The Abuse of God’s Mercy


What was it that Peter remembered? It is not stated. Perhaps he considered how he stood naked and open to the flames of hell, or how he exposed himself to the scourges of an inward tormentor, to the scorching of his conscience, or to the fearful judgment and revenge of him whom he had just denied. He went out and wept bitterly. It was fear that made him fall, but not fear that made him repent.

It was the merciful prediction of Christ that he remembered how he abused that gracious caution that should arm him against temptation. It was this that made him go out and weep. The abuse of God’s mercy, the grieving of God’s Spirit, the undervaluing of God’s truth wounds the soul of a repentant sinner more than the pricking of conscience or the flames of hell.

Dr. Edward Reynolds was born in 1599 in Southampton, England. He received his BA degree at Oxford in 1618. In 1622, before studying for his masters, Reynolds became a chaplain to the king and preacher at Lincoln’s Inn, London. The puritanical inclinations of Dr. Reynolds were well known; his character of piety and decorum were evident even in his college years. Edward Reynolds is known as the Bishop of Norfolk, but he was bishop for only the final fifteen years of his life and ministry. Prior to that he was the rector of Braunston, Northamptonshire, for almost thirty years. Although Reynolds was a Presbyterian by conviction, he had a reputation of moderation in his church polity. This was evidenced in his role in the Westminster Assembly. He was the only member to sit on all three of the major committees on the Confession of Faith, and with his moderate spirit provided balance in the discussions.
These devotions are taken from the works of Edward Reynolds. They have been edited for © 2013 thinkgospel.