A great Difference between a troubled Conscience, and a regenerate Conscience.
IN the second place, You must know, That there is a great difference between a troubled conscience and a regenerated, or sanstified conscience. The con∣science may be exceedingly troubled about sinne, have no peace or rest be∣cause of sinne, yet be in the state of original pollution, yet be destitute of the Spirit of Christ: This mistake is very frequent, many judging the troubles of conscience they once had to be the time of their conversion to God, though ever since they have lived very negligently and carelesly, without the strict and lively conformity of their lives to the rule: whereas we see in Cain, in Judas, these had even earthquakes (as it were) upon their consciences, They had more trouble then they could bear, yet none can say, they had a regene∣rated conscience. It is true indeed, these troubles of conscience may be intro∣ductory and preparatory to the work of conversion, but if ye stay in these, and think to have had these is enough, ye grosly deceive your own soules, Act. 2. 37, 38. When Peter did in such a particular, and powerfull manner set home upon the Jews, that grievous sinne of killing the Lord Christ, it is said, They were pricked in heart; Here their consciences were awakened, here were nailes (as it were) fastened by the Master of their Assembly into their soules; yet when they cry out, saying, What shall we do? Peter doth direct them to a further duty, which is, to repent; Those troubles then, those feares and agonies, were not enough, a further thing was requisite for their con∣version. Thou then who art troubled rest not in these, think not this is all, but Press forward for regeneration, without this, though these troubles did fill thy soul, as much as the Lecusts did Aegypt, yet thou wouldst go from begun tor∣ments here, to consummate torments hereafter. It is true, a gracious regenera∣ted conscience may have its great troubles and agonies, be in unspeakable disquietings, but I speak of such who are yet only in innitiatory troubles, who are (as yet) but in the wilderness, journying towards Canaan; all these trou∣bles do not inferre regeneration, but are therefore brought upon thee, that thou maist be provoked to inquire after this new creature.