Sense of sin may be often great, and more felt than grace; yet not be more than grace. A man feels the ache of his finger more sensibly than the health of his whole body; yet he knows that the ache of a finger is nothing so much as the health of the whole body.
It may be you have been more earnest and vehement for assurance, and the effects of it, viz., joy, comfort, and peace, than you have been for grace and holiness, for communion with God, and conformity to God. It may be your requests for assurance have been full of life and spirits, when your requests for grace and holiness, for communion with God, and conformity to God, have been lifeless and spiritless. If so, no wonder that assurance is denied you. Assurance makes most for your comfort, but holiness makes most for God’s honour. Man’s holiness is now his greatest happiness, and in heaven man’s greatest happiness will be his perfect holiness.
Assurance made David divinely fearless, and divinely careless.
None have assurance at all times. As in a walk that is shaded with trees and chequered with light and shadow, some tracks and paths in it are dark and others are sunshine. Such is usually the life of the most assured Christian.
Every brand of theology that is not grounded in the particularism which is exemplified in sovereign election and effective redemption is not hospitable to this doctrine of the assurance of faith.