OF all the temptations that ever I met with in my life, to question the being of God, and truth of his Gospel, is the worst, and the worst to be borne. When this temptation comes, it takes away my girdle from me, and removeth the foundation from under me. Oh! I have often thought of that word, "Have your loins girt about with truth:"54 Ephesians 6:14 and of that, "When the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?"55 Psalm 11:3
Sometimes, when, after sin committed, I have looked for sore chastisement from the hand of God, the very next that I have had from him hath been the discovery of his grace. Sometimes, when I have been comforted, I have called myself a fool for my so sinking under trouble. And then again, when I have been cast down, I thought I was not wise to give such way to comfort. With such strength and weight have both these been upon me.
I have wondered much at this one thing, that though God doth visit my soul with never so blessed a discovery of himself, yet I have found again, that such hours have attended me afterwards that I have been in my spirit so filled with darkness, that I could not so much as once conceive, what that God, and what that comfort was, with which I have been refreshed.
I have sometimes seen more in a line of the Bible, than I could well tell how to stand under; and yet at another time the whole Bible hath been to me as dry as a stick: or rather, my heart hath been so dead and dry unto it, that I could not conceive the least dram of refreshment though I have looked it all over.
Of all fears, they are best that are made, by the blood of Christ: and of all joy, that is the sweetest that is mixed with mourning over Christ: Oh! it is a goodly thing to be on our knees, with Christ in our arms, before God. I hope I know something of these things.
I find to this day seven abominations in my heart.
These things I continually see and feel, and am afflicted and oppressed with; yet the wisdom of God doth order them for my good.