Sunday, April 18, 2021

"Alarm To The Unconverted" by Joseph Alleine

A Puritan pastor, Joseph Alleine (1634–1668) brought the message of salvation to thousands through his famous work Alarm to the Unconverted. This book has had more than 350 printings (more than any classical Christian work except Pilgrim’s Progress) and influenced leaders such as George Whitefield and Charles Spurgeon. The following is an excerpt from his writings:

When a man is converted, he is forever at enmity with sin; yes, with all sin, but most of all with his own sin, and especially with his bosom sin. Sin is now the object of his indignation. His sin swells his sorrows. It is sin that pierces him and wounds him; he feels it like a thorn in his side, like a prick in his eyes. He groans and struggles under it, and not formally but feelingly cries out, “O wretched man!”

Before conversion he had light thoughts of sin. He cherished it in his bosom, as Uriah his lamb; he nourished it up, and it grew up together with him; it did eat, as it were, of his own meat and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was to him as a daughter. But when God opens his eyes by conversion, he throws it away with abhorrence, as a man would a loathsome toad, which in the dark he had hugged fast in his bosom, and thought it had been some pretty and harmless bird.

The sound convert is heartily engaged against sin. He struggles with it, he wars against it; he is too often foiled, but he will never yield the cause, nor lay down the weapons, while he has breath in his body. He will make no peace; he will give no quarter. He can forgive his other enemies, he can pity them and pray for them; but here he is implacable, here he is set upon their extermination. He hunts as it were for the precious life; his eye shall not pity, his hand shall not spare, though it be a right hand or a right eye.

Have you crucified your flesh with its affections and lusts; and not only confessed, but forsaken your sins, all sin in your fervent desires, and the ordinary practice of every deliberate and willful sin in your life? If not, you are yet unconverted. Does not conscience fly in your face as you read, and tell you that you live in a way of lying for your advantage? That you use deceit in your calling?

Does your unbridled tongue, your indulgence of appetite, your wicked company, your neglect of prayer, of reading and hearing the Word, now witness against you, and say, “We are your works, and we will follow you”? Or, if I have not hit you right, does not the monitor within tell you, there is such and such a way that you know to be evil, that yet for some carnal respect you tolerate in yourself? If this be the case, you are to this day unregenerate, and must be changed or condemned.