January 28, 2008

John Flavel (1630–1691) on Counting the Cost of Coming to Christ

"If ever you bring the treaty between Christ and your souls to a happy conclusion, you must sit down and count the cost, Luke 14:28, else it will be vain to engage yourselves in the profession of religion. It is not Christ's design to draw you under a rash, inconsiderate engagement, and so to reap more dishonor by your apostasy than ever he shall have glory by your profession. He would have you foresee and seriously bethink yourselves of all the troubles and inconveniences you may afterwards meet with for his sake. You are to embark yourselves with Christ, and abide with him in storms as well as in sunshine; you must "follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth." Rev. 14:4. There is no retreating after engagement to Christ. "If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." Heb. 10:38. It is eternal death by the law of heaven, to desert Christ's colors in the day of battle. Well, then, retire into the innermost closet of thy soul; sit quiet and patiently there, till thou hast debated this matter fully with thy own thoughts, and hast balanced the good and the evil, the profits and losses of religion. For want of this the church is filled with hypocrites, and hell with inconsiderate and rash professors: the more we deliberate, the better we shall conclude."

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