Choose Affliction Over SinJeremiah Burroughs (1599-1646) - A Popular Independent Puritan Preacher and a Member of the Westminster Assembly.
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“The holiness of God is the height of God’s excellency.”
It is better to suffer the greatest affliction than commit the least sin.
All men are afraid of afflictions and troubled at affliction, but where’s the man or woman that fears sin and flies from it as from a serpent, and is troubled at sin more than any affliction? That there is more vile in sin than in affliction, in general (I suppose), is granted by all. None dare deny it; but, because they do not see how this is, they do not have convincing arguments to bring this truth to their souls with power…. Their is more evil in sin than in outward trouble in the world; more evil in sin than in all the miseries and torments of hell itself.
Suppose that God should bring any of you to the brink of that bottomless gulf and open it to you, and there you should see those damned creatures sweltering under the wrath of the infinite God, and there you should hear the dreadful and hideous cries and shrieks of those who are under such soul-amazing and soul-sinking torments through the wrath of the Almighty. Yet, I say, there is more evil in one sinful thought than there is in all these everlasting burnings,…. Yet the truth is, that if it should come into competition whether we would endure all the torments that are in hell to all eternity rather than to commit one sin, I say, if our spirits were as they should be, we would rather be willing to endure all these torments than commit the least sin.
Taken from The Evil of Evils, Soli Deo Gloria Pub.