If your flesh had its full swing?

(Philpot, "The Inward Conflict Between the
Flesh and the Spirit", September 2, 1860)

"The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just
 opposite from what the Holy Spirit desires. And the
 Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what
 the sinful nature desires. These two forces are
 constantly fighting each other, so that you cannot
 do the things that you would do
." Galatians 5:17

At times, we can hardly tell how we are kept from evil.

There is in those who fear God, a spiritual principle
which holds them up, and keeps them back from the
ways of sin and death in which the flesh would walk.
This inner principle of grace and godly fear has, in
thousands of instances, preserved the feet of the saints,
and kept them from doing things that would have . . .
  ruined their reputation,
  blighted their character,
  brought reproach upon the cause of God, and
  the greatest grief and distress into their own conscience!

They cannot do the EVIL things that they would do.

The flesh is always lusting towards evil, but grace
is a counteracting principle to repress and subdue it.
Grace does not wholly overcome the evil lustings of
the flesh, but it can prevent those lustings from being
carried out into open action. For the Spirit fights
against the flesh, and will not let it altogether reign
and rule, nor have its own will and way unchecked.

What a mercy lies couched here! For what would
you be, if your flesh had its full swing?

What evil is there which you would not do?

What crime which you would not commit?

What slip which you would not make?

What open and horrid fall which you would not be
guilty of--unless you were upheld by Almighty
--and the flesh curbed and checked from
running its destructive course?

We can never praise God sufficiently for His restraining
--for what would we be without it?

"Hold me up, and I shall be safe!" Psalm 119:117