Another entry from Hercules Collins' writing:
Hold Fast What Thou Hast
To depart from God in a trying day, reflects upon his being and attributes. “What iniquity,” said God to his people of old, “have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me? (Jeremiah 2:5) Am I not the same as ever? Are not my promises the same? Have I failed in any one thing? Testify against me. Is not heaven and happiness the same as ever? Why do you leave the fountain of living water, and hew out to yourselves cisterns, broken cisterns, which will hold no water?”
Our Lord seems to speak mournfully in the sixth chapter of John, after many of his disciples had gone back, “Will you also go away, and walk no more with me, as the rest have done?” Simon Peter answered and said, “Lord, whither shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life…” (see John 6:60-69) We are for eternal life, and we know there is no life but in the Son. (see 1 John 4:9)
So Luther answered, when he had great offers made him to return to the Church of Rome. “Can you give me Christ,” said he, “and eternal life?”
As it was their great care not to lose the crown, so it should be ours, which if thou wouldest keep, take this advice: beg of God for a well-informed judgement, a good understanding, a spiritual enlightened mind, that thou mayest be found in God’s statutes. Cry with Holy David, “Lord, ‘open mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.’” (Psalm 119:18)
Whence is it, some call good evil, and evil good, darkness light, and light darkness, but from darkness in the understanding? (see Isaiah 5:20) As the Jews’ persecution and crucifixion of Christ was imputed to their ignorance of him, so the forsaking a good way in troublesome times argues great ignorance in the understanding, or else they would never prefer temporal before spiritual things and present pleasure before future glory.There must be divine light in the understanding, before there can be true obedience, and true grace in the will. For he that doth not know God as revealed, can never well-groundedly love him nor obey him.