The mortifying of your darling sins!
(Thomas Brooks, "Heaven on Earth" 1667)
Most professing Christians have not the right art of mortifying sin.
All their attempts are to hide a lust, not to quench it.
A great motive to provoke you to the mortifying of your darling sins, is solemnly to consider that the conquest and effectual mortifying of one bosom sin, will yield a Christian more glorious joy, comfort, and peace—than ever he has found in the gratifying and committing of all other sins.
The pleasure and sweetness which follow victory over sin, is a thousand times beyond that seeming sweetness which is in the gratifying of sin. The joy which attends the subduing of sin—is a noble joy, a pure joy, a special joy, an increasing joy, and a lasting joy. But that joy which attends the committing of sin—is an ignoble joy, a corrupt joy, a decreasing joy, a dying joy.
The truth is—if there were the least real joy in sin, there could be no Hell-torments, where men shall most totally sin, and be most totally tormented with their sin.
Ah! Christians, be restless, until, in the spirit and power of Jesus, you have brought under control that sin which sticks so close unto you!
Remember this, nothing below the conquest of bosom sins can make a jubilee in the heart. It is not a man's whining and complaining over sin—but his mortifying of sin, which will make his life a paradise of pleasure!
If, notwithstanding all that has been said, you are still resolved to dally with sin, then you must resolve to live as a stranger to God; you must expect sad trials without, and sore troubles within; this shall be your just wages for playing with sin! If you like the wages, then dally with sin still; if otherwise, then sacrifice your Isaac!
Ah! souls, of all unpardoned sins, your bosom sins will be presented by God, conscience, and Satan at last—as the most filthy and ugly, as the most terrible and dreadful. Your bosom sins at last will appear to be those monsters, those fiends of Hell,
which have most provoked God against you,
which have shut up Christ's affections of love and compassion from you,
which have armed conscience against you,
which have barred the gates of glory against you,
which have prepared the hottest place in Hell for you, and
which have given Satan the greatest advantage eternally to triumph over you!