The bent of the
(Thomas Brooks, "London's
"No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one
who continues to sin has either seen Him or known
Him." 1 John 3:6
A trade, a course of sin—is inconsistent with a state
of grace. The best saints have sadly miscarried as to
particular actions; but he who shall judge of a man's
spiritual state by particular acts, though notorious bad,
will certainly condemn, where God acquits. We must
always distinguish between some single evil actions,
and a serious course of evil actions. It is not this or
that particular evil action—but a continued course of
evil actions—which denominates a man wicked. Just
so, it is not this or that particular holy act—but a
continued course of holy actions—which denominates
a man holy.
Every man is—as his course is. If his course is holy—the
man is holy. If his course is wicked—the man is wicked.
No man ought to conclude,
because of some particular
good actions—that his spiritual state is good.
No man ought to conclude, because of some particular
sinful actions—that his spiritual state is bad.
A course of sinning is not consistent with a course of
godliness. Though the needle of the seaman's compass
may jog this way and that way—yet the bent
needle will still be northward. Just so, though a Christian
may have his particular sinful joggings this way or that
way—yet the bent of his heart will still be . . .