The Zealous Christian, by Simeon Ashe (d. 1662)
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Simeon Ashe (d. 1662) was a puritan minister of the Gospel and a member of the Westminster Assembly. He is described as a man of great sincerity, humility, benevolence, prudence, and patience: as eminently diligent in preaching the glorious gospel of the grace of God in season and out of season, so as not to please the ear, but to wound the heart. Samuel Rutherford described him as, “gracious and zealous.”
What is holy zeal? From Revelation 3:19, “Be Zealous,” Ashe divides his work into 8 parts. Part 1 explains the text expounding on what Christ means in being zealous. Parts 2-3 briefly describe how zeal is to be exercised for good, and how it is to be exercised against evil. His main objective will come to light in parts 4 and 5, dealing with those who are not zealous – how they should be – and then teaches the motives by which Christians may be provoked to seek the increase of holy zeal in their life. In part 6 he covers the means to be used for obtaining zeal, with hindrances to be avoided, and then demonstrates all Gospel administrations, being rightly used as a means to increase true biblical zeal. In part 7 he gives nine rules to guide Christians to improve zeal in their life, and then ends in part 8 with an incitement to magistrates, ministers and private Christians to improve zeal, especially seen in not profaning the Sabbath, attendance on sacred ordinances, and that ministers may be encouraged to perform their duties for the betterment of the church and nation.
Do you have a heart enflamed with zeal for God, true zeal, true biblical heat and spiritual fervor? If your outward performance of true religion stems from the inward change made by the Holy Spirit, then such zealous action on behalf of Christ is heartily commendable. True regenerate Christians should be taking heaven by storm, violently seizing the Kingdom of God by force, and pressing into the Kingdom with all their might. Yet, though there are those who glorify Christ in their religious zeal through obedience to the revealed word, there are also those who perform external religious acts remaining still unconverted. Those who are living under the eminent means of grace but possess a superficial affection to the things of God are called Gospel hypocrites, and their zeal is fake. They introduce a form of godliness but deny the power of God, and so the Apostle Paul says that, “from such turn away,” (2 Tim. 3:5). Ashe did not preach and write this treatise simply for the sake of being informative. He heartily desired to see the people of God in his day transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit towards a heated zeal for the means of grace. As Ashe will show, it is the command of Jesus Christ for every Christian church member to be zealous.
This work is not a scan or facsimile, has been carefully transcribed by hand being made easy to read in modern English, and has an active table of contents for electronic versions.