Presumptuous sins, these are the thieves that ‘break through and steal’ the saint’s comfort away. When the Christian comes to look into his soul after such a bold act, and thinks to entertain himself, as formerly, with the comforts of his pardoned state, interest in Christ, and hopes of heaven through him, alas! he finds a sad change. There is no promise that will give out its consolations to him—the cellar-door is locked, Christ withdrawn, and the keys carried away with him. He may even cry out with a sad complaint, as Mary when she found not Christ’s body in the sepulchre, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.’ Thus the Christian may, with aching heart, bemoan his folly, ‘My pride, my uncleanness, my earthly-mindedness, they have taken away my treasure, robbed me of my comfort. I could never have a comfortable sight of God’s face in any duty or promise since I fell into that foul sin.’ And therefore, Christian, have a care of such robbers of thy peace as this. ‘The spirit of man’ is called ‘the candle of the Lord,’ Prov. 20:27. Hath God lighted thy candle, Christian—cheered thy spirit, I mean, with the sense of his love? Take heed of presumptuous sins. If such a thief be suffered in this thy candle, thy comfort will soon sweal out. Hast thou fallen into the hands of any such presumptuous sins as have stolen thy peace from thee? Send speedily thy hue and cry after them—I mean, take thy sad moan to God, renew thy repentance out of hand, and raise heaven upon them by a spirit of prayer. This is no time to delay. The farther thou lettest these sins go without repentance, the harder thou wilt find it to recover thy lost peace and joy out of their hands. And for thy encouragement know, God is ready, upon thy serious and solemn return, to restore thee ‘the joy of his salvation,’ and do justice upon these enemies of thy soul for thee by his mortifying grace, if thou wilt prosecute the law upon them closely and vigorously, without relenting towards them, or being bribed with the pleasure or carnal advantage that they will not spare to offer, so their lives may be spared. 2. Again, as presumptuous sins are the ‘thieves’ that with a high hand rob the Christian of his comfort; so sloth and negligence are as the ‘rust,’ that in time will fret into his comfort and eat out the heart and strength of it. It is impossible that the Christian who is careless and secure in his walking, infrequent and negligent in his communion with God, should long be owner of much peace or comfort that is true. What if thou dost not pour water of presumptuous sins into the lap of thy joy to quench it? It is enough if thou dost not pour oil of duty to feed and maintain it. Thou art murderer to thy comfort by starving it, as well as by stabbing of it. WILLIAM GURNALL.