Remember From Whence Thou Art Fallen

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Blueridge Believer

Puritan Board Professor
1. 'Remember,' saith Christ, 'from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works,' &c. (Rev 2:5).

Mark: Thy first work is to enter into a serious considering, and remembrance from whence thou art fallen. Remember that thou hast left thy God, the stay of thy soul, and him without whom there is no stay, comfort, or strength, for thee either to do or suffer anything in this world: 'Without me,' saith he, 'ye can do nothing' (John 15:5). A sad condition; the remembrance of this, for certain, is the first step to the recovering a backsliding heart; for the right remembrance of this doth bring to mind what loss that soul hath sustained that is in this condition, how it hath lost its former visits, smiles, and consolations of God. When thy conscience was suppled with the blood of thy Saviour; when every step thou tookest was, as it were, in honey and butter; and when thy heart could meditate terror with comfort (Job 29:2-6; Isa 33:14- 19). Instead of which, thou feelest darkness, hardness of heart, and the thoughts of God are terrible to thee (Psa 77:3). Now God never visits thee; or if he doth, it is but as a wayfaring man, that tarrieth but for a night (Jer 14:8, 9).

This also brings to mind how the case is altered with thee, touching thy confidence in God for thy future happiness, how uncertain thou now art of thy hopes for heaven, how much this life doth hang in doubt before thee (Deu 28:65, 66).

2. 'Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent.' These are words well put together; for a solid considering of what I have lost in my declining, will provoke in my heart a sorrow, and godly heaviness, whereby I shall be forced to bemoan my condition, and say, 'I will go and return to my first husband, for then was it better with me than now' (Hos 2:7). And believe it, the reason of God's standing off from giving the comfortable communion with himself, it is that thou mightest first see the difference between sticking close to God, and forsaking of him; and next, that thou mightest indeed acknowledge thy offence, and seek his face (Hos 5:15). He taketh no pleasure in thy forlorn condition; he had rather thou shouldest have him in thy bosom, only he will have it in his own way. 'He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; [then] he will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light' (Job 33:27, 28).

3. 'Remember from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works.'

As there should be a remembering and a repenting so there should be a hearty doing our first works; a believing as before, a laying hold of the things of heaven and glory, as at the first; for now is God returned to thee, as before (Zech 1:16). And though thou mayest, through the loss of thy locks, with Samson, be weak at the first, yet, in short time, thy hair will grow again; that is, thy former experience will in short space be as long, large, and strong, as in the former times. Indeed at the first thou wilt find all the wheels of thy soul rusty, and all the strings of thine heart out of tune; as also when thou first beginnest to stir, the dust and filth of thy heart will, like smoke, trouble thee from that clear beholding the grace of thy God, and his love to thy soul; but yet wait, and go on, and though thou findest thyself as unable to do anything as thou formerly couldest; yet I say, up, and be doing, and the Lord will be with thee; for he hath not despised the day of thy small things (1 Chron 22:16; Zech 4:10).

I know thou wilt be afflicted with a thousand temptations to drive thee to despair, that thy faith may be faint, &c. But against all them set thou the word of God, the promise of grace, the blood of Christ, and the examples of God's goodness to the great backsliders that are for thy encouragement recorded in the scriptures of truth; and remember, that turning to God after backsliding, is the greatest piece of service thou canst do for him, and the greatest honour thou canst bring to the blood of Christ; and know farther, that God, to show his willing reception of so unworthy a creature, saith, there shall be joy in heaven at thy conversion to him again (Luke 15:7, 10)

JOHN BUNYAN
 
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