Saturday, May 24, 2008

A soft heart

Mountain Flowers

Hearts of stone make no bones, as we say, about great mischiefs; but hearts of flesh repent even at the very thought of sin. To have indulged a foul imagination, to have flattered a lustful thought, and to have allowed it to tarry even for a minute is quite enough to make a heart of flesh grieved and rent before God with pain. The heart of stone says, when it has done great iniquity, “Oh, it is nothing, it is nothing! Who am I that I should be afraid of God’s law?” But not so the heart of flesh.

Great sins are little to the stony heart, little sins are great to the heart of flesh - if little sins there be. Conscience in the heart of stone is seared as with a hot iron; conscience in the heart of flesh is raw and very tender; like the sensitive plant, it coils up its leaves at the slightest touch, it cannot bear the presence of evil... God give us such a blessedly tender conscience as that.

From a sermon entitled "The Stony Heart Removed," delivered May 25, 1862. Flickr photo by Josef F. Stuefer; some rights reserved.

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