It is a righteous thing with God judicially to give up such persons unto all manner of filthy sins and wickedness, that it may be an aggravation of their condemnation at the last day. It is the way of God to do so even when inferior manifestations of himself, his word and will, are rejected, or not improved.
God pours out upon such persons “a spirit of slumber,” or gives them up to a profound security, so as that they take notice of nothing in the works or word of God that should stir them up to amendment, or restrain them from sin. So he dealt with these unbelieving Jews: Romans 11: 8, “God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see.” Although it be so come to pass, that many there are whom God’s soul loatheth, and they abhor him also, as he speaks, Zechariah 11: 8, so that he will have no more to do with them; yet he doth and will continue his word in the world, and the works of his providence in the government thereof. Now, as in the word there are several warnings and dreadful threatenings against sinners, so in the works of God there are judgments full of evidences of God’s displeasure against sin, Romans 1: 18. Both these in their own nature are suited to awaken men, to bring them to a due consideration of themselves, and so to restrain them from sin. But as to this sort of persons, God sends a spirit of slumber upon them, that nothing shall rouse them up, or awaken them from their sins. Though it thunders over their heads, and the tempest of judgments falls so near them, as if they were personally concerned, yet do they cry, “Peace, peace.” When the word is preached to them, or they hear by any means the curse of the law, yet they bless themselves, as those who are altogether unconcerned in it. God gives them up unto all ways and means whereby they may be fortified in their security. Love of sin; contempt and scorn of them by whom the word of God is declared, or the judgments of God are dreaded; carnal confidence, carrying towards atheism; the society of other presumptuous sinners, strengthening their hands in their abominations; a present supply for their lusts, in the pleasant things of this world,