English Puritan Divine and Author
"Nothing humbles and breaks the heart of a sinner like mercy and love. Souls that converse much with sin and wrath, may be much terrified; but souls that converse much with grace and mercy, will be much; humbled."
"When you have overcome one temptation, you must be ready to enter the lists with another. As distrust, in some sense, is the mother of safety, so security is the gate of danger. A man had need to fear this most of all, that he fears not at all."
"God hears no more than the heart speaks; and if the heart be dumb, God will certainly be deaf."
"A gracious man should be made up all of fire, overcoming and consuming all opposition, as fire does the stubble. All difficulties should be but whetstones to his fortitude."
"A man's most glorious actions will at last be found to be but glorious sins, if he hath made himself, and not the glory of God, the end of those actions."
"Afflictions, they are but as a dark entry into your Father's house; they are but as a dirty lane to a royal palace. Now, tell me, souls, whether it be not very great madness to shun the ways of holiness, and to walk in the ways of wickedness, because of those afflictions which attend the ways of holiness."
"Ah, souls, you can easily sin as the saints—but can you repent with the saints? Many can sin with David and Peter, that cannot repent with David and Peter—and so must perish forever!"
"Ambition is a gilded misery, a secret poison, a hidden plague, the engineer of deceit, the mother of hypocrisy, the parent of envy, the original of vices, the moth of holiness, the blinder of hearts, turning medicines into maladies, and remedies into diseases."
"An excellent master is always better than an excellent law. Let your laws be ever so good, if the lawmakers are bad, all will come to nothing."
"Assurance is a jewel of that worth, a pearl of that price that he who will have it must work, and sweat, and weep, and wait to obtain it."
"Assurance makes most for your comfort, but holiness makes most for God's honor...Assurance is the daughter of holiness...The surest and shortest way to assurance is to wrestle and contend with God for holiness..."
"Bear your faithful ministers upon your hearts when you are wrestling with God. They can tell when they want your prayers, and when they enjoy your prayers. Did you pray more for them, they might do more for your internal and eternal good than they do now."
"Books may preach when the author cannot, when the author may not, when the author dares not, yes, and which is more, when the author is not."
"Cold prayers shall never have any warm answers. God will suit His returns to our requests. Lifeless services shall have lifeless answers. When men are dull, God will be dumb."
"Corruptions to conquer, afflictions to bear, mercies to improve, and your generation to serve."
"For a close, remember this, that your life is short, your duties many, your assistance great, and your reward sure; therefore faint not, hold on and hold up, in ways of well-doing, and heaven shall make amends for all."
"God has ends and designs in giving evil men outward mercies and present rest from sorrows and sufferings that cause saints to sigh."
"God sees us in secret, therefore, let, us seek his face in secret. Though heaven be God's palace, yet it is not his prison."
"God's hearing of our prayers doth not depend upon sanctification, but upon Christ's intercession; not upon what we are in ourselves, but what' we are in the Lord Jesus; both our persons and our prayers are acceptable in the beloved."
"God's very service is wages; His ways are strewed with roses, and paved with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory, and with peace that passeth understanding."
"Greater sins do sooner startle the soul, and awaken and rouse up the soul to repentance, than lesser sins do. Little sins often slide into the soul, and breed, and work secretly and undiscernably in the soul, till they come to be so strong, as to trample upon the soul, and to cut the throat of the soul."
"I could heartily wish that you and all others concerned in this sad loss, were more taken up in minding the happy exchange that she hath made, than with your present loss. She hath exchanged earth for heaven, a wilderness for a paradise, a prison for a palace, a house made with hands for one eternal in the heavens (2 Cor 5:1-2). She hath exchanged imperfection for perfection, sighing for singing, mourning for rejoicing, prayers for praises, the society of sinful mortals for the company of God, Christ, angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect, Heb 12:22-24; an imperfect transient enjoyment of God for a more clear, full, perfect, and permanent enjoyment of God. She hath exchanged pain for ease, sickness for health, a bed of weakness for a bed of spices, a complete blessedness. She hath exchanged her brass for silver, her counters for gold, and her earthly contentments for heavenly enjoyments."
"In private prayer we have a far greater advantage as so the exercise of our own gifts and graces and parts that we have in public...in public duties we are more passive, but in private duties we are more active. Now, the more our gifts and parts and graces are exercised, the more they are strengthened and increased. All acts strengthen habits. The more sin is acted, the more it is strengthened. And so it is with our gifts and graces; the more they are acted, the more they are strengthened."
"It is not he who knows most, nor he who hears most, nor yet he who talks most, but he who exercises grace most, who has most communion with God."
"It is not the bee's touching of the flower that gathers honey, but her abiding for a time upon the flower that draws out the sweet. It is not he that reads most, but he that meditates most, that will prove the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest."
"It is the very nature of grace to make a man strive to be most eminent in that particular grace which is most opposed to his bosom sin."
"It was a choice saying of Augustine, 'Every saint is God's temple, and he who carries his temple about him, may go to prayer when he pleaseth'."
"'My sin is ever before me'. A humble soul sees that he can stay no more from sin, than the heart can from panting, and the pulse from beating. He sees his heart and life to be fuller of sin, than the firmament is of stars; and this keeps him low. He sees that sin is so bred in the bone, that till his bones, as Joseph's, be carried out of the Egypt of this world, it will not out. Though sin and grace were never born together, and though they shall not die together, yet while the believer lives, these two must live together; and this keeps him humble."
"Much faith will yield unto us here our heaven, but any faith, if true, will yield us heaven hereafter."
"One of Satan's devices to keep poor souls in a sad, doubting, and questioning condition is causing them to be always posing and musing upon sin; to mind their sins more than their Saviour: yea, so to mind their sins as to forget and neglect their Saviour. Their eyes are so fixed upon their disease that they cannot see their remedy, though it be near; and they do so muse upon their debts that they have neither mind nor heart to think of their surety."