From “The Pilgrim’s Progress” | Morality Avoids the Cross

Upon Christian turning from the way, and turning to morality to relieve him of his sin, Evangelist corrects him with these words:

“The man that met thee is one Worldly-Wiseman, and rightly is he so called; partly, because he favoureth only the doctrine of this world (therefore he always goes to the town of Morality to church) and partly because he loveth that doctrine best, for it saveth him from the Cross; and because he is of this carnal temper, therefore he seeketh to prevent my ways, though right.

Now there are three things in this man’s counsel that thou must utterly abhor:

  1. His turning thee out of the way.
  2. His labouring to render the Cross odious to thee.
  3. And his setting thy feet in that way that leadeth unto the administration of death.

First, thou must abhor his turning thee out of the way; yea, and thine own consenting thereto: because this is to reject the counsel of God, for the sake of the counsel of a Worldly-Wiseman…

Secondly, thou must abhor his labouring to render the Cross odious unto thee; for thou art to prefer it before the treasures in Egypt…

Thirdly, thou must hate his setting of thy feet in the way that leadeth to the ministration of death. And for this thou must consider to whom he sent thee, and how unable that person was to deliver thee…He to whom thou was sent for ease, being by name Legality…this Legality therefore is not able to set thee free from thy burden…there is nothing in all this noise that thou hast heard of this sottish man, but a design to beguile thee of thy salvation, by turning thee from the way in which I had set thee.”

I knew that Morality and Legality make bad saviors, but what I had never thought of was the fact that pursuing them means I am simultaneously leaving the path which leads to/through the Cross. In pursuing these things, I am attempting to bypass the Cross and render it unnecessary to my salvation! This is the hideous truth of idolatry. Pursuing anything rather than Christ for redemption is the practice of denying the Cross and buying a lie.

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