On Experimental Troubles

On Experimental Troubles

An Excerpt From The Faithfulness of the Lord’s Word
By John Warburton

(The source site has a wealth of Godly material from old)

“There may be some in the presence of God tonight who are doing business in deep waters; who not only know the plague of their own hearts, the wretchedness and vileness of their evil nature, and the enmity of their carnal minds; but they have also to mourn and lament over their insensibility, stupidity and want of feeling. This so staggers them at times, that their souls tremble within them, and they are brought to this stand–to fear that after all their profession will prove nothing but hypocrisy at last; for sometimes they find so much devilism, such anger and passion, and such carnal workings in their mind, that they cannot think it possible they are children of God; so that they cry out, “Can ever God dwell here?” While mourning over these dismal feelings, they say, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24) And with Job, they utter forth their lamentations, saying, “I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls;” (Job 30:29) or with David, “I am like a pelican of the wilderness, I am like an owl of the desert: I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the housetop.” (Ps. 102:6,7) ‘Can such a wretch as I look up to God for mercy. It seems nothing but awful presumption.’
No, no, there can be no presumption in crying out for mercy. ‘But ah,’ he replies, ‘I have gone beyond every one else; none of the Lord’s people can have so much sin and misery as I have felt in my heart. Mine iniquities are so great, they overwhelm me; and sometimes I am afraid they will burst forth afresh and bring me to open shame; so that I cannot find words to express my baseness before the Lord. But still, there are some moments, blessed by His name, in which I would not change my state with any man in the world; when the mercy, love, blood, and righteousness of a three-one Jehovah is revealed to my soul; and then my joy is so full that “my cup runneth over.” O how good it is to enjoy this feast; it is very sweet to be here, it is indeed; and it is what you and I love. Then we can say with David, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” (Ps. 23:6) At such moments as these, when we can enter into the presence-chamber of the King, the Devil and our unbelief soon rise up and flee away. When my God brings me here, and I am able to enjoy His blessed smiles and love-tokens, the Devil and my corruptions are not able to stir at all: the sun is up, the sky is clear, and all the beasts of the forest have gone to their dens; the road is now so free that not one dares to approach while the Master is present. But as soon as He is gone, darkness and gloom come on again, and doubts and fears return with it.”
It is quite different with some people; they can always be in the light; they can enjoy the smiles of God’s countenance, whether He shines on them or not; it is all the same to them whatever their circumstances may be. But David knew something of the difference; he says, “Why standest thou afar off, O Lord? Why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?” So that when the light of the Lord’s countenance is withdrawn, what a change then takes place in the scene. Sometimes enmity, carnality, pride, presumption, the world and all its cares, will rush into the soul like a crowd; so there appears to be only light enough to see the swarms of devils within, and just life enough to cry to God for mercy. Ah, I have known something of what it is to be in this horrible pit; I have said, ‘Can I dare to call upon the Lord for mercy?’ While I have been praying that these feelings might be kept down, and not rise up, I have feared lest I should presume on the goodness and bounty of God. At last I have come and said, ‘O Lord, Thou knowest me altogether; Thou knowest what a wretch I am; if there can be an instance of Thy shewing mercy to one so base, do shew it to me.’

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