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tumults, and mutinies in their souls, when God spake such bitter things against them, and did such justice upon them.

But remember this by way of caution-though Christ has given sin its death's wound by his power, spirit, death, and resurrection, yet it will die but a lingering death. As a man that is mortally wounded, dies by little and little, so does sin in the heart of a saint. The death of Christ on the cross was a lingering death; so the death of sin in the soul is a lingering death; now it dies a little, and anon it dies a little; as the psalmist speaks, Slay them not, lest my people forget; scatter them by thy power, and bring them down, O Lord our shield; Psalm lix. 11. He would not have them utterly destroyed, but some reliques preserved as a memorial. So God deals in respect of sir ; it is wounded and brought down, but not wholly slain; something is still left as a monument of divine grace, and to keep us humble, wakeful, and watchful, and that our armour be still kept on, and our weapons always in our hands.

The best men's souls in this life hang between the flesh and the spirit, as were like Mahomet's tomb at Mecea, between two load-stones; like Erasmus, as the papists paint him, betwixt heaven and hell; like the tribe of Manasseh, half on this side Jordan, in the land of the Amorites, and half on that side in the holy land ; yet in the issue they shall overcome the flesh, and trample upon the necks of their spiritual enemies.

Dev. 6. The sixth device that Satan has to keep souls in a sad, questioning condition, is, by suggesting to the soul, that surely its estate is not good, because it cannot joy and rejoice in Christ, as once it could; because it hath lost that comfort and joy that once was in its Spirit. Says Satan, “Thou knowest the time was, when thy heart was much carried out to joying and rejoicing in Christ; thou dost not forget the time when thy heart used to be full of joy and comfort, but now, how art thou fallen in thy joys and comforts! Therefore thy estate is not good. Thou.

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dost but deceive thyself, to think that ever it was good, for surely if it had, thy joy and comfort would have con tinued. And hereupon the soul is apt to take part with Satan, and say, 'It is even so, I see all is nought, and I have but deceived my own soul.'

Now the remedies against this device are these

Rem. 1. Consider, that the loss of comfort is a separable adjunct from grace. The soul may be full of holy affections, when it is empty of divine consolations. There may be, and often is, true grace, yea, much grace, where there is not a drop of comfort, nor a dram of joy. Comfort is not of the being, but of the well-being of a Christian. God has not so linked these two choice lovers together, but that they may be put asunder. That wisdom which is from above, will never work a man to reason thus, 'I have no comfort, therefore I have no grace; I have lost that joy which once I had, therefore my condition is not good, was never good:' but it will enable a man to reason thus,

Though my comfort is gone, yet the God of my comfort abides ; though my joy is lost, yet the seeds of grace remain.' The best men's joys are as glass, bright and brittle, and evermore in danger of breaking. Spiritual joy is a sun that is often clouded. Though it is almost as precious a flower as paradise affords, yet it is subject to fade and wither.

Rem. 2. Solemnly consider that the precious things that thou still enjoyest, are far better than the joys and comforts that thou hast lost. Thy union with Christ, thy communion with Christ, thy sonship, thy saintship, thy heirship, which thou still enjoyest by Christ, are far better than the comforts thou hast lost by sin. What, though thy comforts be gone? thy union and communion with Christ remain. Though thy comforts be gone, yet thou art a son, though a comfortless son; and an heir, though a comfortless heir; a saint, though a comfortless saint. Though the bag of silver, thy comforts, be lost, yet the box of jewels, thy union with Christ, thy communion with Christ, thy sonship, thy saintship, thy heirship, which thou still enjoyest, is far better than the bag of silver thou hast lost; yea, the least of those precious jewels is more worth than all the comforts in the world. Well, let this be a cordial to comfort thee, a star to lead thee, and a staff to support thee, that thy box of jewels is safe, though thy bag of silver be lost.

Rem. 3. Consider that thy condition is no other than what has been the condition of those precious souls whose names were written upon the heart of Christ, and who are now at rest in the presence of Christ. One day you shall have them praising and rejoicing, the next day mourning and weeping. One day you shall have them singing, The Lord is our portion ; the next day sighing and expostulating with themselves: Why are ye cast down, o our souls? Why is our harp turned to mourning ? and our organ into the voice of them that weep?

Rem. 4. Solemnly consider that the causes of joy and comfort are not always the same. Haply thy former joy and comfort did spring from the witness of the Spirit; he bearing witness to thy soul that thy nature was changed, thy sins pardoned, thy soul reconciled. Now the Spirit may upon some special occasion bear witness to the soul, that the heart of God is dearly set upon it, that he loves it with an everlasting love ; and yet the soul may never enjoy such a testimony all the days of its life again. Though the Spirit be a witnessing Spirit, it is not his office every day to witness to believers their interest in God, Christ, heaven.

Or haply thy former joy and comfort did spring from the newness and suddenness of the change of thy condition. For a man in one hour to have his night turned into day, his darkness turned into light, his bitter into sweet, God's frowns into smiles, his hatred into love, his hell into a heaven, must greatly joy and comfort him. It cannot but make his heart to leap and dance in him ; who in one hour shall see Satan accusing him, his own heart condemning him, the eternal God frowning upon him, the gates of heaven barred against himn, all the creation standing armed at the least beck of God to execute vengeance on him, and the mouth of the infernal pit open to receive him ; now in this hour for Christ to come to the amazed soul, and to say to it, 'I have trod! the wine-press of my Father's wrath for thee; I have laid down my life a ransom for thee; by my blood I have satisfied my Father's justice, and pacified his

procured his love for thee; by my blood I have purchased the pardon of thy sins, thy freedom from hell, and thy right to heaven.' O how wonderfully will this cause the soul to leap for joy. A pardon given unexpectedly into the hand of a malefactor, when he is on the last step of the ladder, ready to be turned off, will cause much joy and rejoicing. The newness and suddenness of the change in bis condition, will cause his heart to leap and rejoice. Yet in process of time, much of his joy will be abated, though his life be as dear to him still as ever it was.

Rem. 5. Consider that God will restore and make up the comforts of his people. Though thy candle be put out, yet God will light it again, and make it burn more bright than ever. Though thy sun for the present be clouded, yet he that rides upon the clouds shall scatter those clouds, and cause the sun to shine and warm thy heart as in former days; as the psalmist speaks, Thou which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side, Psalm lxxi. 20,21. God takes away a little comfort, that he may make room in the soul for a greater degree of comfort. This the prophet Isaiah sweetly shews; I have seen his ways and will heal him ; I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him, and to his mourners, Isa. lyii. 18. Bear up sweetly, 0 precious soul; thy storm shall end in a calm, and thy dark night in a sunshine day. Thy mourning shall be turned into rejoicing, and the waters of consolation shall be sweeter and higher in thy soul than ever. The mercy is surely thine, but the time of giving it is the Lord's. Wait but a little, and thou shalt find the Lord comforting thee on every side.

Dev. 7. The seventh device that Satan has to keep souls in a doubting condition, is by suggesting to the soul its often relapses into the same sin which formerly it has pursued with particular sorrow, grief, shame, and tears, and prayed, complained, and resolved against. Says Satan, Thy heart is not right with God; surely thy estate is not good, thou dost but flatter thyself to think that ever God will eternally own and embrace such a one as thou art, who complainest against sin, and yet relapsest into the same sin; who with tears and groans confessest thy sin, and yet ever and anon art fallen into the same sin.' I confess this is a very sad condition, for a man after he has obtained mercy and pity from the Lord, after God has spoken peace and pardon to him, and wiped the tears from his eyes, and set him upon his legs, to return to folly. Ah, how do relapses lay men open to the greatest afflictions and worst temptations. How do they make the wound to bleed afresh! How do they darken and cloud former assurances and evidences for heaven. How do they put a sword into the hand of conscience to cut and slash the soul. They raise such fears, terrors, horrors, and doubts in the soul, that the soul cannot be so frequent in duty as formerly, nor so fervent in duty as formerly, nor so confident in duty as formerly, nor so bold, familiar, and delightful with God in duty as formerly, nor so constant in duty as formerly. They give Satan an advantage to triumph over Christ; they make the work of repentance more difficult; they make a man's life a burden; and they render death to be very terrible unto the soul.

Now the remedies against this device are these

Rem. 1. Solemnly consider that there are many scriptures that do clearly evidence a possibility of the saints

' falling into the same sins whereof they have formerly repented. I will heal their backslidings, I will love them freely, for mine anger is turned away from him, saith the Lord by the prophet Hosea, Hos. xiv. 4. So the prophet Jeremiah speaks ; Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord, and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you ; for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger for ever. Turn O backsliding Israel, saith the Lord, for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion, Jer. iii. 12, 14. So the Psalmist; They turned back and dealt unfaithfully like their Fathers, they were turned aside like a deceitful bow, Psalm lxxviii. 57. And no wonder, for though their repentance be never so sincere and sound,

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