By Lewis Bayly
The misery of thy soul will more evidently appear, if thou wilt but consider-1st, The felicity she has lost; 2d, The misery which she has brought upon herself by sin.
1. The felicity lost was, first, the fruition of the image of God, whereby the soul was like God in knowledge, enabling her perfectly to understand the revealed will of God (Col. iii. 10; Rom. xii. 2); secondly, true holiness, by which she was free from all profane error; thirdly, righteousness, whereby she was able to incline all her natural powers, and to frame uprightly all her actions, proceeding from those powers. With the loss of this divine image, she lost the love of God, and the blessed communion which she had with Him, wherein consists her life and happiness. If the loss of earthly riches vex thee so much, how should not the loss of this divine treasure perplex thee much more?
2. The misery which she drew upon herself, consists in two things:-1st, Sinfulness; 2d, Cursedness.
1. Sinfulness is an universal corruption both of her nature and actions: for her nature is infected with a proneness to every sin continually (Eph. ii. 3; Gen. vi. 5); the mind is stuffed with vanity (Rom. xii. 2; Eph. iv. 17); the understanding is darkened with ignorance (1 Cor. ii. 14); the will affects nothing but vile and vain things (Phil. ii. 3); all her actions are evil (Rom. iii. 12); yea, this deformity is so violent, that often in the regenerate soul, the appetite will not obey the government of reason, and the will wanders after, and yields consent to sinful motions. How great, then, is the violence of the appetite and will in the reprobate soul, which still remains in her natural corruption! hence it is that thy wretched soul is so deformed with sin, denied with lust, polluted with filthiness, outraged with passions, overcarried with affections, pining with envy, overcharged with gluttony, surfeited with drunkenness, boiling with revenge, transported with rage, and the glorious image of God transformed into the ugly shape of the devil (John viii. 44), so far as it once "repented the Lord, that ever he made man," Gen. vi. 6.
From the former flows the other part of the soul's miseries, called Cursedness (Deut. xxvii. 26; Gal. iii. 10; Psal. cxix. 21); whereof there are two degrees-1st, In part; 2d, In the fulness thereof.
1. Cursedness in part is that which is inflicted upon the soul in life and death, and is common to her with the body.
2. The cursedness of the soul in life, is the wrath of God, which lies upon such a creature so far, as that all things, not only calamities, but also very blessings and graces turn to ruin (Rom. ii. 4, 5; Jer. xxviii. 13; Isa. xxviii. 13); terror of conscience drives him from God and his service, that he dares not come to his presence and ordinances (Gen. iii. 8, 10; iv. 14; Heb. ii. 15), but is given up to the slavery of Satan, and to his own lusts and vile affections (Rom. i. 21, 24, 26; Eph. ii. 2; Col. i. 13). This is the cursedness of the soul in life. Now follow the cursedness of the soul and body in death.