The heart—a den of evil
‘For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.’ Matthew 15:19
Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 58:1–6
Your child will have evil thoughts without your sending him to a diabolical infant school; children who have been brought up in the midst of honesty, will be found guilty of little thefts early enough in life. False witness, which is one form of lying, is so common, that perhaps to find a tongue which never did bear false witness would be to find a tongue that never spoke. Is this caused by education or by nature? It is so common a thing that even when the ear has heard nothing but the most rigid truth, children learn to lie and men commonly do lie and love to tell an evil tale against their fellow men whether it be true or not, bearing false witness with an avidity which is perfectly shocking. Is this a matter of education, or is it a depraved heart? Some men will wilfully invent a slanderous lie, knowing that they need not take any special care of their offspring, for they may lay it in the street and the first passer-by will take it up and nurse it, and the lie will be carried in triumph round the world; whereas a piece of truth which would have done honour to a good man’s character, will be left to be forgotten till God shall remember it at the day of judgment. You never need educate any man into sin. The serpent is scarcely born before it rears itself and begins to hiss. The young lion may be nurtured in your parlour, but it will develop ere long the same thirst for blood as if it were in the forest. So is it with man; he sins as naturally as the young lion seeks for blood, or the young serpent stores up venom.
For meditation: Adam and Eve were created sinless in God’s image (Genesis 1:27; 5:1); they became sinners and as the result of disobedience Adam’s children were born sinful in his image (Genesis 5:3). Everybody since has sinned as the result of being born a sinner—except for the Son of God who was born in the likeness of sinful flesh i.e. in real, but sinless, flesh. Are you trusting in him alone as the one who was punished in his own flesh for your sin (Romans 8:3)?
Sermon no. 732 27 January (1867)
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