By Richard Sibbes
Look back every day to the passage thereof. See how we have passed along, see what sins have escaped you; then come at night to God, confess and be sorry for all, resolve against all, crave strength against all. Oh it is a fearful state to sleep in sin; better sleep in a house of adders and venomous beasts. See also and watch every morning; corruption does cleave to all our best actions; we pass no day so, but we have cause to say, Lord forgive us our sins. By this course we shall keep our souls free, being ready for death. We shall by our particular reckoning, every day clearing the score, be ready for our great general pardon, and when trouble comes, have only that to encounter with.
I beseech you, therefore, put this in practice. Be sure with the day to clear the sins of the day; so shall you live a comfortable life, for death, for sickness, trouble, or whatsoever, all our business lying in heaven then.
—”If it be thus, we need not care how we sin: it is but every day to sue out a new pardon.”
Oh beware, if our pardon be sealed, there must be confession, sorrow for sin, resolution with full purpose to do so no more; there must be arraigning, condemning, and judging of ourselves for it, because whatsoever we would not have God to do, we must do it ourselves. Our time in getting this ransom sealed, is for the most part according to our sin. He that has such a resolution to sin every day, because sin is pardoned everyday, he may go long enough without pardon, at least comfort of his pardon.
For though pardon of sins be pronounced, yet God has the keeping of joy in his own hand. As David had his sin pardoned,—by the judgement of faith he knew this much—yet Ps. 51:8, how does he pray for joy, and that God would heal the bones which he had broken! He roared all the day, and still felt a pain like the breaking of bones. The joy of the Spirit had left him. This he cries to have restored.
Thus though sin may be pardoned, yet the more we sin, with little repenting, the longer we shall be wanting of joy; or, it may be, go all our lifetime mourning without comfort in such a case.
This common domain work’s language modernized in few places by this site.