Notes on Mortification (9)

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

Mortification (Romans 8:13), actively considered, doesn’t lie in an inconstant, uneven, and flashy fits of indignation and opposition against some sin, as some take vengeance upon some sins, and spare their prime lust. But it is a constant, daily warring of the soul against great and small, especially against our idol lusts, wherein the man not only endeavours to destroy the love of sin, and delight in it, but the very being of it. This leads us to the object of mortification, chiefly the sin of our nature, or as Paul terms it, “the body of death” (Romans 7:24). It was this that Paul had in mind, that laid him low; it was the sight of original sin, especially that slew him v9. And after all his attainments, it is this that keeps him humble; and oh, how blind are they that see not this body! And no man who sees it, can but say of any sin, am I but a dog to commit this? It will keep a man upon his watchtower, and help to maintain a holy fear and diffidence of self, and dependence upon grace. It is right conviction of this that promotes the soul’s estimation of Christ; of his redemption, and of free grace, yea, of the all-sufficiency of grace: “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me”! As if he had said, if ever grace and strength were posed, it would be in delivering of me. “But I thank God through Jesus Christ” (Romans 7:25). Indeed, the sinfulness of sin, the exceeding sinfulness of it, is never understood, till the original depravity of our nature be seen (Romans 5:9; 7:13). Sound convictions discover the evil of actual sins; but they let us see more malignity in this, than in all the sins of our life; yea, than in murders, adulteries, lying , swearing. It is a fruitful womb that has millions of sins in it, and would be eternally bringing forth, though there were no devil to tempt, nothing to mid-wife it into the world. And finally, they let us see, that its being transmitted to us, and not contracted by us, does not lessen the guilt nor danger of it. Here then, must mortification begin. It will be in vain to dam up the streams, while the fountain  runs; it will either carry down the dam, and run the more impetuously, as is evident in the case of many who have been some while under restraints; or it will run out some other way, and find out another channel for itself.

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