Sunday, 1 February 2015

If every man was compelled to speak all that he thinks

If every man was compelled to speak all that he thinks
John Newton

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings." Jeremiah 17:9-10

The heart, with all its deceitful and wicked workings—is incessantly under Divine inspection and examination! The Lord searches the heart—He traces and investigates, the inmost principles of our souls and their motives, with the utmost exactness!

To form a more just idea of this scrutiny, let us ask ourselves how we could bear to be compelled to declare aloud, in full company—every thought, wish and desire which pass through our minds—with no exception! People, if they were brought to this trial, would rather choose to die than comply with it!

If every man was compelled to speak all that he thinks—there would be an end of human 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. But the tongue can do no evil, any farther than as it is an 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 our hearts were open—and all our evil thoughts, motives and desires known to one another! What a mixture of confusion, defiance, shame, rage, fear, and contempt—would overspread every countenance!

And yet, we are thus exposed to the searching eye of a pure and holy God! The Lord knows the thoughts of man's heart, that they are vain. He long ago declared the result of His examination, "God saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth; and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually!" Thus, we see how vile and hateful our hearts must appear—in the sight of a heart-searching God!

And consider that the Lord does not observe the heart of man with the indifference of a mere spectator—but as an impartial and inflexible Judge! "I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve!" Alas! Is it not sufficient to fill our souls with dread—that He sits as Judge, not only upon outward actions, but He examines the very thoughts and intents of the heart! Can any of us stand under such a trial?

Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do." Hebrews 4:13

This is a most uncomfortable doctrine indeed—were there no remedy provided! "...the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin" 1 John 1:7

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