The Devices by Which Sin Beguiles
Hebrews 3:13
But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

1. One of the most obvious ways in which it works this mischief is, by diverting the attention from that to which it ought to be directed. Man's power of attention is limited; it cannot be directed to all things at the same time; it must take them in succession. Neither should it bestow itself equally upon all things, but graduate its time and earnestness according to circumstance. Of this feature of our constitution sin, taking advantage, so fills the mind with other things, that no room is left for the things of religion. A man is thus made to forget God, by the simple obtrusion of other things upon his attention.

2. Sin deceives also by the false and captivating colours in which it decks out things forbidden. Their beauty was not their own. They wore a mask. It is no very uncommon thing for certain visions and appearances to pass before the mind, under the influence of disease, which wear all the lineaments of persons and things with which we are familiar, and yet possess no reality whatever. But not to take so violent a case for illustration; let us simply reflect how depression or hilarity of animal spirits affects all our views of things. The one will hang the brightest heaven with mourning; the other will shed an air of cheerfulness over the deepest gloom. Now it is somewhat in this way that sin deludes. It causes things to appear in unreal colours.

3. A third way, in which sin deceives, is by making us miscalculate time. What is our life? It is compared to a "watch in the night," to a "tale that is told," to a "vapour which appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away," to a "race that is run," to a " battle that is fought," to the "labour of the day," to the dimensions of a "span." Yet, notwithstanding, may I not with all confidence ask whether his own feelings have not often virtually given the lie to these statements? Thus does sin deceive the young. To say nothing of the uncertainty of life, they are in error in regard to the length of it.

4. This property, which is specially named in the text, arises from our being creatures of habit. By the law of habit, the doing of a thing once, makes it easier to do it again, and creates an inclination towards the repetition of the act. Notice the manner in which the spider endeavours to secure the unwary insect, which has fallen into its web, and you have a pretty accurate representation of the process. One attenuated thread after another is woven round it, each easily broken, each in itself too trifling to be regarded or felt, but all, in their united strength, beyond its ability to break. There the victim lies, making mighty efforts to escape, but more and more hopelessly each successive moment. Thus it is, that sinful habit insensibly weaves around us its meshes.

(W. Sparrow, LL. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

WEB: but exhort one another day by day, so long as it is called "today;" lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

The Deceitfulness of Sin
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