When the Lord leads the Examination… Of the Evils in Your Own Heart

Taken and adapted from, “The Works of Robert Leighton, D.D.” (1611 – 1684)
Excerpt edited for thought and sense.

Failed Test

MANY and great are the evils that lodge within the heart of man…

…and they come forth abundantly both by the tongue and by the hand, yet the heart is not emptied of them; yea, the more it vent them outwardly, the more they increase within. Well might he that knew the heart so well, call it an evil treasure –We find the prophet Ezekiel in his 8th chap, led by the Lord in vision to Jerusalem, to view the sins of the Jews that remained in time of the Captivity; when he had shewed him one abomination, he caused him to dig through the wall, to enter and discover more, and so directed him several times, from one place to another, and still said, I will show thee yet greater abominations.

Thus is it with those whom the Lord leads into an examination of their own hearts (for men are usually strangers to themselves); by the light of his word and Spirit going before them, he lets them see heaps of abominations in every room, and the vilest in the most retired and darkest corners; and truly, should he leave them there, they would despair of remedy. No, he makes this discovery on purpose that they should flee to him for help.

Do so, then, as many as have taken any notice of the evils of your own hearts: tell the Lord they are his own works. He formed the heart of man within him, and they are his own choice too: My son, give me thy heart. Entreat him to redress all those abuses wherewith Satan and sin have filled it, and then, to take possession of it himself, for therein consists its happiness.

This is, or should be, a main reason for our going to his house and service.

Wrong not yourselves so far as to turn these serious exercises of religion into an idle diversion. What a happiness it is if every time you come to his solemn worship, some of your strongest sins did receive a new wound, and some of your weakest graces a new strength!