Joseph AlleineJoseph Alleine was an English Puritan Nonconformist pastor and author of many religious works.
Alleine belonged to a family that had originally settled in Suffolk. As early as 1430 some of the descendants of Alan, Lord of Buckenhall settled in the neighbourhood of Calne and Devizes. These were the immediate ancestors of "worthy Mr Tobie Alleine of Devizes", father of Joseph, who was the fourth of a large family, born at Devizes early in 1634. 1645 is marked in the title-page of a quaint old tractate, by an eye-witness, as the year of his setting forth in the Christian race. His elder brother Edward, who was a clergyman, died in that year; and Joseph entreated his father that he might be educated to succeed his brother in the ministry.
In April 1649 he entered Lincoln College, Oxford, and on 3 November 1651, he became scholar of Corpus Christi College. On 6 July 1653, he took the degree of Bachelor of Divinity, and became a tutor and chaplain of Corpus Christi, preferring this to a fellowship. In 1654 he had offers of high preferment in the state, which he declined; but in 1655 George Newton of St Mary Magdalene, Taunton sought him for assistant and Alleine accepted the invitation. Almost coincident with his ordination as associate pastor came his marriage with Theodosia Alleine, daughter of Richard Alleine. Friendships among "gentle and simple" of the former, with Lady Farewell, granddaughter of the protector Somerset bear witness to the attraction of Alleine's private life.
He found time to continue his studies, one part of which was his Theologia Philosophica (a lost manuscript), a learned attempt to harmonize revelation and nature, which was admired by Richard Baxter. He associated on equal terms with founders of the Royal Society. These scientific studies were, however, kept in subordination to his religious work.
After the Uniformity Act 1662 Alleine was among the ejected ministers. With John Westley, also ejected, he then travelled about preaching . For this he was put into prison, indicted at sessions, bullied and fined. His Letters from Prison were an earlier Cardiphonia than John Newton's. He was released on 26 May 1664; and in spite of the Five Mile Act, he resumed his preaching. He found himself again in prison.
Worn out by the continued persecution, he died in November 1668; and the mourners, remembering their beloved minister's words while yet with them, "If I should die fifty miles away, let me be buried at Taunton," found a grave for him in St Mary's chancel. No Puritan nonconformist name is so affectionately cherished as is that of Joseph Alleine.

Men May Perish by Seeming Righteousness as by Gross Sins

It may be you never thought of this; but so it is, that a man may as certainly perish by his seeming righteousness and supposed graces—as by gross sins; and that is, when a man trusts to these as his righteousness before God, for satisfying His justice, appeasing His wrath, procuring His favor, and obtaining His pardon. This is to put Christ out of office, and make a Savior of our own duties and graces. Beware of this, O professing Christians; you are much in duties—but this one fly will spoil all the ointment. When you have done most and best, be sure to go out of yourselves—to Christ; reckon your own righteousness as filthy rags (Phil 3:9; Isa 64:6). ~ A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine

When Men Trust in Their Own Righteousness

When men trust in their own righteousness they do indeed reject Christ’s. Beloved, you had need be watchful on every hand, for not only your sins—but your duties may undo you. ~ A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine

Mind Your Motives

Oh Christians, if you would avoid self-deceit, see that you mind not only your actions but your motives. ~ A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine

Many Want Christ on Their Own Terms

To forsake all for Christ, to hate father and mother, yes, a man’s own life for Him, ‘This is a hard saying’ (Luke 14:26). Some will do much—but they will not have that religion which will save them. They never come to be entirely devoted to Christ, nor to be fully resigned to Him. They must have the sweet sin; they mean to do themselves no harm; they have secret exceptions for life, liberty, or estate. Many take Christ thus, and never consider His self-denying terms, nor count the cost; and this error in the foundation mars all, and ruins them forever (Luke 14:28-33). ~ A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine

A Flesh-pleasing Life Cannot Please to God

When men give the flesh the liberty that it craves, and pamper and please it, and do not deny and restrain it; when their great delight is in gratifying their bellies and pleasing their senses; whatever appearances they may have of religion—all is unsound. A flesh-pleasing life cannot be pleasing to God. ‘Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh’, and are careful to keep it under control, as their enemy (Gal 5:24; 1 Cor 9:25-27). ~ A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine

Do not Deceive your Own Hearts

Beloved, do not be your own betrayers. Do not deceive your own hearts, nor set your hands to your own ruin by a willful blinding of yourselves. Set up a tribunal in your own breasts. Bring the Word and conscience together. ‘To the law and to the testimony.’ [Isa 8:20] Hear what the Word concludes of your state. Oh follow the search until you find how the case stands. Make a mistake here—and you perish! And, such is the treachery of the heart, the subtlety of the temper, and the deceitfulness of sin—all conspiring to flatter and deceive the poor soul; and so common and easy it is to make a mistake, that it is a thousand to one that you will be deceived, unless you are very careful and thorough and impartial in the inquiry into your spiritual condition. ~ A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine

A Spirit of Sloth and Slumber Possesses the Unsanctified

But I find by sad experience that such a spirit of sloth and slumber possesses the unsanctified that, though they are convinced that they are yet unconverted, often they carelessly sit still. Through the love of sensual pleasure—or the hurry of worldly business—or the noise and clamor of earthly cares and lusts and affections—the voice of conscience is drowned, and men go no farther than some faint wishes and general purposes of repenting and amending. ~ A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine

Many Rest in the Externals of Religion

Many rest in the externals of religion and in the outward performance of holy duties. And very often this most effectually deceives men, and more certainly undoes them than open profaneness; as it was in the Pharisee’s case. They hear, they fast, they pray, they give alms—and therefore will not believe their case is bad. Whereas, resting in the work done, and coming short of the heart-work and the inward power and vitality of religion, they fall at last into the burning, from the flattering hope and confident persuasion of their being all set on the way to heaven. Oh dreadful case, when a man’s religion shall serve only to harden him, and effectually to delude and deceive his own soul! ~ A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine

The Spiritually Blind Cannot Discern the Terrors of Hell

Could I bring paradise into view—or represent the kingdom of heaven to as much advantage as the tempter did the kingdoms of the world, and the glory thereof, to our Savior; or could I uncover the face of the deep and devouring gulf of Hell in all its terrors, and open the gates of the infernal furnace; alas, he [the spirituall dead] has no eyes to see it! Could I paint the beauties of holiness, or the glory of the Gospel; or could I expose to view the more than diabolical deformity and ugliness of sin; he can no more judge of the loveliness and beauty of the one, and the filthiness and hatefulness of the other, than a blind man of colors. He is alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in him because of the blindness of his heart (Eph 4:18). He neither knows nor can know—the things of God, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor 2:14). His eyes cannot be savingly opened but by converting grace (Acts 26:18). He is a child of darkness, and walks in darkness. Yes, the light in him is darkness. ~ A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine

There is a Difference Between Being Sanctified and Civilized

Others think that because they have given up their riotous ways, and are broken off from evil company or some particular lust, and are reduced to sobriety and civility, they are now real converts. They forget that there is a vast difference between being sanctified and civilized. They forget that many seek to enter into the kingdom of heaven, and are not far from it, and arrive to the almost of Christianity, and yet fall short at last. While conscience holds the whip over them, many will pray, hear, read, and forbear their delightful sins; but no sooner is the lion asleep than they are at their sins again. Who more religious than the Jews when God’s hand was upon them? Yet no sooner was the affliction over, than they forgot God. You may have forsaken a troublesome sin, and have escaped the gross pollutions of the world, and yet in all this not have changed your carnal nature. ~ A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine