It is not your strongest resolutions or purposes, without
the grace of the Spirit, which can overmaster a lust. A
soul-sore will continue to run—though we resolve and
say it shall not. It was the blood of the sacrifice, and
the oil, which cleansed the leper in the law. And by
them is meant the blood of Christ and the grace of
His Spirit. Lev. 14:14-16. It was a touch of Christ's
garment which cured the woman of her bloody issue.
Your strongest resolutions or purposes may hide a sin,
but cannot quench it. They may cover a sin, but cannot
cut off a sin. A black patch may cover a sore—but it
does not cure it! Neither is it the papists' purgatories,
watchings, whippings, nor the kissing of the statue Thomas Brooks (1608-1680)
of St. Francis, or licking of lepers' sores—which will
cleanse the fretting leprosy of sin!
In the strength of Christ, and in the power of the Spirit
—set soundly upon the mortifying of every lust! Oh, hug
none, indulge none—but resolvedly set upon the ruin of
One leak in a ship will sink it!
One stab strikes Goliad just as dead—as twenty-three did Caesar!
One Delilah may do Samson as much mischief as all the Philistines!
One broken wheel spoils the whole clock!
One vein bleeding will let out all the vitals!
One fly will spoil a whole box of ointment!
One bitter herb will spoil all the pottage!
By eating one apple, Adam lost paradise!
One lick of honey endangered Jonathan's life!
One Achan was a trouble to all Israel!
One Jonah raises a storm and becomes load too
heavy for the whole ship! Just so—one unmortified
lust will raise very strong storms and tempests in the
soul! And therefore, as you would have a blessed calm
and quietness in your own spirits under your sharpest
trials, set thoroughly upon the work of mortification.
Gideon had seventy sons, and but one bastard child,
yet that bastard child destroyed all his seventy sons!
Ah, Christian! do you not know what a world of mischief
one unmortified lust may do? And therefore let nothing
satisfy you but the blood of all your lusts!