2. BUT A DISCONTENTED HEART WILL SAY, 'I am not so much troubled with my afflictions, but it is for my sin rather than my affliction, and I hope you will give leave that we should be troubled and discontented with our sin. Were it not for sin that I see in myself, I should not be so discontented as I am. Oh! it is sin that is heavy upon me, and it is that which troubles me more than my afflictions.

Do not deceive your own heart, there is a very great deceit in this. There are many people who, when God's hand is out against them, will say they are troubled for their sin, but the truth is, it is the affliction that troubles them rather than their sin. Their heart greatly deceives them in this very thing.

1. They were never troubled for their sin before this affliction came. But you will say, It is true I was not before, for my prosperity blinded me, but now God has opened my eyes by afflictions. Has he? Then your great care will be rather for the removing of your sin than your affliction. Are you more solicitous about the taking away of your sin than the taking away of your affliction? 2. If it is your sin that troubles you, then even if God should take away your afflictions, yet unless your sin is taken away, and your heart is better, this would not content you, you could not be satisfied. But we see usually that if God removes their afflictions, they have no more trouble for their sin. Oh, many deceive themselves in this, saying that they are so troubled for their sin, and especially those who are so troubled that they are in danger to miscarry, and to make away with themselves. There is not one in ten thousand who is in such a condition as this, and it is afflictions rather than sin that puts them to it. Indeed, you lay everything on this, as if it were the work of the Word, or the spirit of bondage. I remember I heard not long since of a divine who was judicious, and used to such things, to whom came a man mightily troubled for his sin, and he could not tell what to do, he was ready to despair. The divine looked upon him, and said, 'Are you not in debt?' He confessed that he was, and at length the minister began to find out that that was his trouble rather than his sin, and so was able to help him in that matter, that his creditors should not come on him, and then the man was pretty quiet, and would not do away with himself any longer.

It is usual that if anything befalls a man which crosses him, Oh, then, it is his sin that troubles him! Sometimes it is so with servants, if their masters cross them, then they are vexed and fret. Come to deal with them, Oh, then they will say they are sorrowful for their sin. But we must take heed of dallying with God, who is the seer and searcher of the secrets of all heart.

Many of you go sullen and dumpish up and down in your homes, and then you say, it is your sin that lies upon you, when God knows it is otherwise: it is because you cannot have your desires as you would have.

3. If you are troubled for your sin, then it will be your great care not to sin in your trouble, so as not, by your trouble, to increase your sin. But you are troubled in such a way that, the truth is, you increase your sin in your trouble, and since you said you were troubled for your sin you have committed more sin than you did before.

4. And then, lastly, if it is your sin that troubles you, then you have the more need to submit to God's hand, and to accept the punishment of your iniquity, as in

Leviticus 26:41. There is no consideration to take away murmuring, so much as to look upon my sin as the cause of my affliction.