A Preparation for Suffering in an Evil Day (eBook)

by Edward Polhill

in ePub, mobi & .pdf formats

Edward Polhill was a well-known Puritan author who lived in England in the 1600s whose writings focused on theology and principles of the Bible. Polhill’s writings are an invaluable addition to your library. The content covered is pertinent and beneficial. 

IT is the saying of a grave divine, that in the school of Satan, the first A B C of Atheism is this; "All these will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me;" but ill the school of Jesus, the first A B C of religion is this; "If any man will be my disciple, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." Opposition is evangelical genius, the church has the cross for its inheritance: it is the ordinance of God, that through tribulation we must enter into his kingdom. This has been the way of the saints in all ages; the cloud of witnesses have walked in it to heaven; Jesus Christ, the captain of our salvation, was made perfect through sufferings; and therefore, christians who are to follow him whithersoever he goeth, must provide for the cross, especially at such a time as this. Now, not only the common lot of Christianity, but the dark aspect of the times bid us prepare for sufferings: charity is cold, differences are hot, moderation vanishes, enmity everywhere appears, popery lifts up itself in the world, Protestants help on the design, by destroying each other, sin is gone up with a great cry to heaven, black clouds of wrath hang over our heads for it, the decays of holy love threaten a removal of our candlestick, lukewarmness in religion shows, that we are fit to be spued out of God's mouth: every one that hath eyes in his head, may see the tendency of such things as these; and therefore, christians have more than an ordinary obligation on them to provide for the cross, and nothing less than a stock of holy graces can put them into a posture for it. It is true, Diogenes, when he was asked, what he gained by his philosophy, answered, that he gained this by it, that he was ad omnem fortunam paratus, ready for everything that should fall out. Philosophy may pretend to this, but nothing but true christianity can effect it; it is an easy matter to speak finely, and say, as one did, "Si fractus illabatur orbis, impavidum ferient ruinæ;" if the broken world fall about our ears, the ruins of it shall not starle us: but nothing less than gracious and divine principles can enable a man piously to suffer for the cause of God and conscience; he that parts with all outward things here, had need have an interest in Him, who is better than all: he that stands fast in a storm of persecution without, had need of a pure, serene conscience within; he that will adhere to persecuted truth, had need to be well settled in it, and carry the sweet savour of it upon his heart: he that will stand out against the threatenings of men, had need be well-fixed in the promises of God, and from thence draw out comfort in an evil day. How can a christian part with the present world, if he hath not another, a better, to go to; or lay down a temporal life, if he hath not a lively hope of an eternal one in heaven? How can he lift up himself above the dregs of a corrupt world, if he be not extasied and rapt up in love to God: or bear the terrors and cruelties of men, if the fear of God do not prevail and over-rule his heart? Humility must make him a worm, a nothing in his own eyes, that he may be willing to be trampled on by men. Obedience must work him to a compliance with God's commanding will, that patience may fit him to subject to his disposing one. Believe it, it is a great, an heroical thing, to suffer for religion; it must be grace, true grace, (such as carries a man up above himself and the world, and joins him to the fountain of comfort and happiness) that will make him fit to suffer and lose all for righteousness sake.

READER. The ensuing discourse hath no other design, but only to show, how christians are to bear sufferings, and what graces are requisite thereunto: if any glory may come to God, or profit to men by it, it is as much as is desired by him, who is

A LOVER OF TRUTH,

EDWARD POLHILL.

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Table of Contents

To the Reader

CHAPTER I: Persecution will come on good men

CHAPTER II: It is useful to christians to discern the signs of the times

CHAPTER III: Preparation for sufferings considered more generally

CHAPTER IV: Preparation for suffering: the first direction is, Try thy heart

CHAPTER V: The second direction for suffering, mortification of sin

CHAPTER VI: The third direction for suffering in the knowledge of God

CHAPTER VII: The fourth direction for suffering is precious faith

CHAPTER VIII: The fifth direction for suffering, is love to God and Christ

CHAPTER IX: The sixth direction for suffering, is a lively hope of eternal life

CHAPTER X: The seventh direction for suffering is holy fear

CHAPTER XI: The eighth direction for suffering is humility

CHAPTER XII: The ninth direction for suffering is active obedience to the will of God

CHAPTER XIII: The tenth direction for suffering, is patience under God's will

CHAPTER XIV: Some inducements to suffer anything, rather than part with the pure religion

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