"Get and keep a tender conscience. Be sensible of the least sin. Some men's consciences are like the stomach of the ostrich that can digest iron: they can swallow the most notorious sins without regret. A good conscience is very delicate. It feels the least touch of known sin, and is grieved at the thought of grieving God's Spirit. It will choose the greatest of suffering before the least of sinning. However, the jeering Ishmaels of the world are ready to reproach and laugh it to scorn for its precise scruples. Daily train all your graces for battle. Live in a military posture, both defensive and offensive. Stand constantly by your weapons. Admit no peace with sin. The soldier of Christ must never lay down his arms. Satan never ceases his wiles and stratagems. He will tell you that sin is pleasant. Ask yourself if the gripping of conscience is also pleasant? Ask yourself if it is pleasant to be in hell, and be under the wrath of God? Ask yourself if the pleasures of sin for a season compare with the rivers of God's pleasures? How do they compare to a weight of glory, an incorruptible crown, and a heavenly kingdom? God alone is enough, but without him, nothing is enough for your happiness. His love, grace, and the comforts of his Spirit will certainly sweeten your way to heaven. Sometimes you will experience joy unutterable and full of glory. God is a good master and in his service is a perfect freedom. Your work is its own reward. With these thoughts, put to flight the armies of the enemy. Shield yourself with these against the fiery darts the tempter shall pour upon you. Do not even take a moment to parley with the tempter. As soon as your lusts begin to grow inordinate, do not stay a moment; delay is unutterably dangerous. A house on fire needs immediate attention."
-John Gibbon, Puritan Sermons 1659-1689, 1:96-100
Voices from the Past: Puritan Devotional Readings
Edited by Richard Rushing
Published by Banner of Truth