The Heart is the Fomenter of Sin

Luther said he feared his own heart, more than Pope or Cardinal. The heart is the fomenter of sin. It mints evil thoughts—and blows up the coals of fiery passions. It is the Trojan horse out of which comes a whole army of lusts! Shall we not fight the good fight, and discharge with the fire of zeal against this bosom traitor, the flesh! The primitive Christians chose rather to be destroyed by lions without—than by lusts within! ~ Sermon, The Fight of Faith Crowned

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Christian, You have No Cause to Boast

Christian, though you do not break forth into a flame of scandal, yet you have no cause to boast, for there is much sin raked up in the embers of your nature. You have the root of bitterness in you, and would bear as hellish fruit as any, if God did not either curb you by His power, or change you by His grace. “All Things for Good” pg. 47

The Sin of Our Nature is Like a Sleeping Lion

The sin of our nature is like a sleeping lion, the least thing that awakens it makes it rage. Though the sin of our nature seems quiet, and lies as fire hid under the embers, yet if it be a little stirred and blown up by temptation, how quickly may it flame forth into scandalous evils! Therefore we need always to walk watchfully. “I say to you all, Watch” (Mk. 8:37). A wandering heart heeds a watchful eye. “A Body of Divinity” pg. 148

Original Sin in the Believer

Original sin, though latent in the soul, and as a spring which runs underground, often breaks forth unexpectedly. Christian, you cannot believe that evil which is in your heart, and which will break forth suddenly, if God should leave you. “Is thy servant a dog that he should do this great thing” (II Kings 8:13)? Hazael could not believe he had such a root of bitterness in his heart, that he should rip up the women with child. Is thy servant a dog? Yes, and worse than a dog, when that original corruption within is stirred up. If one had come to Peter and said, Peter, within a few hours you will deny Christ, he would have said, “Is your servant a dog?” But alas! Peter did not know his own heart, nor how far that corruption within would prevail upon him. The sea may be calm, and look clear; but when the wind blows how it rages and foams! So though now your heart seems good, yet when temptation blows, how may original sin discover itself, making you foam with lust and passion. “A Body of Divinity” pgs. 145-6

Sin Hangs Weights Upon Us

Original sin may be compared to that fish Pliny speaks of, a sea-lamprey, which cleaves to the keel of the ship and hinders it when it is under sail. Sin hangs weights upon us so that we move but slowly to heaven. O this adherence of sin! Paul shook the viper which was on his hand into the fire (Acts 28:5), but we cannot shake off original corruption in this life. Sin does not come as a lodger for a night, but as an indweller: ‘sin that dwelleth in me’ (Rom. 7:17). It is with us as with one who has a hectic fever upon him; though he changes the air, yet still he carries his disease with him. Original sin is inexhaustible. This ocean cannot be emptied. Though the stock of sin spends, yet it is not at all diminished. The more we sin, the fuller we are of sin. Original corruption is like the widow’s oil which increased by pouring out. “Doctrine of Repentance” pg. 73

Sin May be Curbed, and Not Cured

The dog has a mind to the bone, but is afraid of the club; so men have a mind to lust, but conscience stands as the angel, with flaming sword, and affrights: they have a mind to revenge, but the fear of hell is a curb-bit to check them. There is no change of heart; sin is curbed, but not cured. A lion may be in chains, but is a lion still. “A Body of Divinity” pg. 244

By Sinning, Men have Contracted a Custom of Evil

Reason and conscience are bound like prisoners with the chains of lust. By sinning still, men have contracted a custom of evil. Jeremiah 13:23, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots?” Custom in sin stupefies conscience. ‘Tis like a gravestone laid upon a man. Oh, how hard their conversion who go on still in their trespasses! That tree will hardly be plucked up which has been long rooting in the earth. How hard will they find it to be plucked up out of their natural estate who have been many years rooting in sin! He who had been possessed with the devil from his youth up found it more hard to have the devil cast out of him, Mk. 9:21. “Mischief of Sin” pg. 58

The Heart of a Man by Nature is like a Garrison

The heart and sin are like two lovers who cannot endure to be parted. . . The heart of a man by nature is like a garrison which holds out in war. Though articles of peace are offered, though it is straightly besieged and one bullet after another is shot, yet the garrison holds out. So the heart is a garrison that holds out against God. Though He uses entreaties, gives warnings, shoots bullets into the conscience, yet the garrison of the heart holds out. The man will not be reclaimed; he sins still. He is said to have a brow of brass, in regard to his impudence, and a sinew of iron, in regard to his obstinance, Isa. 48:4. “Mischief of Sin” pgs. 55-56

Under a Veil a Deformed Face is Hid

Is it not strange that two should live together, and eat and drink together, yet not know each other? Such is the case of a sinner. His body and soul live together, work together, yet he is unacquainted with himself. He knows not his own heart, nor what a hell he carries about him. Under a veil a deformed face is hid. Persons are veiled over with ignorance and self-love; therefore they see not what deformed souls they have. The devil does with them as the falconer with the hawk. He blinds them and carries them hooded to hell. “Doctrine of Repentance”  pg. 19

In Your Natural State, Your Souls are Mortgaged

Let me tell you, all you who are yet in your natural estate, your souls are mortgaged. If your land were mortgaged, you would endeavor to redeem it. Your souls are mortgaged: sin has mortgaged them, and has laid your souls to pawn, and where do you think your souls are? The pawn is in the devil’s hand, therefore a man in the state of nature is said to be ‘under the power of Satan’ (Acts 26:18).

 Now there are but two ways to fetch home the pawn, and both are set down in Acts 20:21; ‘Repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Unravel all your works of sin by repentance, honor Christ’s merits by believing: divines call it saving faith, because upon this wing the soul flies to the ark Christ, and is secured from danger. “Harmless as Doves” pg. 117-8