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It was the saying of a precious saint¬óthat he was more
afraid of his duties than of his sins; for his duties often
made him proud¬óbut his sins always made him humble.
It was good counsel Luther gave, "We must take heed
not only of our sins¬óbut of our good works."
Duties can never have too much diligence used about
them¬ónor too little confidence placed in them. They are
good helps¬óbut bad saviors. It is necessary we do them
¬óbut it is dangerous to rely upon them. If the devil cannot
dissuade us from performing pious duties¬óthen his next
work will be to persuade us to rely upon them, to make
saviors of them; because this will as certainly ruin our
souls, as if we had wholly neglected them.
Resting in your own righteousness, will as certainly and
eternally undo you¬óas the greatest and foulest atrocities!
Open wickedness slays her thousands¬óbut a secret
resting upon duties, slays her ten thousands!
Open profaneness is the broad dirty way which leads
to hell; but trusting in pious duties is as sure a way,
though a cleaner way to hell. Ungodly people and
formal professors shall meet at last in the same hell.
Now, let all these things work you to renounce your own
righteousness¬óand to take sanctuary alone in the pure,
perfect, and most glorious righteousness of Jesus Christ,
and in the free grace of God.