Discovering the Wickedness of Our Heart by Matthew Mead (1630-1699)
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Matthew Mead (Meade) (1630-1699) was an independent puritan divine, and popular reformed preacher and morning lecturer at Stepney Church (London).
Without the bad news of sin, death and hell, there can be no good news of Christ, salvation and eternal life. Mead’s work is a masterful exhortation first building from 1 Kings 8:37-39 of the dreadful reality of God’s judgment against sin, which leads to death, which in turn leads most people to hell. Mead was present in the great plague of London in 1665 which killed 100,000 people. Mead saw the plague as a direct example of God’s wrath against the city for its sin and wickedness.
Mead’s work is not simply a discovery of sin, but a remedy for it. He demonstrates twelve sins that London was continually committing, many of which are the same sins we commit today. Mead shows what those sins are, and how to remedy them through the power of Christ’s converting Spirit of repentance.
Christians often will speak of America’s need of repenting, and that God’s judgment is on America now, slowly tearing out the morality it once had, and pressing the country into a deeper sense of depravity and moral turpitude. But repentance and reformation start in the house of the Lord, just like judgment does. We don’t hear very many individual Christians saying, “America needs to repent of its sin, and this movement needs to begin with me…” Mead brings this very important point to light and causes the reader to take a spiritual inventory of his “sin list” to determine whether he is part of the cause of God’s judgment. Mead also shows what the Christian can do in circumstances like the Great Plague, and how they can be useful to the Kingdom of God.
This is not a scan or facsimile, has been updated in modern English for easy reading and has an active table of contents for electronic versions.