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Quotes by George Swinnock


In regeneration nature is not ruined, but rectified. The convert is the same man, but new made. The faculties of his soul are not destroyed, but they are refined; the same violin, but newly tuned. Christ gave not the blind man new eyes, but a new sight to the old ones. Christ did not give Lazarus a new body, but enlivened his old body. So God in conversion doth not bestow a new understanding, but a new light to the old; not a new soul, but a new life to the old one.


There may be several things which may help to make the life fair in the eyes of men; but nothing will make it amiable in the eyes of God, unless the heart be changed and renewed. All the medicines which can be applied, without the sanctifying work of the Spirit, though they may cover, they can never cure the corruption and diseases of the soul.


All the while longer thou delayest, God is more provoked, the wicked one more encouraged, thy heart more hardened, thy debts more increased, thy soul more endangered, and all the difficulties of conversion daily more and more multiplied upon thee, having a day more to repent of, and a day less to repent in.


The course of thy life will speak more for thee than the discourse of thy lips.


[Some] though they cannot sin outwardly, for want of strength of body or a fit opportunity, yet they act sin inwardly with great love and complacency. As players in a comedy, they act their parts in private, in order to a more exact performance of them in public.


Innocence at first was man’s comely robe, in comparison of which the richest clothes are but nasty rags. Ah, how lovely did he look in that heaven-spun attire!  In his primitive splendor, the most gaudy and costly apparel would have been but as a cloud over the face of the sun, or a coarse curtain over a beautiful picture. But sin caused shame, and shame called for clothes to cover it.


Solitude is a release to the soul that was imprisoned in company.


Upon the two hinges of faith and repentance do all the promises of the Bible stand.


A gracious wife satisfieth a good husband, and silenceth a bad one.


God does not do many things that He can, but He does all things that He will.


Prepare to meet thy God, O Christian! Betake thyself to thy chamber on the Saturday night… The oven of thine heart thus baked, as it were, overnight, would be easily heated the next morning; the fire so well raked up when thou wentest to bed, would be the sooner kindled when thou should rise. If thou wouldst thus leave thy heart with God on the Saturday night, thou shouldst find it with Him in the Lord’s Day morning.


Reproofs should be as oils or ointments, gently rubbed in by the warm fire of love.


He grieves truly that weeps without a witness.


Heaven must be in thee before thou canst be in heaven.


Satan watcheth for those vessels that sail without a convoy.


Oh, that I might never be so void of love to my fallen brothers as not to give him a serious reproof, nor so void of love to myself as not to receive a serious reproof.


Reprove seriously.  Reproof is an edged tool, and must not be jested with. Cold reproofs are like the noise of cannons a great way off, nothing affrighting us. He that reproves sin merrily, as one that takes pride to show his wit and to make the company laugh, will destroy the sinner instead of the sin.


Reprove compassionately. Soft words and hard arguments do well together. Passion will heat the sinner’s blood, but compassion will heal his conscience.


The reprover should have a lion’s stout heart, or he will not be faithful, and a lady’s soft hand, or he is not like to be successful.


A stroke, from guilt, from wrath, broke Judas’ heart into despair; a look from love, from Christ, broke Peter’s into tears.


All in the church may hear the Word of Christ, but few hear Christ in the Word.


A godly man is free from the sting, but not from the stroke, from the curse, but not from the cross of death.