Hope Kept Alive by Holiness and Deadened by Corruption
"Men are doubtless to blame for being in a dead, carnal frame; but when they are in such a frame, and have no sensible experience of the exercises of grace, but on the contrary, are much under the prevalence of lusts and an unchristian spirit, they are not to blame for doubting their state. It is as impossible, in the nature of things, that a holy and Christian hope be kept alive, in its clearness and strength, in such circumstances, as it is to keep the light in the room, when the candle is put out; or to maintain the bright sunshine in the air, when the sun is gone down. Distant experiences, when darkened by present prevailing lust and corruption, never keep alive a gracious confidence and assurance; but that sickens and decays upon it, as necessarily as a little child by repeated blows on the head with a hammer."
- Jonathan Edwards - Religious Affections, pt. 2, sect. 11