"...I think this would be a terror to an unconverted soul—to think he is a burden to the creation. 'Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?' (Luke 13:7). If inanimate creatures could but speak, your food would say, 'Lord, must I nourish such a wretch as this, and yield forth my strength for him, to dishonor You? No, I will choke him rather, if You will give commission.' The very air would say, 'Lord, must I give this man breath, to set his tongue against heaven, and scorn Your people, and vent his pride and wrath, and filthy talk, and belch out oaths and blasphemy against You? No, if You will but say the word, he shall be breathless for me.'..."Hear the voice of the cursed ground cry out agaiists the people it supports... worth reading Richards comments and the whole article - might not agree with every word but it's a fresh angle. Alleine's prayer as an evangelist is worth owning - and demonstrates that this isn't just a man speaking strongly against sin but that his goal is both sin-conviction and a taste that relishes the sweetness of God.
"O all-powerful Jehovah, who works, and none can hinder You, who has the keys of death and hell—pity the dead souls that lie here entombed, and roll away the gravestone, and say as to the dead body of Lazarus, Come forth! Enlighten this darkness, O inaccessible Light, and let the dayspring from on high visit the dark regions of the dead, to whom I speak; for You can open the eye that death itself has closed. You that formed the ear, can restore the hearing. Say to these ears, Ephphatha! and they shall be opened. Give eyes to see Your excellencies, a taste that may relish Your sweetness, a scent that may savor Your ointment, a feeling that may discern the privilege of Your favor, the burden of Your wrath, the intolerable weight of unpardoned sin! And give Your servant the command to prophesy to dry bones, and let the effects of this prophecy be as of Your prophet when he prophesied the valley of dry bones into a living army exceeding great!"And you should see his "sinners prayer" in the next chapter, makes ours look just a little contentless, not least because it's over 1000 words long but why not start a relationshp on such clear terms! (suggested in chapter 7, point 10). Alleine offers language for the soul and goes after the heart, since he rightly notes: "Conversion turns the bent of the affections... and "if you will go on, you must die".
Book also published as A Sure Guide to Heaven (Banner of Truth)
Timmy Brister on Joseph Alleine