Monday, March 23, 2009

Book Recommendation -- William Gurnall -- The Christian in Complete Armor

Several years ago, E. E. Jolley pulled his famous line on me. “This page is worth the price of this book! If you don’t get something out of it, send it back to me and I will give you a refund.” In his hand, he was holding the second volume of the abridged “The Christian in Complete Armor.” Needless to say, I bought the little three volume set of paperbacks and have gotten my $27 worth out of them a long time ago.

My paperback collection has become tattered, dog-eared, and marked up over the years and I have gotten a lot of inspiration for preaching from it. There are some very good things concerning Lot and his relationship with Sodom and Gomorrah. The abridged books contain much food for thought that will provoke your thinking.
Following are some quotes that may whet your appetite for considering this book for your own library.

Of Satan ‘s Subtlety to choose out the most advantageous Seasons for tempting. . .

1. The first season he takes to tempt in is, when newly converted. No sooner is this child of grace, the new creature, born, but this dragon pours a flood of temptation after it. He learnt the Egyptians but some of his own craft, when he taught them that blood and cruel baptism, which they exercised upon the Israelite babies, in throwing them into the river as soon as they were born.

2. Secondly, When the saint is beset with some great affliction, this is as some blind lane or solitary place, fit for this thief to call for his purse in.

3. Thirdly, When the Christian is about some notable enterprise that ye may be able to stand for the prize for God's glory, then Satan will lie like a serpent in the way, an adder in the path, that biteth his horse's heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.

4. Fourthly, When he hath the presence of some object to enforce his temptation. Thus he takes Eve when she is near the tree, and had it in her eye, while he should make the motion, that assaulting two ports at once, it might be the harder for her to hinder the landing of his temptation ; and if Eye's eyes did so soon affect her heart with an inordinate desire, then much more now is it easy for him by the presence of the object, to excite and actuate that lust, which lies dormant in the heart.

5. Fifthly, After great manifestations of God's love, then the tempter comes.

6. Sixthly, At the hour of death, when the saint is down and prostrate in his bodily strength, now this coward falls upon him : 'tis the last cast indeed he hath for the game, now or never, overcome him now and ever. As they say of the natural serpent, He is never seen at his length till dying, so this mystical serpent never strains his wits and wiles more, than when his time is thus, short.

All of this came from an un-abridged volume that you may download in a pdf format for free.

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