Classic Essays & Articles
Man naturally would be a god to himself, though for clambering so high he got his fall; and whatever doctrine nourisheth a good opinion of man in his own eye, this is acceptable to him; and this hath spawned another fry of dangerous errors -- the Pelagian and Semi-Pelagian, which set nature upon its legs, and persuade man he got alone to Christ, or at least with a little external help, of a hand to lead, or argument to excite, without creating any work in the soul. O, we cannot conceive how glib such stuff goes down. If one workman should tell you that your house is rotten, and must be pulled down, and all new materials prepared; and another should say, No such matter; such a beam is good, and such a spar may stand -a little cost will serve the turn; it were no wonder that you should listen to him that would put you to least cost and trouble. The faithful servants of Christ tell sinners from the Word, that man in his natural state is corrupt and rotten, that nothing of the old frame will serve, and there must needs be all new; but in comes an Arminian, and blows up the sinner's pride, and tells him he is not so weak or wicked as the other represents him. If thou wilt, thou mayest repent and believe; or, at least, by exerting thy natural abilities oblige God to superadd that thou hast not. This is the workman that will please proud man best.
William Gurnall from The Christian in Complete Armour (pg. 81)
To cut off the sinner from all reliance upon himself, his merits and his powers; and throw him, naked and helpless, into the hands of the Holy Spirit to lead him to Christ in faith; should be the one great aim of the ministry.
Ichabod S. Spencer from A Pastor's Sketches