Joseph Alleine (1634-1668): Revealed things belong to you; in these busy yourself

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In an earlier post, we looked at the question “How do I know I am of the elect?”, and Heinrich Bullinger’s reply to this question.

Here, Joseph Alleine (1634-1668) gives a similar answer to this question to Bullinger’s:

“You begin at the wrong end if you first dispute about your election. Prove your conversion, and then never doubt your election. If you cannot yet prove it, set upon a present time and thorough turning. Whatever God’s purposes are (which are secret), I am sure his promises are plain. How desperately do angels rebel! ‘If I am elected I shall be saved, do what I will. If not, I shall be damned, do what I can.’ Perverse sinner, will you begin where you should end? Is not the word before you? What says it? ‘Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out’ (Acts 3:19). ‘If you mortify the deeds of the body you shall live’ (Romans 8:13). ‘Believe and be saved’ (Acts 16:31). What can be plainer? Do not stand still disputing about your election – but set to repenting and believing. Cry to God for converting grace. Revealed things belong to you; in these busy yourself.”

– Joseph Alleine (1634-1668), A Sure Guide to Heaven, p. 30

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Joseph Alleine (1634-1668): Conversion is a supernatural work

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“The author of conversion is the Spirit of God, and therefore it is called “the sanctification of the Spirit” (2 Thess. 2:13) and “the renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Tit. 3:5). This does not exclude the other persons in the Trinity, for the apostle teaches us to bless the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who “has begotten us again unto a living hope” (1 Pet. 1:3). And Christ is said to “give repentance unto Israel” (Acts 5:31); and is called the “everlasting Father” (Is. 9:6) and we his seed, and “the children whom God has given him” (Heb. 2:13). Yet this work is principally ascribed to the Holy Spirit, and so we are said to be “born of the Spirit” (Jn. 3:5-6).

So then, conversion is a work above man’s power. We are “born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man – but of God” (Jn. 1:13). Never think you can convert yourself. If ever you would be savingly converted, you must despair of doing it in your own strength. It is a resurrection from the dead (Eph. 2:1), a new creation (Gal. 6:15; Eph. 2:10), a work of absolute omnipotence (Eph. 1:19). Are not these out of the reach of human power? If you have no more than you had by your first birth – a good nature, a meek and chaste temper, and so forth – you are a stranger to true conversion. Conversion is a supernatural work.”

– Joseph Alleine (1634-1668), A Sure Guide to Heaven, Chapter 2

Joseph Alleine (1634-1668) on God as our Father

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“The LORD God says to His people: I am the everlasting Father, and I will be a Father to you (John 20:17). I take you for My sons and daughters (2 Corinthians 6:18). Behold, I receive you not as servants, but as sons to abide in My house forever (John 8:35-36).

Whatever love or care children may look for from their father, that you may expect from Me (Matthew 6:31-32), and so much more since I am wiser, greater, and better than any earthly parents.

If earthly fathers will give good things to their children, much more will I give to you (Luke 11:13). If such cannot forget their children, much less will I forget you (Isaiah 49:15). What would My children have? Your Father’s heart, His house, His care, His ear, His bread, and His rod? These shall all be yours.

You shall have My fatherly affection. My heart I share among you. My tenderest loves I bestow upon you (1 John 3:1; Jeremiah 31:3; Isaiah 54:8).

You shall have My fatherly compassion. As a father pities his children, so will I pity you (Psalm 103:13-14). I will consider your frame, and not be extreme to mark what is done amiss by you, but will cover all with the mantle of My excusing love (Psalm 78:39).

You shall have My fatherly instruction. I will cause you to hear the sweet voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way’ (Isaiah 30:21). I will tender your weaknesses, and inculcate My admonitions, line upon line, and will feed you with milk when you cannot digest stronger meat (Isaiah 28:13; 1 Corinthians 3:2). I will instruct you and guide you with My eyes (Psalm 32:8).

You shall have My fatherly protection. In My fear is strong confidence, and My children shall have a place of refuge (Proverbs 14:26). My name shall be your strong tower, to which you may at all times fly and be safe (Proverbs 18:10). To your stronghold, you prisoners of hope (Zechariah 9:12). I am an open refuge, a near and inviolable refuge for you (Psalm 48:3; Deuteronomy 4:7; John 10:29).

You shall have My fatherly provision. Do not be afraid of want; in your Father’s house there is bread enough (Psalm 34:9; Luke 15:17). I will care for your bodies. Do not worry about what you shall eat, drink, or put on. Let it suffice you that your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all things (Matthew 6:25-34; Luke 12:22-32). I will provide for your souls: meat for them, mansions for them, and portions for them (John 6:30-59; Lamentations 3:23).

Behold, I have spread the table of My gospel for you, with privileges and comforts that no man can take from you (Isaiah 25:6; Matthew 22:4; Proverbs 9:2). I have set before you the bread of life, the tree of life, and the water of life (John 6:48; Revelation 2:7 and 22:17). Eat, O friends; drink abundantly, O beloved!

But all this is but a taste of what I have prepared. You must have but smiles and hints now, and be content with glimpses and glances here. But you shall be shortly taken up into your Father’s bosom and live forever in the fullest views of His glory (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

You shall have My fatherly probation. I will chasten you because I love you, so that you may not be condemned with the world (1 Corinthians 11:32; Proverbs 3:11-12).”

– Joseph Alleine (1634-1668), The Precious Promises of the Gospel, p. 24-26

Joseph Alleine (1634–1668): The day of your death shall be the birthday of your glories

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“The LORD God says to His people: ‘My providences shall cooperate for your good (Romans 8:28). The cross winds shall blow you sooner and more swiftly to your harbor. You shall be preferred when you seem to be the deepest losers.

I will most effectually promote your good when you seem most to deny it (2 Corinthians 4:17; Mark 10:29-30; Philippians 1:29). Things to come are yours: the perfecting of your souls, the redemption of your bodies, and the consummation of your bliss.

When you have glorified Me for awhile on earth and finished the work I have given you to do, you shall be caught up into paradise and rest from your labors, and your works shall follow you (Revelation 14:13; Luke 23:43).

I will send My own lifeguard to bring home your departing souls (Luke 16:22), and will receive you among the spirits of just men made perfect (Hebrews 12:23). And you shall look back upon Pharaoh and all his host, and see your enemies dead upon the shore.

Then shall be your redemption from all your afflictions, and all your corruptions (Luke 21:28; Ephesians 4:30). The thorn in the flesh shall be pulled out and the hour of temptation shall be over, and the tempter out of work forever.

The sweat shall be wiped off your brows, the day of cooling and refreshing shall come, and you shall sit down forever under My shadow (Acts 3:19; Hebrews 4:9). For the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shall feed you, and lead you to the living fountains of water (Revelation 7:17).

The tears shall be wiped away from your eyes, and there shall be no more sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away, and, behold, I make all things new (Revelation 21:4-5).

I will change Marah into Naomi, the cup of sorrow into the cup of salvation; and the bread and water of affliction I will change into the wine of eternalconsolation (John 16:20-22; Luke 6:21).

You shall take down your harps from the willows, and I will turn your tears into pearls and your penitential psalms into songs of deliverance. You shall change your Ichabods into hosannas, and your sobbings of sorrow into hallelujahs of joy (Revelation 19:1, 4, 6).

The cross shall be taken off your backs, and you shall come out of your great tribulations and wash your robes, making them white in the blood of the Lamb; and you shall be before the throne of God, and serve Him night and day in His temple.

He who sits on the throne shall dwell among you, and you shall hunger and thirst no more, neither shall the sun light upon you, nor any heat (Revelation 7:14-16). The load shall be taken from your consciences.

Sins and doubts shall no more defile or distress you (Revelation 22:17; Hebrews 12:23). I will make an end of sin, and will knock off the fetters of your corruptions. And then you shall be a glorious church, not having spot orwrinkle, or any such thing, but holy and without blemish.

Thus shall you be brought to the King all glorious in raiment of needlework and clothing of gold; with gladness and rejoicing shall you be brought, and enter into the King’s palace (Psalm 45:9; 13-15). So shall the beloved of the Lord dwell safely by Him, and you shall stand continually before Him, beholding the beauty of the Lord and hearing His wisdom (1 Corinthians 13:12).

Then will I open in you an everlasting spring of joy, and you shall break forth into singing. You shall never case nor rest, day or night, saying, ‘Holy, holy, holy’ (Revelation 4:8; Psalm 16:11).

Thus shall the grand enemy expire with your breath, and the body of death be put off with your dying body. The day of your death shall be the birthday of your glories’ (Philippians 1:23; Luke 23:43).”

– Joseph Alleine (1634–1668), The Precious Promises of the Gospel, p. 31-33