Friday, August 10, 2007

Sliding gradually into sin

For the most part, men do not fall into great sin by sudden surprises. It is sometimes so; but, usually, there are several descending platforms, and the descent is made by slow degrees. When King David walked upon the top of his house, that fatal evening, and saw Bathsheba washing herself, if he had been in a right state of heart, as in former times, he would, with all delicacy, have at once retreated from the sight. But he had grown cold and dull in spirit for months — perhaps for years — and that incident was but the match to fire the fuel which had been so long in the drying, and which, once kindled, burned to such a fearful conflagration. The sin itself seemed to come upon him of a sudden, but the preparation for the sin had been in the making long before.

O friends, if we begin to look upon iniquity, we shall almost certainly fall! There are some sins that we poor, frail creatures cannot endure to look at. We are as moths near a burning candle; the only safety for us is to get out of the room, and fly into the open air; but if we stop near the light, we shall certainly burn our wings, and perhaps even destroy ourselves. So we must take care that we do not get used to sin. I believe that even the common reading in the newspapers of accounts of evil things is defiling to us, and that, if we habitually read such things, we shall come at last to think less and less of the coarser forms of vice than we ought to do. It is said that “familiarity breeds contempt.” So it does where heavenly things become familiar to those who have no spiritual perceptions; but it also breeds a hardness of conscience ... where there ought to be delicacy....

From a sermon entitled "Deadness and Quickning," delivered October 29, 1885.

Photo by Flynn Wynn, some rights reserved.

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