Third help. A sense of the unspeakable misery you are liable to by reason of sin for which purpose consider all your sins, with their circumstances, as of times past, present, and to come.
1. Time past. Look back upon all your sins past that ever you did commit, all you have been guilty of ever since you were born, original or actual, known or unknown, of thought, word, and deed. They are written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond, not to be erased out; they are all upon record, and now lie as so many sleeping lions, gathering strength and vigour until such time as the Lord shall awake the conscience; and then they will appear, and rend your soul in pieces. I say, let natural men consider this point, and they shall see themselves miserable; for there are some for a small sin put to such frights, that they could not be comforted in a long space. If these for such small things, in men's account, have come to such a pass that they took no delight in any earthly thing, but are put to their wit's end, ready to make away themselves, wishing themselves annihilated, then what tearing of hair, what horror of conscience will seize upon you on your bed of death; with what a ghastly countenance will you look upon that black and hellish catalogue of all your sins_such as lies, oaths, railings, scoffings at God's people, impure speeches, mad passions, goods ill gotten, time ill spent, profanation of sabbaths, and killing Christ at every sacrament as all natural men do! These shall be summoned before you and charged upon your conscience by the just God; then consider in proportion what horror will be in your heart! No heart can conceive it, nor tongue of men and angels utter it. Now then attend, and let none bless themselves and say, I never felt this misery, therefore it shall never hurt me; I tell you, it is the perfection of your misery that you are insensible of it: to be soulsick, and feel it not is the full completion of misery, and the reasons why you cannot see it, are these seven:
(i) The devil while you are his, will not trouble you; he is a politician of almost six thousand years' experience, and knows, if once you see your sins, he shall lose you; therefore he blinds you.
(ii) Your conscience is lulled asleep with carnal pleasure and worldly contentments.
(iii) A bucket of water is heavy on earth; in its own place it is not so. When men are merely natural, sin is in its own place, and the weight is not felt.
(iv) The conscience of a natural man is like a wolf in a man's body; while it is fed with carnal friends, good fellowship, some great business of the world, and so on, it is quiet; but take this away, and then it is felt.
(v) A natural man is spiritually dead, and a dead man feels no weight, you know.
(vi) He looks on sin through false glasses, such as upon covetousness and usury, through the glass of good business; so prodigality, through the glass of liberality.
(vii) For want of consideration. If we would by ourselves consider when the minister presses sabbath-breaking, or any other sin, and say, This is my case, but now by the mercy of God I will be humbled, this would much help us to see our misery.