"Where, then, do . . . discouragements come from?
"1. Not from the Father, for He has bound Himself in covenant to pity us as a father pities his children (Psa. 103:13); and to accept as a Father our weak endeavors. And what is wanting in the strength of duty, He gives us leave to take up in His gracious indulgence. In this way we shall honor that grace in which He delights as much as in more perfect performances.
"2. Not from Christ, for He by office will not quench the smoking flax. We see how Christ bestows the best fruits of His love on persons who are mean in condition, weak in abilities, and offensive for infirmities, nay, for grosser falls. And this He does, first, because thus it pleases Him to confound the pride of the flesh, which usually measures God's love by some outward excellency; and secondly, in this way He de-
lights to show the freedom of His grace and confirm His royal prerog-
ative that, 'he that glories' must 'glory in the Lord' (1 Cor. 1:31). . . .
"3. Neither do discouragements come from the Spirit. He helps our in-
firmities, and by office is a Comforter (Rom. 8:26; John 14:16). If He convinces of sin, and so humbles us, it is that He may make way for His office of comforting us. Discouragements, then, must come from ourselves and from Satan, who labors to fasten on us a loathing of duty."