"By extenuating and lessining of sin"
Satan puts degrees upon sin and makes them seem not as bad as they really are. "Ah! saith Satan, it is but a little pride, a little worldliness, a little uncleanness, a little drunkenness, etc." (38) For remedies consider:
- That those sins which we are apt to account small, have brought upon men the greatest wrath of God.
- That the giving way to a less sin makes for a committing of a greater.
- That it is sad to stand with God for a trifle.
- That there is great danger, yea, many times most danger, in the smallest sins.
- That other saints have chosen to suffer the worst of torments, rather than they would commit the least sin.
- That the soul is never able to stand under the guilt and weight of the least sin, when God shall set it home upon the soul.
- That there is more evil in the least sin than the greatest affliction
Brooks' advice here is rather simple--that which you consider to be small is actually quite large. It may start small but will make room for the greater sins. If sin as an offense to God then a "small" sin is an offense just as a "great" one. The modern church, myself included, should hear this well. While we lambast such atrocities as homosexuality, pornography, abortion, gambling, etc. (and we should) let us not forget to also have fervor in rooting out of our midst pride, greed, slander, gluttony and all other forms of "respectable" sins.
"Satan will first draw thee to sit with the drunkard, and then to sip with the drunkard, and then at last to be drunk with the drunkard." (39)
"The debates of the soul are quick, and soon ended, and that may be done in a moment that may undo a man for ever." (40)
"Little sins often slide into the soul, and breed, and work secretly and undiscernibly in the soul, till they come to be so strong, as to trample upon the soul, and to cut the throat of the soul." (42)
"Oh! how should this make us tremble, as much at the least spark of lust as at hell itself; considering that God the Father would not spare his bosom Son, no, not for the least sin, but would make him drink the dregs of his wrath." (45)