Leave the pleasure in sin. The Scripture doth so describe sin, that one would think there should be little pleasure in it:
1. Scripture calls it a debt. Sin is compared to a debt of 'ten thousand talents' Matt. xviii. 24. A talent of gold among the Hebrews, was valued at almost four thousand pounds. Ten thousand talents is a figurative speech, to express how great a debt sin is; and do you call this a pleasure? Is it any pleasure for a man to be in debt?
2. Scripture calls sin a disease, Isa. i. 5. 'The whole head is sick.' Is it any pleasure to be sick? Though all do not feel this sickness, yet the less the distemper is felt, the more mortal it is.
3. The Scripture compares sin to 'gall and wormwood,' Deut. xxix. 18. It breeds a bitter worm in the conscience. What a worm did Spira feel? Sin stings a man with wrath, John iii. 34. And do you call this a pleasure? Sure you 'put bitter for sweet,' Isaiah v, 20.
The pleasures of sin gratify only the senses of man, and are not rational.-- Pleasures are called carnal, because they delight only the body. How absurd was that speech of the rich man in the Gospel, when he was speaking of his store of goods and his barns being full, 'soul, take thine ease,' Luke xii.19. He might have said more properly, body, take thine ease; for his soul was never the better for his riches, nor could it feel any delight in them. -- Though his barns were full, his soul was empty. Therefore, when Satan tell thee, if you use violence for Heaven, thou wilt lose all your pleasures; ask him, what pleasures are they, Satan? such as please only the. senses, they do not delight the mind; they do not comfort the conscience; they are such delights wherein the brute creatures do exceed me.
3. These sugared pleasures in sin the Scripture saith are but 'for a season,' Heb. xi. 25. like fire in straw, which makes a blaze, but is presently out. 1 John ii. 17. 'The world passeth away, and the lust thereof.' It passeth away swiftly as a ship under sail. Worldly pleasures perish in the using; like a fleeting shadow or flash of lightning; and are these to be preferred before an eternal weight of glory?
4. The present sweetness which is in sin will turn to bitterness at last. Like the book the prophet eat, Ezek. iii. 3, sweet in the mouth, but bitter in the belly. Honey is sweet, but it turns to choler. Sin is a sweet poison, it delights the palate, but torments the bowels. When once the sinner's eyes come to be opened at death, and he feels some sparks of God's wrath in his conscience, then he will cry out for horror, and be ready to lay violent hands upon himself. We may say of the pleasures of sin, as Solomon says of wine, Prov xxiii. 32. 'Look not upon the wine when it is red, when it shews its colour in the glass, afterwords it bites like a serpent.' So look not on the smiling pleasures of sin; be not delighted with its beauty, but affrighted of its sting? Do the damned in Hell feel any pleasure now in their sins? Hath their cup of wrath have one drop of honey in it? Oh remember, after the golden crowns, and women's hair, come the lions teeth, Rev. iv. 8.. Thus I have answered the first part of the objection; I shall lose all my pleasures in sin.
If I put forth this violence in religion, I shall exchange my delight for labor. I must dig away through the rock, and while I work I must weep.
Paul Frederick West