Keep at the greatest distance from sin, and from playing with the golden bait that Satan holds forth to catch you

Anselm used to say, ‘That if he should see the shame of sin on the one hand, and the pains of hell on the other, and must of necessity choose one, he would rather be thrust into hell without sin, than to go into heaven with sin,’ so great was his hatred and detestation of sin.

It is our wisest and our safest course to stand at the farthest distance from sin; not to go near the house of the harlot, but to fly from all appearance of evil (Prov 5:8; 1 Thess 5:22). The best course to prevent falling into the pit, is to keep at the greatest distance. He that will be so bold as to attempt to dance upon the brink of the pit, may find by woeful experience that it is a righteous thing with God that he should fall into the pit. Joseph keeps at a distance from sin, and from playing with Satan’s golden baits, and stands.

—Thomas Brooks
Adapted from The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, 1:13.