January 19, 2019 by directorfsm
by John Owen – January 19th, 2019
Chapter 3 THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK IN MORTIFICATION
1. The Second Principle for Mortification: The Spirit Is the Effective Cause
The next principle for mortification relates to the great sovereign cause of mortification, which, in the words laid for the foundation of this discourse, is said to be the Holy Spirit, as was proved earlier.
Principle II: Only the Holy Spirit is sufficient for mortification of sin. All ways and means without Him are as nothing. He is the great effective cause of it. He works in us as He pleases.
a. Other remedies useless
In vain do men seek other remedies; they shall not be healed by them. The other ways prescribed for sin to be mortified are known.
1). Roman Catholicism. The greatest part of popish religion,(25) of that which looks most like religion in their profession, consists in mistaken ways and means of mortification. This is the pretense of their rough garments, by which they deceive. Their vows, orders, fastings, and penances are all built on this ground: they are all for the mortifying of sin. Their preachings, sermons, and books of devotion all look this way. Hence, those who interpret the locusts that came out of the bottomless pit (Rev 9:3) to be the friars of the Romish church—who are said to torment men so that they will “seek death, and shall not find it” (9:6)—think that they did it by their stinging sermons in which they convinced them of sin. In reality, however, not being able to discover the true remedy for the healing and mortifying of sin, they kept them in such perpetual anguish and terror, and such trouble in their consciences, that they desired to die! This, I say, is the substance and glory of their religion. But such glory is their shame (Phi 3:19), what with their laboring to bring mortification to dead creatures, ignorant of the nature and end of the work; what with the poison they mixed with it in their persuasion of its merit; yea, even supererogation(26) (as they style their unnecessary merit with a proud, barbarous title)! But of them and their mortification more afterward in chapter seven.
(25) Popish religion – Roman Catholicism.
(26) supererogation – in Roman Catholic theology, the performance of good works beyond what God commands or requires, which are held to constitute a store of merit that the Church may dispense to others to make up for their deficiencies