(Thomas Brooks, "London's Lamentations" 1670)
Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
1 John 3:6
"A trade, a course of sin--is inconsistent with a state of grace. The best saints have sadly miscarried as to particular actions; but he who shall judge of a man's spiritual state by particular acts, though notorious bad, will certainly condemn, where God acquits. We must always distinguish between some single evil actions,and a serious course of evil actions. It is not this or that particular evil action--but a continued course of evil actions--which denominates a man wicked. Just so, it is not this or that particular holy act--but a continued course of holy actions--which denominates a man holy.
Every man is--as his course is. If his course is holy--the man is holy. If his course is wicked--the man is wicked.
No man ought to conclude, because of some particular good actions--that his spiritual state is good.
No man ought to conclude, because of some particular sinful actions--that his spiritual state is bad.
A course of sinning is not consistent with a course of godliness. Though the needle of the seaman's compassmay jog this way and that way--yet the bent of the needle will still be northward. Just so, though a Christianmay have his particular sinful joggings this way or that way--yet the bent of his heart will still be . . .