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tural lust of his son, ver. 22. and this leads him to the devoting of that son, and his posterity, unto destruction, ver. 24, 25. all which, joined with the sense of God's just indignation, from whom he had newly received that tremendously miraculous deliverance, must needs overwhelm him with sorrow and anxiety of fpirit.

The matter is more clear in David. Under the Old Testament none loved God more than he, none was lov. ed of God more than he. The paths of faith and love wherein he walked, are unto the most of us, like the way of an eagle in the air, too high and hard for us; yet to this very day, đo the cries of this man after God's own heart, sound in our ears. Sometimes he complains of broken bones, sometimes of drowning depths, sometimes of waves and water-spours, sometimes of wounds and diseases, sometimes of wrath and the sorrows of hell, every where of his fins, the burden and trouble of them. Some of the occasion of his depths, darkness, intanglements, and distresses we all know. As no man had more grace than he, so none is a greater instance of the power of fin, and the effects of its guilt upon the conscience than he. Bar instances of this kind are obvious, and occur to the thoughts of all, so that they need not be repeated. I fhall then shew,

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First, What in particular is intended by the depths and intanglements, on the account of sin, whereunto gracious souls, after much communion with God, may be cast.

SECONDLY, Whence it comes to pass, that so they may be, and that oftentimes so they are.

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FIRST, For the first, foine or all of these things following do concur to the depths complained of.

First, Loss of the wonted sense of the love of God, which the foul did formerly enjoy. There is a twofold sense of the love of God, whereof believers in this world may be made partakers; there is the transient acting of the heart by the Holy Ghost, with ravishing un

speakable

speakable joys, in apprehension of God's love, and our relation unto him in Christ. This, or the immediate effect of it, is called, joy unspeakable, and full of glory, i Pet. i, 8. The Holy Ghost shining into the heart, with a clear evidence of the souls interest in all gospel mercies, caufeth it to leap for joy, to exult and triumph in the Lord; as being for a season carried above all sense and thought of (in, self, temptation, or trouble. But as God gives the bread of his house to all his children, so these dainties, and high cordials, he reserveth only for the seasons and persons, wherein, and to whom, he knows them to be needful and useful. Believers may be without this sense of love, and yet be in no depths. A man may be strong and healthy, who hath wholesome food tho' he never drink spirits and cordials.

Again, There is an abiding, dwelling sense of God's love upon the hearts of those of whom we speak, who have had long communion with God, consisting in a prevailing gospel persuasion, denoting both the oppofition that is made unto it, by Satan and unbelief, and its efficacy in the conqueft thereof. This is the root from whence all that peace, and ordinary consolation which believers in this world are made partakers of, do spring and grow. This is that which quickens and enlivens them unto duty, Psal. cxvi. 12, 13. and is the salt that renders their sacrifices and performances savoury to God, and refreshing to themselves; this supports then under their trials, gives them peace, hope, and comfort, in life and death, Psal. xxiii. 4. Though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me. A sense of God's prelepce in love, is fulficient to rebuke all anxiety and fears in the worst and most dreadful condition, and not only so, but to give in the midst of them, folid consolacion and joy. So the prophet expresseth it, Hab. iii. 17, 18. Although the figtree should not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat,' the flocks shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no berd in the stalls; yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. And this is that sense of love, which the choicest believers may lose on the account of fin ; this is one step into their depths. They shall not retain any such gospel apprehenfion of it, as that it should give them reit, peace, or consolation; that it should influence their souls with delight in duty, or supportment in trial; and the nature hereof will be afterwards more fully explained.

Secondly, Perplexed thoughtfulness about their great and wretched unkindness towards God, is another part of the depths of fin-iolaogled souls. So David complains, Pfal. lxxvii.

3.

I remembered God, faith he, and was troubled. How comes the remembrance of God to be unto him a matter of trouble? In other places he professeth, that it was all his relief and supportinent : How comes it to be an occasion of his trouble ? All had not been well between God and him; and whereas former. ly, in his remembrance of God, his thoughts were chiefly exercised about his love and kindess, now they were wholly poffest with his own sin and unkindoess: This causeth his trouble. Herein lies a share of the intanglements occasioned by fin. Saith such a soul in its self ; « Foolish creature, hast thou thus requited the Lord ? 6 Is this the return that thou hast made unto him for all 66 his love, his kindness, his consolations, mercies? Is " this thy kindness for him, thy love to himn? Is this “ thy kindness to thy friend? Is this thy boasting of him, " that thou hast found so much goodness and excellency « in him and his love, that though all men should for“ sake him, thou never wouldst do fo? Are all thy “ promises, all thy engagements, which thou madft unto « God, in times of distress, upon prevailing obligations, “ and mighty impressions of his good Spirit upon thy " foul, now come to this, that thou shouldīt fo foolishly “ forget, neglect, despise, cast him off? Well, now " he is gone, he is withdrawn from thee, and what wilt “ thou do? Art thou not even ashamed to defire him to “ return." They were thoughts of this nature, that oyt Peter to the heart upon his fall. The foul finds them cruel as death, and strong as the grave. It is bound in the chains of them, and cannot be comforted, Psal. xxxviii. 3, 4, 5, 6. And herein confifts a great part of the depths enquired after. For this consideration excites, and puts an edge upon all grieving, straitning, per. plexing affections, which are the only means whereby the foul of a man may be inwardly troubled, or trouble itself; such are sorrow and shame, with that self-displicency and revenge, wherewith they are attended. And as their reason and object in this case do transcend all other occasions of them, so on no other account do they cause such severe and perplexing reflections on the soul as on this.

cruel

Thirdly, A revived sense of justly deserved wrath, belongs also to these depths. This is as the opening of old wounds': When men have passed through a sense of wrath, and have obtained deliverance and rest thro the blood of Christ, to come to their old thoughts again, to be trading afresh with hell, curse, law, and wrath, it is a depth indeed. And this often befals gracious souls, on the account of fin, Psal, lxxxviii. 7. Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, saith Heman : It pressed and crushed him sorely. There is a self-judging as to the desert of wrath, which is consistent wish a comforting persuasion of an interest in Christ. This the soul finds sweetness in, as it lies in a subserviency to the exaltation of grace; but in this case, the soul is left under it without that relief. It plungeth itself into the curse of the law, and flames of bell, without any cheering supportment from the blood of Christ. This is walking in the valley of the shadow of death. The soul converseth with death, and what seems to ly in a tendency thereunto. The Lord also, to increase his perplexities, puts new life and spirit into the law; gives it a fresh commission, as it were, to take such a one? will never, in this world, be wanting unto its dury.

Fourthly, Oppressing apprehensions of temporal judgments, concur herein also; for God will judge his people; and judgment often begins at the house of God.' Tho' B

God,

God, faith such an one, should not cast me off for ever, though he should pardon my iniquities, yet he may fo take vengeance of my inventions, as to make me feed on gall and wormwood all my days, Psal. cxix. 120. faith David, My flesh trembleth for fear of thee, and I am afraid of thy judgments. He knows not what the great God may bring upon him ; and being full of a sense of the guilt of fin, which is the bottom of this whole condition, every judgment of God is full of terror unto him. Sometimes he thinks, God may lay open the filth of his heart, and make him a scandal and a reproach in the world, Psal. xxxix. 8. Oh, faith he, make me not a reproach to the foolish. Sometimes he trembles, left God Thould strike him suddenly with some signal judgment, and take him out of the world, in darkness and forrow; fo faith David, Take me not away in thy wrath. Sometimes he fears left he shall be like Jonali, and raise a storm in his family, in the church whereof he is a member, or in the whole nation, Let them not be ashamed for my Jake. These things make his heart soft, as Job speaks, and to melt within him. When any affliction or public judgment of God is fastened to a quick living sense of sin in the conscience, it overwhelms the foul; whether it be only justly feared, or be actually inflicted, as was the case of Joseph's brethren in Egypt. The soul is then rolled from one deep to another. Sense of fin casts it on the consideration of its affliction; and affliction turns it back on a sense of lin. So deep calleth unto deep, and ali God's billows go over the soul; and they do each of them make the soul tender, and sharpen its sense unto the other. Affliction softens the soul; so that the sense of fin cuts the deeper, and makes the larger wounds; and the sense of fin weakens the soul, and makes affliction fit the heavier, and so increaseth its burden. In this case, that affliction which a man in his usual state of spiritual peace, could have embraced as a sweet pledge of love, is as goads and thorns in his fide, depriving him of all rest and quietness.; God makes it, as thorns and briars wherewith he will teach stub

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