for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. – Philippians 2:13
He makes the heart new, and having made it fit for heavenly motion, setting every wheel, as it were, in its right place, then he winds it up by his actuating grace, and sets it on going, the thoughts to stir, the will to move and make towards the holy object presented; yet here the chariot is set, and cannot ascend the hill of action till God puts his shoulder to the wheel: ‘To will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not,’ – Rom. 7:18. God is at the bottom of the ladder, and at the top also, the Author and Finisher, yea, helping and lifting the soul at every round, in his ascent to any hold action.
The Christian in Complete Armour Vol. 1 (Edinburgh, Scotland; Banner of Truth; 1989) p. 19.
Books by William Gurnall
Sincerity supports and comforts the soul under reproaches from men. These are no petty trials; they are reckoned among the saints’ martyrdoms, Heb. 11:36, called there ‘cruel mockings,’ yea, not unworthy to be recorded among the sufferings of Christ. The matchless patience and magnanimity of his spirit appeared not only in enduring the cross, but in ‘despising the shame,’ which the foul tongues of his bloody enemies loaded him unmercifully with. Man’s aspiring mind can least brook shame. Credit and applause is the great idol of men that stand at the upper end of the world for parts or place. Give but this, and what will not men do or suffer? One wiser than the rest could see this proud humour in Diogenes, that endured to stand naked, embracing a heap of snow, while he had spectators about him to admire his patience, as they thought it, and therefore was asked, ‘whether he would do thus, if he had none to see him?’ The hypocrite is the greatest credit-monger in the world; it is all he lives on almost, what the breath of men’s praise sends him in; when that fails, his heart faints; but when it turns to scorn and reproaches, then he dies, and needs must, becuase he has no credit with God while he is scorned by man; whereas sincerity bears up the soul against the wind of man’s vain breath, because it hath conscience, and God himself, to be his compurgator, to whom he dare appeal from man’s bar. O how sweetly do a good conscience, and the Spirit of God witnessing with it, feast the Christian at such a time! and no matter for the hail of man’s reproaches that rattle without, while the Christian is so merry within doors.
The Christian in Complete Armour Vol. 1 (Edinburgh, Scotland; Banner of Truth; 1989) p. 395.
Books by William Gurnall