Bits Of William Gurnall

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”  Ephesians 6:10-20 (NKJV)

The book, “The Christian In Complete Armour” by William Gurnall (1617-1679), keeps popping up of late. It was also the subject of a dinner conversation almost two weeks ago between my husband and a friend of ours, but somehow I missed it.  So, I did what any self-respecting person would do when the title came up again (mentioned by a friend on Facebook): I looked it up on the internet to see what all the fuss was about. I now understand why my husband and Palmer were discussing this book so intensely. Below are some of the quotes credited to William Gurnall.  This book is currently published in two versions: one monstrous volume printed in the original olde English language and the other in today’s English (found in three paperback volumes).  After all of this, I guess I am going to have to read the book. Probably will have to stick to the updated language version though. The other just might turn by brain into a pretzel.

“It is true, Christian, the debt thou owest to God must be paid in good and lawful money, but, for thy comfort, here Christ is thy paymaster.”

“Your work and your life must go off the stage together.”

“Oh, it is sad for a poor Christian to stand at the door of the promise, in the dark night of affliction, afraid to draw the latch, whereas he should then come boldly for shelter as a child into his father’s house.”

“God hath made it a debt which one saint owes to another to carry their names to a throne of grace.”

“Let this encourage those of you who belong to Christ: the storm may be tempestuous, but it is only temporary. The clouds that are temporarily rolling over your head will pass, and then you will have fair weather, an eternal sunshine of glory. Can you not watch with Christ for one hour?”

“Every believer has Christ at his back, following him as he goes, with strength for every condition and trial.”

“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.”

“As a man, looking steadfastly on a dial, cannot perceive the shadow move at all, yet viewing it after a while, he shall perceive that it hath moved; so, in the hearing of the Word, but especially in the receiving of the Lord’s supper, a man may judge even his own faith, and other graces of God, to be little or nothing increased, neither can he perceive the motion of God’s Spirit in him at that time; yet by the fruits and effects thereof, he shall afterward perceive that God’s Spirit hath little by little wrought greater faith and other graces in him.”

“He who has God’s heart does not lack for His arm.”

“Unbelief fears Satan as a lion; faith treds upon him as a worm.”

“Thou hast no life to lose, because thou hast given it already to Christ, nor can man take away that without God’s leave.”

“We have peace with God as soon as we believe, but not always with ourselves. The pardon may be past the prince’s hand and seal, and yet not put into the prisoner’s hand.”

“The gravest discipline that God can dispense this side of eternity is to leave a sinner to his own pursuits when he is hell bound in the company of Satan.”

“We must not confide in the armour of God, but in the God of this armour, because all our weapons are only ‘mighty through God.'”

“Never was a faithful prayer lost. Some prayers have a longer voyage than others, but then they return with their richer lading at last, so that the praying soul is a gainer by waiting for an answer.”

“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 stratagems 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 labour to hinder the success of thy prayer.”

“A minister, without boldness, is like a smooth file, a knife without an edge, a sentinel that is afraid to let off his gun. If men will be bold in sin, ministers must be bold to reprove.”

“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.”

“All the plots of hell and commotions on earth have not so much as shaken God’s hand to spoil one letter or line he has been drawing.”

“He that loves the Word and the purity of its precepts cannot turn traitor.”

“It is as impossible to understand the Scriptures without the Spirit’s help as it is to read a sundial without the sun.”

“In heaven we shall appear, not in armour, but in robes of glory. But here these are to be worn night and day; we must walk, work, and sleep in them, or else we are not true soldiers of Christ.”

Copyright © 2011 by Susan E. Johnson
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