by Richard Baxter
The flesh is not just the common idol, but the most devouring idol in all the world. It has not, as subservient, flattered idols have, only a knee and compliment, or now and then a sacrifice or ceremony, but it has the heart, the tongue, the body to serve it; the whole estate, the service of friends, the use of wit and utmost diligence; in a word, it has all.
It is loved and served by the sensualist, as God should be loved and served by His own, even "with all their heart, and soul, and might:" they "honour it with their substance, and the first-fruits of their increase." It is as faithfully served as Christ requires to be of His disciples: men will part with father, and mother, and brother, and sister, and nearest friends, and all that is against it, for the pleasing of their flesh.
But Christ required men to part with no greater matter for Him than transitory earthly things, which they must shortly part with whether they will or not; they will do for the flesh ten thousand fold more than ever they were required to do for Christ. They forsake God for it. They forsake Christ, and heaven, and their salvation for it. They forsake all the heavenly comforts of this life, and all the joys of the life to come for their flesh. They sell all that they have, and lay down the price at its feet; yea, more than all they have, even all their hopes of what they might have to all eternity.
They suffer a martyrdom for the devil and for their flesh.