The degeneration of human nature is such that it not only practice sins, but glories in them.
Man fallen is but man inverted and turned upside down; his love is where his hatred should be, and his hatred where his love should be; his glory where his shame should be, and his shame where his glory should be.
Many count strictness a disgrace, and sin a bravery. The apostle saith, “They glory in their shame” (Phil. 3:19). It cometh to pass sometimes through ignorance; men mistake evil for good, and so call revenge valour or resolution, and prosperity in an evil way the blessing of providence upon their zealous endeavours, and presumptuous carelessness a well-built confidence.
God charged it upon his people that they had made great feasts of rejoicing when they had more cause to mourn: “The holy flesh is past from thee; when thou dost evil, then thou rejoicest” (Jer. 11:15). Usually, by our fond mistakes, thus it is we are blessing and praising God when we have more cause to humble and afflict our souls.
Sometimes it is through stupidness and sottishness of conscience; when men have worn out all honest restraints, then they rejoice in evil, and delight in their perversities (Prov. 2:14). The drunkards think there is a bravery in their strength to pour in wine, and can boast of the number of their cups; the soaken adulterer of so many acts of uncleanness; the swearer thinketh it the grace of his speech to interlard it with oaths; and proud persons think conceited apparel is their best ornament.
Good God! whither is man fallen! First we practise sin, then defend it, then boast of it. Sin is first our burden, then our custom, then our delight, then our excellency.
Adapted from The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, 4:395–396.
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