” In short, conversion does not consist in illumination or in conviction or in superficial change or in partial reformation. An apostate may be an enlightened man (Heb vi 4), and a Felix may tremble under conviction (Acts xxiv 25), and a Herod do many things (Mk vi 20). It is one thing to have sin alarmed only by convictions, and another to have it crucified by converting grace. Many, because they have been troubled in conscience for their sins, think well of their case, miserably mistaking conviction for conversion.”
Joseph Alleine, A Sure Guide to Heaven, p. 22
Alleine (1634-1668) published this evangelistic tract in 1671 and many editions of it continued to be reprinted, even up to today. Sometimes it was published under the title “Alarm to the Unconverted.” Charles Spurgeon recounts the impact it made on his life as a child when his mother would read it on Sunday evenings as the family gathered together for worship. George Whitefield also recalls the lasting impression this book made on him while a student at Oxford.