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indeed. O, how glorious it is, when the Gospel really becomes the power of God unto salvation! Surely it is worth weeping, crying and groaning, in secret for, no matter what persecution follows; for it is sure to raise the devil in sinners and formalists and carnal professors; the Gospel, with the power of God in it, is a thing intolerable to the whole of them. Well, they have had it so, for once in their lives. Plenty of material for critics and croakers. No matter; sinners were converted.

Friday morning, 24th. -A cramped time last night; fettered, overdid the previous night:

"The soul was dead, and feeling had no place."

"We have this treasure in earthen vessels." It is well: that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us, as St. Paul says. The work went or as usual; a great company saved. The people of God very happy.

"The peace of God, beyond description sweet,
Filled every spirit humbled at his feet."

And my poor soul was happy, too; enjoying the sweet blessedness of being little,- decreasing, while Jesus, my Lord is increasing.

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SOME one inquired of Mr. Caughey concerning the nature of the besetting sin. That inquiry is answered in the present chapter.

Let the "Inquirer" listen! You want to know what we mean by "the besetting sin of our nature." I reply, it is that which its title indicates,- BESETTING; it is that which waylays, encircles and besieges, the soul; that which presses it on all sides, perplexes it, entangles it, and often renders an escape from falling by it exceedingly difficult. It is that which most embarrasses the conscience in its decisions. It is the habitual sin, ever-present, and makes itself to be felt and known upon occasion. It has many servants; some of which may be mistaken for itself, as in great houses a servant is often mistaken for the lady of the house, she dresses and appears so well.

I said, the other evening, you may remember, it is the plague of the heart; or, "the sin of the inclination," as one termed it. It is the bosom rebel, a traitor to the soul and God. It is the bosom abomination. In some it has one complexion, or form, or tendency; in others, another; and so on, differing in each, as faces differ. It is "the complexion sin," as one called it who mourned over it, and "the sin of the temperament." It is that sin which

BESETTING SIN

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grieves God, and frets your conscience,- brings leanness upon your soul, and Heaven's chastisements upon your body, the oftenest. It is that sin, that tendency in your nature, to which Satan most frequently appeals, and which is the aptest to respond. That is your besetting sin. Can you detect it now? that sin which you think most of, the hardest to give up, or deny, and for which you are prone to invent many apologies.

Looking over my private note-book the other day, I met with the following, which had been noted down, some years ago, from an old author that fell in my way. He gave, it seems, some half-dozen marks whereby we may know our esetting sin. His exact language I shall not promise, as my notes are meagre; but this was the spirit, or substance.

You may detect it, 1. In that for which you do not like to be REPROVED!

Herod could not bear to have the sin of incest touched; if John the Baptist meddled with that sin, he endangered

his head.

You are content to have the sins of others given to the knife; but if the minister puts his finger upon that sore, touches that sin, your heart burns with malice, or you become sick of the frets, and plan for retaliation,shrewd sign that is your Herodias!

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2. It is that sin your THOUGHTS run most upon.

If it come as a visitor, your thoughts run to meet it at the gate, and hail it at the open door; beckon to it from the windows, and give it a smiling welcome. It never comes amiss at the table, in the shop, in the counting-room, in the house of God, in the parlor, in the kitchen, in the cellar or garret, out of doors, in doors, or in the bed. It. is welcome everywhere; if untimely, not unkindly, or chidingly received; deferred, not cashiered. Which way

the thoughts go, the heart goes; and which way the heart goes, the whole drift of your nature runs.

That sin is apt to be first in your morning-thoughts, and last in your night-thoughts; present when you awake, present as you go asleep, and present when you awake again. He that is in love with a person cannot keep his thoughts from her. It is thus you may detect the predominant sin of your nature.

3. It is that sin which leads you CAPTIVE the easiest. That is the beloved sin of your soul; the darling of your heart. Other sins may ask entertainment, but you can easily put them off, and congratulate yourself that you are better than other men. But, when the beloved sin is suitor, you cannot deny it; it quite overcomes you. That one sin is your bosom sin. The young ruler, who visited our Lord, inquiring, "What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" had denied himself of many sins; but one sin foiled him,- covetousness; rather than part with that, he parted with the hopes of eternal life. He went away very sorrowful, but would not be divorced from his beloved sin.

Here let me pause. Has any light dawned upon your darkness? Can you yet discover the features of your idol sin, through the murky gloom that surrounds it? Beware of it, else it may yet constitute you a guest of hell. Jesus once said, "Make to yourselves friends of the Mammon of unrighteousness, that, when ye fail upon earth, they may receive you into everlasting habitations; "--that is, be charitable and kind to the Lord's poor; for they may yet requite you in heaven, by being the first at heaven's gate to meet and welcome you; or they may receive you joyfully into their heavenly mansions, reminding you of all you did for them while in your own earthly mansions upon earth. So,

by making to yourself a friend of this bosom sin, it may turn out to be a FIEND,- the first at hell's gate, to receive and conduct you to the eternal prisons,-to be your There is no gratitude in hell. But let us

torment!

- proceed:

4. It is that sin which, usually, you use most ARGU

MENTS to DEFEND.

That is the darling sin. He that has a jewel in his bosom which he loves dear as life will defend it as his life, and with his life, at the risk of life, to the death. "Doest thou well to be angry?" said the Lord to Jonah. "I do well to be angry even unto death," replied the irritated prophet.

It is that sin for which you will advocate and dispute with conscience and others, perhaps wrest Scripture to

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justify. Be sure that is the sin that lies nearest your heart; for any other you will neither dispute nor plead. Let others plead for them, if they will; or, let Baal plead for himself. But this sin never lacks an advocate when you are awake, or it is present; unless, indeed, it has procured you a soiled character, a broken skin, or a wounded conscience. Then you may be angry with it for a little while, -as Samson with his Delilah, when she thrice jeopardized his life, but only to make up the quarrel again, soon, and to be taken again to the bosom, and to the soul's undoing, as poor Samson.-Judges 16.

5. It is that sin which most troubles your conscience when in TROUBLE.

In business losses, in family affliction, or in personal sickness, then it flies in your face, and taunts conscience. That is the Delilah sin. "The Philistines be upon thee, Samson! and I have been the cause of it! O, what a stab that is! O, what a bitter pill of real ill from the

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