Never rest in convictions—until they end in conversion. This is that wherein most men miscarry. They rest in their convictions, and take them for conversion—as if sin seen were therefore sin forgiven—as if a sight of the lack of grace were the truth of the work of grace.
You who are at any time under convictions, O take heed of resting in them! Though it is true, that conviction is the first step to conversion—yet it is not conversion. A man may carry his convictions along with him into hell.
What is that which troubles poor creatures, when they come to die, but this—-I have not improved my convictions; at such a time I was convinced of sin—but yet I went on in sin in the face of my convictions; in such a sermon I was convinced of such a duty—but I slighted the conviction; I was convinced of my lack of Christ, and of the readiness of Christ to pardon and save; but alas! I followed not the conviction.
Remember this; slighted convictions are the worst death-bed companions. There are two things especially, which above all others make a death-bed very uncomfortable:
- Purposes and promises not performed.
- Convictions slighted and not improved.
When a man takes up purposes to close with Christ—and yet puts them not into execution; and when he is convinced of sin and duty—and yet improves not his convictions—O this will sting and wound at last!
~ Matthew Mead, The Almost Christian Discovered