The best means to mortify sin
(Thomas Brooks, "The Crown and Glory of Christianity,
or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness", 1662)
"Therefore, put to death whatever in you is worldly:
sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and
greed, which is idolatry." Colossians 3:5
While a darling sin lives and keeps the throne in the heart,
grace and holiness will be kept exceeding weak and low. But
when your darling sin is dethroned and slain by the power
and the sword of the Spirit—grace and holiness will quickly
grow stronger and stronger, and rise higher and higher.
When a man has eaten poison, nothing will make him thrive,
until he has vomited up the poison. Beloved sins—they are
the poison of the soul, and until these are vomited up, and
cast out by sound repentance, and the exercise of faith in the
blood of Christ, the soul will never thrive in grace and holiness!
If ever you would attain to higher degrees of holiness,
then fall with all your might, upon subduing and crucifying
your most raging corruptions, and your most daring lusts!
Oh do not think that your golden and your silver idols will
lay down their weapons, and yield the battle, and lie at your
feet, and let you trample them to death—without striking a
blow! Oh remember that besetting-sins will do all they can
to keep their ground, and therefore you must arise with all
your strength against them, and crush them to powder,
and burn them to ashes!
Oh deal with your most enraged lusts, as the Philistines
dealt with Samson—pluck out their eyes, and force them
to grind in the mill of mortification, until their strength is
utterly consumed and wasted.
I have read of five men, who being asked what was
the best means to mortify sin, gave these answers.
Said the first, "The best means to mortify sin,
is to meditate on death."
Said the second, "The best means to mortify sin,
is to meditate on the judgment-day."
Said the third, "The best means to mortify sin,
is to meditate on the joys of heaven."
Said the fourth, "The best means to mortify sin,
is to meditate on the torments of hell."
Said the fifth, "The best means to mortify sin, is to
meditate on the death and sufferings of Christ."
Doubtless the last man hit the nail on the head!
The daily sight of a bleeding, groaning, dying
Savior—is the only thing which will subdue and
mortify darling sins!
O friends! Never leave looking up to a crucified Christ,
until virtue flows from Him to the crucifying of those
special besetting sins which do most obstruct and
hinder the growth and increase of holiness.