Lord Chastens

Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. ~ Job 5:17, Revelation 3:19

I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: ~ 2 Samuel 7:14

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined,
~ Zechariah 13:9 a-b

The Trouble of Mind and the Disease of Melancholy, by Timothy Rogers (1658-1728). Here are two excepts. The above audio was taken from another part of text.

Part 1

  1. The Anger of God and why He is sometimes angry with His own servants.
  2. How and when is God Angry with His people.
    1. Resolution or will to punish His sinning creatures.
    2. Treatment of His people-sickness, pain, fear and wars.
    3. He withdrawals the cheerful influences and quickening motives of His Holy Spirit.
    4. He shuts out our prayers leaving us in despair.
    5. He sends long and sore affliction on body and soul.
    6. He withholds His blessings from all methods that are designed to helps us.
    a. (Psalm 99. 8)- Thou answeredst them, O LORD our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions.
    7. Paternal castigory wrath but not destroying fury.
    a. Moses, Aaron and Miriam.
    b. (Psalm 74.1)- O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? Why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?
    c. (Psalm 88.7)- Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.
    d. (Lamentations 1.12)- Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.
    e. (Lamentations 2.1)- How hath the LORD covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger, and cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel, and remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger.
    f. (Lamentations 3.1)- I AM the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.
  3. Reasons for anger,
  4. Sins are greater aggravation than the sins of others,
    a. (Amos 3.2)- You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.
    2. He is angry with His own to show the profane world that he is no respecter of people.
    a. (Deuteronomy 29.22, 24)- So that the generation to come of your children that shall rise up after you, and the stranger that shall come from a far land, shall say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses which the LORD hath laid upon it; Even all nations shall say, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this land? What meaneth the heat of this great anger?
  5. The anger of God towards His people is but for a short season and why He is pleased to order it so. A. He remembers the frame of His poor people.
  6. (Psalm 103.14)- For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
    2. (1Samuel 24.14)- After whom is the king of Israel come out? After whom dost thou pursue? After a dead dog, after a flea.
    3. (Isaiah 57.16)- For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.
    4. (Psalm 78. 36-39)- Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his into the city. I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee: and I will not enter, For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.
    5. (Job 13.25)- Wilt thou break a leaf driven to and fro? and wilt thou pursue the dry stubble?
    6. (Job 10.9)- Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again?
  7. He is obligated to it by His covenant.
    1. (Psalm 89.31-33)- If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes? Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.
  8. Whatever His present dispensations are, He will never throw off the relation of a Father to them.
    1. (Psalm 103.13)- Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
    2. (Jeremiah 31.20)- Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he a pleasant child? For since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD.
    3. (Revelation 3:19)- As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
  9. He delights in mercy.
    1. (Psalm 103.8-9)- The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
    2. (2 Corinthians 1.3)- Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
    3. (Micah 7. 18)- Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.
    4. (Isaiah 66.22)- For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.
  10. For His Own Name Sake.
    1. (1 King 18.24)- And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.
    2. (Hosea 11.9)
    3. (Isaiah 48.9)
    4. (Exodus 34.6-7)
  11. He would make a difference between the righteous and the wicked.
    1. (Daniel 4.17)- Advantages.
  12. None have cause to conclude that anger at present; therefore they are in a state of wrath.
    This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
  13. (Judges 6.13)- And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.
  14. (Isaiah 49. 14-15)- But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
  15. (Isaiah 40.27)- Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God?
  16. (Lamentations 3.5-10)- He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travail. He hath set me in dark places, as they that be dead of old. He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy. Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer. He hath enclosed my ways with hewn stone, he hath made my paths crooked. He was unto me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places.
  17. (Job 10.16-17)- or it increaseth. Thou huntest me as a fierce lion: and again thou shewest thyself marvellous upon me. Thou renewest thy witnesses against me, and increasest thine indignation upon me; changes and war are against me.
  18. (Job 19.6, 10-11)- Know now that God hath overthrown me, and hath compassed me with his net. He hath destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and mine hope hath he removed like a tree. He hath also kindled his wrath against me, and he counteth me unto him as one of his enemies.
  19. We have cause to be patient in Suffering by God‟s displeasure seeing they are but a moment.
  20. (Micah 7.9)- I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness.
  21. (Psalm 31.22)- For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.
  22. If we are impatient we provoke Him to further wrath.
  23. We are no way injured and God is always just.
  24. That we may bear His anger in patience, let us consider what mercies He gives us.
    a. (Job 11.6)- And that he would shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is. Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.
    b. (Job 35.15)- But now, because it is not so, he hath visited in his anger; yet he knoweth it not in great extremity:
  25. He used the same methods in anger as other dearest servants: Moses, Job, Heman, David and Asaph.
    a. (1Peter 4.12)- Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
    b. (1Peter 5.9)- Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
  26. Compare present suffering with happiness to come.
    a. (Psalm 30.5)- For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
    b. (Isaiah 54.7-8)- For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.
    c. (2Corinthians 4.17)- For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
    d. (2Corinthians 11. 23-27)- Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
    e. (Job 7.15-16)- So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life. I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity.
    f. (Romans 8.18)- For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
    g. (Romans 16.20)- And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be witHebrewsh you. Amen.
    h. (Isaiah 12.1-2)- And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
  27. The Great Love of Christ in suffering the wrath of God, which is all the more to be admired in that He bore it for us, and not for the fallen angels; and because of that He is now, from His own experience, more qualified to relieve us of our temptations.
  28. Christ did not bear the wrath of God for the fallen angels; they fell from Him as we did, but He did not design to raise them again.
    1. (Hebrews 2.16)-For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
  29. It was the great love of Christ to bear the anger of God because now His poor, tempted servants have one to whom they may repair in all their straits.
    1. (Hebrews 2.18)- For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that are tempted.
    2. (Job 19.21)- Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me.
    3. (Hebrews 4.15)- For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
    4. (Isaiah 53.3)- He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
    5. Thomas Goodwin’s Christ’s Heart in Heaven.
  30. The unreasonableness of long-continued anger among good people; also that the temporary effects of God‟s displeasure are more eligible than the wrath of men; the excellence of religion, and that the enemies of the Church have no cause to gloat over it because if their own wickedness; upon which account Christians have no reason to envy the prosperity of the wicked.
  31. Unreasonable anger among good people.
    1. (Ephesians 4.26-27)- Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.
    2. (Matthew 5.23-24)- Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
    3. (Ecclesiastes 7.9)- Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.
    4. (Ephesians 4.32)- And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
    5. (James 1.19-20)- Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
    6. (Genesis 49.5-7)- Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.
    7. (Proverbs 12.10)- A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
    8. (2Samuel 24.13-14)- So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me. And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.
    9. (Hosea 11.8)- How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim? mine heart is turned within me, my repentings are kindled together.
    10. (Psalm 78.38)- But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.
    11. (Psalm 41.7-8)- All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt. An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.
    12. (Psalm 42.3)- My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
    13. (2Samuel 16.7-8)- And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial: The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and the LORD hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man.
    14. (Proverbs 24.17-18)- Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.
    15. (Zechariah 1.15)- And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.
    16. (Psalm 75.8)- For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.
  32. The length of pain for a month or two, or a whole year-in light of the pain throughout eternity.
  33. How men think that an hour or two attending upon God is a great while. That fast-days and Sabbaths are long.
    1. (Nahum 1.5-6)- The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.
    2. (Psalm 29.4-7)- The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn. The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.
    3. (Psalm 7.11)- God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
    4. (Philippians 1.27-30)- Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
    5. (James 1.2-4)- My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
  34. The duty of such as have never been under a sense of God‟s wrath and terror; and what the doleful condition of a soul is that apprehends itself to be under His hot displeasure.
  35. Seeing that God is often angry with his own servants, what cause have those who fear Him to bless Him that He is not angry with you, and that you do not feel His displeasure.
    Special care in self examination lest one sounds like the Pharisee in his prayers of thanks.
  36. Do not presume for all of this, however, for though He is not angry yet with you, He may one day be.
    1. (Psalm 30.6-7)- And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.
    2. Once you have a serious and fixed apprehension of the displeasure of God, no creature can yield you the least comfort.
    a. (Psalm 38.2-3)- For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore. There
    is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones
    because of my sin.
    b. (Job 7.13-14)- When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my
    complaints; Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions:
    c. (Job 3.24)- For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the
    waters.
  37. While you are under the sense of God‟s displeasure, you will find no comfort in His ordinances; every part of His blessed Word will be as a sword cutting to your very soul.
  38. All this will be attended with great anguish of spirit and with great tribulation.
    a. (Job 16.12)- I was at ease, but he hath broken me asunder: he hath also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark.
    b. (Job 13.26)- For thou writest bitter things against me, and makest me to possess the iniquities of my youth.
    c. (Psalm 116.3)- The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.
    d. (Job 6.4)- For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.
    e. (Psalm 88.16)- Thy fierce wrath goeth over me; thy terrors have cut me off.
  39. That which afflicts these troubled souls is the fear they have that this displeasure will be eternal.
    a. (Psalm 77.7-8)- Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore?
    b. (Lamentations 3.18)- And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the LORD:
    c. (Psalm 88.5)- Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou
    rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand.
  40. If you have not yet been under the apprehension of God‟s displeasure, take warning from those who are so; do not dare to venture upon any sin when you behold their grief and their sorrows for their iniquities.
    1. (Job7.20)- I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?
    2. (Deuteronomy 17.13)- And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more
    presumptuously.
  41. Beware of provoking God; dread the beginnings of His wrath.
    1. (Psalm 2.12)- Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
    2. (Proverbs 20.2)- The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul.
    3. (Psalm 78.49)- He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them.
    4. (Psalm 18.13-15)- The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.
    5. (Psalm 104.32)- He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.
    6. (Job 9.13)- If God will not withdraw his anger, the proud helpers do stoop under him.
  42. Strive to be safe from the eternal wrath of God, from that wrath which will not be for a moment, but forever.
    1. (Job 36.18)- Because there is wrath, beware lest he take thee away with his stroke: then a great ransom cannot deliver thee.
    2. (Psalm 139.8)- If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
  43. Speak kindly and compassionately to those whom you perceive to be under the sense of God‟s anger.
    1. (Job 19.2-3)- How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words? These ten times have ye reproached me: ye are not ashamed that ye make yourselves strange to me.
    2. (Job 16.3-5)- Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest? I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul’s stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should relieve your grief.
    3. (Psalm 69.20-21)- Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
    4. (Psalm 123.4)- Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.
    5. (Obadiah 12)- But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.
    6. (Job 19.28)- But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me?
    7. (Isaiah 50.4)- The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.
    8. (Job 22.23)- If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles.

VII. Showing what is to be done by those who think God is angry with them: the first thing is prayer, as a principal help against their troubles; with some objections of tempted persons answered.

  1. If you are under the sense of God‟s anger for your sin, pray earnestly to Him to turn His wrath away.
    1. (Psalm 6.1-4)
    2. Objections
    a. “Alas, I cannot pray. My prayers have grown very troublesome and uneasy to me.
    1.) The folly of sin, causing us to hate that which has cost us so clearly.
    2.) The Spirit is withdrawn but He will return upon our earnest addresses for His grace.
    3.) Our indisposition to the duty of prayer is no sign that we are void of life.
    4.) It is a more excellent state of soul to pray to God, and to persevere in it, when you have no more comfort than what you have.
    5.) The poor, troubled people who complain of their deadness and incapacity to manage the duty of prayer ought to consider what an influence their fears have upon their bodies; fear naturally contracts and dulls the heart.
    b. “It is not for me to pray. I am a sinner enough already, God knows; and would you have me aggravate my guilt?”

1.) The exhortation to Simon Magus. (Acts 8.22)- Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
c. “But I have prayed for several months and for several years…”
1.) One of the greatest temptations wherewith Satan assaults troubled souls.
a.) There is none but God who can help you.
b.) (Psalm 51.12,17)- Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
c.) (Isaiah 57.19)- I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.
d.) (Job 34.29)- When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only:

  1. Though you are under the sense of God‟s anger, you have an encouragement to pray from many promises, and from the office and the name of Christ.
    1. (Hebrews 7.25)-He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him.
    2. “Let your soul be set upon the highest mountain that ever any creature was yet set upon; and let it be enlarged to take in and view the most spacious prospect, both of sin and misery, and the difficulties of being saved, that ever any poor, humbled soul cast within itself; yea, join to all these the objections and hindrances of your salvation that the heart of man can suppose or invent against itself; lift up your eyes and look to the utmost that you can see-and Christ, by His intercession, is able to save you beyond the horizon and furthest compass of your thoughts, even to the utmost and the worst case that the heart of man can suppose.” Thomas Goodwin‟s The Triumph of Faith from Christ’s Intercession.
    3. (Isaiah 61.1)- The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
    4. (Jeremiah 10.24)- O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.
    5. (Psalm 39.10)- Remove thy stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand.
    6. (Psalm 38.21-22)- Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me. Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.
    7. (Psalm 85.4-7)- Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.
    Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations? Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? Shew us thy mercy, O LORD, and grant us thy salvation.
    8. (Psalm 138.3)- In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
    9. (Psalm 143.2)- And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.

VIII. Faith in Christ as another help under the sense of God‟s displeasure, and the various tendencies it has to calm an afflicted soul under long and sore trials.

  1. Faith quiets the soul by directing it to consider the nature, the promise, and the Word of God.
    1. (Isaiah 27.4-5)- Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.
    2. (Hebrews 13.8)- Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
    3. (Psalm 42.11)- Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
    4. (Exodus 34.6-7)- And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
    5. “So that when a poor soul in distress is not able to say, I see such or such signs, or any evidence in myself, whereby I can say God is my God, or that Christ is mine ; yet because I see free grace enough in God, and righteousness in Christ, which I, being a sinful man, and not a devil, may therefore be capable of, and may come to have an interest in them, though I know nothing in myself whereby I can challenge any present interest ; and because Grace and Mercy is his name, and Our Righteousness his Son’s name, therefore I do cast myself upon both for pardon and favour, and thereupon my soul leans, stays, and abides, and from these it will not be driven. So that these two apprehensions meeting in the heart in truth, help to make up this resting upon his name here spoken of : namely, first, that there is such free grace, good-will, and mercy, &,c., in God, and that Jesus Christ is appointed and made to be our righteousness ; and, secondly, that I am capable of, and may come to have an interest in both these, and that though there be nothing in me which may challenge an interest in them, yet there is nothing that excludes me ; whereupon I cast myself upon God for both, and there rest ;”- Pt 2 pg. 326 of Thomas Goodwin‟s A Child of Light Walking in Darkness.
  2. Faith will greatly help us, as it gives a right understanding of the nature of those long and severe afflictions whereby we are apt to conclude that God is angry with us.
    1. (James 5.11)- Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
  3. Faith will help us as it reveals, and then fortifies us against, the power of Satan and his wiles.
    1. People greatly wrong both the devil and melancholy people by calling the unavoidable effects of their disease „the temptations of Satan,‟ and the language of that disease a compliance with them. They ascribe to the devil a greater power than he has, and vex the diseased person more than they need to do. For though I do not question that an evil spirit, through the permission of God, is the cause of many sicknesses that come upon our bodies, yet there are also many such that are the result of a disordered motion of the natural spirits, and in which the devil has nothing at all to do. But as it is the common custom of cruel and barbarous persons to set upon the weak, and to trample on those who are already thrown down, so it is common for the devil to take occasion from out bodily indispositions to attack and molest our spirits, which are bereaved even of that force which they used to have when the house in which they dwelt was at ease, and free from those that they are always under at such seasons. For then it is night with us, and in the night those beasts of prey range abroad that stay in their dens during the brightness of the day.
    2. (Ephesians 6.16)- Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
    3. (Luke 22.31-32)- And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
  4. Faith will greatly help us under the apprehensions of God‟s displeasure, since it leads us to the consideration of Christ as crucified.
    1. (Psalm 130.7)- Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.
  5. Faith will remove the troubles that we have from the sense of God‟s displeasure by conveying to us that life and strength from Christ which will enable us to subdue all of our spiritual enemies.
    1. (Philippians 4.13)- I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
    2. (Colossians 1.11)- Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
    3. (Isaiah 33.24)- And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein
    shall be forgiven their iniquity.
    4. (1 Corinthians 15.56-57)- The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But
    thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
  6. Faith will give us relief under the apprehensions of God‟s displeasure from our sin, as it will show us the period and conclusion of those miseries which we are now groaning under.
    1. (Revelation 3.21)- To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
  7. The direct acts of faith, as the most suitable to a distressed soul, as also of waiting upon God; with several considerations to enforce it. And a person in great affliction ought to hope it may be better with Him.
  8. Remember that the foundation of all our peace and comfort is Christ alone, and faith in Him.
  9. Mortification, self-denial, and other graces are the superstructure that is laid upon it, but truly all that we can do in great and deep affliction, and in sore distress of soul, is only look up to Christ as a poor, wounded, bleeding man looks and cries to one who passes on the road for help. “Have mercy on us, Son of David.”
  10. Wait upon Christ for mercy. (Psalm 123.2)-“Behold as the eyes of servants look unto the hands of their masters, and as the maiden unto the hands of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that He have mercy on us.”
  11. (Isaiah 28.16)-“he that believeth shall not make haste.”
  12. In patience, we ought, in humble silence, to possess our souls, and to approve of all of the dispensations and works of God; for how is it possible for us not to manifest our grief in doleful expressions.
  13. Christ‟s own example of grief and sorrow.
    a. (Hebrews 5.7)- Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
    b. (Matthew 27.46)- And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
    c. (Psalm 32.3-4)- When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
  14. Christ‟s own servants
    a. (Psalm 22.19)- But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help
    me.
    b. (Psalm 31.2)- Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock,
    for an house of defence to save me.
    c. (Psalm 69.17)- And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me
    speedily.
    d. (Psalm 102.2)- Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine
    ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.
    e. (Psalm 40.17)- But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my
    help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.
    f. (Psalm 22.1-3)- My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
  15. Those who are exercised with severe and sharp trials may arrive at this excellent disposition of being able to wait still upon God, consider these four things.
    1. Consider how long God has waiting upon you.
    a. (Jeremiah 13.27)- I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem. wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be?
    2. Consider the sovereignty, the greatness, and the wisdom of God.
    a. “Though Job was a pattern of patience, yet he had deep tinctures of impatience… but
    He used no other medium to convince Job than the greatness of His majesty and the unlimitedness of His sovereignty.”-The Existence and Attributes of God by Stephen Charnock.
    b. “(Isaiah 30.18)-And therefore will the Lord wait, that He may be gracious unto you; and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you. For the Lord is a God of judgment; blessed are all they that wait for Him.”
    3. Consider how great the mercies are that we are able to wait for.
  16. Eternal Sabbath.
    1.) (Psalm 37.3-7)- Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
    2.) (James 5.7-8)- Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
    3.) (Matthew 26.40)- And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
    4.) (Isaiah 64.4)- For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.
    5.) (Lamentations 3.26, 31-32)- It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. For the LORD will not cast off for ever: But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.
    6.) (Zephaniah 2.3)- Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’s anger.
    7.) (Joel 2.14)- Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?
    8.) (Jeremiah 8.18-20)- When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me. Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country: Is not the LORD in Zion? is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities? The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.
    9.) (Isaiah 8.17)-And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. (Psalm 27.13-14)- I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
  17. People under great trouble and anguish of soul are not to look for assurance or great joy all of a sudden, but, as far as they can, are to inquire into the reasons for God‟s displeasure towards them, and to look to Him through their great Mediator, and not to further provoke Him; also how they may know when afflictions are sent and then in wrath and when in love.
  18. Cautions
    1. Do not think that, because you have read of some who have had heaven meet them with angelic triumphs and consolations, therefore you must drink as full draughts of the same rivers of pleasure, or that they will follow you as much as them in this wilderness.
    2. It is enough for such unprofitable servants, and such great sinners as we have been, that we look for the Promised Land.
    3. (Song of Solomon 2.3-4)- As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.
    4. “The passionate feelings of praise and joy are not essential to holiness, though when they are bestowed they greatly quicken our obedience and enlarge our hearts. If we resolutely adhere to God, He will give us what will be sufficient for us. Our very fears shall increase our comfort afterwards.”
  19. Counsels
    1. Inquire into the causes of God‟s anger.
    2. (Job 10.2)- will say unto God, Do not condemn me; shew me wherefore thou contendest with me.
    3. (Psalm 74.1-2)- God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture? Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.
    4. “When a man is exercised with long and sharp sickness and affliction, to know the causes of it may be useful to promote his humiliation at the present, and make him avoid the like for the time to come, if he recovers.”
    5. (Isaiah 55.8-9)- For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
    6. (Hosea 3.4-5)- For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.
    7. (Ephesians 1.5)- Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
    8. (Jeremiah 2.25)- Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst: but thou saidst, There is no hope: no; for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go.
    9. “…let us in the case even of sore afflictions be afraid to sin; for that devil who tempts us will immediately vex and torment us all the more for it.”-The Soul’s Conflict by Richard Sibbes.
  20. How shall I know when afflictions are in wrath?
    1. When they come with great violence and suddenly destroy, as in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah and in the great deluge.
    a. (Psalm 58.9)- Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath.
    b. (Nahum 1.9)- What do ye imagine against the LORD? He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.
    2. When there is no discernible mercy in the cross. But only what is evil.
    3. When one evil makes way for another, and none are sanctified.
    4. When the affliction brings some special sin to remembrance, and when sin itself deprives us of a mercy; when intemperance brings sickness, ambition brings disgrace, or covetousness and an overeager desire for riches bring poverty.
    5. But then, even great crosses are in mercy;
    a. When God not only afflicts us, but also teaches us at the same time.
    b. When we can be thankful for that comfort which we have lost, that is if it is an outward loss; for I do not see any person can be thankful for desertion while it remains upon him.
    c. When all of our loses are made up in God, and in the graces of His Spirit.
  21. Present distress of conscience is no sign of reprobation. There may be too great trouble for sin. And when it is excessive, former experiences may be helpful to afflicted people. God will not judge persons who have been good according to what they are in the woeful disease of melancholy.
  22. Do not judge eternal state by what you now feel.
    1. (Psalm 31.21-24)- Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city. For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee. O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.
  23. A sin to be overly troubled, even for sin itself.
  24. Consider that God is not only severe, but very good; that he is not only angry, but reconcilable and willing to be at peace again.
  25. Occasions when our sorrow for sin is too great.
    1. When it hinders our regular proceeding in the true judgment of things.
    2. When it drives us away from God, the sight of our wounds should make us hasten to the Great Physician for speedy relief.
    a. Our grief for sin is too great when it causes us to totally despair, to give ourselves as hopeless and lost forever.‟
    b. We weep too much for sin when we see others, whom we reckon to be as great sinners as ourselves, to be in health and peace while we groan and languish, and we say we have cleansed our hearts in vain.‟
    c. (Psalm 73.11)- And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?
    3. When that trouble not only indisposes us for duty-for if it is attended with pain and trouble it will be apt to do so-but when it makes us altogether omit out duty that we owe to God.
    4. When our sorrow puts us upon indirect means of relief, when we put that trust in men that should be placed in God.
    a. (Judges 13.23)- … If the LORD were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a
    burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all
    these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.
    b. „It is commonly said by others who do not know what melancholy is, “Why do you think and pore so much? Divert yourselves, think of something else.” But it is no more possible for people, where this disease comes with violence, to divert their thoughts than it is possible for a man to be alert in an apoplexy, or calm in a raging fever; no more than a man who has a broken arm or leg can walk and act as he used to before.‟
    c. „…rational and spiritual methods will not suffice to cure this; for you may as well expect that a good sermon or comfortable words will cure epilepsy, palsy, or a broken head simply because this disease works on the spirits and fantasy, on which words of advice also work. Therefore, such words, and Scripture and reason, may somewhat resist it, or may palliate or allay some of the effects at present; but as soon as time has worn off the force and effects of these reasons, the distemper immediately returns. And it is as natural for a melancholy person to fear, and to meditate on terror, as it is for a sick man to groan, or for one in health to breathe. It is certain that tenacious, obstinate distempers, such as this one in melancholy, will not be relieved by mere words or sentences; they cannot indeed cast out their troubled thoughts; they cannot turn away their minds; they can think of nothing but what they do think just as a man with a toothache cannot forbear to think of his pain. To not so think is to be cured, which they would be glad to be. Though others urge us to rule our thoughts, it gives us no relief, but only adds to our misery to be frequently urged to do that which we cannot do.‟-Christian Directory by Richard Baxter.
    d. When any are in deep melancholy, so far as they have reason left, they should not increase their own terror by thinking that all their former prayers and endeavors have been to no purpose because they do not perceive at that time what effect they have had.

XII. The various ends that God has in allowing His servants to be under long afflictions, spiritual distress, and anguish.

  1. It is certainly good for the universe, for God does nothing in vain. And when any part suffers, it is for the good of the whole.
  2. He does this so that others may be convinced by their senses what a dreadful God He is, and how terrible thing it is to sin.
    1. (Amos 3.8)- The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?
  3. God does it to keep us from carnal security all our lives.
    1. (Psalms 9.20)-Put them in fear, O Lord, that the nations may know themselves to be but men.
    2. “We who have tasted so much of His displeasure have cause to rejoice with trembling. Every remembrance of that doleful time must be to us as a new motive to obedience, and a powerful restraint of sin.”
    a. (Hebrews 12.10)- For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure;
    but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
  4. God does this to convince us of His own all sufficiency, and the nothingness of ourselves and of all other creatures.
    1. Jesus and the resurrection of Lazarus.
    a. (John 11.6-7)- When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.
    2. (2 Corinthians 1.3)- Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
    3. (Isaiah 57.17-19)- For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.
  5. To reveal more clearly to us the corruption and defilement of our nature.
  6. From our experience Christ may be forever precious to us.
    1. “Welcome, Thou only Friend of our souls; welcome, Thou dear Physician and Healer of our souls. Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”
    2. (Song of Solomon 3.1-4)- By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not. The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth? It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.
  7. That we may be everlasting admirers of the freeness of His grace when we were delivered.
    1. (1 Corinthians 15.10)- But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
    2. (Romans 11.33)- O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out.
    3. (Job 38.2)- Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
  8. That they may learn to be merciful and helpful to such as are in the same case, and to such as are sinning, and have not yet felt the displeasure of God for their sins.
    1. (2 Corinthians 1.3-4)- Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
    2. (Luke 22.32)- But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
    3. (Hebrews 2. 17-18)- Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
    4. (2 Corinthians 1.6)- And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
    5. (Psalm 51.11-13)- Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
    6. (Luke 19.42)- Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace. but now they are hid from thine eyes.
    7. “It was the desire of Dives in his misery to go to his brothers and warn them, lest they come to the same place of torment; but it was not granted. Some of us here have come from the very gates of hell to warn you so that you may not go there; nay, to warn you so that you so that you may never go as near as we did.”

XIII. What is the duty of those persons whom God has delivered from melancholy and from the anguish of their consciences under a sense of His wrath? Also, what a wonderful act of providence it is that allows a very sinful world to be in such great peace. And what cause there is for all people to pray against such diseases, whereof the devil serves himself to their great torment and vexation. What is to be thought of those who are distracted with trouble for their sins, and of those who die in great darkness as to their spiritual state?

  1. In all the remaining part of our lives, we must value this world very little. Our unmortified affections were the briars and thorns that pierced us and multiplied our sorrows.
  2. When the sense of the wrath of God is removed, we must, by the remembrance of it, be fortified against the temptations of Satan.
  3. Let our escape from such long and sore afflictions quicken us to duty. Let our prayers be more fervent, our meditations on Him more constant and abiding.
    1. (Job 9.34)- Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me: D. They should teach us to walk humbly with Him..
    1. (Isaiah 6.5)-Then said I, Woe is me. for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
    2. (Isaiah 38.15)-What shall I say? He hath spoken unto me, and Himself hath done it. I shall go softly all my years, in the bitterness of my soul.
    3. (Job 33.17)-He withdraws man from his purpose, that He may hide pride from man.
  4. We must beware of a relapse.
    1. (Psalm 85.8)-God the Lord will speak peace unto His people, and to His saints. But let them not turn again to folly.
  5. It is our duty to be publicly thankful.
    1. (Psalm 66.16)-Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul.
  6. Do not inordinately fear any of those evils that are of a lower nature. If God delivered us from the greatest dangers, we ought to believe that He will save us from the lesser troubles of our life.
    1. If the servants of God are prone to such sad apprehensions of His wrath, then you have great cause to admire the peace in the world.
    2. Pray to God that you may not fall into such diseases, whereof Satan is apt to make very great advantage.
    a. (Psalm 103.14)- For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
  7. Questions.
    1. If the anger of God is but for a moment, what shall we think of those with whom He is angry to their dying day, and who die in apprehension of His displeasure?
    a. It is a mysterious, and a very deep, transaction of providence that is wise and good, though it is not understood; but many a believer, even unto the last, in his dejected apprehensions, thinks himself to be an heir of the curse only to find himself to be an heir of glory. Many a time the sun sets in a cloud, and yet arises in a marvelous light.
  8. But suppose a person is distracted with the terrors of the Lord, and dies in the woeful condition?
    a. This maybe for the good of others.
    b. It may do him the same good, as death will; it may deliver him from the evils to come,
    from beholding such sorrows to come on the church, or on is friends, as would have been a daily torment to him.
    c. By this means the wise God may have prevented his falling into such sins and temptations as might have been very harmful to others, and might have more greatly defiled his soul.

Part 2
XIV. The several sorts of life that we enjoy by God‟s favor, and in what conditions of our present pilgrimage it more especially revives us. (Psalm 30.5)- For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

  1. (Psalm 104. 28-29)- That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.
  2. (Psalm 30.7)- LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.
  3. (Romans 6.23)- For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
  4. (Psalm 16.11)- Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
  5. The favor of God is life.
    1. No common mercy yields any comfort without the favor and love of God.
    a. (Psalm 63.3)- Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
    b. (Psalm 36.9)- For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.
    c. (Psalm 46.4)- There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the
    holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
    d. (Proverbs 15.16)- Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and
    trouble therewith.
    e. (Ecclesiastes 9.7)- Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry
    heart; for God now accepteth thy works.
    2. The favor of God is life in all temporal wants and afflictions.
    a. (Jeremiah 30.14-15)- All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased. Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.
    b. (James 2.5)- Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
    c. (Romans 8.28)- And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
    d. (Lamentations 1.16)- For these things I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me: my children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed.
    3. The favor of God is life to us in the troubles of our conscience.
    a. (Psalm 88.3-4)- For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.
    I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:
    b. (Job 34.29)- When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only:
    c. (Deuteronomy 28.66-67)- And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt
    fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even. and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning. for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.
    d. After long terrors, how sweet is the voice of God brings news of a pardon.‟
    4. His favor is life in the vehement assaults and temptations of the devil.
    a. (Psalm 5.12)- For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass
    him as with a shield.
    b. (Luke 22.32)- But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art
    converted, strengthen thy brethren.
    5. God‟s favor is life, even in death itself.
    a. (Psalm 73.26)- My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and
    my portion for ever.
  6. Of Heaven and hell, and of that spiritual death which has seized the greatest part of the world. The reason why good people are many times very willing to die, and the inexcusableness and misery of those who are without God‟s favor. And whence it is that some grow in grace more that others, and are more earnest for a share in the love of God.
  7. (Revelation 21.23)- And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
  8. (Revelation 22.2-5)- the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
  9. (Psalm 97.2)- Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.
  10. (Job 10.22)- A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.
  11. (Isaiah 27.11)- When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women come, and set them on fire: for it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour.
  12. (1 Timothy 5.6)- But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.
  13. (Revelation 3.1)- And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
  14. (Ezekiel 37.2-6)- And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
  15. “Do you not know that your life is short, that your change is near, and that the Judge is at the door? Oh, do not let the devil be your master, nor the world your god.”
  16. (Isaiah 35.1-2)- The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the Excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.
  17. (Psalm 51.11-12)- Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
  18. (Job 22.26-27)- For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God. Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows.
  19. “Though a man suffers no alteration in his constitution or outward appearance, yet, if God withdraws, all greatly decays within him.”-Excellency of a Gracious Spirit by Jeremiah Burroughs.
  20. (1 Samuel 10.6)- And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.
  21. (Job. 23.3,8)- Oh that I knew where I might find him. That I might come even to his seat. Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:
  22. (Psalm 22.14-15)- I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
  23. (Psalm 4.6)- There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.

XVI. The favor of God is diligently to be sought, and what is to be done that we may obtain it.

  1. Seekitearnestly.
    1. “We hear the poor say, „Oh, that I were rich.‟ and the sick say, „Oh, that I were well.‟ The prisoner is sighing for liberty, and trader is busily concerned for his grain, and the merchant for the good returns; but oh, how few there are who are saying, „Oh, that I might find grace in the sight of God. Oh, that I might be His, and He mine.‟”
    2. (Matthew 7.7)- Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
    3. (Psalm 27.8)- When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.
    4. (Proverbs 1.26)- I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
  2. Join endeavors to your prayers, and use all the means of grace with appropriate diligence.
    1. (2 Corinthians 5.9)- Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
    2. (Psalm 119.58)- I intreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.
    3. “A careless wish for God‟s favor will not serve the turn. You must pray constantly, and resort to those places of worship where He usually manifests His presence in His own ordinances”.
    4. (1 Corinthians 15.58)- Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
  3. You must be deeply sensible of your own miserable and undone state without God‟s favor.
    1. (Luke 5.31)- And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.
    2. (Matthew 18.11)- For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
    3. (Job 33.27-28)- He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that
    which was right, and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.
    4. “Never did a traveler, after a tedious journey, more desire his home, or a mariner, long
    tossed with tempests, desire to see the quiet shore, than you will desire the favor of God.”
    5. (Luke 1.53)- He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
  4. The favor of God is to be had only in and through Jesus Christ, and you must apply yourselves to Him for it.
    1. (Romans 5.10)- For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
    2. (Isaiah 61.1)- The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
    3. “Our blessed Lord is willing to plead our cause and help our wants; for those who come unto Him He will in no wise cast out.”
    4. (1 Corinthians 15.22)- For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
    5. (Isaiah 27.5)- Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.
    6. (1 Corinthians 1.24)- But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the
    power of God, and the wisdom of God.
    7. (Ephesians 2.12,14)- That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the
    commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
    8. (2 Corinthians 6.14-15)- Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
    9. (Psalm 11.7)- For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.
    10. (Isaiah 59.2)- But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
    11. (Psalm 51.10,12)- Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
    12. (Psalm 11.7)- For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.
    13. (John 15.14)- Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
    14. (John 14,21,23)- He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me:
    and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
    15. (Isaiah 26.10)- Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD.
    16. (Psalm 119.165)- Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
    17. (Galatians 6.16)- And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
    18. (Isaiah 64.5)- Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved.

XVII. We ought to take heed that we do not lose the favor of God once we have enjoyed it; and what we are to do so that we may not fall into a condition so miserable as this would be.

  1. “Though you are never so flourishing now, yet then the sharpness of the winter will blast all your fruit, so that the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall there be any fruit on the vine, and the labor of the olive shall fail.”
  2. “Consider how great the sorrow of David was when God, for a season, departed from Him.”
  3. (Nehemiah 8.10)-The Joy of the Lord is your strength.
  4. Ways to keep the favor of the Lord.
    1. Let us not grieve His Holy Spirit.
    a. (Ephesians 4.30-31)- And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
    2. Let us beware of spiritual pride.
    a. (Psalm 138.6)- Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.
    b. (Luke 1.53)- He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
    c. (Luke 15.18-19)- I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
    d. (1Corinthians 15.10)- But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
    e. (1Timothy 1.14-15)- And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
    f. (Ephesians 2.7)- That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
    g. Instances of spiritual pride.
    1.) He attributes that to himself, to his own industry, wisdom, or prudence, which he
    received from God.
    2.) He attributes to or expects by merit that which is a free gift 3.) He thinks he has that which he does not have.
    4.) He despises others and seeks preeminence.
    h. (1Corinthians 4.7)-Who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive?
    i. (1Peter 5.5-6)- Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
    3. Beware of formality, and all slightness of spirit, in the very performance of holy duties.
    a. (Isaiah 29.13)- Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
    b. When we perform them as a task, and not with delight and love.
    c. When we do not excite and stir ourselves to call upon the Lord.
    d. When we are satisfied in the bare, outward performance, and do not have those inward exercises of contrition, faith, holy sorrow, and vigorous desires which are the life and soul of prayer.
    e. When we allow our thoughts to wander, or when we run to such duties hurriedly from the worldly business, not considering the greatness of our wants or that Majesty that fills the throne before which we pray, and how He will be sanctified by all those who draw nigh to Him.
    1.) (Leviticus 10.3)- Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the LORD spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace.
    f. When we do not look for the answers to our prayers, and when, having done our duty, we are unsolicitous whether it produces any good effect or not.
    g. When we are more studious to approve ourselves to the eyes of men than to the eye of God.
    4. You must avoid all sloth.
    a. (Proverbs 24.31)- And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.
    b. “The duties of godliness are not only a debt to God, but a reward to us, and that in our sloth there is not only unfaithfulness, but ingratitude.”-Case and Cure of a Deserted Soul-by Joseph Symonds.
    c. (Song of Solomon 3.1)-By night, on my bed, I sought him whom my soul loveth. I sought him, but I found him not.”
    d. (Song of Solomon 5.2-9)- I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night. I have put off my coat; how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them? My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him. I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock. I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, and was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I am sick of love. What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women? what is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?
    5. Take heed of an inordinate affection for this world and for sensual delights.
    a. (1John 2.15)-if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
    b. (Song of Solomon 4.6)- Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to
    the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.
    6. Improve your experiences to this purpose, to obtain the favor of God.
    a. The common experiences of the changeableness of the world.
    b. The uncommon spiritual experiences.
    7. (Psalm 119.75, 96)-I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me. I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.

XVIII. Assurance, and the false grounds upon which many are apt to conclude that they are God‟s favorites when they are not.

  1. Endeavor to be assured that you enjoy God‟s Favor.
  2. Endeavor to have hope, and an anchor that is both sure and steadfast.
    1. (Hebrews 6.19)- Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
    2. (Psalm 43.5)- Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
    3. (Song of Solomon 6.3)- I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.
    4. (Song of Solomon 3.3-4)- The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye him whom my soul loveth? It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.
    5. (2 Peter 1.10)- Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
  3. Take heed of presuming the special favor of God from the common mercies you enjoy.
    1. You must not conclude that you have this favor from among any of your outward privileges.
    a. (Luke 11.27-28)- And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
    b. (Galatians 6.15)- For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
    2. You cannot conclude from your outward prosperity, your riches or abundance in the world, that you have this favor of God, which is life.
    a. (1 Corinthians 1.27)- But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound
    the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things
    which are mighty;
    b. (James 2.5)- Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
    c. (Job 21.7-13)- Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power?
    Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them. Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf. They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance. They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ. They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave.
    d. (Matthew 19.23)- Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich
    man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
    e. (Luke 16.19-31)-There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine
    linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, „They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.‟ And he said, „Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.‟ And he said unto him, „If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.‟
    f. (Hosea 4.14)- I will not punish your daughters when they commit whoredom, nor your spouses when they commit adultery: for themselves are separated with whores, and they sacrifice with harlots: therefore the people that doth not understand shall fall.
    3. Do not think that, because your consciences are not troubled, for that very reason you have God‟s favor.
    a. (Lamentations 3.18)- And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the LORD:
    b. (Psalm 55.19)- God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah.
    Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.
    c. (1 Thessalonians 5.3)- For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden
    destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

XIX. By what means we may know whether we have God‟s favor or not: first, by the grace of His Spirit, though its action may be neither so strong nor so comfortable at one time as an another; second, by our hatred of sin and being satisfied with all Providence.

  1. Have you those graces of the Spirit wrought in you which are the certain pledges and tokens of God‟s favor?
    1. Rich in faith and poor in spirit.
    2. Hungering and thirsting after righteousness.
    3. Find your own best actions fall short of the strict and pure demands of the divine law.
    4. Prize and seek the righteousness that is in Christ.
    5. Sin bitter in your taste and grievous to your thoughts, which was once highly esteemed and prized.
    6. (Isaiah 57.15)- For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
    7. (2Corinthians 3.17)- Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
    8. (Ephesians 1.14)- Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
    9. (Ephesians 4.30)- And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
    10. (1 Corinthians 13.1-2)- Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
    a. Do not expect to be equally strong in every grace.
    b. Do not expect to have the same comforts at all times.
    1.) (John 3.8)- The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
    2.) (John 20.13)- And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him.
    3.) (Song of Solomon 4.16)- Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits.
    11. Times God gives the soul clear manifestations of His favor.
    a. To newly converted.
    b. During the Lord‟s Supper.
    c. When He intends to employ them in some remarkable or extraordinary service.
    1.) (Joshua 1.9)- Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
    2.) (Exodus 33.15)- And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.
    3.) He would rather be in a desolate and howling wilderness than in a pleasant and fruitful land without the presence of God.-Whitestone, a Treatise of Assurance by Nathaniel Culverwell.
    d. In prayer.
    e. In great straits, and in pinching wants, when there is the least of the creature, there is usually the most of the all sufficient Creator.
    1.) (Hosea 2.14)- Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.
    f. After His people have gotten the victory over some lusts and corruptions that were both dishonorable to Him and uneasy for them.
    g. On the day of their death.
  2. You must examine whether you esteem Him more than the world.
    1. A serious and deliberate esteem.
    2. A prevalent esteem.
    C. You will know the favor of God if you have a hatred of sin.
    1. Not only a hatred of sin in others but first in foremost in ourselves.
  3. You will be satisfied with all of His dispensations that bring you nearer to Himself.
    1. Thy Will be done.
  4. Several other ways whereby a sense of God‟s favor may be preserved in our souls, and how we may certainly know that we are in a happy state.
  5. You will desire the continuance of God‟s favor above all things.
    1. (Psalm 42.1-2)- As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
    2. (Psalm 84.2)- My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.
    3. (Psalm 119.20)- My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.
    4. (Proverbs 13.12)- Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.
    5. You will remember what it once was that once heightened your desires, and will endeavor by the same means to quicken them when they begin to languish.
    6. You will carefully observe what it is that cools and dampens your desires-what passion, what worldly pleasure, what vain company, what foolish hopes, what tormenting cares, what enslaving fears-and avoid all these as much as in you lies.
  6. You have felt by experience what a miserable thing it is to be without Him.
    1. (Job 23.8-9)- Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:
  7. You will find a great value on His Word, the Spirit, and on the blood of Christ.
  8. You will be very humble and heavenly minded.
    1. (2 Samuel 9.7-8)- And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely shew thee kindness for Jonathan thy father’s sake, and will restore thee all the land of Saul thy father; and thou shalt eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed himself, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?
  9. You are industrious and zealous in the performance of all holy duties,
  10. It will make you patiently wait for heaven.
    1. (Psalm 42.2)- My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
    2. (Isaiah 51.14)- The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail.

XXI. Several privileges that belong to those who have God‟s favor.

  1. All of your sins are pardoned.
  2. All of your prayers shall be heard.
    1. (Hebrews 9. 11, 14)- But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
    2. (Matthew 18.19)- Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
    3. (Proverbs 29.26)- Many seek the ruler’s favour; but every man’s judgment cometh from the LORD.
  3. He will accept your sincere services, though they are mingled with many failings.
    1. (Proverbs 15.8)- The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
    2. (1Kings 14.13)- And all Israel shall mourn for him, and bury him: for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward the LORD God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam.
    3. (Malachi 3.17)- And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
  4. God will preserve you from outward dangers or give you the strength to bear them.
    1. (Genesis 15.1)- After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
  5. He will keep you in His favor so that you shall not finally be cast away.
    1. (Romans 8. 31-39)- What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  6. God will be your God. His wisdom and His power will direct and save you.
    1. (2 Corinthians 6.18)- And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
    2. (Jeremiah 32.41)- Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.
    3. (1 Kings 10.8)- Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.
    4. (1 Corinthians 3.21-22)- Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

XXII. The many miseries of the mortal life that are the usual occasions of sorrow to the sons of men, with respect to both their bodies and their souls.

  1. (Psalm 30.5)-Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
  2. (Psalm 8.4)- What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
  3. In infancy-Man comes crying into the world. Pain, hunger and confusion.
  4. In youth. Beginning of reason but also carelessness, selfishness and imprudence.
    1. (Ecclesiastes 11.10)- Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.
  5. In young adulthood-we begin to manage and guide ourselves and our actions. Sorrows in the common affairs of life.
    1. (Genesis 3.17-19)- And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
    2. (Ecclesiastes 2.23)- For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. This is also vanity.
  6. In adulthood in seasons of pain and illness.
    1. (Job 14.22)- But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn.
    2. (Ecclesiastes 8.6-7)- Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him. For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be?
  7. Natural sorrows such as are distributed by God in judgment. Flourishing of tyrants in the world, famine, plagues, disasters.
    1. (Ecclesiastes 4.1)- So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.
    2. (Lamentations 4.4)- The tongue of the sucking child cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst: the young children ask bread, and no man breaketh it unto them.
  8. In their relations with one another, both princes and paupers alike.
  9. In death.
    1. (Ecclesiastes 9.12)- For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.
    2. (Job 14.1)- Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble.
  10. In his soul. An abundance of troubles and vexations, foolish hopes and extravagant desires.
    1. (Ecclesiastes 1.14-15)- I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.

XXIII. Showing that the fall of Adam was the cause of all our miseries; in how excellent a condition the blessed angels are; and the folly of such as expect to meet with nothing in the world but what is easy and pleasant.

  1. Seeing that the life of man is a state of weeping, what sin must there be in the fall of Adam, which has so provoked God as to send so many miseries upon His own creatures?
  2. Seeing that this life is full of weeping, how much happier are the blessed angels than we.
  3. They have a wrong notion of the life of man who expect to find nothing in it but what is pleasant.
    1. Want of experience and consideration.
    2. They resolve not to disturb their present ease and pleasure with any mournful meditations.
    a. (Isaiah 56.12)- Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.
    b. (Psalm 30.6-7)- And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.
    c. (Revelation 18.7-8)- How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
  4. “Grief is more familiar to man than is pleasure, for one vain contentment is met with a thousand real sorrows. These come uncalled, and present themselves of their own proper motion.”-from The Use of the Passions- Jean-François Senault.
  5. Aggravation of our own miseries.
    1. Putting higher value upon things than they really deserve.
    2. Seeking outside ourselves for many things to make us happy.
  6. We have cause to admire the wisdom of divine providence that, seeing that the case of man is so very miserable, He has ordered it to be very short. Though the days are evil, yet they are but few.

XXIV. The peculiar occasions of weeping that good Christians have more than other men.

  1. For his own sins.
    1. (Psalm 51.3)-I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
    2. (Job 7.20)- I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?
    3. (2Corinthians 7.10-11)- For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge. In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
    4. (Isaiah 38.15)- What shall I say? he hath both spoken unto me, and himself hath done it: I shall go softly all my years in the bitterness of my soul.
  2. For the sins of others.
    1. (Psalm 119.136)- Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.
    2. (Jeremiah 13.17)- But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD’s flock is carried away captive.
    3. (Philippians 3.19)- Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.
    4. (Jeremiah 9.1)- Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people.
    a. “..when he pronounced these sad words the misery of the Jews had not arrived. Jerusalem as yet subsisted in the magnificence and splendor; its temple had not lost that admirable beauty which made it the wonder of the world. It’s palaces had lost nothing of the pomp; its walls and fortresses were entire, and the daughter of Zion was princess among the provinces. But he spoke thus foreseeing that their abounding sins and their hardness and obstinacy would certainly bring upon them the judgments of God,”-Pierre Du Bosc.
    5. (Luke 19.41)- And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
    6. (Romans 9.1-2)- I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
    7. (Acts 20.18-19, 31)- And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, Serving the LORD with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
  3. For the manifold tribulations and persecutions they meet with.
    1. (Song of Solomon 2.2)- As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.
    2. (Psalm 84.6)- Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.
    3. (2Corinthians 4.8)- We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
    4. (Psalm 123.4)- Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.
    5. (Psalm 42.3-4)- My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
    6. (Acts 21.13)- Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.
  4. From that sympathy they have with their brethren who are in distress.
    1. (Romans 12.15)- Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
    2. (Jeremiah 4.31)- For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that bewaileth herself, that spreadeth her hands, saying, Woe is me now. for my soul is wearied because of murderers.
    3. (Jeremiah 8.21-22)- For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me. Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?
    4. (Jeremiah 14.17-20)- Therefore thou shalt say this word unto them; Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease: for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow. If I go forth into the field, then behold the slain with the sword. and if I enter into the city, then behold them that are sick with famine. yea, both the prophet and the priest go about into a land that they know not. Hast thou utterly rejected Judah? hath thy soul lothed Zion? why hast thou smitten us, and there is no healing for us? we looked for peace, and there is no good; and for the time of healing, and behold trouble. We acknowledge, O LORD, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee.
    5. (Lamentations 1.12, 16)- Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger. For these things I weep; mine eye, mine eye runneth down with water, because the comforter that should relieve my soul is far from me: my children are desolate, because the enemy prevailed.
    6. (Job 30.25)- Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor?
    7. (Amos 6.6)- That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.
  5. From both the duties of religion and the more than ordinary providences and dispensation of God that call them to it.
    1. (Isaiah 22.12)- And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth:
    2. (Job 3.17)- There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest.

XXV. The dreadful apprehensions a soul has that is under desertion, and in several respects how very sad and doleful its condition is, from the author‟s own experience.

  1. The deserted soul is overwhelmed with continual thoughts of the holiness, majesty, and glory of the Lord; it does not think of Him with any manner of delight.
    1. (Psalm 77.3)- I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.
    2. (Job 31.23)- For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure.
  2. The deserted soul in this mournful night looks upon God as its enemy, and as intending it‟s hurt and ruin by the sharpness of His dispensations.
    1. (Job 19.6,8)- Know now that God hath overthrown me, and hath compassed me with his net. He hath fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and he hath set darkness in my paths.
    2. (Job 19.9-11)- He hath stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head. He hath destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and mine hope hath he removed like a tree. He hath also kindled his wrath against me, and he counteth me unto him as one of his enemies.
    3. (Psalm 88.7)- Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.
    4. (Psalm 102.9-10)- For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping. Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down.
    5. “God never gives His people such a bitter cup but He mingles love and mercy with it.”
    6. (Ruth 1.20)- And she said unto them, call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
    7. (Job 16.12-13)- I was at ease, but he hath broken me asunder: he hath also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark. His archers compass me round about, he cleaveth my reins asunder, and doth not spare; he poureth out my gall upon the ground.
    8. (Job 10.16-17)- For it increaseth. Thou huntest me as a fierce lion: and again thou shewest thyself marvellous upon me. Thou renewest thy witnesses against me, and increasest thine indignation upon me; changes and war are against me.
  3. The soul has no evidence at all of its former grace.
  4. They cannot think of Christ with any comfort.
  5. The soul is full of terror.
    1. (Job 6.4)- For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.
    2. (Psalm 91.5)- Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
    3. (Lamentations 3.3)- Surely against me is he turned; he turneth his hand against me all the day.
    4. (Psalm 88.17)- They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together.
    F. Fear is another occasion for sorrow, and the night is usually a time of horror.
    1. (Job 13.21)- Withdraw thine hand far from me: and let not thy dread make me afraid.
    2. (Job 9.27-28)- If I say, I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my heaviness, and comfort myself: I am afraid of all my sorrows, I know that thou wilt not hold me innocent.
  6. They find no heart to pray, and no life of prayer.
    1. (Lamentations 3.7-8)- He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy. Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer.
    2. (1Samuel 28.15)- And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up?
    And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.
    3. (Psalm 77.4)- Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
    4. (Psalm 22.1)- My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
  7. No patience wherewith to bear their evils.
    1. (Isaiah 38.14)- Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: mine eyes fail with looking upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me.
    2. (Job 13.20-21)- Only do not two things unto me: then will I not hide myself from thee. Withdraw thine hand far from me: and let not thy dread make me afraid.
  8. They see no prospect of relief or deliverance, and that increases the sorrows of their doleful night.
    1. (Job 9.27-28)- If I say, I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my heaviness, and comfort myself: I am afraid of all my sorrows, I know that thou wilt not hold me innocent.
    2. (Job 7.7-8)- O remember that my life is wind: mine eye shall no more see good. The eye of him that hath seen me shall see me no more: thine eyes are upon me, and I am not.
    3. (Psalm 142.4)- I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
  9. The night of weeping is more sorrowful because it is the time of Satan‟s cruelty.
    1. See Treatise of Satan’s Temptations by Richard Gilpin.
    2. (Luke 22.31)- And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
  10. Sorrow mixed with deep despair.
  11. Sees present trouble as an introduction to more.
    1. (Isaiah 38.13)- I reckoned till morning, that, as a lion, so will he break all my bones: from day even to night wilt thou make an end of me.
  12. Leads to strange discourses and expressions of sorrow.
    1. (Job 7.11)- Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
    2. (Job 10.1)- My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
    3. (Job 3.3)- Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.
    4. (Job 10.16-18)- For it increaseth. Thou huntest me as a fierce lion: and again thou shewest thyself marvellous upon me. Thou renewest thy witnesses against me, and increasest thine indignation upon me; changes and war are against me. Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me.
    5. (Job 6.26)- Do ye imagine to reprove words, and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind?
  13. Sorrows more sorrowful.
    1. Seeing the peace and joy of others.
    2. Comparing his state with his former one.
    a. (Psalm 42.3-4)- My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
    b. (Song of Solomon 2.3)- As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
    c. (Job 29.2-3)- Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me; When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness;

XXVI. Some objections answered, a further discussion of the doleful state of the deserted soul, and why it is that God is pleased to allow a very tempestuous and stormy night to come upon His servants in this world.

  1. You make a great deal of noise and bother about desertions, and God‟s forsaking the soul. This is nothing but fancy or imagination, the whimsies fumes of melancholy.
    Answer: This is only a response from ignorance (of the ways of God) and sloth (they will not search the ways of His government).
  2. You make a way to discourage men from all religion. Answer: It is our wanderings and deviations from it that cause sorrow.
    1. To loose God‟s favor is the most dreadful loss.
    a. (Proverbs 18.14)- The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?
    b. (Job 6.2-3)- Oh that my grief were throughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together. For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea: therefore my words are swallowed up.
    2. Trouble of mind is usually attended with great bodily pain.
    a. (Job 6.4)- For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.
    b. (Psalm 88.3)- For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.
    c. (Proverbs 17.22)- A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
    d. (Psalm 32.4)- For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
    e. (Psalm 119.83)- For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy
    statutes.
    f. (Psalm 119.25)- My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word.
    g. (Job 16.16)- My face is foul with weeping, and on my eyelids is the shadow of death;
    h. (Job 30.17-19)- My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest. By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it bindeth me about as the collar of my coat. He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.
    i. (Psalm 6.1-6)- O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed. My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long? Return, O LORD, deliver my soul: oh save me for thy mercies’ sake. For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks? I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.
  3. Why does God allow such a night to come upon His servants?
    1. So that His people may be conformed to Christ.
    a. (Isaiah 53.3)- He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
    b. (John 16.20-22)- Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
    c. (1Peter 4.13)- But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
    2. Because our fall and our ruin came by pleasure.
    3. Because it is a very proper season wherein to be sorrowful.
    a. (Ecclesiastes 3.4)- A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
    b. (1 Peter 1.6)- Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
    4. He does it to show His sovereignty both in afflicting and in comforting.
    a. (John 11.19)- And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

XXVII. Why is it that melancholy and troubled people love solitude, and why it is that serious persons are not as light and frothy in their conversations as others are? Some inferences deducible from the foregoing doctrine, and some advice to those who have never been deserted, and to such as that they are so.

  1. Why people in trouble love solitude.
    1. Because their disordered humors alter their temper. Nothing but the power of God can totally overthrow it.
    2. People do not usually pay attention to what they say, nor believe them.
    3. They generally apprehend themselves to be singled out as marks of God‟s peculiar displeasure.
    a. (Job 6.21)- For now ye are nothing; ye see my casting down, and are afraid.
    b. (Psalm 71.7)- I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge.
    c. (Psalm 88.18)- Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.
    d. (Job 2.12-13)- And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven. So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.
    e. (Lamentations 3.28)- He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.
  2. Why these servants of God do not have such light and frothy spirits as others do.
    1. They do not always mourn but even they rejoice, it is with a serious and solid joy.
  3. What a mean, sorry thing a Christian is, many times, in this world, as to his outward appearance. A mourner never makes as great a show as one in triumph does.
    1. (Isaiah 53.3-4)- He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
    2. (Colossians 3.3)- For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
    3. (Job 30. 26-28)- When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness. My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me. I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation.
  4. This assures us that there is another, happier life after this one.
    1. (Matthew 5.4)- Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
    2. (Psalm 126.6)- He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
    3. (1 Corinthians 15.19)- If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
  5. Seeing as there is such a weeping night for the servants of God, this verifies and confirms the maxim of the gospel that “strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life.”
  6. Exhortations.
    1. As much as you can, prevent the declining of the day.
    a. (1 Peter 5.8)- Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
    b. (Job 29.18)- Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand.
    2. Do not severely judge or censure persons under spiritual trouble.
    a. (Job 30.11)- Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me.
    b. (Job 42.6)- Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
    c. (Isaiah 54.10-11)- For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee. O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.

XXVIII. The great joy that fills a soul when the favor of God returns to it after it has been long in darkness. (Psalm 30.5)- For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

  1. The remembrance of a past danger occasions a more lively sense of joy.
    1. (Genesis 45.28)- And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.
    2. (Psalm 126.1)- When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.
  2. Joy.
    1. It now thinks upon Him as reconciled arises from the possession of a present good.
    a. (Psalm 94.19)- In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.
    b. (Isaiah 66.13-14)- As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies.
    c. “O God, reconcile me to Thee, by which my miserable soul may receive comfort.”
    2. As the deserted soul by faith obtains a possession of Christ, so it is full of joy.
    a. (Philippians 4.4)- Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
    b. “Who shall condemn us, since the Son of God died to merit our absolution? Who shall accuse us, since his blood and his cross defend us? Who shall take from us the benevolence of the Father, since he has obtained it for us, and preserves it for us? Who shall pluck out of our hands a life he has given us, a salvation that he has so dearly bought?”- Jean Daille.
    3. This joy that comes at night of sad and mournful desertion is the work of the blessed Spirit, Who is called by the way of eminence, the Comforter‟.
    4. This joy revives our graces.
    a. (Song of Solomon 2.11-13)- For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
    b. (Nehemiah 8.10)- Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our LORD: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
    5. It is very pleasant to the soul as it is then delivered from the insults and triumphs of the devil.
    a. (Psalm 124.7)- Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.
    b. (Acts 12.9)- And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision.
    6. Joy from the propriety that we have in God, and in the promises of the gospel.
    a. (Psalm 42.11)- Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
    b. (Luke 1.46-48)- And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
    c. (Habakkuk 3.17-18)- Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

XXIX. The further properties of joy that comes to a soul after a long desertion: it is irresistible, though usually gradual; it revives the body and the natural spirits; it fills the late mourner with the hope of glory, and causes him to express his delight to others. From all this we may justly admire the wisdom of divine providence.

  1. Joy arises from the possession of a present good. (Continued)
    1. This joy is irresistible.
    a. (Job 34.29)- When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only:
    2. This joy is usually gradual, and not all at once.
    3. This joy has a pleasant influence on the body, and revives the body as well as the mind.
    a. (Proverbs 15.13)- A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
    b. (Proverbs 17.22)- A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
    c. (Psalm 51.8)- Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
    d. (Psalm 35.10)- All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?
    e. (Psalm 16.9)- Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
  2. Joy arises from the hope of some future good; and this good must be both very agreeable to the soul and very certain.
    1. (Romans 5.2)-…rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
    2. (Song of Solomon 8.14)-Make haste, O my beloved, and be thou like a roe, or a young hart upon the mountain of spices.
  3. This morning-joy will express itself.
    1. (Psalm 51.12-13)- Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
    2. (Psalm 16.9)- Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
    3. (Psalm 126.1-3)- When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
    4. (1Peter 1.8)- Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
    5. (Acts 3.8-10)- And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God: And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened unto him.
  4. Uses or inferences.
    1. See the wisdom and the beauty of divine Providence.
    a. (Ecclesiastes 3.11)- He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
    b. (Isaiah 38.8)- Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.
    c. “It is a very evil thing for men to censure the providence of God because of the present miseries He allows His servants to be afflicted with.”
    d. “…divine providence is always wise and good, but very often mysterious and unfathomable”.
    e. (Psalm 66.12)- Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
    f. “Noah was preserved by the ark, not by any art of navigation, but by the government and conduct of God Himself. He hastens deliverance many times when it seems to be the remotest distance.”
    g. (Revelation 14.2)- And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
    h. Consider instances listed in The Original Cause of Temporal Evils by Dr. Meric Casaubson.
    i. “His providences work together; they are in concert, and are not to be taken apart, like a composition of various ingredients. For there are some that, if taken alone, might kill the patient; but when they are joined with others, which by their contrary qualities temper their excess, they do marvelous things, being “counter-poisonous” to each other.”

XXX. The different ends that God has in the afflictions of the good and the wicked, and what reason we have to be reconciled to His providence. We must be satisfied that God carries us to heaven in His own way and method.

  1. The two ends of the good and the wicked.
    1. To the good-His providence is medicinal, love, and forerunners of the morning.
    2. To the evil-His providence is penal, wrath, and shadows of an eternal night.
  2. This may serve to reconcile you to God‟s providence.
    1. “God regards the distressed and has a peculiar pity for those who are in the greatest trouble, as mothers tend, with a peculiar care, the weakest child” (See the sermons of Thomas Manton on 2 Thessalonians 2.17).
    2. (2Corinthians 1.4)-He comforteth us in all our tribulations.
  3. Use of exhortation.
    1. Be very well satisfied that God carries you to heaven in the way that He thinks most proper.
    a. (1Chronicles 4.10)- And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me. And God granted him that which he requested.
    b. (Deuteronomy 8.15)- Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;
    c. (Psalm 107.7)- And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.
    d. “Let us not find fault if we meet with the waters of Marah in our journey to the land of promise (see Bishop Joseph Hall on The Marriage of Cana in his works. Thirst and bitterness are the portion of pilgrims; it is enough for us that we shall have rest at last, though we must not expect that the providence of God should go out of its ordinary course for us.”

XXXI. The Conclusion of the whole treatise with directions to such as have been formerly in the darkness of a sorrowful night, and now enjoy the light of day.

  1. Making great use of the morning-joy.
    1. Let us be continual admirers of God‟s grace and mercy to us.
    2. Let us walk humbly, and be full of cautious fear, that we don‟t offend God.
    3. Though we rejoice, yet we must rejoice with trembling, lest another night so black, so frightful, and so dismal come upon us.
    a. (2 Samuel 23.4)- And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.
    b. (Psalm 149.6)- Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;
    4. Our mouths must be full of praise to Him who has delivered us.
    a. (Psalm 116.1-3,5)- I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.
    b. (Psalm 37.6)- And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
    c. (Psalm 27.6)- And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
    5. Let us call upon our brethren and friends to help us praise the Lord.
    a. (Psalm 145.2-3, 8-9,14)- Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.
    b. (Job 42.11)- Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.
    c. (Psalm 66.8-9,16)- O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved. Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.
    d. (Luke 15.32)- It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
    e. (Psalm 130.7)- Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.
    6. Let us always wait and hope for that eternal felicity which will at length dawn upon all the people of God in the great morning of the resurrections.
    a. (John 16. 21-22)- A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is
    come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
    b. (Revelation 21.3-4)- And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
~ Hebrews 12:6

This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. ~ 2 Peter 3:1,9

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
~ Jude 1:24

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
~ Philippians 1:6

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
~ Zechariah 13:9

Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.
For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee. O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.
~ Psalm 31:21-24

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