Some of the most sobering words that I have read.

Discussion in 'Daily Devotional Forum' started by Regi Addictissimus, Jan 25, 2020.

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  1. Regi Addictissimus

    Regi Addictissimus Completely sold out to the King

    For the last few months, I have been newly typesetting and editing some of Brownlow North's works. Quite frequently, while working on them, I've had to stop to take it all in and then offer up prayers. The portion below is one of those instances.


    And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

    The Holy Bible: King James Version. Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009. Print.

    This will always be the case the moment a man, for the first time, sees the kingdom of heaven. Whether that first time is in heaven or in hell makes no difference; the moment a man sees the kingdom of heaven, he is certain to begin to pray. The reason is this, he sees a satisfying portion, and his heart thirsts after it. If this happens in this world, his prayer will be heard, and for Christ's sake, and by Christ, his hungering and thirsting will be satisfied; but if it occurs in hell, the prayer will be too late,– for man's need can only be satisfied by Christ, and there is no Christ in hell.

    This cry for water was the first real prayer the Rich Man had ever uttered. He might have "said his prayers," as people call it, night and morning when on earth; but now he was no longer merely saying prayers, but praying; the words of his lips were the genuine desires of his heart: he really and truly wanted that for which he professed to ask. Had he so prayed on earth, God would have given him “rivers of living water,” but he had not so prayed; indeed, he could not, for on earth he felt no need of what he wanted in hell. It is possible, I say again, that he might regularly have said his prayers, but the Rich Man never prayed until he lifted up his eyes in torments; he had nothing to pray for till then: on earth, he had everything except God, and on earth, he felt no need of God. There can be no real prayer where there is no sense of need.

    Would that the vast distinction between saying prayers and praying was more pressed home upon congregations by their ministers, and on the world generally, by godly teachers and other Christians. How comparatively small compared with those who content themselves with what they term saying their prayers, is the number of those who really pray. Many have said their prayers from their earliest childhood, who have never prayed; many have for years knelt night and morning at the family altar, and joined Sabbath after Sabbath in professed worship, who have never prayed; many, both in public and in private, have put themselves daily from their youth upwards in the attitude of prayer, and uttered from the mouth words of prayer, whose so-called prayers have not only not been prayer, but blasphemy. SAYING PRAYERS WITHOUT PRAYING IS BLASPHEMY! God has said, "The Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain." Yet I believe that no greater breach of the Third Commandment ascends from earth into the ears of God, than that which too often ascends from the closet and from family circles, excepting only that which ascends on the Sabbath day from the public assemblies of God's professing worshipers.

    Brownlow North (1869). The Richman and Lazarus. London: William Hunt and Company.

    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
  2. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    That is quite sobering.
  3. Regi Addictissimus

    Regi Addictissimus Completely sold out to the King

    Indeed, brother.
  4. RPEphesian

    RPEphesian Puritan Board Junior

    Is it any wonder then that God often does not answer faith-less, unbelieving prayers... thank you much. This has kindled my prayers!
  5. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    I have just been reading something similarly sobering in Thomas Brooks' London's Lamentations on the eternal nature of the wicked's punishment in hell (Works, 6: 208-11). Perhaps the worst thing about the sufferings of hell is that there is no hope of deliverance from them. As Brooks points out, the wicked in hell for all eternity "shall be no nearing coming out of hell than he was at the very first moment that he entered into hell."
  6. Regi Addictissimus

    Regi Addictissimus Completely sold out to the King

    It is a sobering thought, indeed.
    North discusses that as well in regards to the Rich Man. He asks the reader to meditate on how long the Rich Man has already been in the torments of hell. For us, it would be over 2000 years. He then brings to the reader's attention that although it has been 2000 years, he is no sooner done with his punishment.
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