by Joseph Alleine
HT: William Gross Onthewing.com
Few books, whether in print or out of print, have had as profound an effect on me as this one. It doesn’t matter if you are a non-believer, a nominal believer, or a sound believer, this book will rattle your cage. It will force you to confront who you truly are in your own mind, in the sight of men, and in the presence of God. It is not for the faint of heart. Be prepared to be challenged by this holy sentry who stands at the gates of hell, demanding to know who goes there, and warning you away.
As you read this, please keep in mind the audience to whom Mr. Alleine is writing. These are the parishioners of the Church of England. Being English citizens, they were baptized into the church in their infancy. He pleads with them to examine themselves to be sure they understand it is not their baptism that saves them, but their faith in Jesus Christ.
This edition is modernized and reformatted, so that page breaks are more readable. In-line Citations in the original have been superscripted, so they are less obtrusive. Where the original included more than one citation for a statement, and they are not at the end of a paragraph, they have been moved into footnotes. Additional citations are in blue; my footnotes are likewise in blue; this is to distinguish them from the original editor’s notes.
Page number references in the footnotes refer to the original page numbers included intra-text.
I pray Alleine’s work proves useful to examine your own walk with Christ, either affirming and strengthening your faith in Christ, or provoking you to flee to Him for salvation; this was Alleine’s purpose in writing it.
2Cor 13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.
Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you are disqualified.
William H. Gross
May 4, 2010
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TO THE READER
AN EARNEST INVITATION TO SINNERS
CHAP. I — SHOWING THE NEGATIVE, WHAT CONVERSION IS NOT, AND CORRECTING SOME MISTAKES ABOUT IT.
CHAP. II — SHOWING POSITIVELY WHAT CONVERSION IS.
CHAP. III — THE NECESSITY OF CONVERSION.
CHAP. IV — SHOWING THE MARKS OF THE UNCONVERTED.
CHAP. V — SHOWING THE MISERIES OF THE UNCONVERTED.
CHAP. VI — DIRECTIONS FOR CONVERSION.
The Author’s Advice.
A Short Soliloquy For An Unregenerate Sinner.
CHAP. VII — THE MOTIVES FOR CONVERSION.
THE CONCLUSION OF THE WHOLE
MR. ALLEINE’S COUNSEL FOR PERSONAL AND FAMILY GODLINESS.
CASES OF CONSCIENCE
CHAP. I — THE SINGULAR DUTIES OF CHRISTIANS.
First case of Conscience.
CHAP. II — Third case of Conscience, grounded upon the words of our Saviour: