September 30, 2014

Nicholas Clagett (1610?–1663) on "Wasters of the Time of Grace"

Wasters of the time of Grace, out-sin the very Devils of Hell: They never had a year, day, or minutes time of repentance and pardon: The next moment of their Transgression, was a damning moment to endless and remediless punishment: In this respect the Devils will load carnal Gospellers, playing the wantons with the seasons of Grace, and rejoice in their society in destruction, with this kind of triumph, Glad we are in your fellowship of damnation: Is it just we are cast into Hell? your company with us in torments is most just: You have out-sinned us, we were never guilty of such an affront to the Grace of God, merits of Christ, seasons of Grace as you are: The Son of God assumed not our nature, undertook not our redemption, interceded not with his Father to give us scores of years space of repentance, ten years, a year, a day, a minute: He took your nature, died for you, pleads you may have the precious saving seasons of Grace, your abuse of the Gospel, mis-spending the space of repentance, is superlative guilt, of a deeper die then our transgression: How sad a thing is it that loose Gospellers, that fill up their time with secret or open wickedness, or both, should out-sin the very Devils: O friends! did Christ speak it with passionate tears, concerning self-undoing Jerusalem, Hadst thou known in this thy day the things belonging to thy peace, but now they are hidden from thee, Luke 19:42. How ought you to weep over your turning the time of Grace into wantonness? Ah foolish sinners, that waste your inestimable opportunities of getting Christ and Grace, walking exactly, dying to sin, that you may not eternally die in it, and for it; honoring God in your Generation, obtaining your souls Salvation, laying up treasure in Heaven, preparing for blessed Eternity; if you bewail not this in hearty Compunction, bitter tears; if the sense of being Spend-thrifts of most precious time, make you not ashamed before the Lord, know it, and believe, you shall in the next life look over your ungrateful neglects, with unutterable mournings, and eternal tears.
Nicholas Claget, The Abuse of God's Grace (Oxford: Printed by A. Lichfield, for Thomas Robinson, and Samuel Pocock, 1659), 14. This work has a preface to the reader by Henry Wilkinson.


Compare with Matthew Newcomen.

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