The sins of the godly and the ungodly

(William Plumer, "Backsliding" 1864)

"No one born of God makes a practice of sinning,
 for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep
 on sinning because he has been born of God."
    (1 John 3:9)

He who regards sin with so little abhorrence as willingly
to commit it, cannot be walking in the way of holiness.
He who allowedly and habitually departs from God,
proves that sin reigns in his mortal body, and that
he is the slave of corruption.

The sins of the godly and the ungodly are unlike
in several particulars.

When the wicked depart from God, they cry, "Peace
and safety." When the righteous no longer maintain
a close walk with God, they say, "Oh that it were
with us as in months past."

In their wanderings, the wicked call themselves happy.
Having forsaken God, the righteous lose enjoyment, and
are filled with sadness.

The wicked sin perpetually. The righteous err from
God's ways--but only for a season.

The wicked are bent to backsliding. Hosea 11:7.
The righteous are betrayed into sin.

The wicked are as the sow wallowing in the mire.
It is their nature to work iniquity. The righteous
are as the cleanly sheep. If they are in the slough,
it is their calamity.

The wicked fill up their sin always. They cannot
rest until they have done some mischief. They dig
into hell. The righteous is not so. When he falls, he
shall rise again. When he sits in darkness, the Lord
shall be a light unto him. A just man falls seven
times, and rises up again. All his backslidings are