OWEN EXHORTS US TO DEAL WITH SIN EARLY.
Consider what occasions, what advantages your sin has taken to exert and put forth itself, and watch against them all. This is one part of that duty which our blessed Saviour recommends to his disciples under the name of watching: Mark 8:37, “I say unto
you all, Watch;” Consider what ways, what companies, what opportunities, what studies, what businesses, what conditions, have at any time given, or do usually give, advantages to your distempers (besetting sins), and set yourself heedfully against them all. Men will do this with respect unto their bodily infirmities. All things injurious to health they will generally avoid-JK. Are the things of the soul of less importance? Know that he that dares to dally with occasions of sin will dare to sin. He that will venture upon temptations unto wickedness will venture upon wickedness. Rise mightily against the first actings of your distemper, its first conceptions; suffer it not to get the least ground. Do not say, “Thus far it shall go, and no farther.” If it have allowance for one step, it will take another. It is impossible to fix bounds to sin. It is like water in a channel, if it once break out, it will have its course. Remember James gives that gradation and process of lust, James 1:14, 15, that we may stop at the entrance. Dost you find your corruption to begin to entangle your thoughts? rise up with all your strength against it, with no less indignation than if it had fully accomplished what it aims at. Consider what an unclean thought would have; it would have you roll yourself in folly and filth.