True Heart-Work

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JM

Puritan Board Doctor
Feileadh Mor

John Warburton, “If there be a sinner, who has just got his eyes opened to see his lost and ruined state, who feels that he cannot pray, nor knows how to utter a word before the great Jehovah who is so infinite in holiness and justice, while he is such a vile and polluted sinner who is so infinite in wisdom, while he is such an ignorant fool if, dear soul, you have not many words to utter, can you from the bottom of your heart say, “God be merciful to me a sinner?” That is the best prayer for you and me. God will not despise it; “He will regard the prayer of the destitute.” (Ps. 102:17) And He says, in the words of the text, for your comfort and encouragement, “thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.” Blessings on His name, you shall find Him to be a God, “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.” In His own time, He will enrich your soul with a sweet and blessed enjoyment of His undertaking.

I believe the greatest number of God’s children are cast down in their minds, and grievously perplexed at times respecting the reality of their repentance and faith, and the genuineness of their religion before God. One reason why I draw this inference is because there are many “fear nots” in the word of God; they come from God’s mouth, and are not spoken at an uncertainty. There are some professors to whom the “fear nots” in God’s word have no manner of use; for they never feel the bonds and fetters that the Lord’s people do; neither do they appear to have any afflictions or bitters in their cup; consequently, as they have nothing to try and cast them down, so they need not these encouraging “fear nots” from God’s blessed word.

There may be some here tonight, who are questioning whether the Lord has ever picked them up, and began the good work of grace in their souls, or whether their religion is only of the flesh, through the workings of natural conscience; so that they are full of anxiety to know whether they belong to the Lord’s quickened family. I never find empty professors of religion, those great and high-flown six feet gentlemen who are full of their own wisdom and fleshly confidence, ever in anxiety to know whether the good work of grace was ever begun in their hearts. But, wherever the good seed of the word is sown, it is always in the heart that has been ploughed and harrowed. When the good seed is dropped into good ground, then there is honesty in that soul, and it is honest before God; so that he cannot come and grasp the promises as he please; he is not able to take hold of this and that passage and claim it as a child’s portion. No, no; the poor soul wants God to claim him as His child and His portion; and he will come begging and crying to the Lord to give him some testimony of His favour, and speak home some promise with power, to satisfy the desires of his soul. There is true heart-work going on in such a sinner as this. He will say, ‘Lord, give me a token to satisfy me I am not a hypocrite; give me to feel that Thou art mine, and I am Thine!” What, be a hypocrite, and yet have the good work of grace in the soul! Depend upon it, no hypocrite can ever come here! If you search all through the word of God you will not find any but the living family who come into this spot. Never, never.”
 
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