THE CHRISTIAN'S COMPANION UNDER SOUL-EXERCISE: OR, A SERMON Preached at the Hole of the Gate-rige in the Parish of Bath-gate and Shire of Linlithgow.

May 26. 1678.

By Mr. John Mosman.

Psalms 77.1. and 2 verses.

I cryed unto GOD with my Voice: even unto GOD with my Voice, and He gave Ear unto me. In the day of my Trouble I sought the LORD; my Sore ran in the Night, and ceased not: my Soul refused to be comforted.


Psalms 77.1. and 2. Verses.

I cryed unto GOD with my Voice: even unto GOD with my Voice, and He gave Ear unto me. In the Day of my Trouble I sought the LORD; my Sore ran in the Night, and ceased not: my Soul refused to be comforted.

IT is no great Difficulty to stay some Folks Grief, and to Comfort them against their Sorrow, for it is but small and upon a small account: But it will not be an easie thing to stay the Grief and Comfort the Soul that is afflicted under the Exercise of Christs absence. And it is no wonder it be so, for there is none that can come and make up the want which He makes when He goes away: There is none in Heaven nor in Earth that will fill His place; If the Soul miss Him that has Real Love to Him, it will be a very vain thing to of­fer a hyre to that man to give ov'r seeking of Him, be his Dif­ficulty what it will. And it is as vain a thing to bid that man seek CHRIST through Difficulties that has no Love to Him; for the man that has no Respect to CHRIST, will never fol­low Him throw Temptations and Difficulties. Now in thir Words that we have read to you, ye have these three or four particulars.

First, Ye have a great piece of Distress and sore Trouble, that this afflicted man was in at this time; he was in a sore and [Page 4] lasting Trouble, even both Night and Day.

Secondly, Ye have his Carriage and Behaviour while un­der his Trouble, he is not Idle; he is concerned with his own Souls Case, and he rests not till he carry that to the Throne.

Thirdly, Ye have his Success; he comes very good speed; he carries his Case in before the Throne, and he is heard, and answered, and gets very good News from Heaven, and these are more Comfortable News, nor any News from any Cor­ner of the Earth; a Man cannot hear any News from any Corner of the World that can or will Refresh him so, as good News from Heaven will do.

Lastly, Ye have this remarkable in the Words, he sets all down upon Record; he keeps all in Register that it may ne­ver be forgotten by him so long as he lives.

Now I shall Observe five or six Notes from these Words, and shall but speak a short word to each of them, and so shall close.

The First Thing that I Observe is this, That there is some things which a Christian should never forget; there is some things that a Christian should keep in Memory so long as he liveth; yea there is some things that a Christian would set down upon Record, or Register upon his Soul to be keeped to the fore till his Dying Day.

A Second Note I Observe is this, That a Christian under Sore Trouble or Perplexing Trials may be very sore put to it; he may have very hard Labour, and be brought very Low, before that he obtain an Out-gate. I cryed, says he; it is a Token that he was sore put to it, when put to Cry.

A Third Note that I Observe is this, That it is no small Matter for a Christian to get a Prayer sent up to GOD in the day of his Sore Trouble and Affliction; I cryed, even unto GOD (Was there any other body to Cry to nor to GOD? in­deed no, but what tho'?) It is no small Work, or Importance [Page 5] for a Christian to get his Prayer directed to Heaven in the day of his Sore Trouble.

A Fourth Note that I Observe is this, That ordinarly these Duties are most Successfull which are gone about against most Discouragement, and which a Man followeth through mani­est Temptations. The Work that a Man sets too against ma­niest Discouragements, and pursues against maniest Opposi­tions in his Way, ordinarly that Work or Duty will prosper best; I cryed, and He heard me. I was once no able to speak at all when I was laid by or with a Temptation, but when I laid the Temptation aside, and cryed, then He heard me.

A Fifth Note that I Observe is this, that the Trouble that a Christian is sometimes exposed too, is so great that it ad­mits of no Intermission, it admits of no Vacancy, Delay or On-waiting; There is here no Vacant Time, neither Day not Night, In the Day of my Trouble my Sore ran in the Night, and ceased not: He had neither Days Rest nor Nights Rest.

Lastly, Ye may Observe this Note from the Words, and it is this, That the Day comes or is coming wherein the Chri­stian shall speak of all his Sore Troubles and Sad Afflictions as things bygone, as things over, as of things past, as of things done: For ye see he speaks here of thir things as of things done, and bygone; My Soul Refused to be Comforted, and my Sore ran in the Night: but it is over now and bygone.

Now the First Note that I shall speak a little too, shall be the first of these, which is this, That there are some things that a Christian would never forget, but that he would keep in perpetual Remembrance; he would Register them on his Soul for evermore: But may ye say, What are these things that a Christian should never forget? Ille tell you of four or five things that a Christian should never forget so long as he lives.

First, How near hand Hell sometime of day he was. Se­condly, [Page 6] What a heartsome Welcome the LORD gave him in the Day of his Distress and Low Condition, how kindly He Intertained him. And, Thirdly, How seasonable GODs ap­pearance for him was. And, Fourthly, What CHRIST has done in his behalf; what great things CHRIST has done for him. And, Lastly, What he has done against CHRIST. All these five things a Christian would never forget, he would keep them in his Memory while he lives.

Now as to the First of these that ye would never forget how near hand Hell some Day ye were, and how little there was betwixt you and Eternal Ruine; betwixt you and ever­lasting Flames: If ye remember this, ye will have great Be­nefit thereby. And I shall say but these three things to it.

First, If ye remember how near hand Hell ye once were: O but this will make CHRIST very much Precious, and will commend Him to your Souls! O shall I ever forget Him? (will the Soul say) that came in betwixt me and my Ruine, when there was but one step betwixt me and Death: Christ went in betwixt me and that; and O shall I ever have an Ill Thought of Him; that when I was going in at the Pits Brink, He came and took a grip of me, and drew me back again; and now He is such an one to me, as shall have no Fellow in my Account; He shall never have a Companion, and how ever (or who ever) they are that turn aside by the Tents of His Companions; yet I know none that I will make Companion to Him: Surely the Soul will say so, who remem­bers how near hand Hell some Day they once were. Second­ly, It will have great Influence upon your Carriage and Con­versation; it will make you a very Tender Walker with GOD; Whenever an Old Lust or Idol comes back to seek the Old Room that it had in your Heart before, it will not be made Welcome, nor admitted by you to win so far ben again; Ille keep thee now at the back of the Door, and I will not let [Page 7] thee in at all. Ay will the Man say, a Curse be upon thee Idol or Lust, for thou thought to have had me to Hell, and indeed thou had brought me once very near the Pit; but through Grace I escaped as a Bird out of the Snare of the Subtile Fowler. And now through the Grace of GOD, thou and I shall never shake hands together again O but the Soul that remembers how near Hell it has been, but it will be a Christian of a Tender and Circumspect Walk, and will be Spiritually Minded in every thing; that Soul will be so far from making Peace with an Idol or Lust of the Heart upon any account, that the very first thoughts strucken in [...] [...] pon the Heart (to Intertain and Welcome it back again [...] Old Place) will strick Fear and Terror in the Heart. Thi [...] ly, If ye remember how near hand Hell some time a day once ye were, it will make you very Humble under every Cross, and very Submissive under every Affliction: When brought under Trouble or Affliction whether outwardly or inwardly, or it may be both, at such a time Satan will come to thee and say to thee, see how Christ handles thee, did I not tell thee how He would use thee, and now see whether He uses thee Friendly-like or no. Nay, but says the Poor Man, for this Affliction or Cross, shall I cast out with Him? that has come in betwixt me and Hell, and satisfied Justice for me, and freed me from the Curse of the Law by His own Blood? No, that will I not do, let Him do with me what He will; let Him lead me where ever He please; I will labour to be content with Him, be my Lot what it will, and it were even to follow him through a Wilderness, a Land not Inhabited nor Sown; ay, and it were, through Fire and Water; yea, and Death it self shall not be able to separate him and me.

But we come now to the Second thing that a Christian would never forget, which is this, What a Joyfull and Heartsome Welcome they received from Him in the Day of their Low [Page 8] Condition when they could do nothing for themselves, nor had no Friends to give them Counsel, or take them by the hand. If ye remember his Kindness to you in that Day, this will give you a sight of these Three Things, First, It will give you a very broad Sight of the Freeness of his Love to your Souls; O what will the Thoughts of this breed in your Heart, when ye remember; once in a day I had nothing to Commend me to Him, I had nothing to hold me Fast by Him; I had neither Form, Beauty nor Comliness in me; and yer even in that ve­ry Day when I came to him so, I was made very Welcome to Him, and He intertained me very Kindly and Friendly, and [...]ok me into the Banqueting-house of Wine, and there He Feasted me with his Love. O wonderfull! that in that Day when there was none to speak a Good for me, nor to do for me, He both spake for me, and did all my Business, even when there was not so much as one to say for me; He said, Let thy Soul dwell with the rest of My Friends: I both came to him without a Friend to speak for me, and also in my Rags Filthiness, and yet I was Welcome to him. O but this may the Soul say was Great Free Love and Mercy to my Soul, Un­deserved from Him. Secondly, This will let you see or hold out to you the Riches of his Grace (may the Poor Soul say that has gotten an Interest in Christ) I went to him in the Day of my Low Estate, and even when I had justly offended him, and given him great cause to be Angry with me, and to Frown at me; and yet even in that Case he did not cast up to me my Faults, nor any piece of my Folly, or former Miscarri­age; but in his Gentleness he made me Welcome, for all my Folly; and stood not upon my Wickedness to Debarr me from his Presence, as he might have done. Thirdly, If ye do not forget what a kindly Welcome ye have gotten from him, it will let you see your Duty, and make you to lay out your self for him to the outmost of your Power; it will make you Tender [Page 9] of his honour. Will the Soul say, shall I do this and make the World speak Ill of him that has been so Kind to me? Shall I for any Worldly Gain, or Earthly Advantage, or Ho­nour, or Pleasure, or any thing else garr my Kind LORD be ill spoken of; through his Strength I shall never do that while I live that may Dishonour him, or make his Precious and Bles­sed Name to be Evil spoken off.

But the Third Thing (I would speak a word too) which ye would never forget so long as ye live is this, The Seasonable­ness of his Appearance for you, if ye remember how season­ably He came and appeared for you when ye were in your Low Condition; it will have Influence upon you to make you do these Two or Three Things: First, It will make you re­member him in all your Straits, and wait patiently upon him till He appear for you; There will never be a Strait or a Cross that ye can come into, but ye will wait upon him in it for your Outgate. It may be Satan and Corruption and Temp­tations will be ready to offer you a Back-door to escape out of the Trial: But says the Soul (that remembers of his season­able appearing for them in their Low Condition) his com­ing to me when I was in a Low Condition was seasonable e­nough before, and why should not I wait upon him now in this Trial, till he appear for me as formerly he did, when I was not waiting for him. And, Secondly, It will not only make you wait upon him, but wait with great Confidence and Hope of his appearance for you. Says the Poor Soul, I will not quate my Confidence, nor be Discouraged under this Cross: And why so? Wa, says the Poor Body, I wat well he that came so seasonably and in time enough for my Relief, and ap­peared for me when I was not looking for him, will much more come now and appear for me; and therefore I will wait upon him with Confidence and Hope. And, Thirdly, If ye remember the seasonableness of his appearance for you in the [Page 10] Day of your Low Estate, then it will make you to wait upon him now both Chearfully and with Joy: And why so? Wa, I'le tell you why, the last time that he came, he came so sea­sonably, that it made my Soul to Rejoice and be Glad; and therefore I will now wait Willingly and Chearfully upon him, for I know he will come now as before, and when he comes, my Soul shall be Glad and Rejoice in him, and so I will wait upon him.

But we come to the Fourth Thing that ye would never forget so long as ye live, and that is, What Great Things Christ hath done for you. And in speaking to this, I will tell you of Five Things that Christ has done for you, which ye should never forget all the Days of your Life so long as ye live in the World. And the First is this, His seeking of Ac­quaintance with you in the day when ye had no mind of Ac­quaintance with him. May not the Christian say, O should I ever forget that Day when he came to my Father's House, and called me by my Name & Surname, and took no moe of the Fa­mily but my self; and should I ever forget that Day, when he came to me (who had a Lust in my Heart, and running Wild after my Idols) and said, stay Sinner, stand still and I'll shew thee the Way to Life, for that Way thou is on, is no the Way to Happiness. O Sirs, any of you that has Experience of such a Day, never forget it that he should have sought you and de­sired you when ye had no mind nor desire of him, Second­ly, Ye should never forget his Communicating to you and making known (after his Acquaintance with you) his Eter­nal Purpose of Love. Has he not made this known to some of you, and said, now Sinner, I tell thee this, I have begune Friendship and Acquaintance with thee that will never end, nor break off again; For I have loved thee with an Everlasting Love that will never End; I have spoken the Word that I will never break nor alter; I have shaken hands with thee that shall [Page 11] never go free again: And therefore may ye not say, To Him that hath loved us, and washed us in His own Blood, and hath made us Kings and Priests unto GOD, and the Fa­ther, to Whom be Glory, Honour and Dominion for ever and ever: But O what have ye to give him? Wa, truly says the sensible Soul, I have nothing to give him at all, but only this, if my Wish and Desire could Exalt Christ, he should not want it; for I would gladly see him High in Heaven and Earth, and I would gladly have him high and exalted in the Estimation of all his People, and that they might remember his Love to them: But who ever forget him and his Love, it shall not be I, for while I live I shall Praise him, and remember his Love to me. A Third Thing that ye should never for­get so long as ye live, and that is, His Drinking up your Hell in one Cup, the thing that ye should have been Drinking to all Eternity, he Drank it up all in one Cup, and O but it was Skunering to him (and yet he stood not upon it; further says he, If it be possible let this Cup depart from Me. Ye know that sad Passage in the 22. of Luke from the 42, and 44. ver­ses and downward after he had prayed with Submission to the Father's Will that it might pass from Him, He was in a Great Agony, and prayed more earnestly, and His Sweat was as it were Great Drops of Blood falling down to the Ground. Heard ye ever tell of a Distress that made a Man to Sweat Drops of Blood, but this? No indeed, it never had a Paralell, nor never will. Now in that Day He was Drinking up your Hell for you all at one Draught, and ye should never forget that Day. One Drop of that Cup of the Father's Wrath which He Drank on your behalf; if ye had gotten it, it would have made you to cry out in Horror for evermore; it made him to Cry but once, but you for evermore. Never one of you Mourned and Weeped for Sin as He Weeped, albeit there was no Sin in him. Wa, What can be the Cause of that say [Page 12] ye? I'll tell you the Cause or Reason of it, ye never knew the Weight of Sin as he did. O Sirs! know ye what gart him Weep over Jerusalem when he looked on it; when they Weeped none for themselves. Wa, this gart him Weep, because He knew the Weight of Sin and the Misery that was coming on them for it, and not they; and therefore he Wept over it. But a Fourth Thing that Christ has done for you that ye should never forget, and that is, His taking away all Objecti­ons that might have weakened your Right, or darkened your Evidence; Yea whatever might have weakened your Right to the Tree of Life in the Paradise of God, he hath taken all away; so that now there is no Objection that can come in the way of a Poor Sinners coming to Christ, but He has taken it away. So that now there is no Objection that Satan or Misbelief can raise against a Poor Thing, but Christ has taken it all away, Col. 2.14, 15. He has blotted out the Hand-writing of Or­dinances which was against us, contrary to us, and took it out of the Way, Nailing it to His Cross. And having spoil­ed Principalities and Powers, He made a shew of them openly Triumphing over them in it. Every Objection that Sa­tan or the World, or Misbelief can propone, he has taken it a­way, & Nailed it to his Cross, that ye might thereby have a Right to the Tree of Life, and that having a Right to it, then there is no Objection can Weaken it at all, and this should never be forgotten by you. A Fifth Thing that Christ has done for you that ye should never forget, and that is, His bearing you Com­pany under all your Crosses. If thou be one of his Friends, will thou tell me Time or Place wherein thou ever had any piece of a Cross or Affliction, or any Sorrow, wherein he bare thee not Company under it. I am sure there is none of his People that can Witness to the contrair; but that he has born them Company in it, and yet is to this Day doing so. And now that he has born, and yet is bearing thee Company under [Page 13] all thy Temptations and Troubles is a thing that thou should never forget so long as thou lives in the World, and have ye done, and are yet doing so? Na, Ye have not done so, ye have not remembred him to be the bearer of you under eve­ry Cross that ye were to meet with in Time, & that it may ap­pear so. Will ye tell me where ye were when he came to your Door and laid down his Cross at it, and ye refused to take it up? And where were ye when the Enemies thought to have Banished Christ out of Scotland? And where were ye when they laid a Stone upon his Grave? If ye had remembred this, and believed that he would bear you Company, would ye not have been ready to have suffered with Him, and to have gone to Death and the Grave with Him.

But we come now to a Fifth Thing that ye would never for­get so long as ye live, and that is, What ye have done against Him, for as ye would never forget what He has done for you; even so likewise ye would never forget what ye have done a­gainst Him, Now there are these Five or Six things that ye have done against Him that ye would never forget.

And the First is this, Ye would never forget what ye have done against Him or ye was acquain with Him. And there are Two Things that ye have done against Him or ye were ac­quaint with Him that ye would never forget. And, The First is this, Ye would never forget your Natural State, what ye were before ye were acquaint with Him; Ye have this of Paul, he never forgat what he was before he was acquaint with Christ; and therefore he says, I was a Blasphemer and a Persecuter, and Injurious. He took the very Thoughts of the Ills and Mischief that he did against Christ to his Grave with him, Secondly, Ye would never forget your particular Sins of Ignorance that ye have done against Christ or ye was acquaint with Him, that ye may Mourn over every one of them. Take heed I pray you, how ye reckon up your Old [Page 14] Sins, lest ye forget them: It may be that there be many here the day that are so far from taking notice what they formerly were, that they never yet knew what it was to keep from a­ny Sin that their Heart inclined them too. Are there not ma­ny here that never knew what yet it was to keep themselves from Lieing, Swearing, and Blasphemy, and the like. O be fear'd for these Things, for there is little betwixt a Blasphe­mer and a Persecuter. Ye would observe the particular Sins and Iniquities that ye have done against Christ, and set them down in Register, that ye may Remember them. For Paul sets down his Grand Iniquities and Sins; I was a Blasphe­mer and a Persecuter, and Injurious.

Secondly, Ye would never forget what ye have done a­gainst Christ since ye were acquaint with Him; and there are these Three or Four Things that ye have done against Christ since ye were acquaint with Him that ye would never forget.

And the First is this, Ye would never forget how ye have Grieved and Offended His Holy Spirit. Are ye not convin­ced that many a Time ye have Grieved His Spirit, and sinned against Light; and have ye not Grieved His Spirit, and sinned against many Warnings? And have ye not Grieved His Holy Spirit, and sinned against many Corrections? And if ye have done so, should it not ly heavy upon your Spirits.

Secondly, Ye would never forget how meikle ye have stum­bled the World by your Practice, and made them to Offend at Christ: Know ye not what Christ may say of some of you the day; may He not say to some of you thou art an of Mine; an of my Followers; It's true thou art an of my Dear Friends; but notwithstanding thou has stumbled and offended many at Me (through thy Gross and Untender Carriage) that would have served Me meikle better nor ever thou has done: And there­fore it is an of the things that thou would never forget, what thou has done to Stumble and Offend the World from Fol­lowing [Page 15] of Me by your Unholy, and Ungospel like Walk and Conversation before the World amongst whom thou should have walked as Light shining in a Dark Place.

Thirdly, Ye would never forget what ye have done against Him in the Intertainment of your Secret Idols. I have no doubt but there is none of you all almost, but ye have some Secret Idol-house or another, where ye Intertain your Idol; and O this is to break the Wedlock with the Son of GOD, and to play the Harlot.

Fourthly, Ye would never forget this, how many a day ye have had Low and Base Thoughts of Precious Christ that has done much for you, and if He would forget you but one Moment, then Wo would be to you for ever; and yet ye have forgotten Him, not only Hours and Moments, but Days and Weeks without Number.

But now the Second Note that I shall speak too is this, That a Christian under Sore Trouble may be verie sore put to it, and brought verie low before Enlargement come. May ye say how Low may they be brought? How Sore may they be put to it? I'le tell you in these Four or Five Things,

First, A Christian under Sore Trouble may be brought to this pass or Enlargement come, that they may be put by all Ex­pectation under Christ. Ye know that Psalm we were Singing. Psalm 142. All Refuge failed me, no Man cared for my Soul; it was Low enough to be brought to this with it.

Secondly, A Christian under a piece of Sore Exercising Trou­ble, and Distress may be put so to it, as to put manie a Pray­er to GOD, and yet hear nothing like an Answer from Him; in the 22. Psalm 2. Verse. O my GOD, I cry in the day time, but Thou hearest not, and in the night season I am not silent, and yet Thou takes no notice at all. And is not this Sad? to be putting up manie Petitions to GOD and getting no An­swer at all, nor no Notice taken of them at all.

[Page 16] Thirdly, A Christian under Sore Trouble may be put to take assay of all Means of all Duties, and yet have no Advantage. Job was at this; he tried all Means, and Gained no Advan­tage; Behold, I go forward and backward, Job 23.8. but I cannot find Him: I seek Him on the Left Hand where He doth Work, but I cannot behold Him: and on the Right Hand, but I cannot see Him. Would Job say, Let me try what I will, I see nothing, but that GOD is still mine Enemy.

Fourthly, A Christian under Sore Trouble may be brought to this pass ere Enlargement come to him, That his Faith may begin to stagger, ay he may be even near hand the quiting Grips of the Promise, the Finger of his Faith may grow cum­bered that he cannot take a Grip of the Promise; I think it be in Isaiah 38.11. I said I shall not see the LORD, even the LORD, in the Land of the Living: I shall behold Man no more with the Inhabitants of the World. Was not his Faith beginning to stagger, when he was at this with it; I shall not see the LORD any more in the Land of the Living: with the Inhabitants of the World.

And Fifthly, A Christian under Sore Trouble and Distress, it may be put him to this, that it will put him by his Ordina­rie; it will make him to keep himself within Rooff and Wall; it will make him forget to keep within Doors; it will make him to cry out aloud. What Means that (may ye say) to Cry? I'le tell you, it Imports these Three or Four Things.

First, It Imports Seriousness. It may be that the Man had a Form of Words; but now he is put by it. Would the LORD say to the Man that had nothing but a Form; I gart him Cry and turn Serious, and let him not rest upon his bare Form of Words.

Secondly, Crying it Imports felt Distance; For ye know, that ye must cry to the Man at a Distance that ye cannot speak quiet­ly too. When a Man is put to Cry, it Imports, That GOD [Page 17] is far from that Man, (as to his Sense at lest) it Imports that Soul is under much felt Distance from GODs Presence.

Thirdly, Crying, It Importeth some Great Weight on ano­ther upon the Soul. If a Man were Travelling upon a Hill, and a Heavie Burden on his Back, and his Strength failing him, would he not cry for Help? So Crying Importeth a Sore Pressure or Burden upon the Mans Spirit. Ye know Moses when standing on the Sea-shore, and the Red-sea before him, and Pharaoh behind him, and Rocks on everie Hand, and not a Word was he crying at all. And yet see what the LORD says, He saw a Heavie Burden or Pressure upon the Man's Spirit. And as it was a Heavie Burden to Moses, so a loud Cry to the LORD: And therefore says the LORD, Exod. 14.15. Wherefore cryest thou unto Me?

Fourthly, Crying, Imports apparent Danger; If a Child were Travelling through a Wood after his Father, and if a Lyon appeared to him, and his Father a stap or two from him, would he not cry for fear of Danger. Even so, when a Christian apprehends and sees that he is near Lost, and the Lyon has him almost in his Paw, it will make him to cry. And from this it may be Observed, that those that is always one and the same, and is no more, that they see not their Danger, or else if they saw it, they would be put to cry as well as others

But a Third Note that I would speak a Word too, is this, That it is no small Business or Difficultie for a Christian to get a Prayer sent up to GOD in the Day of his Sore Trouble or Affliction. Now I shall let you see the Difficultie that a Chri­stian hath to Direct his Prayer to GOD in the Day of his Sore Trouble, in these Three or Four Things.

First, Because Sore Trouble fills a Mans Heart with Pre­judices at CHRIST. This ye see clear in the 73. Psalm and 13. Verse, when David saw the Prosperitie of the Wicked, [Page 18] and the Affliction of the Godlie, he is offended at it. Is this all the Kindness I get for being Godlie? to be dailie in Af­fliction, while the Wicked Prosper in the World? Verilie I think that I have been a verie Great Fool; for verily I have Cleansed my Heart in Vain, and Washed my Hands in In­nocency: for all Day long have I been Plagued, and Chast­ned every Morning. A Man in such a Frame as that, will find it a Great Business, and no small Matter for him to get his Prayer directed to GOD.

Secondly, It is a Great Difficultie for a Man in such a Case to direct his Prayer to GOD, because Misbelief presents the Work of Prayer to the Man as Useless. When a Man is under a Pre­vailing Power of Unbelief. That Temptation will tell him, his Praying will be but in Vain. Is it a small Matter for a Man under Sore Trouble to pray then, think ye? no indeed; It is a great Business to win at it to pour out his Heart to GOD in such a Case.

Thirdly, It is a Great Matter for a Man to Direct his Pray­er to GOD while under Sore Trouble, and that because, of­tentimes Sore Trouble is accompanied with Terror from GOD, and when the LORD is not accompaning a Mans Spirit in Trouble, it is meikle for him to pray. Indeed, if the LORDs Spirit accompany a Mans Spirit (tho' it were under Sore Trou­ble) it is not meikle for him to pray to GOD. Ay Prayer will be Easie: But after the Terror of GOD comes with the Affliction and Sore Trouble, ye see what Job says, Job 6.4. The Terrors of GOD sets themselves in Battle aray against me. Now for a Man to pray while under the Terrors of GOD, is no small Difficultie.

Fourthly, It must be a Great Matter for a Man to pray to GOD when under Sore Trouble: And why? Because often­times, Sore Trouble bring alongs with it Great Confusion, and Distractedness of Spirit. Now is it a small Matter (think [Page 19] ye) to pray then when a Man or Woman is under Great Con­fusion and Distraction of Spirit? I answer with Job, 10. Chap. 15. Verse. Therefore see thou my Affliction (says he) in time of Sore Affliction. It is no small Matter to get leave to put up a Petition or Bill before the Throne.

But now I come to the Fourth Note (and shall but speak a Word to it) which is this, That ordinarlie these Duties that are gone about against maniest Temptations, and over the Belly of maniest Discouragements, is most Successfull and pros­pers best. And wherefore is it so? may ye say, I'll tell you the Reason of it in these Three Things shortlie, for I must hast.

And the First Reason I'll give you of it, is this, That these Duties done against maniest Discouragements cannot but Pros­per best. And why? Because they proceed from much Love, and this makes them Desirable; and much Love makes them Acceptable to Him in their Dutie, and so they cannot but Pro­sper in the following of that Dutie, when they in that piece of Service is acceptable to GOD.

And Secondly, These Duties that are gone about over the Belly of much Discouragement as they are done in much Love; so likewise they are done in verie much Seriousness, and Single­ness of Heart, and that makes them to Prosper: I'll tell you the great thing that makes Dutie not to Prosper in your Hands, is your want of Seriousness. And ye were but as Serious a­bout Religion, as ye are for your Daily Bread, ye would come better speed in Dutie, and ye would thrive well in Religion and the Way of GOD be ye do.

Thirdly, These Duties that are gone about with the great­est Difficulties and Discouragements in the way of them, ordi­narlie they are attended with most Help from GOD. The LORD will not leave that Man that undertakes his Dutie in such a Case; He will not leave that Soul that for His Sake (under many Temptations) undertakes a piece of Work for [Page 20] Him; that Man is sure of GOD for his Help. And a Man that is sure of Heaven for his Help, he needs not fear in fol­lowing of his Dutie whatever be in his Way, for he shall be well helped.

Now we come to the Fifth Note, and shall speak but a short Word to it also (that ye may be dispatched) which if ye re­member was this, That oftentimes the Trouble of the Chri­stian amounts to that height, and is such as admits of no Va­cancie; they are often brought to their Night of Trouble, as well as of their Day. Now may ye say, How comes this to pass? I'll tell you in these Four or Five Things.

First, It comes from Satans Malice: So long as Satan can, he will give him no rest: There is no rest for the Christian if Satan can hinder his rest he will do it, and if he can take a­way the Nights rest from him as well as the Days, be sure he will do it; and so it is oftentimes from Satan that the Christi­ans Trouble amounts to this height, that it admits of no Va­cancie.

Secondly, It comes from the Soveraign Hand of GOD, for Holy and Wise Ends known to Himself. Sometimes the LORD sees it fit to keep them in Continual Trouble, that He may Melt and Refine them from their Dross. There is some Met­tals ill to purge, and therefore it must be keeped long in the Furnace: Even so, there are some Christians that must be keep­ed long in the Furnace of Affliction and Trouble, that He may Melt and Refine them there, till their Dross go away from them, otherways He would not continue them in Trouble: For the End and Fruit of Jacob's Trouble is to purge away Sin; and because Sin is ill to purge away in many, therefore Trouble must continue.

Thirdly, The LORD does it for this End, that they may thereby know what Power and Moyen He hath; it will keep the Man in Life under the Greatest Trouble that he can come [Page 21] under, to remember that this Trouble is but to give him a proof of his Power and Love. O how will the Soul under Trouble be Refreshed, when he considers, hereby I shall have a proof of his never failing Faithfulness made out to my Soul. What otherways can the Soul say that sees him (notwithstan­ding of all that He lays on) still keeping Heaven for his Friends.

Fourthly, He does it for this End, That his Friends may know how Dangerous it is to be far from GOD. Lasting Trouble requires Divine and Lasting Support, or else Lasting Trouble would waste and destroy, and bring the Soul in a Dan­gerous Case.

And, Lastly, He does it to keep you from making any more acquaintance with your former Idols. A Man under Sore Trou­ble will not readily seek after his former Idols; for he knows they will do him no Good: and therefore in the 14 of Hosea, and 3. Verse, We will not say any more to the Work of our Hands, ye are our gods, for in Thee the Fatherless findeth Mercy.

But now we come to the Last Note which is this, That the day is coming wherein the Christian shall speak of all his Sore Troubles as of Things bygone, however sad they be for the time; Yet the day is coming wherein they shall speak of them all as of Things past and gone. There are these Five or Six Sad Things now in the Christians Lot, that ere long he will speak of them as of Things bygone.

First, The Day is coming wherein the Christian shall have this to say, the day was once wherein I was under Desertion, and a sad and sore Cloud it was; but now He has taken it a­way, and I have Light for Darkness, for he has written his Name upon my Forehead, and now I see no more darkly as through a Glass; but I see Him Face to Face,

Secondly, The Day is coming wherein the Christian shall have this to say, the Day was once when I was under Sad [Page 22] and Sore Temptations; but now Satan has nothing in me to work upon: The Day was once wherein Satan never sooner knocked at my Heart, but there was some Traitor or another in the House as ready to open a Door or Window to let him in; but now he has nothing in me to work upon at all.

Thirdly, The Day is coming wherein the Christian will have this to say, the Day was once, wherein I was so hard­ly pursued that I might scarcely byde so long as to take either Friend or Kin by the hand; but now I am the day where the Weary are at Rest: The Day was once, wherein I had neither Days nor Nights Rest; but now I may Rest both Night and Day, and there were any Night there, but there is none.

Fourthly, The Day is coming wherein the Christian will have this to say, the Day was once, wherein I was a Man ve­ry much Reproached and Debased; but now He has wiped a­way my Reproach, and made me very Honourable; He has made me now as Honourable as I was Vile, if not more; for He has now taken away my Filthiness, and Beautified me with His Comliness.

Fifthly, The Day is coming wherein the Christian shall have this to say, the Day was once, wherein I was in a very Low and Mean Condition, when my Ten Fingers behoved to Provide for my Dinner, and when I had gotten it, I wist not well where I was to ly down at Night, or where to get my Sup­per; but now I am beyond that; I need not now care for my Self, nor my Wife, and my Family, for I am Richly provided; for there is no Want in Heaven.

Sixthly, The Day is coming wherein the Christian will have this to say, the Day was once, wherein I was a Man very much given to Wandering, and going out of CHRISTs Way. O how many Wild Staps have I gone, they are past Numbering; but now I will Wander no more, I will never go out of Christ's [Page 23] Way again; I will now Wander, and go after Satans Ways no more for ever.

And, Lastly, The Day is coming wherein the Christian shall have this to say, the Day was once, wherein I sat all day long in the Solemn Assembly and Meeting of His People Sorrowing over the Desolations of the Sanctuary; but now I shall sit no more in that Assembly below in Sorrow and Grief; but I shall sit in the General Assembly and Church of the First-born with GOD and Angels and Spirits of Just Men made Perfect, Rejoicing for evermore. Ay, the Day is coming wherein the Christian shall speak of all his Sorrows whatever they be, as of bygone Things; and as it is with the Christian, so it will be with the Wicked. The Day is coming wherein the Wicked shall speak of all their Good Things, as of Things bygone and past: The Day is coming wherein they shall say, I was once Great, but now I am Low; I was once Strong, but now I am Weak: I had once many Friends, but I have now many Ene­mies: I was once Honourable, but now I am Base and Con­temptible: I had once Power, but now I am a Slave. O there will be a Strange Change, and ye could wait upon it. The Day is coming wherein they will be very High, that are this Day very Low: And they who are this Day very High, ere long will be brought very Low. O and ye could believe thir Things; but whether ye believe them or not, they are not Cunningly Devised Fables. Ye will find it to be so ere long; and ye had Faith to believe it, and Patience to wait for it (but a little) ye would see it: But we will say no more at this time.

Let us Pray.

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