Be sure to get an interest in Christ—
if you intend to mortify any sin without it,
it will never be done.
Let men know it is their duty, but in its proper place; I take not men from mortification, but put them upon conversion. He that shall call a man from mending a hole in the wall of his house, to quench a fire that is consuming the whole building, is not his enemy. Poor soul! It is not your sore finger but your hectic fever that you are to apply yourself to the consideration of. You set yourself against a particular sin and do not consider that you are nothing but sin.
John Owen, Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers, Chapter 7
(You can read this work as part of Reading Classics Together along with Tim Challies and hundreds of his closest friends.)
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