by Jeremiah Burroughs
Thou abstainest from sin, what is the reason? not because of any great evil thou seest in sin, but because of affliction; thy conscience tells thee it will bring thee to trouble, and into affliction, and this keeps away sin: ‘Tis true, it is good for men and women to avoid sin upon any terms, and this is one motive God propounds to avoid sin by, but this is not all or the chief motive; because of affliction, and trouble, conscience tells thee, God will be even with thee, and the wrath of God pursues thee: very few come so far, to have such apprehensions of the evil consequences of sin, and to avoid sin upon them grounds: But you should labor, not only to avoid sin from the evil consequences of sin, but for the evil of sin it self; for if thou avoid sin only from the evil consequences of sin: Know,
1 This may be without change of Nature; a man or a woman may be in such an estate, as they may not dare to commit some sin out of fear of trouble that may follow, and yet not his Nature changed: as a Wolf chained up, may be the same that he was before he was chained up; his nature is not changed.
2 If merely for fear of trouble thou forbearest sin; then know, thy service and obedience is forced service and obedience, and so not accepted when merely forced.
3 If thou avoid sin merely for fear of affliction, then thou art not yet released off from thy self, not quite taken off from thy self.
4 If thou avoid sin merely to prevent affliction, then thou art not like to hold out; that is a principle in Nature, nothing is perpetual that is violent; and this is violent, to avoid sin merely for fear of affliction: such men and women will not hold out, if there be no other principle than this, they will fall off at last, they will abate at last, and so they will come to fall off.
Source: The Evil of Evils by Jeremiah Burroughs