Who are those who murder their own souls?

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Blueridge Believer

Puritan Board Professor
(1) They willfully murder their souls—who have no sense of God, or the world to come, and are past feeling. Eph 4:19. Tell them of God's holiness and justice—and they are not at all affected. "They made their hearts as an adamant stone." Zech 7:12, "The adamant," says Pliny, "is impregnable, the hammer cannot conquer it." Sinners have adamantine hearts. When the prophet spoke to the altar of stone, it rent asunder—but sinner's hearts are so hardened in sin (1 Kings 13:5), nothing will work upon them, neither ordinances nor judgments. They do not believe in God; they laugh at hell. Thus they murder their own souls, and throw themselves into hell as fast as they can.

(2) They willfully murder their own souls—who resign themselves to their lusts, let what will come of it. The soul cries out in you, "I am killing myself! I am murdering myself!" They "have given themselves over to work all uncleanness with greediness." Eph 4:19. Let ministers speak to them about their sins, let conscience speak, let afflictions speak—they will have their lusts, even though they go to hell for them! Do not these murder their own souls? Many say in their hearts, "let our sins damn us—just so that that they but please us!" Herod will have his incestuous lusts, though it costs him his soul. For a drop of pleasure men will drink a sea of wrath! Do not these massacre and damn their own souls? "A wicked man’s iniquities entrap him; he is entangled in the ropes of his own sin. He will be lost because of his great stupidity." Proverbs 5:22-23

(3) They murder their souls—who avoid all means of saving them. They will go to plays, to drunken meetings—but will not set their foot in God's house, or come near the sound of the gospel-trumpet; as if one that is diseased should shun the healing cordial, for fear of being healed. These are self murderers as much as one who has the means of cure offered him—but chooses rather to die.

(4) They voluntarily murder their souls—who take false prejudices against religion; as if it were so strict and severe that they must live a melancholy life, like hermits and monks, and drown all their joys in tears. It is a slander which the devil casts upon religion, for there is no true joy but in believing. Rom 15:1, 3. No honey is so sweet as that which drops from a promise. Some men foolishly take up a prejudice against religion; they are resolved never to go to heaven, rather than go through the strait gate. I may say of prejudice, as Paul to Elymas, "O prejudice, you child of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness," how many souls have you damned? Acts 13:10.

(5) They willfully murder their own souls—who will neither be good themselves, nor allow others to be so. "You neither go [into the kingdom of heaven] yourselves, neither do you allow those who are entering to go in." Matt 23:13. Such are those who persecute others for their religion. Drunken meetings may escape punishments from them—but if men meet to serve God, all severity will be used. They are resolved to shipwreck others, though they themselves are cast away in the storm. Oh! take heed of murdering your own souls! No creature but man willingly kills itself.

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