Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Be Ashamed Yet Do Not Despair

A selection from a letter by Andrew Fuller, to his wayward son, Robert, whom he longed to see in Christ and living a godly life, written in December of 1808. Fuller’s son died three months later. In letters written to his father prior to his death, Fuller’s biographer, John Ryland, Jr., could say, “We hope, he was led to see the error of his way, and to make the Lord his refuge from the tempest and the storm.”

My dear son! I am now nearly fifty-five years old, and may soon expect to go the way of all the earth! But, before I die, let me teach you the good and the right way. “Hear the instructions of a father.” You have had a large portion of God’s preserving goodness; or you had, ere now, perished in your sins. Think of this, and give thanks to the Father of mercies, who has hitherto preserved you. Think, too, how you have requited him, and be ashamed for all that you have done. Nevertheless, do not despair! Far as you have gone, and low as you are sunk in sin, yet if, from hence, you return to God by Jesus Christ, you will find mercy. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, even the chief of sinners. If you had been ever so sober and steady in your behaviour towards men, yet, without repentance towards God and faith in Christ, you could not have been saved; and, if you return to God by him, though your sins be great and aggravated, yet will you find mercy.

The Work of Faith, the Labor of Love and the Patience of Hope: Illustrated in the Life and Death of the Rev. Andrew Fuller, by John Ryland, published by Button & Sons, Paternoster Row, London, 1818, p. 303.

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