This is from The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbs. The Chapter is titled: Help For The Weak. It has to do with Christians who struggle and think they are ineffective for the cause of Christ. Mr. Sibbs gives thoughts and remedies for those feeling weak in their faith. Here are some exerpts.
Some think they have no faith at all because they have little assurance. The mortar in which garlic is stamped will always smell of it; so all our actions will savor something of the old man.
In weakness of body some think grace dies… because their performance and their spirit is weak. (But) God regards the hidden sighs of those that lack ability to express them outwardly.
Some are haunted with hideous representations to their imaginations, and with vile and unworthy thoughts of God, Christ, and The Word which disquiet and molest their peace. A pious soul is no more guilty of them than Benjamin was when Joseph’s cup was put into his sack. Every sin is atoned for… including thoughts that have the devil for their father. (When Christ was tempted) he could have overcome (Satan) by power, but he did it by argument. Our chief comfort is that our blessed savior as he bade Satan to depart from him… so he will command Satan to be gone from us.
Some think that because they are more troubled with the smoke of corruption than they were (before salvation), they are therefore worse than before. None are so aware of corruption as those whose souls are most alive! Where smoke is offensive, it means there is light. (Aside: I heard it put this way… “The closer you are to God the further away you will feel because you understand the depth of your own depravity. But alas, Christ has brought us near!”). It is better that corruption should offend us now, than by giving way to it to gain little peace, to lose comfort afterward.
I know that the way people expressed themsevles in writing during the 1600s is not always easy to understand… but there is great peace in the words above which were written hundreds of years ago. I encourage you to bask in the wisdom of them to nourish your soul.