On Viewing National Sin


“There must be not only a constant disposition to mourn over the sins of others, but upon some more than ordinary occasions it must with much seriousness be exercised and set a-work. It is said of Lot, 2 Peter 2:8, ‘He vexed his righteous soul’ in seeing their filthiness with his eyes and hearing their blasphemies with his ears, these were continual torments to him; he could go nowhere but he heard or saw something that was matter of grief to him. That is a sad prognostic of an approaching judgment when a country is so bad that it is made, as it were, a prison to a godly man. Daily a Christian hath his occasions of sorrow. How can we walk the streets with dry eyes when we here shall see a reeling drunkard, there hear a profane swearer rending and tearing the sacred name of God in pieces, a filthy speaker, theatres and the devil’s temples crowded with such a multitude of people, that men may learn more how to please the flesh and hate godliness, and feast their ears with filthy talk? To see people so mad against God, and ready to cast off the yoke of Christ everywhere, this occasions matter of grief and mourning before the Lord. But besides this, there must be solemn exercises, when our eyes must gush out with tears, and we must open the flood-gates. We must wish, as Jer. 9:1, ‘Oh, that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!’ There are certain times when this is necessary, as times of great sin, and of judgment felt or feared.[1]

Thomas Manton, 1620-1677

[1] Thomas Manton, The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, vol. 8 (London: James Nisbet & Co., 1872), 425.

Or a Cab Driver

“I defie the Pope and all his lawes. If God spare my life, ere many yeares I wyl cause a boy that driveth the plough to know more of the Scripture, than he doust.”

In honour of the martyrdom (murder) of William Tyndale by the Papists, probably on this day, in 1536.

That plough-boy can now read the Scriptures for himself, as so many of our contemporaries. What Tyndale could not have imagined is that so few would, while having ample opportunity, care to do so.

“There are many preachers who do not read nor understand the Scriptures as do today’s “plough-boys,” those without a formal theological education.”

Dogs May Bark: On Seeking Applause




Sibbes 1

“For the moon goeth its course, and lets the dog bark. We have a course to run, let us keep our course constantly; pass through good reports and bad reports; be at a point what the world thinks. We seek applause at another theatre than the world.”

Richard Sibbes, The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart, vol. 2 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet And Co.; W. Robertson, 1862), 491.