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Asahel Nettleton, 1783-1844

Soon after his conversion which occurred during the great revival of 1800 Ashel determined to serve Christ on the mission field, but God planned other wise. He entered Yale in 1805 and graduated in 1809 as an ordinary student academically but he had an extraordinary passion for Christ and the lost.

After studying under Rev. Bezaleel Pinneo of Connecticut, he began his itinerant ministry. His work began during the time of the great excesses and divisions that were arising out of the great awakening. After studying the cause and effects of these numerous disorders, he set a sane course for himself and his ministry. From the beginning of his labors God crowned his preaching with glorious power, and revival after revival occurred. In 1817 he was ordained a congregational evangelist. He was himself one the wisest and most cautious itinerants ever to grace this nation. His theology was thoroughly in keeping with that of the godly men who had preceded him in the Congregational and Presbyterian Churches of the land.

Asahel Nettleton was a leading figure in one of the most important half-centuries in American Church history. From the late 1790s to the early 1840s a succession of revivals transformed the spiritual prospects of the nation.

Source [Reformed Reader]

A sinner who is stupid and hardened is near destruction

November 7, 2012 3 comments

The more stupid and hardened the sinner is the nearer to destruction. Thus was it with the inhabitants of the old world. They never were more thoughtless than just before the flood came. It came when they least expected it. They knew not until the flood came. Never was Sodom more stupid than the very night before it was destroyed. The preaching of Lot seemed like an idle tale. They were doubtless making themselves merry with it until the very moment, when the flames of hell took hold of them. Thus it was with the rich fool. He sang the requiem to himself, “Soul, take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.”

And thus it was with all who have gone to hell from under the light of the gospel. They cried “peace and safety” until they were lost. Death came too soon. And they dropped into hell, as into a snare and it closed suddenly upon them. Those sinners are commonly the nearest destruction who think and care the least about it. Hell is truth learned too late. Because there is wrath, beware lest God take thee away with his stroke, and then a great ransom cannot do.

“Stop poor sinner, stop and think- Ere you are aware, You’ll drop into the eternal lake.”

Asahel Nettleton-The Destruction of Hardened Sinners

A sinner will eat of the fruit of their own doings

October 31, 2012 1 comment

Because I called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish come upon you. Then shall they call on me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me. They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore, says God, they shall eat of the fruit of their own doings. Today then, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Asahel Nettleton-The Destruction of Hardened Sinners

A sinner forges the chains that will bind him for eternity

With your own hand, you are now forging those chains which will bind you down in eternal darkness and despair. To you the Saviour calls. Turn you-turn you at my reproof.

Asahel Nettleton-The Destruction of Hardened Sinners

 

A warning to the young

Our subject contains a warning to the young. If he, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy: Then beware how you feel, and how you conduct under reproof. During the present revival how often have you been reproved by preaching, by conversation, by the conviction and conversion of your companions, by the admonitions and by the strivings of the Holy Spirit? How is this season likely to leave you? Certainly not as it found you. If you do not profit by all these warnings, you will be seven-fold harder than when it commenced.

What improvement have you made of all the warnings you have heard? Where are you now? If my preaching does not prove a savour of life, it will be a savour of death unto death to your souls. Every warning neglected is rendering your salvation less and less probable; it is making the work of repentance more and more difficult. You are wandering farther and farther from God-plunging deeper and deeper into misery at every step which you advance.

Asahel Nettleton-The Destruction of Hardened Sinners

An alarm to the aged sinner

Our subject is full of alarm to the aged sinner. My aged fathers; how long have you lived without God in the world? How many warnings have you heard and lost? So many years have you lived, and so many warnings have you heard and lost them all. I now appeal to your own experience. Do you not find that the longer you live, the harder are your hearts? Can you not bear testimony to the truth of our text? O where are you now? Once you enjoyed a season of youth; but alas, it is over and gone forever. Why stand ye here all the day idle? Your day of salvation is almost gone.

I address you on the very brink of the grave. You are just ready to launch into eternity, and if you are not suddenly saved, you will be suddenly destroyed, and that without remedy. You now live at an interesting crisis-the season of a revival. It has an important bearing on the aged in this congregation. O how many younger than yourselves have hopefully entered the kingdom of God before you. In this, you have been often reproved. And are you still out of Christ? Your case is becoming more and more hopeless. The probability, I fear, is a thousand to one that you will be lost. You have no prospect of witnessing another revival in your day. Let the present season slip, and your case may be considered hopeless, and where are you? This very warning neglected will render your case more hopeless. The voice of mercy, spare a little longer, waxes feebler, and while the voice of justice is waxing louder and louder.

Asahel Nettleton-The Destruction of Hardened Sinners

By hardening his neck, a sinner closes the doors of heaven

When sinners are lost their consciences will forever reproach them for destroying themselves. They are made to eat of the fruit of their own ways, and are filled with their own devices. They utterly perish in their own corruption. By hardening his neck, the sinner, with his own hand, closes the door of heaven against himself.

Asahel Nettleton-The Destruction of Hardened Sinners

 

The hardened sinner seeks peace and safety, but treasures up wrath

September 26, 2012 Leave a comment

The sinner says, peace and safety. Let us alone. God says, He is joined to idols, let him alone. The sinner says, Go thy way for this time. God says, My Spirit shall no longer strive. The sinner chooses not to be under conviction, and now suppose God’s choice and the sinner’s should happen to coincide. All can see the equity of his punishment. If he will not lay up treasure in heaven, then he must lay up treasure in hell. And this is done by hardening his own heart. After thy hardness and impenitent heart thou treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath.

Asahel Nettleton-The Destruction of Hardened Sinners

God leaves a sinner in darkness as punishment

September 19, 2012 3 comments

The equity of the sinner’s punishment. He hardeneth his neck against reproof, and brings destruction on himself. When the Spirit of God comes, and with a “still small voice” whispers conviction to his guilty conscience; and he feels some concern for his soul, he tries not to be alarmed, but to appear above it. He shuns the light of divine truth. He loves darkness, and now he shall have darkness enough. God says, Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see.

Asahel Nettleton-The Destruction of Hardened Sinners

A Sinner who is not convinced that he is under the sentence of death cannot be saved

September 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Sinner! If you cannot be alarmed, you cannot be saved. If you do not believe that you are under the sentence of death from God’s holy law, then you do not feel your need of pardon, and “Ye will not come to Christ that ye might have life.” He that believeth not is condemned already, and the wrath of God abideth on him. And the sinner who does not feel the awful conviction of this truth cannot be pardoned or saved.

The language of the gospel is “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” But no sinner ever repented without conviction of sin. Even the Spirit of God never interposes to rescue the sinner from destruction in any other way than by arousing his guilty conscience to perform its office. Its genuine effects on the heart are thus described, “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” But, you are not to be frightened. When they heard this they were pricked in the heart, and exclaimed, Men and brethren, what shall we do? But you are not to be frightened. When the commandment came, sin revived and I died; but you are not to be frightened. The sinner who talks in this strain is either an infidel, or ignorant of the contents of the Bible.

For such a sinner, with such views and such feelings, the gospel contains no remedy. To such a sinner, the Spirit of God offers no remedy. He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed. And there is no remedy. The sinner who will not take reproof, must be destroyed. The physician, who has exhausted his skill, and tried every experiment upon his patient can only look on and see him die.-So fares it with the incorrigible sinner; you may soothe him in his sins-you may flatter his vanity -But this is only hastening the work of destruction. The only salutary application is, conviction of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come. But this his proud heart will not endure. Every attempt to rescue him from destruction will be resisted-It will only exasperate. He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. Therefore, saith the wise man, Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee.

Asahel Nettleton-The Destruction of Hardened Sinners