A man may HATE sin

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Blueridge Believer

Puritan Board Professor
—and yet be but almost a Christian. Absalom hated Amnon's immorality with his sister Tamar. Yes, his hatred was so great, that he slew him for it; and yet Absalom was but a wicked man.

Objection. But the Scripture makes it a sign of a gracious heart, to hate sin. Yes, though a man does, through infirmities, fall into sin, yet if he hates it, this is a proof of grace. Paul proves the sincerity of his heart, and the truth of his grace, by this hatred of sin, though he committed it, "What I hate—that I do." Nay, what is grace but a conformity of the soul to God; to love as God loves, to hate as God hates? Now God hates sin—it is one part of his holiness to hate all sin. And if I hate sin, then am I conformed to God—and if I am conformed to God, then am I altogether a Christian.

Answer. It is true, that there is a hatred of sin, which is a sign of grace, and which flows from a principle of grace, and is grace. As for instance: To hate sin, as it is an offence to God, a wrong to his majesty; to hate sin, as it is a breach of the command, and so a wicked disobeying of God's will, which is the only rule of goodness; to hate sin, as being a wicked transgression of that law of love established in the blood and death of Christ, and so, in a degree, a crucifying of Christ afresh. To hate sin, as being a grieving and quenching the Spirit of God, as all sin in its nature is. Thus to hate sin, is grace; and thus every true Christian hates sin.

But, though every man who has grace hates sin, yet every man who hates sin has not saving grace. For a man may hate sin from other principles, not as it is a wrong done to God, or a wounding Christ, or a grieving the Spirit; for then he would hate all sin; for there is no sin but has this in the nature of it. But,

1. A man may hate sin for the shame which attends it, more than for the evil which is in it. There are some sinners, "who declare their sin as Sodom, and hide it not." They sit down in the seat of the scornful; "they glory in their shame." But there are other sinners who are ashamed of sin, and therefore hate it, not for the sin's sake—but for the shame's sake. This made Absalom hate Amnon's immorality, because it brought shame upon him and his sister.

2. A man may hate sin more in others, than in himself. So does the drunkard—he hates drunkenness in another—and yet practices it himself! The liar hates falsehood in another—but likes it himself. Now he who hates sin from a principle of grace, hates sin most in himself; he hates sin in others—but he loathes most the sins of his own heart! 3. A man may hate one sin—as being contrary to another. There is a great contrariety between one sin and another sin, between one lust and another lust. It is the excellency of the life of grace, that it is a uniform life; there is no one grace contrary to another. The graces of God's Spirit are different—but not contrary to one another. Faith, and love, and holiness, are all one. They consist together at the same time, in the same subject; nay, they cannot be parted. There can be no faith without love, no love without holiness; and so, on the other hand, no holiness without love; no love without faith. So that this makes the life of grace an easy and excellent life.

But the life of sin is a distracting contradictory life, wherein a man is a servant to contrary lusts. The lust of pride and extravagance, is contrary to the lust of covetousness, etc. Now, where one lust gets to be the master-lust of the soul, then that works a hatred of its contrary. Where covetousness gets the heart, there the heart hates pride; and where pride gets uppermost in the heart, there the heart hates covetousness. Thus a man may hate sin, not from a principle of grace—but from the contrariety of lusts. He does not hate any sin, as it is sin; but he hates it, as being contrary to his beloved sin.

Now then, if a man may hate sin for the shame which attends it; if he may hate sin more in others than himself; if he may hate one sin as being contrary to another—then he may hate sin—and yet be but almost a Christian.

MATTHEW MEADE 1661
 

sotzo

Puritan Board Sophomore
—and yet be but almost a Christian. Absalom hated Amnon's immorality with his sister Tamar. Yes, his hatred was so great, that he slew him for it; and yet Absalom was but a wicked man.

Objection. But the Scripture makes it a sign of a gracious heart, to hate sin. Yes, though a man does, through infirmities, fall into sin, yet if he hates it, this is a proof of grace. Paul proves the sincerity of his heart, and the truth of his grace, by this hatred of sin, though he committed it, "What I hate—that I do." Nay, what is grace but a conformity of the soul to God; to love as God loves, to hate as God hates? Now God hates sin—it is one part of his holiness to hate all sin. And if I hate sin, then am I conformed to God—and if I am conformed to God, then am I altogether a Christian.

Answer. It is true, that there is a hatred of sin, which is a sign of grace, and which flows from a principle of grace, and is grace. As for instance: To hate sin, as it is an offence to God, a wrong to his majesty; to hate sin, as it is a breach of the command, and so a wicked disobeying of God's will, which is the only rule of goodness; to hate sin, as being a wicked transgression of that law of love established in the blood and death of Christ, and so, in a degree, a crucifying of Christ afresh. To hate sin, as being a grieving and quenching the Spirit of God, as all sin in its nature is. Thus to hate sin, is grace; and thus every true Christian hates sin.

But, though every man who has grace hates sin, yet every man who hates sin has not saving grace. For a man may hate sin from other principles, not as it is a wrong done to God, or a wounding Christ, or a grieving the Spirit; for then he would hate all sin; for there is no sin but has this in the nature of it. But,

1. A man may hate sin for the shame which attends it, more than for the evil which is in it. There are some sinners, "who declare their sin as Sodom, and hide it not." They sit down in the seat of the scornful; "they glory in their shame." But there are other sinners who are ashamed of sin, and therefore hate it, not for the sin's sake—but for the shame's sake. This made Absalom hate Amnon's immorality, because it brought shame upon him and his sister.

2. A man may hate sin more in others, than in himself. So does the drunkard—he hates drunkenness in another—and yet practices it himself! The liar hates falsehood in another—but likes it himself. Now he who hates sin from a principle of grace, hates sin most in himself; he hates sin in others—but he loathes most the sins of his own heart! 3. A man may hate one sin—as being contrary to another. There is a great contrariety between one sin and another sin, between one lust and another lust. It is the excellency of the life of grace, that it is a uniform life; there is no one grace contrary to another. The graces of God's Spirit are different—but not contrary to one another. Faith, and love, and holiness, are all one. They consist together at the same time, in the same subject; nay, they cannot be parted. There can be no faith without love, no love without holiness; and so, on the other hand, no holiness without love; no love without faith. So that this makes the life of grace an easy and excellent life.

But the life of sin is a distracting contradictory life, wherein a man is a servant to contrary lusts. The lust of pride and extravagance, is contrary to the lust of covetousness, etc. Now, where one lust gets to be the master-lust of the soul, then that works a hatred of its contrary. Where covetousness gets the heart, there the heart hates pride; and where pride gets uppermost in the heart, there the heart hates covetousness. Thus a man may hate sin, not from a principle of grace—but from the contrariety of lusts. He does not hate any sin, as it is sin; but he hates it, as being contrary to his beloved sin.

Now then, if a man may hate sin for the shame which attends it; if he may hate sin more in others than himself; if he may hate one sin as being contrary to another—then he may hate sin—and yet be but almost a Christian.

MATTHEW MEADE 1661

I have to say, sometimes the Puritans make the Gospel sound like what the average American evangelical espouses. Like it is acutally conditional on whether we really were sincere, really walked the all, were really repentent or if it was only show. Perhaps that occurred because of the context they were speaking into at the time, but can anyone truly say that he has hated sin in such a holy way that he is truly a Christian rather than "almost a Christian"?
 
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