Andrew Fuller Friday: On Speaking Boldly to Sinners

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It may be thought that these things bear hard upon the unconverted sinner, and reduce him to a terrible situation. But if such in fact be his situation, it will not mend the matter to daub it with the untempered mortar of palliation; on the contrary, it will render it still more terrible. The truth is, there is no way for a sinner to take, in which he can find solid rest, but that of returning home to God by Jesus Christ. And instead of trying to render his situation easy, it ought to be our business as ministers to drive him from every other resting-place, not for the sake of plunging him into despair, but, if it please God to bless our labours, that he may be necessitated to betake himself to the “good old way, and find rest unto his soul!” We ought solemnly to assure him that, do what else he will, he sins, and is heaping upon his head a load of guilt that will sink him into endless perdition. If he pray, or frequent the means of grace, his prayer “is an abomination to the Lord;” if he live in the omission of these things, it is worse. Whether he eat or drink, plough the soil, or gather in the harvest, (like the supposed ship’s company, mentioned before, who with all their regularity continued in their rebellious course,) all is iniquity. “Incense is an abomination; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.” To die is to be plunged into the gulf of destruction; and to live, if he continue in enmity to God, is worse; as it is heaping up wrath in an enlarged degree against the day of wrath.

What then, it will be asked, can sinners do? If they go forward, destruction is before them; if on this hand, or on that, it is the same. Whither can they go? and what must they do? All the answer which the Scriptures warrant us to make is included in the warnings and invitations of the gospel:—“Repent, and believe the gospel.”—“Repent, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.”—“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”—“Deny thyself, take up thy cross, and follow me, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven!” If the answer be, We cannot comply with these things; our hearts are too hard; advise us to any thing else, and we will hearken;—if this, or something like it, I say, should be the answer, the servant of God, having warned them that what they call their incapacity is no other than a wicked aversion to God and goodness, that they judge themselves unworthy of everlasting life, and that their blood will be upon their own heads,—must there leave them. His soul may weep in secret places for them; but it is at his peril to compromise the matter. If, seeing they cannot find in their hearts to comply with the invitations of the gospel, he should offer any directions which imply that their inability is of such a kind as to afford them any excuse—any directions which imply that it is not their immediate duty to repent and return to God by Jesus Christ—any directions which may descend within the compass of their inclinations—let him look to it! They may be pleased with his advice, and comply with it; and considering it as about the whole of what can reasonably be expected of them in their present circumstances, they may be very easy; and persisting in such a spirit, they may die in it, and perish for ever; but their blood will surely be required at his hand!

Fuller, A. G. (1988). The Complete Works of Andrew Fuller: Controversial Publications (J. Belcher, Ed.; Vol. 2, pp. 679–680). Sprinkle Publications.

By |April 8th, 2022|Categories: Andrew Fuller Friday, Blog|

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