By Thomas Hooker
Impediments which hinder souls from coming to Christ removed.
There are divers impediments which hinder poor Christians from coming to Christ; all which I desire to reduce to these following heads,
I. First, such hindrances as really keep men from coming to take hold of Christ at all; which are briefly these.
- Blind, careless, or presumptuous security; whereby men content themselves with their present condition, presuming all is well with them, when there is no such matter.
- Being convicted of this they bethink how to save themselves by their own strength; and thereupon set upon reformation of life, thinking to make God amends by reforming some sins which they hear themselves reproved of by ministers.
- The sinner being convinced of his utter inability to please God in himself, at length gets up a stair higher, and sees all his performances, and prayers, and duties to be of no power in themselves, but that he must leave all, and cleave only unto Christ by faith; and this he thinks he can do well enough, and so he thrusts himself upon Christ, thinking all the work is then done, and no more to be looked after.
- If he sees this fails him too, then he goes further, and confesseth he cannot come to Christ, except Christ give him his hand, and help him up; therefore now he will attend on the ordinances, and labour and bestir himself hard in the use of all good means, conceiving therefore to hammer out at last a faith of his own to make him happy. And here he rests, hanging as it were upon the outside of the ark so long, till at last the waves and winds growing fierce and violent, he is beaten off, and so sinks forever.
Note: The writer is laying the ground work to which he will soon have an encouraging answer.