Joseph Alleine was an English Puritan who was a fervent evangelist. Alleine was immensely passionate about proclaiming the gospel to unbelievers – so passionate that his frequent and fervent evangelistic preaching led to his premature death at the age of 34 in 1668. His evangelistic booklet, A Sure Guide to Heaven, is a little window into his missionary zeal. Take a look at these quotes from the book.
“Conversion does not consist in…a superficial change or partial reformation. …There is a vast difference between being sanctified and civilized.”
“God finds nothing in man to turn His heart, but enough to turn His stomach; He finds enough to provoke His loathing, but nothing to excite his love. …The efficient, internal cause of conversion is free grace alone.”
“The sincere convert is not one man at church and another at home. He is not a saint on his knees and a cheat in his shop.”
“[Dear sinner,] you must look out of yourself and away from your own doings for help. Do not think your praying, reading, hearing, confessing, or amending will affect the cure. These must be attended to, but you are undone if you rest in them. You are a lost man if you hope to escape drowning on any other plank but Jesus Christ. You must unlearn yourself, and renounce your own wisdom, your own righteousness, your own strength, and throw yourself wholly upon Christ, or you cannot escape.”
I recommend this book for these reasons: 1) It magnifies the triune God’s sovereign work of saving sinners from sin, death, and hell; therefore it is an edifying read. 2) It is a solid example of evangelism – a discussion of sin, salvation, and service. 3) It shows clearly that the doctrines of grace (i.e. Calvinism, the five solas, etc.) are great motivations to tell the world about Jesus. 4) It is further proof that the Puritans had a deep love not only for the Savior of sinners, but also for sinners who need the Savior.