Quotes by William Gurnall
Say not that you have royal blood in thy veins, and are born of God, except you can prove your pedigree by daring to be holy.
And therefore you who think so basely of the Gospel and the professors of it, because at present their peace and comfort are not come, should know that it is on the way to them, and comes to stay everlastingly with them; whereas your peace is going from you every moment, and is sure to leave you without any hope of returning to you again. Look not how the Christian begins, but ends.
Go to God by prayer for a key to unlock the mysteries of His Word. It is not the plodding but the praying soul, that will get this treasure of Scripture knowledge. God often brings a truth to the Christian’s hand as a return of prayer, which he had long hunted for in vain with much labour and study: “There is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets” (Dan. 2:28); and where doth He reveal the secrets of His world but at the throne of grace?
Praying is the same to the new creature as crying is to the natural. The child is not learned by art or example to cry, but instructed by nature; it comes into the world crying. Praying is not a lesson got by forms and rules of art, but flowing from principles of new life itself.
We must come to good works by faith, and not to faith by good works.
He cannot be a bold reprover, that is not a conscientious liver; such a one must speak softly, for fear of waking his own guilty conscience.
The miracles were to the gospel as seals are to a writing.
The want of a renewed heart is a hair on the moral man’s pen, that blurs and blots his copy when he writes fairest. His unrightness does others more good in this world than himself in the next.
I had rather be a sober heathen than a drunken Christian.
The reason why many poor souls have so little heat of joy in their hearts is that they have so little light of Gospel knowledge in their mind. The further a soul stands from the light of truth, the further he must be from the heat of comfort.
Compare Scripture with Scripture. False doctrines, like false witnesses, agree not among themselves.
To forsake sin, is to leave it without any thought reserved of returning to it again.
The Christian is bred by the Word, and he must be fed by it.
Sacrifice without obedience is sacrilege.
Hope fills the afflicted soul with such inward joy and consolation, that it can laugh while tears are in the eye, sigh and sing all in a breath; it is called “the rejoicing of hope” (Hebrews 3:6).
Prayer is nothing but the promise reversed, or God’s Word formed into an argument, and retorted by faith upon God again.
We fear men so much, because we fear God so little. One fear cures another. When man’s terror scares you, turn your thoughts to the wrath of God.
The minister’s work debilitates nature; like the candle, he wastes while he shines.
When thou prayest before others, observe on what thou bestowest thy chief care and zeal, whether in the externals or internals of prayer, that which is exposed to the eye and ear of men, or that which should be prepared for the eye and ear of God; the devout posture of thy body, or the inward devotion of thy soul; the pomp of thy words or the power of thy faith; the agitation of thy bodily spirits in the vehemency of thy voice, or the fervency of thy spirit in heartbreaking affections. These inward workings of the soul in prayer, are the very soul of prayer.
Say not that thou hast royal blood in thy veins and art born of God, unless thou canst prove thy pedigree by daring to be holy.
Pray often rather than very long at a time. It is hard to be very long in prayer, and not slacken in our affections.
When thoughts or inclinations contrary to the will and ways of God creep in, many dear Christians mistake these miserable orphans for their own children, and take upon themselves the full responsibility for these carnal passions. So deftly does the devil slip his own thoughts into the saints’ bosom that by the time they begin to whimper, he is already out of sight. And the Christian, seeing no one but himself at home, supposes these misbegotten notions are his own. So he bears the shame himself, and Satan has accomplished his purpose.
In heaven we shall appear, not in armor, but in robes of glory. But here these are to be worn night and day; we must talk, work and sleep in them, or else we are not true soldiers of Christ.
He hath engaged to answer the prayers of His people, and “fulfill the desires of those that fear Him.” But it proves a long voyage sometimes before the praying saint hath the return of his adventure. There comes oft a long and sharp winter between the sowing-time of prayer, and the reaping. He hears us indeed as soon as we pray, but we oft do not hear of Him so soon. Prayers are not long in their journey to heaven, but long a coming thence in a full answer.
If thou dost not stumble at this stone, the devil hath another at hand to throw in the way. He is not so unskillful a fowler as to go with one single shot into the field; and therefore expect him, as soon as he hath discharged one, and missed thee, to let fly at thee with a second.
Thou must be righteous and holy, before thou canst live righteously and holily.
Thou must be an attentive hearer; he that is awake, but wanders with his eye or heart, what doth he but sleep with his eyes open?
You now have, Christian, the armour of God; but take heed thou forgettest not to engage the God of this armour by humble prayer for your assistance, lest for all this you be worsted in the fight.
Thou hast an art above God Himself, if thou canst fetch any true pleasure out of unholiness.
Satan cannot deny but that great wonders have been wrought by prayer. As the spirit of prayer goes up, so his kingdom goes down. Satan’s strategies against prayer are three. First, if he can, he will keep thee from prayer. If that be not feasible, secondly, he will strive to interrupt thee in prayer. And, thirdly, if that plot takes not, he will labor to hinder the success of thy prayer.
God would not rub so hard if it were not to fetch out the dirt that is ingrained in our natures. God loves purity so well He had rather see a hole than a spot in His child’s garments.
None sink so far into hell as those that come nearest heaven, because they fall from the greatest height.
The Christian’s life should put his minister’s sermon in print.
[Fear] is Satan’s weapon held in reserve. When alluring temptations fail, he opens his quiver and shoots these arrows to set the soul on fire, if not with sin then with terror. When he cannot carry a soul laughing to hell through the deception of pleasurable temptations, he will try to make him go mourning to heaven by this amazing attack. It is a sure sign that Satan is losing. The arrows he shot at Job were of this kind. When God let the devil practice his skill, why did Satan not tempt Job with some golden apple of profit or pleasure or some other enticement? Surely the high testimony God gave about Job discouraged him from these methods. Satan had no tactic left but this.
Unholiness in a preacher’s life will either stop his mouth from reproving, or the people’s ears from receiving.
This is the difference between religion and atheism; religion does not grow without planting, but will die even where it is planted without watering. Atheism, irreligion, and profaneness are weeds that will grow without setting, but they will not die without plucking up.