Avoid Every Kind of Temptation
“Avoid every kind of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:22
He who now gives way to the least sin—may yet be given up to the greatest sins. We are never far enough from lust—while we are on earth; or near enough to Christ—while we are out of heaven. O, stand far off from the devil’s mark—unless you would be hit by his arrows!
The drawing near to the appearance of evil—is the first step to the accomplishment of the most enormous evil. A spark—will easily catch a box of tinder on fire. Little streams—will find a passage to the great sea. Christian reader! Why should you venture on slippery places—when you can scarcely stand upon the firmest ground? Who will pity that man whose house is blown up with gun-powder—if he stores it in the chimney corner?
Such is the monstrous wickedness of men, that though the streams and currents of their own lusts carry them too swiftly already—yet they hoist up sails to catch the devil’s winds!
The fowler spreads his net—but the wings of the bird carry her into it! If you would not step into the harlot’s house—you should not go by the harlot’s door! If you would not gather the forbidden fruit—then beware how you look on the luscious tree!
To pray against temptations, and yet to rush into occasions to sin—is to thrust your fingers into the fire—and then pray that they might not be burnt! If you hold the stirrup for him—no wonder if Satan get into the saddle!
“Watch and pray—so that you will not fall into temptation.” Matthew 26:41. That man who is the most watchful—is the least sinful. A soul without its watch—is like a city without its wall, exposed to the attack of all its enemies!
Those who would not fall into the river—should beware how they approach too near to its banks. He who crushes the egg—need not fear the biting of the serpent. He who would not drink of the wine of divine wrath—let him not touch the cup of sinful pleasure.
A person who carries gun-powder with him—can never stand too far from the fire. If we accompany sin one mile—it will compel us to go two. Sin swells like Elijah’s cloud, from the size of a man’s hand to such an expansion, as to cover the whole sky.
“Let him who thinks he stands—take heed, lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12. You will quickly lose your standing—if you are fearless of falling.
Taken from William Secker's The Consistent Christian, written in 1660.