January 20, 2019 by directorfsm
by John Owen – January 20th, 2019
Chapter 3 THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK IN MORTIFICATION continued
2). Professing Protestants. It is known that the ways and means to be used for the mortification of sin invented by Roman Catholics are still insisted on and prescribed for the same end by some who should have more light and knowledge of the gospel. Such directions to this purpose have of late been given by some and are greedily grabbed at by others professing themselves Protestants, who might have become popish devotionists three or four hundred years ago. Such outside endeavors, such bodily exercises, such self-performances, such merely legal duties without the least mention of Christ or His Spirit, are covered over with swelling words of vanity for the only means and helps for the mortification of sin. Such reveal a deep-rooted unacquaintedness with the power of God and mystery of the gospel. This consideration was one motive to the publishing of this plain discourse.
b. Reasons they are useless
Now, some reasons among others why the papists(27) and these others can never truly mortify any one sin with all their endeavors are as follows.
1). Because many of the ways and means they use and insist upon for this end were never appointed by God for that purpose. Now, there is nothing in religion that has any effectiveness for achieving an objective, unless God has appointed it for that purpose. Such as these are their rough garments, their vows, penances, disciplines, their course of monastical life, and the like. Concerning these God will say, “Who hath required this at your hand?” (Isa 1:12), and, “In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the traditions of men” (Mat 15:9). Of the same nature are various self-vexations insisted on by others.