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Jimmy Hamilton | Staffordshire, England, UK
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The Street Preacher
30 Wain Drive,
Springfields, Stoke-On-Trent
North Staffordshire
England, UK
Rev James R Hamilton
30 Wain Drive,
Springfields, Stoke-On-Trent
North Staffordshire
England, UK
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Nine Easy Ways to Heaven (As Men Think)
Posted by: The Street Preacher | more..
10,660+ views | 160+ clicks
All Which Lead to Hell

1. The Common Broad Way:

Wherein a whole parish may all go abreadth in it; tell these people they shall be damned, their answer is, then woe to many more besides.

2. The Way of Civil Education:

Whereby many wild natures are by little and little tamed, and like wolves are chained up easily while they are young.

3. The Way of Good Wishes:

Whereby many people will confess their ignorance, forgetfulness, and that they can not make such shows as others do, but they thank God their hearts are as good, and God for his part accepts (say they) the will for the deed. And, "my son, give me thy heart"; the heart is all in all, and so long they hope to do well enough. Poor deluded creatures thus think to break through armies of sins, devils, temptations, and to break open the very gates of heaven with a few good wishes; they think to come to their journey's end without legs, because their hearts are good to God.

4. The Way of Formality:

Whereby men rest in the performance of most or of all external duties without inward life (Mark 1:14). Every man must have some religion, some fig leaves to hide their nakedness. Now, this religion must be either true religion or the false one; if the true, he must either take up the power of it, but that he will not, because it is burdensome, or the form of it; and this being easy, men embrace it as their God, and will rather lose their lives than their religion thus taken up. This form of religion is the easiest religion in the world; partly because it eases men of trouble of conscience, quieting that; Thou hast sinned, saith conscience, and God is offended; take a book, and pray, keep thy conscience better, and bring thy Bible with thee; now, conscience is silent, being charmed down with the form of religion, as the devil is driven away (as they say) with holy water; partly, also, because the form of religion credits a man, partly because it is easy in itself; it is of a light carriage, being but the shadow and picture of the substance of religion; as now, what an easy matter to come to church. They hear (at least outwardly) very attentively an hour and more, and then to turn to a proof, and to turn down a leaf: here is the form. But now to spend Saturday night, and all the whole Sabbath day morning, in trimming the lamp, and in getting oil in the heart to meet the Bridegroom next day, and so meet him in the word, and there to tremble at the voice of God, and suck the breast while it is open; and when the word is done, to go aside privately, and there to chew upon the word, there to lament with tears all the vain thoughts in duty, deadness in hearing, this is hard, because this is the power of godliness, and this men will not take up: so for private prayer; what an easy matter is it for a man to say over a few prayers out of some devout book, or to repeat some old prayer, got by heart since a child, or to have two or three short-winded wishes for God's mercy in the morning and at night! This form is easy. But now to prepare the heart by serious meditation of God and man's self, before he prays, then come to God with a bleeding, hungred-starved heart, not only with a desire, but with a warrant, I must have such or such a mercy, and there to wrestle with God, although it be an hour or two together for a blessing, this is too hard; men think none do thus, and therefore they will not.

5. The Way of Presumption:

Whereby men, having seen their sins, catch hold easily upon God's mercy, and snatch comforts before they are reached out unto them. There is no word of comfort, in the book of God, intended for such as regard iniquity in their hearts, though they do not act in their lives. Their only comfort is, that the sentence of damnation is not yet executed upon them.

6. The Way of Sloth:

Whereby men lie still, and say, God must do all. If the Lord would set up a pulpit at the ale house door, it may be they would hear the oftener. If God will always thunder, they will always pray; if strike them now and then with sickness, God shall be be paid with good words and promises enough, that they will be better if they live; but, as long as peace lasts, they will run to hell as fast as they can; and, if God will not catch them, they care not, they will not return.

7. The Way of Carelessness:

When men, feeling many difficulties, pass through some of them, but not all, and what they can not now, they feed themselves with a false hope they shall hereafter; they are content to be called precisians, and fools, and crazy brains, but they want brokenness of heart, and they will pray (it may be) for it, and pass by that difficulty; but to keep the wound always open, this they will not do; to be always sighing for help, and never to give themselves rest till their hearts are humbled, that they will not: "These have a name to live, yet are dead".

8. The Way of Moderation:

Or honest discretion (Revelation 3:16), which, indeed, is nothing but lukewarmness of the soul; and that is, when a man contrives, and cuts out such a way to heaven as he may be hated of none, but please all, and so do anything for a quiet life, and so sleep in a whole skin. The Lord saith, "he that will live godly must suffer persecutions". No, not so Lord. Surely, (they think), if men were discreet and wise, it would prevent a great deal of trouble and oppositions in good courses; this man will commend those that are most zealous, if they were but wise; if he meet with a black-mouthed swearer, he will not reprove him, lest he be displeased with him; if he meet with an honest man, he will yield to all he saith, that so he may commend him; and when he meets them both together, they shall be both alike welcome (whatever he thinks) to his house and table, because he would fain be at peace with all men.

9.The Way of Self-Love:

Whereby a man, fearing terribly he shall be damned, uses dilligently all means whereby he shall be saved. Here is the strongest difficulty of all, to row against the stream, and to hate a man's self, and then to follow Christ fully.

(From, 'The Sincere Convert & Sound Believer', by Thomas Shepard)
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