Five Stones To Cast At Your Lusts

Ralph Erskine (The Nature and Excellency of Purity opened), Sermons 1:299:

I will tell you of five stones that you should daily cast at your lusts. (1.) The stone of instituted means and appointed ordinances. Is prayer a mean? is the word a mean? Use these means in the Lord’s strength. (2.) The stone of scriptural argument, such as Joseph’s argument: “Shall I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” David’s argument: shall I do so and so? “Then would I offend the generation of the righteous.” (3.) The stone of gospel-promises, such as that: “I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean. I will give you a new heart and a new spirit,” etc. “Having these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit.” Plead the promises and cry for the grace promised. (4.) The stone of Christ’s mediation and prayer; John 17:15, 17, “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth.” “While they are in the world, keep them from the evil of it.” Improve the intercession of Christ. (5.) The stone of Christ’s death and passion. His crucifixion is that in the virtue whereof sin is crucified. Improve his death and look for virtue to come from thence. – Look to the Lord for grace and skill to cast these stones into the head of Goliath.


Worse Company Than The Devil’s

Robert Traill (The Throne of Grace), Works 1:230:

There is no worse company in an evil day than an evil conscience. It is worse company than the devil’s. His company is that of a tempter and accuser; but an evil conscience is a judge condemning, and an executioner tormenting a man. Therefore herein exercise yourselves, to have a conscience void of offence toward God and toward men, Acts 24:16. It is usually seen, that times of great trials do dart in some light into men’s consciences, and do make men look into their hearts and ways more narrowly, and spy small faults that they could not see at other times; for they are days of darkness in one sense, and days of light in another. Study therefore to keep thy conscience clean and pure, by holy and tender walking, and by daily believing; for it is the blood of Christ that only can purge the conscience from dead works to serve the living God, Heb. 9:14.


The Way to Prove Yourselves Strangers

Robert Traill (Sermons from 1 Peter 1:1-4), Works 4:14:

Prooijen-HikerThis is the way to prove yourselves strangers, by being mortified to things below, and having your affections set on things above. (1.) If you are strangers in this world, then let your affections be weaned from the things that are here below. When a man is posting from one kingdom to another, he will not care much about what he meets with by the way. If he gets a bad lodging to-night, he thinks he will get a better to-morrow, and a few days more be out of that strange land. So it is with the believer. He meets with bad entertainment here; well, a little time will put an end to all. Our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, shall work for us a far mere exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 2 Cor. 4:17. (2.) Prove yourselves to be strangers by your warm thoughts of heaven. Strangers should love their home. If heaven be our inheritance, how delighted should we be with the thoughts of it? How frequently should we converse with it? How often should we send to it? Do ye belong to heaven, and are you strangers on earth? Then, whilst we are denied entrance to our home, let us entertain correspondence with it, like a child that is sent by his father to travel in a strange land; whilst he is denied his father’s sight, he will yet entertain correspondence with him by letters.

Source:, Comment 1

Feeling Estranged From God?

Read this discussion on the Puritan Board:

The Rooting Grace of a Christian

Robert Traill (The Throne of Grace), Works 1:192-193:

We commonly value most that growth in grace that hath fair blossoms and fruit, appearing to our comfort, and to the Lord’s praise before others. And it is indeed desirable, and to be studied, Matt. 5:16; John 15:8. But there is a growth that may be carried on in the root only, in the rooting grace of a Christian: as in clearer discoveries of indwelling sin in the heart, and in more self-diffidence and self-distrust. Paul had this fruit, 2 Cor. 1:8, 9. It is a sad thing, that many Christians are so fond of themselves, of the good that is in them, that the Lord seeth that nothing is so fit to cure them of this, as leaving them to themselves. And when this leaving of them to themselves hath brought them to a discovery of themselves, and that discovery hath wrought a distrust of themselves, and that distrust hath taught them faith in God; then the Lord hath reached his end on them, and will change his way with them.

Source:, Comment 1

That Stream of Corruption Runs Continually

Hugh Binning, Works, pp. 327-328:

What should we do then, since sin is always lodging in our mortal bodies, during this time of necessary abode beside an ill neighbour? What should be our exercise? Even this, – confess your sins; confess, I say, as long as you have them, draw out this the length of that. Be continually groaning to him under that body of death, and mourning under your daily infirmities and failings. That stream of corruption runs continually, – let the stream of your contrition and confession run as incessantly; and there is another stream of Christ’s blood, that runs constantly too, to cleanse you. Now, herein is the discovery of the vanity and deceitfulness of many of your confessions, public and private: the current of them soon dries up; there is no perpetuity or constancy in them, no daily humbling or abasing yourselves; but all that is, is by fits and starts upon some transient convictions or outward censures and rebukes; and thus men quickly cover and bury their sins in oblivion and security, and forget what manner of persons they were.


This is the Only Cure

Hugh Binning, Works, p. 318:

Among believers in Christ there is much difference in self-judging; extreme contrarieties, both between diverse persons, and in one and the same at diverse times. You know that some are kept in the open view of their own sins and infirmities, and while they aim at holiness, they are wholly disabled to that worthy endeavour by their discouragements arising from the apprehension of their own weakness and infinite short-coming. Now to elevate and strengthen such spirits, that word was seasonably cast in, “and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin:” for it properly belongs to the comfort of such fainting souls; and it is all one as if he had said, up and be doing, and the blood of Christ shall cleanse your evil doings. He goeth not about to persuade them to have better thoughts of themselves, or lower apprehensions of their sins, but only to have higher and more suitable thoughts of Christ, and the virtue of his blood; and this is the only cure, – not to abate from that low esteem of ourselves, but to add to the esteem and grow in the lively apprehension of Christ. I would not counsel you to think yourselves better, but to think better of him, that all your confidence may arise from him.

Source:, Comment 1