October 9, 2008

Edward Polhill (1622–1694) on the Unmortified Man for Whom Christ Died

An unmortified man, that is under the power of his lusts, is in no fit capacity to suffer for Christ: he is a part of that world that lieth in wickedness; the world will love him as a part of itself, and he will comply with the world as a part doth with the whole; a little particle of water will, if it be possible, fall into a' round drop, that it may answer to the figure of the great ocean whereof it is a part; and an unmortified man will be à-la-mode, and of the same figure (be it Pagan or Popish idolatry) with the corrupt world, whereof he is a part; his compliance will be such that he will have no occasion for sufferings, neither is it imaginable for what he will suffer from the world: will he suffer, as good men do, to avoid that greatest of evils, sin? That is it which he allows and indulges in himself, that is the darling of his soul, the joy of his way, the current of his life, the only element in which he converses; and may he suffer to avoid such a thing as that is? or will he suffer to avoid the greatest of punishments, hell and death? No, surely; in willing his lusts, he virtually wills hell, and the torments of it; in acting his sin, his feet go down to death, and all the wrath that is to come; or will he suffer for God, out of love to him, and respect to his glory? It is not imaginable, that he should suffer for God whom he serves not, or love him with the idol in his heart, or respect his glory against whom he is in arms, and whose laws and honour he treads down under his feet: or will he suffer for Christ his Saviour, who died to wash away his sins in his own blood? It is not credible that he should suffer for a Christ whom he never yet received, or take up the yoke of the cross when he casts off the yoke of the command; he cannot be saved in his sins, no, not by Christ himself; the atoning blood will not wash him that wallows in those corruptions that are the price of it; or will he suffer for the Gospel; he turns a deaf ear to the calls; violates the sacred commands, casts away the precious offers of it, and it is not to be thought, that he will suffer for that Gospel which he so despises. Indeed, it would be a very strange thing for him to suffer; in so doing he must part with all this world, in which his portion and total sum of happiness lies; he must suffer the spoiling of his goods when he hath no enduring substance in Heaven; be a reproach among men when he hath no honour with God; and cast away a temporal life when he hath no title to an eternal one. We see by these things that an unmortified man is not in case to suffer for Christ.
Edward Polhill, Armatura Dei; Or, A Preparation for Suffering in an Evil Day (London, 1682; Re-Printed for Mssrs. Hatchard and Son, 1824), 49–51.


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