Conquering Darling Sins

This is taken from I.D.E. Thomas’ Puritan Daily Devotional Chronicles from June 24

“…the sin which doth so easily beset us…” (Heb. 12:1)

Sit down and think what real good this sin has ever done you.  Think what hurt it has done you and others, and what fruit, besides the shame and death, it brings to any.  Your dearest sin is but sin, which is the worst thing in the world, and, its masks and disguises being laid aside, more ugly than the devil, more horrid than hell itself.  And think, the more you love it the more God hates it, and His rage and jealousy is increased with the increase of your desires.  Think how many prayers it has lost you, how many mercies it has poisoned to you, how many smiles it has clouded, besides what unutterable suffering it has inflicted upon Christ, and is preparing for you in hell.  Consider, that you may have as much joy, happiness, and true comfort, without it.  All converted sinners confess, that Jesus Christ has been better to them than all their sins.  If you may have as good enjoyments, or better, by having Christ with them, and heaven after them, you have a bargain indeed…

Kneel down and pray with faith in the uprightness of your hearts, for strength from above.  All the strength of heaven is engaged by prayer.  He that heartily sets himself against his sin by prayer, cannot but dislike it, and when it is truly disliked, its heart is broken.

Augustine complains that when he, in his unconverted state, begged a divorce from his sin, his heart was afraid lest God should hear his prayers.  Beware lest your hearts secretly cry spare, when your tongues openly cry, Lord, kill and crucify my corruption.  When you really pull on earth, and the Lord will pull from heaven, it will break your sin and soul asunder.

–Richard Steele, A Remedy for Wandering Thoughts

pp. 111-113

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