"There is a peculiar convincing power in the word, which God is oftentimes pleased to put forth, to the wounding, amazing, and, in some sort, humbling of sinners, though they are never converted. And the word is to be preached though it hath this end, yet not with this end. Let, then, the word be preached, and the sins of men [will be] rebuked, lust will be restrained, and some oppositions will be made against sin; though that be not the effect aimed at.
3. Though this be the work of the word and Spirit, and it be good in itself, yet it is not profitable nor available as to the main end in them in whom it is wrought; they are still in the gall of bitterness, and under the power of darkness" (John Owen. On Mortification of sin)