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Willful Ignorance

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"Every scribe who is instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like a man who is a householder, who brings forth from his treasure things new and old."

Matthew 13:52

"These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so."

Acts 17:11

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Joseph Alleine Quotes (1634-1668)

An Alarm to the Unconverted Sinners

Prefixed with an Epistle by Rev. Richard Baxter entitled "To the Unconverted Reader." Puritan Sermons on Repentance.

by Joseph Alleine

Originally Published 1672
1818 Edition
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An Alarm to the Unconverted Sinners by Joseph Alleine (cover image of online edition)

"Will you still be cheated by this deceitful world, and spend all your days in pampering your guts, and providing for the flesh, that must be rotting shortly in a grave? Were you made for no better use than this? May not we bring you to some sober thoughts of your condition? Not one hour seriously to think whither you are going? What! not one awakened look into the world where you must be for ever?" - Joseph Alleine

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Earail Dhurachdach do Pheacaich Neo-Iompaichte

Prefixed with An Roi'radh le Rev. Richard Baxter. Gaelic in Scottish Gaelic Translation of "An Alarm to the Unconverted Sinners." Puritan Sermons on Repentance.

le Joseph Alleine

Originally Published 1672
1860 Edition

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Earail Dhurachdach do Pheacaich Neo-Iompaichte le Joseph Alleine (cover image of gaelic edition)

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Joseph Alleine, 1634-1668, was an English Puritan Divine and Nonconformist Pastor who was imprisoned twice for his continued preaching after the Uniformity Act of 1662. Alleine authored a number of excellent books and sermons. The following quotations are selected from the writings of Joseph Alleine.

On Willful Ignorance

Joseph Alleine quote on willful ignorance in seeking to know God:

"O how many poor souls doth this sin kill in the dark! While they think verily they have good hearts, and are in the ready way to heaven! This is the murderer that despatches thousands in a silent manner, when they suspect nothing. Ah! Would it not have grieved a man's heart to have seen the woeful spectacle, when the poor Protestants were shut up (a multitude together) in a barn, and a butcher comes, and leads them one by one (blindfold) to a block, where he slew them one after another? But how much more should your hearts bleed to think of the hundreds in great congregations, that wilful ignorance doth butcher in secret, and leads blindfold to the block? Beware this be not your case; make no plea for ignorance; if you spare that sin, know that it will not spare you." – Joseph Alleine

Read more: "An Alarm to the Unconverted Sinners" by Joseph Alleine.


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On the Senseless Ways of Mankind

Joseph Alleine quote on the senseless ways of mankind in this life:

"How unbelievingly, carelessly, and senselessly most men live on earth, as if there were no such difference in another world ... No one driveth or forceth them to hell, and will they go thither of themselves? ... Did you but see yourselves, what we see by faith, (believing God) and at once behold the saints in heaven, the lost despairing souls in hell, and the senseless, sensual sinners on earth, that will lay none of this to heart, surely it would make you wonder at the stupidity of mankind." – Joseph Alleine

Read more: "An Alarm to the Unconverted Sinners" by Joseph Alleine.


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On Vain Trust in Baptism, Ordinances & Rituals

Joseph Alleine quote on the vainly trusting in baptism, ordinances and rituals:

"Many wear the livery of Christ, that yet never stand to their colours, nor follow their Leader. Ananias and Sapphira were baptized as well as the rest. How fondly do many mistake here, deceiving and being deceived! Dreaming that grace is necessarily tied to the external administration of baptism, and so every infant shall be regenerated, not only sacramentally, but really and properly. Hence men fancy that, being regenerated already when baptized, they need no farther work. Friends and brethren, be not deceived; God is not mocked; (Galatians 6:7.) Whether it be your baptism, or whatever else that you pretend, I tell you from the living God, that if any of you be prayerless persons, or unclean, or malicious, or covetous, or riotous, or a lover of evil company: in a word, if you are not holy, strict, and self-denying Christians, you cannot be saved." – Joseph Alleine

Read more: "An Alarm to the Unconverted Sinners" by Joseph Alleine.


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On God's Sovereignty in Salvation

Joseph Alleine quote on God's sovereignty in the conversion and salvation of souls; salvation is not within man's power. "Born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:13). "For by grace you are saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9). "For he says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.' So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, 'Even for this same purpose have I raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore he has mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he wills he hardens. You will say to me then, Why does he yet find fault? For who has resisted his will? But no, O man, who are you who replies against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him who formed it, Why have you made me this way? Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel to honor and another to dishonor? What if God, willing to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction; and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy which He had before prepared to glory; even us, whom He has called." (Romans 9:15-24).

"Conversion is a work above man's power. We are 'born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God' (John 1:13). Never think you can convert yourself. If ever you would be savingly converted, you must despair of doing it in your own strength. It is a resurrection from the dead (Ephesians 2:1), a new creation (Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 2:10), a work of absolute omnipotence (Ephesians 1:19). Are not these out of the reach of human power? ... This is a supernatural work ... 'Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but of mercy he saved us' ... 'Of his own will he begat us' (James 1:18). We are chosen and called unto sanctification, not for it (Ephesians 1:4). God finds nothing in man to turn His heart, but enough to turn His stomach; He finds enough to provoke His loathing, but nothing to excite His love. Look back upon yourself, O Christian! Reflect upon your swinish nature, your filthy swill, your once beloved mire (2 Peter 2). Behold your slime and corruption ... How then should holiness and purity love you? ... Who but must needs cry, Grace! Grace! ... What but free grace could move God to love you." – Joseph Alleine

Quotation from "A Sure Guide to Heaven" by Joseph Alleine.