"A benumbed snake is still a snake. A washed sow is not changed. Just so, our natural corruption does not always break out in full."
There may be a
winter to our corruptions - as well as to animal and vegetable life. And
then the sin which dwells in us may be quiet, as though frozen into a rigid
powerlessness - but what of that? The weather will change, and then the nest
of vipers will be all astir again, each one with envenomed tooth aiming to
Experience has taught the wise observer that sin may be
bound by sin, and one evil passion may hold the rest in check. One man is
kept from immorality, by covetousness: he would be glad to revel in
vice - if it were not so expensive. Another would be a profligate, but then
it would not be respectable, and thus his pride checks his
passions. This restraint of sin by sin, is no proof that the
nature is one jot the better - but that it only puts on a fairer appearance, and
is more likely to deceive.
Nothing will overcome with inbred sin,
but the killing of it!
When Joshua had captured the five kings in
the cave, he was not content to simply shut them in with large stones. No, he took special pains to fetch them out, and hang them
up! The condemned race must die - and then Israel can breathe freely.
Sin will be our death - if we do not put it to death! Checks and
restraints are of small value; what is needed is the
root-cure - crucifixion with Christ! To cure sin by sin, is a mere piece
of stage playing, which will never answer before God.
O Destroyer of the
serpent and his seed - break the head of sin within me, so that it may never lift
up its usurped power within my soul. Let the sword of the Spirit do a
thorough work within my nature, until not a single rebel lust shall
remain alive in the wide domains of my being. Furbish your sword, Almighty
Captain, and do Your office within me, for I cannot rest until sin is
(Charles Spurgeon, "Flowers from a Puritan's Garden" 1883)