Today's Puritan Audio Devotional--
"This heavenly light of truth" by J. A. James (the practical use of Scripture)
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The nails which pierced Christ's hands!
(William Secker, "The Consistent Christian" 1660)
Though repentance is the act of man--yet it is the gift of God. It requires the same power to melt the heart--as to make it. As we are deeply fallen from a state of innocence, so we should rise to a state of penitence. Those sins shall never make a hell for us--which are a hell to us. Some people have sin enough for all their sorrows--but not sorrow enough for all their sins. Their eyes are windows to let in lusts--when they should be flood-gates to pour out tears!
When godly sorrow takes possession of the house--it will quickly shut sin out of doors. There must be a falling out with our lusts--before there can be a genuine falling off from our lusts. There must be a sincere loathing of sin in our affections--before a true leaving of sin in our actions. It is a hearty mourning for our transgressions, which makes way for a happy funeral of our corruptions!
Sinner, you have filled the book of God with your sins--and will you not fill the bottle of God with your tears? Remember, that when Christ draws the likeness of the new creature, His first brush is dipped in water: "Unless you repent--you shall all likewise perish!" Is it not better to repent without perishing--than to perish without repenting? Godly sorrow is such a grace, that without it--not a soul shall be saved; and with it--not a soul shall be lost! Is it not therefore better to swim in the water-works of godly repentance--than to burn in the fire-works of divine vengeance? Do not think that the tears which are shed in hell--will in the least abate the torments which are suffered in hell!
He who lives in sin, without repentance--shall die in sin, without forgiveness. There is no coming to the fair haven of glory--without sailing through the narrow strait of repentance. We must mourn for sin on earth--or burn for sin in hell! It is better traveling to heaven sadly--than to hell merrily!
It is the coldness of our hearts--which kindles the fire of God's anger. "They will look on Me whom they have pierced--and shall mourn!" Zechariah 12:10. Christians! The nails which pierced Christ's hands--should now pierce your hearts! You should now be deeply wounded with godly sorrow--for having so deeply wounded Him with your ungodly sins!