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born souls their duty, as Gideon did the men of Succoth.

Fifthly, There may be added hereunto, prevailing fears for a season, of "eing utterly rejected by God, of being found a reprobate at the last day. Jonah seems to conclude so, chap. iii. 4. Then I laid, I am cast out of thy fight. I am lost for · ever, God will own me no more. And Heman, Psal. ixxxviii, 4, 5. I am counted with them that go down into the pit: Free among the dead, like the pain that ly in the grave,

whom thou rememberest no more, and they are cut off from thy hand. This may reach the soul, until the sorrows of hell encompass it, and lay hold upon it; until it be deprived of comfort, peace, reit, until it be a terror to its self, and be ready to choose strangling rather than life. This may befal a gracious soul on the account of fin. But yer, because this fights directly against the life of faith, God doth not, unless it be in extraordinary cafes, suffer any of his to ly long in this horrible pit, where there is no water, no refrelhment : But this often falls out, that even the saints theinselves, are left for a season to a fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation, as to the prevailing apprehension of their minds. And,

Sixthly, God secretly sends his arrows into the soul, that wound and gall it, adding pain, trouble, and disquictness to its disconsolation, Pral, xxxviii. 2. T hine arrows stick fast in me, and thy band presseth me foré. Ever and anon in his walking, God shot a sharp piercing arrow, fixing it on his soul that galled, wounded, and perplexed him, filling him with pain and grievous vexation. Thele arrows are God's rebukes, Psal. xxxix. 11. When thou with rebukes doft correct man for iniquity. God fpeaks in his word, and by his opirit, in the couicience, things sharp and bitter in the soul, faftning them so as it cannot shake them out. These Job fo mournfully complains of, chap vi. 4. The Lord fpcaks.words with that efficacy, that they pierce the heart quite through ; and what the issue then is, David declares,



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. xxxviii

. 3: There is no foundness, faith he, in my flesh, because of thine anger, nor is there any rest in my bones, because of my fin. The whole person is brought under the power of them, and all health and rest is ta. ken away; and,

Seventhly, Unspiritedness and disability unto duty, in doing or suffering, attend such a condition, Pfal. xl. 12. Mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up. His fpiritual strength was worn away by fin, so that he was not able to address himself upto any communion with God. The foul now cannot pray

with life and power; cannot hear with joy and profit; cannot do good and communicate with chearfulness and freedom ; cannot meditate with delight and heavenly mindedness ; cannot act for God with zeal and liberty ; cannot think of suffering with boldness and resolution ; but is fick, weak, feeble, and bowed down.

Now, I say, a gracious foul, after much communion with God, may, on the account of fin, by a sense of the guilt of it, be brought into a state and condition, wherein fome, more, or all of these, with other the like perplexities, may be its portion. And these make

up the depths whereof the psalmist here complains. What are the fins, or of what sorts, that ordinarily cast the fouls of believers into theie depths, thall be afterwards declared. I shall now shew both whence it is, that believers may fall into such a condition; as also whence it is that oftentimes, they actually do so.

Whence it is that believers may be brought inco

depths on account of sin.----Nature of the supplies
of grace given in the covenant.----How far they
extend.----Principles of the power of lin.

FIRST, The nature of the covenant wherein all be lievers now walk with God, and wherein all their whole provision for obedience is enwrapped, leaves it possible for them to fall into these depths that have been mentioned. Under the first covenant there was no mercy or



forgiveness provided for any sip : It was neceffary then that it should exbibir a sufficiency of grace to preserve them from every sin, or it could have been of no use at all; this the righteousness of God required, and so it

To have made a covenant wherein there was no provision at all of pardon, and not a sufficiency of grace to keep the covenanters from need of pardon, was not answerable to the good ess and righteousness of God. Bụi he made man upright, who of his own accord sought out many inyentions.

It is not so in the covenant of grace ; there is in it pardon provided in the blood of Christ; it is pot therefore of indispensible necessity, that there should be ad. ministered in it, grace effe&tually preserving from every sin : Yet it is on all accounts to be preferred before the orher; for besides the relief by pardon, which the other knew nothing of, there is in it also much provision against fin, which was not in the other.

First, There is provision made in it, against all and every sin that would disannul the covenant, and make a final separation between God and a soul that hath been once taken into the bond thereof. This provision is absolute ; God hath taken upon bimself the making of this good, and the establishing this law of the coverant, that it shall not by any sin be difannulled, Jer. xxxii. 40. I will, faith God, make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them to do them good, but I will put my fear into their hearts, that they Thall not depart from me. The security hereof depends not on any thing in ourselves.

All that is in us is to be used as a means of the accomplishment of this promise but the event or issue depends absolutely on the faithfulness of God. And the whole certainty and stability of the covenant depends on the efficacy of the grace adminiftred in it, to preserve men from all such fins as would disannul it.

Secondly, There is in this covenant provision made for constant peace and consolation, notwithstanding, and against the guilt of such lips, as through their infirmities


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and temptations believers are daily exposed unto. Tho'
they fall into sins every day, yet they do not fall into
depths every day. In the tenor of this covenant, there
is a consistency between a sense of sin unto humiliation
and peace, with strong consolation. After the apostle
had described the whole conflict that believers have
with fin, and the frequent wounds which they receive
thereby, which makes them cry out for deliverance,
Rom. vii. 24. he yet concludes, chap. viii. 1. that there
is no condemnation unto them, which is a sufficient and
stable foundation of peace. So i John ii. 1. These things
have I written unto you, that you fin not; and if any man
fin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ
the righteous. Our great business and care ought to be,
that we fin rot ; but yet, when we have done our ut:
most, if we say, we have no fin, we deceive' ourselves,
chap. i. 8. what then shall poor, sinful, guilty creatures
do? why, let them go to the Father, by their advocate,
and they shall not fail of pardon and peace. And faith
Paul, Heb, vi. 17, 18. God is abundantly willing that
we might have strong confolation, who fly for refuge to lay
bold on the hope set before us. What was his condition
who fled of old to the city of refuge for safery, from
whence this expression is taken? He was guilty of
blood, though shed at unawares; and so, as that he was
to die for it, if he escaped not to the city of refuge.
Though we may have the guilt of fias upon us, that
the law pronounceth death unto, yet flying to Christ
for refuge, God hath provided not only safery, but
strong consolation for us allo. Forgiveness in the blood
of Christ, doth not only take guilt from the foul, but
trouble also from the conscience. And in this respect
doth the apostle at large set forth the excellency of his
facrifice, Heb. x. The sacrifices of the old law, he tells
us, could not make perfect the worshippers, ver. 1,
which he proves, ver. 2. because they did never take
away, throughly and really conscience of sin, that is,
depths or distresses of conscience about fin.
faith he, Jesus Christ in the covenant of grace hath for

But now,

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ever perfected them that were sanctified, ver. 14. providing for them fuch stable peace and consolation, as that. they shall not need renewing of sacrifices every day, ver. 18. This is the great mystery of the gospel in the blood of Christ; that those who fin every day, should have peace with God all their days, provided their fins fall within the compass of these infirmities, against which this consolation is provided.

Thirdly, There is provision made of grace to prevent and peserve the soul from great and enormous fins, such as in their own nature are apt to wound conscience, and cast the person into such depths and intanglements as wherein he shall have neither rest nor peace : Of what sort these fins are, shall be afterwards declared. There is in this covenant grace for grace, John i. 16. and abundance of grace, administered from the all-fulness of Christ; grace reigneth in it, Rom. vi. 6. destroying and crucifying the body of sin.

But this provision in the covenant of grace, against peace ruining, soul perplexing fins, is not, as to the administration of it, absolute. There are covenant com mands and exhortations, on the attendance whereunto, the administration of much covenant-grace doth depend. To watch, pray, improve faith, to stand on our guard continually, to mortify fin, to fight against temptations, with stedfastness, diligence, constancy, are everywhere prescribed unto us; and that in order unto the insurance of the grace mentioned. These things are on our part the condition of the administration of that abundant grace, which is to preserve us from soul-intangliog sins: So Peter informs us, 2 Epist. i. 3. The divine power of God hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness. We have from it an habitual furnishment arid provision for obedience at all times : Also, faith he, ver. 4. He hath given unto us great and precious promises, -that by them we might be partakers of the divine nature; what then is in this blessed estate and condition required of us, that we may make a due improvement of the provision made for us, and enjoy the comforting influence of those


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