Notes on Mortification (23)

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

There are things which tell of the strength and liveliness of sin in a man. First, when a man works at sin, and thereby speaks defiance to the Almighty and says, “aha” to His trumpets. Secondly, when a man has much pleasure in sin, and sins with greediness, “who being past feeling have given themselves over to lasciviousness , to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Ephesians 4:19), to evil with both hands earnestly. When a man seeks to extract all the pleasure that is in sin, and would suck out the heart of it. Thirdly, when a man solicits his own heart to sin, “Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil” (Proverbs 1:12-13), and, “Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves” (Proverbs 7:18), and complains, as it were, of his slackness in it. He is not surprised or overtaken, but devises iniquity, “Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand” (Micah 2:1). Check out the third verse, “Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil” (Micah 2:3). When a man makes provision for his lusts, when he ploughs wickedness, and sows iniquity, and works hard to gratify and satisfy his lusts. The Christian is not at half the labour in mortifying the lusts that others are in satisfying them, if the one be a hard work, the other is impossible.; so that the poor creature is tormented between the restless and impatient cravings of his lusts, and the weakness and scantiness of the means he has to satisfy them. Fifthly, when a man sins under a small temptation, or none at all. Some are like powder and flax, set on fire by a spark; yes, some draw on temptations, they are dragged by a temptation, but draw and pull, and pain themselves to sin, they meet the temptation halfway, and are glad of it, as were the Jews when Judas offered to betray his Master unto them, “And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. And when they heard it, they were glad” (Mark 14:10-11)

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