Use 8. If there be so much Evil in sin, than every soul is to be humbled for sin.
Use VIII. IF there be so much Evil in sin as you have heard, Hence the Consideration of what hath been delivered, should cause al your hearts to be humbled for the sins your Consciences tels you, you be guilty of: not onlie those that are so full of sin, but everie womans Child hath cause to apply what hath been said, and to be humbled in their souls before the Lord for that woful guilt they have brought upon them∣selvs. And now I speak to every soul, for there is none here but have much sin, they be guiltie of: Now Oh thou sinner whosoever thou art, charge Page 472 upon thy soul what thou rememberest concer∣ning the evil of sin, charge it upon •hy own heart, labor to bring it with power upon thy own spirit; bring thy sin with all the aggravati∣ons of it that possible thou canst, and lay it upon thy heart, and labor to burden thy heart, to make thy spirit sensible of it: open thy consci∣ence, and let in all these Truths thou hast heard, suffer the Law to come with power, and though it doth slay thee (as Paul saith, when the Law came, sin revived, and I died) though it slay thy soul, open thy bosom, and let it come: go to the verie pits brink that sin endeavors to plunge soul and bodie in eternallie; be willing to go to the pits brink, and see what there is in the verie pits brink, and upbraid thine own heart for the hardness of it, and think with thy self thus, Lord, what a heart have I? I can be troubled for everie little loss and affliction, but Oh the hardness of my heart, for sin I cannot be affected, it yeilds and stirs not; for anie pettie loss, or if anie cross me, what a disturbance is there in my spirit then? but little or nothing for my sin; Oh what shall become of this heart of mine? what shall I do with this heart of mine, thus hardened from the fear of the Lord? what? wil sin bring confusion upon the whol Creation? what shall then become of my soul, if ever I come to an∣swer for my sin my self? Certainlie my Bre∣thren, God must have glorie, and therefore we must be humbled for Sin, seeing there is so much evil in it: it cannot possibly be, but that God must expect to see all his poor Creatures that Page 473 have been so guiltie, to lie down abased, and humbled, as poor, wretched, miserable, forlorn undone Creatures by reason of sin. It is a migh∣tie dishonor to God that ever we have sinned thus against him, as we have done: but that we should not be sensible of it; this ads as great dis∣honor unto God as the former Sin did. When a man or a woman commits Sin, they dishonor God in that; but being not sensible of it after committed, is a greater dishonor to God than the commission of it was: and the longer they con∣tinue unsensible of their sin, the more desperate their Sin against God grows: for if thou hast not anie sence of Sin, but goest on, in a little time thou maiest come to be past feeling, as the Scripture hath the Phrase, being past feeling: So manie men and women, first they begin not to be troubled for sin, and put it off; at length they come to be past feeling, and if thy heart be unsensible of the evil of it, then sin grows excee∣dingly: So saith the Scripture, Being past feeling they give up themselves with greediness to all lascivious∣ness, and wantonness. What is the reason men and women give up their souls to sin, to lascivious∣ness and wantonness with greediness? Because they be past feeling. Oh the hardness of the heart in Sin; the stone in the heart, is worse than the stone in the bladder.
Object. But you will say, If I labor to bring the weight of sin upon my soul, you have told us there is so much evil in sin, that if God should but bring, and set it upon my heart, it would sink my heart, and bring me to despair; we had need labor to put off the weight and Page 474 burden of it then; and yet now, after you have told us the heavy weight of it, do you labor now to bring the weight and burden of it upon our souls?
Answ. Yes Brethren, To bring the weight and sence of Sin, is that I labor for; not to bring more guilt, but the sence and burden of sin; and this is not the way to bring you to despair. But first learn what I mean by this, that you may learn, not to be so shie of bearing the weight of Sin, as before you have been; but to be willing to take up the burden; for there is no danger of despair in this: If there come despair, it is ra∣ther when God shall force the burden of Sin up∣on your souls; but if God see a man and woman free and willing to lay the weight and burden of sin upon themselves; to that end that they may be humbled before the Lord, and give glorie to God: Certainly God will take care of that soul, it shall never sink under the burden of sin. This now, as in the name of the Lord, I pro∣nounce to you; everie soul that is willing to bring the weight of Sin upon himself, to that end that it may be humbled, and give glorie to God; my life for that soul, that soul shall never sink under the burden of sin; certainlie God will take care of such a soul, that it shall not sink un∣der that burden: therfore be as willing as you will, to let as much weight of Sin as will, be up∣on your heart, and the more willing you be, the greater is the care of God over that heart, that it shal not perish. But 'tis the way to despair, if you upon the hearing of these things, come to be shie of meditating upon sin, and be loth to en∣tertain Page 475 those meditations, that may work the weight of Sin upon your own souls. Now it is just with God, when he shall come and force the weight of sin upon you, and lay the burden of it upon your spirits, then to let you sink under the burden of it, for God to behold you sweltring under the burden of it without pittie and com∣passion; and your own Conscience will be rea∣die to tell you so; yea, now the weight of Sin is upon me, but is forced whether I will or no; now God may justlie let it lie: This is a sad and a sinking thought; and if anie thing let sin lie upon the soul, that it shall never be purged, it will be this; When the Spirit would have brought Sin in the weight of it upon my Consci∣ence, I put it off, and now God puts it upon me, and therefore it troubles me thus. Therefore be willing to be humbled, and know, if you be willing, Jesus Christ is appointed for that end to raise you up; and there is as much power in the Gospel to raise your heart, as there is in sin to press down your heart, if you be rightlie bur∣dened with it.