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sée necessity of coming daily to the throne of grace, as for grace, to help in time of need, fo for mercy and forgiveness. He made me fee with wonder, how one view of forgiveness and pardoning mercy alienates the foul more from fin, than twenty fights, nay tastes of hell. Which Pelagians cannot understand: And many other things. ... in Files
" 13. Besides thefe more grofs evils I fell into through the violence of temptation, I was exercised about the guilt of sins of daily incursion and infirmity, deadness, wandering in duty, and innumerable others. When 1 began to be first exercised about forgiveness, I was much difficulted about these; and I shall in the following particulars represent my exercise about them. Pfalm lxviii, í. 1, When the Lord manifested him. felf, his enemies fled before him, and received a stunning stroke, as has been shewed. 2. It was lometime before any of the stronger enemies discovered them. selves again ; presumptuous fins for a time, as has been represented, kept quiet. The first discoveries of the remaining power of indwelling fin which I got. was in the invasion of fin of daily infirmity; For in many things we offend all. James iri. 2. 3. Hereon I began to be much discouraged, neither understanding well our state here; that if any man fay, He has no fin he deceives himself; 1 John i. 8. and the gracious provision made for this case in the covenant of grace, the daily facrifice, that is the daily application to the throne of grace, the blood of attonment, the fountain opened: Psalm xxx. 6. And fo being under à fond and groundless expectation of intire freedom from fin. 4. My foolish expectation being quickly difappointed by the outbreaking of these fins, I wist not what to doI thought it hard to trouble Kim who had been so kind, to seek new favours : Ifa. vii. 13. The pride of my heart could not stoop to be continu. ally, daily, hourly beholden for new favours : I would have been a Lord and come no more to Christ ; Jer. il.
31. This pride was fo masked up, that at that time I did not discern it; but since the Lord has made it manifeft. 5. But necessity has no law: they grew many; For who can understand his errors ? Palm xix: 12. and the light of the Lord daily discovered mo and mo of them. 6. Hereon I essayed to humble myself diftinctly for every one of thein, and to make a diftinct application to the throne of grace about each; but when I began to observe them, they were so many, that if I had followed this course, my whole time would not have sufficed : Hereon the Lord led me to that course, which a worthy friend to whom I ow inuch for a distinct understanding of the Lord's work with me, told me what Franciscus Dejales a Popish casuist advises to in this case; I was fain to take them all in the lump, or rather to go with them all on me at once, and plunge myfelf in the fountain that's opened for fun and for uncleanness, that is, I took a view of myself as defiled by innumerable evils of this fort, and under a sense of them, calt myself upon the glorious attonement, and endeavoured to lay stress for cleansing as to them all, whether such as I discerned distinctly, or such as I had not yet discovered, on that Blood that cleanseth from all fin; which I think was · the Psalmist's way under the like cafe: Psalm xix. 12,
13. " Who can understand his errors? cleapse thou • me from fecret faults. Keep back thy servant allo « from presumtuous fins, let them not have dominion * over me: Then thall I be upright, and I shall be in" nocent from the great transgression.' That Popish caluist before mentioned, as my worthy friend told me, illustrates this by a very elegant similitude, “ If “ a inan see one or two filthy creatures on him he 56 shakes or washes them off : But if he look and fee « himself all overspread with such, then he must be“think himself of fome general course, he goes to " some bridge, and leaps into a deep pool, and drowns " them all, and leaves them behind him.” Ifany one
gros. grosser fin overtake us, we must endeavour a distinct recovery and intimation of pardon by a distinct apo plication to the blood of sprinkling : But when we look upon these fins which cannot be numbered and searched out, and which are still growing, then we niust betake ourselves with the man to the bridge, and leap into the pool. 7. To clear this matter yet further I observe, That the light wherein that plenteous redemption that is with God, was first discovered, though variously clouded and darkned, yet continued in some measure: A child of light contiues light in the Lord; he may walk in darkness, and to his sense have no light; Eph. V. 8. Ifa, 1. 10. while yet it is the remainder of light that makes him discern his darkness; but he really is not darkness as before ; He has summer's sun that shines longer, brighter and warmer; and his winter's sun that thines Thörter is more frequently clouded, and has less heat ; he has his fair days and foul and rainy days, and a changé. able intercourse of day and night wherein he has only the moon and stars ; but light more or less there is stil. 8. When no extraordinary indisposition, no extraordinary darkness was on me, this habitual discovery of forgiveness, and the way to ir, had its own use. The winter's sun was not able to revive when I was cast into any of those diftempers above-mentioned; and therefor, as has been above-narrated, in that case, I waited a blink of the sun in its strength; but for ordinary, I by the direction of that light did endeavour daily as to sins of infirmity, to betake myself in prayer to the blood of attonement, according as the Lord has taught us by the daily morning and evening facrifice under the Law: As for particular cases and pollutions, there were other institutions with respect to them, 9. This application by prayer to the redemption that is in Chrift, even the forgiveness of fin through faith in his blood, Rom. iii. 25. according to this discovery of it, in and hy prayer, especially when
the Lord quickned by any new blink: (for the winter sun has his warm and refreshing blinks even in the coldest season) This application I say, especially when the Lord as he frequently did, gave any new breathing, did relieve me and help to quiet my conscience as to the afflicting sense of these sins of daily incursion: When the Lord helped to pray for cleansing from Secret fins, and keep back from presumptuous fins ; Psalm xix, 12, 13. I was satisfied as to my upright. ness and freedom from the great transgreffion, and acceptance with him in following any duty of my sta. tion through the beloved. 10. As the case was not lo urgent, fo neither was the outgate so discernable ; but it was fufficient to answer in some measure the end above-mentioned, fieedom from dispiriting discouragement, and some measure of comfort and quiet as to my acceptance with God through Christ.
I conclude with four observations as to the whole, 1. Though we may sometimes heal our own wound Nightly, yet it is God's prerogative to speak folid peace, Ifa, lvii. 19. yea, and the speaking of it is a work of the greatest power, where the conscience is really exer.cised; it is a creating peace, and where he creates it, he can make it take effect ; Job xxxiv, 29. When he giveth quietnefs who then can make trouble?' and when he hideth his fuce, who then can behold him? Whether it be done against a nation or against a man only. 2. The Lord let me see, That considering the pride and unbelief of our hearts, and the greatness of our guilt, it is not easy to win to believe that the forgiveness that is with God is able to answer all we need, and so to engage a sinner to betake himself unto it at all times when once he comes to see his case throughly; and when this unbelief is in some measure maftered, and the soul satisfied of the fulness of the foun. tain, and extensive, nay, infinite reach of the forgiveness that is with God, and the pride of heart fo far, broken, that the foul is willing to be daily beholden
to grace and mercy; it is not easy to keep up either a due detestation of sin, or keep our carnal hearts from, 2 common use of it, or ratheran abuse of it: Here in my opinion, lyes one of the greatelt secrets of practical godliness, and the highest attainment in closs walking with God; to come daily and wash, and yet? to keep as great a value for this discovery of forgive. Si ness, as if it were once only to be got and no more: | Indeed the more we see of it, the more we should va
lue it; but our carnal hearts on the contrary turn for mal, and countit a common thing, That which is our daily allowance we value little, and we are fond of novelties and dainties : Bread is more precious than most, nay, any of the rarities which nen purchase at fo dear a rate ; but because God has provided it in, plenty and we daily use it, therefor we make a light account of it : Bicffed are they with whom it is, otherwise in the case now in hand. 3. I observe that the joy of the Lord is then only to be retained when we walk tenderly and circumspectly ; 'tis inconsistent not only with the entertainment of any gross sin; but with a careless walk: Then had the churches reft throughout all Judea, aná Galilee, and Samaria, and were edified, walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the holy Ghoft, &c. Acts ix, 31. 4. I observe then when I was at the lowest ebb as to for :
giveness, doubting if the Lord would pardon, after E.many duties have been essayed without finding the
Lord, or any sense of his love, I have oft found him in the duty of thankfulness: And whereas one will say, What had I then to be thankful for ? I answer, I be. gan thus, What a mercy is it that I am out of hell? Lam. iii. 21, 22. It is of the Lord's mercies I am not consumed ; blessed be the Lord for this, Again what a mercy is it that not only the Lord has helped me to notice his mercy in keeping me out of hell, but to be than:.ful for it. Again blessed be the Lord that has kept me out of hell, blessed be the Lord that has