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was the burden, attended with such scriptures as these sounding in your ears all the day long; “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them,” Gal. iii. 10. And, “ The soul that sinneth it shall die,” Ez. xviii. 4.–0, it is a blessing indeed to be properly instructed out of the law: here you found free-will of no use, and that human power, so much boasted of in our day, was perfect weakness; that, when the Ethiopian can change his skin, and the leopard his spots, then might you, that had been accustomed to do evil, do good.
The law requires love to God with all the heart; but you found your carnal mind to be enmity against him: and so long as we only view him as a holy, just, and angry God, in the law, so long we remain in enmity to him; for all the time we believe in our souls that he will damn us we cannot love him. It is impossible. Our carnal minds are not thus subject to the law of God, which requires love to him, neither indeed can be. The law requires perfect righteousness and perfect holiness; while you sensibly felt yourself nothing but sin, and found the law hold
you, as fast as possible. You could neither deliver yourself from the siu it stirred up, the curse it revealed, the wrath it wrought, the bondage to which it gendered, nor from the death and condemnation it administered. · No,' you will say,
, * from none of these things could I, by any effort
my own, deliver myself.' This was the schoolmaster giving you some wholesome lessons, makeing you feel yourself a proper object for sovereign mercy. Here David was obliged to give up all his strength and ability. I told you
before that, when the law entered his heart, and stirred
his sin, he made haste and delayed not to keep the commandments. And what was his success? Just the same as that of every other workman at this perfect rule; “ I have seen an end of all perfection, but thy commandment is exceeding broad," Psalm cxix. 96. He found it required perfection, and that perfection was not in him. The commandment was exceeding broad in its demands; it called for that which he could not give, and therefore he pray's God, “ Enter not into judg. ment with thy servant, for in thy sight shall no man living be justified,” Psalm cxliii. 2.
But again; for you are now drawing nigh the brink of the horrible pit; one more remove will carry you down there. You
after yourself sensibly burdened, “I then read soine authors upon
free grace, particular redemption, predestination and election; and, comparing these doctrines with the word of God, believed them to be the language of heaven; while Arminianism appeared to contradict itself. The question then rose, whether or not I was interested in that great redemption? And, after much reasoning with myself, I concluded I was a vessel of wrath fitted for destruction. I used to reason on different pas.
sages of scripture after this manner; “ He was wounded for our transgressions;" yes, for theirs, but not for my transgressions. Esau and I had both sought after repentance carefully with tears, but found it not, nor ever shall. The wicked shall be turned into hell." I am above measure wicked, and hell is my portion. So, after three years' hard struggling with my sin, I lost all hopes of ever being reconciled to God, either in this world or that which is to come.” And thus, when the Lord had quickened you to feel; driven you out of all your refuges of lies; destroyed your false hope; rooted out of
your carnal confidence; stripped you naked, and made you a burdened sinner; chased you out of freewill and human power; shewed you what an arm of flesh and a form of godliness could do for a sensible sinner; what the doctrines aud traditions of men could effect, that they were only like a broken tooth and a fout out of joint, entirely useless things to place any reliance upon; then you went sensibly into the horrible pit, and believed that there was as much salvation for a devil as for yourself. You found yourself burdened, a cursed sinner, a child of wrath, dead in law, under the sentence of condemnation, free from all righteousness, destitute of every thing to make you meet for heaven; and, what was still worse, not able to procure any one thing necessary for that inheritance. I know you'll say that you found this to be exactly the case.
Two things bring us into this horrible pit; the one is sin, the other God's wrath; which brought David into it, as they do all God's children: “ The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me; I found trouble and sorrow,” Psalm cxvi. 3. The sorrows of death are our sins, the cause of all sorrow; and they are called the sorrows of death, because they bind the soul over to death; “ The soul that sinneth it shall dic.” These compassed David, as they do all others whom the Lord quickens; “The pains of hell gat hold upon me.” The pains of hel mean the wrath of God; for he declares that his wrath is a fire kindled in his anger, that shall burn against the wicked to the lowest hell, Deut. xxxii. 22. All hell torments spring from the wrath of God and man's sin meeting and working together in the souls of sinners. The Lord was pleased to enter into judgment with David, as he does with all the elect, in this world, and therefore he brought him to feel his sins a burden ; revealed his wrath against him as a transgressor of the law in his conscience; and under the feeling sense of this it was that he sunk: “ Save me, O God, for the waters are come in unto my soul: I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me," Psalm lxix. 1, 2. This is the pit. The deep mire means his original sin and actual transgressions; these deep waters and floods mean the wrath and curse of God that he sensibly laboured under; and this place is called by him an corrible pit, Psalm xl. It is called a pit because, when our sin is charged home upon our conscience, and God's wrath is revealed in us against the same, then under this the soul sensibly sinks into selfdespair ; into heaviness of spirit we go; are bowed down, and cannot rise in hope. It is called an horrible pit because, look which way we will, there appears no way of escape. If we look to the law, we are condemned by it; if to our past life, nothing but destruction and misery are to be found in it; if within, there is nothing but sin and wrath; if at temporal death, it presents nothing but eternal death beyond it; if to the Lord, he appears to to us full of wrath and fiery indignation, which shall devour his adversaries; if forward, to the day of judgment, we believe that nothing will be pronounced upon us then but“ Go ye cursed into everlasting fire.” And it is called an horrible pit, because of the horrible sensations we feel, the horrible temptations and buffetings of the devil we labour under, the army of terrors that surround us, and a whole troop of guilty and slavish fears that work within us: this being the case, it may well be called a horrible pit. This pit destroys all the religion of nature, root and branch. Nothing can stand here but God's own work; we stand by his power alone. And, that his people may be emptied, broken down, effectually stripped, and made proper objects for Christ to save, he keeps them oftcn lying long here, that they may