A selection from a letter by the Puritan preacher, Joseph Alleine, to a cousin, encouraging her and her husband to love and follow Christ rather than the world. Mr. Alliene was in poor health and would die soon afterwards at the age of 34. This letter was written October 21, 1668.
Away with these lazy prayers, away with these cold and heartless professions, away with this drowsy, lifeless, listless, religion! Bestir yourself to purpose for your soul, before it be too late. Search your conscience, as with candles; be jealous of yourself. Consider, now is your time; what you do, you must do quickly. The patience of God is waiting, Christ is knocking, the Spirit of God is striving, and death is at the door. Oh, now take your opportunity, and take heed lest a slothful heart, and the cares of this world, or a presumptuous confidence that all is well and safe already, should at last shut you out of the kingdom of God.
Life and Letters of Joseph Alleine, by Rev. Richard Baxter, Theodosia Alleine, and others, with a new introduction by Joel R. Beeke and Herb Samworth, Reformation Heritage Books, reprinted in 2003, p. 257.