Notes on Mortification (32)

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

By way of exhortation, if you would escape the second death, if you desire, hope to live with God, and to be eternally happy in the enjoyment of him, you must set about this business of mortifying sin. First, original corruption must be mortified, the root of sin must be killed; lay the axe to the root of the tree; one stroke at the root will do more harm to the tree, than many strokes at the branches. In the doctrinal part we hinted at the necessity and usefulness of this. I shall only now point a little at the way of mortifying the body of sin. A thorough sight and discovery of it is necessary. I do not mean that any man can fathom or comprehend the height and depth of it (Jeremiah 17:9). The deceitfulness of the heart is but a branch of the corruption of it, it is a mystery which cannot at this stage unfold; yes, and without the Spirit’s teaching, we cannot have a discovery of it, as is absolutely necessary to the mortification of it; the light of nature doesn’t sufficiently discover it (Romans 7:7). Some heathens have seen and bewailed it as their disease, which yet they thought curable by moral habits; but they never saw it as sin, nor in its deadly damning nature. No, nor did ever any common work of the Spirit give such a discovery of it, as is necessary to the mortification of it: the hypocrite sees no more of it, than what he thinks some common work sufficient to cure. Hence it is, that all such as advance nature, are depressors of grace, and that such as  extenuate original corruption, make no great business of conversion, and the reverse. Hence it is also, that we find not a hypocrite in all the Scripture, complaining of this original corruption, as we find Paul and David doing (Romans 7 & Psalm 51).

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