ON THE MANIFOLD AGGRAVATIONS THAT ARE FOUND IN MORTAL SIN
Consider first, that besides the bottomless depth of the malice of mortal sin, from its opposition to the infinite goodness of God, and the high treason it contains against his Divine Majesty, there are divers other enormities and most heinous aggravations in every mortal sin, that beyond measure extend and multiply its guilt. The first of these is the sinner’s black ingratitude to God, which is a circumstance that violently aggravates the guilt of every sin he commits against his Maker and Redeemer, his ancient lover, his dearest friend, and perpetual benefactor; from whom he has received, and daily received, all that he has, and all that he is – and this out of pure love, without any desert on his part, and such a love as can suffer no comparison, since it has brought the lover down from heaven, to die for this very wretch that dares thus ungratefully to offend him, and to crucify him again by sin. I know not whether any of the devils in hell, if God had done so much for them, would ever have been so ungrateful as to offend him any more.
Consider 2ndly, the manifold injustice that is found in every mortal sin, in the violation of all the rights and titles that God has to us, and to our love and service; as he is our first beginning, and our last end, who made us, and made us for himself; as he is the very being of our beings, the great monarch of the whole creation, the Lord of us and of all things; as he has purchased us for himself, and marked us out for his own; and we, on our part, have been solemnly dedicated and consecrated to him, that we might be his both for time and eternity. The wretched sinner breaks through all these considerations; withdraws himself from his Maker, his Lord, and his Redeemer; villanously and sacrilegiously alienates from him, what upon all these titles, is strictly his, and makes all over to his mortal enemy and in exchange for some petty trifle, he sells to him both is soul and his God. and does not such an enormous injustice cry to heaven for vengeance? More especially in Christians, in whom it is joined with the aggravating circumstances of a profanation of the temple of God; and a notorious perfidiousness, by the violation of their solemn vows and engagements made to him.
Consider 3rdly, that in every mortal sin there is found in some measure the guilt of the breach of all the ten commandments according to that of St. James ii. 10, ‘He that offends in one point is guilty of all.’ Because, whosoever wilfully breaks through any part of the divine law by mortal sin, violates the first commandment by turning away from the true and living God, and refusing him the worship that is due to him; he is guilty of idolatry, by worshipping the creature, which is the object, or occasion of his sin, ‘rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.’ Rom. i.25. He profanes the sacred name of God, and blasphemes him, if not in words, at least in facts, by treading his authority under foot. He violates the true and everlasting Sabbath of God’s rest, by the servile work of sin, by which he makes himself a slave of Satan. He dishonours, in a most outrageous manner, the best of Fathers, is guilty of the murder of his own soul, and of the Son of God himself, whom he crucifies by sin. He is guilty of a spiritual adultery, by prostituting to Satan his soul, which has been espoused to Christ. He is guilty of theft, robbery, and sacrilege, as we have seen above, by taking away from God what belongs to him. He bears false witness in fact against the law of God, in favour of lies and deceit, for all sin is a lie. And, that nothing may be wanting to complete his wickedness, he is guilty of coveting what is not his, and what he has no right to and what the law of God restrains him from. So manifold is the guilt that is found in any one wilful sin.
Conclude to detest the ingratitude, injustice, perfidiousness, and all the other aggravations, that are found in mortal sin; and to make it thy continual prayer, that thou mayest rather die ten thousand deaths, than once incur this dreadful complication of all evils.