Discovering the Soundness or Corruption of Men’s Hearts by the Manner in Which They Regard Indwelling Sin – From the Book, The Touchstone of Sincerity … 1698
They undoubtedly have graceless hearts who are distressed at the discovery of their sins by others, but who are not troubled on account of their guilt. Multitudes there are of this class: they are not awed by the consideration that God sees them; they are concerned chiefly that their appearance before men may be reputable; they scruple not to commit ten sins against God in order to hide one from the eyes of men.
There is a being earthly minded which consists in an inordinate affection unto the things of this world. It is that which is sinful, which ought to be mortified; yet it is not absolutely inconsistent with the substance and being of the grace inquired after. Some who are really and truly spiritually minded, yet may, for a time at least, be under such an inordinate affection unto and care about earthly things, that if not absolutely, yet comparatively, as unto what they ought to be and might be, they may be justly said to be earthly minded. They are so in respect of those degrees in being spiritually minded which they ought to aim at and may attain unto. And where it is thus, this grace can never thrive or flourish, it can never advance unto any eminent degree.
In this lesson the conversation is continued between Faithful and Christian. Faithful recounts his interaction with Adam the First, Moses, Discontent, and then they both encounter Talkative. It includes an introduction to Jonathan Edwards on The Religious Affections, what are NOT signs that a person has holy affections.
Now the question we have to put upon all this is, whether the righteous of our day, or those who deem themselves to be so, are really comporting themselves in a way answerable to such a representation? Are they running, so as that they may obtain ? Are they fighting, so as that they may gain a hard-won victory? Are they striving, so as that they may force an entrance of great obstruction and difficulty?
From Cases of Conscience, Case 23 “How may a professor, who fears lest his experiences are counterfeit and not genuine graces, come to such a satisfaction concerning his state, as shall encourage his continued reception of the Lord’s Supper?”
Satan is able to work upon that other corrupt principle in us : guilt of
conscience. Both how many ways Satan is able to know matter by us to object against us ; as also, to set it on, and work upon the guilt and
erroneousness of the conscience.