January 14, 2019 by directorfsm
by John Owen – January 14th, 2019
Chapter 2 – CONTINUOUS ACTIVITY OF INDWELLING SIN Continued
e. Negligence of mortification
Negligence in this duty casts the soul into a perfectly contrary condition to that which the apostle affirms was his: “Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2Co 4:16). In such negligence, the inward man perishes, and the outward man is renewed day by day. Sin becomes as the house of David, and grace as the house of Saul. Exercise and success are the two main cherishers of grace in the heart. When suffered to lie still it withers and decays. The things of it are ready to die (Rev 3:2), and sin gets ground towards the hardening of the heart (Heb 3:13).
This is what I intend: by the omission of this duty grace withers, lust flourishes, and the frame of the heart grows worse and worse. And the Lord knows what desperate and fearful results it has had with many. Where sin gets a considerable victory through the neglect of mortification, it breaks the bones of the soul (Psa 31:10; 51:8) and makes a man weak, sick, and ready to die (Psa 38:3-5) so that he cannot look up (Psa 40:12; Isa 33:24). When poor creatures will take blow after blow, wound after wound, foil (17) after foil, and never rouse up themselves to a vigorous opposition, can they expect anything but to be “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb 3:13) and that their souls should bleed to death (2Jo 1:8)?
Indeed, it is a sad thing to consider the fearful results of this neglect that lie under our eyes every day. See we not those whom we knew—humble, melting, broken-hearted Christians; tender and fearful to offend; zealous for God and all His ways, His Sabbaths and ordinances— grown, through a neglect of watching unto this duty earthly, carnal, cold, wrathful, complying with the men of the world and things of the world, to the scandal of religion and the fearful temptation of them that know them? The truth is that, between placing mortification in a rig id, stubborn frame of spirit—which is for the most part earthly, legal, censorious, partial, consistent with wrath, envy, malice, and pride—on the one hand, and pretenses of liberty, grace, and I know not what on the other, true evangelical mortification is almost lost amongst us, of which we will say more later.