Ebenezer Erskine on assurance


Here’s a helpful extract from Ebenezer Erskine on assurance.

How may I know if I be yet a vessel of mercy fitted by regenerating and sanctifying grace for the Master’s use?  Hath God yet formed me for himself? Hath he taken me out of nature’s quarry, out of the miry clay, and washed, and justified, and sanctified me in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God?  Now, I say, if this be the question, I will give you a few marks of the vessels of mercy and hounour:

1.  Every vessel of mercy in the house of our Lord has seen himself to be a vessel of wrath by nature, condemned already, full of the vermin of sin and corruption.

2.  All the vessels of mercy are taken up in admiring the rich and free mercy of God, in taking up the like of them from among the pots.  “Not by the works of righteousness, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration.”

3. All God’s vessels of mercy have undergone the hammer of the law in a greater or lesser measure…  The law is a school-master to bring us to Christ.  So much hammering by the law is necessary, and no more as serves to beat the heart and hands of a sinner off from the broken nail of the law, in point of righteousness.

4.  All the vessels of mercy are made heartily content to change their holding.  All mankind have their holding either on the first or second Adam; they are either hanging by the broken nail of the covenant of works, or by the gospel-nail of the covenant of grace; they are either seeking life and righteousness by the works of the law or by the grace of the gospel.

5.  All the vessels of mercy are melted in the fire of gospel grace and love, and made pliable to the will of God.  The heart of stone is melted into a heart of flesh (Ezek 33:26).

6.  All the vessels of the house are washed, and will be frequently washing themselves, in the fountain of a Redeemer’s blood, from sin and from uncleanness.

7.  All the vessels of the house, from the least to the greatest, have the name of the Father of the house, and of the Manager of the house, and of the house or city they pertain to, engraven upon them.

8.  If you be the vessels of mercy and honour, the Master of the house will now and then be making use of you, by pouring the wine, the oil, the water, or milk of his grace and Spirit into you.

[From the Beauties of Ebenezer Erskine, Reformation Heritage Books, 2001, p107ff]

About neilrobbie

I am a 6'6" formerly ginger Scot, in a cross cultural marriage to my lovely Londoner wife. We've lived in SE Asia and since 2005, I have served as an Anglican minister in Wolverhampton and West Bromwich.
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