12. Though there be no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, yet are they taught, and that effectually, to be ashamed of their sins Rom. 6:21; and to be sorry for them after a godly sort, 2 Cor. 7:9, 10, 11; yea to loath themselves for them; Ezek. 36:31. Because that sin is an evil and a filthy thing, and in its own nature tends to the provoking and dishonoring of God, being disobedience against God, and a thing which the most holy GOD declares Himself to loath and abhor; so that nothing but the blood of Christ could purge us from our sins, and reconcile us to God, Whom by sin we had offended. Therefore, the Saints both are, and must be grieved, and must judge themselves, because they have sinned against their holy and glorious God, and merciful and loving Father, I Cor. 11:31.
Benjamin Cox- An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith
11. Though no sin be imputed to those that believe in Christ, nor any sin do totally or fully reign over them, or in them; yet in them the flesh lusteth against the spirit; Gal. 5:17; and in many things they all offend; James 3:2; where the Apostle speaks of offences that one believe may take notice of in another. Thus there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not, Eccles. 7:20; and if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us, I John. 1:8.
Benjamin Cox- An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith
OF THE LORD’S DAY, SERMONS, AND WEEKDAYS
HAVE a special care to sanctify the Lord’s day; for as thou keepest it, so will it be with thee all the week long.
Make the Lord’s day the market for thy soul, let the whole day be spent in prayer, repetitions, or meditations; lay aside the affairs the other parts of the week: let the sermon thou hast heard be converted into prayer. Shall God allow thee six days, and wilt not thou afford him one?
In the church be careful to serve God: for thou art in his eyes, and not in man’s.
Thou mayest hear sermons often, and do well in practicing what thou hearest; but thou must not expect to be told thee in a pulpit all that thou oughtest to do, but be studious in searching the Scriptures, and reading good books. What thou hearest may be forgotten; but what thou readest may be better retained. Forsake not the public worship of God, lest God forsake thee, not only in public but in private.
In the week-days when thou rises, in the morning, consider,
1. Thou must die.
2. Thou mayest die that minute.
3. What will become of thy soul. Pray often.
At night consider,
1. What sins thou hast committed.
2. How often thou hast prayed.
3. What hath thy mind been bent upon
4. What hath been thy dealing.
5. What thy conversation.
6. If thou callest to mind the errors of the day, sleep not without a confession to God, and a hope of pardon. Thus, every morning and evening, make up thy accounts with Almighty God, and thy reckoning will be the less at last.
Mr. John Bunyan’s Dying Sayings
MEN ARE UNABLE TO SAVE THEMSELVES.
The inability of men to save themselves, respects both their condemnation and their depravity.
1. Men are unable to free themselves from condemnation.
The justice by which we are all condemned is immutable. It is an attribute in the nature of God, who is not only the first cause of all things, but the very standard of all perfection. When we inquire whether God’s ways are right, we have only to ask whether they correspond with his own perfections, for there is not higher standard by which they may be tried. As the perfections of God are immutable, the standard of right is immutable. A change in the law by which we are condemned is therefore impossible. God has sometimes, from regard to the peculiar circumstances of some men, given special commands to them, which have not been obligatory on all; but the obligation to obey him, whatever his commands may be, is universal and perpetual, and no act of disobedience can ever by justified under his righteous government.
The sentence of condemnation has been duly pronounced. It was not a rash decision, needing to be revised. The Omniscient Judge knew well all the facts in the case, all the circumstances which may be pleaded in extenuation, all the effects of his decision on us, and all the bearings of it on his own character and government. His determination to create the world was not made with greater deliberation, or on surer ground; and we may as soon expect him to annihilate all the creatures that he has made, as to reverse the sentence by which we are condemned.
The Scriptures affirm, that by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified. The law requires perfect and perpetual obedience, and can be satisfied with nothing less. Law is converted into mere advice, when its requirements are not obligatory. To claim the privilege of violating the law, or coming short of its requirements, is to claim, so far, exemption from its authority, and therefore from the moral government of God. Such exemption divine justice will not allow. Its language is, “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. “What things the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God.” The view which is here presented of man’s condition, relates not merely to his transgressions, but to his natural state. Hence it is said, “And were by nature the children of wrath.” So much has God the maintenance of his law at heart, that he who was in the bosom of the father, and well understood all his counsels, has with solemnity assured us; “Verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled.”
There is a method of rescue from condemnation; but it is not one of man’s devising or executing. To effect it requires a display of wisdom, power and love, infinitely beyond the highest efforts of man. It is God’s work, challenging the admiration of angels, and demanding gratitude, praise, and joyful acceptance from every human being.
2. Men are unable to free themselves from depravity.
The first element of this inability is seen in the fact that men lack the necessary disposition. By nature we love darkness rather than light, sin rather than holiness. To be free from depravity is to be holy, and no man can desire holiness or perfect conformity to the law of God, who does not delight in that law. But experience and Scripture unite in teaching us that the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. The cause of this exists in the fact, that the carnal mind is enmity against God. Men love the ways of transgression, and desire not the knowledge of God’s ways; and therefore, they lack the disposition necessary to free themselves from depravity, and render themselves strictly conformed to the law of God.
Another element which renders the inability complete, is, that if men had the disposition, they have not the power. Men have the power to perform such external acts as the law of God requires of them. If they were wholly disposed to perform such acts, and failed through mere physical inability, that inability would be a valid excuse. God accepteth according to what a man hath. We are commanded not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together; but the man who is fastened to his bed by palsy is not required to meet in the house of God. Depravity does not consist in external acts, but belongs to the heart; and the affections of the heart are not subject to volition, as the motions of the limbs are. Hence the Apostle says, “Ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Every converted man knows the meaning of this language. The current of depraved affections in our hearts, which has been flowing in the wrong direction from the beginning of our being, and gathering strength by the power of habit, does not stop at our bidding. A volition cannot stop it with as much ease as when it moves a finger. If any man thinks he has the power to be holy at will, let him try it, and he will find his mistake.
The inability last described, which is usually called moral, must be distinguished carefully from that physical inability which excuses outward acts. Physical inability would prevent the action, even if the whole heart were bent on performing it. It excuses the failure to act; but it will not excuse a corrupt or a divided heart. The paralytic may be excused for not attending at the house of God; but he is not excused for preferring to be absent, or for possessing no longing for the courts of the Lord. The moral inability of men consists in having either a divided heart, or a heart fully set in them to do evil. The former every converted man laments, and blames himself for; and the latter is descriptive of unconverted or natural men. This includes the lack, both of disposition and power, and renders the inability complete. This inability is not an excuse for the depravity, but is the depravity itself, in its full influence over all the powers of the soul.
The Scripture representations of men’s inability are exceedingly strong. They are said to be without strength, captives, in bondage, asleep, dead, &c. The act by which they are delivered from the natural state, is called regeneration, quickening or giving life, renewing, resurrection, translation, creation; and it is directly ascribed to the power of God, the power that called light out of darkness, and raised up Christ from the dead.
Our views concerning our character and condition by nature are wholly incorrect, if we imagine that a little work, which we can effect at pleasure, will set all right. Thousands postpone the concerns of the soul from this vain imagination. A true sense of our inability would drive us to him who is able to save.
 Jer. xiii. 23; John iii. 3; vi. 44; Rom. iii. 19, 20; viii. 7,8; Gal. iii. 10; Heb. x. 4; xii. 14.
 Rom. iii. 20.
 Gal. iii. 10.
 Rom. iii. 19.
 Eph. ii. 3.
 Matt. v. 18.
 Rom. viii. 7.
 2 Cor. viii. 12.
 Gal. v. 17.
 Rom. v. 6.
 2 Tim. ii. 26.
 2 Pet. ii. 19; Rom vi. 16, 17.
 1 Thes. v. 6.
 Eph. v. 14; Col. ii. 13.
John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology
OF REPENTANCE AND COMING TO CHRIST.
THE end of affliction is the discovery of sin, and of that to bring us to a Savior. Let us therefore, with the prodigal, return unto him, and we shall find ease and rest.
A repenting penitent, though formerly as bad as the worst of men, may by grace become as good as the best.
To be truly sensible of sin, is to sorrow for displeasing of God, to be afflicted that he is displeased by us, more than that he is displeased with us.
Your intentions to repentance, and the neglect of that soul-saving duty, will rise up in judgment against you.
Repentance carries with it a divine rhetoric, and persuades Christ to forgive multitude of sins committed against him.
Say not with thyself, to-morrow I will repent; for it is thy duty to do it daily.
The gospel of grace and salvation is above all doctrines the most dangerous, if it be received in word only by graceless men; if it be not attended with a sensible need of a Savior, and bring them to him. For such men as have only the notion of it are of all men most miserable; for by reason of their knowing more than heathens, this shall only be their final portion, that they shall have greater stripes.
Mr. John Bunyan’s Dying Sayings
The apostle Paul, in defining the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 begins by saying, “How that Christ.” The authentic Gospel, as opposed to the many false ones (Galatians 1:6-7), was concerning a person, Jesus Christ (Romans 1:1-3). The apostolic Gospel is about Christ Jesus, His doing, dying and rising again. Well, of course, we all say ‘amen’ to that. But, if this is so, we need to realize then that the Good News is not about us…it’s not about you and it is not about me.
If this is so, the Gospel is, therefore, not about Jesus coming into our hearts and making us new. Neither is it about our spiritual growth nor our spiritual development. The believer, his progress, and welfare, are not the focus of the Gospel. The pure, apostolic Gospel puts the Lord Jesus Christ firmly on center stage. In the Gospel, the spotlight is on Jesus, not upon the believer. Of course, we believers enjoy the benefits of the gospel such as acquittal from all charges of sin, reconciliation, adoption, new life in Christ, etc. But the Gospel is neither about our new life nor what we are doing nor about how saved we are; the Gospel is about the great and glorious acts of God in the Lord of history,–Jesus the Christ.
Although Christ perfectly represented us as our substitute in His life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and session, the Gospel is not about us. The Gospel, on the other hand, is primarily the good news of who Christ Jesus is and what He has done and accomplished in history. It is not about the mercies we receive as a result of the Gospel. Christ Jesus and His finished work are the centre of the Gospel. The erudite 19th century Episcopalian Bishop of Ohio, Charles McIlvaine, said it like this;
“But it is abundantly clear from the Scriptures that the Apostles identified the Gospel with Christ; so that, in their view and practice, to preach the Gospel was neither more nor less than to preach Christ. The record which, in a few words, describes their ministry is that, “daily in the temple and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” Paul to the Romans defines the whole Gospel by saying that it is “concerning Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 1:3). The employment of his two years’ imprisonment at Rome was all comprehended in “teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus.” And his whole ministry was given unto him, he testifies, that he “might preach the unsearchable riches of Christ.” As he could say, “For me to live is Christ;” so for him to preach was Christ. To him, Christ and the Gospel were one.
(Charles McIlvaine: Preaching Christ)
“Well,” you say, “you are entirely wrong Miles McKee. The Gospel is about how Jesus died for sinners.” Of course, Jesus died for sinners, but the Gospel is not sinner centered, it is Christ-centered. The Gospel is neither about the horror of sin nor the penalty that sinners will pay for sin. The Gospel is neither about God’s hatred of sin nor His holiness. The Gospel, however, is about Christ and His doing, dying and rising again. Yes, it is true that the Gospel only really makes sense when the Holiness of God and the horrors of sin are understood, but the holiness of God and the horrors of sin are not the Gospel. The power of God will regenerate us, the goodness of God will lead us to repent and the love of God will melt our hearts, but our repentance, regeneration, and melting of heart are the result of the Gospel and not the Gospel itself!
And that’s the Gospel Truth!
NOTHING can render affliction so insupportable as the load of sin. Would you therefore be fitted for afflictions? Be sure to get the burden of your sins laid aside, and then what affliction soever you may meet with will be very easy to you.
If thou canst hear and bear the rod affliction which God shall lay upon thee, remember this lesson. Thou art beaten that thou mayest be better.
The Lord useth his flail of tribulation, to separate the chaff from the wheat.
The school of the cross is the school of light; it discovers the world’s vanity, baseness, and wickedness, and lets us see more of God’s mind. Out of dark affliction comes a spiritual light.
In times of affliction we commonly meet with the sweetest experiences of the love of God.
Did we heartily renounce the pleasures of this world, we should be very little troubled for our afflictions: that which renders an afflicted state so insupportable to many, is because they are too much addicted to the pleasures of this life, and so cannot endure that which makes a separation between them.
Mr. John Bunyan’s Dying Sayings