A cleaner way to hell

Thomas Brooks, "The Privy Key of Heaven" 1665)

"I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get."
    Luke 18:12

Take heed of trusting in religious duties. These duties
rested in, will as eternally undo a man--as the greatest
and foulest enormities.

Open wickedness slays her thousands--but a secret
resting upon duties slays her ten thousands!

Open profaneness is the broad dirty way which leads
to hell--but trusting in religious duties is a sure way,
though a cleaner way to hell.

Profane people and formal professors shall meet
at last in the same hell.

You know, in Noah's flood all that were not in the
ark, though they climbed up the tallest trees, and
the highest mountains and hills--yet were drowned!
So let men climb up to this duty and that--yet, if
they don't get into Christ, they will be damned!

It is as natural to a man to rest in his duties, as it
is for him to rest in his bed. It is not your duties,
but your Christ, that must save you. Many shining
professors burn themselves by resting in their
duties and services.

Oh, rest not on anything but Jesus Christ! It is His
free grace, it is His special mercy, it is His infinite love
--which is your resting-place! It is the bosom of Christ,
the favor of Christ, the satisfaction of Christ, and the
pure, perfect, spotless, matchless, and glorious
righteousness of Christ--which is your resting-place!

It was the saying of a precious saint, that "He was
more afraid of his religious duties, than of his sins.
For his duties often made him proud; his sins always
made him humble."