The eighth book of Mr Jeremiah Burroughs. Being a treatise of the evil of evils, or the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Wherein is shewed, 1 There is more evil in the least sin, than there is in the greatest affliction. 2 Sin is most opposite to God. 3 Sin is most opposite to mans good. 4 Sin is opposite to all good in general. 5 Sin is the poyson, or evil of all other evils. 6 Sin hath a kind of infiniteness in it. 7 Sin makes a man conformable to the Devil. All these several heads are branched out into very many particulars.
Burroughs, Jeremiah, 1599-1646., Goodwin, Thomas, 1600-1680.


Fifthly, Sin is more opposite to mans good than Afflicti∣on because tis a defilement of the Soul. 1 It defiles all a man medleth with. 2 Sin is the matter the worm shall gnaw upon to all eternity.

FIfthly, The evil of Sin against a mans good appeareth in this, In that it is the defilement and corruption of the Soul, a rottenness in the Soul. Affliction is not the filth and corruption of the Soul, the Soul may be as clear from filth and corruption, notwithstanding Affliction, as it was before man sinned. Sin, it is the rottenness of the Soul, and therefore such a kind of defile∣ment, As,

1 It defiles all things a man medles withal, and al his actions; it makes a man vile, and defiles every thing that comes from him. To the unclean all things are unclean and impure, Tit. 1. 15. It defiles the Creature and every thing he hath to do withal, and every thing he medles withal.

2 And especially it appeareth in this, That it is no other than the matter for the worm to breed in that Page  263 shall gnaw upon the Soul of the wicked to all eternity. You reade in Scripture, That the damned shall be punished with fire that shall never go out; and the worm that shal never dye. What is that worm that shall never dye? The worm of Con∣science that shall gnaw upon their Spirits to all eternity. Now, what breeds this worm, and supplies it with matter? No other but the cor∣ruption of sin in the soul. For as with worms (as the Holy Ghost makes use of that Meato∣pher) that breed in the corruption and filth in a mans body, there are some worms that breed in the body which are deadly. But out of what do those worms breed? Out of the filth and cor∣ruption of the Body, and the corruption of the body supplies matter for the worm to gnaw up∣on. And so in Trees, and Timber, there breeds worms; upon what do they breed but upon the corruption of the Timber when it begins to rot. So then worms breed out of corruption, and live upon Corruption; so that worm of Conscience that shall lye gnawing upon the souls of those that perish to al eternity, is nothing else but that which breeds from the filth of their hearts while they live here the worm breeds: There∣fore you that live a long time in sin, old sinners, gray headed sinners, though you do not feel the worm gnaw for the present; yet ever since you were born the worm was breeding, and it will be a great and a dreadful worm hereafter: and know you supply abundance of Corruption for to feed that worm that will gnaw another day: You feel it not now, but the longer you be be∣fore Page  264 you feel it, the dreadfuller will it be then. All those that have corrupt hearts, and have this worm breed, if God would make the worm gnaw now, it would be wel for them; for there be wayes to kill it here, to kill the worm of Con∣science. If it gnaw, there is a Soveraign Medi∣cine, the bloud of Christ: And certainly there is no Medicine in the world to kill this worm but the bloud of Christ, and those that God doth intend to kill this worm in, and those that shall not have it gnaw to all eternity, God lets it gnaw now, the Ministery of the Word makes it gnaw and pain them, and they feel such pain that wheresoever they go, or whatsoever they do yet the worm lies gnawing upon their hearts, they cannot sleep, or eate their meat: Alas! what should I eat, and have my worm gnaw there! And they can never be at rest till God apply the bloud of Christ, and then they void the worm as it were. How will you rejoyce when your Children, if the worms be great and put them to pain, if the Physitian give them that which makes them void them, how do you re∣joyce to see the worm that would have been the death of your Child? It might have grown bigger and bigger, if it had not been taken a∣way. So I dare say there is never a Soul here be∣fore the Lord, but hath, or had a worm in their breasts, I say, There was a time you had this worm in your breasts, that without it were cu∣red, would lie gnawing to all eternity, it is that which breeds of the filth and corruption of your hearts. Suppose a man had a little dirt on Page  265 his face, this endangers not the life of the body, but when there is corruption within, and defile∣ment of the Body within, that breeds diseases, and will breed worms, it may be it wil breed the wolf that lies gnawing at their breasts; many wo∣men have had it in their breasts that lies gnaw∣ing upon their flesh: but know, your sins breed another manner of worm or wolf that will gnaw worse than ever that did. And this is the evil of sin, it is not only the defilement of the soul, but such a defilement that breeds such a worm that will gnaw upon conscience to all eternity.