An examination of the signs that a professing Christian, who bears no fruit, is being given up of God to final induration, or hardness of heart.
Barrenness under the dispensation of the gospel is always accompanied by an increase of sin. The ground which brings not forth “herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed,” thrusts forth “thorns and briers.” Let it be observed, that spiritual barrenness never goes alone. Abounding in sin will accompany it, and does so. How doth God thus judicially give up persons despising the gospel unto their own hearts’lusts, to do the things that are not convenient?’ I answer He doth it, by leaving them wholly to themselves, taking off all effectual restraint from them.
Ordinarily, God proceeds to the rejection and destruction of barren professors by degrees, although they are seldom sensible of it until they fall irrecoverably into ruin. This ground here is first “disapproved” or “rejected;” then it is “nigh to cursing;” — the curse ensues; after which it is “burned.” And God thus proceeds with them,