If we are to live, we have to use those helps necessary for living. And we cannot avoid those things that seem to serve delight more than necessity. Therefore, we must hold to a standard so as to use them with a clear conscience.
By his Word, the Lord teaches that the present life is, for his people, like a pilgrimage on which they are hastening toward the heavenly kingdom. If we must pass through this world, there is no doubt we ought to use its good things insofar as they help rather than hinder our course. Thus Paul rightly persuades us to use this world as if not using it (1 Cor. 7:30, 31).
But because this topic is a slippery one and slopes on both sides into error, let us try to plant our feet where we may safely stand. There were some otherwise good and holy men who, when they saw intemperance and wantonness raging with unbridled excess, desired to correct this dangerous evil. One plan occurred to them: to use physical goods only insofar as necessity required. A godly counsel indeed, ...1