Whatever pretenses men make of being thankful for the word of God, when they speak of having light and grace as a privilege while not yielding themselves to the obedience to the light nor conforming themselves to the commands of it, they are not truly thankful at all (Neh. 9:26).
An unwillingness to be reformed argues for a hopeless spirit. It shows their hearts are set upon their evil ways. As in Hosea 11:7, “My people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.” Like the depth of a disease when it resists healing medicines, when suitable means are used to bring people to repentance and yet all prove to be ineffectual, it shows them to be irredeemable. They say, either in words or practices, as those in Jeremiah 44:16 said, “As for the word thou hast spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee.” When men withstand God’s means of conviction, when they don’t hear or listen to the voice of God’s warnings or judgments, when they plead for sin and are unwilling to repent, reform and turn to God genuinely, they are in a very bad state spiritually. It is bad enough when the hearts of a people have turned from God to their lusts. But it is worse when they will not return and prefer to continue in their evil ways.
This is to warn you not to resist the light that shows your sin and brings you to your duty. It is a dangerous thing to neglect to reform what you know to be amiss as it exposes those who are guilty of it to many judgments. Eli had been forewarned of the wickedness of his sons. But his sinful indulgence towards them blinded him. And here God tells him, he will judge his house forever. So the prophet declares against Amaziah in 2 Chron. 25:16, “I know God has determined to destroy thee, because thou hast done this, and hast not hearkened to my counsel.” Notwithstanding sufficient testimonies from God, men do sometimes harden their hearts. And by persisting in sin, they expose themselves to spiritual, temporal, and eternal judgments. I will remind you of some of the ways by which people sometimes do it, that you may be cautioned against them.
The Danger of Not Reforming Known Evils, and Other Works by William Williams (1666-1741)
Coming Soon from Puritan Publications in 2022.