The best means to mortify sin!
(Thomas Brooks, "The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness", 1662)
"Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:" Colossians 3:5
While a darling sin lives and keeps the throne in the heart — grace and holiness will be kept exceeding weak and low. But when your darling sin is dethroned and slain by the power and the sword of the Spirit — grace and holiness will quickly grow stronger and stronger, and rise higher and higher.
When a man has eaten poison, nothing will make him thrive, until he has vomited up the poison. Beloved sins are the poison of the soul — and until these are vomited up, and cast out by sound repentance, and the exercise of faith in the blood of Christ — the soul will never thrive in grace and holiness!
If ever you would attain to higher degrees of holiness, then fall with all your might upon subduing and crucifying your most raging corruptions, and your most darling lusts!
Oh do not think that your golden and your silver idols will lay down their weapons, and yield the battle, and lie at your feet, and let you trample them to death — without striking a blow! Oh remember that besetting-sins will do all they can to keep their ground, and therefore you must arise with all your strength against them, and crush them to powder, and burn them to ashes!
Oh deal with your most enraged lusts, as the Philistines dealt with Samson — pluck out their eyes, and force them to grind in the mill of mortification, until their strength is utterly consumed and wasted.
I have read of five men, who being asked what was the best means to mortify sin, gave these answers:
Said the first, "The best means to mortify sin, is to meditate on the terrors of death."
Said the second, "The best means to mortify sin, is to meditate on the solemnity of judgment-day."
Said the third, "The best means to mortify sin, is to meditate on the joys of Heaven."
Said the fourth, "The best means to mortify sin, is to meditate on the torments of Hell."
Said the fifth, "The best means to mortify sin, is to meditate on the death and sufferings of Christ."
Doubtless the last man hit the nail on the head! The daily sight of a bleeding, groaning, dying Saviour — is the only thing which will subdue and mortify darling sins!
O friends! Never leave looking up to a crucified Christ, until virtue flows from Him to the crucifying of those special besetting sins which do most obstruct and hinder the growth of grace and holiness in the soul.