Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Ineradicable Taint of Sin

I was reading "God's Way of Holiness" by Horatius Bonar and I came across this quote and just had to share it.

"Romish devotees, with fastings and flagellations, in addition to earnest words, have tried to extirpate the wrong and nourish the right. Groping after righteousness, yet not knowing what righteousness is, nor how it comes to us, they have built themselves up in self-righteousness. Professing to seek holiness, without understanding its nature, they have snared themselves in delusions which bring no purity. Bent, as they say, upon "mortifying the flesh," falsely identifying "the flesh" with the mere body, and working upon the theology which teaches that it is the body which ruins the soul, they lay great stress on weakening and macerating the corporeal frame, not knowing that they are thus feeding sin, fostering pride, making the body less fit to be the helpmeet of the soul, and thereby producing unholiness of the darkest type in the eye of God. By rules of no gentle kind: by terror, by pain, by visions of death and the grave, by pictures of a fiercely flaming hell, by the denial of all certainty in pardon, they have sought to terrify or force themselves into goodness. By long prayers, by bitter practices of self-denial, by slow chants at midnight or early morn in dim cathedrals, by frequent sacraments, by deep study of old fathers, by the cold of wintry solitude, by multiplied deeds of merit and will-worship, they have thought to expel the demon, and to eradicate "the ineradicable taint of sin."" —Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)

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