The more you surrender to corrupt desires, be they for food or sex or sleep or flattery or anything else, the more you enslave yourself to them.

That is, at least, the perspective of the Puritan scholar Edward Reynolds (1599-1676) on our corrupt desires:

Unnatural desires being herein very like unto natural motions; the further they proceed, the stronger and swifter they are: like wind in a bladder, they never fill the heart, but enlarge it.

The Grecians began their drinkings in little cups, but proceeded unto flaggons.

And, many times, those appetitions which begin in modesty, go on unto impudence; and the more our lives hasten to leave the world, the more our lusts hasten to possess it.

As it is noted of the Parthians, that the more they drink, the more they thirst.

And, which is a marvellous stupidity, the more continual experience men have of the vanity of the world, the more greedy experiments they make to find out solidity in it.*

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*Treatise on the Passions and Faculties of the Soul, vol.6 of The Whole Works of Edward Reynolds (Morgan, Penn.: Soli Deo Gloria, 1996), 133.

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