15 Quotes from “Backslider” by Andrew Fuller

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In this brief work, Backslider, Andrew Fuller (1754–1815) deals with the issue of backsliding: when genuine Christians lose their passion for Christ and his kingdom. This was not a theoretical issue for Fuller, therefore, and his words, weighty when he first wrote them, are still worthy of being pondered—and acted upon. Included as an appendix is a poetic application of dealing with such a backslidden heart, written by Samuel Pearce (1766–1799) a close friend and co-labourer for Christ with Fuller.

Below are 15 quotes:

1. “A backsliding spirit first appears by a relinquishment of evangelical doctrine. Where truth is treated merely as a matter of speculation, or as an opinion of no great moment, it is not held fast; and where this is the case, it is easily surrendered.”

2. “When men can talk and even write of their former wicked courses with lightness, it is a certain proof that whatever repentance they had, they do not at present repent of it.”

3. “True repentance will not only teach us to shun the way of evil, but to be averse to every avenue that leads to it.”

4. “So long as sin lies unlamented upon the conscience, we can have no Scriptural foundation to conclude that we are Christians.”

5. “If we confess our sin with contrition, we may be certain it is not unpardonable, and that we shall obtain mercy through the blood of the cross.”

6. “Sin is of a hardening nature, and the farther we have proceeded in it, the more inextricable are its chains.”

7. “God’s Word hid in the heart is not only a preservative against sin, but a restorative from it.”

8. “The very exercise of prayer carries in it an implication that our help must come from above.”

9. “The Scriptures know nothing of that kind of confidence which renders men easy in their sins.”

10. “We are extremely apt in certain cases to flatter ourselves that our spots are only the spots of God’s children or such as the best of men are subject to, and therefore to conclude that there is nothing very dangerous about them.”

11. “Perhaps if the truth were known, there are few open falls but what are preceded by a secret departure of heart from the living God.”

12 “If, when have fallen into any particular sin which exposes us to the censures of our friends, instead of confessing it with sorrow, are employed in defending or palliating it, it is a certain proof that we are at present under the power of it.”

13. “When any sin is committed by us, it is common for it to assume another name. By means of this, we become easily reconciled to it and are ready to enter on a vindication of it.”

14. “A pious mind will feel more for the dishonour which he has done to Christ, and injury to his fellow creatures, than for the reproach which he has brought upon himself.”

15. “God’s Word hid in the heart is not only a preservative against sin, but a restorative from it. It both wounds and heals. If it rebukes, it is with the faithfulness of a friend; if it consoles, its consolations carry in them an implication, which, if properly understood, will melt us into repentance.”

To learn more about Andrew Fuller on Backsliding, be sure to check out Backslider.

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