The Evils of The Human Heart

To form a more just idea of this scrutiny of the human heart, let us ask ourselves how we could bear to be obliged to declare aloud in full company every thought which passes through our minds, every wish and desire of which we are conscious, without the least reserve. I am persuaded there are few people so lost to shame but if they were brought to this trial, they would rather choose to die than to comply with it. Some things they would perceive especially, upon such a provocation, which they could hardly upon any terms prevail with themselves to express. The LORD has mercifully kept us from the knowledge of each others’ hearts, any further than we are willing to disclose ourselves; for were every man compelled to speak all he thinks, then there would be an end of society and man would no more venture to dwell with man than with tigers and bears. We know what mischief one ungoverned tongue may sometimes occasion. Now the tongue can do no evil any further than as it is the instrument of disclosing the hidden things of the heart; yet it is but a small part of these that the worst tongue is capable of disclosing. What, then, would be the case if all hearts were open and all our thoughts known to each other? What a mixture of confusion and shame, fear and contempt would overspread every countenance; and yet thus we are exposed to the searching of a pure and holy God.

We are saved out and out at once and wholly by what the Lord Jesus Christ has done, without ourselves having a hand in it. Outside of us is the blood that cleanses from all sin. Outside of us is the obedience which fulfills the law, earns our salvation, and cries, “IT IS FINISHED.” OUTSIDE! We have only to look on Christ to be saved.

John Newton

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