the Lord.
     "Methinks there are several periods of time, since the time of our calamities, wherein God hath appeared to us, when we thought all had been gone.  One period was when your ministers were shut out of public by the Act of Uniformity.  Another, when we were cast out of our private meetings by the Act made against seditious conventicles, so called by the iniquity of the times.  Another, by this Act that doth now cast ministers out of their habitations.  And, methinks, every period should end with praise.  We read, that when they removed the ark, that when they had passed such a number of paces, then they 'slew a sacrifice.'  So, methinks, as we pass these periods of time, at the end of every period we should offer praise.  What! though God hath separated your preachers from you, yet, as He said, if the soldier dies fighting, and the preacher preaching, and the swan singing, then the saints should part praising.  Oh, Christians, this is the spirit that should be in you, that whatever God doth with you for the time to come, you should resolve to end in His praise for the mercies past.  If it were the last day we should have together, surely, me-thinks, we should end in praise.
     "The mercies of God are a deep that cannot be fathomed.  Where shall I begin or end.  Let me this evening show a little of God's mercy to you, and let my message live in your hearts as long as you live."
     He first aims to show the mercies enjoyed by his people as the people of God.  He shows how they may prove the existence of this relation, and then, that this relation involves the following things, on each of which he enlarges:—"You are the election of grace—you are the first-born of God—you are the first-fruits of the creation—you are the burgesses of heaven—you are the members of Christ—you are the living stones of the temple."
     He next asks the people to call to mind the particular mercies they have enjoyed as the inhabitants of Taunton;—
     "Though praise for the higher mercies should ever ring loudest, these should not be forgotten.
     "Firstly.  He has been a Saviour to you.  He hath saved your lives from the sword.  Have you forgotten that you were a people devoted to destruction by the sons of violence?  But God disappointed them, and gave your lives for a prey.
     "Your dwellings from the flames.—The flames have been set in ambush against you, and yet your habitations have not been burnt down to this day.  (Note:  London fire was in September of 1666.)
     "Your lives from the plague.—It hath devoured others, but it hath not devoured you.  How eminently hath God preserved you in this place, in the time of common calamity that hath been among others!  O think not that it was because those were greater sinners than are in Taunton; no, but because God hath a peculiar intention of saving you.  Yet I say to you, as Christ to them, ‘Think not that those upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, were greater sinners than any in Jerusalem.  I tell you, nay; but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.'  We have had the same sins, and yet God hath preserved us.    
     "Your persons from the prison.—How often hath God preserved you?  He hath been like the cloud upon Israel; 'and upon all the glory there hath been a defence.'  Once, indeed, some of you have tasted of a prison; but what a mercy was it, that it was but once.
     "Secondly.  God hath been a Shepherd to you.—Therefore, you have not wanted.  Who is it that leads you by the still waters?  Whence is it that you lie down in green pastures?  It is because God is your Shepherd.  How hath God provided for you formerly and of late?
     "Thirdly.  God hath been a keeper to you.  When you were sent to prison God did keep you.  O do not forget the mercies of a prison!  I believe, that of all the passages of our lives, many of us have no such experience of God's mercy as in a prison.  O the provision that God did make for us there!
     "Brethren, now let us thankfully commemorate all these mercies.  Let me call upon you, as the Psalmist, 'Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous;' and again, ‘Rejoice, O ye people, let your voice be heard on high.'  'Let us worship and fall down before the Lord our Maker.'  Let it be said, 'Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Taunton.'  Well might praise wait for God in Taunton, for God hath waited to be gracious to us.  There was the place where He chose to put His name.  'There brake He the arrows and the spear.'  Who is like our God, who rideth on the heaven for our help, and on the sky for our aid?  Blessed is the people that heareth the joyful sound; they shall rejoice in thee, O Lord.  'The Lord is our deliverance, and the Holy One of Israel is our King.'  Shout, therefore, O inhabitants of Taunton, for great is the work of the Lord with you.  And now, O Lord, bless them, and accept the work of their hands, and lift them up for ever!"
     At Wellington, he preached in a dye-house.....It was a very obscure shelter; but good men, like diamonds, shine in the dark, and light will not remain a secret long.  Mr. Alleine was soon discovered by informers, and a warrant placed in the constable's hand for his apprehension.....(Note:  In July of 1666, Joseph Alleine was arrested and instead of paying a fine of 3 pounds he spent 60 days in prison.) 
.....His last imprisonment, both by its direct influence, and by depriving him of his intended visit to Devizes, had greatly increased his disorder.
     In June, 1667, he went to Devizes again.  On this account, therefore, as well as on account of the medicinal advantages which the sick man primarily sought, Devizes was always an attractive retreat.....
.....The waters failed to produce the usual effect on the Invalid, and in July he was stricken down with a fever.  When to all appearance he was lying at the point of death, he dictated a long letter to his people.....
.....In six weeks' time the sentence of death seemed to be revoked, and he was able to travel back to Taunton.  He only remained there for a short period, and in September we find him at Dorchester.....
.....the sick man suddenly lost the use of all his limbs.  Looking at his dead hands, he said, "the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, and blessed be the name of the Lord."  He could not lift a finger.  Two attendants were needed even to turn him in bed, and this they sometimes did forty times in a night.  In this living death he lay from September the 28th to November the 16th, and all through the winter there was but little change.....(Note:  From February of 1668 until his death on November 17, 1668, he had periods of improvement and then his health would relapse.)
     The mourners could not forget the charge given by their beloved minister while yet with them, "If I should die fifty miles away, let me be buried at Taunton;" and a grave was, therefore, found for him in St. Mary's chancel.....
                                                                                                                                    Charles Stanford

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


All of the postings in this blog are from:  "Book 2 For God's Pilgrims."  (This can be ordered through Blurg.com)

Anyway the following remaining postings deal with a nonconformist preacher who lived in the 1600's.

Because I feel that it is helpful to be informed about any individual you are reading about, I have included quite a bit of background information concerning him so you would be more informed about what he and others had to contend with during his time period in the United Kingdom of England.

May Christ bless your heart as you continue reading the last few postings of the above mentioned book!


         "Must I be driven from my books?
             From house and goods, and dearest friends?
         One of thy sweet and gracious looks,
             For more than this will make amends!
         As for my house it was my tent,
             While there I waited on thy flock;
         That work is done, that time is spent,
             There neither was my home nor stock.
         Would I in all my journey have
             Still the same inn and furniture?
         Or ease and pleasant dwellings crave,
             Forgetting what thy saints endure?
         My Lord hath taught me how to want
             A place wherein to put my head;
         While He is mine, I'll be content
             To beg or lack my daily bread.
         Heaven is my roof, earth is my floor,
             Thy love can keep me dry and warm,
         Christ and thy bounty are my store;
             Thy angels guard me from all harm.
         As for my friends, they are not lost;
             The several vessels of thy fleet,
         Though parted now, by tempests tossed,
             Shall safely in the haven meet.''
                                         Richard Baxter, 1662


     NOTE:  Below is information on Joseph Alleine, 1634-1668, who was an English nonconformist preacher.  (There is a brief history and writings of Richard Baxter, another English nonconformist pastor, earlier in this book and his poem on the opposite page is a worthy tribute to all pastors who have suffered in all ages.)
     Also, please note that Richard Alleine, who was ousted from his church in 1662 and whose writings are also included in this book, was a kinsman of Joseph Alleine.


     On the 26th of May, 1663, Joseph Alleine was committed to Ilchester gaol on the charge of causing a riotous and seditious assembly.  He was tried on the 24th of August, and though nothing could be proved against him, except that he had sung a psalm and instructed his family in his own house, other persons being present, he was found guilty, sentenced to pay a fine of one hundred marks, and in default of payment he  was sent to prison, where he remained a year within three days.  After his release he resumed his former occupations, and on the 10th of July, 1665, he was again imprisoned.  These imprisonments, during which  he suffered much severe treatment, broke down his health, and he died in the year 1668, at the age of about thirty-five. 

(From Newton's Sermon at the Funeral of Mr. Joseph Alleine, and an Account of his Life, published by the Revs. George Newton, Richard Alleine, and Richard Fairclough."  Palmer's Nonconformist Memorial, vol. iii, pp. 208-212.

Monday, May 16, 2016

        Day by day the manna fell;
        Oh, to learn this lesson well!
        Still by constant mercy fed,
        Gives me, Lord, my daily bread.

        "Day by day" the promise reads;
        Daily strength for daily needs:
        Cast foreboding fears away,
        Take the manna of to-day.

        Lord, my times are in thy hand;
        All my sanguine hopes have planned
        To thy wisdom I resign,
        And would make thy purpose mine.

        Thou my daily task shalt give;
        Day by day to thee I live;
        So shall added years fulfil,
        Not my own, my Father's will.
                                               Josiah Conder

.....they gathered it every morning.....Exodus 16:21

Labor to maintain a sense of thine entire dependence upon the Lord's good will and pleasure for the continuance of thy richest enjoyments.  Never try to live on the old manna, nor seek to find help in Egypt.  All must come from Jesus, or thou art undone forever.  Old anointings will not suffice to impart unction to thy spirit; thine head must have fresh oil poured upon it from the golden horn of the sanctuary, or it will cease from its glory.  To-day thou mayst be upon the summit of the mount of God; but He who has put thee there must keep thee there, or thou wilt sink far more speedily than thou dreamest.  Thy mountain only stands firm when He settles it in its place; if He hide His face, thou wilt soon be troubled.  If the Saviour should see fit, there is not a window through which thou seest the light of heaven which He could not darken in an instant.  Joshua bade the sun stand still, but Jesus can shroud it in total darkness.  He can withdraw the joy of  thine heart, the light of thine eyes, and the strength of thy life; in His hand thy comforts lie, and at His will they can depart from thee.  This hourly dependence our Lord is determined that we shall feel and recognize, for He only permits us to pray for "daily bread," and only promises that "as our days our strength shall be."  Is it not best for us that it should be so, that we may often repair to His throne, and constantly be reminded of His love?  Oh, how rich the grace which supplies us so continually, and doth not refrain itself because of our ingratitude!  The golden shower never ceases, the cloud of blessing tarries evermore above our habitation.  Lord Jesus, we would bow at Thy feet, conscious of our utter inability to do anything without Thee; and in every favor which we are privileged to receive, we would adore Thy blessed name and acknowledge Thine unexhausted love.
                                                                                                                                        C. H. Spurgeon

Sunday, May 15, 2016

When time seems short and death is near,
And I am pressed by doubt and fear,
And sins, an overflowing tide,
Assail my peace on every side,
This thought my refuge still shall be,
I know the Saviour died for me.

His name is Jesus, and he died,
For guilty sinners crucified;
Content to die that he might win
Their ransom from the death of sin:
No sinner worse than I can be,
Therefore I know he died for me.

If grace were bought, I could not buy;
If grace were coined, no wealth have I;
By grace alone I draw my breath,
Held up from everlasting death;
Yet, since I know his grace is free,
I know the Saviour died for me.

"I read God's holy Word, and find
Great truths which far transcend my mind;
And little do I know beside
Of thoughts so high, so deep, so wide:
This is my best theology,
I know the Saviour died for me.

"My faith is weak, but 'tis Thy gift;
Thou canst my helpless soul uplift,
And say, 'Thy bonds of death are riven,
Thy sins by Me are all forgiven;
And thou shalt live from guilt set free,
For I, Thy Saviour, died tor thee.'"
                                    George W. Bethune

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  Titus 3:5-7

.....If in justification, sins be blotted out, cast in the depths of the sea, and removed, as if they never had been, the state of justification must be a condition of sound blessedness, the most desirable life in the world, even as David also described the blessedness of the man whom God imputeth righteousness without works.  "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered." (Rom 4:6, 7.)  For, consider, 1.  What an act of grace it is in a prince, to take a condemned malefactor from under the axe, the rack, the wheel, and so many hours’ torture, before he end his miserable life.  Or, 2.  Suppose he were condemned to be tortured leisurely, and his life continued and prorogated, that bones, sinews, lungs, joints, might be pained for twenty or thirty years, so much of his flesh cut off every day, such a bone broken, and by art the bone cured again, and the flesh restored, that he might, for thirty years' space, every day be dying, and yet never die.  Or, 3.  Imagine a man could be kept alive in torment in this case, from sleep, ease, food, clothing, five hundred years, or a thousand years, and boiling all the time in a cauldron full of melted lead; and say the soul could dwell in a body under the rack, the wheel, the lashes and scourges of scorpions, and whips of iron, the man bleeding, crying, in the act of dying for pain, gnawing his tongue for ten hundred years:  Now, suppose a mighty prince, by an act of free grace, could and would deliver this man from all this pain and torture, and give him a life in perfect health, in ten hundred paradises of joy, pleasure, worldly happiness, and a day all the thousand years without a night, a summer all this time, without cloud, storm, winter; all the honour, acclamations, love, and service of a world of men and angels,—clothe this man with all the most complete delights, perfections, and virtues of mind and body—set him ten thousand degrees of elevation, to the top of all imaginable happiness, above Solomon in his highest royalty, or Adam in his first innocency, or angels in their most transcendent glory and happiness:—Yea, 4.  In our conception, we may extend the former misery and pain, and all this happiness, to the length of ten thousand years;—this should be thought incomparably the highest act of grace and love that any creature could extend to his fellow-creature.  And yet, all this were but a shadow of grace, in comparison of the love and rich grace of God in Christ, in the justification of a sinner.
                                                                                                                                   Samuel Rutherford 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

     Canst thou not love? look till thou canst; look up to thy God, send up thy thoughts thither; let thy meditations be of him; these will not be long before the throne ere they fetch up thy heart.  Look on thy Jesus, behold his hands and his feet, come and put thy finger into the print of the nails, and thrust thy heart into his side, and there let it lie till thou feel it warm.  Look up to thy Jesus; lift up a prayer:  "Lord, let me love thee:  if thou lovest, let me love thee:  I will seek, till I can see; let me see, till I can love.  What have I here, Lord?  My all is with thee, my help, my hope, my treasure, my life is hid with Christ in God.  And yet behold, this all is nothing to me, while my heart is no more with thee; take it, Lord, take it up; where my treasure is, there let my heart be also."
     Doubting Christian, who, because thou lovest so little, fearest thou lovest not at all, cry for more, but be thankful for what thou hast; be ashamed thou lovest no more, but be not dismayed.  Thou cornplainest thou canst not love God; but dost thou love his image, his saints, his word, his works, his ways?  While thou sayest thou lovest not God, dost thou love godliness?  If thou canst not love, canst thou grieve, canst thou lament after him?  Hast thou chosen, dost thou hang upon, and trust in the Lord?  If thou canst not love, canst thou fear and follow the Lord?  If he be not sensibly in thy affection, is he in thy thoughts, in thy mouth, in thine eye?  Is he thine aim and thy scope?  Does thy course bend towards him?  If so, comfort thy heart in these things; thou mayest see, though thou canst not feel, that thou lovest.
                                                                                                                                 Rev. Richard Alleine

Friday, May 13, 2016

      O! when the exile views his home;
      The banish'd child his father's face;
      The traveller, long condemn'd to roam,
      His native fields, his resting-place;

      What sweet emotions fill the mind!
      What joy, what blessedness they feel!
      My God! these joys are all combin'd,
      When at thy mercy-seat I kneel.

      Thou art my dwelling-place, my rest,
      My Father, in whose smile I live:
      All I desire to make me blest,
      That smile alone can amply give.

      No longer now my thoughts I waste
      On earthly things once loved by me:
      Far sweeter, purer joys I taste,
      My God! in communing with thee.
                                                     Charlotte Elliott

Thursday, May 12, 2016

   My rest is in heaven, my rest is not here;
   Then why should I murmur when trials are near?
   Be hushed, my complainings, the worst that can come
   But shortens my journey and hastens me home.

   It is not for me to be seeking my bliss,
   And building my hopes in a region like this;
   I look for a city which hands have not piled;
   I pant for a country by sin undefiled.

   The thorn and the thistle around me may grow,
   I would not lie down upon roses below;
   I ask not my portion, I seek not a rest,
   Till I find them for ever on Jesus His breast.

   Afflictions may damp me, they cannot destroy;
   One glimpse of His love turns them all into joy;
   And the bitterest tears, if He smile but on them,
   Like dew in the sunshine, grow diamond and gem.

   Let trial and danger my progress oppose,
   They only make heaven more sweet at the close;
   Come joy or come sorrow, whate'er may befall,
   A home with my God will make up for it all.

   A scrip on my back and a staff in my hand,
   I march on in haste through an enemy's land;
   The road may be rough, but it cannot be long,
   And I smooth it with hope and I cheer it with song.
                                                                        H. F. Lyte

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

God's people below are kings incog.  They are traveling, disguised like pilgrims, to their dominions above.—Once a king unto God, always so:  God does not make kings for the devil to unmake at his pleasure.—If you are spiritual kings, be holy.  Should I meet a person, all in dirt and rags, I should be mad, was I to take that person for a king, or a queen.  Nor can I believe you to be royally descended, or crowned for the skies, unless you carry the marks of royalty in your life and conversation.—If any of God's anointed kings so far forget their dignity, as to live in sin; their throne will shake; the crown will tremble on their heads; they will be driven from their palace for a time, like David, when he fled from Absalom, and went weeping over the brook Kidron.  But, like David, they shall be brought back again to Jerusalem (for Christ will not lose the purchase of his blood):  though not until they have severely smarted for it.
                                                                                                                               Augustus Toplady

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.  1 Peter 2:12

.....This is now the sense of the Apostle, when he says, Dear brethren, I admonish you as strangers and as pilgrims.  Since, then, you are one with Christ, form one household, and His goods are yours, your injury is His injury, and He takes as His own all that you possess; therefore you are to follow after Him, and conduct yourselves as those who are no more citizens of the world.  For your possessions lie not upon the earth, but in heaven; and though you have already lost all temporal good, you still have Christ, who is more than all else.  The devil is the prince of this world and rules it; his citizens are the people of this world; therefore, since you are not of the world, act as a stranger in an inn, who has not his possessions with him, but procures food, and gives his gold for it.  For here it is only a sojourning, where we cannot tarry, but must travel further.  Therefore we should use worldly blessings no more than is needful for health and appetite, and therewith leave and go to another land.  We are citizens in heaven; on earth we are pilgrims and guests.....
                                                                                                                           Martin Luther