It is the exercise of the soul under unbelief that shows the existence of spiritual life

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A Peculiar People by J.C. Philpot

“…But all God’s family, each according to their measure, have spiritual exercises. Sometimes, for instance, they are powerfully exercised with unbelief; that is, the unbelief of their hearts so powerfully works in their carnal mind, as to obscure every evidence, hide every testimony, and deface every inscription that the Holy Ghost has engraved upon their souls. But it is not the mere existence of unbelief, that manifests a child of God, for unbelief reigns and rules in the hearts of the reprobate; it is the exercise of the soul under unbelief, that shows the existence of spiritual life; it is the conflict, the opposition, the struggle, that is carried on in the bosom; for this implies a counteracting principle, the existence of the company of two armies.

To be shut up in unbelief is no testimony of being a living soul; but to find in our hearts a counteracting principle which discovers unbelief, which fights against unbelief, which groans under unbelief as a burden, which longs to be delivered from the power of unbelief — here we trace the existence of a living principle, by the opposition which that living principle carries on against the unbelief which rises up in the carnal mind….”

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