…What do you really want?

 by Joseph Alleine

brain_on_fireThat night God appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!” 2 Chron. 1:7
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If God should give you your choice, as He did to Solomon, what would you ask for?
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Go into the gardens of pleasure, and gather all the fragrant flowers there—would these satisfy you? Go to the treasures of mammon; suppose you may carry away as much as you desire. Go to the towers, to the trophies of honor—and become a man of renown. Would any of these, would all of these satisfy you, and make you to count yourself happy? If so, then certainly you are carnal and unconverted.

Converting grace turns the heart from its idols—to the living God. Before conversion, the man minded his farm, friends, pleasures—more than Christ. He found more sweetness in his merry company, wicked games, earthly delights—than in Christ. Now he says, ‘But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ!’ Phil. 3:7-8

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Meet the Author and your heritage:  Joseph Alleine (baptised 8 April 1634 – died 17 November 1668) was an English Puritan Nonconformist pastor and author of many religious works.1645 is marked in the title-page of a quaint old tractate, by an eye-witness, as the year of his setting forth in the Christian race. His elder brother Edward, who was a clergyman, died in that year; and Joseph entreated his father that he might be educated to succeed his brother in the ministry.

Joseph-Alleine2In April 1649 he entered Lincoln College, Oxford, and on 3 November 1651, he became scholar of Corpus Christi College.  He found time to continue his studies, one part of which was his Theologia Philosophica (a lost manuscript), a learned attempt to harmonize revelation and nature, which was admired by Richard Baxter. He associated on equal terms with founders of the Royal Society. These scientific studies were, however, kept in subordination to his religious work.

After the Uniformity Act 1662 Alleine was among the ejected ministers. With John Westley, also ejected, he then travelled about preaching . For this he was put into prison, indicted at sessions, bullied and fined. His Letters from Prison were an earlier Cardiphonia than John Newton’s. He was released on 26 May 1664; and in spite of the Five Mile Act, he resumed his preaching. He found himself again in prison..

Worn out by the continued persecution, he died in November 1668; and the mourners, remembering their beloved minister’s words while yet with them, “If I should die fifty miles away, let me be buried at Taunton,” found a grave for him in St Mary’s chancel. No Puritan nonconformist name is so affectionately cherished as is that of Joseph Alleine. His chief literary work was An Alarm to the Unconverted (1672), otherwise known as The Sure Guide to Heaven, which had an enormous circulation.

Excerpts taken from Wikipedia