by John Owen – February 13th, 2019
Chapter 6 “WHAT MORTIFICATION IS” Continued
Limitations to this truth
I shall desire to give one caution or rule by the way, and it is this: though every lust does in its own nature, equally and universally, incline and impel to sin, yet this must be granted with these two limitations.
1). The strength of lusts varies
One lust, or a lust in one man, may receive many accidental improvements, heightenings, and strengthenings, which may give it life, power, and vigor exceedingly above what another lust has, or above the same kind of lust in another man. When a lust falls in with the natural constitutions and temper, with a suitable course of life, with occasions, or when Satan has got a fit handle to it to manage it—as he has a thousand ways so to do—that lust grows violent and impulsive above others, or more than the same lust in another man. Then the steams of it darken the mind, so that though a man knows the same things as formerly, yet they have no power nor influence on the will, but corrupt affections and passions are set at liberty by it.
But especially, lust gets strength by temptation. When a suitable temptation falls in with a lust, it gives it a new life, vigor, power, violence, and rage, which before it seemed not to have or to be capable of. Instances to this purpose might be multiplied, but it is the design of some part of another treatise to prove this observation.
Excerpts from Mortification of Sin by John Owen from: The Chapel Library • firstname.lastname@example.org