Saturday, April 24, 2010

Have a Blessed Lord's Day, Here's Morsel From a Puritanical Preacher

A little wine and bread for your travels. The following is an excerpt from David Dickson a 17th century preacher used by the Lord in great seasons of grace in Scotland, here he speaks of the practical nature of the doctrine of election:

"The doctrine of election and reprobation is a doctrine which may be safely taught and propounded unto people, albeit men say it should not be meddled with, because (say they) it makes some men despair, and others become careless what they do. I answer, let God make an answer for his own doctrine, who has commanded us to teach it...The apostle says boldly, the election obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

Would Christ have propounded this doctrine if it had been dangerous? Therefore we oppose to such carnal men, secure sleepers in sin, this doctrine of Christ and his apostles, clearly set down in scripture. Let none take offence at this doctrine, for Christ's sheep will hear his voice, and if any will startle away, let them go...This doctrine is a strong attractive to draw back those who are fallen in error or vice, that they lie not in it, for this doctrine forces such men to turn to God, or else, to take on the name of reprobates...

It is a doctrine meet for this age, wherein God is mocked and blasphemed by the lewd lives of those who are called Christians, to tell them, that they must either turn to God, or take home with them these black tidings, that they are vessels of dishonour, fitted for destruction. This doctrine is very needful to put men to their decisions; and yet it condemns not a man to hell presently, who is lying in sin; but it tells him, that there are some elect, who will come home, and some reprobate, who will not come home.

Therefore, if a man be elect, albeit for the time he be a deboshed villain, this doctrine will serve him for the third and last summons: for when he hears that he must either quit his sinful courses, or have no portion with God, presently he must resolve, I will renounce my old lovers, my uncleanness, worldliness, and turn in to God, and seek a covering to hide my vileness. This effect will this doctrine work in the elect."
(Select works of David Dickson quoted by Iain Murray in Puritan Papers Vol 1)

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