ON THE DISMAL HAVOC SIN MAKES IN THE SOUL OF A CHRISTIAN
Consider first, how strangely the soul is changed, that falls from the state of grace into mortal sin. The metamorphosis is not unlike to that of an Angel into a devil. A soul in grace is a child of God, a spouse of Jesus Christ, a temple of the holy Spirit. But in the moment she consents to a mortal sin, she forfeits all her honour and dignity, she becomes a slave of hell, a prostitute of Satan, a den of unclean spirits. A soul in grace is beautiful, like an Angel, and agreeable to the eyes of God and his Saints; but a soul in mortal sin is ugly like the devil, and most odious, filthy, and loathsome to her Maker, and all his heavenly court. A soul in grace is very rich, she is worth an eternal kingdom, she always carries her God with her, and is entitled to the eternal possession of him; but when she falls into mortal sin, she loses at once all her store of virtue and merit, she becomes wretchedly poor and miserable, and instead of possessing God, she is possessed by the devil.
Consider 2ndly, that sin gives a mortal wound to the soul – it is the death of the soul. For as it is the soul of man that gives life to the body, which when the soul is departed, is dead and becomes a lump of clay, without either sense or motion; so ’tis the grace of God that gives life to the soul; and that soul is dead, which by mortal sin has lost her God and drove away his grace from her. O dismal separation! O dreadful death indeed, which wants nothing but eternity to make it hell! Sinners, how can you endure yourselves under this wretched condition? If a dead carcass, from which the soul is gone, be so very loathsome and frightful, that few would endure to pass one night in the same bed with it, how can you bear to carry continually about with you, night and day, a filthy carcass of a soul dead in mortal sin, and quite putrified and corrupted by her sinful habits? Ah! open your eyes, now at least, to see your deplorable case, and to detest the monster, sin, the cause of all your misery. O run to him without any further delay, by humble prayer and repentance, who alone can raise the dead to life!
Consider 3rdly, how true that is in the Scripture, ‘They that commit sin and iniquity are enemies to their own soul.’ Tob. xii. 10. ‘and he that loveth iniquity hateth his own soul.’ Ps. x. 6. Since of all the evils that we can possibly incur, either here or hereafter, there is none comparable to the evil we bring upon ourselves by mortal sin; so, if all men upon earth, and all the devils in hell should conspire together, with a general license form God, to do all the mischief, and to inflict upon us all the torments they could invent, they would never do us half so much hurt as we do ourselves by one mortal sin. Because all that they can do, as long as we do not consent to sin, cannot hurt the soul; whereas we ourselves, by consenting to any one mortal sin, bring upon our own souls a dreadful death, both for time and eternity. Good God! never suffer us to be so wretchedly blind, as to become thus the wilful murderers of our own souls.
Conclude never more to join thyself with thy mortal enemies, the world, the flesh, or the devil, in waging war against thy own soul by wilful sin. But make it thy continual prayer to God, that he will never suffer thee at any rate to consent to so great an evil, though thou wert even to endure a thousand deaths for the refusal.